OLD NEWS

September 26, 2004

 

THE POLITICAL WAR by George Packer - The New Yorker

California Says Carmakers Must Cut Emissions - t r u t h o u t

U.S. Embassy Rips Mining Execs' Detention

The Bush Tent Show: President Smoke and Mirrors

Nixon EPA Chief Rips Bush on Environment - t r u t h o u t

China's glacier research warns of deserts and floods due to warming

The Hollow World of George Bush

Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq - Michael Moore

Mary Jacoby | The Dunce - t r u t h o u t

George Bush, Master of Sanctimony

Antarctic Glaciers Melting Faster - Study

Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger - KUDOS ON AB 3047 SIGNING

Working together works!

U.S. Can Eliminate Oil Use in a Few Decades

Kerry's Fighting Back: Powerful Speech on Iraq - MoveOn

McCain Whacks Bush on Iraq; Arundhati Roy's Justice - AlterNet

Islandwire: News from Earth Island Institute - September 20, 2004

Brower Memorial May Land at Berkeley Marina

Speaking of Phony Documents... Attention Deficit America

Put Away Your Hankies...a message from Michael Moore

U.S. Blocking Arctic Report - t r u t h o u t

Cal student to receive award: Brower Youth recipients to be honored for activism

Force of nature: Local filmmaker tells the tale of David Brower

The Lynching of Dan Rather - Greg Palast

Election Matters - The Nation

How many ways was war in Iraq wrong? Let local veteran tell you

The Baltimore Sun | Global Warming Will Spawn More Ivans - t r u t h o u t

Republicans blast Bush for environmental policies

Environment serving as a measure of character in presidential race

Rise in Consumers 'Threatens Environment' - t r u t h o u t

The Resort to Force - Noam Chomsky

Journalism Under Fire - Bill Moyers

Blog Of Blogs: Global Fear Finds A Voice - TomPaine

e-news from Survival International - 17 September 2004

International Election Monitors Arrive in the U.S.

Kelpie Wilson | Bush Bites the Biscuit - t r u t h o u t

Autumn 2004 Restore Hetch Hetchy newsletter now is on-line!

Kerry Needs the Courage to Walk Away from Iraq - Howard Zinn

Far Graver Than Vietnam - Sidney Blumenthal

At War Against Dam, Tribe Turns to Old Ways - t r u t h o u t

Taking On the Myth - PAUL KRUGMAN

OpenTheGovernment.org Updates for September 15, 2004

Vice President of the Apocalypse

Blair to U.S.: Ratify Kyoto - t r u t h o u t

Bush, Kerry and Vietnam

The Fact of Global Warming

Sewer Socialism

Extreme Oil Examines Our Crude Addiction

Brower Film "Monumental" - SF debut starts Friday

Bush Environment Record an Issue in Nevada - t r u t h o u t

Forget Bush - Molly Ivins

Pushing Back Against Evil

How Bush speaks in religious code

Bush family history shows a dark past unseen by most

Smog Harms Children's Lungs for Life, Study Finds - t r u t h o u t

Sierra Club Announces 2004 National Awards

The Nerve of Bush - Molly Ivins

Heroes and Villians: Reframing the 2004 Race - Arianna Huffington

Warming Trend Will Decimate Arctic Peoples, Report Warns

Scientist: Millions Will Die in Extreme Climate Change - t r u t h o u t

SEPTEMBER 11: WHAT YOU "OUGHT NOT TO KNOW" - Greg Palast

There's still time: Stand up for the Roadless Rule! - Earthjustice

Apocalypse Bush!

Senator Graham: Bush Covered Up Saudi Involvement in 9/11 - t r u t h o u t

DON'T LOOK AT THE FLASH - Greg Palast

Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil

Loss and Loathing on the Cheney Trail

California Causes a Row over Refineries - t r u t h o u t

Kelpie Wilson | Torture in the Redwoods - t r u t h o u t

`American dream' goes up in coal dust

Sierra Club Report Details Bush Administration's Erosion of Coastal Protections

Penelope Purdy | Future of Renewable Energy is Now - t r u t h o u t

Wal-Mart upsets cosmic balance of ruins

U.S. Says It Won't Remove Dams - t r u t h o u t

Brower Youth Awards Ceremony - Bring Your Friends!

Why Democrats Shouldn't Be Scared - Michael Moore

New Website Aims to Inspire Political Action and Promote Issue-oriented Films

Friday Sept. 17th Monumental opens in SF/Oct 1st in San Rafael

Final Alpine Satellite Development Plan Released - National Petroleum Reserve,Alaska

Bush Mob Orders Up a Hit - The Nation

GOP Policy Ruins Natural Land - t r u t h o u t

MONUMENTAL: David Brower Documentary

Roadless forests are under attack - your comments needed today

The Uncompassionate Conservative - Molly Ivins

BUSH IN NYC: WATCH OUT, THE 'REFORMER WITH RESULTS' IS BACK - Arianna Huffington

The GOP Doesn't Reflect America - Michael Moore

World Bank consults on big Laos dam project

Battle Renews on Use of National Forests - t r u t h o u t

Hetch Hetchy reclaimed: Editorial

Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America

Drought boosts campaign to drain one of the West's biggest reservoirs

The More We Grow, the Less Able We are to Feed Ourselves - t r u t h o u t

"Brutality And Purposeless Sadism" - Department of Defense Report

Monumental screens across North America including 8 swing states

Johnny Cash was NOT a Republican

U.K. to Take Tough Line against U.S. over Kyoto - t r u t h o u t

What We've Really Lost in this Indefensible War - Jimmy Breslin

Iraqi Olympic Soccer Players Kick the Stuffing Out of Bush's Fantasy - Robert Scheer

Defending Liberty - Robert C. Byrd

The beginning of history

Howard Geller | A Solution to Global Warming - t r u t h o u t

Student saves wilderness as park

Battle royal over monarch habitat

Arundhati Roy: Life Comes Between a Firebrand and Her Fiction

Depleted Uranium: Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets - t r u t h o u t

The Politics Of Bullying

Visualize This!

If at First You Don't Succeed, Go Negative

'Death after death, blood after blood'

America's Disease is Greed

Laying Odds on Armageddon

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

Colombia's oil pipeline is paid for in blood and dollars

4x4s replace the desert camel and whip up a worldwide dust storm

Report warns of flooding, heat waves, melting glaciers across Europe

Global warming could bring extreme changes to California, says study

Some Dare Call It Treason. Wake up, America!

Brain Dead, Made of Money, No Future at All - William Rivers Pitt

Minutes of Silence That Should Live in Infamy

IDF Teaches US Soldiers Guerilla Response

Israel's pipe dream: getting oil from Iraq

Nuclear Power Still a Deadly Proposition - Helen Caldicott

Why are American Troops in Najaf?

Islandwire: News from Earth Island Institute - August 16 , 2004

EAW Quick Links -- August 16, 2004

How Business Responds to Global Warming - t r u t h o u t

Fade to blue - A tale of fish, pirates, greed and the end of a global frontier

Elusive Dead Zone Tracked in the Pacific - t r u t h o u t

Bush's Military Past - The Nation

Environmental Buck Private - (Commander Deplete)

TRACKING TERROR!

Act Now: We Need An Environmental Debate

World Bank Undermines Efforts on Global Warming - t r u t h o u t

BROWER POWER - A spotlight on young enviro activists

2004 Brower Youth Awards Honor Outstanding Student Environmental Leaders

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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The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town - September 26, 2004

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/?040927ta_talk_packer


COMMENT

THE POLITICAL WAR

by George Packer
Issue of 2004-09-27

Earlier this year, the United States Agency for International Development, or U.S.A.I.D., hired a team of independent experts to go to Iraq and evaluate the agency's programs there. The experts came back with a mixed review that included plenty of reason for worry: the reconstruction of Iraq was taking place in an ad-hoc fashion, without a consistent strategy, without the meaningful participation or advice of Iraqis, within paralyzing security constraints, and amid unrealistic claims of success. But something happened to the report on the way to publication. U.S.A.I.D. kept sending parts of it back for revision, draft after draft, weeding out criticism, until the agency finally approved a version for internal use which one member of the team called "a whitewash" of his findings. Another expert said, "It's so political, everything going on out there. They just didn't want to hear any bad news." Pointing out that some of the numbers posted on the agency's Web site were overly optimistic, he concluded, "They like to make their sausage their way."

This would be a minor footnote in the history of the Iraq war, if only the entire story didn't read the same. President Bush has been making the sausage his way from the beginning, and his way is to politicize. He forced a congressional vote on the war just before the 2002 midterm elections. He trumpeted selective and misleading intelligence. He displayed intense devotion to classifying government documents, except when there was political advantage in declassifying them. He fired or sidelined government officials and military officers who told the American public what the Administration didn't want it to hear. He released forecasts of the war's cost that quickly became obsolete, and then he ignored the need for massive expenditures until a crucial half year in Iraq had been lost. His communications office in Baghdad issued frequently incredible accounts of the progress of the war and the reconstruction. He staffed the occupation with large numbers of political loyalists who turned out to be incompetent. According to Marine officers and American officials in Iraq, he ordered and then called off critical military operations in Falluja against the wishes of his commanders, with no apparent strategic plan. He made sure that blame for the abuses at Abu Ghraib settled almost entirely on the shoulders of low-ranking troops. And then, in the middle of the election campaign, he changed the subject.

No one can now doubt the effectiveness of the President's political operation. Here's one measure: between May and September, the number of Iraq stories that made page 1 of the Times and the Washington Post dropped by more than a third. During the same period, the percentage of Americans who support the President's handling of the war increased. It's the mark of a truly brilliant reëlection campaign that these trends at home are occurring against a background of ever-increasing violence and despair in Iraq. The latest reports from mainstream think tanks, such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, show every indicator of progress moving in the wrong direction. In July, the National Intelligence Council issued a classified and quite gloomy analysis of Iraq which had no effect on the President's rhetoric or on his policy. After a year and a half of improvising and muddling through, there seems to be no clear way forward and no good way out. But because the President-as his chief of staff, Andrew Card, recently said-regards Americans as ten-year-old children, don't expect to hear an honest discussion about any of this from the White House. (The President's party, however, is trying to force congress to vote, just before the election, on a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning-no doubt to bring the country a little closer to victory in Iraq.)

The problem with making sausage the President's way-other than the fact that it deceives the public, precludes a serious debate, bitterly divides the body politic when war requires unity, exposes American soldiers to greater risk, substitutes half measures for thoroughgoing efforts, and insures that no one will be held accountable for mistakes that will never be corrected-is that it doesn't work. What determines success in this war is what happens in Iraq and how Iraqis perceive it. If U.S.A.I.D. releases a report that prettifies the truth, officials here might breathe easier for a while, but it won't speed up the reconstruction of Iraq. Covering up failures only widens the gap in perception between Washington and Baghdad-which, in turn, makes Washington less capable of grasping the reality of Iraq and responding to it. Eventually, the failures announce themselves anyway-in a series of suicide bombings, a slow attrition of Iraqi confidence, a sudden insurrection. War, unlike budget forecasts and campaign coverage, is quite merciless with falsehood.

In refusing to look at Iraq honestly, President Bush has made defeat there more likely. This failing is only the most important repetition of a recurring theme in the war against radical Islam: the distance between Bush's soaring, often inspiring language and the insufficiency of his actions. When he speaks, as he did at the Republican Convention, about the power of freedom to change the world, he is sounding deep notes in the American political psyche. His opponent comes nowhere close to making such music. But if Iraq looks nothing like the President's vision-if Iraq is visibly deteriorating, and no one in authority will admit it-the speeches can produce only illusion or cynicism. In what may be an extended case of overcompensation, so much of the President's conduct in the war has become an assertion of personal will. Bush's wartime hero, Winston Churchill, offered his countrymen nothing but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Bush offers optimistic forecasts, permanent tax cuts, and his own stirring resolve.

As the campaign moves toward its finish, Senator Kerry seems unable to point any of this out, let alone exploit it. On Iraq, he has said almost everything possible, which makes it difficult for him to say anything. It's understandable that the war fills him with ambivalence. The President's actions have led the country into a blind alley; there's no new strategy for Kerry to propose, and the press should stop insisting that he come up with one when the candidate who started the war feels no such obligation. But the Senator has allowed the public to think that the President, against all the evidence of his record, will fight the war in Iraq and the larger war against radical Islam with more success. If Kerry loses the election, this will be the reason.

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2004 4:52 PM
Subject: Holocaust Survivors Sue Bush Family over Nazi Link

t r u t h o u t | 09.26

California Says Carmakers Must Cut Emissions

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

Holocaust Survivors Sue Bush Family over Nazi Link
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604A.shtml

U.S. Officials Differ on Iraqi Elections
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604B.shtml

U.S. Soldiers, Iraqi Civilians Die as Violence Continues
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604C.shtml

Iraq: U.S. Forces Admit One Mistake After Another
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604D.shtml

Naomi Klein | Baghdad Year Zero
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604E.shtml

Pakistan's Musharraf: Iraq War Complicates Middle East
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604F.shtml

Nicholas D. Kristof | Twisting Dr. Nuke's Arm
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604G.shtml

Le Monde | Reporters Under Threat
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604I.shtml

Former CIA Agent Says Bush to Blame for 9/11
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604J.shtml

Josh Marshall | FBI Fails on Forged Niger-Uranium Documents
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604K.shtml

Bush Reneges on Children's Health
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604L.shtml

CBS Cancels '60 Minutes' Story on Rationale for War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604W.shtml

Kerry: Iraq a 'Diversion'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604X.shtml

U.S. Destroyers Deploying off North Korea
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604Y.shtml

Michael Moore | Bush on Iraq: A Flip and Now Just a Flop
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092604Z.shtml

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AOL News - 09/25

U.S. Embassy Rips Mining Execs' Detention

By MICHAEL CASEY
.c The Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - The U.S. Embassy criticized Indonesian authorities Friday for detaining executives of a U.S.-based mining company on allegations of dumping hazardous waste into a bay, and suggested the action could harm the country's efforts to attract investment.

Police were questioning Richard Ness, director of Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp.'s local subsidiary, Newmont Minahasa Raya.

Five other Newmont employees, including the American site manager, were being held at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta, company spokesman Kasan Mulyono said.

No charges have been filed. Under Indonesian law, they can be detained for up to 20 days.

``We respect the independence of Indonesia's judicial system, but feel very strongly that the detention of P.T. Newmont employees is inappropriate,'' the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.

``Throughout the investigation, P.T. Newmont has fully cooperated and made their staff available to the Indonesian authorities,'' it said. ``P.T. Newmont has guaranteed their continued cooperation. There is no need to physically detain officials of the company. The detention of Newmont employees under these circumstances can only harm the investment climate in Indonesia.''

Indonesia has struggled to attract foreign investment in recent years, with many businesses going elsewhere because of the country's excessive red tape, security woes and a corrupt legal system that has produced a string of controversial rulings against foreign companies.

In the first half of 2004, foreign investment in Indonesia dropped by 35 percent.

Residents on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi say a Newmont gold mine is polluting a bay with mercury- and arsenic-laced waste. Local and international media have carried pictures of villagers with skin diseases and large lumps they claim were caused by the waste.

Newmont has denied the allegations but says it will cooperate with the investigation.

The company stopped mining at the Sulawesi site two years ago after extracting all the gold it could and stopped processing ore there Aug. 31. It plans to have the entire facility reclaimed within three years.

Newmont, the world's largest gold producer, also faces a $550 million lawsuit filed in Indonesia in August by a legal-aid group on behalf of several villagers.

The company says the heavy metal levels in Buyat Bay are no higher than in most maritime environments and conform to international standards. It says smallholders who illegally reprocess ore from the mine by using mercury to separate gold from sand are dumping quicksilver into the bay.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

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counterpunch.org - September 24, 2004

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney09242004.html


The Bush Tent Show

President Smoke and Mirrors

By MIKE WHITNEY

The Bush presidency has been the most elaborate public relations swindle in the history of the country. From his inauguration to the present day, Bush's every move has been carefully choreographed to maximize the ambitions of his handlers. His appearances have meticulously exorcised any fractious elements that might suggest that he is not unanimously revered by the American people.

As Noam Chomsky notes: "For George Bush the younger, PR specialists and speechwriters have constructed the image of a simple man with a direct line to heaven, who relies on his gut instincts as he strides forward to rid the world of evildoers while contemplating his visions and "dreams, a caricature of ancient epics and children's tales, with an admixture of cowboy fiction."

George Bush is entirely the invention of Madison Ave and the feverish imagination of Karl Rove. If it was possible to get close enough, you could probably pass your hand through the pasty gray spectral figure that is the central image of this political light show. There is simply nothing there.

The iconic image of Bush is devoid of any real substance; rather it is a repository of familiar American symbols and comforting "sound bytes. This has elevated the President to an archetypal figure whose wisdom issues from his deeply felt commitment to God and flag.

This manipulation of symbols first took root during the Reagan administration. Reagan's handlers learned how critical it is to create the illusion of leadership while obscuring the brutish machinations of government. Reagan's cheerful and bumbling character became a convenient foil for ongoing atrocities in Nicaragua and shadowy dealings with Iran. He was an upbeat guy who photographed as well in a Stetson as in a pinstriped suit. His good-humor and alleged forgetfulness proved to be valuable tools in disguising the many crimes that were perpetrated in his name.

The Bush character duplicates much of the Reagan mystique, with one notable difference; the emphasis on religion. The Bush chimera is one part plain-speaking cowpoke and one part Tent-show preacher. This adjunct to the Reagan formula has inspired legions of loyal followers to profess their unflinching devotion to their new messiah. The unfortunate facts concerning his dubious personal history ( a unique mix of shady business deals, insider trading, arrests, alcohol abuse, unaccounted for absences in the National Guard etc) has done nothing to upset their unshakeable belief in junior Bush.

The illusion of Bush's popularity has been, perhaps, the thorniest aspect to stage manage. Bush is the most reviled public figure of our era. Even when he visited close friend and ally Tony Blair in England he had to be accompanied by an entourage of 4,000 secret service agents and an army of 18,000 Bobbies. His presence provokes a similar reaction wherever he goes. (The unprecedented pre-war protests, that sent millions of people across the world into the streets, attest to the overwhelming public revulsion to his policies.)

Never the less, the media has done an admirable job in concealing the rage of the common man by isolating the "Dear Leader from his myriad detractors and by filming him in only the most flattering environs. Public appearances have deteriorated into private affairs for well heeled contributors, who are, in turn, asked to take off their Brooks Brothers coats and roll up their sleeves so they can affect the appearance of Joe six-pack.

Most people know by now that this painfully scripted vaudeville is nothing but political fakery, but it plays well on America's TVs and it lends a bit of credibilityto a predictably vacuous performance.

Bush's televised appearances are equally artificial but, regrettably, frequent. On the rare occasion when the camera lingers too long on the presidential visage, peering through the vacuous executive gaze, a broad expanse of emptiness unfolds stretching across the ether; the motionless void of Bush's brain. Then, just as quickly, a shifting of cameras, a jolt back to life, the set jaw, the firm tone and the confident stride; our man from Crawford is restored to his task of saving the free world from fanatics and infidels.

The Bush presidency, with its heavy dependence on symbolism rather than content; "archetypal wizardry rather than leadership, has sent the ship of state limping towards the rocky shore. In just three years the administration has torpedoed long-held alliances, savaged the treasury, eviscerated our international credibility, initiated two wars of aggression, curtailed civil liberties and established an archipelago of torture camps across the globe. These accomplishments would never have been possible without the smoke and mirrors handiwork that spawned the Pretender in Chief.

The White House illusionists have created an effective mask for disguising their rampant criminal activity. By manufacturing a folksy, Bible wielding President, Rove and co. have fully embraced the "cult of the personality" that faithful friend of autocrats and boon to power hungry politicians.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Friday, September 24, 2004 2:55 PM
Subject: Iraq Violence Belies Bush Spin

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.25

Nixon EPA Chief Rips Bush on Environment

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

Iraq Violence Belies Bush Spin
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504A.shtml

European Press: Bush in Denial
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504B.shtml

The Washington Post | Freeing Mr. Hamdi
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504C.shtml

Nicholas Turse | Swift Boat Swill
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504D.shtml

Eric Boehlert | Too Much about Memos, Too Little about War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504F.shtml

Antoine de Gaudemar | Surrealistic
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504H.shtml

Valerie Plame and the "60 Minutes Story" that Didn't Run
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504I.shtml

I. K. Gyasi | Bush: A Study in Failure
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504J.shtml

Paul Krugman | Let's Get Real
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504K.shtml

Tying Kerry to Terror Tests Rhetorical Limits
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504L.shtml

Cat Stevens to Take Legal Action Against U.S.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504W.shtml

A Failed Congress Slouches Home
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504X.shtml

Anguish, Frustration in American Heartland over Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504Y.shtml

The Hollow World of George W. Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092504Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Tanks, Blast Walls and Barbed Wire'
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/china/story/0,7369,1311573,00.html

Highest icefields will not last 100 years, study finds

China's glacier research warns of deserts and floods due to warming


Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Friday September 24 2004
The Guardian


The world's highest ice fields are melting so quickly that they are on course to disappear within 100 years, driving up sea levels, increasing floods and turning verdant mountain slopes into deserts, Chinese scientists warned yesterday.

After the most detailed study ever undertaken of China's glaciers, which are said to account for 15% of the planet's ice, researchers from the Academy of Science said that urgent measures were needed to prepare for the impact of climate change at high altitude.

Their study, the Glacier Inventory, was approved for publication last week after a quarter of a century of exploration in China and Tibet. It will heighten alarm at global warming.

Until now, most research on the subject has looked at the melting of the polar ice-caps. Evidence from the inventory suggests that the impact is as bad, if not worse, on the world's highest mountain ranges - many of which are in China.

In the past 24 years, the scientists have measured a 5.5% shrinkage by volume in China's 46,298 glaciers, a loss equivalent to more than 3,000 sq km (1,158 sq miles) of ice; there has been a noticeable acceleration in recent years.

Among the most marked changes has been the 500metre retreat of the glacier at the source of the Yangtze on the Tibet-Qinghai plateau.

The huge volumes of water from the glacier's melted ice, estimated at 587bn cubic metres since the 1950s, are thought to have been a factor in flooding that has devastated many downstream areas in recent years.

Shrinkages were observed at almost every ice-field in the Karakorum range, including the Purugangri glaciers, which are said to be the world's third largest body of ice after the Arctic and Antarctica. According to Yao Tandong, who led the 50 scientists in the project, the decline of the Himalayan glaciers would be a disaster for the ecosystem of China and neighbouring states.

If the climate continued to change at the current pace, he predicted that two-thirds of China's glaciers would disappear by the end of the 2050s, and almost all would have melted by 2100.

"Within 20 to 30 years, we will see the collapse of many of the smaller glaciers," he said. "Within 60 years, we can predict a very significant reduction in the volume of high-altitude ice fields."

In the short term, he said, the water from the ice would fill reservoirs and lead to more flooding - as was already the case in Nepal and downstream areas of China.

In the future, he predicted, the end of the glaciers would deprive the mountain ecology of its main life source and hasten the desertification that threatens western China, particularly in Gansu and Xinjiang provinces.

Once the mountain ice was gone, rivers would start to dry up and ocean levels would rise, threatening coastal cities.

The inventory confirms earlier studies of Everest, which showed the world's tallest peak more than 1.3 meters shorter than in 1953, when it was first scaled by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

To ease the impact of the glacial melt, the scientists plan to advise China's government to build more reservoirs and hydro-electric dams to improve downstream flood control.

But they said that there were limits to what could be achieved.

"No one can reverse the changes to a glacier," said Shi Yafeng, head of China's environmental and engineering research institute for the cold and arid regions.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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Published on Thursday, September 23, 2004 by the Guardian/UK

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0923-03.htm


The Hollow World of George Bush

The Power of Positive Thinking is the President's Shield from Reality


by Sidney Blumenthal


The news is grim, but the president is "optimistic". The intelligence is sobering, but he tosses aside
"pessimistic predictions". His opponent says he has "no credibility", but the president replies that it is his rival
who is "twisting in the wind". The UN secretary general speaks of the "rule of law", but he talks before a mute
general assembly of "a new definition of security". Between the rhetoric and the reality lies the campaign.

In Iraq, US commanders have plans for this week and the next, but there is "no overarching strategy", I was
told by a reliable source who has just returned after assessing the facts on the ground for US intelligence
services. The New York Times reports that an offensive is in the works to capture the insurgent stronghold of
Falluja - after the election. In the meantime, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists linked to al-Qaida
operate from there at will, as they have for more than a year. The president speaks of new Iraqi security
forces, but not even half the US personnel have been assigned to the headquarters of the Multinational
Security Transition Command.

George Bush's vision of the liberation of Iraq has melted before harsh facts. But reality cannot be allowed to
obscure the image. The liberation is "succeeding", he insists, and only pessimists cannot see it.

In July, the CIA delivered to the president a new national intelligence estimate that detailed three gloomy
scenarios for Iraq's future, ranging up to civil war. Perhaps it was his reading of the estimate that prompted
Bush to remark in August that the war on terrorism could not be won, a judgment he swiftly reversed. And at
the UN, Bush held a press conference where he rebuffed the latest intelligence.

Bush explained that, for him, intelligence is not to inform decision-making, but to be used or rejected to
advance an ideological and political agenda. His dismissal is an affirmation of the politicisation and corruption
of intelligence that rationalised the war.

In his stump speech, which he repeats word for word across the country, Bush explains that he invaded Iraq
because of "the lesson of September the 11th". WMD goes unmentioned; the only reason Bush offers is
Saddam Hussein as an agent of terrorism. "He was a sworn enemy of the United States of America; he had
ties to terrorist networks. Do you remember Abu Nidal? He's the guy that killed Leon Klinghoffer. Leon
Klinghoffer was murdered because of his religion. Abu Nidal was in Baghdad, as was his organisation."

The period of Leon Klinghoffer's murder in 1985 on the liner Achille Lauro (by Abu Abbas, in fact) coincided
with the US courtship of Saddam, marked by the celebrated visits of then Middle East envoy Donald
Rumsfeld. The US collaborated in intelligence exchanges and materially supported Saddam in his war with
Iran, authorising the sale of biological agents for Saddam's laboratories, a diversification of his WMD
capability.

The reason was not born of idealism, but necessity: the threat of an expansive Iran-controlled Shia
fundamentalism to the entire Gulf.

The policy of courting Saddam continued until he invaded Kuwait. But realpolitik prevailed when US forces
held back from capturing Baghdad for larger, geostrategic reasons. The first Bush grasped that in wars to
come, the US would need ad hoc coalitions to share the military burden and financial cost. Taking Baghdad
would have violated the UN resolution that gave legitimacy to the first Gulf war, as well as creating a
nightmare of "Lebanonisation", as secretary of state James Baker called it. Realism prevailed; Saddam's
power was subdued and drastically reduced. It was the greatest accomplishment of the first President Bush.

When he honoured the UN resolution, the credibility of the US in the region was enormously enhanced,
enabling serious movement on the Middle East peace process. Now this President Bush has undone the
foundation of his father's work, which was built upon by President Clinton.

Bush's campaign depends on the containment of any contrary perception of reality. He must evade, deny
and suppress it. His true opponent is not his Democratic foe - called unpatriotic and the candidate of al-Qaida
by the vice-president - but events. Bush's latest vision is his shield against them. He invokes the power of
positive thinking, as taught by Emile Coue, guru of autosuggestion in the giddy 1920s, who urged mental
improvement through constant repetition: "Every day in every way I am getting better and better."

It was during this era of illusion that TS Eliot wrote The Hollow Men:

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.

· Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is Washington bureau chief of salon.com

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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

 

From: mailinglist@michaelmoore.com
Date: 23 Sep 2004 11:22:54 -0000
To: browerpower@wildnesswithin.com

Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq:

"A flip and a flop and now just a flop."


9/22/04

Dear Mr. Bush,

I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq? You, your Dad, Rummy, Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed your minds so many times, I am out of breath just trying to keep up with you! Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have taken over the years represents your CURRENT thinking:

1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM. On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your dad and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Rummy looked so happy in the picture <> . Just twelve days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands of Iranian troops. Your dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because The Donald R. went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddams right-hand man <> , Tariq Aziz, just four months later. All of this resulted in the U.S. providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled Saddam <> to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post reported that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the Reagan/Bush administration wanted Iraq to win <> its war with Iran and anyone who helped Saddam accomplish this was a friend of ours.

1990: WE HATE SADDAM. In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore <> so they attacked Iraq and returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.

1991: WE WANT SADDAM TO LIVE. After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell told the Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose up. But then we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam, the Bush inner circle changed its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites. Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.

1998: WE WANT SADDAM TO DIE. In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the Project for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton <> insisting he invade and topple Saddam Hussein.

2000: WE DON'T BELIEVE IN WAR AND NATION BUILDING. Just three years later, during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election, when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer where you stood when it came to using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright pacifist:


I--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously. --October 3, 2000

2001 (early): WE DON'T BELIEVE SADDAM IS A THREAT. When you took office in 2001, you sent your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in front of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about Saddam Hussein. Here is what they said:


Powell: We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they have directed that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was 10 years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. --February 24, 2001


Rice: But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt. --July 29, 2001

2001 (late): WE BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US! Just a few months later, in the hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy, you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You wanted only to bomb Iraq and kill Saddam <> and you then told all of America we were under imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way. You led the American people to believe that Saddam had something to do with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's sanction, you broke international law and invaded Iraq.

2003: WE DONT BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US. After no WMDs were found, you changed your mind about why you said we needed to invade, coming up with a brand new after-the-fact reason -- we started this war so we could have regime change, liberate Iraq and give the Iraqis democracy!

2003: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Yes, everyone saw you say it -- in costume, no less!

2004: OOPS. MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED! Now you call the Iraq invasion a "catastrophic success <> ." That's what you called it this month. Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died, Iraq is in a state of total chaos where no one is safe, and you have no clue how to get us out of there.

Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?

I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop," so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just one: Flop. That is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors and the "intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.

And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you call the "many positions" he has taken on Iraq. By my count, he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position. You told him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast majority of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed you. You see, Americans, like John Kerry, want to live in a country where they can believe their president.

That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the war, he supported YOU. And YOU let him and this great country down. And that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to the polls on Election Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping us and the rest of the world off.

We can't take another minute of it.

Yours,

Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com <http://www.michaelmoore.com>

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

 

t r u t h o u t - Mary Jacoby | The Dunce - Thursday 16 September 2004

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704I.shtml


Never stops thinking!

The Dunce

His former Harvard Business School professor recalls George W. Bush not just
as a terrible student but as spoiled, loutish and a pathological liar.

By Mary Jacoby
Salon.com


For 25 years, Yoshi Tsurumi, one of George W. Bush's professors at Harvard Business School, was content with his green-card status as a permanent legal resident of the United States. But Bush's ascension to the presidency in 2001 prompted the Japanese native to secure his American citizenship. The reason: to be able to speak out with the full authority of citizenship about why he believes Bush lacks the character and intellect to lead the world's oldest and most powerful democracy.

"I don't remember all the students in detail unless I'm prompted by something," Tsurumi said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect - the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite."

The future president was one of 85 first-year MBA students in Tsurumi's macroeconomic policies and international business class in the fall of 1973 and spring of 1974. Tsurumi was a visiting associate professor at Harvard Business School from January 1972 to August 1976; today, he is a professor of international business at Baruch College in New York.

Trading as usual on his father's connections, Bush entered Harvard in 1973 for a two-year program. He'd just come off what George H.W. Bush had once called his eldest son's "nomadic years" - partying, drifting from job to job, working on political campaigns in Florida and Alabama and, most famously, apparently not showing up for duty in the Alabama National Guard.

Harvard Business School's rigorous teaching methods, in which the professor interacts aggressively with students, and students are encouraged to challenge each other sharply, offered important insights into Bush, Tsurumi said. In observing students' in-class performances, "you develop pretty good ideas about what are their weaknesses and strengths in terms of thinking, analysis, their prejudices, their backgrounds and other things that students reveal," he said.

One of Tsurumi's standout students was Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., now the seventh-ranking member of the House Republican leadership. "I typed him as a conservative Republican with a conscience," Tsurumi said. "He never confused his own ideology with economics, and he didn't try to hide his ignorance of a subject in mumbo jumbo. He was what I call a principled conservative." (Though clearly a partisan one. On Wednesday, Cox called for a congressional investigation of the validity of documents that CBS News obtained for a story questioning Bush's attendance at Guard duty in Alabama.)

Bush, by contrast, "was totally the opposite of Chris Cox," Tsurumi said. "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him." When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, "Oh, I never said that." A White House spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment.

In 1973, as the oil and energy crisis raged, Tsurumi led a discussion on whether government should assist retirees and other people on fixed incomes with heating costs. Bush, he recalled, "made this ridiculous statement and when I asked him to explain, he said, 'The government doesn't have to help poor people - because they are lazy.' I said, 'Well, could you explain that assumption?' Not only could he not explain it, he started backtracking on it, saying, 'No, I didn't say that.'"

If Cox had been in the same class, Tsurumi said, "I could have asked him to challenge that and he would have demolished it. Not personally or emotionally, but intellectually."

Bush once sneered at Tsurumi for showing the film "The Grapes of Wrath," based on John Steinbeck's novel of the Depression. "We were in a discussion of the New Deal, and he called Franklin Roosevelt's policies 'socialism.' He denounced labor unions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security, you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either ideologically, polemically or academically."

Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. "In class, he couldn't challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."

Many of Tsurumi's students came from well-connected or wealthy families, but good manners prevented them from boasting about it, the professor said. But Bush seemed unabashed about the connections that had brought him to Harvard. "The other children of the rich and famous were at least well bred to the point of realizing universal values and standards of behavior," Tsurumi said. But Bush sometimes came late to class and often sat in the back row of the theater-like classroom, wearing a bomber jacket from the Texas Air National Guard and spitting chewing tobacco into a cup.

"At first, I wondered, 'Who is this George Bush?' It's a very common name and I didn't know his background. And he was such a bad student that I asked him once how he got in. He said, 'My dad has good friends.'" Bush scored in the lowest 10 percent of the class.

The Vietnam War was still roiling campuses and Harvard was no exception. Bush expressed strong support for the war but admitted to Tsurumi that he'd gotten a coveted spot in the Texas Air National Guard through his father's connections.

"I used to chat up a number of students when we were walking back to class," Tsurumi said. "Here was Bush, wearing a Texas Guard bomber jacket, and the draft was the No. 1 topic in those days. And I said, 'George, what did you do with the draft?' He said, 'Well, I got into the Texas Air National Guard.' And I said, 'Lucky you. I understand there is a long waiting list for it. How'd you get in?' When he told me, he didn't seem ashamed or embarrassed. He thought he was entitled to all kinds of privileges and special deals. He was not the only one trying to twist all their connections to avoid Vietnam. But then, he was fanatically for the war."

Tsurumi told Bush that someone who avoided a draft while supporting a war in which others were dying was a hypocrite. "He realized he was caught, showed his famous smirk and huffed off."

Tsurumi's conclusion: Bush is not as dumb as his detractors allege. "He was just badly brought up, with no discipline, and no compassion," he said.

In recent days, Tsurumi has told his story to various print and television outlets and appears in Kitty Kelley's exposé "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty." He said other professors and students at the business school from that time share his recollections but are afraid to come forward, fearing ostracism or retribution. And why is Tsurumi speaking up now? Because with the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq and Osama bin Laden still on the loose - not to mention a federal deficit ballooning out of control - the stakes are too high to remain silent. "Obviously, I don't think he is the best person" to be running the country, he said. "I wanted to explain why."

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

 

Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 by The Progressive

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0922-09.htm


George Bush, Master of Sanctimony

by Matthew Rothschild


Two years ago, when George Bush addressed the United Nations on Iraq, he blustered that the U.N. risked
becoming irrelevant if it didn't do what he wanted it to do, which was to go along for the Iraq ride.

Bush told Bob Woodward in Plan of Attack that "it was a speech I really enjoyed giving."

While Bush was not quite so haughty this time around, he still seemed to be enjoying himself as he laid the
sanctimony on thick.

He warned the delegates "not to grow weary in our duties, or waver in meeting them."

He boasted that "we have the historic chance . . . to fight radicalism and terror with justice and dignity,"
willfully ignoring the Abu Ghraib scandal that has so besmirched the U.S. reputation abroad.

On Iraq and Afghanistan today, he said, "Freedom is finding a way," and that both peoples "are on the path
to democracy and freedom."

It must be a slippery path, though, and a difficult way.

Bush hinted at this by saying, "The work ahead is demanding." But he used this acknowledgment to upbraid
the delegates: "The proper response to difficulty is not to retreat, it is to prevail."

Amazingly, he said, "The people of Iraq have regained sovereignty," even though they are being ruled by a
former CIA asset appointed by the Iraqi Governing Council, which Bush's viceroy, Paul Bremer, handpicked.

Bush's entire discussion about Iraq reeked of hubris. Just last week, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
called the Iraq War "illegal," but Bush said "a coalition of nations enforced the just demands of the world."
Once again, he simply assumed that the United States has the right to be the unilateral enforcer of U.N.
Security Council resolutions, even when the Security Council itself does not agree. To give those resolutions
meaning and "for the sake of peace" (calling George Orwell), Bush said the war against Saddam Hussein was
necessary.

Bush did not mention the elusive weapons of mass destruction, incidentally. Instead, he emphasized that the
war against Iraq this time was to "deliver the Iraqi people from an outlaw dictator."

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Bush, as is his custom, spent much more time and much stronger language
berating Yasser Arafat, though not by name, than in scolding the Israeli government.

This imbalance must have been clear to people in the Arab and Muslim world.

Bush did denounce the crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan, "crimes my government has concluded are
genocide." But he was short on any follow through that is necessary to stop that genocide.

The only new initiative he offered during his entire speech was the establishment of something he called a
Democracy Fund to help set up "independent courts, a free press, political parties, and trade unions." Trade
unions? Since when has Bush been a supporter of them? Bush added, "Money from the fund would also
help set up voter precincts and poling places, and support the work of election monitors."

We may need those election monitors here on November 2.

Throughout the speech, the U.N. delegates sat on their hands. At the end, there was only the politest
applause.

Resentment against Bush the Bully ran high.

Copyright 2004 The Progressive

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

 

Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 by Reuters

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0922-02.htm


Antarctic Glaciers Melting Faster - Study


WASHINGTON - Glaciers once held up by a floating ice shelf off Antarctica are now sliding
off into the sea -- and they are going fast, scientists said on Tuesday.

Two separate studies from climate researchers and the space agency NASA show the
glaciers are flowing into Antarctica's Weddell Sea, freed by the 2002 breakup of the Larsen
B ice shelf.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers said their satellite
measurements suggest climate warming can lead to rapid sea level rise.

The teams at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the National Snow and
Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
in Greenbelt, Maryland, said the findings also prove that ice shelves hold back glaciers.

Many teams of researchers are keeping a close eye on parts of Antarctica that are steadily
melting.

Large ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula disintegrated in 1995 and 2002 as a result of
climate warming. But these floating ice shelves did not affect sea level as they melted.

Glaciers, however, are another story. They rest on land and when they slide off into the
water they instantly affect sea level.

It was not clear how the loss of the Larsen B ice shelf would affect nearby glaciers.

But soon after its collapse, researchers saw nearby glaciers flowing up to eight times faster
than before.

"If anyone was waiting to find out whether Antarctica would respond quickly to climate
warming, I think the answer is yes," said Theodore Scambos, a University of Colorado glacier
expert who worked on one study.

"We've seen 150 miles of coastline change drastically in just 15 years."

The affected area is at the far northern tip of the Antarctic, just south of Chile and Argentina.
Temperatures there have risen by up to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.5 degrees C) in the past
60 years -- faster than almost any region in the world.

In the past 30 years, ice shelves in the region have lost more than 5,200 square miles of
area.

"The Larsen area can be looked at as a miniature experiment, showing how warming can
dramatically change the ice sheets, and how fast it can happen," Scambos said in a
statement. "At every step in the process, things have occurred more rapidly than we
expected."

But not all the melting in the Antarctic can be seen as a "miniature experiment."

The Ross ice shelf, for example, is the main outlet for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, with
several large glaciers that could, if they melted completely, raise sea levels by 16 feet.

"While the consequences of this area are small compared to other parts of the Antarctic, it is
a harbinger of what will happen when the large ice sheets begin to warm," Scambos said.
"The much larger ice shelves in other parts of Antarctica could have much greater effects on
the rate of sea level rise."

Copyright © 2004 Reuters Ltd.

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

 

From: Marsh Pitman <marshpitman@sbcglobal.net>
To: Bob Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 12:22 PM
Subject: Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger - KUDOS ON AB 3047 SIGNING

TRANSPORTATION INVOLVES EVERYONE (TIE)

Central Valley/Sierra Office
P.O. Box 3111
Merced, CA 95344

September 22, 2004

Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Governor, State of California

State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: KUDOS ON AB 3047 SIGNING

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

Transportation Involves Everyone (TIE), long a proponent for high-speed rail to unite California environmentally and economically while improving quality of life, highly commends your action in signing AB 3047.

The collaborative initiative by you and your staff in working with the Assembly Transportation Committee and with State Senate President Pro tem Don Perata in incorporating a reform provision for the California High-Speed Rail Authority is exemplary.

TIE through its predecessor organization, Yosemite Mobilization Committee, enthusiastically supported the conclusive findings of the California High-Speed Rail Commission, many of whose distinguished members were appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson. The Commission, predecessor to the Authority, given the task under state law for designating corridors, acted with wisdom and vast input from elected officials, civic organizations, environmental groups and the public at large.

Thus, it was deplorable that the Commission,s detailed analyses, which chose Altamont Pass as the preferred route from the Central Valley to the Bay Area, were cast aside by the successor High Speed Rail Authority to cater to special interests.

TIE applauds you and your staff for providing the $3 million for extensive environmental impact reports and studies that will bring about a level playing field in route selection that is critical to California,s future.

We look forward very energetically to continuing the discussions with you, started in Merced last October, when you so quickly comprehended what was at stake for California,s future by the sneaky actions of the High Speed Rail Authority. Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Alameda and San Francisco counties"as well as the entire state"need to salute you for your "profile in courage on this issue.

Sincerely,

KENNETH A. GOSTING,

Executive Director
Transportation Involves Everyone (TIE)

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

 

From: Marsh Pitman <marshpitman@sbcglobal.net>
To: Bob Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 7:54 AM
Subject: AB 3047 (Altamont)

Working together works!

Governor's office overnight has confirmed AB 3047 was signed by Mr. Schwarzenegger late yesterday. (AB 3047 was just one of a stack of legislative bills awaiting consideration by Governor as deadline approached for signature or veto). AB 3047, an omnibus bill authored by entire Assembly Transportation Committee, contains provision from Senate President Pro tem Don Perata that provides $3 million in state funding for a thorough evaluation of Altamont Pass in comparison with Pacheco Pass and Henry Coe State Park as corridors from the Central Valley to the Bay Area.

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 20, 2004

CONTACT: Rocky Mountain Institute

SNOWMASS, Colorado


U.S. Can Eliminate Oil Use in a Few Decades


Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) today released Winning the Oil Endgame:

Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security, a Pentagon-cofunded blueprint for making the United States oil-free.

The plan outlines how American industry can restore competitiveness and boost profits by mobilizing modern
technologies and smart business strategies to displace oil more cheaply than buying it. Winning the Oil Endgame
proves that at an average cost of $12 per barrel (in 2000 dollars), the United States can save half its oil usage
through efficiency, then substitute competitive biofuels and saved natural gas for the rest -- all this without taxation
or new federal regulation.

"Unlike previous proposals to force oil savings through government policy, our proposed transition beyond oil is led
by business for profit," said RMI CEO Amory Lovins.

"Our recommendations are market-based, innovation-driven without mandates, and designed to support, not
distort, business logic. They're self-financing and would cause the federal deficit to go down, not up."

Winning the Oil Endgame shows that by 2015, the United States can save more oil than it gets from the Persian
Gulf; by 2025, use less oil than in 1970; by 2040, import no oil; and by 2050, use no oil at all.

"Because saving and substituting oil costs less than buying it, our study finds a net savings of $70 billion a year,"
Lovins said. "That acts like a giant tax cut for the nation. It simply makes sense and makes money for all."

The RMI study focuses on cars and light trucks (SUVs, pickups, and vans). These vehicles account for nearly half of
projected 2025 oil use. The report demonstrates that ultralight, ultrasound materials like carbon-fiber can halve
vehicles' weight, increase safety, and boost efficiency to about 85 mpg for a midsize car or 66 mpg for a midsize
SUV.

"BMW has confirmed that carbon-fiber autobodies weigh only half as much as steel and have exceptional crash
performance," said Lovins. "The resulting fuel savings can be like buying gasoline for 56 cents a gallon."

Winning the Oil Endgame also predicts that to fight better and save money, the Pentagon -- the world's largest oil
buyer-will accelerate the market emergence of superefficient land, sea, and air platforms. A more efficient and
effective military can protect American citizens instead of foreign oil, while moving to eliminate oil as a source of
conflict.

"A fuel-efficient military could save tens of billions of dollars a year," said Lovins, who served on a Pentagon task
force studying this issue.

"As our nation stops needing oil, think of the possibilities of being able to treat oil-rich countries the same as
nations that don't own a drop. Imagine too our moral clarity if other countries no longer assume everything the
United States does is about oil."

The RMI report says that by 2015, more efficient vehicles, buildings, and factories will turn oil companies into
broad-based energy companies that embrace biofuels as a new product line. Winning the Oil Game demonstrates
how cellulosic biofuels (wood-based rather than from starchy or sugary plants like corn) can replace one-fifth of
current oil use, more than triple farm income, and create 750,000 agriculture jobs.

"Europe produces 17 times more biodiesel than we do," Lovins said. "The EU has shifted farmers from subsidies to
durable revenues, and now oil companies compete to sell their petroleum-free fuel."

Winning the Oil Endgame demonstrates half of U.S. natural gas can be saved at less than a fifth of its current price.
Two-thirds of that figure comes from saving electricity, especially at peak times when it's inefficiently produced from
natural gas. This step alone could return natural gas to abundance within a few years, cutting gas and power bills
by $55 billion per year. Recommended policy innovations include:

Revenue-neutral feebates -- rebates for buyers of efficient cars, paid for by fees on inefficient ones
Low-income access to affordable mobility -- a new nationwide initiative to buy efficient cars in bulk and
lease or sell them to low-income drivers at terms they can afford
R&D investment incentives and temporary loan guarantees to help financially weakened U.S. automakers
retrain and retool faster

Temporary federal loans guarantees to U.S. airlines for buying very efficient new airplanes, provided that for every
plane thus financed, an inefficient one is scrapped.

"For the first time, our report adds up the new ways to provide all the services now obtained from oil, but without
using oil -- which will save us $70 billion a year," concluded Lovins. "Forging the tools to get our nation off oil
forever is the key to revitalizing industry and farming."

About RMI and Winning the Oil Endgame: Rocky Mountain Institute, located in Old Snowmass, Colorado, is an
independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization engaged in research and consulting. RMI fosters the efficient
and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous, and life-sustaining.

For more information, please visit http://www.rmi.org . This peer-reviewed RMI study is based on its five coauthors' 70 years of combined energy experience, mainly in the private sector, and on extensive industry input. The Pentagon and diverse foundations and private donors funded the research. RMI's thoroughly documented
329-page report is introduced in forewords by former Secretary of State, Treasury, and Labor George P. Shultz (an ex-Marine who also chaired the Bechtel Corporation) and by oil geologist and former Shell Chairman Sir Mark
Moody-Stuart. The report, its executive summary, and its technical backup can be downloaded free from
http://www.oilendgame.com

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

 

From: Eli Pariser, MoveOn PAC <moveon-help@list.moveon.org>
To: Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 4:06 PM

Kerry's Fighting Back: Powerful Speech on Iraq

The war in Iraq is President Bush's signature failure. To reduce the damage the war has caused him, Bush and his campaign operatives have spent the last six months attacking and distorting John Kerry's position on Iraq. But yesterday, in a powerful speech in New York, Kerry set the record straight.

John Kerry laid out a plan to end Bush's irrational, deceptive and unilateral policy in Iraq, and pursue a policy of international cooperation to end the worsening insurgency and rebuild Iraq -- and bring our troops home. And Kerry made it clear that we would not be in Iraq today if he were president.

The action today is simple: if you like what you hear from Kerry in the speech below, pass this email on to your friends, neighbors, co-workers -- anyone who wants to hear from you on this issue. It's critical that progressives like us spread the word that John Kerry is fighting back on Iraq.

We've excerpted a few of the highlights, below. You can read the whole thing at:

http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2004_0920.html

Here are the main points from Kerry's speech on Iraq yesterday:

The war on Iraq was a mistake -- war was unnecessary because the inspections were working:
"Today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no -- because a commander in chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe."

Iraq distracted from the war on terror: "The president claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight."

President Bush misled us about the reasons for the war before it occurred: "He failed to tell the truth about the rationale for going to war. And he failed to tell the truth about the burden this war would impose on our soldiers and our citizens. By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war."

President Bush is still misleading people about Iraq, painting an optimistic picture directly contradicted by his own intelligence officials: "In June, the president declared, 'The Iraqi people have their country back.' Just last week, he told us: 'This country is headed toward democracy. Freedom is on the march.' But the Administration's own official intelligence estimate, given to the president last July, tells a very different story. According to press reports, the intelligence estimate totally contradicts what the president is saying to the American people."

Bush went to war for ideological reasons and consistently misjudged the situation on the ground: "This president was in denial. He hitched his wagon to the ideologues who surround him, filtering out those who disagreed, including leaders of his own party and the uniformed military. The result is a long litany of misjudgments with terrible consequences. The administration told us we'd be greeted as liberators. They were wrong. They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq's infrastructure. They were wrong. They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong. They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong. They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong. In Iraq, this administration has consis! tently over-promised and under-performed. This policy has been plagued by a lack of planning, an absence of candor, arrogance and outright incompetence. And the president has held no one accountable, including himself."


John Kerry has a four-point plan to fix our Iraq policy:

"First, the president has to get the promised international support so our men and women in uniform don't have to go it alone.
It is late; the president must respond by moving this week to gain and regain international support. The president should convene a summit meeting of the world's major powers and Iraq's neighbors, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the U.N. General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that U.N. resolution. He should offer potential troop contributors specific, but critical roles, in training Iraqi security personnel and securing Iraq's borders. He should give other countries a stake in Iraq's future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq's oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process."

"Second, the president must get serious about training Iraqi security forces. The president should urgently expand the security forces training program inside and outside Iraq. He should strengthen the vetting of recruits, double classroom training time, and require follow-on field training. He should recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies, especially those who have no troops in Iraq. He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries. And he should stop misleading the American people with phony, inflated numbers."

"Third, the president must carry out a reconstruction plan that finally brings tangible benefits to the Iraqi people. One year ago, the administration asked for and received $18 billion to help the Iraqis and relieve the conditions that contribute to the insurgency. Today, less than a $1 billion of those funds have actually been spent. I said at the time that we had to rethink our policies and set standards of accountability. Now we're paying the price. Now, the president should look at the whole reconstruction package, draw up a list of high visibility, quick impact projects, and cut through the red tape. He should use more Iraqi contractors and workers, instead of big corporations like Halliburton. He should stop paying companies under investigation for fraud or corruption. And he should fire the civilians in the Pentagon responsible for mismanaging the reconstruction effort."

"Fourth, the president must take immediate, urgent, essential steps to guarantee the promised elections can be held next year. If the president would move in this direction, if he would bring in more help from other countries to provide resources and forces, train the Iraqis to provide their own security, develop a reconstruction plan that brings real benefits to the Iraqi people, and take the steps necessary to hold credible elections next year -- we could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer and realistically aim to bring all our troops home within the next four years."

Most people will see a second or two of the speech, if they see it at all. But by forwarding this email to your friends and family, you can help make sure people get a full picture of Kerry's position on Iraq -- in his own words. And you can read the whole speech at:

http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2004_0920.html

Thanks for everything,

--Eli Pariser
Executive Director, MoveOn PAC
Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

PAID FOR BY MOVEON PAC www.moveonpac.org
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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

 

From: AlterNet Headlines <alternetheadlines@topica.email-publisher.com>
Reply-To: <info@alternet.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 3:00 AM

McCain Whacks Bush on Iraq; Arundhati Roy's Justice

Top Stories from AlterNet for September 21, 2004
http://www.alternet.org/
______________________________

THE BUSH-MCCAIN FACE-OFF
David Corn, The Nation
The McCain-Bush conflict has been one of the most-watched
soap operas in Washington. Now it appears the Arizona
senator may have a rude surprise for the president.
http://www.alternet.org/election04/19937/

FINDING JUSTICE WITH ARUNDHATI ROY
Terrence McNally, AlterNet
Arundhati Roy discusses her role as writer and activist, the
importance of non-violent dissent, and on finding
justice in the world.
http://www.alternet.org/story/19936/

THE NEW YORK TIMES VS. MICHAEL MOORE
Richard Blow, TomPaine.com
The New York Times refuses Michael Moore permission to
reprint a story, claiming that they don't want to be "part
of a political battle."
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/19939/

HIDING INTELLIGENCE THAT MATTERS
Laura Rozen, AlterNet
Bob Graham's new book connects the dots between the Saudi
government, a White House cover-up, and the 9/11 attacks.
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/19938/

RACISM AND THE ELECTION
Ted Glick, ColorLines RaceWire
A new nonpartisan group is dedicated to mobilizing the vote
in communities of color and letting the presidential
candidates know they're being watched.
http://www.alternet.org/rights/19928/
More Rights and Liberties: http://www.alternet.org/rights/

THE ARCTIC: EARTH'S EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
J.R. Pegg, Environment News Service
The Inuit are already suffering dramatic changes to their
Arctic environment, warns a native leader. And as goes the
Arctic, so goes the Earth.
http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/19930/
More EnviroHealth: http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/


These stories and more are available on AlterNet.
http://www.alternet.org/

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

 

From: Earth Island Institute <earthisland@earthisland.org>
Reply-To: <cclarke@earthisland.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 3:59 PM
Subject: IslandWire: News from Earth Island

Islandwire: News from Earth Island Institute

Conservation, Preservation, Restoration

September 20, 2004
Vol.7, No.9

Highlights of This Issue

* Lights!
* Camera!
* Action!
* Tip
* Events
* Reminders

Lights!
Six bright young lights on the environmental scene will be honored on Thursday, September 30, when the Brower Youth Awards are presented at the Florence Schwimley Theatre in Berkeley, CA. The ceremony, hosted by Julia Butterfly Hill and Van Jones, is free to attend. Please RSVP as soon as possible. The 600-seat theatre is almost filled! Make your reservation by calling (415) 788-3666 x 260 or online at http://www.earthisland.org/bya/

Volunteers are also required for the evening. If you'd like to hear more about this opportunity, please call (415) 788-3666 x 112.

Camera!
The film Monumental: David Brower's Fight For Wild America is now being shown across the country.

Here is what the press is saying about this work:

"Monumental is an inspiring testament to the power of the individual."

-- Greg Crouch, Mother Jones

"Calling David Brower an important environmental activist is like calling Hamlet an important member of the Danish royal court. Brower invented modern American environmental activism. This film tells you how and why."

-- John Nielsen, NPR

"In addition to its unique documentary resources, the movie should be an invaluable historical primer for anyone who aspires to influence government policy, not to mention the government officials obliged to evaluate that influence."

-- Gary Arnold, Washington Times

 

To find a screening near you, visit the Loteria Films Web site at: http://www.loteriafilms.org/screenings.html

Loteria Films is a non-profit organization with the goal to educate and inspire environmental activism across the country. To make a tax-deductible donation, mail your check or money order, with the word "Monumental" written on it, to

Loteria Films
247 Ellsworth St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

You can also make a donation online at: http://www.filmarts.org/sponsoredpr/projectsdonfr.php#M
scroll down to "Monumental," fill in the dollar amount of your contribution, and hit the "donate" button.

Action!
The San Diego federal court took action against a California company caught importing 1,600 cases of Dolores tuna labelled "Amigo de Delfin" (Friend of the Dolphin). After conducting an investigation of illegal tuna being sold in US supermarkets, Earth Island learned that Dolores is canned by a company that has a fleet of purse seine boats, which chase and net dolphins. Read the press release at http://www.earthisland.org/news/new_news.cfm?newsID=630.

Tip for a Cleaner, Greener Lifestyle
Here's a great tip from What Can I Do? An Alphabet for Living, a nifty little book recently published by Chelsea Green Publishing (http://www.chelseagreen.com/):

By 2005, up to 130 million cell phones may be thrown away in the United States each year. Instead of opting for the latest gizmos, use your cell phone for as long as possible before buying another, and when you do replace it, be sure to give your old one to a good cause. To donate your old cell phone go to: www.charitablerecycling.com or www.collectivegood.com.

Events

September 22 is World Car Free Day!
Visit http://www.worldcarfree.net for more information.

The Building Education Center in Berkeley, CA will offer a workshop for homeowners on ways to deal with wastewater in locations without sewer systems. The workshop will be held on Saturday October 23, 2004 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Contact the Building Education Center at (510) 525-7610 to register for this workshop, which will be taught by Bob Feinbaum, director of Hydro Nova, a project of Earth Island Institute.

For further information about Hydro Nova, contact Bob Feinbaum at (510) 534-7008 or e-mail bobfeinbaum@earthlink.net.

Reminders

E-mail this newsletter to a friend! We want to spread the news to as many people as possible. Click the Forward to a Friend link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Have you registered to vote? Do so now at
http://www.workingforchange.com/vote/index.cfm?ms=WAS001&atid=36451173

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Many thanks to Stone Ground Solutions for their generous web design assistance and hosting services. Visit them at
http://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 Web site, 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

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

 

Berkeley Daily Planet - Tuesday, September 21, 2004

http://www.berkeleydaily.org/text/article.cfm?issue=09-21-04&storyID=19675

Brower Memorial May Land at Berkeley Marina

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN


Berkeley's Civic Arts Commissioners are being lobbied to make the Berkeley Marina home to "Spaceship Earth," a 350,000-pound sculpture commemorating the late environmentalist David Brower.

While San Francisco Arts Commissioners rejected the massive stone and bronze creation last year on the grounds that the work was aesthetically dubious and failed to honor either Brower or environmentalism, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has been actively pushing to install the work in his city.

"The mayor's very interested in seeing this installed," said David Snippen, chair of the Berkeley Arts Commission. But he also acknowledged that the piece has its detractors.

"There are strong opinions from both perspectives," he said. "What I do not want to happen is a level of frustration develop to a point where an installation is mandated without public review."

Brower served as executive director of the Sierra Club until 1969, when he was fired. He promptly founded Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters that same year.

Then, in 1982, he founded the Earth Island Institute.

He was born in Berkeley on July 1, 1912, and died in his home here 88 years later, on Nov. 5, 2000, six months after he resigned in protest from the Sierra Club's board of directors.

The mass of the sculpture, designed by Finno-American sculptor Eino, is a 12-foot sphere composed of blue quartzite quarried in Brazil. The earth's continents and islands are formed from 1,426 pieces of cast bronze, crowned by a life-size bronze representation of Brower.

"The rock is beautiful," said Mayor Bates. "It's a gem," saying that he'd be "very proud to have it here in the city of David Brower."

Bates added, "I don't think people realize that David Brower personally approved this sculpture, and he personally approved of it being at the Marina. It's a treasure."

The work was commissioned by Power Bar founders Brian and Jennifer Maxwell. They had intended the piece to be placed in San Francisco. Brian Maxwell died earlier this year in San Anselmo.

The mayor, who had been a friend of both Brower and the Maxwells, chided critics who hadn't even seen the sculpture, which remains in an unassembled state in a warehouse in the San Francisco Presidio.

"We're still trying to find out more about the sculpture," Snippen said. "We're still learning about this, and we're still real, real short on the details. We had a meeting last week the attorney for the Maxwells. He told us one of Brower's feet is standing on Berkeley."

A year-and-a-half earlier, similar pressure from the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors confronted the Visual Arts Committee of the San Francisco Arts Commission, which wound up rejecting Eino's 175-ton creation, standing 15 feet tall including the figure of Brower atop the globe.

A scathing one-page staff report by the San Francisco commission's staff declared that "the monument is extremely grand and flamboyant.

"The nature of the memorial is also in conflict with the message of the commemorated individual. David Brower was about the environment. The proposed memorial is large, heavy, and would create a significant environmental footprint with the footing that it would require. The committee considered the work to lack environmental sensitivity.

"The aesthetic relationship of the figure to the globe is clumsy and poorly integrated. The depiction of the earth is the only reference to the environment and again does not suggest sensitivity to environmental issues."

The San Francisco Visual Arts Committee met to vote on the work on April 16, 2003.

After staff member Debra Lehane told the panel that staffers considered the sculpture "ostentatious and aesthetically awkward," arts commissioner Dugald Stermer, who had been a friend of Brower, declared that "the piece does not do honor to the environment nor to David Brower."

With one panel member abstaining, all of the remaining commissioners voted unanimously to reject the work.

In Berkeley, Snippen and the Arts Commission are working with staff and members of the Waterfront Commission, some of who are expected to attend the first Berkeley Arts Commission's Public Art Committee meeting from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today (Tuesday) in the first floor conference room of the city Permit Center Building, 2120 Milvia St.

The discussion will continue Wednesday night when the full Civic Arts Commission meets at 6:30 at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave.

Though nowhere mentioned in the hype surrounding the statue, the term "Spaceship Earth" was coined by R. Buckminster Fuller, architect, designer, prolific writer and a countercultural icon of the 1960s.

Fuller coined "Spaceship Earth" to remind his readers that all humans are aboard a finite sphere, hurtling through the frigid vacuum of space with a finite amount of resources in a biosphere that needed to be cherished and nurtured.

The term quickly spread, and became a favorite of Brower's, often used in his speeches and writings.

Snippen said he also wants the commission and waterfront commissioners to look at a proposal he is floating to look at sculpture already in the Marina and possible sites for additional works with the idea of creating a sculpture walk.

"It's a wonderful environment for appreciating sculpture, and there are some fine works there already," Snippen said.

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

September 21, 2004

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts09212004.html

Speaking of Phony Documents...

Attention Deficit America

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Excuse me, but the story is not CBS and the George W. Bush National Guard documents.

The story is: How did the US Congress, the opposition party, the news media, and the US public let the Bush administration start a war based on phony documents?

If someone deceived CBS and passed off forged documents as real, at least CBS consulted experts about the documents before going on the air.

Speaking of questionable documents, the Bush administration has swallowed a large number. What about the obviously forged "yellowcake" documents that were the basis for the "mistaken" claim that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapons program?

The Bush administration did not check out the "stovepiped" phony "intelligence" fed them by Iraqi exiles with an agenda and by neoconservatives determined to turn the "war on terror" into a war against Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The Bush administration ignored all warnings from real experts and CIA and State Department analysts. Bush invaded a country that not only posed no threat to the United States, but also had no weapons of mass destruction and no connections to Osama bin Laden.

The Bush administration's forged war has cost more than 1,000 American families their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers and a few their sisters, daughters and mothers. Another 7,000-8,000 American soldiers have been wounded, more than half too grievously to be returned to combat. Many have lost arms, legs, eyes.

What have we achieved with these enormous casualties?

We have committed war crimes by bombing residential neighborhoods and killing thousands of women and children.

We have made ourselves infamous as prison torturers.

We have created an insurgency that we cannot put down.

We have given bin Laden an enormous boost in credibility and terrorist recruitment.

We have lost the world's sympathy.

We have aroused massive anger from Muslims the world over and started a process of Muslim reunification.

We have wasted $200 billion that had high opportunity costs in terms of real needs that went unmet.

We made these egregious mistakes because the Bush administration and the President of the United States used questionable documents that Dan Rather and CBS would have rejected.

You have to ask yourself, why is the front page story CBS? If CBS had forged the documents in order to intentionally mislead to the public the way the Bush'sgovernment used phony documents to start a war, yes there would be a story.

If someone fooled CBS with forged documents, the only story is: what was that person's agenda? Why did he do it? Did the forger intend it as an offset dirty trick to the "swift boats" dirty trick against Kerry, or was it a blow aimed at CBS?

The CBS report is about something we already know--the missing gap in Bush's National Guard service. If the CBS report fails to illume that gap, then the story remains to be told. News organizations should get off CBS and on the story.

Whether documents are forged or authentic, the CBS investigation of Bush's National Guard service is far less important than Bush's war based on intentional deception.

Will the American public focus long enough to demand the real story?

Paul Craig Roberts is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

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

 

michaelmoore.com - Monday, September 20th, 2004

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2004-09-20


Put Away Your Hankies...a message from Michael Moore

Dear Friends,

Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"

Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.

Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.

My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

Yes...Yes...Yesssss....He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...

WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?

Yours,

Michael Moore

www.michaelmoore.com
mmflint@aol.com

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, September 20, 2004 2:42 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Your Media is Killing You

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.21

U.S. Blocking Arctic Report

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

William Rivers Pitt | Your Media is Killing You
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104A.shtml

Republican Senators Sound the Alarm over Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104B.shtml

Whispered in Russia: Democracy is Finished
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104C.shtml

Fury as U.S. Bomb-Grade Plutonium Sets Sail for France
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104D.shtml

Hu Takes Full Power in China, Gains Control of Military
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104E.shtml

War-Gaming the Mullahs
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104F.shtml

Eric Fottorino | "Bushery"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104H.shtml

Candidates Play on Fears of Attacks, Wars
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104I.shtml

Classic Guerrilla War Forming in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104J.shtml

Colin Brown | Second Iraq War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104K.shtml

FBI's Anti-Terror 'October Plan'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104L.shtml

John Kerry | "The World is a More Dangerous Place"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104W.shtml

An Entitled Young Man Safe from Combat
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104X.shtml

Marc Ash | Bush v. Rather et. al.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104Y.shtml

First Enron Criminal Trial Begins Today
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Murrow and Mencken'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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Tri-Valley Herald - Monday, September 20, 2004

http://www.trivalleyherald.com/Stories/0,1413,86%257E10669%257E2414224,00.html

Cal student to receive award

Brower Youth recipients to be honored for activism



- BERKELEY -- A University of California, Berkeley student, Christina Wong, and five other young people will receive the Brower Youth Award for environmental activism at ceremony later this month.

Wong founded a chapter of the League of Conservation Voters and recruited students to dedicate a month of summer vacation to registering voters in "swing states" as part a national campaign to elect environmentally friendly candidates.

The award is named for David Brower, the environmentalist who inspired a growing conservation movement from the 1950s until his death in 2000 at age 88. The awards will be presented Sept. 30 and carry a $3,000 prize for each recipient.

Now in its fifth year, the award was created by the Earth Island Institute to honor the most "courageous, inventive and effective" young environmentalists who are following in Brower's footsteps, organizers said.

The other winners are from South Pasadena, Seattle, New York and Wisconsin.

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, which is free and open to the public.

It will be held 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Florence Schwimley Theater, 1920 Allston Way. Award winners will each receive a $3,000 prize.

They are:

- ChristinaWong founded a chapter of the League of Conservation Voters and recruited students to dedicate a month of summer vacation to registering voters in "swing states" as part a national campaign to elect environmentally friendly candidates.

- Lily Dong, a seventh grader from South Pasadena, who launched a four-year campaign to protect an undeveloped area in her city and turn it into a park.

- Hannah McHardy, an 18-year-old from Seattle who led demonstrations against a timber giant's cutting of old growth forests and successfully lobbied the state to reform logging practices on state-owned lands.

- Billy Parish, a 22-year-old New Yorker who mobilized students at dozens of campuses to lobby their state governments and schools to change energy policies in an effort to reduce global warming emissions.

- Eugene Pearson, a 21-year-old from South Milwaukee who worked to ensure that all new buildings at the University of Colorado run on 100 percent renewable energy.

- Shadia Wood, a 17-year-old from Newport, N.Y. who led an effort with Kids Against Pollution to refinance the Superfund to continue efforts to clean up the state's worst toxic sites.

Brower founded the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute in 1982 to launch new projects and leaders in environmental advocacy. He also was the first executive director of the Sierra Club and the founder of 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 nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.

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

 

examiner.com - Monday, September 20, 2004

http://www.examiner.com/article/index.cfm/i/092004a_brower

Force of nature

Local filmmaker tells the tale of David Brower

By Sabrina Crawford | Staff Writer


SAN FRANCISCO -- Thirty-three-year-old filmmaker Kelly Duane is on a mission to turn fellow 20- and 30-something wilderness lovers into environmental activists.

And with the November presidential election right around the corner, the timing of the release of her first solo feature, "Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America," couldn't be better.

A loving look at the life and political struggles of the rugged, individualist hero, "Monumental" tells the story of the man whose leadership transformed the Sierra Club from a mountaineering club into and environmental activism tour de force.

Seated outside a busy Bernal Heights coffee shop, Duane says she became interested in making the film three years ago, soon after Brower's death.

"A lot of people in our generation don't even know who he is," Duane said of the Sierra Club's first executive director.

"I made it to appeal to people in their 20s and 30s -- people who love the wilderness and are really close to it -- hikers, kayakers, surfers -- and who are maybe politically conscious but aren't activists."

And so Duane set to work, poring over more than 200 16mm and 35mm reels of environmental education shorts and Brower's own home movies showcasing his mountain climbing and hiking treks across the country.

Splicing rich, color-saturated archives with soothing music and video interviews with politicians, historians and fellow conservationists, "Monumental" guides viewers both visually and emotionally through Brower's battles to preserve America's final frontiers.

"This film is about politics," Duane said. "But, it's also about the beauty of the wilderness and how it feels to just get lost in the wilderness."

Berkeley born and raised, Duane, like the hero of her film, fell in love with the America's natural landscapes early on.
A trained photographer, she watched it for years quietly from the sidelines, before her growing love of storytelling, and a little training from the Film Arts Foundation, transformed her into doc maker.

At FAF, she and a classmate made "See How They Run," chronicling the historic San Francisco mayoral race between Willie Brown and Tom Ammiano. But once that film was over, Duane said she knew she wanted to return to nature.

Now, she's traveling across the U.S. with her picture -- stopping at the Smithsonian, Telluride and surf film fests. And all the while, she's retelling the story of the man who stopped damming efforts in the Grand Canyon, who helped set aside Point Reyes National Seashore and the Redwood National Park.

And with throngs of young progressives bitten by the documentary bug thanks to recent hits like "Supersize Me" and of course, the ongoing force that is Michael Moore, the time may be just right for this portrait of an activist. This story of how one man can make a difference.

"This isn't really a traditional biography, it's more like a love letter to Brower and to the Sierra Club at that time," Duane says. "People who love the wilderness are so personally and deeply connected to it, but there's a disconnect when it comes to the politics and preservation ... I hope it inspire people to vote and to vote for the environment."

Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America

Screen at the Roxie through Thursday and then at the The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, starting Oct.1.

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

 

Published on Monday, September 20, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0920-08.htm


The Lynching of Dan Rather

On British TV, Dan Feared the Price of "Asking Questions"


by Greg Palast


"It's that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions," the aging American
journalist told the British television audience.

In June 2002, Dan Rather looked old, defeated, making a confession he dare not speak on American TV
about the deadly censorship -- and self-censorship -- which had seized US newsrooms. After September 11,
news on the US tube was bound and gagged. Any reporter who stepped out of line, he said, would be
professionally lynched as un-American.

"It's an obscene comparison," he said, "but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming
tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here. You
will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck." No US reporter who values his neck or
career will "bore in on the tough questions."

Dan said all these things to a British audience. However, back in the USA, he smothered his conscience and
told his TV audience: "George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions. He wants me to line up, just
tell me where."

During the war in Vietnam, Dan's predecessor at CBS, Walter Cronkite, asked some pretty hard questions
about Nixon's handling of the war in Vietnam. Today, our sons and daughters are dying in Bush wars. But,
unlike Cronkite, Dan could not, would not, question George Bush, Top Gun Fighter Pilot, Our Maximum
Beloved Leader in the war on terror.

On the British broadcast, without his network minders snooping, you could see Dan seething and deeply
unhappy with himself for playing the game.

"What is going on," he said, "I'm sorry to say, is a belief that the public doesn't need to know -- limiting
access, limiting information to cover the backsides of those who are in charge of the war. It's extremely
dangerous and cannot and should not be accepted, and I'm sorry to say that up to and including this
moment of this interview, that overwhelmingly it has been accepted by the American people. And the current
Administration revels in that, they relish and take refuge in that."

Dan's words had a poignant personal ring for me. He was speaking on Newsnight, BBC's nightly current
affairs program, which broadcasts my own reports. I do not report for BBC, despite its stature, by choice. The
truth is, if I want to put a hard, investigative report about the USA on the nightly news, I have to broadcast it
in exile, from London. For Americans my broadcasts are stopped at an electronic Berlin wall.

Indeed, Dan is in hot water for a report my own investigative team put in Britain's Guardian papers and on
BBC TV years ago. Way back in 1999, I wrote that former Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes had put in the fix
for little George Bush to get out of 'Nam and into the Air Guard.

What is hot news this month in the USA is a five-year-old story to the rest of the world. And you still wouldn't
see it in the USA except that Dan Rather, with a 60 Minutes producer, finally got fed up and ready to step out
of line. And, as Dan predicted, he stuck out his neck and got it chopped off.

Is Rather's report accurate? Is George W. Bush a war hero or a privileged little Shirker-in-Chief? Today I saw a
goofy two page spread in the Washington Post about a typewriter used to write a memo with no significance
to the draft-dodge story. What I haven't read about in my own country's media is about two crucial documents
supporting the BBC/CBS story. The first is Barnes' signed and sworn affidavit to a Texas Court, from 1999, in
which he testifies to the Air Guard fix -- which Texas Governor George W. Bush, given the opportunity,
declined to challenge.

And there is a second document, from the files of US Justice Department, again confirming the story of the fix
to keep George's white bottom out of Vietnam. That document, shown last year in the BBC television
documentary, "Bush Family Fortunes," correctly identifies Barnes as the bag man even before his 1999
confession.

At BBC, we also obtained a statement from the man who made the call to the Air Guard general on behalf of
Bush at Barnes' request. Want to see the document? I've posted it at:
http://www.gregpalast.com/ulf/documents/draftdodgeblanked.jpg

This is not a story about Dan Rather. The white millionaire celebrity can defend himself without my help. This
is really a story about fear, the fear that stops other reporters in the US from following the evidence about this
Administration to where it leads. American news guys and news gals, practicing their smiles, adjusting their
hairspray levels, bleaching their teeth and performing all the other activities that are at the heart of US TV
journalism, will look to the treatment of Dan Rather and say, "Not me, babe." No questions will be asked, as
Dan predicted, lest they risk necklacing and their careers as news actors burnt to death.

"Bush Family Fortunes," the one-hour documentary taken from Greg Palast's BBC investigative reports,
including the story of George Bush and Texas Air Guard, can be viewed, in part, at
http://www.gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm. To receive more of Palast's investigative reports, sign up at
http://www.gregpalast.com/contact.cfm

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

 

The Nation - September 19, 2004

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041004&s=greider

Election Matters

by William Greider

The presidential pageant has now risen full in the sky and is
blocking out the sun. Until November, we dwell in a weird half-light,
stumbling into spooky shadows but shielded from the harsh glare of
the nation's actual circumstances. Down is up, fiction is truth,
momentous realities are made to disappear from the public mind. The
2004 spectacle is not the first to mislead grossly and exploit
emotional weaknesses in the national character. But this time the
consequences will be especially grim.

The United States is "losing" in Iraq, literally losing territory and
population to the other side. Careful readers of the leading
newspapers may know this, but I doubt most voters do. How could they,
given the martial self-congratulations of the President and relative
restraint from his opponent? High-minded pundits tell us not to dwell
on the long-ago past. But the cruel irony of 2004 is that Vietnam is
the story. The arrogance and deceit--the utter waste of human life,
ours and theirs--play before us once again. A frank discussion will
have to wait until after the election.

Several Sundays ago, an ominous article appeared in the opinion
section of the New York Times: "One by One, Iraqi Cities Become No-Go
Zones." Falluja, Samarra, Ramadi, Karbala, the Sadr City slums of
Baghdad--these and other population centers are now controlled by
various insurgencies and essentially ceded by US forces. This
situation would make a joke of the national elections planned for
January. Yet, if US troops try to recapture the lost cities, the
bombing and urban fighting would produce massive killing and
destruction, further poisoning politics for the US occupation and its
puppet government in Saigon--sorry, Baghdad.

Three days later, the story hit page one when anonymous Pentagon
officials confirmed the reality. Not to worry, they said: The United
States is training and expanding the infant Iraqi army so it can do
the fighting for us. That's the ticket--Vietnamization. I remember
how well General Westmoreland articulated the strategy back in the
1960s, when war's progress was measured by official "body counts" and
reports on "new" fighting forces on the way.

But this time Washington decided the United States couldn't wait for
"Iraqization," a strategy that might sound limp-wristed to American
voters. The US bombing and assaults quickly resumed. The Bush White
House is thus picking targets and second-guessing field commanders,
just as Lyndon Johnson did forty years ago in Indochina. Bush is
haunted by the mordant remark a US combat officer once made in
Vietnam: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Meanwhile, Bush's war is destroying the US Army, just as LBJ's war
did. After Vietnam, military leaders and Richard Nixon wisely
abolished the draft and opted for an all-volunteer force. When this
war ends, the volunteer army will be in ruins and a limited draft
lottery may be required to fill out the ranks. After Iraq, men and
women will get out of uniform in large numbers, especially as they
grasp the futility of their sacrifices. Yet Bush's on-the-cheap
warmaking against a weak opponent demonstrates that a larger force
structure is needed to sustain his policy of pre-emptive war. Kerry
says he wants 40,000 more troops, just in case. Old generals doubt
Congress would pay for it, given the deficits.

Iraq is Vietnam standing in the mirror. John Kerry, if he had it in
him, could lead a national teach-in--re-educate those who have
forgotten or prettified their memories but especially inform younger
voters who weren't around for the national shame a generation ago.
Kerry could describe in plain English what's unfolding now in Iraq
and what must be done to find a way out with honor. In other words,
be a truth-teller while holding Bush accountable.

Kerry won't go there, probably couldn't without enduring still
greater anger. His war-hero campaign biography inadvertently
engendered slanderous attacks and still-smoldering resentments.
Kerry, like other establishment Dems, originally calculated that the
party should be as pro-war as Bush, thus freeing him to run on other
issues. That gross miscalculation leaves him proffering a lame
"solution"--persuading France, Germany and others to send their
troops into this quagmire. Not bloody likely, as the Brits say.

Bush can't go near the truth for obvious reasons. If elected, he
faces only bad choices--bomb the bejeezus out of Iraq, as Nixon
bombed Vietnam and Cambodia, or bug out under the cover of artful
lies. The one thing Bush's famous "resolve" cannot achieve is success
at war. Never mind, he aims to win the election instead.

So this presidential contest resembles a grotesque, media-focused war
in which two sides skirmish for the attention of ill-informed voters.
Bush won big back when he got Iraq off the front pages and evening
news with his phony hand-off of sovereignty and his chest-thumping
convention. But then his opponents--the hostile insurgents in
Iraq--struck back brilliantly and managed to put the war story back
in the lead on the news (might we expect from them an "October
surprise" of deadlier proportions?). In this fight, Kerry is like a
bystander who might benefit from bad news but can't wish for it. Most
combat correspondents, with brave exceptions, hesitate to step back
from daily facts and tell the larger truth. Maybe they are afraid to
sound partial.

The timing of events in Iraq does not fit propitiously with the
election calendar. A majority has already concluded that it was a
mistake to fight this war, but public credulity is not yet destroyed.
A majority still wants to believe the strategy may yet succeed, that
Iraq won't become another dark stain in our history books. During
Vietnam, the process of giving up on such wishful thinking took many
years. The breaking point came in 1968, when a majority turned
against the war. LBJ withdrew from running for re-election. Nixon won
that year with his "secret plan" to win the peace. The war continued
for another five years. US casualties doubled.

This time, public opinion has moved much faster against the war, but
perhaps not fast enough. People naturally are reluctant to conclude
that their country did the wrong thing, that young people died for a
pointless cause. If the war story does stay hot and high on front
pages, a collapse of faith might occur in time for this election, but
more likely it will come later. Nixon won a landslide re-election in
1972 with his election-eve announcement that peace was at hand, the
troops were coming home. In the hands of skilled manipulators,
horrendous defeat can be turned into honorable victory. Temporarily
at least. When the enemy eventually triumphed in Indochina, Nixon was
already gone, driven out for other crimes.

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

 

Tennessean.com

http://tennessean.com/opinion/nashville-eye/archives/04/09/57128047.shtml?Element_ID=57128047


How many ways was war in Iraq wrong? Let local veteran tell you

By MICHAEL AUGUST

I am a Vietnam Veteran and I have participated in a number of political demonstrations in Nashville as a member of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace. This organization is made up of people who have served in the armed forces and count themselves among those who stand up against the militarism and the politics of fear that have taken over our country.

We believe that war should be an action of absolute last resort in defense of our country and not the preferred alternative. It should certainly not be used for selfish economic gains (''No War For Oil''). We are living in a time when our leadership has convinced many Americans that going to war is in their best interests. It is wrong.

We were told that the war in Iraq was a pre-emptive war, but this is not so. In a pre-emptive war, it is known absolutely that an enemy is about to strike, and we beat them to the punch.

What we started in Iraq could have been called a preventive war. In this scenario, the country in question is disagreeable to us and is suspected to have the capability to harm us, but there is no indication of intention to do so.

As most people know by now, we Americans were lied to in order to justify an unnecessary war. There was no link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and no weapons of mass destruction (mass distraction?). The war, which has caused so much destruction and death on both sides, was not only unnecessary, it was unjustifiable.

Let us be clear. When the term ''protecting American interests'' is used as an excuse for military interference in another country, it is not referring to America as a collection of individual citizens. It is the interests of the multinational corporations that are being protected, often harming the interests of ordinary people.

The war on Iraq has cost the American taxpayers over $134 billion so far. America's largest and wealthiest corporations hire experts to evade taxes, thereby increasing the burden for the rest of us. These war profiteers are now standing in line for the largest piece of the Iraqi reconstruction pie that they can swallow, with the government's blessing. Oil and energy companies like Halliburton are at the head of the line. They will make millions of dollars while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet.

The present Bush administration is largely made up of a group of neoconservatives (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Pearle, etc.) whose agenda Sept. 12, 2001 was the invasion of Iraq. The idea was to establish military bases, gain hegemony over the area and ensure the flow of cheap oil. Iraqi freedom and the protection of Americans had nothing to do with it.

We veterans join with other members and associates of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center in protesting the economic and military policies which lead to perpetual warfare. Dwight D. Eisenhower had this to say:

''Every gun that's made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from all those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone; it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life in any true sense. Under a cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.''

Michael August of Nashville is a member of Veterans for Peace, Nashville Chapter 89. E-mail: mannyaug@earthlink.net.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Saturday, September 18, 2004 2:46 PM
Subject: Halliburton's Secret Deals Haunt Cheney

t r u t h o u t | 09.19

The Baltimore Sun | Global Warming Will Spawn More Ivans

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

Halliburton's Secret Deals Haunt Cheney
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904A.shtml

Insurgents Detonate Four Separate Bombs Around Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904B.shtml

Iraqi Rebels Target Oil and 'Collaborators'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904C.shtml

Interview: Seymour Hersh's Alternative History of Bush's War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904D.shtml

Navy Inspector General Validates Kerry's Medals
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904E.shtml

Noam Chomsky | The Resort to Force
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904F.shtml

Charles Lambroschini | Iranian Paradox
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904H.shtml

Soldiers' Kin Pay a High Price
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904I.shtml

The Los Angeles Times | Drop the Pretense on Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904J.shtml

Bereaved Mother Arrested for Heckling Laura Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904K.shtml

The New York Times | Voting Machines: They Said It Couldn't Be Done
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904L.shtml

Congressman Waxman | Secrecy in the Bush Administration
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904W.shtml

U.S. Death Toll in Iraq at Least 52 This Month
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904X.shtml

Secret Papers Show Blair was Warned of Iraq Chaos
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904Y.shtml

Kerry: 'Bush Planning to Call Up Reserves after Election'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091904Z.shtml

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

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

 

Star Tribune

http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/4981686.html


Republicans blast Bush for environmental policies

By Tom Meersman

Several Republican conservationists criticized the Bush administration Tuesday for weak enforcement of air pollution laws, rollbacks in wetland protection, broken promises on global climate change and a misguided approach to energy.
Russell Train, head of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Nixon and Ford administrations, called President Bush's environmental policies an "abomination."

"As a lifelong Republican, I find the Bush administration's attack on the environment profoundly disturbing," Train said. "It has tarnished the environmental legacies of Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and this president's father, George H.W. Bush."

Train, who served as chairman of Conservationists for Bush in the senior Bush's 1988 campaign for president, said that his party has become radical, not conservative, in terms of environmental protection. "Sadly, the Bush administration decided to promote the interests of its polluting campaign contributors from the energy, mining and timber industries over the interests of common citizens," he said.

Evan Rice, Minnesota coordinator for REP America, a national grass-roots organization of Republicans for Environmental Protection, said that air and water quality are too important to swing on a pendulum every four years, attached to a political party or to a liberal or conservative label. Referring to the red states that vote Republican and blue states that go Democratic, Rice said that "our 'red' and 'blue' Americas drink from the same well and breathe the same fall air."

Rice said that the environment was "notably absent" as a topic at the Republican National Convention and that increasing numbers of party members are distraught about the "wrong balance" in decisions that increase pollution and neglect cleanup.

Rice and Train spoke at a news conference in Bloomington organized by Environment2004. The political group, not authorized by any candidate, has produced ads and reports critical of the Bush administration's environmental policies.

Its leaders released an analysis Tuesday called "Poisoning the Land of 10,000 Lakes," which outlines how federal actions are affecting public health and resources in Minnesota.

They also previewed two ads about Superfund sites in Minnesota and mercury in fish. They said the spots will be broadcast on cable channels next month.

Peter Hong, communications director in Minnesota for the Bush-Cheney campaign, said he could not comment on the statements, the new report or the TV ads without further information.

But a White House report issued in July says the Bush administration has made progress with several environmental initiatives. It lists accelerated cleanup of urban polluted sites, or brownfields; increased conservation of wetlands and wildlife habitat under the Farm Bill; reductions of mercury and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants during the next 15 years; increased funding for climate change research; reductions of soot, sulfur and other emissions from off-road diesel engines; and tax incentives for renewable energy and hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles.

Tom Meersman is at meersman@startribune.com.

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

 

grist.org - 16 Sep 2004

http://www.grist.org/news/muck/2004/09/16/griscom-yucca/?source=daily

Character Actors

Environment serving as a measure of character in presidential race

By Amanda Griscom

At a time when the man commonly derided by greens as the worst environmental president in U.S. history is up for reelection, it's perplexing that the most publicly discussed environmental issue of the campaign right now is Yucca Mountain -- a molehill in the grand scheme of America's environmental problems.


Yucca Mountain

Of course, dumping nuclear waste in this Nevadan outpost is a genuine concern -- particularly for, say, Nevadans. But nationally speaking, even many enviros are ambivalent on the issue; as a whole, the green community has put forward no clear alternative plan of action. Enviros have far stronger and more unified objections to, say, Bush's failure to address global warming, or his sweeping rollbacks of protections for air quality, drinking water, forests, and wetlands -- yet rarely are these issues discussed in the campaign context.

Yucca seems to have hogged more airtime and headline space in the last four months than in the last four years. In the last few weeks alone, The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, MSNBC, and various other national news outlets have run stories fueling the Yucca controversy. The Kerry and Bush campaigns have issued a number of press releases and statements bashing each other's positions on the issue; John Kerry staunchly opposes the dumping, while President Bush supports it. As of this week, both candidates will have made four visits each to Nevada -- which Bush took by 4 percentage points in the 2000 election -- to rally voters.

On Monday, Associated Press reporter John Heilprin went so far as to argue that Yucca is the only green issue with enough emotional immediacy to convince a critical mass of red voters to cast a blue ballot: "Nevada, where Bush wants to entomb a half-century's waste from atomic power plants, is the only state where an environmental issue can realistically swing the outcome [of the election], according to environmental leaders and political analysts."
Really? Muckraker tried to hunt down those "environmental leaders," but couldn't find one who agreed with that contention.

"By no means is Yucca the final, or only, environmental frontier in this election," said Mark Longabaugh, senior vice president of political affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, which is investing up to $7 million in the election to help draw out environmental voters to defeat George Bush. "It's misleading to conclude that any particular issue will be more dominant or decisive than others. Issues are merely a way of getting voters to understand the larger themes of this race: George Bush sides with special interests at the expense of average citizens and the public interest."

Aimee Christensen, executive director of Environment2004, which is putting up to $5 million toward rallying the green vote with very targeted messages in swing states, agreed that specific issues are primarily a device for illustrating a larger message: "We're addressing local issues, but really what we're trying to get voters to understand is that George Bush is neither compassionate nor conservative. Conservation is deeply ingrained in the Republican ethos, and Bush is betraying his Republican roots."

Republican pollster Frank Luntz (the same Luntz who penned the 2002 memo leaked to The New York Times in which he argued that the environment "is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general -- and President Bush in particular -- are most vulnerable") also told Muckraker that swing-state victories will not be decided on Yucca Mountain or any other issue: "This is not an issue-based election," he said. "It's going to be decided on presidential image, on personal attributes. Kerry's weakness is not based on his position on the issues at all -- it's based on perceptions of his leadership skills, on concerns that he's weak-minded, indecisive, on three sides of every issue."

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake added that "one of the things that Republicans have been better at doing than the Dems is using issues as character frames. That's clearly a very, very important component of what we need to get in the election in the next 50 days." Lake added that voters see the environment, in particular, as a character-defining issue: "It's a positive for Kerry because people think that candidates who are good on the environment also have integrity and courage -- you have to stand up to special interests and protect the little guy, you have to be a truth teller. That's why the Dems need to go on the offensive with this -- to frame [Kerry's] character in this context."

Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, also said that environmental issues are a potent tool for illustrating values: "It's about issues to the extent that we have to tell a good story at the door in Wisconsin. If you go there and say, 'Kerry has a 96 percent LCV rating,' they'll say, 'Big whoop.' If you say, 'George Bush is the worst environmental president since William McKinley,' big whoop. But they listen if you say, 'Did you know that George Bush has delayed cleaning up that mercury-infested fish in your backyard for 10 years and got huge campaign contributions from the power companies that didn't want to clean up?'"

Whether it's mercury contamination in the waterways in Wisconsin and Florida, pumping water out of the Great Lakes in Michigan, or road-building in the forests of Arizona and Oregon, environmentalists "need to make it a window onto the character issue," Pope said. The Sierra Club is putting an estimated $5 million toward its get-out-the-green-vote effort, the bulk of which will be spent in the month leading up to Nov. 2.

Though Luntz now insists that the environment will play a negligible role in this election, he pinpointed what could be another Bush weakness: "Most Americans today consider themselves anti-big business," Luntz said. "Americans are simply anti-big. Anti-big government. Anti-big media. Anti-big corporations. We like small business, small government, independent television. We're for the underdog, the little guy."

Leave it to Luntz to lay out the strategy for the next six weeks of the Kerry campaign. Catering to big business could be to Bush what flip-flopping is to Kerry -- his most serious perceived character flaw. Virtually every environmental issue, from Arizona's forests to Yucca's nuclear waste, lends itself to this message -- which, unlike the flip-flopping charge, is not just spin.

Muck it up: We welcome rumors, whistleblowing, classified documents, or other useful tips on environmental policies, Beltway shenanigans, and the people behind them. Please send 'em to muckraker@gristmagazine.com.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Friday, September 17, 2004 2:56 PM
Subject: U.S. Pounds Fallujah, Many Killed and Injured

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.18

Rise in Consumers 'Threatens Environment'

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

U.S. Pounds Fallujah, Many Killed and Injured
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804A.shtml

Iraq Study: Desire for WMD, but No Capacity
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804B.shtml

Bob Herbert | This is Bush's Vietnam
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804C.shtml

Ray McGovern | Gossing over the Record
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804D.shtml

Antiwar Ad Draws Ire from Bush Campaign
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804E.shtml

National Intelligence Estimate: No Plan for after War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804F.shtml

Le Monde Interview | "The Bush Administration Governs by Fear"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804H.shtml

Kerry Blasts Bush on Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804I.shtml

The Economist | Is the Neo-Conservative Moment Over?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804J.shtml

New Charges Raise Questions on Torture at Afghan Prisons
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804K.shtml

Judith Miller Ordered to Testify in Plame Case
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804L.shtml

Two Iraq War Veterans Debate the Occupation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804W.shtml

William Rivers Pitt | Scamming the Media, Parlock Style
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804X.shtml

Kerry Hammers Bush's "World of Spin" on Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804Y.shtml

Judge Orders Pentagon to Find Bush Service Records
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091804Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Women and Children Were Also Among the Dead'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

Published on Friday, September 17, 2004 by TomDispatch.com

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0917-01.htm


The Resort to Force

by Noam Chomsky


As Colin Powell explained the National Security Strategy (NSS) of September 2002 to a hostile audience at
the World Economic Forum, Washington has a ``sovereign right to use force to defend ourselves'' from
nations that possess WMD and cooperate with terrorists, the official pretexts for invading Iraq. The collapse of
the pretexts is well known, but there has been insufficient attention to its most important consequence: the
NSS was effectively revised to lower the bars to aggression. The need to establish ties to terror was quietly
dropped. More significant, Bush and colleagues declared the right to resort to force even if a country does
not have WMD or even programs to develop them. It is sufficient that it have the ``intent and ability'' to do so.
Just about every country has the ability, and intent is in the eye of the beholder. The official doctrine, then, is
that anyone is subject to overwhelming attack. Colin Powell carried the revision even a step further. The
president was right to attack Iraq because Saddam not only had ``intent and capability'' but had ``actually
used such horrible weapons against his enemies in Iran and against his own people''-- with continuing
support from Powell and his associates, he failed to add, following the usual convention. Condoleezza Rice
gave a similar version. With such reasoning as this, who is exempt from attack? Small wonder that, as one
Reuters report put it, ``if Iraqis ever see Saddam Hussein in the dock, they want his former American allies
shackled beside him.''

In the desperate flailing to contrive justifications as one pretext after another collapsed, the obvious reason
for the invasion was conspicuously evaded by the administration and commentators: to establish the first
secure military bases in a client state right at the heart of the world's major energy resources, understood
since World War II to be a ``stupendous source of strategic power'' and expected to become even more
important in the future. There should have been little surprise at revelations that the administration intended
to attack Iraq before 9-11, and downgraded the ``war on terror'' in favor of this objective. In internal
discussion, evasion is unnecessary. Long before they took office, the private club of reactionary statists had
recognized that ``the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the
regime of Saddam Hussein.'' With all the vacillations of policy since the current incumbents first took office in
1981, one guiding principle remains stable: the Iraqi people must not rule Iraq.

The 2002 National Security Strategy, and its implementation in Iraq, are widely regarded as a watershed in
international affairs. ``The new approach is revolutionary,'' Henry Kissinger wrote, approving of the doctrine
but with tactical reservations and a crucial qualification: it cannot be ``a universal principle available to every
nation.'' The right of aggression is to be reserved for the US and perhaps its chosen clients. We must reject
the most elementary of moral truisms, the principle of universality -- a stand usually concealed in professions
of virtuous intent and tortured legalisms.

Arthur Schlesinger agreed that the doctrine and implementation were ``revolutionary,'' but from a quite
different standpoint. As the first bombs fell on Baghdad, he recalled FDR's words following the bombing of
Pearl Harbor, ``a date which will live in infamy.'' Now it is Americans who live in infamy, he wrote, as their
government adopts the policies of imperial Japan. He added that George Bush had converted a ``global
wave of sympathy'' for the US into a ``global wave of hatred of American arrogance and militarism.'' A year
later, ``discontent with America and its policies had intensified rather than diminished.'' Even in Britain support
for the war had declined by a third.

As predicted, the war increased the threat of terror. Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges found it ``simply
unbelievable how the war has revived the appeal of a global jihadi Islam that was in real decline after 9-11.''
Recruitment for the Al Qaeda networks increased, while Iraq itself became a ``terrorist haven'' for the first time.
Suicide attacks for the year 2003 reached the highest level in modern times; Iraq suffered its first since the
thirteenth century. Substantial specialist opinion concluded that the war also led to the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction.

As the anniversary of the invasion approached, New York's Grand Central Station was patrolled by police with
submachine guns, a reaction to the March 11 Madrid train bombings that killed 200 people in Europe's worst
terrorist crime. A few days later, the Spanish electorate voted out the government that had gone to war
despite overwhelming popular opposition. Spaniards were condemned for appeasing terrorism by voting for
withdrawing troops from Iraq in the absence of UN authorization -- that is, for taking a stand rather like that of
70 percent of Americans, who called for the UN to take the leading role in Iraq.

Bush assured Americans that ``The world is safer today because, in Iraq, our coalition ended a regime that
cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction.'' The president's handlers know that every
word is false, but they also know that lies can become Truth, if repeated insistently enough.

There is broad agreement among specialists on how to reduce the threat of terror --keeping here to the
subcategory that is doctrinally acceptable, their terror against us -- and also on how to incite terrorist atrocities,
which may become truly horrendous. The consensus is well articulated by Jason Burke in his study of the Al
Qaeda phenomenon, the most detailed and informed investigation of this loose array of radical Islamists for
whom bin Laden is hardly more than a symbol (a more dangerous one after he is killed, perhaps, becoming a
martyr who inspires others to join his cause). The role of Washington's current incumbents, in their Reaganite
phase, in creating the radical Islamist networks is well known. Less familiar is their tolerance of Pakistan's slide
toward radical Islamist extremism and its development of nuclear weapons.

As Burke reviews, Clinton's 1998 bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan created bin Laden as a symbol, forged
close relations between him and the Taliban, and led to a sharp increase in support, recruitment, and
financing for Al Qaeda, which until then was virtually unknown. The next major contribution to the growth of Al
Qaeda and the prominence of bin Laden was Bush's bombing of Afghanistan following September 11,
undertaken without credible pretext as later quietly conceded. As a result, bin Laden's message ``spread
among tens of millions of people, particularly the young and angry, around the world,'' Burke writes, reviewing
the increase in global terror and the creation of ``a whole new cadre of terrorists'' enlisted in what they see as
a ``cosmic struggle between good and evil,'' a vision shared by bin Laden and Bush. As noted, the invasion
of Iraq had the same effect.

Citing many examples, Burke concludes that ``Every use of force is another small victory for bin Laden,'' who
``is winning,'' whether he lives or dies. Burke's assessment is widely shared by many analysts, including former
heads of Israeli military intelligence and the General Security Services.

There is also a broad consensus on what the proper reaction to terrorism should be. It is two-pronged:
directed at the terrorists themselves and at the reservoir of potential support. The appropriate response to
terrorist crimes is police work, which has been successful worldwide. More important is the broad constituency
the terrorists -- who see themselves as a vanguard -- seek to mobilize, including many who hate and fear
them but nevertheless see them as fighting for a just cause. We can help the vanguard mobilize this reservoir
of support by violence, or can address the ``myriad grievances,'' many legitimate, that are ``the root causes of
modern Islamic militancy.'' That can significantly reduce the threat of terror, and should be undertaken
independently of this goal.

Violence can succeed, as Americans know well from the conquest of the national territory. But at terrible cost.
It can also provoke violence in response, and often does. Inciting terror is not the only illustration. Others are
even more hazardous.

In February 2004, Russia carried out its largest military exercises in two decades, prominently exhibiting
advanced WMD. Russian generals and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that they were responding
to Washington's plans ``to make nuclear weapons an instrument of solving military tasks,'' including its
development of new low-yield nuclear weapons, ``an extremely dangerous tendency that is undermining
global and regional stability,... lowering the threshold for actual use.'' Strategic analyst Bruce Blair writes that
Russia is well aware that the new ``bunker busters'' are designed to target the ``high-level nuclear command
bunkers'' that control its nuclear arsenal. Ivanov and Russian generals report that in response to US
escalation they are deploying ``the most advanced state-of-the-art missile in the world,'' perhaps next to
impossible to destroy, something that ``would be very alarming to the Pentagon,'' says former Assistant
Defense Secretary Phil Coyle. US analysts suspect that Russia may also be duplicating US development of a
hypersonic cruise vehicle that can re-enter the atmosphere from space and launch devastating attacks
without warning, part of US plans to reduce reliance on overseas bases or negotiated access to air routes.

US analysts estimate that Russian military expenditures have tripled during the Bush-Putin years, in large
measure a predicted reaction to the Bush administration's militancy and aggressiveness. Putin and Ivanov
cited the Bush doctrine of ``preemptive strike''-- the ``revolutionary'' new doctrine of the National Security
Strategy -- but also ``added a key detail, saying that military force can be used if there is an attempt to limit
Russia's access to regions that are essential to its survival,'' thus adapting for Russia the Clinton doctrine that
the US is entitled to resort to ``unilateral use of military power'' to ensure ``uninhibited access to key markets,
energy supplies, and strategic resources.'' The world ``is a much more insecure place'' now that Russia has
decided to follow the US lead, said Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution, adding that other countries
presumably ``will follow suit.''

In the past, Russian automated response systems have come within a few minutes of launching a nuclear
strike, barely aborted by human intervention. By now the systems have deteriorated. US systems, which are
much more reliable, are nevertheless extremely hazardous. They allow three minutes for human judgment
after computers warn of a missile attack, as they frequently do. The Pentagon has also found serious flaws in
its computer security systems that might allow terrorist hackers to seize control and simulate a launch--``an
accident waiting to happen,'' Bruce Blair writes. The dangers are being consciously escalated by the threat
and use of violence.

Concern is not eased by the recent discovery that US presidents have been ``systematically misinformed''
about the effects of nuclear war. The level of destruction has been ``severely underestimated'' because of
lack of systematic oversight of the ``insulated bureaucracies'' that provide analyses of ``limited and `winnable'
nuclear war''; the resulting ``institutional myopia can be catastrophic,'' far more so than the manipulation of
intelligence on Iraq.

The Bush administration slated the initial deployment of a missile defense system for summer 2004, a move
criticized as ``completely political,'' employing untested technology at great expense. A more appropriate
criticism is that the system might seem workable; in the logic of nuclear war, what counts is perception. Both
US planners and potential targets regard missile defense as a first-strike weapon, intended to provide more
freedom for aggression, including nuclear attack. And they know how the US responded to Russia's
deployment of a very limited ABM system in 1968: by targeting the system with nuclear weapons to ensure
that it would be instantly overwhelmed. Analysts warn that current US plans will also provoke a Chinese
reaction. History and the logic of deterrence ``remind us that missile defense systems are potent drivers of
offensive nuclear planning,'' and the Bush initiative will again raise the threat to Americans and to the world.

China's reaction may set off a ripple effect through India, Pakistan, and beyond. In West Asia, Washington is
increasing the threat posed by Israel's nuclear weapons and other WMD by providing Israel with more than
one hundred of its most advanced jet bombers, accompanied by prominent announcements that the bombers
can reach Iran and return and are an advanced version of the US planes Israel used to destroy an Iraqi
reactor in 1981. The Israeli press adds that the US is providing the Israeli air force with ```special' weaponry.''
There can be little doubt that Iranian and other intelligence services are watching closely and perhaps giving
a worst-case analysis: that these may be nuclear weapons. The leaks and dispatch of the aircraft may be
intended to rattle the Iranian leadership, perhaps to provoke some action that can be used as a pretext for
an attack.

Immediately after the National Security Strategy was announced in September 2002, the US moved to
terminate negotiations on an enforceable bioweapons treaty and to block international efforts to ban
biowarfare and the militarization of space. A year later, at the UN General Assembly, the US voted alone
against implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and alone with its new ally India against steps
toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. The US voted alone against ``observance of environmental
norms'' in disarmament and arms control agreements and alone with Israel and Micronesia against steps to
prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East--the pretext for invading Iraq. A resolution to prevent
militarization of space passed 174 to 0, with four abstentions: US, Israel, Micronesia, and the Marshall
Islands. As discussed earlier, a negative US vote or abstention amounts to a double veto: the resolution is
blocked and is eliminated from reporting and history.

Bush planners know as well as others that the resort to force increases the threat of terror, and that their
militaristic and aggressive posture and actions provoke reactions that increase the risk of catastrophe. They
do not desire these outcomes, but assign them low priority in comparison to the international and domestic
agendas they make little attempt to conceal.

Noam Chomsky is a Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT. In addition to Hegemony or Survival,
America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books), he is the author
of numerous books on linguistics and on U.S. foreign policy.

[Reader's Note: The footnotes to the well-sourced "Afterword" to the paperback edition of Hegemony or
Survival have been removed from this version. An expanded version of the afterword is also available as part
of an expanded e-book version of Hegemony or Survival.] Reprinted by arrangement with Metropolitan
Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC

Copyright C2004 Aviva Chomsky, Diane Chomsky and Harry Chomsky

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

 

Journalism Under Fire

by Bill Moyers, TomPaine.com Exclusive

Print it. Read it. This is one of Moyers' most important speeches.

http://www.tompaine.com/opinion/#001916

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

 

Blog Of Blogs: Global Fear Finds A Voice

by Editor's Cut

You've seen the international polls. Now read their words. The world is united against the current trajectory of U.S. policy. Both Bush and Kerry need to listen.

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/global_fears_find_a_voice.php

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

 

From: publications@survival-international.org
To: <archdruid@igc.org>
Date: Friday, September 17, 2004 9:42 AM

http://www.survival-international.org/news.htm

e-news from Survival International

17 September 2004 e-news from Survival International, supporting tribal peoples worldwide.
Founded in 1969, registered charity (UK) no. 267444

BANGLADESH: Settlers attack tribal family
There has been an upsurge in violence against the tribal peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. In August, an 11-month old baby was badly injured during an attack by settlers in which both his parents were killed; no action has been taken against the perpetrators.

BRAZIL: Guarani Kaiowá take back ancestral lands
Just before dawn on 8 September, several hundred Guarani Kaiowá Indians returned to part of their ancestral territory of Guyraroká in Mato Grosso do Sul state. This marks their fourth attempt to return to their land, from which they were evicted by cattle ranchers and tea planters in the 1950s.

COLOMBIA: Indians march in protest at killings
Indians from across Colombia have marched in the past week in protest at the killing of their leaders by all sides in the country's civil war. In the largest protest, more than 40,000 Paez, Guambiano and other tribes marched to the south-western city of Cali.

UK: A rare opportunity to listen to the Bushmen in London
The Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' of Botswana are fighting for their very survival. Come and hear Bushman representatives Roy Sesana and Jumanda Gakelebone talk about the Botswana government's eviction of the Bushmen from their reserve, and their campaign to return to the land of their ancestors.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Survival International is a worldwide organisation supporting tribal peoples. It
stands for their right to decide their own future and helps them protect their
lives, lands and human rights. It receives no government funding and is dependent
on donations from the public. To find out more or to help see
http://www.survival-international.org or email info@survival-international.org

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

 

From: Institute for Public Accuracy <dcinstitute@igc.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 10:45:45 -0500
To: browerpower@wildnesswithin.com

International Election Monitors Arrive in the U.S.

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org
___________________________________________________

Friday, September 17, 2004

International Election Monitors Arrive in the U.S.

BRIGALIA BAM, http://www.fairelection.us
Dr Brigalia Bam is the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission
of South Africa. She is the former General Secretary of the South African
Council of Churches. She said today: "We are civic leaders,
parliamentarians, diplomats, academics, electoral officials, journalists,
and veteran election monitors. We come from 15 countries on all five
continents. We have worked for decades in our home countries to reform our
electoral systems, to make them more responsive, more open, and more fair.
We have been invited by the U.S. non-governmental organization Global
Exchange with the aim of assisting Americans in the effort to increase
confidence in the electoral process. ... Our experience in dozens of
countries around the world has shown that the presence of non-partisan,
non-governmental observers from other countries can help ensure fair and
transparent elections and build trust in democratic processes. ... Through
sharing with Americans the democratic innovations and advances occurring
around the world, we hope to bring to light the best practices that may
benefit the U.S. political system."

JASON MARK, jason@globalexchange.org
Jason Mark works with Fair Election, a project of Global Exchange. He said
today: "Electoral experts from 14 countries will arrive in the United
States this week to begin an unprecedented international monitoring of the
U.S. elections. The 20-person team consists of distinguished pro-democracy
advocates who have spent much of their lives creating and improving
electoral systems in their home countries. The electoral observers will
spend two weeks in the U.S. investigating controversies that appear to be
undermining public faith in the U.S. political process. ... The
pre-electoral fact-finding team will spend four days in Washington, D.C.
... The delegation will then split into five groups to conduct further
investigations in Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio. In those
states the monitors will meet with secretaries of state, hear from county
voting registrars, talk with community organizations, observe voter
registration drives, and hold town hall meetings to get a full picture of
American democracy."

Other members of the delegation include the following:

* Oscar Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez received the UNESCO Award for Human Rights
in 2002, and he has been president of the Mexican Academy of Human Rights
(1997-2002).

* Pansy Tlakula. She is chief Electoral Officer of the Independent
Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa, a position that makes her the
overall head of elections in the country.

* Terence Humphreys. He is currently the Chief Executive of Electoral
Reform International Services (ERIS), where he provides overall direction
for all ERIS programs worldwide.

* Ms. Somsri Hananuntasuk. She is the Executive Director for Asian Network
for Free Elections (ANFREL) and has extensive experiences in election
monitoring in Indonesia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, East
Timor, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.

* David MacDonald. MacDonald is a former Minister of Communications of the
Canadian Parliament. He served as a Conservative under the Pearson,
Trudeau, and Clark governments from 1965 to 1980.

* Victoria Somers. Ms. Somers has observed elections in South Africa,
Bosnia, Tanzania, Kosovo and Sri Lanka on behalf of the Irish Government,
United Nations and European Union.

* Damaso Guerrero Magbual. He is a member of the National Council and
concurrently Chairman of the National Capital Region and Deputy Secretary
General for the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL),
which was the very first election monitoring organization in Asia.

* K.J. Rao. Mr. Rao is currently the Elections and Training Advisor to the
Election Commission of India.

* Shanta Martin. She is an international legal advisor currently working
for the Commission for the Verification of Codes of Conduct (COVERCO)
in Guatemala.

* Horacio Boneo. Since 2000, Boneo has served as a consultant on issues of
democratic governance and elections for the United Nations, the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Swedish International Development
Agency, the National Democratic Institute, the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe, and the International Foundation for Electoral
Systems, as well as a visiting professor at the Universidad Nacional de San Martin.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2004 2:53 PM
Subject: U.S. Intelligence: Iraq Future Bleak

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.17

Kelpie Wilson | Bush Bites the Biscuit

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

U.S. Intelligence: Iraq Future Bleak
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704A.shtml

Edwards: No Military Draft if Democrats Win
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704B.shtml

17,000 Short: Press Lowballs Reports on U.S. Casualties
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704C.shtml

Kofi Annan: Iraq War was Illegal, Breached U.N. Charter
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704D.shtml

Washington Post Reveals Leaker Identity in CIA Agent Case
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704E.shtml

Army Defends Baghdad Battle that Left 16 Dead
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704F.shtml

Patrick Sabatier | Lessons
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704H.shtml

Mary Jacoby | The Dunce
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704I.shtml

Jonathan Turley | Soldiers of Fortune - at What Price?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704J.shtml

On Death Row, a Battle over the Fatal Cocktail
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704K.shtml

Adbusters: Going after Nike
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704L.shtml

U.S. Military Running Out of Guard, Reserve Troops
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704W.shtml

Two Americans, Briton Abducted in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704X.shtml

Military Leaders: "Bush's War is Already Lost"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704Y.shtml

Kerry: Bush Lying to America about Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091704Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'The Worst Case Has Become True'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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From: Ron Good <ron@hetchhetchy.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2004 11:00 AM

Autumn 2004 Restore Hetch Hetchy newsletter now is on-line!

Hello members and friends of RESTORE HETCH HETCHY,

I'm pleased to let you know that our Autumn 2004 newsletter is now on-line:

http://www.hetchhetchy.org/newsletter/pdf/rhh_newslettter_sept_2004.pdf


Articles include:

* Sacramento Bee publishes major series of articles and editorials about Hetch Hetchy

* Restoration of the Tuolumne River using natural materials -- Mark Cederborg

* Meet our Board: Bill Resneck, Chair of the RHH Legal Committee

* RHH at the "Wild T Party" celebrating the 20th-year anniversary designation of the Tuolumne River as a national wild & scenic river

* RHH volunteers Kay Pitts and Glenn Ovitt at our Free Speech table in Yosemite Valley

* Eastern Madera County (Oakhurst-area) Chamber of Commerce endorses a Hetch Hetchy restoration Feasibility Study

* RHH volunteer Dan Lucas at the Sacramento State Earth Day festival


* * * *

Ron Good
Executive Director
RESTORE HETCH HETCHY
P.O. Box 3538
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 533 - HHV 1 [4481]
(415) 987-9944 cell
<http://www.hetchhetchy.org>
ron@hetchhetchy.org

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

 

Published on Thursday, September 16, 2004 by the Miami Herald

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0916-01.htm


Kerry Needs the Courage to Walk Away from Iraq

by Howard Zinn


If John Kerry wants to win, he must recognize that our military intervention in Iraq is a disaster -- for
Americans, for Iraqis, for the world. He must stop boasting about his courage in Vietnam and instead start
talking about his moral courage in opposing that war. He needs to stop saying, as he did recently in the
Midwest, that he defended this country when he was fighting in Vietnam. That is not an honest statement. If it
were true, then he would not have turned against the war.

He was not defending this country when he fought in Vietnam. He was defending this country when he said
that we were wrong to be in Vietnam and we should get out.

He should not be saying that he will wage the Iraq War better, that he will replace U.S. troops with soldiers
from other countries. If it is immoral for our soldiers to be occupying Iraq and killing Iraqis every day, then it is
immoral for foreign soldiers to do the same.

He should be clear: We are not defending our country by our war in Iraq, and we should get out.

He should stop saying what President Bush is saying, that we have to ''stay the course.'' We stayed the
course in Vietnam and it cost more than 58,000 American lives and untold Vietnamese lives.

To those who say that we must not ''cut and run,'' Kerry can say, with some authority: We did cut and run in
Vietnam, and it was the right thing to do.

Kerry needs to stop talking about how he will be stronger than Bush and how he will do more for our national
security. He should stop accepting the traditional definitions of strength and security.

He should say that strength should not be measured in military terms, but in moral terms. Did the possession
of almost 10,000 nuclear weapons prevent Sept. 11? Will a $400 billion military budget make us stronger or
weaker? Will our military actions diminish terrorism or increase it?

Does not our strength lie in being an example to the world of a peace-loving nation, which uses its wealth not
for bombs but for food and medicine, for our people and for others in need around the world? Should we not
stop defining security in military terms, but talk instead of ''health security,'' ''job security,'' ``children's security''?

This is not Utopian. It is what Americans have shown that they want, before they are made hysterical and
fearful by government propaganda. It is not simply a moral program, but a winning program.

William Lloyd Garrison, the great Massachusetts abolitionist, was urged by a friend to speak more cautiously.
Garrison replied: ``Slavery, sir, will not be overthrown without excitement, a tremendous excitement.''

War and corporate thievery will not be overthrown without excitement, either. Kerry, if he will stop being
cautious, can create an excitement that will carry him into the White House and, more important, change the
course of the nation.

Howard Zinn, who served as a bombardier in the Air Force in World War II,
is author of the best-selling 'A People's History of the United States'.
Copyright 1996-2004 Knight Ridder

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

 

Published on Thursday, September 16, 2004 by the Guardian / United Kingdom

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0916-10.htm


Far Graver Than Vietnam

Most Senior US Military Officers now Believe the War on Iraq
has turned into a Disaster onan Unprecedented Scale


by Sidney Blumenthal


'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812
American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in
campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is
succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.

But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already
lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found
the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That
goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me:
"The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're
conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground.
It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all.
The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the
advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan."

Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq
there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the anti-US insurgency,
centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and
becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.

"We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military
attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and
that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself
because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to
the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."

After the killing of four US contractors in Fallujah, the marines besieged the city for three weeks in April - the
watershed event for the insurgency. "I think the president ordered the attack on Fallujah," said General
Hoare. "I asked a three-star marine general who gave the order to go to Fallujah and he wouldn't tell me. I
came to the conclusion that the order came directly from the White House." Then, just as suddenly, the order
was rescinded, and Islamist radicals gained control, using the city as a base.

"If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation by a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious
requirement to resist that occupation," Terrill explained. "Most Iraqis consider us occupiers, not liberators." He
describes the religious imagery common now in Fallujah and the Sunni triangle: "There's talk of angels and
the Prophet Mohammed coming down from heaven to lead the fighting, talk of martyrs whose bodies are
glowing and emanating wonderful scents."

"I see no exit," said Record. "We've been down that road before. It's called Vietnamisation. The idea that
we're going to have an Iraqi force trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches the imagination. They
will be tainted by their very association with the foreign occupier. In fact, we had more time and money in
state building in Vietnam than in Iraq."

General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in
both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a
region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."

Terrill believes that any sustained US military offensive against the no-go areas "could become so
controversial that members of the Iraqi government would feel compelled to resign". Thus, an attempted
military solution would destroy the slightest remaining political legitimacy. "If we leave and there's no civil war,
that's a victory."

General Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack
Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it - after the election. The signs are all
there."

He compares any such planned attack to the late Syrian dictator Hafez al-Asad's razing of the rebel city of
Hama. "You could flatten it," said Hoare. "US military forces would prevail, casualties would be high, there
would be inconclusive results with respect to the bad guys, their leadership would escape, and civilians would
be caught in the middle. I hate that phrase collateral damage. And they talked about dancing in the street, a
beacon for democracy."

General Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration and the senior military officers
over Iraqi was worse than any he has ever seen with any previous government, including Vietnam. "I've never
seen it so bad between the office of the secretary of defence and the military. There's a significant majority
believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and
al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the
Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic."

· Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is Washington bureau chief of salon.com
© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 2:46 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Don't Count on Europe in Iraq

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.16

At War Against Dam, Tribe Turns to Old Ways

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

Steve Weissman | Don't Count on Europe in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604A.shtml

9/11 Widows: "President Bush Thwarted Our Attempts at Every Turn"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604B.shtml

Group Offers $50,000 for Proof of Bush Service
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604C.shtml

Iraq: A Descent into Civil War?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604D.shtml

Sharon Abandons Mideast Peace 'Road Map'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604E.shtml

Kerry Questions Bush's Honesty on Health Care, Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604F.shtml

Patrick Sabatier | Tunnel
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604H.shtml

Chalmers Johnson | The Military-Industrial Man
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604I.shtml

Nicholas D. Kristof | Mr. Bush's Glass House
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604J.shtml

Vote Drives Gain Avid Attention of Youth in '04
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604K.shtml

In Sudan, Rape's Lasting Hurt
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604L.shtml

Judge Orders Nader Name off Florida Ballot
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604W.shtml

Patrick Guerriero | Log Cabin Republicans Say No to Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604X.shtml

Hunt for bin Laden Weaker Now than Before 9/11
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604Y.shtml

Arab League: "Gates of Hell" Opened in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091604Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'A Sword Clanging Against Bush's Political Armor'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

nytimes.com - September 14, 2004

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/14/opinion/14krugman.html?ex=1096217061&ei=1&en=f0a808df6017e27f

Taking On the Myth

By PAUL KRUGMAN


On Sunday, a celebrating crowd gathered around a burning
U.S. armored vehicle. Then a helicopter opened fire; a
child and a journalist for an Arabic TV news channel were
among those killed. Later, the channel repeatedly showed
the journalist doubling over and screaming, "I'm dying; I'm
dying."

Such scenes, which enlarge the ranks of our enemies by
making America look both weak and brutal, are inevitable in
the guerrilla war President Bush got us into. Osama bin
Laden must be smiling.

U.S. news organizations are under constant pressure to
report good news from Iraq. In fact, as a Newsweek headline
puts it, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition
forces are intensifying and getting more effective; no-go
zones, which the military prefers to call "insurgent
enclaves," are spreading - even in Baghdad. We're losing
ground.

And the losses aren't only in Iraq. Al Qaeda has regrouped.
The invasion of Iraq, intended to demonstrate American
power, has done just the opposite: nasty regimes around the
world feel empowered now that our forces are bogged down.
When a Times reporter asked Mr. Bush about North Korea's
ongoing nuclear program, "he opened his palms and
shrugged."

Yet many voters still believe that Mr. Bush is doing a good
job protecting America.

If Senator John Kerry really has advisers telling him not
to attack Mr. Bush on national security, he should dump
them. When Dick Cheney is saying vote Bush or die,
responding with speeches about jobs and health care doesn't
cut it.

Mr. Kerry should counterattack by saying that Mr. Bush is
endangering the nation by subordinating national security
to politics.

In early 2002 the Bush administration, already focused on
Iraq, ignored pleas to commit more forces to Afghanistan.
As a result, the Taliban is resurgent, and Osama is still
out there.

In the buildup to the Iraq war, commanders wanted a bigger
invasion force to help secure the country. But civilian
officials, eager to prove that wars can be fought on the
cheap, refused. And that's one main reason our soldiers are
still dying in Iraq.

This past April, U.S. forces, surely acting on White House
orders after American television showed gruesome images of
dead contractors, attacked Falluja. Lt. Gen. James Conway,
the Marine commander on the scene, opposed "attacking out
of revenge" but was overruled - and he was overruled again
with an equally disastrous decision to call off the attack
after it had begun. "Once you commit," General Conway said,
"you got to stay committed." But Mr. Bush, faced with the
prospect of a casualty toll that would have hurt his
approval rating, didn't.

Can Mr. Kerry, who voted to authorize the Iraq war,
criticize it? Yes, by pointing out that he voted only to
give Mr. Bush a big stick. Once that stick had forced
Saddam to let W.M.D. inspectors back in, there was no need
to invade. And Mr. Kerry should keep pounding Mr. Cheney,
who is trying to cover for the absence of W.M.D. by lying,
yet again, about Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda.

Some pundits are demanding that Mr. Kerry produce a
specific plan for Iraq - a demand they never make of Mr.
Bush. Mr. Kerry should turn the tables, and demand to know
what - aside from pretending that things are going fine -
Mr. Bush intends to do about the spiraling disaster. And
Mr. Kerry can ask why anyone should trust a leader who
refuses to replace the people who created that disaster
because he thinks it's bad politics to admit a mistake.

Mr. Kerry can argue that he wouldn't have overruled the
commanders who had wanted to keep the pressure on Al Qaeda,
or dismissed warnings from former Gen. Eric Shinseki, then
the Army's chief of staff, that peacekeeping would require
a large force. He wouldn't have ignored General Conway's
warnings about the dangers of storming into Falluja, or
overruled his protests about calling off that assault
halfway through.

On the other hand, he can argue that he would have fired
Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary who ridiculed
General Shinseki. And he would definitely have fired Donald
Rumsfeld for the failure to go in with enough troops, the
atrocities at Abu Ghraib and more.

The truth is that Mr. Bush, by politicizing the "war on
terror," is putting America at risk. And Mr. Kerry has to
say that.

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

 

From: "OpenTheGovernment.org" <blumr@ombwatch.org>
Reply-To: "OpenTheGovernment.org" <blumr@ombwatch.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 10:56:41 -0400
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Subject: OpenTheGovernment.org Updates for September 15, 2004

 

OpenTheGovernment.org Updates for September 15, 2004

There's only one new policy today and plenty of news. With Congress back in session, please share any new legislation you see dealing with open government or updates to any bills your organization may be tracking. If you have any policy items that you think should be included in our weekly updates, please send us an email <mailto: info@openthegovernment.org> .

Please forward this email on and encourage people to sign-up at our website <http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/subarchive/44> ! As always, let us know how we can improve the updates and any omissions.

Policy Updates

(New information is highlighted with [new] or [updated] in the title)

TAKE ACTION

Whistleblower Protection Legislation
The Senate is ready to vote on the "Federal Employee Protection of Disclosures Act" (S. 2628), which would be the first stand-alone whistleblower protection bill to be approved by the Senate Committee in ten years. This legislation would amend the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) to ensure protection against reprisal for federal employees who bring government wrongdoing to light. The House companion bill (H.R. 3281) has yet to leave committee, despite promises from the committee chairman that he would act.
Status: S.2628 is ready for Senate vote but H.R.3281 has not left the House Government Reform Committee.
Source: Government Accountability Project press release <http://www.whistleblower.org/uploads/07-21-04 WPA Senate Victory.pdf> .
Action: Contact the Government Reform Committee <http://capwiz.com/ombwatch/issues/alert/?alertid=6328216> .

NIH Proposes Open Access Policy
A new proposal from the National Institutes of Health would require all published scientific articles based on taxpayer-funded research to be publicly available for free. Currently, scientific journals publish the studies, which can only be accessed by subscriptions or through an academic institution that has its own subscription.
Status: The NIH proposal is open for a 60-day comment period.
Source: Alliance for Taxpayer Access < http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/>
Action: Send a letter to Congress < http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/you.html> .

Satellite Imagery FOIA Exemption
A proposed Freedom of Information Act exemption, restricting public access to satellite images and related data will be considered this month in conference. The Senate already approved the measure, which would prohibit disclosure of any commercial satellite images or any products derived from the data. This broad exclusion would threaten significant amounts of unclassified data that journalists, public interest groups, scientist, and the public use routinely.
Status: After the Senate passed S. 2400, which contained the provision, the Senate incorporated S. 2400 in H.R. 4200 as an amendment. H.R. 4200 is currently in House-Senate conference.
Source: Secrecy News, Sept. 7, 2004.
Action: Ask Congress to drop the FOIA exemption <http://capwiz.com/ombwatch/issues/alert/?alertid=6338701> .

Independent Classification Board
Legislation has been introduced in both houses of Congress to create an Independent National Security Classification Board in the executive branch.
Status: S.2672 has been referred to the Committee on Intelligence. H.R.4855 was referred to the House Committee on Intelligence.
Action: Send a letter to Congress in support of a classification board! <http://capwiz.com/ombwatch/issues/alert/?alertid=6156091>

Patriot Act: Reversing the Patriot Act
The Civil Liberties Restoration Act 2004 (S. 2528) would end secret hearings, ensure due process for detained individuals, limit secret seizures of records, and limit the use of secret evidence.
Status: Introduced by members of the House and Senate June 16, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Source: Text of the bill < http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s2528:> , June 16, 2004. A bill analysis talking points is available from the Rights Working Group <http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/?id=5> .
Action: Organizations can add their name to this letter < http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/?id=10> and individuals can send a letter to Congress < http://capwiz.com/ombwatch/issues/alert/?alertid=6213761> .

Should trains identify hazardous materials? Tom Ridge wants input
Despite their own study concluding the current system works, the Department of Homeland Security wants to know if railcars should continue to identify whether their contents are hazardous. Quickly identifying hazards is critical to saving lives in an accident involving hazardous chemicals.
Status: The Department of Homeland Security is accepting public comment on the proposal through October 18, 2004.
Action: Read the proposal <http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg/hazmat_placards.pdf> . Note: Check these updates for a sample letter to be posted as soon as the government begins accepting public comment through its electronic docket system.

Sensitive Security Information (SSI): Federalism v. Secrecy
The Senate pushed to pre-empt state and local sunshine laws in order to mandate secrecy about public safety problems in aviation, rail and other transportation systems.
Status: The administration-sponsored secrecy provisions were in the Senate-passed version of the $350 billion transportation bill (H.R. 3550); the version passed by the House lacks them. Currently in conference.
Action: Send a letter through the American Library Association action alert <http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/washnews/news2004/37jun14.htm> .

 

Warning

[new] Waxman Introduces Bill to Fix Secrecy Policies
Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced legislation to restore open government on several fronts. The Restore Open Government Act of 2004 would restore the presumption of disclosure, ease public oversight of critical infrastructure safeguards, restore historians' access to presidential records, address excessive overclassification, and eases challenging agencies that are improperly withholding information.
Status: The bill was introduced on 9/14/04.
Source: House Committee on Government Reform Minority Office <http://democrats.reform.house.gov/features/secrecy_report/index.asp>

Patriot Act: Extending Patriot Act
H.R. 3179, introduced by Reps. Sensenbrenner and Goss, includes several sections of Patriot II. After opposition from many groups coordinated by the Rights Working Group, H.R. 3179 was not added to the intelligence authorization bill (S. 2386) during a closed mark-up session on June 16th.
Status: May come up as a floor amendment to the intelligence authorization bill in the Senate.
Source: Bill of Rights Defense Committee <http://www.bordc.org/BORDCnews3-5.htm#leg> .

Patriot Act: Patriot Act Sunsets
On May 21, ten senators introduced a bill, S. 2476, that would make permanent many provisions of the Patriot Act scheduled to sunset next year.
Status: The bill is referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Source: THOMAS <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s2476:> .

 

For other policies that OpenTheGovernment.org is watching, please visit our compendium <http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/subarchive/69/> .

In the Library section < http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/subarchive/7/> of OpenTheGovernment.org < http://www.openthegovernment.org/> , you can find files for download, an extensive link library, information on key books and hardcopy resources useful to RTK advocates. Also, you can email us if you have information to add that others would find useful!

News Highlights

Looking for authors! The Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service distributes op-ed opinion pieces on any topic related to freedom of information. The op-eds may be published freely as long as the author is credited. To view the latest op-ed as well as all pieces in the series, go to Knight Ridder/Tribune <http://www.krtdirect.com/FOI.html> . Pieces should be 700 words in length and sent to Ray Walker at rwalker@krtinfo.com and oped@krtinfo.com. Please also let us know if you submit a piece!

Reporters Committee Releases 5th Edition of War Report <http://www.rcfp.org/homefrontconfidential/>
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press released the 5th Edition of its "White Paper" chronicling the effects the War on Terrorism has had on the public's right to know.

Too much secrecy: Overclassification hampers cooperation < http://federaltimes.com/index.php?S=347512>
Many sources indicate that one of the biggest problems in tracking terrorists before the 9/11 attacks was government secrecy.
[Federal Times Sept. 13, 2004]

Court ruling deals setback to secrecy < http://www.jdnews.com/SiteProcessor.cfm?Template=/GlobalTemplates/Details.cfm&StoryID=25636&Section=Opinion>
A North Carolina court of appeals recently found that only members of the public are entitled to initiate judicial action seeking enforcement of their information requests, as the state's open government laws do not allow local governments to initiate judicial action declaring its efforts to keep information from the public legal.
[Daily News Sept. 13, 2004]

Veil of secrecy to lift on drug tests < http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0913/p11s02-ussc.html>
Pressure is mounting to reform the pharmaceutical industry so that the results of clinical drug trials are available to the public. Many have endorsed a public registry of drug trials.
[Christian Science Monitor Sept. 13, 2004]

FDA Urged Withholding Data on Antidepressants: Makers Were Dissuaded From Labeling Drugs as Ineffective in Children < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9802-2004Sep9.html>
Government regulators pressured antidepressant manufacturers not to disclose clinical trials' results that indicate the effectiveness of the medications in children were no better than sugar pills.
[Washington Post Sept. 10, 2004]

Hiding Genome Data Won't Protect Us, Experts Say < http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=2LP3RY1NCORJ2CRBAEZSFEY?type=scienceNews&storyID=6196728>
Scientists on a National Research Council committee found that making the genetic codes of dangerous pathogens a secret will not save anyone from bioterrorism. In fact, it may make the population vulnerable to natural attacks from pathogens.
[Reuters Sept. 9, 2004]

Whistleblowers Call for Disclosure of Government's Iraq Deceit < http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=35915> ; Ellsberg, Former CIA, FBI Officials Say Americans Need Full Disclosure of Lies, Cover-ups, and War's Projected Costs in Livesand Dollars
Former government officials are calling for the disclosure of classified information that is being wrongly withheld.
[U.S. Newswire Sept. 9, 2004] http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=14003

Past Updates... <http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/subarchive/60/>

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

 

The Nation - 09/08/2004

http://www.thenation.com/thebeat/index.mhtml?bid=1&pid=1793


Vice President of the Apocalypse

by John Nichols

For those who feared that the speakers at last week's Republican
National Convention had failed to adequately impress upon the
American electorate the view that death and grief and sorrow would be
the predictable byproducts of John Kerry's election to the
presidency, Vice President Dick Cheney has spelled out the threat in
excruciating detail.

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2,
we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then
the danger is that we'll get hit again in a way that will be
devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney
grumbled to a gathering of the ceaselessly-nodding Republican party
faithful in Des Moines.

Cheney's claim that the replacement of the administration he runs --
with an assist from George W. Bush -- by a Kerry administration would
call down the wrath of global terrorism on the homeland is easily the
most irresponsible statement of a campaign that has not exactly been
characterized by moderation.

The Democratic response was to condemn Cheney in the bizarrely tepid
fashion that has come to characterize the opposition party's
dysfunction attempt to retake the White House. "Protecting America
from vicious terrorists is not a Democratic or Republican issues,
it's an American issue and Dick Cheney and George Bush should know
that," whined Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

Let it be recorded that, despite the firm slap on the wrist that was
administered by Mr. Edwards, Mr. Cheney did not choose to retract his
remarks. And he won't.

Edwards and other Democrats make a mistake when they assume, as
Edwards did, that the vice president is merely playing politics. When
Edwards suggested that Cheney was employing "scare tactics," and that
the Republicans "will do anything and say anything to save their
jobs," he gave Cheney far too much credit.

It is true, of course, that the vice president would say anything and
do anything in order to maintain his grip on power. But it does not
necessarily follow that Cheney is simply carrying out a political
hit. Indeed, if the past is prologue, there is every reason to assume
that the vice president believes what he is saying about the damage
that will befall the land if he and his minions are not working the
levers of authority.

Few figures in American politics maintain a world view that is so
consistently apocalyptic as does Cheney. Fewer still have allowed
petty fears and profound ignorance to so dramatically warp their
actions and public pronouncements.

Cheney's Cold War obsessions have frequently placed him on the wrong
side of history, causing him to misread the geopolitical realities of
regions around the world -- and of the key players within them. This
is the man who was so certain that the African National Congress was
a dangerous group that he regularly voted, as a member of Congress in
the 1980s, against House resolutions calling for the release of
Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners in South Africa. While
leading conservative Republicans such as Jack Kemp were hailing
Mandela as an iconic fighter for freedom and racial justice, Cheney
continued to decry the ANC as "a terrorist organization" and to
dismiss its leaders as threatening radicals.

During the same period that Cheney was championing the imprisonment
of Mandela, the Republican representative from Wyoming was one of the
most prominent Congressional advocates for the Reagan
administration's illegal war making in Central America. When the
administration's crimes were exposed as the Iran-Contra scandal,
former White House counsel John Dean notes, "Cheney became President
Reagan's principle defender in Congress." Cheney argued that those
who sought to hold the Reagan administration accountable for illegal
acts in Latin America were "prepared to undermine the presidency" and
the ability of future presidents to defend the United States.

When he left the House to become George Herbert Walker Bush's
Secretary of Defense, Cheney struggled to maintain the Pentagon's
Cold War footing even as the Berlin Wall was crumbling. Obsessed with
the notion that the United States should retain the capacity to
launch preemptive wars against nation's that were perceived even as
possible threats, Cheney was a hyperactive advocate for the 1991
Persian Gulf War. Unfortunately for Secretary of Defense, whose
passion for deposing Saddam Hussein reached surreal levels, the
"Operation Scorpion" scheme he and his aides developed for imposing
"regime change" upon Iraq was so ineptly plotted that it was scrapped
after a cursory review by General Norman Schwarzkopf. "I wondered
whether Cheney had succumbed to the phenomenon I'd observed among
some secretaries of the army," observed Schwarzkopf, the commander on
the ground in the region. "Put a civilian in charge of professional
military men and before long he's no longer satisfied with setting
policy but wants to outgeneral the generals."

When Cheney and a self-selected Praetorian Guard set up the new
Republican administration that took charge of the White House after
the 2000 election, the vice president could not be bothered to
address real threats to the country because he remained obsessed with
what turned out to be a ridiculously hyped Iraqi threat. As former
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill noted, Cheney and his aides were in
the first days of 2001 "already planning the next war in Iraq and the
shape of a post-Saddam country."

On the issue of Iraq, Cheney has allowed his tendency toward
apocalyptic fantasies to go unchecked. When the vice president was
peddling the "case" for invasion, he made far more remarkable claims
than did Bush. Charging that Saddam had "resumed his efforts to
acquire nuclear weapons," Cheney warned a 2002 Veterans of Foreign
Wars convention that, "Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of
terror, and seated atop 10 percent of the world's oil reserves,
Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the
entire Middle East, take control of the world's energy supplies,
directly threaten American friends throughout the region, and subject
the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail."

Whew! Scary stuff!

Even scarier, however, is the fact that, as Cheney's claims were
proven wrong, the vice president continued to repeat them -- long
after Bush had backed off, and long after there was any political
advantage to be gained.

This, of course, is where assessing Cheney gets difficult. It is no
longer clear where Cheney is deliberately deceiving the American
people and where he has deliberately deceived himself. It is easy to
call Cheney a "liar," -- and there is no question that the vice
president has been caught more than once twisting the truth. But Dick
Cheney's biggest lies are almost certainly the ones he tells himself.
As such, he will never back away from his charge that changing
administrations would be a "wrong choice."

A man who so frequently anticipates the apocalypse is likely to fall
into the habit of believing that he alone recognizes that true
dangers facing his country.

But why would anyone else treat Cheney seriously? Why would the press
repeat his over-the-top charges without noting that Dick Cheney has a
track record of reading the world wrong, imagining threats where they
do not exist and neglecting real dangers? Why would it go unmentioned
that the man who is questioning John Kerry's judgement thought Nelson
Mandela was a terrorist?

That's what John Edwards should be talking about.

Instead of complaining that the vice president is engaging in "scare
tactics," the Democrat should be suggesting that Americans ought to
be afraid, very afraid, of Dick Cheney.

(John Nichols' book on Cheney, Dick: The Man Who Is President, has
just been released by The New Press. It's available in independent
bookstores nationwide and at www.amazon.com)

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 2:46 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | When the Rabbits Get a Gun


t r u t h o u t | 09.15

Blair to U.S.: Ratify Kyoto

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

William Rivers Pitt | When the Rabbits Get a Gun
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504A.shtml

Car Bomb Kills at Least 47 at a Police Headquarters in Baghdad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504B.shtml

U.S. Troops Face New Torture Claims
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504C.shtml

'He's Just Sleeping, I Kept Telling Myself'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504D.shtml

Paul Krugman | Taking On the Myth
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504E.shtml

CBS Offers New Experts to Support Guard Memos
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504F.shtml

Jean-Marcel Bouguereau | "Impotence"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504H.shtml

J. Sri Raman | What India, Pakistan Won't Talk About
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504I.shtml

Senator Backs Voting Machine Bill after Experiencing Glitch
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504J.shtml

Children of Laos Tribe 'Butchered by Soldiers'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504K.shtml

Robert Novak Believes in Revealing Confidential Sources
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504L.shtml

Ex-Feds Blast 9-11 Panel and Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504W.shtml

Improving Lives, One Child at a Time
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504X.shtml

Colin Powell: Unlikely WMD Stocks Will Be Found in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504Y.shtml

Five 9/11 Widows to Endorse Kerry
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091504Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Erased from the Book of History'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

The Nation - September 14, 2004

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040927&s=williams


Bush, Kerry and Vietnam

by Ian Williams

 

The mystery is not that newspapers, television and news agencies want
to look into George W. Bush's National Guard record--but rather why
they have not done much more about it earlier.

We will probably never discover whether it was arrogance or an
assumption of the inherent niceness of the Kerry team that made the
Bush campaign choose battle on the terrain of Vietnam, since, as we
pointed out when Swift Boat ads ran, those veterans, despite their
other confabulations, all testified that John Kerry was indeed in
combat and in Vietnam. Pointing to Kerry's war record by
implication highlights the absence of his contemporary George W.
Bush, who, on his own admission, had joined the Texas Air National
Guard to avoid the war.

Kerry was badly advised, and waited several weeks to counterattack,
but Cheney's insults finally seemed to rouse him into action last
week. And in the weird way of American media, the fact that a Senator
and a candidate raised the issue seems to have aroused them from
their torpor. As a result, young George Bush's career during the
Vietnam War is now being ventilated--which is an easy task because it
has so many holes in it!

There is little coming out that is startlingly new. Much of the
information was available, already well researched by local
newspapers and magazines when I finished writing Deserter four months
ago. What is new is the serious and concerted attention it is
finally, and deservedly, getting. And each new piece of information
reinforces rather than rebuts the evidence of a spoiled rich frat boy
who got an easy ride because of family influence while 58,000 of his
contemporaries died.

At issue is not really whether or not George W. Bush dodged in
Vietnam, it is the hypocrisy of his career then and since, the
constant dissimulation about his service then, morphing inexorably
into his current self-righteous lies. The attack on Kerry, who did
serve, and served by military standards with honor, has clearly been
too much for too many people.

And so the revelations belatedly roll in. On CBS's 60 Minutes, Ben
Barnes, the former Speaker of the Texas House, once again pricked
the Bush image of self-made man of the prairies by testifying how he
got the young WASP Yale graduate with no redeeming academic features
a slot and a commission in the Texas Air National Guard as the tail
end of the Tet Offensive still raged. CBS's further revelation of
Bush's former commanding officer's private files demonstrate that
pressure from senior officers meant that Bush was being given
kid-glove treatment and glowing reports throughout his career, even
though in 1972 he was suspended from flying, not only for failing to
accomplish his flight medical--which he had been trying to dodge
even earlier, but for his "failure to perform to US Air Force/Texas
Air National Guard standards." (Challenges have been raised about
the authenticity of some of the documents but they are consistent
with numerous other sources.)

The Associated Press has discovered documents that show, contrary to
established hagiographies and published citations that depicted the
young Bush as a superb pilot, that he was mediocre, although perhaps
better than his 25 percent on the pilot aptitude test may have
indicated.

Particular scrutiny then follows on his time in Alabama, where the
widow of Jimmy Allison, with whom Bush campaigned for some several
very conservative candidates, now reveals in Salon that far from
Bush's service's being requested by the Blount Campaign in Alabama in
1972, he was sent there to avoid making a visible mess in Texas.

By all other accounts, he lived down to his reputation there, where
he was known by the GOP stalwarts as the Texas Souffl&eacute; for
boasting so much about his nocturnal exploits.

She confirms the sound of silence across Alabama, from all Bush's
would-be colleagues in the Alabama Air National Guard. Did he ever
attend National Guard duty? "Lord, no!" The offer from local veterans
of $3,500 for anyone who says they saw him on a base in the state
remains unclaimed.

Every time the White House announces that it has released all its
records on Bush the Younger's brief, inglorious military career, more
turn up. The AP, still trawling, wants to know where the records are
of the administrative and disciplinary action that should have
followed Bush's "Failure to Accomplish" his flight medical when he
effectively grounded himself. The Boston Globe returns to the trail
they were on before, showing that Bush should not have had that
honorable discharge but really should have been disciplined and
placed on active service duty for his failures.

The Bush campaign has claimed that he decided not to bother because
he knew his plane, the F-102, was being phased out. In fact, his
nominal unit in Texas continued flying it for another two years, and
even as he was campaigning or cavorting in Alabama was activated for
continental defense.

All military people, whichever party that they are in, all admit that
for a pilot to voluntarily drop flying duties would be an immense
blow to his pride. Bush seems to have taken the blow manfully, and
says he is proud of his service--without ever explaining what
happened to his pilot's license.

To round it all off, Kitty Kelley's book (The Family: The Real Story
of the Bush Dynasty), presumably leaked by her publicity machine,
quotes Sharon Bush, estranged ex-wife of Neil, on the proclivities of
young George for cocaine. The Bush campaign has said that their
candidate did not use drugs after 1974. Kelley recounts that he was
using the stuff in Camp David, much later than that, while his father
was President, although Sharon Bush now denies the story.

Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, flat-out refused to answer
when Helen Thomas asked earlier this year if the young Bush had been
sentenced to some form of mandatory community service in Alabama at
the end of 1972. According to his own biography, he did indeed work
for the first six months of 1973 in an organization dedicated to
helping minority kids in downtown Houston. No one had noticed any
charitable impulse on his part before--and precious little since, one
might say.

All the various revelations are like extra dots in a picture--and the
picture is of a gaping hole in George W. Bush's record. Now that
Cheney, Bush and the Swift Boats have spoken, it would not be
surprising if Kerry has decided "no more Mr Nice Guy."

The Bush campaign made Vietnam an issue. The flag and uniform Bush
has wrapped himself in should be ripped off. Calls to the NBC to
stifle the Kelley stories and the refusal of several local CBS
affiliates to air the 60 Minutes program suggest that the Bush
campaign is unhappy with that line of inquiry. As he himself said in
another context, "Bring it on!"

 

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

 

LATimes - September 12, 2004

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-emissions12sep12.story


EDITORIAL

The Fact of Global Warming


The Union of Concerned Scientists plans to release a study Monday explaining the ways global warming is changing California. The report predicts a rise in average summer temperatures of up to 5.5 degrees by mid-century, far higher than previous studies have projected. Even the scientists' most optimistic scenario, a temperature rise of only 2 degrees, could cause a host of economically damaging effects, such as the premature ripening of wine grapes.

Already, global warming is drying up water sources (such as the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is melting earlier than usual). It may also be helping some tropical diseases, such as West Nile virus, migrate north.

California may soon become the first state to curb vehicle tailpipe emissions, which after power plant emissions are the key fossil-fuel pollutants responsible for the rapid acceleration of global warming. On Sept. 23, the state's Air Resources Board is scheduled to order that new vehicles sold in the state cut their greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2016. California, however, will get nowhere without Washington's help, and that doesn't seem forthcoming. Congress, apparently buying into the ridiculous junk-science argument that global warming is a natural phenomenon that people can do little to thwart, is poised to pass spending bills for fiscal 2005 that will only worsen the problem.

Legislators should reconsider in light of a study presented to them Aug. 25 by President Bush's own science advisor and the secretaries of Energy and Commerce. It concluded that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, not Mother Nature, had caused most of the increase in temperatures around the globe over the last three decades. Last month, various science officials abroad, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair's top science advisor, former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and Canada's environment minister, went even further, characterizing global warming as a far greater threat in the coming decades than terrorism.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) should use his new pull with Bush to pressure Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to schedule a vote on the Climate Stewardship Act. This modest and pragmatic bill, which McCain co-authored with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), would require U.S. industrial plants to cut pollution from burning fossil fuels to 2000 levels by 2010.

More immediately, Congress should stop the phaseout of the tax deduction given to people who buy hybrid cars. The deduction started at $2,000 in 2002, but dropped to $1,500 this year and will fall to nothing in 2007 without new funding. Meanwhile, current tax rules heap obscene rewards on those who drive the least fuel-efficient cars on the road. One tax break, for example, gives business owners a deduction of up to $100,000 if they buy SUVs weighing 6,000 pounds or more. The $2 billion over 10 years that it would take to fully restore funding for the "clean"-hybrid tax deduction could be found by nixing some of the $9 billion in tax incentives that pending appropriations bills give to the "dirty" oil and gas industries.

Those opposed to decisive measures to reduce fossil fuel emissions argue that even if all of them were enacted tomorrow, they would still only slow, not stop, global warming. Even if that's true, it's no excuse for inaction. As any successful insurance executive will attest, risk may be unavoidable but dangers can be foreseen and thwarted. Or to put it more colloquially, it's cheaper to be safe than sorry.

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

 

LATimes - September 12, 2004

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-kotkin12sep12.story


Sewer Socialism

Cities need a back-to-basics strategy. Catering to art-loving yuppies just won't work.

By Joel Kotkin

Joel Kotkin, a contributing editor of Opinion, is an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of "The City: A Global History," to be published next year by Modern Library.


Not too long ago, U.S. elections were determined - and sometimes stolen - in cities. In the 21st century, however, the nation's major urban areas have become largely politically peripheral, except as stages for national party conventions.

As a result, neither major party makes a serious effort to address the crises affecting U.S. cities - dysfunctional school systems, a declining middle class, eroding employment and rising populations of mostly poor, new immigrants. Instead, cities are essentially a kept constituency of liberal Democrats whose idea of an urban policy, aside from patronage, increasingly revolves around cosmetic face-lifts and the arts.

Missing today from national and local agendas is anything remotely resembling the progressivism that spurred the successful evolution of U.S. cities in the last century. Sometimes dubbed "sewer socialism," this program for development started at the municipal level and aimed to repair the legacy of the Industrial Revolution. From small, faded industrial cities like Bridgeport, Conn., to Los Angeles, enlightened administrations - sometimes led by labor-oriented socialists, other times by business-oriented "progressives" - cleaned up disease-ridden environments with new sanitation systems, created municipal-owned water and power systems, developed parks and upgraded education systems.

Cities' political irrelevance stems partly from their diminishing share of the nation's population and electorate. Fifty years ago, two in five Illinois voters lived in Chicago; today, fewer than one in five live there. New York City once contained half of New York state's electorate, a proportion that has been cut to less than one-third. In 1952, 40% of Maryland voters lived in Baltimore; today the city is home to less than 10%.

As the urban electoral base has shrunk, city politics have become increasingly homogeneous. A generation ago, a Ronald Reagan or a Richard Nixon could contest for working- and middle-class voters on Chicago's Northside, in the borough of Queens or in the San Fernando Valley. These areas today are so heavily Democratic that any national Republican effort to woo them would be virtually pointless. Most cities, says Brookings Institution demographer Bill Frey, have continued to lose middle-class, middle-aged, native-born Americans since 2000 - the swing voters who supported reform-minded Republicans like Richard Riordan and Rudy Giuliani.

Cities' declining political clout is reflected in the state of urban policy. The focus now is on what sociologist John Kasarda calls "visual prosperity" - the attempt to dress up urban areas with fancy edifices, cultural attractions and high-end housing.

"Patronage aside, Democratic Party policy in the cities," said Fred Siegel, professor of urban history at New York's Cooper Union, "often boils down to how to attract the beautiful people."

The policies of many of the brightest stars in the Democratic firmament - Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper and Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm - seem predicated on this beautiful-people principle. All emphasize the creation of cafe districts, arts entertainment and culture palaces as the best means to revive urban centers. In Los Angeles, Mayor James K. Hahn is similarly hitching his legacy to a $2-billion double feature for the leisure class - the proposal for the ersatz Champs-Elysées on Grand Avenue and the glitzy LA Live project around Staples Center.

There is an alternative to the culture-and-arts approach to revive declining cities. It's sewer socialism, a back-to-basics strategy that encourages business investment and the development of healthy neighborhoods.

Such an urban agenda has its origins in the early decades of the last century. In the West, it unfolded under the tutelage of business-oriented progressives who invested heavily in basic infrastructure - public education, transit, water and power systems - to encourage commerce and improve the living conditions for at least part of the middle and working classes. In Los Angeles, cheap water was brought to a dry city to benefit citizens and businesses. Nominally nonpartisan, but mostly Republican, city leaders fostered municipal ownership of utilities and worked to prevent the Southern Pacific Railroad from dominating the city's new port. They also zoned to create a multipolar city to avoid the pitfalls of the traditional industrial one.

In the more industrialized Midwest and Northeast, the progressive impulse frequently took on a proletarian coloration. In places like Bridgeport, Milwaukee and, most remarkably, New York City under Fiorello LaGuardia, reformers were openly supported by socialists and leftist labor activists. The goal of their policies was to improve basic services and infrastructure for the vast majority of citizens, not just a designated elite.

Most important, politicians like LaGuardia and Emil Seidel, Milwaukee's first socialist mayor, moved to overturn corrupt urban machines that primarily viewed the public purse as a means to reward friends and supporters. The progressive governments quickly earned a reputation for both frugal management and getting things done.

The working-class political base that supported sewer socialism, as well as the collectivist ideology that underpinned it, has largely evaporated. Yet, development-oriented urban politics are still relevant. To some extent, a variant of sewer socialism was practiced in Los Angeles during the 1980s when Mayor Tom Bradley united labor and corporate interests. Together, they pushed for the development of a job-creating infrastructure - most notably at the airport and port complexes - that help lay the foundation for the city's ascendancy in the 1980s as the primary U.S. hub for Pacific Rim trade and commerce.

Such union leaders as the late Jim Wood of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor essentially cut a deal with business: Unions would support huge publicly funded projects with broad economic goals as long as their members got to work on them. In turn, many of the jobs created in business services, at the port, in warehouses and at import-processing factories generated relatively well-paying private-sector jobs.

A more recent example of modern sewer socialism occurred in Houston under then-Mayor Bob Lanier. His administration focused on improving neighborhoods by enhancing public safety and constructing new roads, lighting and sewers, the groundwork for private sector-led economic development.

"You need to look at every neighborhood as your own and start from there," Lanier explained after leaving office. "First, you bring back residents and then the commercial - and jobs will come back. That's what city governments should do. Play that role and things will happen on their own."

Under Lanier's administration, Houston rose from the wreckage of the 1980s oil bust to become one of the nation's fastest-growing economies and demographically diverse cities.

Sewer socialism offers one possible direction out of the genteel, gradual decline that now threatens our cities. Any party or politician who embraces such a sensible, tried approach would deserve the grateful support of the beleaguered denizens of urban America.

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

 

From: Kelly Hill Scanlon <kelly@northern.org>
Reply-To: <kelly@northern.org>
Organization: Northern Alaska Environmental Center
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Monday, September 13, 2004 11:28 AM
Subject: [arctic-action] Extreme Oil Examines Our Crude Addiction

 

Extreme Oil Examines Our Crude Addiction


Tonight PBS debuts a three-part documentary examining the pursuit of oil. "Extreme Oil" can be seen at 9 pm on KUAC. For more information read the attached New York Times Review of the series, or go to www.pbs.org/wnet/extremeoil/ <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/extremeoil/>

New York Times - September 13, 2004

Wilderness to War Zones: In Relentless Pursuit of Oil

By NED MARTEL

Oil is often described majestically as the lifeblood of the global economy, the fluid that courses through major arteries and fuels the industrial pulse. But after three hours spent watching ''Extreme Oil,'' the crude energy source seems more an addictive stimulant that leaves a mess after use and drives its dependents to madness just to acquire more.

This adventurous three-part series, which begins tonight on consecutive Mondays on most PBS stations, diagnoses the thirst for oil as desperate and unquenchable, and given this dependence - 77 million barrels are consumed daily worldwide - a taste for other renewable energy sources seems far off or far-fetched. So "Extreme Oil'' wonders where new underground reservoirs might be tapped, and describes how each site then becomes an ecological or geopolitical danger zone.

Oil lurking under rocks is like money growing on trees for the companies that know best how to retrieve it. This series first travels the 1,100-mile route of the half-completed Caspian-to-Mediterranean pipeline. Then the program revisits sins of extraction in Angola and Ecuador.

Finally, the northern coastal plains of Alaska are surveyed with a discussion of the environmental harm expected with proposed drilling.

In its Canadian debut this summer, "Extreme Oil'' was more heatedly titled

"Oil: The World Over a Barrel.'' Nonetheless, the documentary tries to hear out oil industry leaders and government insiders, whom more strident filmmakers might renounce or even goad. That is all for the good, not just for balance and not just because oil companies have helped PBS through the years, but also because these business and government types do know a few things worth knowing.

For instance, the United States ambassador to Georgia, Richard Miles, explains the presence of American military trainers in that country: "The primary purpose is to modernize the Georgian Army, and it does have a backup role, I would say, with regard to pipeline security.'' Or, he says, it's in the American strategic interest not to rely merely on Middle Eastern or, if it came to that, Russian oil and gas, "so this is another source and therefore it's valuable." (One soldier on site had just explained that he was told to say they were somehow aiding the war on terror.)

Panakh Guseinov, the former prime minister of Azerbaijan, goes on camera to recall how, after the Soviet Union splintered, the Caspian's underground assets were then considered freedom's prize. "We saw the signing of the oil contracts as a guarantee of our independence,'' says Mr. Guseinov, who has been replaced by a head of state whose administration the narrator calls "comically corrupt.'' But even in the heady days, there were special favors: priority was given to the British Petroleum Company, Mr. Guseinov said.

Something does transpire between companies and politicians that seems at times criminal, at least in Angola, where oil multinationals have spent more than $4 billion that now cannot be tracked, the series reports. Faced with an impoverished populace, the Angolan minister of finance offers this explanation for the losses: "Our capacity to administer is still very weak. There is no missing money whatsoever. This is accounting problems.''

The series resorts to some visuals that seek to simplify the complicated disputes, but they veer toward the simplistic. In Ecuador a bat struggles to free its wings from iridescent sludge and looks a lot like 1991's CNN-hyped cormorants in the burning Kuwaiti oil fields. In Alaska a newborn caribou struggles to its hoofs and nuzzles its mother, which feels like a further Bambi-fication of wildlife debates. But these conflicts, especially the Alaskan fight to open a vast refuge, are essentially symbolic: oil companies want to drill in ecosystems preserved by law, and environmentalists do not want land protections undone.

"The Amazing Race 5'' has engrossed its summer reality-TV devotees with American can-do contestants who will burn rubber toward any contrived tourist trap. This PBS all-terrain expedition has a similar drive (and soundtrack), but a larger, more edifying purpose.

In places where oil springs from the ground, there really are noble indigenous tribes who get sick when their streams turn black, in this case the Huaoranis of Ecuador. There really are bands of bandits who occupy a Georgian no man's land and seem beyond the laws of any government. And the painful facts of a faulty, crucial resource are hard to refute when seen up close.

EXTREME OIL

PBS, Monday nights; check local listings.

Stephen Segaller, executive producer. Produced by Paladin Invision

for Thirteen/WNET New York in association with BBC, CBC and Channel 4 International.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/13/arts/television/13mart.html?ex=1096081888&ei=1&en=281abcf5805ddad2

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


Please Post and Distribute as Appropriate
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or send email to our main address (info@northern.org)
*************************************************
"Arctic Actions" is a broadcast alert list managed by the Northern Alaska Environmental Center to keep you updated on issues affecting Arctic Alaska.

To learn how you can do more to protect Alaska's Arctic, or to find out about becoming a Northern Alaska Environmental Center member, intern or volunteer, please contact:

Northern Alaska Environmental Center
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ph: (907) 452-5021
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info@northern.org
http://www.northern.org

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

 

From: John A. Knox <johnknox@earthisland.org>
To: "<browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>"
Date: Monday, September 13, 2004 3:43 PM

Brower Film "Monumental" - SF debut starts Friday

Hope to see you at the movies . . .

MONUMENTAL

David Brower's Fight for Wild America

* September 17th- 23rd
* Roxie Cinema
* 3117 16th Street (at Valencia Street)
* San Francisco

* Nightly 6:15, 8:00, 9:45
* Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinee 2:00, 4:00

"Stylish and substantial enough to prompt even a couch potato to action, Kelly Duane's Monumental delivers a stirring and visually dense account of the life and times of Brower . . . " - Variety

"If anyone's been searching for the soul of the new West, here it is." - San Francisco Magazine

"An inspiring testament to the power of the individual."- Mother Jones

Mark your calendar and bring all your friends to the SF Premiere of Monumental.

September 17 - The opening night screening is dedicated to the memory of the late Brian Maxwell, Executive Producer of Monumental and founder of Power Bar. Director Kelly Duane and other special guests from the film will be attending the 8:00 p.m. screening. There will be a Q&A following the film.

September 17 - Premiere Pre-party at Build, 483 Guerrero, San Francisco, 5:00-7:30 with D.J. Science. Come drink some Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Live in Marin?

See Monumental at the beautiful Rafael Film Center
October 1st- 6th
San Rafael, CA
California Film Institute//Smith Rafael Film Center

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Climbing Mountains, Inventing a Movement

Many of us know that David Brower was the longtime leader of the Sierra Club
and founder of Earth Island Institute and Friends of the Earth, but did you
know he is credited with halting the construction of dams in the Grand
Canyon and establishing both Redwood National Park and Point Reyes National
Seashore? The legendary Berkeley native comes to life for a new generation
in local filmmaker Kelly Duane's "Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild
America." Brower was a true rugged American original who, before extreme
sports were invented, was backcountry skiing, running rivers, and climbing
Shiprock with sneakers and a hemp rope. During World War II, he applied
his climbing skills to train the US Army division that defeated the Nazis in
a key battle in the high Alps. He was at home in the wild, partied with
Ansel Adams, hob-nobbed with John F. Kennedy, and steered Lady Bird Johnson
into becoming an environmentalist.

With a playful visual aesthetic, a cool alt-country soundtrack, and hand-held
wilderness footage from as far back as the 1930s, "Monumental" documents
the golden age of American environmentalism, when Brower took the Sierra Club
from a regional hiking group to become a national political force. Seeing through
Brower's own eyes - he was an accomplished filmmaker - a 1956 raft trip down
Glen Canyon, before its damming, evokes the awful sadness of losing a natural jewel
we've failed to protect.

"Monumental" is playing at The Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street (at Valencia),
Friday, Sept. 17 through Thursday, Sept. 23. Show times: Nightly at 6:15,
8:00 & 9:45. Wed., Sat., Sun. matinees at 2:00 and 4:00. Patagonia, Inc., the
outdoor gear and apparel company, is sponsoring distribution of the film as
part of the company's Vote the Environment campaign. For more information
about the Vote the Environment campaign to activate voters across
the country, visit http://www.loteriafilms.org/screenings.html and
http://www.patagonia.com/vote.

"Monumental" reminds us this election year that these natural places need
our protection and that our passion for the wilderness has a place in the
voting booth. See this movie. Tell a friend.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

And don't miss Brower Youth Awards

6:00 pm, Thursday, September 30, 2004
Florence Schwimley Theatre, Berkeley

It's free! Come and bring a friend:
http://www.earthisland.org/bya

 

JOHN A. KNOX
Executive Director
Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133 USA

Voice (work): 415-788-3666, Ext. 108
Fax (work): 415-788-7324
Voice (home): 415-282-1071
Fax to e-mail: 928-438-4172
E-mail: johnknox@earthisland.org
EII home page: http://www.earthisland.org

Earth Island Institute welcomes your interest
and your involvement. Contributions from
individuals continue to be our most
important source of support. Earth Island
Institute members receive the quarterly
Earth Island Journal.

We invite you to join us:
http://www.earthisland.org/join/join.html

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, September 13, 2004 2:57 PM
Subject: Rumsfeld's Dirty War on Terror


t r u t h o u t | 09.14

Bush Environment Record an Issue in Nevada

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

9/11 Pollution 'Could Cause More Deaths than Attack'
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Rumsfeld's Dirty War on Terror
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404A.shtml

At Least 80 Civilians Die in Iraqi Violence
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404B.shtml

Gore Unleashes Fury on Democrats' Behalf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404C.shtml

Service Record Gaps Now Come Back to Haunt Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404D.shtml

Absentee Votes Worry Officials as November 2 Nears
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404E.shtml

Adrien Jaulmes | The Shackled Fist
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404H.shtml

Bob Herbert | Protect the Vote
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404I.shtml

Bernard Weiner | The Great Pall & Its Fall
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404J.shtml

Dr. Abele | A Turn to the (Religious) Right
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404K.shtml

Georgie Anne Geyer | How to Turn Opponents into Terrorists
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404L.shtml

Eric Margolis | Why the West is Losing
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404W.shtml

Howard Dean: An Expiration Date on Safety
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404X.shtml

Scores are Dead after Violence Spreads in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404Y.shtml

Kerry Challenges Bush on Iraq-9/11 Connection
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091404Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'If They Weren't Terorists Before, They Are Now'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

WorkingForChange - 09.09.04

Molly Ivins says it's Bush's supporting cast that *really* deserves the boot.
Ivins' "Forget Bush" is at:

http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=17635

Forget Bush

Molly Ivins - Creators Syndicate

AUSTIN, Texas -- This is the Tommy Corcoran column. Tommy the Cork, so dubbed by FDR, was a Washington wise man. His various biographers called him the ultimate insider, the super lawyer and the master fixer. He came to Washington in 1926 to clerk for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and became a fixture, an almost institutional source of wisdom about American politics, before his death in 1981.

The Cork had a theory about how to choose a president. He always said it didn't matter who was running, that it was unnecessary to pay any attention to them. What matters, he said, is the approximately 1,500 people the president brings to Washington with him, his appointments to the positions where people actually run things. The question to consider is which 1,500 people we get.

So here are a few suggestions:

-At the EPA, you do not want people who think it's a good idea to allow more arsenic in the water. When someone, anyone proposes allowing more arsenic in the water, what you want is people at the EPA who promptly say: "No. Not a good idea."

-There are some lawyers, and then there are other lawyers. You do not want lawyers at the Justice Department (or the White House or the Defense Department) who, when asked to prepare a legal brief defending torture, do so. You want lawyers at Justice (and the White House and the Defense Department) who say: "No. Torture is not a good idea. Trying to wiggle out from under our laws, international treaties and civilized norms is not a good idea."

You especially don't want lawyers who defend torture promoted to the federal bench. It is not a good idea to have the CIA using the same "interrogation technique" that was so favored by the Gestapo. This is counterproductive as well as wrong.


-You don't want folks in charge of the IRS who think it is more important to audit poor people than rich people. That is dumb.


-You do not want people in charge of foreign policy who are fools enough to believe in Ahmad Chalabi, a convicted con man and, it turns out, probably a spy for Iran. Those people should be fired. Especially when some of them are now also being investigated for giving classified information to Israel.


-Having your Department of Homeland Security turn out to be a public disgrace indicates that you have either not put the right people in charge or they are not getting enough support.


-When "Hurricane Hits Florida Yet Again" becomes a standing headline right up there with "Canadian Trade Talks Continue," you may want to put people in charge of policy who recognize that global warming not only exists but threatens us all.


-If the people a president puts in charge of foreign policy are all from the same small circle of rigid ideologues, what happens is that they end up listening only to themselves, and on that way lies disaster.


-When the people who are running the Food and Drug Administration do so to benefit the big processors and the big drug companies, people get hurt, and some of them die.


-When the people in charge of prosecuting terrorists in this country screw up case after case, those people should be replaced.


-When the country endures a hideous terrorist attack, is it actually useful for the White House to oppose the commission assigned to find out how it happened? To first deny it adequate funding, then refuse to provide it with critical documents, then oppose an extension of its deadline, then refuse to allow the commission access to prisoners who played key roles in the attack, then try to stop Condoleezza Rice from testifying, then refuse to have the president testify under oath?


-When the people in charge make a decision to start an unprovoked war because of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and nonexistent ties to the terrorists who have attacked us, you may conclude that these people are lying, or dumb, or just not helpful.


-When a new administration comes into office with a huge budget surplus and then blows it all on tax cuts that benefit the very rich, should it be retained? If an economic team leads the country to a record $422 billion deficit this year and $2.3 trillion in the next decade, do you really want a team in charge that announces it wants more tax cuts that will double the total deficit to $4.6 trillion by the end of the decade? Do these people have a sense of responsibility? If the economic team produces a net loss of 1.1 million jobs after four years, should its contract be renewed?

Forget Bush -- the people around him are a complete disaster. John Kerry will basically re-hire the Clinton team and presumably remain faithful to his wife. Of course, Clinton didn't get Osama bin Laden, either. But his people worked harder at it.

(c) 2004 Creators Syndicate

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berkeleydailyplanet.com (09-10-04)

http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/article.cfm?issue=09-10-04&storyID=19606

Editorial

Pushing Back Against Evil

By BECKY O'MALLEY

It's hard to believe that it's been only three years since Saudi Muslim extremists commandeered commercial aircraft and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. What was before September 11, 2001, a small fire fanned by a few fanatics has become a firestorm which threatens to engulf the world. The historic willingness of human beings to kill and be killed for a religious ideology has been demonstrated again and again since 9/11, most recently in the appalling occurrences in North Ossetia, now part of Russia, where men and (most tragically) women were willing to kill defenseless children who had done nothing to harm them, in support of an abstraction which is essentially meaningless to non-believers.

The Bush regime has supplied the gasoline for the conflagration. Iraq has been transformed from an admittedly vicious secular dictatorship, a pariah state even for religious fanatics, into a spawning ground for more fanaticism and inter-sect warfare which imminently threatens to spread beyond its borders. And while the U.S. has been preoccupied in Iraq, religious militants of every stripe have been actively recruiting elsewhere, including Chechinya, the Phillipines and Indonesia. Some originally secular nationalist movements whose militants came from an Islamic background, like Chechins and Palestinians, are being captured by religious extremists who are even more dangerous because their beliefs allow recruiting for suicide missions with the promise of an after-life to follow.

People who are not religious have difficulty understanding how religion turns to fanaticism. Here in Berkeley the resurgent Christian right seems just about as alien to non-believers from a Christian cultural background as Islamic fundamentalism does.

And it's not only the monotheistic religions with roots in the desert which have bloodthirsty adherents. Hindus, Native Americans, African animists if you can name a group, any group, it's probably had members who have been willing to kill for belief.

Religion does not have a monopoly on ideological fanatics, of course. Atrocities have been committed on behalf of secular beliefs ever since the Enlightenment at least: by the French Revolution and its progeny, during the Spanish Civil War, under Stalin and many other Communists, by Saddam and the Baathists in Iraqthe list is long and getting longer. Killing for the cause is part of the human gene pool, a curse which other species have been spared.

Is there anything we can do about it? Dedicated believers have always attempted to restrain the extreme elements in their group, with varying amounts of success. Lysistrata recounts the attempt by Athenian women to stop a war with Sparta. Christian believers were the earliest and most persistent opponents of the war in Vietnam, and the Pope condemned the invasion of Iraq. Both religious and non-religious people from the world Jewish community have spoken out for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. It is heartening to see the launch of Not in the Name of Islam in the United States, and the voices against extremism in the French Muslim community. As long as humans have lived on the earth, good people have always had to struggle with the killer instinct in their midst.

Sometimes, as when footage of the tragedy in Russia is shown on television, it's tempting to believe that this struggle can't be won. And in truth it is the fate of humans to need constantly to push back the dark side of our inheritance. Many belief systems have stories about this aspect of the human condition. Christian theology calls the persistence of evil among humans Original Sin, and dates it back to the first humans on earth. The ancient Greeks had the myth of Sisyphus, condemned to rolling a rock uphill, else it would roll back and crush him. That's where we are today as humans, rolling that rock up the hill. As hard as it is to continue to push back against those who want to kill for their cause, we've just got to keep doing it, all of us, or we'll be crushed.

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boston.com - September 12, 2004

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/09/12/words_matter/

Words matter

How Bush speaks in religious code

By Bruce Lincoln

George W. Bush believes God has called him to be president. You won't hear him say so openly, of course, but he regularly conveys this to a core constituency -- the religious right.

As president, Bush has always been outspoken about his faith, letting evangelicals know he shares their values and vision for America. But he has also been careful. Aware that he must appeal to the center to secure reelection, he employs double-coded signals that veil much of his religious message from outsiders. Biblical references, allusions to hymns, and specialized vocabulary are keys to this communication.

The president learned this art when he served as his father's liaison to the religious right in 1988, just after his born-again conversion. Well-connected staff introduced him to evangelical leaders and taught him to win their trust. "Signal early and signal often" was their motto. Unlike his Episcopalian father, the younger Bush took this advice to heart.

Accordingly, most of Bush's speeches are discreetly larded with religious content. His seemingly secular acceptance speech at the recent Republican National Convention offers a case in point. Beyond the single paragraph on abortion, gay marriage, and "faith-based" charities, a strong religious subtext was carefully crafted to slip beneath the radar.

Biblical references were firmly planted at the beginning and end of the speech. Early on, Bush spoke of "hills to climb" and seeing "the valley below," an allusion to Israel's escape from slavery and Moses' vision of the Promised Land, as described in Deuteronomy 34. Given the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous use of the same passage ("I've been to the mountaintop"), Bush thus associated himself with both King and Moses, characterizing his presidency not just as a struggle for freedom, but a religious mission with risks of martyrdom.

In his closing paragraph, Bush quoted Ecclesiastes 3, "To everything there is a season," but quickly departed from the Biblical text. "A time for sadness," he began, with reference to 9/11, then "a time for struggle" -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- and finally "a time for rebuilding." This pattern of loss followed by recovery recurred in passages devoted to the economy, the war against terrorism, the national mood, and the state of morality since the 1960s.

In all cases, Bush described losses overcome through hope, steadfastness, and faith. Only when he reached his culminating example did he name what he saw in them all. "For as long as our country stands," he proclaimed, "people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose." Resurrection. Lower Manhattan may be a case in point, but it was not the point of the story.

Twelve times Bush used the phrase "I believe," many more than any other. Sometimes it meant only "I hold this opinion," and sometimes it marked a profession of faith. But repetition hammered home the crucial point: Bush is a man who believes.

Two of these beliefs were meant to justify his wars as holy. The first -- "I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century" -- prompts a question: Called by whom? The second helps answer that query: "I believe freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman." And, a bit later: "Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom."

In the course of his speech, the president thus suggested he is a pious man, called to lead a righteous nation. Like the nation itself, he is committed to a sacred cause and is guided in all things by his Christian faith. His sole concern in Iraq -- so he insists -- is to spread freedom, and in doing this he serves the Almighty. If you heard that and can accept it, it must be terribly reassuring.

Rather less comforting is the realization that Bush is selling his dubious war to the base he has skillfully courted for years, which he knows to be credulous, fiercely patriotic, and enormously loyal.

Bruce Lincoln is a professor of the history of religions at the University of Chicago and author of "Holy Terrors: Thinking about Religion after September 11." 
© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Sunday, September 12, 2004

http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,1413,113%257E7252%257E2397258,00.html

Bush family history shows a dark past unseen by most

DOUGLAS YATES


Few would argue that trust, like democracy, is earned and not inherited. So how is it that we've missed the lessons of four generations of Bush family history?

As Kevin Phillips recounts in "American Dynasty," the Bush family presents a record of war profiteers who use public office to gain wealth and advantage. Along the way, Bush family business cronies receive political access and legitimacy.

One of the most venal characters is Prescott Bush, the president's grandfather.

In 1942, Congress seized the assets of Prescott Bush and charged him with trading with the enemy. Bush and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, were managing directors of the Union Banking Corp. of New York City. Allied with Brown Brothers Harriman, the largest private investment bank in the world, Bush and Walker were front men for Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen.

Thyssen, whose empire was founded on coal and steel, financed the rise of Adolf Hitler. Then as now, cloaking funds destined for subversion of democracies or weapons shipment was a useful tactic. To hide transactions and conceal ownership, Thyssen created a banking network. The first node was established in Berlin, a second in neutral Holland. UBC in New York was the linchpin.

Little more than a money-laundering office for Nazi operations in the United States, Bush, Walker and other confederates oversaw almost a dozen separate businesses. Acting with Thyssen's money, they aided the Nazi invasion of Europe by supplying resources for weaponry. In 1937, Bush set up a deal to help the Luftwaffe obtain tetraethyl lead to boost aircraft performance.

Americans first heard about Thyssen's American operations in the New York Herald-Tribune on July 30, 1942, eight months after Pearl Harbor. The headline declared "Hitler's Angel Has $3 Million in U.S. Bank." However, the story did not identify Bush or Harriman as UBC executives.

After the war ended in 1945, investigators learned that Bush had extremely close ties to Thyssen and continued to work as his agent to the end. When hostilities ceased, Bush helped move Thyssen assets to Panama, Argentina and Brazil, all major destinations for the flight of Nazi capital.

In 1951, following Thyssen's death in Argentina, the U.S. alien property custodian released the assets of Union Banking Corp. Prescott Bush cashed out his ownership share for $1.5 million. (In 2004 dollars, that's more than $10 million.) He used it to fund a successful U.S. Senate campaign from Connecticut and launch his son, the president's father, in the oil business.

Other American companies that armed Hitler included General Motors, Standard Oil and Chase Bank. All were quietly sanctioned after Pearl Harbor; then government files were lost or forgotten. For 60 years, the full record of Prescott Bush's complicity in the Nazi war machine has been ignored or denied by participants and the U.S. media.

But no more. Documents relating to the seizures were recently uncovered in the National Archives and the Library of Congress. Confirmed by Dutch government sources, they show that Bush shipped tons of strategic resources to the Third Reich as Hitler prepared to invade Poland.

Despite this history, the news media continues to present a selective picture of the Bush family and its business connections. People who tried to show the warts were shouted down; in 2000, the publisher of "Fortunate Son," a George Bush biography, was forced to recall and burn its inventory.

After launching a bloody occupation of Iraq, perhaps it's time Americans connect the dots and see the big picture. It ought to have been done before the invasion, but since we're trained to accept media and TV dinners uncritically, developing a context for identifying domestic enemies is a challenge. Rhetoric and flag waving have replaced hard-nosed insistence on the truth. Meanwhile, lies send our troops to die far from home; war profits flow to favored industries in billion-dollar contracts.

In private action and public policy, Bush family history reveals a pattern of war profiteering spanning four generations. It's a legacy of deceit and death. For the naïve and uninformed, the facts may be a slap in the face. For those who look closely, the sign is as clear as blood on snow.

Then again, perhaps the pattern is lost in the noise. According to Bob Woodward's "Bush At War," the president attended a New York Yankees game not long after the 9/11 attacks. Wearing a New York City fireman's jacket, Bush threw out the first pitch and the crowd roared its approval. From a sky box above the stadium, Karl Rove, Bush's political adviser, likened the roar of the crowd to "a Nazi rally."

Douglas Yates, a Marine Corps veteran, is a writer and photographer living in Ester.

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, September 12, 2004 2:49 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Will Bush Learn from Vietnam?

t r u t h o u t | 09.13

Smog Harms Children's Lungs for Life, Study Finds

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

Steve Weissman | Will Bush Learn from Vietnam?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304A.shtml

Three Years and Growing: 70,000 al-Qa'ida at Large
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304B.shtml

Hersh: Bush Officials Told of Detainee Abuse
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304C.shtml

Powell Called Cheney and Neo-Cons "F---ing Crazies"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304D.shtml

Turkey Reacts with Fury to U.S. Assault on Iraqi City
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304E.shtml

Georgie Anne Geyer | 'I Thought We Were Different'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304F.shtml

"Our Army is Only Cannon Fodder for Rumsfeld"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304H.shtml

Iran, North Korea Raise More Nuclear Fears
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304I.shtml

The New York Times | On the Voting Machine Makers' Tab
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304J.shtml

Iraq Power Grid Shows U.S. Flaws
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304K.shtml

Sweig and Kornbluh | Amid Cheers, Terrorists Have Landed in the U.S.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304L.shtml

FOCUS: Disabled Vet | Bush is Dividing our Country
http://www.truthout.org/letters.htm

Surge of Baghdad Violence Leaves 59 Dead
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304X.shtml

New York Times | Preventive War: A Failed Doctrine
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304Y.shtml

Fierce Fighting Erupts Near Baghdad 'Green Zone'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091304Z.shtml

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

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commondreams.org - SEPTEMBER 9, 2004

http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0909-06.htm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT: Sierra Club
Marianne Maw (415) 977-5761


Sierra Club Announces 2004 National Awards


SAN FRANCISCO- September 9 - Several individuals who have worked to protect the California coastline are
among those being honored with national awards from the Sierra Club this year.

Ken and Gabrielle Adelman of Corralitos, California, are the recipients of this year's Ansel Adams Award for
conservation photography. The Sierra Club is honoring the Adelmans for their work on the California Coastal
Records Project, a massive effort to photograph the entire 1,100-mile California coastline from the air. Their
photographs, which now number more than 12,000, have been used by numerous organizations in their efforts to
protect the California coastline. They are available free of charge at www.californiacoastline.org

Peter Douglas, who has served as executive director of the California Coastal Commission since 1984, is also
being recognized for his efforts to protect the California coastline. Douglas is receiving the Distinguished Service
Award, which honor persons in public service for strong and consistent commitment to conservation. "Peter has
improved protection of our coast from pollution, strengthened enforcement under the California Coastal Act, and
enhanced public education and outreach about the importance of our marine resources," says U.S. Senator
Barbara Boxer.

Also receiving the Distinguished Service Award is California State Senator Byron Sher, who has been one of the
nation's preeminent state legislators on environmental issues. Laws he has authored during his 24-year career in
the California State Legislature have served as models for similar legislation in other states around the nation.
"Over the years Senator Sher has shown consistent leadership on environmental issues, writing legislation to
protect California's air, water, forests and wilderness areas. He has been an inspiration to like-minded state
legislators around the country, and he will be deeply missed," said Sierra Club President Larry Fahn. Sher is retiring
in November due to term limits.

Other notable honorees this year include former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Lee Udall of Santa Fe, New
Mexico, who is being recognized with the Edgar Wayburn Award for service to the environment by a person in
government; and syndicated columnist Molly Ivins of Austin, Texas, who is the recipient of the David Brower Award
for environmental journalism
. Neither Udall nor Ivins will be present at the Sierra Club's annual awards ceremony.

The Sierra Club's highest honor, the John Muir Award, which honors a distinguished record of achievement, goes
to Vicky Hoover, a club member from San Francisco who has spent more than 30 years working on wilderness
protection and leading outings for the Sierra Club.

The Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund Award, which recognizes a club member under the age of 30, is being presented
to 18-year-old Paul Dana of San Diego, California. Dana organized more than 20,000 students around the country
to participate in Earth Day events this year.

Others receiving Sierra Club awards for 2004 include the following:

Distinguished Achievement Award (honors persons in public service for an act of particular importance): Michael
Parker of Maryland; and Allan Laird of Littleton, Colorado.

EarthCare Award (honors an individual, organization or agency that has made a unique contribution to
international environmental protection and conservation): James Barnes of France.

Electronic Communication Award: Angeles Chapter (for angeles.sierraclub.org).

Environmental Alliance Award (recognizes individuals or groups that have forged partnerships with other non-Sierra
Club entities: Ross Vincent of Pueblo, Colorado.

Ida and Denny Wilcher Award (for outstanding efforts related to fundraising or membership development): The
Cumberland Chapter (Kentucky).

Madelyn Pyeatt Award (recognizes the contributions of Club members working with youth): Mark Walters of Coral
Gables, Florida.

Newsletter Award: The Indiana Sierran (published by the Indiana Chapter); and The Bugle (published by the Indian
Peaks).

Oliver Kehrlein Award (for outstanding service to the club's Outings program): Brad and Katy Cristie of Richmond,
California.

One Club Award (recognizes people who use outings as a way to instill an interest in conservation and protecting
public lands): David Simon of Los Altos, California.

Raymond Sherwin International Award (for international conservation):Judy Olmer of Cabin John, Maryland.

Special Achievement Award (recognizes a single act of importance dedicated to conservation): Keith Schue of
Mount Plymouth, Florida.

Special Service Awards (for strong and consistent commitment to conservation over an extended period of time):
Sam Booher of Augusta, Georgia; Ruth Caplan of Washington, D.C.; Sherm Janke of Bozeman, Montana; and
Gwen Nystuen of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Susan E. Miller Award (for outstanding service to Sierra Club chapters): Mark Collier of Boulder, Colorado; and
Charles Oriez of Littleton, Colorado.

William Colby Award (the club's highest honor for administrative work): Greg Casini of Denver, Colorado.

William O. Douglas Award (for contributions in the field of environmental law): Roger Beers of Oakland, California.

Most of the awards will be presented this week at the Sierra Club's Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
Saturday's banquet will feature keynote speaker, Arianna Huffington.

For more information on the Sierra Club awards program, visit www.sierraclub.org/awards.

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Published on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 by the Daily Camera / Boulder, Colorado

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0908-04.htm


The Nerve of Bush

by Molly Ivins


The wire services are reporting that we just lost seven Marines in Fallujah. To use Linda Ellerbee's line, "And
so it goes ..."

The way it does not, NOT go is as claimed last week at the Republican convention. I feel like the janitor in
that photo of Madison Square Garden after the party, facing a sea of garbage that needs to be collected and
thrown out. Even after several days and with alert bloggers to help, it's hard to catch all the lies. The number
of things John Kerry is supposed to have said that he never said was the largest category.

Kerry never said we need to have a "sensitive war." (Bonus points if you can find Bush's references to our
need for more sensitivity.)

Kerry never said we need other countries' permission to go to war.

Kerry has never failed to "support our troops in combat."

The whole list of defense programs Kerry supposedly voted against mostly came out of one vote against a
huge defense package in 1990 - he supported a smaller package, as did then-Secretary of Defense Dick
Cheney. I especially like the inclusion of the Apache helicopter in list of weapons opposed by Kerry - that's
the one that kept crashing.

The United States has not gained jobs under George Bush. The net job loss is 1.1 million jobs, according to
the Bush Department of Labor.

Special bonus points for the novel charge by Cheney that Kerry wants to "show al-Qaida our softer side."
Showing real imagination there.

Then we have what can most kindly be called differences of interpretation. Are things peachy-keen in
Afghanistan? Hunky-dory in Iraq? Or are the only things that have fully recovered in Afghanistan the warlords
and the opium trade? What have we created in Iraq - freedom or more terrorists? In either case, none dare
call it peace.

Well, last week's news was not all about lies. This investigation of alleged spying for Israel out of Douglas
Feith's office has now broadened to include Harold Rhode, also of Feith's office, David Wurmser of Dick
Cheney's office and Richard Perle of the Defense Policy Board.

I am indebted to several bloggers for the reminder that Gen. Tommy Franks, according to Bob Woodward,
once called Doug Feith "the dumbest f--ing guy on the planet."

Perle had an especially bad week, having been blasted to smithereens by the new report on the Hollander
Inc. media debacle, in which Lord Conrad Black and Perle both engaged in looting the company.

Let me put in a word of caution here about any so-called "spy charges." Recall that we have a bad habit of
charging people who are quite innocent (Wen Ho Lee) and missing those who are quite guilty (Aldrich Ames
and the FBI's Robert Hanssen).

In fact, what we're looking at across the board is evidence of massive incompetence. Turns out the Justice
Department can't even prosecute terrorists straight. It has always seemed to me a bad idea to put a party full
of people who are against government in principle in charge of running it. They just don't seem to do a very
good job. In case you hadn't noticed, we have gone from massive surplus to massive deficit, and the only
people who really benefited were the richest 1 percent of Americans. That leaves the other 99 percent of us
worse off than we were four years ago.

I really had to take a deep breath after Bush declared that he wants to "get government on your side." Where
has he been for the last four years? Almost every program he mentioned, saying he wanted to build them up,
he has already cut, including job training. And I am truly dazzled by "the noive of him" in claiming that No
Child Left Behind, which is massively underfunded, has somehow mysteriously become a great success.

His peculiar contention that our policy in Iraq is a triumph is close to bizarre. What we have there is dangerous
chaos.

I thought the saddest theme was about how Sept. 11 had united us - and then, for reasons never
explained, half the country and most of the rest of the world just sort of drifted away. How could that have
happened? Could George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have had anything to do with it? For example, did they
tell us a lot of things that aren't true? Republicans seemed to find it all a great mystery.

Copyright 2004, The Daily Camera

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Published on Thursday, September 9, 2004 by Arianna Huffington

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0909-14.htm


Heroes and Villians: Reframing the 2004 Race

by Arianna Huffington


John Kerry is suddenly being bombarded with more advice than an obese, alcoholic, unwed teenage mother
seated between Dr. Laura and Dr. Phil on a cross-country bus trip.

Spurred by Bush's convention bounce, jittery Democrats of every stripe -- including a hospital-bound Bill
Clinton -- are urging him to "throw caution to the wind," "start smacking back," "hammer home jobs, the
economy, health care and education," and concentrate on domestic issues.

So the party faithful have gone from expecting John Kerry to beat George Bush by outmachoing the
counterfeit cowboy from Crawford to expecting him to win by offering a better Medicare plan.

The truth is neither of these strategies addresses the greatest challenge facing the Kerry camp: the need to
change the frame in which the campaign is conducted -- a frame thus far constructed by Karl Rove and the
Bush/Cheney brain trust.

A new poll by CNN/USA Today/Gallup makes it clear that, unlike 2000, issues are not driving this year's
election. Voters are more concerned with leadership skills than the candidates' issue-by-issue positions.

There is no doubt that Kerry wins on the issues. Indeed, among the minority of voters making their decision
based on the issues, Kerry has a 20-point lead. But Bush has opened a 20-point lead among the majority
that's focused on leadership.

Of course, leadership is about more than "a spine of tempered steel". It's about character, values, priorities,
and a clear vision of where the country should be heading. So Kerry needs to offer a compelling, overarching
narrative tying his strength -- and Bush's weakness -- on issues like jobs, the economy, the environment, and
health care to his vision for America's future.

Thankfully -- and ironically -- during its convention, the Bush/Cheney team delivered the very narrative that
can defeat it. It was offered to Kerry on a platter in Madison Square Garden when speaker after speaker
relentlessly and shamelessly ridiculed the undeniable reality that we are two Americas, separated by an
ever-widening gulf -- not just in income but in educational opportunities, access to health care, and the ability
to realize the American Dream.

Rudy Giuliani and Dick Cheney even went so far as to use the notion of two Americas as the set up for jokes.

"Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas," said Cheney. "It makes the whole thing mutual. America sees
two John Kerrys." And according to Giuliani, Democrats need "two Americas -- one where John Kerry can vote
for something and another where he can vote against the same thing." Hardee-har-har.

It's worth noting that this frivolity at the expense of the Other America came just days after the release of a
devastating report from the Census Bureau showing that over 12 percent of the American people -- 35.9
million, 12.9 million of them children -- now live below the poverty line, and that the number of Americans with
no health insurance has increased by 5.8 million under Bush, bringing the total to 45 million. Pretty funny, eh
boys?

And the growing chasm between the Two Americas is chillingly documented in a report released this week by
the Economic Policy Institute which shows how over the last few years "income shifted extremely rapidly and
extensively from labor compensation to capital income (profits and interest)." As Jared Bernstein, co-author of
the report, put it: "The economic pie is growing gangbusters and the typical household is falling behind."

And yet Arnold Schwarzenegger had the gall to tell us at the convention that "America is back!" The fact that
the Republicans chose not only to render the increasing pain of increasing millions invisible but to use it as a
punchline tells you all you need to know about the current mindset of the Grand Old Party. And, even more
importantly, it offers an unparalleled opportunity for the Kerry campaign to stop defending itself against the
flip-flopping caricature of Kerry that Rove has created and start defining who George Bush really is -- a callous
leader whose regressive policies have made America a crueler and more dangerous place.

The Two Americas narrative shows that, far from providing strong leadership, Bush has turned his back on the
traditional American values of fairness, opportunity, and responsibility.

What's more, it's impossible to talk about the reality of the Two Americas without talking about Bush's
miserable failures in Iraq, as Kerry did on Labor Day, pointing out to a crowd in Cleveland that this "wrong war
in the wrong place at the wrong time. cost all of you $200 billion that could have gone to schools, could have
gone to health care, could have gone to prescription drugs, could have gone to our Social Security."

It's the Other America that's paying this cost in forgone opportunities and investments. And it's the Other
America that's also paying the highest price of all in lost lives and maimed bodies. There are precious few
denizens of Bush's America slogging through the bloody streets of Najaf and Fallujah -- other than the
occasional Halliburton executive, there to check on the company's investment in democracy.

It was a great relief to hear Kerry slam Bush on Iraq, and ignore the siren song of those advising him to cede
the foreign policy front to the president and stick to domestic issues. This, of course, is the same strategy
Democrats followed in 2002, when they went along with Bush on Iraq in the hope they could take it off the
table as a campaign issue and win on the economy. And we all remember how well that turned out. For the
GOP.

The storyline of this campaign is really about heroes and villains. John Kerry and John Edwards are running
because they are committed to the most important and heroic task facing our country: the building of one
indivisible nation. They desperately want to make us one America. Bush and Cheney are running so they can
continue to make life easier, plusher, and more privileged for the only America they choose to see. To
succeed, they have to convince enough people between now and Election Day that the Other America is
somehow a pessimistic figment of the Democratic imagination.

The people who flock to John Kerry's rallies know the truth. People like Lori Sheldon, a 45-year old mother of
two who approached Kerry at a Labor Day rally in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania where he spoke of the struggle
of middle-class Americans no longer even trying to get ahead but just to hang on.

"You told our story," she said, sobbing. Sheldon's husband is a baggage handler for financially strapped US
Airways and faces being laid off this fall. So her story is the story of one more family the Republican
convention had no time for, living paycheck to paycheck, in fear of losing it all.

This is the voice of the Other America. And no matter how vehemently and blithely the president and his
surrogates insist that it doesn't exist, it does. And if John Kerry continues to tell its story, amplify its voice, and
give the Other America a reason to turn out in November, he'll win in a landslide.

C 2004 ARIANNA HUFFINGTON.

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

 

Published on Friday, September 10, 2004 by the Inter Press Service

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0910-02.htm


Warming Trend Will Decimate Arctic Peoples, Report Warns

by Stephen Leahy


BROOKLIN, Canada - Climate change will soon make the Arctic regions of the world nearly
unrecognisable, dramatically disrupting traditional Inuit and other northern native peoples'
way of life, according to a new report that has yet to be publicly released.

The dire predictions are just some of the findings by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
(ACIA), an unprecedented four-year scientific investigation into the current and future impact
of climate change in the region.

"This assessment projects the end of the Inuit as a hunting culture," said Sheila
Watt-Cloutier, chairwoman of the group that represents about 155,000 Inuit in the Arctic
regions of Canada, Russia, Greenland, and the United States.

The report predicts the depletion of summer sea ice, which will push marine mammals like
polar bears, walrus and some seal species into extinction by the middle of this century,
Watt-Cloutier told IPS.

The assessment was commissioned by the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental body
involving the eight Arctic nations -- Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway,
Russia, and the United States.

The Inuit and other Arctic peoples also participate in the Council and contributed to the ACIA
report, along with over 600 hundred scientists from around the world. Although complete, it
will not be made public or presented to governments until after the U.S. presidential elections
at a conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, Nov. 9-12.

The impacts of climate change are already widely felt in the Arctic. Thawing permafrost -- the
normally perpetually frozen layer of earth -- has collapsed roads and buildings. Unexpectedly
thinner sea ice and small streams that have become raging rivers has led to several
drownings in recent years, according to Watt-Cloutier.

"Our traditional wisdom on how to survive and thrive on the land is becoming useless
because everything is changing and changing fast."

Alaska experienced its warmest and driest summer ever this year, Patricia Anderson of the
ACIA Secretariat University of Alaska said in an interview. Temperatures soared 10 degrees
C. above normal and millions of hectares of forest burned in the worst wildfires ever recorded,
following several recent years with major fires.

And now the state is facing infestations from the spruce budworm, a tree-eating insect that
had only plagued southern forests previously.

"It used to be too cold for it up here," Anderson noted.

Unable to provide details on the report itself, Anderson confirmed that the report documents
that these are not just unusual events but are in fact trends.

"Sea ice will continue to get thinner, there will be much more melting of permafrost and more
coastal erosion due to stronger storm surges."

Inuit people will be unable to continue living off the land in the future and the changes are
coming so fast they won't be able to adapt, she said. "These are the results of climate
change."

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else because of global air circulation
patterns and natural feedback loops such as less ice reflecting sunlight, leading to increased
warming at ground level and more ice melt.

Computer projections by the ACIA show that trend will continue with the Arctic warming by an
average of 6 degrees C by the end of the century -- even if the Kyoto Protocol commitments
to reducing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide go into effect on a global scale.

And yet things could be even worse. Scientists deliberately selected moderate projections to
avoid controversy, Anderson said.

"The rest of the world needs to pay attention to what's happening in the Arctic because it's
acting as an early warning barometer for what will happen in the rest of the world," said
Watt-Cloutier.

If that's not reason enough, another key finding in the ACIA report, Anderson said, is the
concern that the melting of Arctic ice and snow will dump enough fresh water into the Arctic
ocean to slow or shut down the vital North Atlantic Ocean conveyor current.

This conveyor current brings warm tropical waters north and moderates temperatures in
eastern North America and Europe. Large volumes of fresh water spilling out of the Arctic
ocean could slow its northward movement, leading to an abrupt climate shift where the
region would experience much cooler temperatures in just a few years time.

Some scientists have detected signs that this may be already starting to happen.

Despite the alarming evidence, there is little good news when it comes to taking action on
climate change. Carbon dioxide emissions are climbing globally, including by the biggest
contributor, the United States.

"The Bush administration doesn't believe there's a problem and are behind the delay in the
release of the report," said Gordon McBean, an ACIA participant from the Institute for
Catastrophic Loss Reduction at the University of Western Ontario. "They don't even think
they ought to reduce their emissions, period."

But to truly reduce the impact on the Arctic, global emissions have to be reduced by a
whopping 50 percent before the year 2050, McBean told IPS.

The Kyoto Protocol, which has not been ratified in the seven years since it was created
because the United States and Russia, among others, will not support it, would reduce
emissions a mere 5 percent by 2012.

"Kyoto was just a first step, we need a strategy to get to a 50 percent reduction," McBean
said.

Even Canada, which strongly supports Kyoto and emissions reductions, has done little to
reduce its own pollution, he said.

Government inaction on climate change by Canada and the United States is due in large
part to the failure of the general public to apply pressure on the issue, says Watt-Cloutier.

"People don't seem to understand that what they do on a daily basis has a direct impact on
the people and wildlife of the north," she said, adding that she hopes people will begin to
see that their actions -- their choice of vehicle, for example -- can produce negative
consequences for others and future generations.

"People do want to do the right thing, but they just don't realise that the Arctic is melting and
they are responsible," she said.

© Copyright 2004 IPS - Inter Press Service

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Thursday, September 9, 2004 3:33 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | The Preemptive President


t r u t h o u t | 09.10

Scientist: Millions Will Die in Extreme Climate Change

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

Marjorie Cohn | The Preemptive President
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004A.shtml

Monica Davey | For 1,000 Troops, There is No Going Home
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004B.shtml

At Least 8 Killed in Blast at Australian Embassy in Jakarta
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004C.shtml

Sidney Blumenthal | Now It's Bush's Turn to Squirm
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004D.shtml

Tens of Thousands of Iraqis Estimated Killed
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004E.shtml

Kerry Calls Cheney Comment "Outrageous and Shameful"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004F.shtml

Despair in Iraq over the Forgotten Victims of U.S. Invasion
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004H.shtml

Tribunal Finds Guantanamo Detainee Not an Enemy Combatant
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004I.shtml

Richard Clarke: War Against Terror is a Failure
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004J.shtml

Retired Generals, Admirals Call for Independent Probe into Torture
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004K.shtml

Maureen Dowd | Cheney Spits Toads
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004L.shtml

FOCUS: The Faces of 1,000 Soldiers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004W.shtml

Children among Dead in U.S. Airstrikes on Fallujah
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004X.shtml

Records: Bush Suspended from Flying, Given Special Treatment
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004Y.shtml

Family 'Thanks' Bush for Death of Son in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/091004Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'They Believed Their President'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

From: Richard Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
To: Robert Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, September 9, 2004 8:18 PM
Subject: Re: DON'T LOOK AT THE FLASH -- Ruppert Fingers Cheney as Chief Architect of 9/11

As I'm sure you know, there's an rising tide of new books about 9/11. Two that I've read recently are:

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration

9/11 and Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies

The first is by David Ray Griffin, Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Claremont School of Theology in So. California and author and editor of more than 20 books (hardly your wild-eyed conspiracy theorist). The second is by Jim Marrs, a Texas-based investigative reporter and author of Rule by Secrecy and Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy (who is a conspiracy theorist).

Both books make for fascinating reading and cast serious doubt on the "official" story of 9/11. It really is amazing, when you stop and think about it, that one of the most horrific events of our lifetimes has not yet been thoroughly investigated.

Incidentally, Jim Marrs will be a featured speaker this weekend at the 9/11 Truth Convergence, which is being held Friday and Saturday, September 10 & 11, at the College of Marin, 835 College Avenue, in Kentfield. Also on the speaker's list is Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, among others. For more information on this event, got to http://www.911Truth.org or call (415) 435-4073.

Since you enjoyed Greg Palast's article, consider signing up for his free mailing list at: http://www.gregpalast.com. Another great free list can be found at http://www.capitolhillblue.com. The latter is fueled by a loose-knit bunch of grumpy, irreverent Washington-based journalists--some retired, some still active. The site's motto: "Nobody's life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session."

Best regards,

~rck

PS--As I was writing the above, the following arrived. The plot thickens!

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

SEPTEMBER 11: WHAT YOU "OUGHT NOT TO KNOW"

DOCUMENT 199-I AND THE FBI'S WORDS TO CHILL THE SOUL

Thursday, September 9, 2004
by Greg Palast

On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, "were told to back off the Saudis."

We knew that. In the newsroom, we had a document already in hand, marked, "SECRET" across the top and "199-I" - meaning this was a national security matter.

The secret memo released agents to hunt down two member of the bin Laden family operating a "suspected terrorist organization" in the USA. It was dated September 13, 2001 -- two days too late for too many. What the memo indicates, corroborated by other sources, was that the agents had long wanted to question these characters ... but could not until after the attack. By that time, these bin Laden birds had flown their American nest.

Back to the high-level agent. I pressed him to tell me exactly which investigations were spiked. None of this interview dance was easy, requiring switching to untraceable phones. Ultimately, the insider said, "Khan Labs." At the time, our intelligence agencies were on the trail of Pakistan's Dr. Strangelove, A.Q. Khan, who built Pakistan's bomb and was selling its secrets to the Libyans. But once Bush and Condoleeza Rice's team took over, the source told us, agents were forced to let a hot trail go cold. Specifically, there were limits on tracing the Saudi money behind this "Islamic bomb."

Then we made another call, this time to an arms dealer in the Mideast. He confirmed that his partner attended a meeting in 1995 at the 5-star Hotel Royale Monceau in Paris where, allegedly, Saudi billionaires agreed to fund Al Qaeda fanatics. We understood it to be protection money, not really a sign of support for their attacks. Nevertheless, rule number one of investigative reporting is "follow the money" -- but the sheiks' piggy banks were effectively off-limits to the US agents during the Bush years. One of the men in the posh hotel's meeting of vipers happens to have been a Bush family business associate.

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, let me tell you that we found no evidence -- none, zero, no kidding -- that George Bush knew about Al Qaeda's plan to attack on September 11. Indeed, the grim joke at BBC is that anyone accusing George Bush of knowing anything at all must have solid evidence. This is not a story of what George Bush knew but rather of his very-unfunny ignorance. And it was not stupidity, but policy: no asking Saudis uncomfortable questions about their paying off roving packs of killers, especially when those Saudis are so generous to Bush family businesses.

Yes, Bill Clinton was also a bit too tender towards the oil men of Arabia. But this you should know. In his last year in office, Clinton sent two delegations to the Gulf to suggest that the Royal family crack down on "charitable donations" from their kingdom to the guys who blew up our embassies.

But when a failed Texas oil man took over the White House in January 2001, demands on the Saudis to cut off terror funding simply stopped.

And what about the bin Laden "suspected terrorist organization"? Called the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the group sponsors soccer teams and summer camps in Florida. BBC obtained a video of one camp activity, a speech exhorting kids on the heroism of suicide bombings and hostage takings. While WAMY draws membership with wholesome activities, it has also acted as a cover or front, say the Dutch, Indian and Bosnian governments, for the recruitment of jihadi killers.

Certainly, it was worth asking the bin Laden boys a few questions. But the FBI agents couldn't, until it was too late.

In November 2001, when BBC ran the report on the spike of investigations of Saudi funding of terror in November 2001, the Bush defenders whom we'd invited to respond on air dismissed the concerns of lower level FBI agents who'd passed over the WAMY documents. No action was taken on the group headed by the bin Ladens.

Then, in May this year, fifty FBI agents surrounded, invaded and sealed off WAMY's Virginia office. It was like a bad scene out of the 'Untouchables.' The raid took place three years after our report and long after the bin Ladens had waved bye-bye, it is not surprising that the feds seized mostly empty files and a lot of soccer balls.

Why now this belated move on the bin Laden's former operation? Why not right after the September 11 attack? This year's FBI raid occurred just days after an Islamist terror assault in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Apparently, messin' with the oil sheiks gets this Administration's attention. Falling towers in New York are only for Republican convention photo ops.

The 199-I memo was passed to BBC television by the sleuths at the National Security News Service in Washington. We authenticated it, added in our own sleuthing, then gave the FBI its say, expecting the usual, "It's baloney, a fake." But we didn't get the usual response. Rather, FBI headquarters said, "There are lots of things the intelligence community knows and other people ought not to know."

Ought not to know?

What else ought we not to know, Mr. President? And when are we supposed to forget it?

Greg Palast's reports for BBC Television Newsnight and The Guardian paper of Britain (with David Pallister) on White House interference in the investigation of terrorism won a 2002 California State University Journalism School 'Project Censored' Award.

The BBC television reports, expanded and updated, will be released this month in the USA as a DVD, "Bush Family Fortunes," produced by BBC's Meirion Jones. View a 2-minute preview at http://www.gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm

The film will be premiered in 21 cities beginning on September 11, sponsored by Democracy for America. http://www.takeyourcountryback.com/BUSHFAMILYFORTUNES/

Sign up for Greg Palast's investigative reports at http://www.gregpalast.com/contact.cfm

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

 

From: Earthjustice <action@earthjustice.org>
Reply-To: notice-reply-8igkes29ji7d7j@ga0.org
To: Robert Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, September 9, 2004 3:58 PM

There's still time: Stand up for the Roadless Rule!

All across the country, thousands of concerned Americans are standing up for the Roadless Rule. The Bush administration and the Forest Service are feeling the heat and, just yesterday, extended the public comment deadline until November 15. Help us keep the momentum going--send your comment to the Forest Service to oppose the Bush administration's plan to eliminate the Roadless Rule TODAY.

It only takes a minute:

Earthjustice is part of an all-out effort to stand up to the Bush administration's reckless plan to scrap the Roadless Area Conservation Rule--the landmark law that protects 58.5 million acres of unspoiled national forest lands from road building. Eliminating the Roadless Rule means 34.5 million acres of pristine national forests are immediately open to road building and the industrial development that comes with it. Help us send the administration and its friends in the timber, mining, and energy industries the message: Our national forests are not for sale!

ACT NOW!

SEND YOUR COMMENT TODAY and help SPREAD THE WORD.

Thank you!

Please copy and paste the following link into your browser window:
http://ga0.org/campaign/roadless_rule/8igkes29ji7d7j

© 2004 Earthjustice | 426 17th St., 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612 | 510-550-6700
webmaster@earthjustice.org

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

 

Published on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0908-16.htm


Apocalypse Bush!

Why Care for the Planet When the End Times are Almost Here?
Vote Bush and Hop On the Salvation Train!


by Mark Morford


This is the great thing about rabid fundamentalism. You really just don't have to give a damn.

Take the environment. I mean, isn't it just a little pointless to care so damn deeply about the air and the soil
and the water and the stupid little disposable animals on this silly spinning ball of expendable rock when the
Second Coming is imminent and a blood-soaked fire-breathin' Jesus who looks remarkably like Mel Gibson will
return very soon to smite the heathens and the gays and the vegetarians and the Francophiles, and who will
rescue all those who worship patriarchy and country music and blue-chip oil portfolios? You're goddamn right
it is.

Look. This much has become clear. Bush is, more than anything else, an extreme fundamentalist Christian.
He is widely regarded as the most openly pious and sanctimonioous president in modern American history. He
actually preaches the GOP screed in evangelical churches across America. He panders so slavishly to the
anti-choicers and the Bible-thumpers and the homophobes it makes Jerry Falwell swoon and giggle.

And Bush actually says, out loud, that God speaks through him, and that God is on our side we bomb the
living crap out of Afghanistan and Iraq and that it is the Almighty's wish that we take control of these angry
pip-squeak nations and in so doing kill thousands of civilians and tens of thousands of young Iraqi soldiers,
as over 1,000 American soldiers are now dead over a makeshift cause that never really existed. God wanted
it this way, that's why.

Bush has called Jesus his "favorite philosopher." He has claimed that the act of being "born-again" saved him
from a long, sad life of vaguely homoerotic frat parties and repetitive binge drinking and going AWOL from the
National Guard, all so he could turn his full attention to righteously ruining multiple businesses and then
making Texas the most murderous and polluted state in the union.

But, you know, why stop there?

God, of course, isn't just about the current Iraqi war. Bush understands this. Nor is God just about slamming
gays or creating nasty, isolationist foreign policy. God is not merely about setting those gul-dang Muslim
heathens straight about who is the supreme big-daddy all-powerful mega-righteous SUV-drivin'
American-flag-wavin' God and who is just a dimestore wannabe false idol scruffy Allah.

Because above all, God is nothing if not all about putting a quick and fiery stop to all this Earthly nonsense
ASAP. He is nothing if not all about the coming apocalypse. And He is nothing if not all about saving those
who believe, as Bush does, that he is among the chosen to be saved.

This is the fundamentalist truth. And this is the BushCo maxim. The End Times provide the ultimate meaning,
the final straw, the only thing worth caring about, because it defines the BushCo worldview like nothing else
except maybe embarrassing grammar and crushing deficits and a secret craving for gin. You can see it in his
sad, vacant eyes: Bush is absolutely convinced that God is a Republican. Why else would He create all those
cool M-1 tanks and oil refineries and those neat deer-antler chandeliers? Exactly.

Do you see? Do you get it? If not, you haven't been reading nearly enough of those silly pulpy sociopathic
gazillion-selling "Left Behind" doomsday books so frighteningly adored by the Christian Right. It's simple,
really: The world is gonna end real soon. The End Times are comin'. All the signs are in place -- famine, war,
disease, sodomy, fires, hurricanes, Avril Lavigne -- and Bush, by instigating holy wars and inciting more
terrorism and burning through the planet's natural resources as fast as humanly possible, is merely hastening
the blessedly inevitable. As his fellow fundamentalists say, God bless him.

Hey, it explains a lot, this view. It explain how Bush can just smirk and mumble and, with one big, heartless
shrug, dismiss the complete lack of WMD and the loss of 1.6 million U.S. jobs and the nation's staggering
$422 billion budget deficit. Pay down the national debt? Bah. Planet's going to hell anyway, people. Stock up
on nuclear missiles and get yourself an escape pod. Can't afford one? Whatta shame.

It surely explains the general GOP hatred of gay marriage, of open-hearted sex, of those wicked, sin-inducing
vaginas (that harlot Eve is gonna pay, dammit), of environmentalism, of caring about air quality and water
quality and the EPA and organic foods and homeopathic medicine and resource management and the
Alaska Wildlife Refuge and the U.N. and any country that doesn't have a McDonald's and a Starbucks and a
decent strip club for lonely gin-soaked Republican expats.

And it explains not only the outright contempt for any view other than Bush's own, but the willingness to
legislate that hatred, codify it, to make it outright illegal to think or feel or love otherwise.

Look at it this way: When you have an angry, patriotic God and the red-hot promise of the juicy apocalypse
on your side, there is no such thing as a counter-argument. There is no such thing as competition. There is
no such thing as giving a damn what anyone else thinks.

How else do you explain it? How else can you understand the most aggressive, war-hungry, abusive,
nature-loathing, isolationist administration in American history? How else can you explain BushCo's overall "F"
grade from every environmental organization in the world? How can you explain his mauling of long-term
Social Security planning? The decimation of the idea of universal health care? A pre-emptive,
attack-first-ask-questions-never, warmongering policy that creates more anti-U.S. hatred by the minute?

How can you explain the fact that every human rights organization on the planet is appalled by Bush's
actions? Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib to John Ashcroft to the Patriot Act to gutting funding for
international women's health care. Hey, if God had wanted us to care about other viewpoints, He would've
made everyone speak English. Can I get a "hell yeah?"

This lust for apocalyptica, then, is perhaps the best way we have to at least partially understand the
shamelessness of this administration's policies and its blatant disregard for international law, its open hatred
of any nation that disagrees with us and the deep, profound concern only for nations that either cower in our
God-flexin' presence and/or have resources that Bush's corporate pals are salivating to exploit.

And it is the perhaps ultimate explanation for the Right's final cattle call, its bitter war cry of a message, its
exact parallel to every pseudo-religious evangelical scam artist on late-night cable TV.

Listen, good people of America. If you just send your money to the party and give up all that careful,
nuanced thinking, if you just quite questioning our decisions and load up on blind faith, it will all be OK and
you can have all the guns and fast food you want and those terrifying gays will leave you alone because
BushCo will take care of you and God will reserve your seat on the glory train to salvation. Deal? Praise
Jesus! Praise Bush/Cheney! Hallelujah you are saved! Even as we are, you know, doomed.

Isn't bogus salvation fun?

 

©2004 SF Gate

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 2:47 PM
Subject: Senator Graham: Bush Covered Up Saudi Involvement in 9/11

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.09

Senator Graham: Bush Covered Up Saudi Involvement in 9/11

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904A.shtml

Now with Bill Moyers | 9/11: For the Record
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904L.shtml

Pollution Triggers Bizarre Behaviour in Animals
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

New Evidence Shows Bush Avoided National Guard
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904B.shtml

Letter from President Carter to Zell Miller
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904C.shtml

Iraqis Mount Attacks Across Baghdad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904D.shtml

Bush to Allow Assault Weapons Ban to Expire
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904E.shtml

California to Sue Diebold over False Claims
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904F.shtml

Andre Fontaine | The Wrong War in the Wrong Place
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904H.shtml

A Deepening Debate on Soldiers and Their Insurers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904I.shtml

Final Tally Awaits the Police and Protesters
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904J.shtml

Gay Activists in the G.O.P. Withhold Endorsement
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904K.shtml

Deep Shade of Red Seen in Deficit
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904X.shtml

New Military Records Confirm Bush was Absent
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904Y.shtml

U.S. Concedes 'Rebels' Control Large Regions in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904Z.shtml

FOCUS: Nicholas D. Kristof | Missing in Action
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090904W.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Sincerely, and With Deepest Regrets...'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

From: Richard Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 12:52 PM
Subject: Don't Look at the Flash


DON'T LOOK AT THE FLASH

by Greg Palast

On September 11, 2001, we Americans were the victims of a terrible attack.

By September 12, we became the suspects.

Not one single U.S. citizen hijacked a plane, yet President Bush and
Attorney General John Ashcroft, through powers seized and codified in
the USA PATRIOT Act, fingered 270 million of us for surveillance, for
searches, for tracking, for watching.

And who was going to play Anti-Santa, watching to see when we've been
good or bad? A guy named Derek Smith.

And that made September 11, 2001 Derek's lucky day.

Even before the spying work could begin, there were all those pieces of
people to collect - tubes marked "DM" (for "Disaster Manhattan") - from
which his company, ChoicePoint Inc, would extract DNA for victim
identification, work for which the firm would receive $12 million from
New York City's government.

Maybe Smith, like the rest of us, grieved at the murder of innocent
friends and countrymen. As for the 12-million-dollar corpse
identification fee, that's chump change to the $4 billion corporation
Smith had founded only four years earlier in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Nevertheless, for Smith's ChoicePoint Inc., Ground Zero would become a
profit center lined with gold.

As the towers fell, ChoicePoint's stock rose; and from Ground Zero,
contracts gushed forth from War on Terror fever. Why? Because this
outfit is holding no less 16 billion records on every living and dying
being in the USA. They're the Little Brother with the filing system
when Big Brother calls.

ChoicePoint's quick route to no-bid spy contracts was not impeded by
the fact that the company did something for George W. Bush that the
voters would not: select him as our president.

Here's how they did it. Before the 2000 election, ChoicePoint unit
Database Technologies, held a $4 million no-bid contract under the
control of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, to identify
felons who had illegally registered to vote. The ChoicePoint outfit
altogether fingered 94,000 Florida residents. As it turned out, less
than 3,000 had a verifiable criminal record; almost everyone on the
list had the right to vote.

The tens of thousands of "purged" citizens had something in common
besides their innocence: The list was, in the majority, made up of
African Americans and Hispanics, overwhelmingly Democratic voters whose
only crime was V.W.B: Voting While Black. And that little ethnic
cleansing operation, conducted by Governor Jeb Bush's gang with
ChoicePoint's aid, determined the race in which Harris named Bush the
winner by 537 votes.

To say that ChoicePoint is in the "data" business is utterly to miss
their market concept: These guys are in the Fear Industry. Secret
danger lurks everywhere. Al Qaeda's just the tip of the iceberg. What
about the pizza delivery boy? ChoicePoint hunted through a sampling of
them and announced that 25 percent had only recently come out of
prison. "What pizza do you like?" asks CEO Smith. "At what price? Are
you willing to take the risk?..."

War fever opened up a whole new market for the Fear Industry.

And now Mr. Smith wants your blood. ChoicePoint is the biggest
supplier of DNA to the FBI's "CODIS" system. And, one company insider
whispered to me, "Derek [Smith] told me that it is his hope to build a
database of DNA samples from every person in the United States."

For now, Smith keeps this scheme under wraps, fearing "resistance" from
the public. Instead, Smith pushes "ChoicePoint Cares" - taking DNA
samples to hunt for those missing kids on milk cartons. It's for, "the
mothers of this country who are wrestling with threats" - you know, the
pizza guy from Al Queda, the cult kidnappers. In other words,
ChoicePoint's real product, like our President's, is panic.

In Hollywood, Jack Nicholson picked up the zeitgeist: "If I were an
Arab American I would insist on being profiled. This is not the time
for civil rights."

Maybe Jack's right: screw rights, we want safety.

But wait, Jack. We're both old farts who can remember the Cuban
Missile Crisis. In 1962, the Russians were going to drop The Big One on
us. But we didn't have to worry, Mrs. Gordon told us, if we just got
under the desk, covered our necks. And she'd warned, it will all be OK
as long as we, "Don't look at the flash!"

ChoicePoint's Smith admonishes that, if we,d only had his databases
humming at the airports on September 11, the hijackers, who used their
own names, would have been barred from boarding. However, experts
inform me that Osama no longer checks in as "Mr. bin Laden," even at
the cost of losing his frequent flyer miles.

ChoicePoint's miles of files, the FBI's CODIS system, taking off your
shoes at the airport, Code Purple days, the whole new Star-Spangled
KGB'ing of America is the new "Duck and Cover."

Thank you, ChoicePoint. Thank you, Mr. Ashcroft. Thank you, Mr. Bush.
We're safe now, as long as we don't look at the flash!

****

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy" and "Joker's Wild: Dubya's Trick Deck" -
investigative regime change cards from Seven Stories Press. All are
available here: http://www.gregpalast.com/store.htm

This month, Palast will release, "Bush Family Fortunes," the film based
on his investigative reports for BBC television. View a 2-minute
preview at http://www.gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm

Sign up for Greg Palast's investigative reports at
www.gregpalast.com/contact.cfm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Richard C. Kiiski
240 Redwood Highway, #3
Mill Valley, CA 94941-6605
(415) 332-0223
kiiski@earthlink.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

 

From: Richard Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 7:58 PM
Subject: Ruppert Fingers Cheney as Chief Architect of 9/11


The following is a press release for his new book posted by Michael C. Ruppert, former LAPD narcotics officer, member of Mensa, creator of the "From the Wilderness" website, investigative reporter and meticulous researcher. If he can actually prove the allegations enumerated below, the political scene in the ol' US of A could get very interesting in months ahead. ~rck

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

 

Crossing the Rubicon:

The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil

by Michael C. Ruppert

September 2, 2004

This is a detective story that gets to the innermost core of the 9/11 attacks. It places 9/11 at the center of a desperate new America, created by specific, named individuals in preparation for Peak Oil: an economic crisis like nothing the world has ever seen.

The attacks of September 11th, 2001 were accomplished through an amazing orchestration of logistics and personnel. Crossing the Rubicon discovers and identifies the key suspects and persons of interest -- finding some of them in the highest echelons of American government -- by showing how they acted in concert to guarantee that the attacks occurred and produced the desired result.

After two and a half years of research and writing, Ruppert said:

"In my new book I will be making several key points:

1. I will name Vice President Richard Cheney as the prime suspect in the mass murders of 9/11 and will establish that, not only was he a planner in the attacks, but also that on the day of the attacks he was running a completely separate Command, Control and Communications system which was superceding any orders being issued by the FAA, the Pentagon, or the White House Situation Room;

2. I will establish conclusively that in May of 2001, by presidential order, Richard Cheney was put in direct command and control of all wargame and field exercise training and scheduling through several agencies, especially FEMA. This also extended to all of the conflicting and overlapping NORAD drills -- some involving hijack simulations -- taking place on that day.

3. I will also demonstrate that the TRIPOD II exercise being set up on Sept. 10th in Manhattan was directly connected to Cheney's role in the above.

4. I will also prove conclusively that a number of public officials, at the national and New York City levels, including then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, were aware that flight 175 was en route to lower Manhattan for 20 minutes and did nothing to order the evacuation of, or warn the occupants of the South Tower. One military officer was forced to leave his post in the middle of the attacks and place a private call to his brother -- who worked at the WTC -- warning him to get out. That was because no other part of the system was taking action.

5. I will also show that the Israeli and British governments acted as partners with the highest levels of the American government to help in the preparation and, very possibly, the actual execution of the attacks."

"There is more reason to be afraid of not facing the evidence in this book than of facing what is in it."

For details on ordering, and availablity, please visit: http://www.fromthewilderness.com

"A Nonpartisan, Non-sectarian, MAP from the Here That Is, Into the Tomorrow of Our Own Making."

Copyright (c) 2003 From The Wilderness. All Rights Reserved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Richard C. Kiiski
240 Redwood Highway, #3
Mill Valley, CA 94941-6605
(415) 332-0223
kiiski@earthlink.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

 

laweekly.com - SEPTEMBER 3 - 9, 2004

http://www.laweekly.com/ink/04/41/features-kelly.php

Loss and Loathing on the Cheney Trail

The environmental destruction wrought by the vice president's secret energy plan


by William J. Kelly

A neighbor had warned Lisa Bracken of a strange phenomenon on the trail up to western Colorado's towering Mamm Mountain. On an April morning, she set off from her home in the small town of Silt, in the shadow of Mamm, to see it for herself. She hiked for about an hour through the budding trees and brush. After climbing several hundred feet, Bracken reached Divide Creek, and grew alarmed at what she saw.

Cold water, but bubbling like a boiling pot. Bubbles rose and popped everywhere. To test a theory that gas from a nearby well caused the bubbles, Bracken and her father, who had hiked with her that day, lit a match and found that a stream of bubbles burned. After taking photos, she headed home worrying about her family's health and the future of the water supply for the residents and farm animals along the creek.

When she got home, Bracken called state authorities to report the bubbles in the creek, which flows to the Colorado River. Within days, energy giant EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. began trucking 5-gallon water jugs to the Brackens and 20 neighboring families. Monitoring showed that the seeping gas apparently had contaminated the water with unhealthful levels of benzene and other toxic chemicals that typically occur in gas wells. After investigating, the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission cited EnCana for allegedly polluting the creek. EnCana has paid a $375,000 fine without admitting guilt.

Authorities assure Bracken and her neighbors that the creek is again safe because EnCana has repaired the well and the toxic chemicals have dissipated, but the residents continue to fear for their health and worry that their properties have become worthless.

The people of Silt are among a growing legion of farmers, ranchers, American Indians, and businesspeople - Republican, Democrat and Independent alike - who are bearing the brunt of booming natural-gas development in the Rocky Mountains under Vice President Dick Cheney's secretly developed 2001 National Energy Policy.

The public will never know for sure what went through Cheney's mind and who influenced the policy; the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this summer that he had a right to keep the information secret. Environmental groups fought the secrecy all the way to the Supreme Court in a vain attempt to reveal what they believed to be undue influence over the nation's energy and environmental policies by energy companies, large and small. They suspected that the administration had unfairly stacked the national energy policy in favor of the energy industry at the expense of the general public.

Three years after the policy was introduced, it is clear that Cheney - former chief of the energy-services company Halliburton - has done just that. His policy has allowed his energy-industry cronies and campaign contributors to drill on the cheap in the absence of environmental standards that commonly apply to most any other industry in America, such as a duty to control air pollution with the best available technology.

Major campaign contributors have been beneficiaries of the secretly developed policy and are among the biggest drillers for natural gas in Colorado and Wyoming. They include Secretary of Commerce Don Evans' former employer Tom Brown Inc., which was recently bought by EnCana, and George and John Yates, who run Yates Petroleum, and R.D. Cash, a former chairman of Questar Corp. who still remains on its board. Household-name companies such as BP and Marathon Oil also are busy drilling under eased environmental requirements while they reap record profits under the Cheney blueprint to open every gas-bearing area in the Rocky Mountains to drilling while he holds office. Halliburton is another big winner as it carves up the new business created by drilling tens of thousands of new wells with just a few major competitors.

Energy companies contend they are merely meeting the nation's growing demand for energy. "This is about providing what is being required by the consumer," said Hugh Depland, general manager of public affairs for BP America Exploration. He rejected the notion that BP and other energy companies have exchanged campaign contributions for relaxed environmental standards under the National Energy Policy. "The industry is a lot greener than it's been for a long time." Said Don Larson, director of public affairs for BP America's Rocky Mountain operations: "I don't see it being politically driven. It's stricter than ever now." Other energy industry executives, including Allan Urlis, chief spokesperson for Mid American Energy Holdings, said that more domestic drilling is needed to reduce reliance on foreign sources of energy.

Meanwhile, there are many losers in the growing swath of denuded land, contaminated soil, polluted water and air pollution along a path - call it the Cheney Trail - that runs up the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico all the way to Canada. However, that should come as no surprise, because that is exactly what Cheney had planned, even before taking office in 2000.

"I voted for Bush," said Bracken. "I'm part of the problem." This fall she will vote against Bush-Cheney because they are "too far removed from real people to know what's going on in their back yards."

Old hands in the region are not necessarily out to deny California and the rest of the nation from tapping Rocky Mountain gas. Instead, they demand strong environmental policies and believe the price of gas should account for good practices needed to preserve their own back yards. They point out that while it takes about $1 million to drill a gas well around Silt, wells there can produce up to $50 million worth of gas over their life at today's prices. They also advocate investment in renewable energy and laud Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's plans to put solar panels on new homes and, by 2017, to make 33 percent of the state's electricity from renewable resources, up from today's goal of just 20 percent.

Moved by the stories of Bracken and others, I decided to travel to this land of majestic green peaks, rushing water, American Indian spirituality and rugged cowboy traditions. I strapped myself behind the wheel of a cheap rental car, cranked up the sound, and drove hard and fast to hit the Cheney Trail. I felt compelled to meet the people and see what was becoming of this last great wilderness in the lower 48 states, an iconic land that holds a special place in the American imagination.

 

My time was too limited to drive the entire 1,600-mile length of the Cheney Trail - from the Mexican border to Canada - so I set out to explore the middle portion where drilling has become most intense.

First, I headed for the San Juan Basin, an area in northwest New Mexico that already has thousands of gas wells and recently has been opened to expanded gas development by the Bush administration. As I drove the 700 miles from Los Angeles, I remembered that while leading Halliburton, Cheney, in a 1999 report he helped develop as a key member of the National Petroleum Council, advocated opening the Rocky Mountains to massive gas drilling. The report showed that the lower 48 states' biggest reserve of natural gas remains in the Rocky Mountain region, but that it could not be developed due to environmental protections intended to maintain the land as a wilderness that provided water to the thirsty West, ranch land to feed the nation, and recreational space for the burgeoning number of city dwellers.

That same year, in a speech to the London Institute of Petroleum, Cheney complained that oil and gas "is the only large industry whose leverage has not been all that effective in the political arena." Determined to change that situation when elected, he invited energy-industry executives to become part of a secretive task force charged with rewriting the nation's energy policy. The task force quickly invited the National Petroleum Council to make a presentation to federal officials on March 27, 2001. The council's key recommendations: increased access to gas on federal lands, streamlined approval of drilling, and rollbacks of regulations that impaired gas development.

In that same speech, Cheney described himself as "mean-spirited, short-tempered and intolerant of those who disagreed." So before the task force could complete writing its policy, Bush administration officials got busy adopting the industry's recommendations, shooting off a series of policy directives to field offices of the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal agencies. BLM director Kathleen Clarke directed her agency's field-office staff to rush drilling permits out the door, while other directives told them to short-circuit environmental analysis for drilling projects backed by major campaign donors to the Bush-Cheney administration.

Typical of this is Yates Petroleum, which has the rights to drill at the beginning of the Cheney Trail on the Otero Mesa, an empty desert area near its headquarters in Artesia, New Mexico. In 2002, George Yates ran a fund-raiser for Cheney and Bush in Artesia, a poor community dominated by a rusty gas-processing plant, train tracks, rundown buildings and a dump full of rusting oil-and-gas well equipment. The town's only bright spot is the block where Yates has its modern corporate headquarters at one end and a family-owned restaurant known as the Wellhead Restaurant­Brew Pub at the other. Oil-and-gas-industry executives journeyed to the dilapidated town to eat with Cheney for $250 a plate and pay $1,000 to ham it up in grip-and-grin photos with the vice president.

President Bush himself picked up $2.2 million in Denver at a June fund-raiser at the Phipps Mansion organized by oil-and-gas man Bruce Benson, who now chairs the Benson Mineral Group after the company he formerly headed, U.S. Exploration, Inc., was bought out in 2003. Bush pledged to explore for energy in more "environmentally sensitive areas" with better drilling technology. Guests dressed in formal wear sipped Coors, the only beer available at the $5,000-a-couple fund-raiser, and applauded Bush's pledge, said the White House press office.

A Yates Petroleum employee who would not speak for attribution dismissed as "ridiculous" any suggestion that the fund-raiser led to concessions from the Bush administration. The vice president's press secretary, Kevin Kellems, said he could not address questions about any connection between energy company contributions and changes in energy policy under Cheney's watch. Ann Womack, Cheney's spokesperson in the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign organization, did not return calls.

When I finally reached Gallup, in the San Juan Basin, I drove north along U.S. Highway 491 on the New Mexico side of the Navajo Nation. The setting sun shone over craggy rock formations around the town of Shiprock, dotted with gas wells and small houses without electricity. Ahead, a trail of orange pollution from the stacks of the San Juan coal power plant, which sends electricity to distant Southern California, stretched downwind toward Farmington, New Mexico.

The next morning I met Samuel Sage, who is a behavioral counselor for the Indian Health Service in Farmington and president of the Navajo Chapter in Councilor, New Mexico. His community recently has joined in a legal challenge to massive gas development in the San Juan Basin in the northwest corner of the state.

"We're sacrificing our lungs for your lungs," said Sage. "In the long run there's not going to be that much oil and gas here. It's all going to be used up."

He said that many of his constituents are concerned about gas development because they still live traditional Navajo lives, hauling water from springs, growing their own food, herding animals and making traditional spiritual offerings at sacred spots.

While the Navajo control the land's surface, the federal government retains the option to lease development rights of the gas below to energy companies, Sage explained. Along with those leases, the companies gain the right to use the surface of the land as needed for establishing wells, service roads, and pipelines to carry the gas to market.

Energy companies have long produced gas in the San Juan Basin. Late last year, however, the Interior Department's BLM approved a request by companies to drill 10,000 new gas wells in the basin.

Some of the giants of the energy world operate in this rolling desert area. They have been among Bush's biggest contributors, including BP, which gave almost $1 million to Republicans in the 2000 election. Less well-known companies such as Houston-based Burlington Resources and Fort Worth­based XTO Energy also are big operators in the San Juan Basin. Burlington chairman Bobby Shackouls is well-known by Cheney as a member of the National Petroleum Council and one who could easily write a $2,000 check to Bush-Cheney 04 Inc. XTO contributes heavily to Republicans in Congress who oversee energy issues. It has paid off too. The company saw its profit jump 73 percent in the second quarter of this year over a year ago.

"We had a great relationship for the first 35 years," said Tweeti Blancett, a well-to-do Republican with a 32,000-acre ranch in the San Juan Basin. Blancett, who helped run George Bush Sr.'s New Mexico campaign, was busy when I was in the area, but told me by phone that she had become dismayed by the scale of gas development in her area and the increasing arrogance of the energy industry.

Not all ranchers agree with Blancett. Rancher Paul Bandy, who has an 18,560-aczre spread east of Aztec, N.M., told me that he credits the Bush administration with better enforcement of regulations on gas development. He also lauded the industry for taking voluntary steps, such as repairing old wells and maintaining cattle fences. Burlington Resources and other energy companies, on their own, are helping to control air pollution from gas operations in the San Juan Basin as more wells are drilled, said Bruce Gantner, manager of environmental health and safety for the company. This includes reducing emissions from engines used to pump and process gas and reducing vapors emitted at gas wells. "We'd like to see no increase," he said. "Over time, we'd like to see a decrease."

Bandy believes energy company initiatives are bringing improvement for many in the area. Others disagree.

I drove through much of the San Juan Basin with Dan Randolph, a gray-haired scientist who spent years of his life studying the changes in plant life and soils in the West before becoming oil-and-gas-issues organizer for the San Juan Citizens Alliance. We drove along U.S. Highway 64 for some 30 miles from Farmington to Bloomington. The gentle green farms on the banks of the slow-moving San Juan River were giving way to the industrial yards of drilling-services companies.

A little past Bloomington, we pulled into the 80-acre farm of Tony Valdez, a native New Mexican born in the area in 1929 who has worked the land for 41 years. With calloused hands he pointed toward a crew of roughnecks from Halliburton and XTO Energy, Inc., who were reworking a well on his property. "They said they'd be here a week, and they've been there for four weeks," he said.

We walked down to the well where a group of large-bellied men with Texas accents labored in coveralls and hard hats under the hot sun. Engines roared as oil dripping from their equipment pooled in a ditch just yards from the San Juan River. Valdez pointed to where they had driven over his planted field in a heavy truck to stake the derrick needed to re-drill and patch the well.

"What hurts the worst is the attitude," said Valdez, who one day faced a Sheriff's deputy at his door after the roughnecks complained that the slight, elderly farmer had blocked their access to the well the day before, a charge he flatly denied.

Randolph drove with me out to one of the main gas-development fields in the area further outside Bloomington. Just over a ridge, a large flame of burning gas puffed smoke from a newly drilled well. We turned onto a dirt road above the river where there were wells as far as I could see, along with their tanks for holding the liquid hydrocarbons that come up with the gas, as well as compressors, pipelines and other equipment. All of it sat on a series of "pads" consisting of two or three acres where the energy developers had removed the vegetation to set up their wells. Dust rose as roughnecks in large white pickup trucks rushed along the miles of dirt roads through the once bucolic river valley.

As we drove above the river, we could detect a hint of pollution in the bone-dry air, due in part to emissions from not only the giant diesel engines and compressors used in drilling and operating the surrounding wells but also from the heavy hydrocarbons frequently whiffed in this giant gas field. New Mexico's Environment Department has found that air pollution in this rural area nearly exceeds federal health standards. "This is no longer a wild landscape," lamented Randolph. "It's an industrialized landscape."

 

The land became greener as I drove the winding road from New Mexico some 80 miles to the upland farm town of Ignacio, Colorado. After taking a hard right turn, I slowly bumped over a seemingly endless dirt road toward the HD Mountains, named after a cattle-ranching enterprise that went broke around the turn of the century after overgrazing of the native grass. Near the very end of the road, I turned up a dirt driveway and was greeted by Janine Fitzgerald and her daughter. They welcomed me into their house made of bales of straw which, with its exposed framing, plaster walls and solid wood floor, exuded a rustic beauty.

Fitzgerald - who farms and raises draft horses - explained that the residents in her area have begun organizing to fight a plan by the National Forest Service to open the peaks above them for gas drilling as soon as next spring. BP, XTO and other companies want to drill some 200 coal-bed methane wells from which they would pump out water to recover natural gas. People in the area who depend upon mountain springs and water wells are concerned that the pumping will deplete their drinking and irrigation water. They also worry that water removal will cause gas to rise from the coal into their homes, creating an explosive hazard, and into fields where it will kill the roots of the grasses on which their animals graze. Their fears are borne out by the draft environmental-impact statement for the project, which warns of such possibilities.

Residents of the HDs will resort to civil disobedience to stop the drilling when it comes, said Fitzgerald as the afternoon wind roared in the background. She paused, and I gazed out her living-room window, momentarily captivated by the puffy white clouds that blew quickly across the deep-blue sky above this area the Anasazi Indians once considered the fount of sacred springs.

"This has been a really contentious project," said Ann Bond, public-affairs officer for the National Forest Service. "We've seen a lot of emotion."

 

I wanted to find out about the water-contamination problem along Divide Creek, and drove 250 miles to Garfield County, Colorado, winding over the enchanting San Juan Mountains, across the Gunnison River and through the red plateaus of western Colorado to Grand Junction. The next morning, I drove east up the Colorado River along I-70 to the small town of Rifle, Colorado, where a reporter without an appointment can walk right into Garfield County Hall or the Chamber of Commerce and talk to an executive.

Doug Dennison, oil-and-gas auditor for the county, greeted me warmly with a firm handshake. A robust man with a tan and open-collared shirt, Dennison has been trying to bring together residents, elected leaders and the energy industry to resolve concerns over air and water pollution and changes in the landscape that are occurring with increased gas drilling in his area. His strategy is to get drilling companies to follow voluntary best-management practices, especially when it comes to controlling air pollution, which, he said, is the source of most of the complaints to the county about drilling. Some county officials and residents are also concerned that energy companies, which have come to Garfield County in waves since the 1950s, will leave after this "play" of 10,000 new wells is finished, creating a bust among the businesses that now are expanding to serve them. I strolled down Rifle's quaint main street to a coffee shop to meet Lisa Bracken, a real estate broker and trained paralegal.

Bracken said that gas development in Garfield County has reached the point - with its smoke and odors that regularly cause people's headaches - where "it's almost a taking" of people's property. "They can do it right, but they're not forced to do it right," said Bracken, who is still drinking bottled water. "What I'm seeing is plunder and degradation in the interest of a few. That's not in the interest of America."

I let Bracken get on with her day, and headed nine miles up the Colorado River to Silt, where the EnCana gas well allegedly contaminated Divide Creek. The city staff there is developing an ordinance to require best practices, including environmental monitoring and a city fee for drillers to fund a gas-well inspector. "A lot of residents are concerned," said Janet Steinbach, the local community-development director. However, the city's authority covers only a small area of the land that's open to drilling, and is limited under a state Supreme Court case won by the oil-and-gas industry which in large part overturned local controls set by Frederick, Colorado.

From Silt's small City Hall, I found my way south across the Colorado River to Divide Creek, which was flanked by modest suburban-like homes on enough acreage to raise horses, chickens and cows and to grow some vegetables and fruit trees. I got out under a blazing sun to look at a portion of the creek, which was the source of life for a thicket of pine, cottonwood and cedar trees along its banks. Drilling had ceased in the area after the contamination was detected early this year, but is due to resume soon.

Later that day, residents of Silt gathered at Burning Mountain Fire Hall where the Western Colorado Congress had convened a meeting to plan the course of litigation it has filed against EnCana. "I would feel better if I could tell Dick Cheney to fuck himself," said Duke Cox, a local general contractor who said he has lost business because of his stand for environmental controls on drilling in Garfield County.

The residents recalled the day when an unexpected gas flare rocked homes and shot flames into the sky along Divide Creek. They complained about vibrations, noise, lights and recent patches of dying vegetation they suspect are caused by gas seeps. Brian Macke, acting director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, confirmed that there recently was "a loud percussion" from a well near Divide Creek when a piece of equipment unexpectedly plugged up.

"It's been something short of living your worst nightmare," said Gary Gagne, who with his wife once looked out his living-room window onto quiet, starry mountain nights but now sees the stadium-bright lights of a noisy well-drilling operation. For four months they too have been drinking bottled water.

"We've watched our planned retirement go right out the window," said the Vietnam veteran, who wears an eye patch due to a war injury and operates an independent computer-maintenance business in Garfield County. He complained that local, state and federal authorities have not answered residents' pleas to regulate gas drilling in their area. "It's almost like, you have the right to bear arms, go take care of it yourself," he mused.

 

The next day I wanted to get the other side of the story on gas drilling, so I went over to the Garfield County Chamber of Commerce, which is housed in a small building in a park along the Colorado River and which doubles as a visitor's center. While the chamber has taken no official position on gas development, chamber manager Kathy Lambert said that many local people welcome the gas industry. "I see the energy companies putting some economy into the area," she said.

I left the chamber and drove out Mamm Creek Road past the new Burger King, McDonald's and Subway, and then by a giant Wal-Mart just across the Colorado River from Rifle's historic downtown. It's there that the energy industry has set up a row of equipment yards, machine shops and other facilities and offices to support gas development in the county. I pulled into the parking lot of EnCana where a trim and fit Walter Lowry had traveled from the company's corporate headquarters in Denver to greet me. Trained in engineering and law, Lowry spent some 20 years drilling for oil and gas, but now is director of community and industry relations for EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), which he notes is the largest producer of natural gas in North America.

We climbed into a Chevy Suburban and headed out to Grass Mesa, where the company is drilling for gas high above the Colorado River. Lowry said that new directional drilling technology has enabled EnCana and other producers to minimize their impact on the land by drilling several wells from one drilling pad. The drill can travel horizontally from the pad before shooting straight down into the pay dirt of deep sandstone that holds the gas. Lowry also showed me wells where the company is controlling air pollution by flaring vapors from the tanks used to collect the liquid hydrocarbons that come up with gas, and new engines that are cleaner and quieter to power drills. The company intends to phase in the new equipment eventually at all of its wells, he said.

We drove along a gravel-covered road built by EnCana above well pads where directional drilling has been completed and men driving bulldozers were busy re-contouring the outer portions of the barren drilling pads. The company would soon plant the re-contoured areas with natural vegetation, Lowry explained.

In another step to protect the environment, Lowry said EnCana has phased out using fluids containing diesel fuel to "fracture" the sandstone, replacing those toxic liquids with water, which is recycled. After drilling a gas well, energy companies pump the water down the well under high pressure to create cracks in the underground rock that are up to 1,200 feet long and a few hundred feet high. These fractures make it easier for the gas to flow out of the porous rock to the well. "We're committed to be the industry leader," summed up Lowry. Yet residents remain concerned that the fracturing process is inexact and can crack the rock all the way to the surface, allowing gas and hydrocarbons to flow up and contaminate wells, surface water and soil.

 

To the north, the Bureau of Land Management has opened the Upper Green River Valley in western Wyoming to the drilling of 10,000 gas wells near the gates of the Grand Teton National Park, just south of Yellowstone National Park. The valley sits under the Wind Mountains of the Bridger-Teton Wilderness Area and is home to the biggest herd of migratory antelope in the lower 48 states. Recognizing that energy development might affect the pristine wilderness area, the Clinton administration chose to permit gas drilling in the area around Pinedale, Wyoming, the center of the valley, on the condition that an extensive environmental monitoring program would be carried out at the expense of the energy industry.

However, soon after Bush took office, Yates Petroleum, which drills in the area, convinced the new administration in 2001 to junk the monitoring program. The administration decided to cave into, rather than defend, a lawsuit Yates had filed against Clinton's Interior Department. After closing down the local citizen task force that was to run the environmental-monitoring program, Bush's Interior secretary, Gale Norton, took more than three years to appoint a new committee. The environmental-monitoring process has yet to restart. Meanwhile, the bureau approved hundreds of permits for gas drilling - including dozens to Yates Petroleum - which wildlife biologists say threatens the antelope and other wildlife in Cheney's home state of Wyoming.

"We all sat around and commiserated," remembered Carol Kruse, who at the time represented the state of Wyoming on the committee and now works for the BLM in Pinedale.

After the shutdown of the environmental-monitoring committee, retired U.S. Air Force physicist Perry Walker spent thousands of dollars to purchase his own scientific instruments to document the decline in visibility resulting from gas-well flaring and emissions from other equipment used in the growing gas field around Pinedale. When companies in the area complete wells, they often burn in open pits the first gas that comes out until debris and fluids are forced up and the well runs clean. Walker, a lifelong Republican, said his data show that in just a few short years visibility along the Bridger-Teton Wilderness Area has declined by 15 percent.

His data represent the type of information that the environmental-monitoring committee, set up in Pinedale by Clinton Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, was supposed to use as the basis for recommendations on needed steps to prevent environmental degradation in the pristine wilderness area. However, that would have impeded the aim of Cheney's energy policy: to make drilling so cheap that energy companies would leave no gas or oil behind. "The Bush administration declared a full-court press on energy development in the Rocky Mountains," said Walker.

 

The Rocky Mountains are now far behind me as I race home to Los Angeles, where much of the gas is headed to power plants and homes. Some of it will travel down the Kern River Gas Transmission Co.'s pipeline, which runs from the Green River Valley to Bakersfield. Kern River is owned by Mid-American Energy Holdings Co., whose chairman, David Sokol, and president, Gregory Abel, recently opened their checkbooks to give a combined $4,000 to Cheney and Bush. Kern River has expanded its pipeline to double the amount of gas it can carry to California.

As I crossed the Cajon Pass, an oppressive cloud of pollution hung over the San Bernardino Valley as the cookie-cutter tract homes, shopping malls and midafternoon traffic jams came into view. Yet I remembered the mountains, the horses in grassy valleys, and the mighty Colorado River, which makes Southern California bloom. What will become of them and the people I met along the Cheney Trail?

The answer lies increasingly here in Los Angeles and in towns and cities across the nation as voters prepare to vote this fall. The people can elect candidates at the local, state and federal levels who support energy conservation and wholesale development of renewable energy, or they can return Bush and the self-described "mean-spirited, short-tempered and intolerant" Cheney to the White House to complete their despoliation of the nation's premier wilderness area in the name of maximum profits for their energy-company patrons. Under the Bush administration's secret energy policy, Cheney has allowed billion-dollar energy barons to recoup instantly their small-change campaign contributions and profit like kings. For a few thousand dollars in contributions, companies like Yates Petroleum, BP, XTO and Questar have been able to stave off environmental requirements that would cost them millions of dollars a year and have instead gained billions in their rush to produce more fossil fuel instead of developing renewable-energy sources.

This November may mark the last chance for voters to put an end to the trail of destruction that Cheney has blazed up and down the Rocky Mountains. Unless Americans re-examine their responsibility to future generations of urban dwellers and rural folk alike, and to the migratory herds that rove across the land for a purpose we may little understand, the destruction of this national treasure will be virtually assured.

As I recall my trip, I know that this is a chance we cannot forgo. For despite our bright lights, air-conditioned homes, satellite communications and military might, we too, like the Navajo and ancient Anasazi, are bound to the land, the water and the wind in a sacred bond we dare not break.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2004 2:45 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | One Thousand and One

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.08

California Causes a Row over Refineries

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

William Rivers Pitt | One Thousand and One
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804A.shtml

John Kerry: 'W Stands for Wrong'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804B.shtml

Steve Andreasen | Beyond The Roots Of Abu Ghraib
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804C.shtml

The New York Times | Voter ID Problems in Florida
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804D.shtml

China Ex-President May Be Set to Yield Last Powerful Post
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804E.shtml

During School Siege, Russia Took Captives in Chechnya
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804F.shtml

Jean-Marcel Bouguereau | Total Failure
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804H.shtml

Paul Krugman | A Mythic Reality
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804I.shtml

Robert Scheer | GOP Convention's Looney Tunes
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804J.shtml

Bruce Mulkey | Military Families Speak Out
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804K.shtml

James Carroll | The Unwinnable War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804L.shtml

Report: Civil War Most Likely Outcome in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804X.shtml

34 Killed, Including an American in Sadr City
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804Y.shtml

Kerry on Iraq: 'Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090804Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'A Moment of Silence'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, September 6, 2004 2:59 PM
Subject: Kelpie Wilson | Torture in the Redwoods

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.07

Kelpie Wilson | Torture in the Redwoods

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704A.shtml

Greg Palast | The Grinch That Stole Labor Day
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704B.shtml

Trial of Saddam Scheduled to Coincide with U.S. Elections
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704C.shtml

Senator Graham: Commander Told of Military Drain
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704D.shtml

Bush's National Guard File Missing Records
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704E.shtml

Spy Case Renews Debate over Pro-Israel Lobby's Ties to Pentagon
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704F.shtml

Maureen Dowd | Amnesia in the Garden
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704G.shtml

Tahar Ben Jelloun | Let's All Vote November 2!
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704H.shtml

Bob Herbert | An Economy That Turns American Values Upside Down
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704I.shtml

John Cassidy | Tax Code
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704J.shtml

Joe Klein | Tearing Kerry Down
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704K.shtml

William M. Arkin | Five Big American Blunders in Terror War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704L.shtml

Clinton Resting Comfortably after Surgery
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704W.shtml

Howard Dean | Labor Day
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704X.shtml

John Cory | It's Kerry's Fault
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704Y.shtml

At Least Six Marines Killed, Several Wounded in Iraq Attack
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090704Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Senator Graham Spills Some Iraq Beans'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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chicagotribune.com - September 6, 2004

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0409060214sep06,1,7819208.story?coll=chi-news-hed


`American dream' goes up in coal dust

Like Illinois miners, other union workers are losing guaranteed lifetime health benefits

By Rex W. Huppke
Tribune staff reporter

CHRISTOPHER, Ill. -- Twenty-eight years breathing coal dust and diesel fumes wasn't enough to kill Gary Bartolotti. Neither was a falling 1,500-pound slab of shale that pinned him to the jagged floor of a mine shaft, shattered his right ankle and pelvis and ruptured his bladder. He never lost consciousness, never even went into shock.

But this coal man, who once walked miles of underground mines like they were his Main Street, now fears his life might be ruined, maybe even cut short, by the fallout from a broken promise.

The company that ran the mines he worked went bankrupt, and a federal judge recently granted Horizon Natural Resources' request to cancel the health-care benefits of active and retired employees. By early October, Bartolotti and at least 1,200 other retired southern Illinois miners and their dependents will lose the lifetime health-care coverage they'd been counting on.

Those over 65 will be protected by Medicare, but that won't pay the cost of monthly prescriptions, which run into the thousands of dollars for many suffering the effects of old age and a life spent underground.

This Labor Day, they join workers across America who have grown disillusioned with the notion that a lifetime of hard work can ensure prosperity.

Bartolotti is only 53--his accident ended his mining career on Feb. 3, 2000. He can't find an insurance company that will cover him until Medicare kicks in. His pension, along with his and his wife's Social Security disability pay, bring in about $3,200 a month. Without insurance, $2,500 of that will go to pay for the drugs they both need to survive.

"I have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring," said Bartolotti, who spends his retirement as mayor of the tiny town of Christopher, population 3,000. "When I go to bed at night, I look around and ask, `Am I going to lose everything I've worked for?'

"I thought I found the American dream," he said. "I guess that's all it was--just a dream."

A report titled "The State of Working America" was released Sunday by the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan economic think tank in Washington, D.C. It paints a bleak picture: The job market remains weak; real wages have started to fall behind inflation; and the income gap between rich and poor continues to widen.

"From 2000 to 2003, a middle-class household lost over $1,500 of income, when adjusted for inflation," said Lawrence Mishel, the institute's president. "It's going to be a number of years before families make up for the ground they've lost."

As pay shrinks, the grand promises of medical benefits for life--promises rarely, if ever, properly funded--are collapsing across the country as businesses deal with rising health-care costs and their own economic problems.

In 2001 Polaroid cut off medical benefits for thousands of its retirees. Last year, Bethlehem Steel stopped paying health benefits for about 95,000 retirees and their dependents. This year, Weirton Steel Corp. in West Virginia terminated health-care coverage for about 10,000 retirees.

The trend is likely to continue, economists say.

"There's no government oversight, there's nothing to ensure that the health-care benefits that companies promised are adequately funded," said Dean Baker, co-president of the Center For Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. "So if a company runs into financial problems, there's going to be a real temptation for them to not pay the benefits. It was a disaster waiting to happen. And we're going to see a lot more of it."

Horizon Natural Resources, as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, argued that the only way the company could be made attractive for sale was to shake loose of its costly health-care commitments. Late on Aug. 6, after bankruptcy hearings and rowdy protests by thousands of miners outside a Kentucky courthouse, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Howard agreed with that argument.

Last Tuesday, the judge approved the sale of the company for nearly $800 million. Hundreds of angry coal workers again marched in front of the courthouse, and 17 were arrested for sitting down and blocking the building's entrance.

Company officials declined to comment for this story.

Even though the Illinois miners knew the fate of their benefits was bleak, the decision hit the Franklin County coal towns of Christopher and Benton like a punch in the gut. For decades, coal was the economic lifeblood of this region. Sons followed fathers and grandfathers into the mines, earning decent wages and adopting an ethos that hard work ensured a home, security for the family and a comfortable retirement.

That was certainly Carl Garascia's understanding. He put in 33 years at the mine in nearby Coulterville, all but five of them working underground cutting coal and heaving it into steel shuttle cars. He retired on his 62nd birthday, March 5, 1999.

The career left him and his wife in a modest and well-kept ranch house in Benton. When they're not traveling, entertainment comes from their excitable dachshund, Trixie, and a wide-screen TV. Garascia, 67, likes to spend his days tending a prolific back yard crop of tomato and green bean plants and a year-old Bradford pear tree that's growing like a teenager.

Fear of losing everything

But lately, sleep hasn't come easy. Worry about health care keeps his mind toiling through terrifying scenarios: What if medical costs mount and they lose their savings, lose their house, maybe even have to declare bankruptcy? Stress over the situation with Horizon has twice caused him to break out in hives.

"This--it's just killing us," Garascia said, nervously tapping his fingers on the kitchen table. "You give your life for that company. And I know they paid me every step of the way. But now they just kick you out like a dog."

The old miner's worries are not unfounded. After Garascia retired, his heart started causing him problems. He had angioplasty; a stent keeps one of his arteries open.

Although he's eligible for Medicare, prescription drugs won't be covered by Medicare until 2006, meaning he'll have to shell out $800 a month for his cholesterol and blood-pressure pills and about the same amount for his wife's monthly medicines.

The drug costs alone will wipe out his monthly pension. Supplemental insurance for someone his age is far too expensive, he says, and he fears any future medical bills not covered by Medicare could ruin him.

Of course, he won't let go that easily. Garascia said he'd rather stop seeing doctors, stop taking pills and take his chances than see all he worked for disappear: "I'll just say to heck with it if I have to."

Historically, coal miners have been viewed as one of the luckiest labor groups in terms of health-care protection.

Since President Harry Truman declared in 1946 that all coal miners and their dependents should have cradle-to-grave health care, the government and the United Mine Workers of America have worked to achieve that goal. In return, coal miners over the years agreed to accept lower wages.

In 1992, as coal companies struggling with rising medical costs began trying to wriggle out of health-care obligations, the Coal Act was passed, requiring that companies maintain medical coverage for all miners who would retire before October 1994. To cover retirees who lost benefits because their company dissipated, the union established an "orphan fund," which all coal companies are required to pay into at a rate of 50 cents per hour worked by a union employee.

Unlike the Coal Act--which forces companies to put in however much money is needed to take care of retirees--the union has no legal means to get existing coal operators to pay more into the orphan fund. Because of that, union officials say, the fund hasn't been able to keep up with the costs of health care and the growing number of coal miners dumped by companies that have shut down.

Fund will run out

About 3,800 miners and their dependents are covered by the fund, which spends about $20 million a year. Mike Buckner, research director for the UMWA, said contributions to the fund are about $17 million a year, and it is operating with only $4 million in net assets, making its financial situation perilous.

Some 300 to 400 Bethlehem Steel coal miners and dependents will soon be added to the orphan fund, and Buckner said between them and the anticipated 2,500 miners and dependents from Horizon, the fund won't hold out long.

"It would be a matter of a month, perhaps," Buckner said. "The financial difficulties would just get worse very quickly."

While the federal government has a safety net in place to protect pension plans, workers across the country have been shocked to find there's nothing to back up promises of lifetime health care. Experts say the current trend of companies--from big steel corporations to major airlines--shedding promises made to retirees can be blamed on a lack of foresight.

Douglas Baird, a bankruptcy law professor at the University of Chicago, said that in the 1970s, legislation was put in place to protect company pension plans, but little attention was paid to health-care benefits.

"By Congress saying you've got to make sure that pensions are fully funded, they opened the door for companies to offer benefits that don't need to be funded, like health care," Baird said. "Now the chickens are coming home to roost."

A domino effect

The canceling of retiree health-benefit plans by some companies has also created a domino effect, leading others to say they too need to dump costly benefits to compete.

In 1988, 66 percent of employers offered retiree medical plans, but in 2003 that figure was down to 38 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a California-based health-care research organization.

Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that a record 45 million Americans went without insurance in 2003, a statistic blamed in part on a drop in the number of people getting health-care benefits from their employers.

Baker, the Washington economist, agrees no one anticipated health-care costs would rise as sharply as they have over the last three decades.

"No one really gave that a moment's thought," he said. "So the situation that you have today is that companies have massive health-care liabilities. These costs just keep growing and growing and growing."

And there's no clear answer ahead. Many, including Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama, say federal bankruptcy laws need to be changed to prevent companies from declaring bankruptcy, dumping union obligations and then re-forming.

Others say the only hope would be a national health-care program, a distant possibility at best.

"We will hopefully get there someday, but we're not going to get there immediately," said Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio), who constantly hears from steel workers and others in his region who have lost jobs and medical benefits. "Just doing nothing is not acceptable. People are desperate. I think people are coming to lose their sense of security in this country."

Proof of that is easily found on a weekday afternoon in the wood-paneled office of the mayor of Christopher, Ill. Gathered with fellow miners, Bartolotti alternates between an empty, far-off stare, an impassioned rant on the injustice of it all and deep sighs, exhalations of a world of worry.

"They said it was cradle-to-the-grave coverage," said Kenny Kondoudis, union president for Horizon's Coulterville mine. "It's more like cradle to the bankruptcy court."

"Yeah," Bartolotti said. "And now you'll be getting to the grave a little quicker than you thought."


Copyright (c) 2004, Chicago Tribune

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

 

commondreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0902-03.htm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 2, 2004

CONTACT: Sierra Club
Annie E. Strickler (202) 675-2384

Sierra Club Report Details Bush Administration's Erosion of Coastal Protections

WASHINGTON - September 2 - Coast to Coast: As Americans head out in droves to the coasts this Labor Day
weekend, the Sierra Club is releasing a report that documents how and where Bush administration policies are
threatening America's coastal treasures and what we can do to save them. "No Day at the Beach: How the Bush
Administration Is Eroding Coastal Protection" is a comprehensive look at the Bush administration policies that
threaten America's four coasts: the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, and America's Freshwater Coast, the
Great Lakes.

The report is available at http://www.sierraclub.org/coastalreport. The Sierra Club is also running print ads in Santa
Barbara, California; Sarasota, Florida; and Green Bay, Wisconsin, this week to highlight the report and the threats
to those coasts. The ads can be viewed at http://www.sierraclub.org/pressroom/media/.

"As Americans are stocking the coolers and packing the beach chairs and towels for the last beach weekend of the
summer, we're asking them to consider the future of their favorite coastal spots," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club
Executive Director. "This Sierra Club report documents how America's coasts are under siege by a host of Bush
administration policies. Everyone should be asking, 'Will my favorite beach spot or ocean view look the same next
year? Will the fish at the local seafood restaurant be safe to eat?'"

The report details the administration policies and philosophies that threaten the safety of the fish we eat and the
beaches where children learn to swim, and the beauty of the scenic backdrop along 95,000 miles of America's
coasts. The report details the following major threats to America's coastlines:

· Mercury contamination

· Nutrient and sewage pollution

· Oil and gas development in sensitive coastal areas

· Destruction of coastal wild lands and wetlands

The report also uncovers several disturbing patterns of decision-making by the Bush administration when it comes
to coastal policies. Among them are a steady erosion of general environmental protections, cuts in funding for
coastal and environmental protection programs, subsidizing pollution and corporate welfare, and manipulation or
suppression of science.

"In four short years, the Bush administration has led the greatest erosion of environmental protections America has
ever seen, and our beaches, oceans, and coastal communities are no exception," said Pope.

To date, administration policies have given America outdated energy proposals, polluted runoff, mercury in our fish,
burgeoning dead zones, and depleted fish and wildlife.

"If left unchecked, the Bush administration's misguided policies and misplaced priorities could strangle our waters
with mercury and other pollution, spoil our horizons with oil rigs, and cripple coastal economies that depend on
healthy coasts and oceans," said Pope. "There is a better way. We can protect our coastal resources while
preserving our coastal economy."

Among the solutions outlined in the report are promoting cleaner, cheaper, and safer energy solutions that
preserve America's wild heritage, enforcing the laws that protect our health and safety, and renewing the
commitment to stewardship of public trust lands and waters.

Recently, two major reports on the health of our coasts and oceans have revealed just how imperiled these
resources are. Both the bipartisan Pew Oceans Commission report, America's Living Oceans, Charting a Course for
Change (www.pewoceans.org/oceans/index.asp), and the Preliminary Report of the American Oceans Commission
(www.oceancommission.gov/documents/prelimreport) agree that our coasts and the oceans upon which much of
humanity depends are in serious trouble. These reports together aggregate the many warnings that have been
made by scientists and coastal managers for decades.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, September 5, 2004 2:43 PM
Subject: Sgt. Ryan's Sister | A Soldier's Last Request

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.06

Penelope Purdy | Future of Renewable Energy is Now
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Sgt. Campbell's Sister | A Soldier's Last Request
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604A.shtml

Medicare's Well-Being Suddenly a Key Issue
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604B.shtml

9/11: Senator Accuses Bush, FBI of Covering Up Saudi Role
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604C.shtml

One by One, Iraqi Cities Become No-Go Zones
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604D.shtml

Putin Says Russia Faces Full 'War' to Divide Nation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604E.shtml

J. Sri Raman | Nepal Sounds an Alarm for South Asia
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604F.shtml

Gilles Kepel: "The Jihadists Are Haunted by Their Isolation"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604H.shtml

Problems Abound in Election System
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604I.shtml

Haaretz | FBI Probes Jewish Sway on Bush Government
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604J.shtml

The New York Times | Working Your Way Down
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604K.shtml

Attempted Coup: Equatorial Guinea Demands Thatcher's Son
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604L.shtml

Kerry Allies Take Shots at Bush, Cheney on Vietnam
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604X.shtml

August, Bloodiest Month Yet for U.S. Troops
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604Y.shtml

Warner Refuses to Release Anti-War Films
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090604Z.shtml

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

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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1297267,00.html

Wal-Mart upsets cosmic balance of ruins

Protesters decry building of store near mysterious Mexican city of
Teotihuacan as attack on heritage which could spoil rural valley


Jo Tuckman in Teotihuacan
Saturday September 04 2004
The Guardian


From the top of the Pyramid of the Sun in the ancient ruined city of Teotihuacan, Emma Ortega blows a haunting ode on her conch shell and points out a half-built Wal-Mart supermarket in the valley below.

Her blood boils at the sight. "It is an attack on our heritage," fumes Ms Ortega, a colourful figure in a small but vocal protest movement against the construction of a Bodega Aurrera superstore, a Wal-Mart Mexico subsidiary, half a mile from the monuments. "It is an attack on our cosmic equilibrium."

The movement gives full rein to spiritualists, such as Ms Ortega, who believe Teotihuacan's pyramids and temples possess a special energy that Wal-Mart's presence threatens to throw off balance.

The protest is brought down to earth by traditional conservationists who fear that the development will encourage urban spillover from the capital 30 miles away and spoil the largely rural valley for ever. Then there are the local shopkeepers and stall owners from the small town of San Juan who cannot compete with the biggest retailer in the world.

Most recently the anti-Wal-Mart campaign in Teotihuacan has attracted support from other campaign groups because of the undeniable importance of the ruins.

One of Mexico's oldest and most mysterious civilisations, Teotihuacan boasted a population of up to 150,000 about 300AD. It faded away a few centuries later for unknown reasons and leaving few clues about what life was like. Archaeologists furiously debate issues such as whether it was ruled by kings or collectives.

"A big supermarket so close to the monuments sounds worrying," says Javier Villalobos, of the Paris-based International Council of Monuments and Sites, an influential conservation group. Mr Villalobos is planning to visit Teotihuacan this weekend to evaluate the threat.

But even if the protesters get international heavyweights on their side, theirs is no easy battle. There are many who welcome Wal-Mart, seeing modernisation where the protesters fear desecration.

"These people who are trying to stop it [the supermarket] don't understand the meaning of progress," says Victor Hernandez, a bicycle salesman who is fed up with travelling 15 miles to shop in bulk. He is hopeful that Wal-Mart will give his son a job. "This is progress," he says.

The protesters are also having a tough time challenging a construction that apparently has all its permits in order.

The development on an alfalfa field, just outside the zone where all building is prohibited, was approved by the archaeological authorities on condition that Wal-Mart employed archaeologists to survey the site.

The archaeologists have reported that there is little worth saving beyond a semi-rural domestic compound unlikely to produce anything of value when excavated.

They have also questioned the authenticity of the protesters' claims to have found pots and ceramic figurines in waste heaps from the site.

It is very difficult to find out what is actually being uncovered behind the perimeter fence; the company refuses to let visitors in and armed guards keep a watchful eye for snoopers.

In the meantime, less than a month after construction began the grey concrete warehouse shell is already largely in place and the roof supports will be constructed shortly .

Still, Ms Ortega insists that Wal-Mart has met its match in Teotihuacan.

"We are going to make them demolish what they have already built, and return things to the way they were," she says.

She will need all the extra cosmic energy she can get.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Saturday, September 4, 2004 2:45 PM
Subject: U.S. Soldier | Stop Halliburton from Hurting Us Grunts

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.05

U.S. Says It Won't Remove Dams

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

U.S. Soldier | Stop Halliburton from Hurting Us Grunts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504A.shtml

Leaks to Israel: FBI Questions Cheney and Rumsfeld Aides
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504B.shtml

Army Torture Investigators Blame CIA
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504C.shtml

Bush and Kerry Exchange Blows over Military Service
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504D.shtml

Medicare Premiums to Jump a Record 17%
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504E.shtml

Michael Moore | Why Democrats Shouldn't Be Scared
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504F.shtml

Jean-Marcel Bouguereau | France, Islam, and the Hostages
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504H.shtml

Protest Groups 'Empowered' by Large Turnout
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504I.shtml

Thomas Powers | How Bush Got It Wrong
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504J.shtml

Democrat Says He Helped Bush Into Guard to Score Points
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504K.shtml

James Carroll | The Bush Crusade
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504L.shtml

Did Richard Perle Loot $5.4 Million from Hollinger?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504X.shtml

Car Bomb Kills at Least 20 at Iraq Police Academy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504Y.shtml

Death Toll Rises in Russia School Standoff
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090504Z.shtml

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

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

 

From: John A. Knox <johnknox@earthisland.org>
To: "<browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>"
Date: Friday, September 3, 2004 11:52 AM

Brower Youth Awards Ceremony - Bring Your Friends!

Earth Island Institute Invites You and Your Friends to

The 5th Annual David Brower Youth Awards
:

MEET THE FUTURE!

This September 30th, join us and get to know six of the most
exciting high school and college environmental leaders in the
country, winners of the 2004 Brower Youth Awards

hosted by
Van Jones and Julia Butterfly Hill
with a special
performance by musician/activist/poet
Michael Franti

Thursday, September 30, 6:00 pm
(doors open at 5:15 pm)

Florence Schwimley Theater, 1920 Allston Way, Berkeley
(between Milvia and Shattuck, 2 blocks from Berkeley BART)

* Awards Presentation Ceremony with Videos and Performance
* Reception with Refreshments to Meet Recipients
* Big Screen Re-play of the First Presidential Debate*

This event is FREE, but seating is limited
Please reserve your seat now:

CLICK HERE: http://www.earthisland.org/bya/byaRSVP2004.html
E-MAIL: <bya04RSVP@yahoo.com>
CALL: 415-788-3666 x260

The 2004 Brower Youth Award winners:

Lily Dong, 16, of South Pasadena, CA
Hannah McHardy, 18, of Seattle, WA
Billy Parish, 22, of New York, NY
Eugene Pearson, 21, So. Milwaukee, WI
Christina Wong, 21, of Sacramento, CA
Shadia Wood, 17, of Newport, NY

For more on the 2004 winners of the Brower Youth Awards see http://www.earthisland.org/bya

[We recognize that the first Presidential Debate of the election season exactly coincides with the time of this event. We think that you'll have the most fun joining us for this high-energy gathering, following which we'll have a video replay of the debates in the theatre. Come and bring your friends to enjoy both important events!]

-
MIKHAIL DAVIS
Program Director, Brower Youth Awards
Assistant to David Brower 1998-2000
415-788-3666 x112
Earth Island Institute
http://www.earthisland.org/bya

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

JOHN A. KNOX
Executive Director
Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133 USA

Voice (work): 415-788-3666, Ext. 108
Fax (work): 415-788-7324
Voice (home): 415-282-1071
Fax to e-mail: 928-438-4172
E-mail: johnknox@earthisland.org
EII home page: http://www.earthisland.org

Earth Island Institute welcomes your interest
and your involvement. Contributions from
individuals continue to be our most
important source of support. Earth Island
Institute members receive the quarterly
Earth Island Journal.

We invite you to join us:
http://www.earthisland.org/join/join.html

Earth Island Institute


  
Growing Leadership for

Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration of the Earth

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

 

Published on Friday, September 3, 2004 by USA TODAY

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0903-02.htm


Why Democrats Shouldn't Be Scared

by Michael Moore


NEW YORK - If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times from discouraged Democrats and liberals as
the Republican convention here wrapped up this week. Their shoulders hunched, their eyes at a droop, they
lower their voice to a whisper hoping that if they don't say it too loud it may not come true: "I...I...I think Bush
is going to win."

Clearly, they're watching too much TV. Too much of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Zell Miller, Dick Cheney and
Rudy Giuliani. Too much of swift boat veterans and Fox News commentators.

Action heroes always look good on TV. On Wednesday night, the GOP even made an action-hero video and
showed it at the convention. There was White House political czar Karl Rove and other administration officials
dressed up for "war" and going through boot camp on the National Mall in Washington.

I could only sit there in the convention hall and wish this were the real thing: Rove, national security adviser
Condi Rice and Co. being sent to Iraq, and our boys and girls being brought home. But then the lights came
up, and everyone sitting in the Bush family box was having a grand ol' hoot and a holler at the video they just
saw.

For some reason, all of this has scared the bejabbers out of the Democrats. I can hear the wailing and
moaning from Berkeley, Calif., to Cambridge, Mass. The frightening scenes from the convention have sent
John Kerry's supporters looking for the shovels so they can dig their underground bunkers in preparation for
another four years of the Dark Force.

I can't believe all of this whimpering and whining. Kerry has been ahead in many polls all summer long, but
the Republicans come to New York for one week off-Broadway and suddenly everyone is dressed in
mourning black and sitting shivah?

Exactly what moment was it during the convention that convinced them that the Republicans had now
"connected" with the majority of Americans and that it was all over? Arnold praising Richard Nixon? Ooooh,
that's a real crowd-pleaser. Elizabeth Dole decrying the removal of the Ten Commandments from a
courthouse wall in Alabama? Yes, that's a big topic of conversation in the unemployment line in Akron, Ohio.
Georgia Sen. Miller, a Democratic turncoat, looking like Freddy Krueger at an all-girls camp? His speech -
and the look on what you could see of his strangely lit face - was enough for parents to send small children
to their bedrooms.

My friends - and I include all Democrats, independents and recovering Republicans in this salutation - do
not be afraid. Yes, the Bush Republicans huff and they puff, but they blow their own house down.

As many polls confirm, a majority of your fellow Americans believe in your agenda. They want stronger
environmental laws, are strong supporters of women's rights, favor gun control and want the war in Iraq to
end.

Rejoice. You're already more than halfway there when you have the public on board. Just imagine if you had
to go out and do the work to convince the majority of Americans that women shouldn't be paid the same as
men. All they ask is that you put up a candidate for president who believes in something and fights for those
beliefs.

Is that too much to ask?

The Republicans have no idea how much harm they have done to themselves. They used to have a folk-hero
mayor of New York named Rudy Giuliani. On 9/11, he went charging right into Ground Zero to see whom he
could help save. Everyone loved Rudy because he seemed as though he was there to comfort all Americans,
not just members of his own party.

But in his speech to the convention this week, he revised the history of that tragic day for partisan gain:

As chaos ensued, "spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then-police commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to
Bernie, 'Thank God George Bush is our president.' And I say it again tonight, 'Thank God George Bush is our
president.' "

Please.

There were the sub-par entertainers nobody knew. There was the show of "Black Republicans,"
"Arab-American Republicans" and other minorities they trot out to show how much they are loved by groups
their policies abuse.

And there were the Band-Aids. The worst display of how out of touch the Republicans are was those Purple
Heart Band-Aids the delegates wore to mock Kerry over his war wounds, which, for them, did not spill the
required amount of blood.

What they didn't seem to get is that watching at home might have been millions of war veterans feeling that
they were being ridiculed by a bunch of rich Republicans who would never send their own offspring to die in
Fallujah or Danang.

Kerry supporters and Bush-bashers should not despair. These Republicans have not made a permanent dent
in Kerry's armor. The only person who can do that is John Kerry. And by coming out swinging as he did just
minutes after Bush finished his speech Thursday night, Kerry proved he knows that the only way to win this
fight is to fight - and fight hard.

He must realize that he faces Al Gore's fate only if he fails to stand up like the hero he is, only if he sits on the
fence and keeps justifying his vote for the Iraq war instead of just saying, "Look, I was for it just like 70% of
America until we learned the truth, and now I'm against it, like the majority of Americans are now."

Kerry needs to trust that his victory is only going to happen by inspiring the natural base of the Democratic
Party - blacks, working people, women, the poor and young people. Women and people of color make up
62% of this country. That's a big majority. Give them a reason to come out on Nov. 2.

© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

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


indiewire.com

http://www.indiewire.com/biz/biz_040902vote.html


New Website Aims to Inspire Political Action and Promote Issue-oriented Films

by Brian Brooks

Viewers of issue-oriented films hoping to persuade friends to see a doc or feature, and perhaps recruit them to their viewpoint, now have a new web site in their arsenal. FilmstoSeeBeforeYouVote.org, which launches today, is designed to help the politically stratified to organize through film. The unprecedented success of "Fahrenheit 9/11" as well as other films including "Control Room," "The Corporation," and "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," inspired the site's founder Peter Broderick, former president of Next Wave Films, to create the site. It aims to be a central source for new political documentary and narrative films, both well-known and lesser-known, to promote them as "tools" and to catalyze action before the November 2nd general election.

The website is divided into sections devoted to information about films currently in theaters, as well as information about features and docs on DVD. Additionally, the site provides a resource for organization with a section called "What You Can Do," including information on organizing house parties, which have been a popular tool for political groups such as MoveOn.org. The liberal advocacy organization recently helped sponsor nationwide house parties for Robert Greenwald's "Outfoxed," helping the film to eventually sell more than 100,000 DVDs online prior to its recent theatrical release.

"These films provide a great way to bring friends and neighbors together to have an impact," said Broderick in a statement. "The website expands upon the model of centrally coordinated house parties by promoting ad hoc, grassroots screening parties that anyone can organize. We provide visitors with step-by-step instructions for arranging events where films can be discussed and political activities planned."

In addition to new films, the website also spotlights a roster of classic politically-oriented movies, including well-known titles such as "Born on the Fourth of July," "Bulworth," "Wag the Dog," "The War Room," and "Bowling for Columbine." Also, the site features films in "limited release," such as "Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America," which explores the work of the environmental crusader. Broderick also told indieWIRE yesterday that the site will add new titles in the near future.

"There's never been a time when so many [issue] films have been in theaters and on TV," Broderick told iW yesterday. "It's pretty clear people are interested to see these films, and indie filmmakers have a chance [to utilize] that interest [and] are able to team up with groups such as MoveOn or the ACLU to organize house parties and get their films [out there]."

[ For more information, please visit: http://www.filmstoseebeforeyouvote.org.]
=====================================================+

 

From: Kelly Duane <kelly@loteriafilms.org>
Date: Friday, September 3, 2004 11:31 AM

Friday Sept. 17th Monumental opens in SF/Oct 1st in San Rafael

MONUMENTAL

David Brower's Fight for Wild America

"Stylish and substantial enough to prompt even a couch potato to action, Kelly Duane's Monumental delivers a stirring and visually dense account of the life and times of Brower . . . " --Variety

"If anyone's been searching for the soul of the new West, here it is. --San Francisco Magazine

"An inspiring testament to the power of the individual." --Mother Jones

Mark your calendar and bring all your friends to the SF Premiere of Monumental.
Forward this email on to all who might want to join us!

September 17th- 23rd, San Francisco, CA
Roxie Cinema
3117 16th Street (at Valencia Street), San Francisco, CA 94103
Nightly 6:15, 8:00, 9:45
Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinee 2:00, 4:00

September 17--The opening night screening is dedicated to the memory of the late Brian Maxwell, Executive Producer of Monumental and founder of Power Bar.

Director Kelly Duane and other special guests from the film will be attending the 8:00 p.m. screening. There will be a Q&A following the film.

September 17--Premiere Pre-party at Build, 483 Guerrero, San Francisco, 5:00-7:30 with D.J. Science. Come drink some Pabst Blue Ribbon!

 

Live in Marin? See Monumental at the beautiful Rafael Film Center

October 1st- 6th, San Rafael, CA
California Film Institute//Smith Rafael Film Center

For a complete listing of screenings see below:

NORTH AMERICAN SCREENINGS:

NEW YORK . LOS ANGELES . SAN FRANCISCO . PORTLAND . WASHINGTON DC . SEATTLE . PUERTO VALLARTA . VAIL . FLAGSTAFF . VANCOUVER . RENO . TAMPA . BISHOP . NEVADA CITY . AND MORE...

September 11th, Pasadena, CA
Silver Lake Film Festival/Garden Lab Experiment/Director will attend.

September 17th- 23rd, San Francisco, CA
Roxie Cinema
3117 16th Street (at Valencia Street), San Francisco, CA 94103
Nightly 6:15, 8:00, 9:45
Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinee 2:00, 4:00

September 17--The opening night screening is dedicated to the memory of the late Brian Maxwell, Executive Producer of Monumental and founder of Power Bar.

Director Kelly Duane and other special guests from the film will be attending the 8:00 p.m. screening. There will be a Q&A following the film.

September 17--Premiere Pre-party at Build, 483 Guerrero, San Francisco, 5:00-7:30 with D.J. Science. Come drink some Pabst Blue Ribbon!

September 23- October 8th, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Vancouver International Film Festival/Director will attend.

September 24- 30th, Portland, OR
The Clinton Street Theater
2522 SE Clinton St., Portland, OR 97202
Events phone - 503.238.8899 or Message: 503.238.5588
Contact theater for screening times.

Director attending screenings on opening night and Sat the 25th, along with David Brower's daughter Barbara Brower.

September 24- 26th, Norfolk, VA
Naro Cinema
1507 Colley Ave, Norfolk VA, 23517
757-625-6276
Call theater for show times.

September 29- October 3rd, Aspen, CO
Aspen Filmfest/Ken Brower will attend the screening.

October 1st- 3rd, Seattle, WA
Northwest Film Forum
Screening Friday at 7:00 p.m.& Saturday, Sunday 7:30 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
Director attending the 7:00 p.m. screenings all nights.

Oct. 1st Join us for the Seattle premiere after party! Eric Johnson and Dan Strack of the Fruit Bats, and Scientific American will perform. It'll be fun!

October 1st- 6th, San Rafael, CA
California Film Institute//Smith Rafael Film Center

October 8-14th, Flagstaff, AZ
Movies on the Mall
4650 N. Highway 89, #F-2, Flagstaff, Arizona - 86004
October 8th: 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:30
October 9th & 10th: 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00
October 11th-14th: 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00
Director attending opening night screening at 7:00 pm.

Director Kelly Duane will introduce the film and be available for a question and answer period following the 7:00 p.m. screening on the 8th.

October 14th-24th, Denver, CO
The Denver International Film Festival
Director Kelly Duane will attend.

October 15th-17th, Milford, PA (The Poconos)
Black Bear Film Festival

October 15th, Bishop, CA
Bishop SNOW-FEST
Richard Duane will introduce the film.

October 15th, 16th & 17th, Santa Fe, NM
Center for Contemporary Arts Cinemateque
1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505
505 982 1338
Call theater for screening times.

October 15--Director Kelly Duane and former Secretary of the Interior Steward Udall under LBJ and JFK will be in attendance for the Oct. 15th screening.

October 15--Immediately following the film there will be a post-screening party at the Center for Contemporary Arts. It will be in honor of Stewart Udall. Tom Udall may also attend.

October 17th @ 2pm, Reno, NV
Screening at 2:00 p.m. The Nevada Art Museum hosted by Cinemareno
160 West Liberty Street, Reno NV 89501
775.329.3333

Environmental historian Michael Cohen will join film director Kelly Duane in a question and answer period following the screening of the film.

October 19th, Tampa, FL
The Tampa Theater
711 Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 274-8982
Contact theater for screening times.

President of the Sierra Club Larry Fahn and film director Kelly Duane will participate in a question and answer period following the film.

October 21st, Gainesville, FL
University of Florida/Sierra Club President Larry Fahn and Kelly Duane will speak.

October 28st, New York City, New York
Lincoln Center/Director will attend.

November 4-14th, Puerto Vallarta, MX
Puerto Vallarta International Film Festival

Director Kelly Duane will attend.

November 4-7th, Shepherdstown, WV
American Conservation Film Festival

January 7th-9th, Nevada City, CA
Wild & Scenic environmental Film Festival
Director Kelly Duane will attend.

FUTURE SCREENINGS/DATE NOT YET SET:
Lake Havasu City, AZ
Ithaca, NY
(More pending)
* * * * * * * * * * *
kelly duane
loteria films
www.loteriafilms.org
* * * * * * * * * * *

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

 

From: Kelly Hill Scanlon <kelly@northern.org>
Reply-To: <kelly@northern.org>
Organization: Northern Alaska Environmental Center
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Friday, September 3, 2004 4:40 PM
Subject: [arctic-action] Final Alpine Satellite Development Plan Released

Final Alpine Satellite Development Plan Released

On September 3, 2004, the Bureau of Land Management released the final Environmental Impact Statement (fEIS) for ConocoPhillips Alaska's Inc. plan for moving forward with five satellite oil exploration and drilling operations in an area known as the Alpine Satellite Development. The Alpine Satellite Development Plan area encompasses State and Federal lands within the northeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Colville River Delta.

ConocoPhillip's Alaska's Inc. (CPAI) proposed development includes placing 20-30 wells on each of the five drilling pads and to transport the unprocessed product (a three-phase output of oil, gas and water) to the Alpine Central Processing Facility for processing and then shipment to market through the existing pipeline.

The Alpine Plan will directly impact the village of Nuiqsut in several ways including increased access into the traditional hunting grounds used by the villagers. While the village may see an increase in revenue in the short term, the long-term negative impacts of development are many. They are best outlined by the Bureau of Land Management themselves in their newsletter National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska: Alpine Satellite Development Plan, Volume 4, September 2004. The following paragraphs describing the impacts are directly excerpted from that newsletter:

Impacts of the Preferred Alternative

Physical Environment

The Preferred Alternative would create a long-term impact to over 300 acres of soils and land surface area by mining gravel from up to 65 acres to cover approximately 250 acres with fill for drilling pads, roads and an airstrip. Placement of roads, pads, and bridges could affect the surface hydrology and stream channels by increasing scour, sedimentation, shoaling and bank erosion.

Biological Environment

In addition to the approximately 315 acres of vegetation that would be covered or disturbed to extract gravel, vegetation would also be impacted by dust, gravel spray, snow accumulations, water impoundments, thermokarsting and temporary ice roads and ice pads. These impacts could include altering of plant communities or changes in productivity. Although individual animals will be disturbed, displaced or killed, there would be negligible effects on fish, bird and mammal populations. (An exception to this might be if a very large spill reached an important habitat for a bird species at a critical time.) Terrestrial mammals will be disturbed and, at least in the early years of the project, displaced from areas near the development.

Social Systems

Taxes and royalties on CPAI's project will increase North Slope Borough, state and federal government revenues. The total work force to build the project is projected to peak during construction in 2006 at over 500; many fewer individuals will be employed to conduct drilling and operations. The great majority of these jobs are anticipated to be held by people from outside the North Slope. Nevertheless, social system impacts will be greatest for residents of Nuiqsut. The proposed facilities add to the existing oil production infrastructure in areas of important subsistence fish, bird and mammal harvesting. Local residents are reluctant to hunt near oil facilities, so construction of the proposed development may effectively reduce traditional hunting areas. The Preferred Alternative places the pipeline 7 feet or higher above the tundra, in contrast to CPAI's original proposal of 5 feet. This reduces, but does not eliminate the potential that the pipeline will impede caribou and hunter movement. Consequently, subsistence hunting could require more lengthy travel and the associated increase in effort, cost and risk. Reduced or disrupted subsistence harvests, should they occur, could impact the social structure of Nuiqsut that depends heavily on the sharing of subsistence foods. Nuiqsut's social system could also be impacted by increasing contact with non-residents and increasing job opportunities and income.

It is for these very reasons that the Northern Alaska Environmental Center has called the Alpine Satellite Development Plan into question. We will comment on the fEIS, and encourage you to do so as well. Comments are due to BLM by October 4, 2004.

Comments can be submitted to:

Jim Ducker

Alpine Satellite Development Plan EIS

Bureau of Land Management

222 W. 7th Avenue

Anchorage, Alaska 99513

(907) 271-3130

You can read the Alpine Satellite Development Plan newsletter and the fEIS on line at (www.ak.blm.gov). If you would like to browse the document directly, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center has a copy of the fEIS on disk as does the BLM Public Room at 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709.

If you have any questions about the plan, please contact Kelly Hill Scanlon, Arctic Coordinator for the Northern Center.


Please Post and Distribute as Appropriate
*************************************************
Please visit our website at www.northern.org <http://www.northern.org/>
or send email to our main address (info@northern.org)
*************************************************
"Arctic Actions" is a broadcast alert list managed by the Northern Alaska Environmental Center to keep you updated on issues affecting Arctic Alaska.

To subscribe, send a message to info@northern.org with your full name, email address, USPS mail address, phone number, and issue concerns in the BODY of the message.

To learn how you can do more to protect Alaska's Arctic, or to find out about becoming a Northern Alaska Environmental Center member, intern or volunteer, please contact:

Northern Alaska Environmental Center
830 College Road
Fairbanks, AK 99701
ph: (907) 452-5021
fx: (907) 452-3100
info@northern.org
http://www.northern.org

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

 

From: The Nation Magazine <emailnation@thenation.com>
Reply-To: emailnation@thenation.com
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2004 7:38 AM

Bush Mob Orders Up a Hit

"I can't believe they're doing it again, and getting away with it."

So said a Republican strategist not keen on George W. Bush, referring to the attack being waged against John Kerry. "The Bush gang did it to John McCain four years ago. They're doing it now to Kerry. They're like the mob."

Leading last night's attack was Zell Miller, who reviving the role of the Southern demagogue, put forward a cartoonish depiction of Kerry and the leaders of the Democratic Party. Zig Zag Zell, a nominal Democrat, was so over-the-top, that even the final speaker of the night, Dick Cheney, sounded calmer than usual.

Read David Corn's new Capital Games for more on the GOP attack strategy:
http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1772

During a week of RNC protests and 1,767 arrests to date, demonstrations have taken many different forms--from singing Johnny Cash songs to waving pink slips to a mass flashing of bikini underwear featuring anti-Bush slogans.

But only one demonstration has actually taken place so far on the floor of Madison Square Garden. Read John Nichols's Online Beat report for the details.
http://www.thenation.com/thebeat/index.mhtml?bid=1&pid=1771

And listen to Marc Cooper's RadioNation audioblog to hear why the co-star of the Sopranos, Edie Falco, has agreed to be featured in a TV ad from The Mob...Mothers Opposing Bush. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/audioblog?bid=8

And check out Liza Featherstone's report on the War Resister's League protest at Ground Zero. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/protest?bid=12

Featherstone's dispatch is part of "New York Minutes," a special co-written weblog featuring numerous new dispatches each day from the RNC protests and events. You can find recent reports by Jennifer Block, Dave Enders, Katha Pollitt, Liza Featherstone, Tom Gogola, Esther Kaplan, Richard Kim and Kristin Jones currently.
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/protest?bid=12

Don't miss Katrina vanden Heuvel's examination of last night's star RNC speaker, the "Janus-faced Democratic Senator from Georgia." http://www.thenation.com/edcut/index.mhtml?bid=7

And make sure to check out Patricia J. Williams,s special RNC weblog, "Weblog of a Mad Law Professor," updated each day. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/madlaw?bid=9

So please make sure to regularly visit http://www.thenation.com for special RNC coverage, exclusive online reports, info on nationwide activist campaigns, Nation History offerings, reader letters and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine.

Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg, The Nation

P.S. Check out The Nation's TV commercial, and help us get it on the air.
http://www.thenation.com/special/commercial

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2004 2:51 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | How Soon Will the U.S. or Israel Bomb Iran?

We covered the Democratic National Convention inside and out, beginning to end. Now the t r u t h o u t team is in New York. Go to: http://www.truthout.org/rnc04.shtml for our video, audio and blog reports from both inside the Republican National Convention and outside on the streets.

 

t r u t h o u t | 09.02

GOP Policy Ruins Natural Land

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

Steve Weissman | How Soon Will the U.S. or Israel Bomb Iran?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204A.shtml

Talks to Disarm Rebel Shiites Collapse in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204B.shtml

FBI Seizes Computer from American-Israel Public Affairs Committee
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204C.shtml

U.S. Seeks to Dismiss Terror Convictions
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204D.shtml

Far Right Not Thrilled About Being Left Out
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204E.shtml

John W. Dean: How Book Defames Kerry - Why He Should Sue
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204F.shtml

Jean-Marcel Bouguereau | The Savior
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204H.shtml

Dan Barry | Serving Canapes, Then Recalling the 107th Floor
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204I.shtml

Zogby: Half of New Yorkers Believe U.S. Leaders Knew About 9-11 Attacks
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204J.shtml

Bev Harris | Sum of a Glitch
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204K.shtml

Now with Bill Moyers | Inside the RNC
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204L.shtml

Hostage Crisis in Russia, Children Held
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204X.shtml

Iraq's Chalabi Escapes Assassination Bid
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204Y.shtml

Direct Confrontation, 900 Arrested in NYC
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt | 'Live from NY, Day 3'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

From: paul.rcom@juno.com
To: <archdruid@igc.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2004 1:35 PM

MONUMENTAL: David Brower Documentary

Information about the film Monumental, a
documentary about the life of David Brower
and the history of the enviromental movement
follows this note. It is directed by Kelley
Duane--a relative of section member Dick Duane--
and appears to be nothing less than excellent.
I hope some of you have the time to attend.

Best Regards,
Paul Romero

MONUMENTAL:
Screening Times and Events

San Francisco, California
Roxie Cinema

September 17-23
Nightly 6:15, 8:0, 9:45
Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinee 2:00, 4:00

Film director Kelly Duane and other special guests
will introduce the film, and the film will be followed
by a question and answer period.
This screening is dedicated to the memory of the late
Brian Maxwell, Executive Producer of Monumental and
founder of PowerBar.

Portland, Oregon
The Clinton Street Theater

September 24-30
Contact theater for screening times.

Barbara Brower, David Brower's daughter, and Michael
McClowskey, environmental leader and Executive
Director of the Sierra Club after David Brower, will
join fillm director Kelly Duane in a question and
answer period following the screening of the film.

Seattle, Washington
The Northwest Film Forum

October 1-3
Friday 7:00
Saturday, Sunday 7:30, 9:15

John Dyer, Brower's climbing partner from his ascent
of Shiprock and Polly Dyer, a Sierra Club activist,
will attend the screening.

Reno, Nevada
Cinemareno at The Nevada Museum of Art Theater
October 17, 2:00

Environmental historian Michael Cohen will join film
director Kelly Duane in a question and answer period
following the screening of the film.

MONUMENTAL offers a intimate look at the golden age
of the environmental movement through the compelling
and colorful life of David Brower, the 1st executive
director of the Sierra Club, and arguably the greatest
environmentalist of the twentieth century. If you've
ever wondered what a single person can do against the
relentless onslaught of development, wait until you
see the charismatic and enigmatic David Brower push
the 1964 Wilderness Act through Congress, and then go
on to save the Grand Canyon from damming and help
establish the Redwoods National Park and Point Reyes
National Seashore.

Ahead of his time, Brower understood the power of the image
to spread his message. He was an avid filmmaker, and was the
first to use photographs by great artists such as Ansel Adams in
hard-hitting lobbying and advertising campaigns to win over the
hearts of the American public, and the minds of many Washington
politicians. A self-made man who held the banner of environmental
protection, Brower moved into the elite circles of John F. Kennedy,
Lady Bird Johnson, and Stewart Udall.

An uncompromising idealist, Brower pushed the
environmental movement to achieve unprecedented wins.
With a playful visual aesthetic, an alt-country
soundtrack, and 16 mm hand-held wilderness footage,
largely shot by Brower himself between 1930-70,
MONUMENTAL documents Brower's journey as he transforms
the Sierra Club from a regional hiking group into a
national political force. The viewer sees through
Brower's own eyes a 1956 raft trip down Glen Canyon,
before its damming that evokes the awful sadness of
losing public land we've failed to protect. And in
period footage of Brower's early rock-climbs--done in
sneakers, with hemp ropes--and of his training of the
10th Mountain Division and participation in their
victory against the Nazis in the high Alps, Brower
emerges as an unlikely and inspiring national hero.

Distribution sponsored by Patagonia

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

Kelly Duane founded Loteria Films after
she co-directed and produced her first documentary
film, See How They Run, chronicling the 1999 Willie
Brown Mayoral bid for re-election in the city of San
Francisco. See How They Run has been broadcast on PBS
stations nationally. It has screened in movie theaters
throughout the Bay Area and film festivals across the
US. Prior to film work Duane was a photojournalist and
photo editor for Random House and Chronicle Books. A
few book titles to her credit include, Mavericks: The
History of Big Wave Surfing, El Capitan, Poker, and
The Rock and Roll Traveler.

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

 

From: aolfriends@earth.care2.com
Date: 31 Aug 2004 10:50:32 -0700
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>

Roadless forests are under attack - your comments needed today


We only have two more weeks to tell the Forest Service
to protect our remaining roadless forests. As a recipient
of Animals & Environment Alerts from Care2, I know you
care about protecting our wildlife and forests, so please
take a moment to submit your public comment in support of
forest protection: http://www.care2.com/go/z/16554

In 2001, the Bush administration promised to uphold the
Roadless Area Conservation Rule to protect our last wild
forests. But, guess what - Bush and his administration
have just reneged on this promise.

Under the Bush administration's new proposed changes to
the roadless rule, not a single acre of the 58.5 million
acres of roadless areas in the National Forests will be
protected nationally, and thus will not be safe from the
timber, oil and gas industries. Our roadless wild forests
are a national treasure - how can we allow our government
to give them away to the highest bidder?

The environmental community is trying to gather one
million comments to oppose this dangerous proposal.
Over 21,000 Care2 members have already submitted comments -
help us reach 50,000: http://www.care2.com/go/z/16554

Incredibly, the administration has already received over
2.5 million public comments in support of the Roadless
Area Conservation Rule, during previous comment periods,
and has chosen to ignore them. So, we need to be louder.
Please speak out today for your wild forests before it's
too late: http://www.care2.com/go/z/16554

 

Thank you for helping our wild forests today!

-Rebecca,

Care2 and ThePetitionSite team
http://www.care2.com/go/z/rebecca

P.S. Public comments are due by September 14, 2004 -
please submit your comments today!

http://www.care2.com/go/z/16554

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



MotherJones.com - November/December 2003 Issue

http://www.mojones.com/news/feature/2003/11/ma_559_01.html

The Uncompassionate Conservative

It's not that he's mean. It's just that when it comes to seeing how
his policies affect people, George W. Bush doesn't have a clue.

by Molly Ivins

In order to understand why George W. Bush doesn't get it, you have to take several strands of common Texas attitude, then add an impressive degree of class-based obliviousness. What you end up with is a guy who sees himself as a perfectly nice fellow -- and who is genuinely disconnected from the impact of his decisions on people.

On the few occasions when Bush does directly encounter the down-and-out, he seems to empathize. But then, in what is becoming a recurring, almost nightmare-type scenario, the minute he visits some constructive program and praises it (AmeriCorps, the Boys and Girls Club, job training), he turns around and cuts the budget for it. It's the kiss of death if the president comes to praise your program. During the presidential debate in Boston in 2000, Bush said, "First and foremost, we've got to make sure we fully fund LIHEAP [the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program], which is a way to help low-income folks, particularly here in the East, pay their high fuel bills." He then sliced $300 million out of that sucker, even as people were dying of hypothermia, or, to put it bluntly, freezing to death.

Sometimes he even cuts your program before he comes to praise it. In August 2002, Bush held a photo op with the Quecreek coal miners, the nine men whose rescue had thrilled the country. By then he had already cut the coal-safety budget at the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which engineered the rescue, by 6 percent, and had named a coal-industry executive to run the agency.

The Reverend Jim Wallis, leader of Call to Renewal, a network of churches that fight poverty, told the New York Times that shortly after his election, Bush had said to him, "I don't understand how poor people think," and had described himself as a "white Republican guy who doesn't get it, but I'd like to." What's annoying about Bush is when this obtuseness, the blinkeredness of his life, weighs so heavily on others, as it has increasingly as he has acquired more power.

There was a telling episode in 1999 when the Department of Agriculture came out with its annual statistics on hunger, showing that once again Texas was near the top. Texas is a perennial leader in hunger because we have 43 counties in South Texas (and some in East Texas) that are like Third World countries. If our border region were a state, it would be first in poverty, first in the percentage of schoolchildren living in poverty, first in the percentage of adults without a high school diploma, 51st in income per capita, and so on.

When the 1999 hunger stats were announced, Bush threw a tantrum. He thought it was some malign Clinton plot to make his state look bad because he was running for president. "I saw the report that children in Texas are going hungry. Where?" he demanded. "No children are going to go hungry in this state. You'd think the governor would have heard if there are pockets of hunger in Texas." You would, wouldn't you? That is the point at which ignorance becomes inexcusable. In five years, Bush had never spent time with people in the colonias, South Texas' shantytowns; he had never been to a session with Valley Interfaith, a consortium of border churches and schools and the best community organization in the state. There is no excuse for a governor to be unaware of this huge reality of Texas.

Take any area -- environment, labor, education, taxes, health -- and go to the websites of public-interest groups in that field. You will find page after page of minor adjustments, quiet repeals, no-big-deal new policies, all of them cruel, destructive, and harmful. A silent change in regulations, an executive order, a funding cutoff. No headlines. Below the radar. Again and again and again. Head Start, everybody's favorite government program, is being targeted for "improvement" by leaving it to the tender mercies of Mississippi and Alabama. An AIDS program that helps refugees in Africa and Asia gets its funding cut because one of the seven groups involved once worked with the United Nations, which once worked with the Chinese government, which once supported forced abortions.

So what manner of monster is behind these outrages? I have known George W. Bush slightly since we were both in high school, and I studied him closely as governor. He is neither mean nor stupid. What we have here is a man shaped by three intertwining strands of Texas culture, combined with huge blinkers of class. The three Texas themes are religiosity, anti-intellectualism, and machismo. They all play well politically with certain constituencies.

Let's assume the religiosity is genuine; no one is in a position to know otherwise. I leave it to more learned commentators to address what "Christian" might actually mean in terms of public policy.

The anti-intellectualism is also authentic. This is a grudge Bush has carried at least since his college days when he felt looked down on as a frat rat by more cerebral types. Despite his pedigree and prep schools, he ran into Eastern stereotypes of Texans at Yale, a common experience at Ivy schools in that time. John F. Kennedy, the consummate, effortlessly graceful, classy Harvard man, had just been assassinated in ugly old Dallas, and Lyndon Johnson's public piety gave many people the creeps. Texans were more or less thought of as yahoo barbarians somewhere between the Beverly Hillbillies and Deliverance. I do not exaggerate by much. To have a Texas accent in the East in those days was to have 20 points automatically deducted from your estimated IQ. And Texans have this habit of playing to the stereotype -- it's irresistible. One proud Texan I know had never owned a pair of cowboy boots in his life until he got a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard. Just didn't want to let anyone down.

For most of us who grow up in the "boonies" and go to school in the East, it's like speaking two languages -- Bill Clinton, for example, is perfectly bilingual. But it's not unusual for a spell in the East to reinforce one's Texanness rather than erode it, and that's what happened to Bush. Bush had always had trouble reading -- we assume it is dyslexia (although Slate's Jacob Weisberg attributes it to aphasia); his mom was still doing flash cards with him when he was in junior high. Feeling intellectually inferior apparently fed into his resentment of Easterners and other known forms of snob.

Bush once said, "There's a West Texas populist streak in me, and it irritates me when these people come out to Midland and look at my friends with just the utmost disdain." In his mind, Midland is the true-blue heartland of the old vox pop. The irony is that Midland along with its twin city, Odessa, is one of the most stratified and narrow places in the country. Both are oil towns with amazingly strict class segregation. Midland is the white-collar, Republican town; Odessa is the blue-collar, Democratic town. The class conflict plays out in an annual football rivalry so intense that H.G. Bissinger featured it in his best-selling book, Friday Night Lights. To mistake Midland for the volk heartland is the West Texas equivalent of assuming that Greenwich, Connecticut, is Levittown.

In fact, people in Midland are real nice folks: I can't prove that with statistics, but I know West Texas and it's just a fact. Open, friendly, no side to 'em. The problem is, they're way isolated out there and way limited too. You can have dinner at the Petroleum Club anytime with a bunch of them and you'll come away saying, "Damn, those are nice people. Sure glad they don't run the world." It is still such a closed, narrow place, where everybody is white, Protestant, and agrees with everybody else. It's not unusual to find people who think, as George W. did when he lived there, that Jimmy Carter was leading the country toward "European-style socialism." A board member of the ACLU of Texas was asked recently if there had been any trouble with gay bashing in Midland. "Oh, hell, honey," she drawled, "there's not a gay in Midland who will come out of the closet for fear people will think they're Democrats."

The machismo is what I suspect is fake. Bush is just another upper-class white boy trying to prove he's tough. The minute he is questioned, he becomes testy and defensive. That's one reason they won't let him hold many press conferences. When he tells stories about his dealings with two of the toughest men who ever worked in politics -- the late Lee Atwater and the late Bob Bullock -- Bush, improbably, comes off as the toughest mother in the face-down. I wouldn't put money on it being true. Bullock, the late lieutenant governor and W's political mentor in Texas, could be and often was meaner than a skilletful of rattlesnakes. Bush's story is that one time, Bullock cordially informed him that he was about to fuck him. Bush stood up and kissed Bullock, saying, "If I'm gonna get fucked, at least I should be kissed." It probably happened, but I guarantee you Bullock won the fight. Bush never got what made Bullock more than just a supermacho pol -- the old son of a bitch was on the side of the people. Mostly.

The perfect absurdity of all this, of course, is that Bush's identification with the sturdy yeomen of Midland (actually, oil-company executives almost to a man) is so wildly at variance with his real background. Bush likes to claim the difference between him and his father is that, "He went to Greenwich Country Day and I went to San Jacinto Junior High." He did. For one year. Then his family moved to a posh neighborhood in Houston, and he went to the second-best prep school in town (couldn't get into the best one) before going off to Andover as a legacy.

Jim Hightower's great line about Bush, "Born on third and thinks he hit a triple," is still painfully true. Bush has simply never acknowledged that not only was he born with a silver spoon in his mouth -- he's been eating off it ever since. The reason there is no noblesse oblige about Dubya is because he doesn't admit to himself or anyone else that he owes his entire life to being named George W. Bush. He didn't just get a head start by being his father's son -- it remained the single most salient fact about him for most of his life. He got into Andover as a legacy. He got into Yale as a legacy. He got into Harvard Business School as a courtesy (he was turned down by the University of Texas Law School). He got into the Texas Air National Guard -- and sat out Vietnam -- through Daddy's influence. (I would like to point out that that particular unit of FANGers, as regular Air Force referred to the "Fucking Air National Guard," included not only the sons of Governor John Connally and Senator Lloyd Bentsen, but some actual black members as well -- they just happened to play football for the Dallas Cowboys.) Bush was set up in the oil business by friends of his father. He went broke and was bailed out by friends of his father. He went broke again and was bailed out again by friends of his father; he went broke yet again and was bailed out by some fellow Yalies.

That Bush's administration is salted with the sons of somebody-or-other should come as no surprise. I doubt it has ever even occurred to Bush that there is anything wrong with a class-driven good-ol'-boy system. That would explain why he surrounds himself with people like Eugene Scalia (son of Justice Antonin Scalia), whom he named solicitor of the Department of Labor -- apparently as a cruel joke. Before taking that job, the younger Scalia was a handsomely paid lobbyist working against ergonomic regulations designed to prevent repetitive stress injuries. His favorite technique was sarcastic invective against workers who supposedly faked injuries when the biggest hazard they faced was "dissatisfaction with co-workers and supervisors." More than 5 million Americans are injured on the job every year, and more die annually from work-related causes than were killed on September 11. Neither Scalia nor Bush has ever held a job requiring physical labor.

What is the disconnect? One can see it from the other side -- people's lives are being horribly affected by the Bush administration's policies, but they make no connection between what happens to them and the decisions made in Washington. I think I understand why so many people who are getting screwed do not know who is screwing them. What I don't get is the disconnect at the top. Is it that Bush doesn't want to see? No one brought it to his attention? He doesn't care?

Okay, we cut taxes for the rich and so we have to cut services for the poor. Presumably there is some right-wing justification along the lines that helping poor people just makes them more dependent or something. If there were a rationale Bush could express, it would be one thing, but to watch him not see, not make the connection, is another thing entirely. Welfare, Medicare, Social Security, food stamps -- horrors, they breed dependency. Whereas inheriting millions of dollars and having your whole life handed to you on a platter is good for the grit in your immortal soul? What we're dealing with here is a man in such serious denial it would be pathetic if it weren't damaging so many lives.

Bush's lies now fill volumes. He lied us into two hideously unfair tax cuts; he lied us into an unnecessary war with disastrous consequences; he lied us into the Patriot Act, eviscerating our freedoms. But when it comes to dealing with those less privileged, Bush's real problem is not deception, but self-deception.

Ever since their paths crossed in high school, Mother Jones contributing writer Molly Ivins has been an observer of our president. Her books about Bush include Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America and Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush

© 2003 The Foundation for National Progress

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

 

From: "Arianna Huffington" <arianna@ariannaonline.com>
Reply-To: Arianna Huffington <arianna@ariannaonline.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 15:56:13 -0400
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Subject: Bush In NYC: Watch Out, The 'Reformer With Results' Is Back

BUSH IN NYC: WATCH OUT, THE 'REFORMER WITH RESULTS' IS BACK

By Arianna Huffington

So far the Republican convention has been all about courage, compassion
and lauding our War President for possessing ample quantities of both,
including the theater-in-the-round stage designed to highlight the
president's strength and authority, and the Deco-inspired presidential
lectern meant to invoke the skyscrapers of New York (and oh, by the way,
those two skyscrapers that are no longer there).

But now it's time for the nitty-gritty: the War President's big acceptance
speech.

The word is that after a summer of substance-free campaign stumping, the
president is ready to tangle with "the vision thing" and roll out his
second-term plans for America.

Sounds promising - until you discover that his vision for the future is
little more than a reworked blast from the past.

The 2000 campaign's "reformer with results" is planning to go back to that
poisoned well and trot out a domestic agenda that promises to reform
everything from Social Security to health care to the tax code.

Of course, the last three and a half years have proven that when Bush
starts talking about reform, it's time to be very afraid.

His idea of education reform turned out to be the fraudulent No Child Left
Behind Act, a massively underfunded federal mandate that truth-in-labeling
laws should have required be rechristened the Millions of Children But
Mercifully Not Your Own Left Behind Act. And his idea of Medicare reform
was a multibillion dollar gift to drug companies and HMOs disguised as a
prescription drug bill.

Now he wants to do the same to Social Security and health insurance, all
in the name of "empowering individuals" and creating "an ownership
society"- or, in plain English, privatizing as much of the social welfare
system as possible.

But we are told that Bush has decided to run not only on future reforms
but on past accomplishments.

"We've got a great record, when you think about it," he proclaimed, as if
the idea had just dawned on him.

Now, I'm not sure what record he's been looking at - maybe Andy Card
replaced the dismal numbers from last week's Census Bureau report on
income and poverty with Michael Phelps' Olympic stats in his latest
morning briefing - but if the president truly intends to run on his
record, I can only say: Bring it on!

I realize that facts mean next to nothing to the fanatics in the Bush
White House, but they mean a hell of a lot to the people whose lives they
depict.

Here then, for your voting-booth convenience, is a quick overview of
President Bush's "great record":

Since he took office, 1.2 million people in America have lost their jobs,
bringing the total to 8.2 million.

The number of Americans living below the poverty line has increased by 4.3
million to 35.9 million - 12.9 million of them children.

The number of Americans with no health insurance has increased by 5.8
million - with 1.4 million losing their insurance in 2003. The total now
stands at 45 million.

Forty percent of the 3.5 million people who were homeless at some point
last year were families with children, as were 40 percent of those seeking
emergency food assistance.

Median household income has fallen more than $1,500 in inflation-adjusted
terms in the last three years, and the wages of most workers are now
falling behind inflation.

Average tuition for college has risen by 34 percent, while 37 percent of
fourth graders read at a level considered "below basic."

One third of the president's $1.7 trillion in tax cuts benefits only the
top 1 percent of wealthiest Americans.

President Bush also failed to fulfill his pledge to get Osama Bin Laden
"dead or alive," traded the moral high ground for preemptive war and the
horrors of Abu Ghraib, never attended a funeral or memorial service for
any of the 975 soldiers killed in Iraq, pulled out of the Kyoto agreement
on global warming, gutted the Clean Air Act, initiated the rollback of
more than 200 environmental regulations, backed a constitutional amendment
to outlaw gay marriages, and refused to follow through on his promise to
extend the assault weapons ban.

So let's get one thing straight: Anyone who is lauding George Bush at the
Republican Convention - and, yes, that includes you Rudy, Arnold, Governor
George and Mayor Mike - is endorsing his disastrous and wholly immoderate
record. Thus, by definition, all these Bush strokers have surrendered
their moderate credentials - no matter how warm and fuzzy their positions
on social issues. The president's record betrays both courage and
compassion, and no amount of lofty rhetoric will change that.

© 2004 ARIANNA HUFFINGTON.
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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

 

From: Living Rivers <posting@livingrivers.org>
Reply-To: posting@livingrivers.org
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2004 1:54 PM
Subject: PR: Lake Powell Draining: Water Intake Tubes for Coal Plant to be Extended

*********************
N E W S R E L E A S E
______________________________

L I V I N G R I V E R S
&
C O L O R A D O R I V E R K E E P E R
POB 466 - Moab, UT 84532
435-259-1063/fax 259-7612
www.livingrivers.org
_______________________________

September 1, 2004
For immediate release

Contact: John Weisheit - (435) 259-1063

Preparing for Lake Powell Draining
Water Intake Tubes for Coal Plant to be extended.

Today it was announced a major coal-fired power plant adjacent to Lake Powell reservoir may be left high and dry by rapidly falling reservoir levels, unless it receives approval from the National Park Service to begin a major extension of its water intake infrastructure.

Environmental clearance is being sought to extend the water intake tubes for the Navajo Generating Station 120 feet to the near-natural elevation of the Colorado River. What the National Park services is calling a "maintenance project." involves five 54-inch-diameter holes being bored 150 feet through Navajo sandstone for the installation of pipes and submersible pumps to move 17 million gallons of cooling water per day from Lake Powell to the power plant.

"This is not maintenance, but a multi-million dollar undertaking in an effort to preserve outdated and terribly polluting technologies," says John Weisheit, conservation director for Living Rivers/Colorado Riverkeeper. "We must prepare for the end of Lake Powell by investing resources into more appropriate energy paths such as conservation or solar and wind, not trying to prolong dirty coal and dams."

Due to climatic changes over the past five years, Lake Powell's water level has fallen 127 feet to 3573 feet above sea level, and is now declining at a rate of 21 inches per week. It is projected that absent a major change in rainfall patterns, that Navajo Generating Station's power plant intakes will be exposed as early as 2006. The hydroelectric power plant at Glen Canyon Dam will suffer a similar fate, but will have to be shut down as lowering its intakes is not technically feasible.

The Navajo Nation has benefited little from power from either Navajo Generating Station or Glen Canyon Dam over the past four decades, as many homes still do not have electricity. Small photo-voltaic power stations and wind turbines are now being used to provide energy to individual homes on the reservation.

"Our prayers continue to be answered," says Thomas Morris Jr. a Navajo medicineman working for decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam. "Let the power plant fall idle, as it has brought nothing but asthma and other illnesses to our people in exchange for a few jobs. We must follow nature's lead, and the revival of the Colorado through our land, not the past mistakes."

Navajo Generating Station was completed in 1974 to provide the electricity necessary to pump Colorado River water from Lake Havasu reservoir to Phoenix and Tucson through the Central Arizona Project. It was built as a substitute for dams proposed in Grand Canyon National Park that were defeated by public opposition in the 1960s. The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest shareholder in the Navajo Generation Station at 24.3%. Other partners include Salt River Project, Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power, Arizona Public Service Company, Nevada Power, Tucson Electric Power.

 

Living Rivers/Colorado Riverkeeper
http://www.livingrivers.org

September 1, 2004, National Park Service News Release on Navajo Generating Station
http://www.livingrivers.org/archives/article.cfm?NewsID=618

Navajo Generating Station
http://www.srpnet.com/power/stations/navajo.asp

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
http://www.nps.gov/glca

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
LIVING RIVERS & COLORADO RIVERKEEPER
Electronic Information Services

PO BOX 466
Moab, UT 84532
Tel: 435.259.1063
Fax: 435.259.7612

info@livingrivers.org
www.livingrivers.org

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

 

Published on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 by USA TODAY

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0831-04.htm

 

The GOP Doesn't Reflect America

by Michael Moore


NEW YORK - Welcome, Republicans. You're proud Americans who love your country. In your own way, you
want to make this country a better place. Whatever our differences, you should be commended for that.

But what's all this talk about New York being enemy territory? Nothing could be further from the truth. We New
Yorkers love Republicans. We have a Republican mayor and governor, a death penalty and two nuclear
plants within 30 miles of the city.

New York is home to Fox News Channel. The top right-wing talk shows emanate from here - Rush
Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly among them. The Wall Street Journal is based here, which means your
favorite street is here. Not to mention more Fortune 500 executives than anywhere else.

You may think you're surrounded by a bunch of latte-drinking effete liberals, but the truth is, you're right
where you belong, smack in the seat of corporate America and conservative media.

Let me also say I admire your resolve. You're true believers. Even though only a third of the country defines
itself as "Republican," you control the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and most state governments.

You're in charge because you never back down. Your people are up before dawn figuring out which minority
group shouldn't be allowed to marry today.

Our side is full of wimps who'd rather compromise than fight. Not you guys.

Hanging out around the convention, I've encountered a number of the Republican faithful who aren't
delegates. They warm up to me when they don't find horns or a tail. Talking to them, I discover they're like
many people who call themselves Republicans but aren't really Republicans. At least not in the radical-right
way that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and Co. have defined Republicans.

I asked one man who told me he was a "proud Republican," "Do you think we need strong laws to protect our
air and water?"

"Well, sure," he said. "Who doesn't?"

I asked whether women should have equal rights, including the same pay as men.

"Absolutely," he replied.

"Would you discriminate against someone because he or she is gay?"

"Um, no." The pause - I get that a lot when I ask this question - is usually because the average
good-hearted person instantly thinks about a gay family member or friend.

I've often found that if I go down the list of "liberal" issues with people who say they're Republican, they are
quite liberal and not in sync with the Republicans who run the country. Most don't want America to be the
world's police officer and prefer peace to war. They applaud civil rights, believe all Americans should have
health insurance and think assault weapons should be banned. Though they may personally oppose
abortion, they usually don't think the government has the right to tell a women what to do with her body.

There's a name for these Republicans: RINOs or Republican In Name Only. They possess a liberal, open
mind and don't believe in creating a worse life for anyone else.

So why do they use the same label as those who back a status quo of women earning 75 cents to every
dollar a man earns, 45 million people without health coverage and a president who has two more countries
left on his axis-of-evil-regime-change list?

I asked my friend on the street. He said what I hear from all RINOs: "I don't want the government taking my
hard-earned money and taxing me to death. That's what the Democrats do."

Money. That's what it comes down to for the RINOs. They do work hard and have been squeezed even
harder to make ends meet. They blame Democrats for wanting to take their money. Never mind that it's
Republican tax cuts for the rich and billions spent on the Iraq war that have created the largest deficits in
history and will put all of us in hock for years to come.

The Republican Party's leadership knows America is not only filled with RINOs, but most Americans are much
more liberal than the delegates gathered in New York.

The Republicans know it. That's why this week we're seeing gay-loving Rudy Giuliani, gun-hating Michael
Bloomberg and abortion-rights advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As tough of a pill as it is to swallow, Republicans know that the only way to hold onto power is to pass
themselves off as, well, as most Americans. It's a good show.

So have a good time, Republicans. It could be your last happy party for awhile if all the RINOs and liberal
majority figure it out on Nov. 2.

© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

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

 

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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1294485,00.html

World Bank consults on big Laos dam project

John Aglionby, south-east Asia correspondent
Wednesday September 01 2004
The Guardian


The World Bank launched an unprecedented exercise in public consultation yesterday on whether it should back a project to build a dam in Laos on a tributary of the Mekong river.

More than 200 officials from the Lao and Thai governments, businessmen, environmentalists and academics began debating whether the bank should underwrite a &#163;675m project to build the dam, being developed by a consortium of Lao, Thai, French and Italian investors.

Bank officials claim the "detailed and intensive" level of consultation is setting a new benchmark for project assessment that should be copied worldwide.

Critics argue that the consultation is a waste of time because, they believe, the bank has decided to support the project, its first massive dam in East Asia for more than a decade.

If the Nam Theun 2 dam goes ahead the impoverished Lao economy stands to gain &#163;1.1bn in revenue from the electricity generated, most of which will be exported to Thailand.

Some 70% of the Lao population lives on less than &#163;1.10 a day. Set against the potential benefit from the dam is the disruption to one of east Asia's most important waterways and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.

Peter Stephens, a World Bank spokesman, admitted that there had been "problems and issues", but said that "the pluses outweigh the minuses".

"[The project] will give the country the money to invest in areas where money is desperately needed, without having to borrow it," he told the Guardian. "It will strengthen the systems and institutions of government that will see the money used productively."

Other claimed benefits include a 23,000-acre protected area that will be created near the dam site and continued monitoring of the Lao government's spending to minimise corruption.

However, 6,000 people will be have to be moved. Fields belonging to a further 40,000 villagers will be flooded. Fish stocks will be affected and the ecosystem of the Mekong delta downstream will be damaged.

Mr Stephens claimed that a final decision would not be taken until after workshops in Paris, Washington, Tokyo and the Lao capital Vientiane in the next month.

Dr Juree Vichit-Vadakan, the independent moderator of yesterday's event, said the Lao government's presentation was impressive. "They made a very strong case for a need of the revenue from the project to take care of the environment, reduce poverty and improve social infrastructure," she told the Guardian. Several groups opposing the dam had made a persuasive argument that Thailand's power needs would not be as great as the consortium and bank had estimated, and that the resulting energy surplus would discourage conservation and the use of renewable resources.

Thailand has agreed to buy 95% of the power generated by Nam Theun 2.

A spokesman for the Nam Theun 2 Power Company, Ludovic Delplanque, described the workshop as a success because "the objective was to make sure the concerns are listened to and addressed to our best possible ability".

"However, some concerns cannot be addressed", he told the Guardian, "because some people are simply anti-dam and would like a completely different approach."

One of the most vocal critics of the bank's involvement is the International Rivers Network. It believes five recent hydropower projects have been a major failure in Laos, leaving "a legacy of destroyed livelihoods and damaged ecosystems", according to a report published in March.

"As a result of dams, tens of thousands of Laotians lack sufficient food to eat, clean water to drink and income to meet basic needs," the study alleged. "The government has taken few steps to improve the livelihoods of communities."

Premrudee Daonroung of the Thailand-based Project for Ecological Recovery was disappointed by the World Bank's perceived bias towards the project. "It was clear from the atmosphere that the decision has already been taken," she told the Guardian. "The bank 100% supports the project."

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 2:42 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Nausea in New York

We covered the Democratic National Convention inside and out, beginning to end. Now the t r u t h o u t team is in New York. Go to: http://www.truthout.org/rnc04.shtml for our video, audio and blog reports from both inside the Republican National Convention and outside on the streets.

t r u t h o u t | 09.01

Battle Renews on Use of National Forests

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

William Rivers Pitt | Nausea in New York
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104A.shtml

Bush Flip-Flops on Winning Terror War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104B.shtml

Rebel Shiite Cleric's Aides Hint He May Enter Politics
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104C.shtml

Sovereign Iraq Just as Deadly to U.S. Forces
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104D.shtml

Michelle Goldberg | "We the People Say No to Bush"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104E.shtml

Paul Krugman | A No-Win Situation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104F.shtml

Le Nouvel Observer | Maya Meducin: "Hostage-Taking Benefits USA and Allawi Regime"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104H.shtml

Robert Kuttner | Now, Smearing the Trial Lawyers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104I.shtml

FBI Questions Israeli Lobbyists in Spying Probe
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104J.shtml

Howard Dean | The First Americans are Last in Health Care
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104K.shtml

ABC: Extra Republican Coverage During Monday Night Football
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104L.shtml

Radical Conservatives Influence Republican Platform
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104X.shtml

Israel, 15 Dead in Dual Suicide Bombings
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104Y.shtml

Bush Now Says Terror War Unwinnable
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104Z.shtml

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

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SACRAMENTO BEE EDITORIAL (Monday, August 30, 2004)


http://www.sacbee.com/content/opinion/story/10566359p-11485282c.html

Hetch Hetchy reclaimed: Editorial

San Francisco's paradox A green agenda everywhere-except Yosemite

When it comes to San Francisco's environmental sensibilities, no cause is too distant, no endeavor too bold.

In recent years, San Francisco has vowed to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 20 percent and to produce enough electricity from ocean tides to power 1,000 homes.

It has voiced its support for tightening hazardous chemical regulations in the European Union and protecting arctic Alaska from oil development.

It has discouraged consumption of Chilean sea bass and promoted the pro-vegetarian Great American Meatout.

It plans to recycle 75 percent of its garbage and wants to convert restaurant grease into fuel for city buses.

It promises someday to appropriately honor an environmental hero of the Bay Area, the late David Brower, the first executive director of the Sierra Club and founder of Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island Institute.

"[He] awakened us to our responsibility to enrich and protect our habitat," according to a city proclamation, which calls for "a suitable and permanent memorial."

But did Brower truly awaken San Francisco? He certainly didn't think so, at least where it mattered most.

Brower spent a half-century following the lead of the great naturalist John Muir. Like Muir, Brower championed the goal of providing two spectacular valleys in Yosemite National Park, not just the Yosemite Valley most tourists see today. Like Muir, Brower failed.

Muir died in 1914, having failed to stop Congress from approving a plan to flood Hetch Hetchy Valley with 300 feet of Sierra water. Brower died in 2000, having failed in his efforts to restore Hetch Hetchy to the American public.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, San Francisco has been steadfast in its contention that a municipal reservoir is the highest use of Hetch Hetchy. In 1913, Congress agreed with San Francisco and approved the dam's construction. Since 1923, Hetch Hetchy has been underwater, relegated to obscurity. Today, it is the least visited natural feature in the park.

Like Muir, Brower implored San Francisco to get its water elsewhere on the Tuolumne River, outside Yosemite National Park. San Francisco never did.

"It belongs to everybody," Brower said of the Hetch Hetchy Valley when he visited it in May 2000, six months before he died. "We happen to be the current custodians. And San Francisco happens to be the current pirates."

Hetch Hetchy is San Francisco's great civic contradiction. While the city's environmental agenda spans the globe, it keeps a glacial valley locked away close to home. San Francisco claims part of a national park, a public treasure, for its own utilitarian purposes of securing water and electricity.

Hetch Hetchy provides nearly 85 percent of San Francisco's water and a major portion of the supply for San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. The system, then and today, is an engineering marvel. It captures and conveys water for 160 miles solely by gravity's force, along the way spinning turbines that provide electricity to run the city's famous cable cars and other municipal services.

The water system is no ordinary source of civic pride. Hetch Hetchy, said the former mayor Dianne Feinstein, is the city's "birthright." No wonder that by 1988 she had quashed the effort by Interior Secretary Donald Hodel to study the valley's restoration.

Nothing, in San Francisco's view, seems broken. What is there to fix? Nothing, if the view is a narrow one.

But if Californians pull back and take a broader look, they will see that Hetch Hetchy is not San Francisco's birthright. It is the country's. In Yosemite, buried beneath glacial waters, is part of a park that was set aside for all Americans. Surely San Franciscans and Feinstein, now a U.S. Senator and the state's most seasoned leader on water issues, can envision the grandeur of a national park made whole.

Modern-day environmentalism calls for examining old assumptions, rebalancing public values and accepting new findings. Some decisions need recalibrating, especially ones made 90 years ago.

Could San Francisco, as Brower and Muir said, get its water someplace other than Yosemite National Park? Researchers at the University of California, Davis, asked the question and, with a computer's help, found that it could. San Francisco could take its water downstream, from the New Don Pedro Dam, whose reservoir is more than five times Hetch Hetchy's size. A replacement reservoir, Calaveras, proposed in the East Bay, would be larger than Hetch Hetchy.

There is ample reason to ponder a different future for Yosemite Valley's little twin - to talk about restoring Hetch Hetchy, modifying the Tuolumne River water system, replacing lost hydropower and removing San Francisco from the national park.

This will be a serious and contentious discussion for the state as well as for San Francisco. But it will be worth the trouble.

Imagine the possibilities. No longer would San Francisco be, as Brower declared it years ago, the pirate with the stolen national treasure. Instead, a city that prides itself on environmentalism could set its sights on a new cause: restoring Hetch Hetchy, a public jewel close to home.

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motherjones.com

http://www.motherjones.com/arts/film/2004/09/08_100.html

Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America

Kelly Duane -- Loteria Films -- 77 minutes

by Gregory Crouch

September/October 2004 Issue


David Brower might be the most important American
conservationist since John Muir, and Monumental documents
his crusades.

Rising from a rock-climbing background to become the
executive director of the Sierra Club in 1952, Brower grew the
organization from roughly 2,000 outdoorsmen to a broad-based
membership of more than 75,000, and galvanized it to
political action. Brower's Sierra Club spearheaded America's
nascent environmental movement and ensured the survival of,
among others, Kings Canyon, the Redwoods, Dinosaur National
Monument, the North Cascades, Point Reyes, the Yukon -- and
even blocked a plan to dam the Grand Canyon. But Brower's
campaigning came at a cost: Conservative board members
eventually drummed him out in 1969. Yet Brower continued his
fight -- predominantly through Friends of the Earth and Earth
Island Institute, both organizations he helped found -- until
his death in 2000.

Footage culled from Brower's personal collection forms the
backbone of Monumental, a technique that allows director
Kelly Duane not only to acquaint us with Brower, the man,
but to see the landscapes he loved as if through his own
eyes. Particularly poignant is Duane's depiction of Brower
haunted by what he considered to be his greatest failure -- the
horse trade that saved Dinosaur from a dam but
simultaneously condemned wild and ferocious Glen Canyon to
the dull, placid waters of Lake Powell. Peppered into the
narrative are charming interviews with contemporaries such
as Jerry Mander, who co-engineered the Sierra Club's deeply
affecting advertising campaigns. And Duane includes a
good-humored chat with Floyd Dominy -- former head of the
dam-building Bureau of Reclamation and one of Brower's most
implacable foes.

Monumental is an inspiring testament to the power of the
individual. The American West would be a far poorer place
without David Brower.


@2004 The Foundation for National Progress

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enn.com - August 27, 2004

http://www.enn.com/news/2004-08-27/s_26723.asp

Drought boosts campaign to drain one of the West's biggest reservoirs

By John Krist

Past these towering monuments, past these mounded billows of orange sandstone, past these oak-set glens, past these fern-decked alcoves, past these mural curves, we glide hour after hour, stopping now and then as our attention is arrested by some new wonder.

- John Wesley Powell, The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons


PAGE, Arizona - Maintenance workers at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are playing tag with Lake Powell. Each time they think they have it cornered, it slips away again.

The worst drought in the recorded history of the western United States has shrunk the lake behind Glen Canyon Dam to its lowest point in more than 30 years, leaving a 117-foot-high bathtub ring of white mineral deposits on the ruddy shoreline cliffs. To keep pace with the reservoir's steadily receding shoreline, the National Park Service has poured hundreds of cubic yards of concrete to extend marina boat-launch ramps twice in the past two years.

At Wahweap, the lake's most heavily used marina, the ramp is now about 1,300 feet long, according to Park Service spokeswoman Char Obergh. It is a vertigo-inducing slab of monumentally proportioned pavement and would seem a strong contender for the title of Longest and Steepest Boat Ramp in North America if not for the fact that another ramp at Lake Powell, the one at Bullfrog Marina, has been extended to 1,568 feet - nearly one-third of a mile.

Elsewhere at the lake, the Park Service has admitted defeat. Near the upstream end of the 186-mile-long reservoir, crews packed up Hite Marina last winter and hauled it away. Storage in Lake Powell has fallen to 42 percent of capacity, the lowest level since it was first filled, and a weedy landscape of fissured mud fills the canyon where Hite's docks once floated on sparkling water.

The record-setting drought, now in its sixth year in some parts of the West, has done more than inconvenience boaters at Lake Powell, the nation's second-largest artificial reservoir. It has thrown a scare into water managers in several states, asking them to confront the possibility that the explosive urban growth of the past 20 years in the region rests upon a hydrological mirage.

It is beginning to drive farmers and ranchers off the land in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. It threatens power shortages and price spikes this summer in California, as anemic flows curtail hydroelectricity generation in the Pacific Northwest.

The drought also has begun resurrecting the labyrinthine canyon system drowned nearly four decades ago by the rising waters of Lake Powell, revealing to a new generation of westerners the environmental cost of their water and power. And by doing that, the drought has reinvigorated a quixotic campaign to decommission the last of America's high dams and to drain forever the symbolically potent and paradoxically beautiful lake it created.

"The drought is showing us why we don't need Glen Canyon Dam," said Chris Peterson, executive director of the Glen Canyon Institute. "It's showing us what was lost when Glen Canyon Dam was built."

How Dry Is It?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the period since 1999 has been the driest in the Colorado River watershed since the agency began keeping track of such things 98 years ago. That means the interior West is drier now than it was during the catastrophic Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, the worst of the 20th century, when crops failed across the Great Plains and farm families fled by the thousands.

"This is the worst drought in the history of the river," said Barry Wirth, regional public affairs officer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

California's winter precipitation and reservoir storage were about 90 percent of average, but the peculiarly warm and dry spring caused the Sierra Nevada snowpack to melt twice as fast as usual. Water managers for the state said then the summer stream flow - critical for refilling reservoirs during irrigation season - would be only 65 percent of average this year.

Nearly everywhere else in the West, the situation is much worse. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a report on nationwide conditions produced by a consortium of government agencies and academic institutions, virtually the entire West is gripped by conditions that range from "abnormally dry" to "exceptional drought," the most severe category on its scale.

The Drought Monitor posts a map on its Web site using colors from yellow to dark red to indicate increasing levels of severity; the map presents a West with a giant vermillion bulls-eye centered about where Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming meet, with colorful ripples of bad news propagating across adjoining states.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a federal agency that monitors water conditions across the nation, reported May 27 that despite flurries of rain and late snowfall this spring in several western states, the Rocky Mountain snowpack melted much earlier than usual this year. The agency predicted that stream flows this summer would be near historic low levels in much of the West.

And California has little reason to be smug, despite its only slightly sub-par winter precipitation. The state relies heavily on imports from the drought-shriveled Colorado River, source of more than half the water consumed in Southern California. Although the drought has not yet interfered with Southern California water imports, Interior Secretary Gale Norton warned earlier this year of potential reductions in deliveries if the drought continues.

California also relies on hydropower generated by the Colorado and in the Columbia River basin of the Pacific Northwest. The Bonneville Power Administration, which markets the electricity produced at 31 federally owned dams in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, recently notified California energy managers that because of low river flows - the volume in some waterways is only 40 percent of average - they should not count on being able to purchase surplus electricity from the Pacific Northwest to meet daily power needs this summer. California utilities traditionally have employed that strategy to get over the hump when energy use peaks because of air conditioner use.

Losing access to surplus power from the Pacific Northwest could mean higher electricity prices in California, as utilities turn to expensive purchases on the spot market to offset potential shortages. It may also result in increased air pollution, as generating plants that burn natural gas and coal ramp up operations to offset reductions in relatively clean hydroelectric power.

Get Used to It

There's no reason to expect things to improve in the short term, climate experts warn. In fact, there's a chance they'll get worse - a lot worse.

"The drought in the interior West will persist through summer, as the water supply situation stays the same or worsens in coming months due to below-normal snow accumulation during the winter season," the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center concluded in its drought forecast issued May 20. "The summer thunderstorm season during July and August will likely bring no more than short-term relief from dryness, and the long-term hydrological drought should persist at least until next winter's snow season."

Although the drought may be the most severe that has struck the West in the century that records have been kept, it is not nearly the worst the region has experienced. Scientists studying the records of climate and weather preserved in ancient tree rings, lake sediments, and fossil pollen have come to believe that the 20th century was unusually wet by long-term standards. If that's true, it means broadly held assumptions about the region's water supply, and its capacity to support farms and cities, are dangerously inaccurate.

The drought of the 1930s lasted eight years, depopulated huge swaths of the Great Plains, and was the longest to strike North America in three centuries. But droughts lasting even longer - in some cases, for several decades at a time - have occurred repeatedly in the past 2,000 years, according to climate researchers. One such extended drought is believed responsible for the disappearance of the Anasazi, ancestors of modern Pueblo tribes, from the Four Corners area of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico in the 13th century.

"The occurrence of such sustained drought conditions today would be a natural disaster of a magnitude unprecedented in the 20th century," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Paleoclimatology Program.

Chasing Water

At Lake Powell, where the broad white bathtub ring on the tall red cliffs is among the most obvious signs of drought in the Colorado River watershed, the National Park Service has tried to put the best face on matters.

"Fishing is great and getting better!" the agency cheerfully asserts in its latest report on lake conditions, presumably because the fish population is now squeezed into less than half its accustomed habitat.

The Park Service - which manages the lake and Glen Canyon National National Recreation Area, a 1.3-million-acre expanse of canyons and plateaus surrounding the reservoir in Utah and Arizona - spent more than $2 million last year extending launch ramps and upgrading marina utilities to cope with the falling water level. In her latest annual report, Glen Canyon Superintendent Kitty L. Roberts estimated $2.8 million would be spent on similar work in 2004. (The entire budget for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area this year is $9.3 million.)

Despite reassurances by the Park Service, and despite the fact that there's plenty of water for boats in most of the lake, tourism at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has been dropping steadily since the drought's effects became noticeable, from 2.4 million visitors in 2001 to 2.1 million in 2002 and 1.9 million last year. Park managers attribute some of the decrease to the nationwide drop in travel after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but they suspect widespread publicity about the falling water level at Lake Powell has contributed.

A decline in Lake Powell recreation is bad news for the economy of Page, established in 1957 as a construction camp for the crews that built Glen Canyon Dam. Named for John Chatfield Page, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1937 to 1943, the city of about 6,800 people now serves as headquarters of a lake-related tourism industry: motels, restaurants, gas stations, boat brokers, repair shops, guide services, boat rentals, fishing gear retailers.

Lake-related tourism accounts for 69 percent of the jobs in Page, according to Joan Nevills-Staveley, executive director of the Page-Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.

"Needless to say, if there were no Lake Powell, there would be no Page," Nevills-Staveley said. "It would be a very barren, very dismal scene."

Higher-than-normal vacancy rates, which business owners blame on news about the drought, have prompted motels in Page to discount room rates as much as 25 percent this summer, according to the chamber.

Although alarming to many, the accelerating contraction of Lake Powell is not bad news to everyone. In fact, many environmentalists and lovers of the rugged canyon country believe the only thing better than a smaller Lake Powell would be no Lake Powell at all.

The Concrete Compromise

Built and operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Glen Canyon Dam is a 10-million-ton plug of gracefully arched concrete wedged into a narrow canyon of Navajo sandstone. It is 710 feet tall from foundation to crest and backs up a reservoir that, when full, holds 26.2 million acre-feet. In the United States, only Hoover Dam is taller; only Hoover's reservoir, Lake Mead, is larger. (An acre-foot, 325,9000 gallons, is a year's supply for two average Southern California households.)

Glen Canyon was named by Maj. John Wesley Powell, one-armed Civil War veteran and leader of the first exploring party to travel by water through the heart of the canyon country. His party of 10 men departed Green River, Wyoming, on May 24, 1869, piloted four fragile wooden boats down the Green and Colorado rivers, and emerged three months later below the Grand Canyon.

Glen Canyon Dam and the lake named for Maj. Powell are the subjects of regret, antipathy, even hatred, in the hearts of many American environmentalists. The dam's approval by Congress as part of the Colorado River Storage Project - a series of high dams in the river's upper basin, including Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in Utah, Navajo Dam on the San Juan River in New Mexico, and the Wayne Aspinall Unit (Blue Mesa, Crystal, and Morrow Point dams) on the Gunnison River in Colorado - came during a ferocious debate in the late 1950s about the future of the West, the integrity of the national park system, and the proper balance between preservation and exploitation of the nation's resources.

As originally proposed by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Colorado River Storage Project was to include dams that would have flooded Dinosaur National Monument on the Utah-Colorado border. Led by the Sierra Club, environmentalists fought off those dams, but the price of victory was their agreement to drop opposition to the remainder of the project, including Glen Canyon Dam.

Those involved in the battle, notably David Brower, the Sierra Club's executive director at the time, later came to rue that compromise; when diversion tunnels around the dam were plugged in 1963, the rising water inundated a canyon complex that many who lived or traveled in the area regarded as the most lovely in the Southwest.

"The loss of beautiful Glen Canyon due in part to my own inaction is one of my biggest regrets," Brower wrote in a 1999 fund-raising letter for the Glen Canyon Institute, which was established in 1995 with the goal of decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam. "But what is lost does not have to remain so."

Costs and Benefits

Wary of being dismissed as impractical dreamers, environmentalists have for the past decade focused on cold facts and figures in making the case for Lake Powell's elimination. (In their scenario, the dam would remain but new diversion tunnels would be drilled through its flanking cliffs to let the river flow freely around it.)

Some of their assertions draw little dispute from the Bureau of Reclamation and other defenders of the dam. Both sides in the debate agree that Lake Powell traps millions of tons of sediment each year and that the Colorado below the dam has been transformed from a warm and muddy river into one that is cold and clear. In consequence, beaches and sandbars have vanished from the Grand Canyon, eliminating not only camping spots for river runners but also wildlife habitat, and several species of native fish have been driven to extinction or its brink. Elimination of the huge floods that used to tear through the canyon each spring has allowed exotic plants such as tamarisk and Russian thistle to invade the river banks, displacing native vegetation.

Both sides also agree that prodigious quantities of water are lost from Lake Powell to evaporation - 2 to 3 percent of its volume annually, according to the bureau, which amounts to as much as 800,000 acre-feet when the lake is full. That's more than the annual consumption of Los Angeles.

Where the two sides part company most dramatically is on the benefit side of the equation. The bureau characterizes Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell as critical components of the West's plumbing and power system, generating 5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually (enough for 400,000 households) and allowing water managers to store sufficient runoff during wet years to ensure adequate supplies for downstream users in California, Nevada, and Arizona when drought - such as the one now gripping the region - inevitably strikes.

"If there ever was a period of time that demonstrated the critical nature of and need for Lake Powell, now is the time," said Wirth, who works in the Bureau of Reclamation's Upper Colorado River Region office in Salt Lake City. "Without Lake Powell, without Lake Mead, without the Colorado River Storage Project, we wouldn't have made it to this point."

Opponents of the dam argue that Lake Mead stores enough water for most purposes and that, even in drought, there has been enough water in the Colorado River to provide the legally mandated deliveries to states that share the watershed. If more storage is needed, they argue, it should be developed in underground basins and offstream reservoirs in the states that need it.

They also contend that the West would not miss Glen Canyon Dam's kilowatts, which account for less than 3 percent of the region's generating capacity.

Numbers, however, only take the discussion so far. Ultimately, the argument in favor of draining Lake Powell comes down an aesthetic and emotional one. To get a feel for that aspect of the debate, you can buy a book.

Writer Wallace Stegner called Glen Canyon "the most serenely beautiful of all the canyons of the Colorado River"  in his 1965 essay "Glen Canyon Submersus," which is collected in a volume titled The Sound of Mountain Water.

A Utah publisher recently issued a new edition of The Place No One Knew, a large-format volume of images by noted landscape photographer Eliot Porter, originally published by the Sierra Club in 1963 as a eulogy for the doomed canyon. You also can read Ed Abbey's classic book Desert Solitaire, which includes a mournful essay recounting a float trip through Glen Canyon in the final days of dam construction. Or you can take a hike.

A Canyon Reborn

From just east of the hamlet of Escalante in southern Utah, the unpaved Hole in the Rock Road carves its way across 60 miles of corrugated stone and drifting sand, paralleling the steep escarpment of the Kaiparowits Plateau to the west and the hidden Escalante River canyon to the east. The road terminates above the Colorado River at a notch blasted and hacked into the canyon wall in 1880 by Mormon settlers seeking a shortcut to southeastern Utah. At intervals, spurs branch off the dirt road toward the Escalante, eventually fading into trails that switchback into the main canyon.

At one such trailhead in late May, guide Travis Corkrum of Salt Lake City, Utah, and freelance photographer Eli Butler of Flagstaff, Arizona, met a group of backpackers who had signed up for a four-day trip sponsored by the Glen Canyon Institute. Shouldering packs, the group of eight hikers trudged across sand and slickrock, past blooming beavertail cactus and sage, to the edge of the plateau.

At the lip of the 900-foot-deep canyon, the route required hikers to clamber down a vertical rock face and then squeeze through a crack in the rock barely wide enough for an average adult. The packs had to be lowered by rope. Gathering again at the bottom of the cliff, the group descended a steep slope of shifting sand and dropped into the inner canyon, setting up camp on a sandy bench beneath an overhanging wall of sandstone.

For four days, the group explored Coyote Gulch and lower Escalante Canyon, parts of which had been inundated by Lake Powell until a year earlier. The retreating water has reopened hundreds of miles of narrow canyons to foot traffic, revealing seeps and springs, alcoves carpeted with maidenhair fern and columbine, quiet pools reflecting burnished slickrock.

Upstream in Coyote Gulch and Escalante Canyon, in areas untouched by the lake, lie additional reminders of what drowned when the reservoir filled: whispering groves of cottonwood and willow trees, grassy flats where Anasazi farmers - their abandoned granaries and panels of rock art still visible high on the cliffs - grew corn, beans, and squash a thousand years ago. There are arches and bridges carved from stone by time and running water, gnarled oaks, waterfalls, monolithic walls varnished with a natural patina of blue-black iron and manganese.

There is deep silence within the canyons. Although water flows year-round from springs in Coyote Gulch and in the Escalante River, it does so silently, slipping across the sandy canyon floor with barely a murmur. The loudest sounds are those of dripping seeps, trilling canyon wrens, and the splash of hikers' footsteps as they wade in the water, which in mid-May was ankle-deep in Coyote Gulch and sometimes reached mid-thigh in the Escalante.

It is these intangible qualities of the drowned but partially resurrected canyon complex - silence, antiquity, the spectacle of green life, and flowing water in a rocky desert - that environmentalists believe offer the most compelling argument against Lake Powell. By organizing backpacking trips into the area, directors of the Glen Canyon Institute hope to use the power of the landscape itself to swell the ranks of antidam activists.

"That's what's going to win this campaign: that permanent place in your heart that this place holds," Peterson said.

Past and Future

Weighed against the aesthetic and emotional values of a restored canyon system are kilowatts, the stark beauty of Lake Powell itself, the reservoir's popularity with boaters and consequent economic value to Page, and the flexibility the dam and lake give to Western water managers charged with the difficult task of keeping cities and farms alive in very dry places.

"The reality is that it (Lake Powell) will refill: It has to refill," Wirth said. "We have no other way to prepare for the next drought that's going to come."

In Page, chamber director Nevills-Staveley has some sympathy for those who would like to see the canyons resurrected. She's the oldest daughter of Norm Nevills, who in the 1930s launched one of the first commercial rafting businesses on the Colorado River and helped give birth to what has become a major recreational industry. His pioneering 1938 excursion through Glen Canyon and the Grand Canyon, at a time when fewer than 100 people had managed the feat, drew nationwide press attention and made him famous. Before his death in a 1949 plane crash, Nevills led many commercial trips through Glen Canyon, and his daughter remembers it well and fondly.

However, she believes that even if Lake Powell were drained, the wild, lonely, and beautiful canyon she remembers exploring in the days before the dam is unlikely to return to its natural state - certainly not in her lifetime, nor in the lifetime of anyone now living. Besides, she said, the lives of too many people in Page and on the neighboring Navajo Reservation have, for better or worse, become inextricably tied to the reservoir in the past 40 years.

"You can't go back," she said.

While the pro-dam and antidam forces marshal their arguments, battling for the hearts, minds, and perhaps the soul of the West, a third participant in the debate - nature - likely will have the final say.
If rain and snowfall return to average in the Colorado River watershed, it will take at least a dozen years to refill Lake Powell, Wirth said. If the drought continues and the reservoir keeps dropping at its curent pace, in as little as two years the water in Lake Powell will drop below the turbine intakes and Glen Canyon Dam's massive generators will shut down.

A journalist for more than 20 years, John Krist is a senior reporter and columnist at the Ventura County Star in Southern California and a contributing editor for California Planning & Development Report. His weekly commentaries on the environment are distributed nationally by Scripps Howard News Service, and he is a regular contributor to Writers on the Range, a syndicated service of High Country News, which distributes commentaries to more than 70 newspapers in the West. Send comments to feedback@enn.com.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Monday, August 30, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | Bush's War on Democracy

We covered the Democratic National Convention inside and out, beginning to end.
Now the t r u t h o u t team is in New York. Go to: http://www.truthout.org/rnc04.shtml
for our video, audio and blog reports from both inside the Republican National Convention
and outside on the streets.

t r u t h o u t | 08.31

The More We Grow, the Less Able We are to Feed Ourselves

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

Marjorie Cohn | Bush's War on Democracy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104A.shtml

Voices from the March to Nowhere
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104B.shtml

A Mole Passes Secrets About Iran to Israel?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104C.shtml

Taliban-Claimed Blast Blow to Bush: Report
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104D.shtml

Negroponte Wants More Funds for Iraqi Security
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104E.shtml

Undecided Voters Want Bush to Offer Specifics
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104F.shtml

Le Monde | Fundamentalisms
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104H.shtml

U.S. and Russia Still Dominate Arms Market, but World Total Falls
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104I.shtml

Greg Palast | Madame Butterfly Flies Off with Ballots Florida Fixed Again?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104J.shtml

Robert Novak Has Ties to Regnery, Publisher of Anti-Kerry Book
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104K.shtml

Bob Herbert | Of Campaigns and Breakfast Cereals
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104L.shtml

Edwards Counters Cheney on Defense
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104X.shtml

Torture at Abu Ghraib: The Orders from the Top
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104Y.shtml

What You Won't See at the Republican Convention
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/083104Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'RNC Convention, Day One'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

tompaine.com - August 25, 2004

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/brutality_and_purposeless_sadism.php

"Brutality And Purposeless Sadism"

An independent investigative panel led by former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger and including
another former defense secretary, Harold Brown, found that current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is
at least partially responsible for the torture that occurred in the Abu Ghraib prison between October and
December 2003. Calling the 300 alleged instance of abuse "brutality and purposeless sadism," the panel
blamed the entire chain of top-level generals and military officials, including Rumsfeld, Gen. Tommy Franks and
Gen. John P. Abizaid. "The aberrant behavior on the night shift in Cell Block 1 at Abu Ghraib would have been
avoided with proper training, leadership and oversight," the report reads.

<> Click for report

 

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

 

From: Kelly Duane <kelly@loteriafilms.org>
Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 8:59 AM

Monumental screens across North America including 8 swing states

David Brower's Fight for Wild America

NORTH AMERICAN SCREENINGS:

NEW YORK--LOS ANGELES--SAN FRANCISCO--PORTLAND--WASHINGTON DC--DENVER--SEATTLE PUERTO VALLARTA--ASPEN--FLAGSTAFF--VANCOUVER--RENO--TAMPA--BISHOP--NORFOLK--SANTA FE--PASADENA--TELLURIDE--GAINESVILLE--HYANNIS AND MORE

"LOTERIA FILMS and PATAGONIA have teamed up to bring MONUMENTAL to eight swing states before November 2nd to remind the climbers, the surfers, the boaters, the snowboarders and the couch potatoes around the country to VOTE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. MONUMENTAL will also be screening at New York City's Lincoln Center and in film festivals internationally.

"Stylish and substantial enough to prompt even a couch potato to action, Kelly Duane's Monumental delivers a stirring and visually dense account of the life and times of Brower . . . " --Variety

"Brower invented modern American environmental activism. This film tells you how and why." --John Nielsen, NPR

The filmmaker's enthusiasm for that insider footage is understandable --imagine the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s home movies of the civil rights movement. . ."--Los Angeles Times

"If anyone's been searching for the soul of the new West, here it is. Monumental, Kelly Duane's inspiring new-feature documentary, seizes on the renegade spirit Berkeley native David Brower. . ." --San Francisco Magazine

"Monumental is an inspiring testament to the power of the individual." --Mother Jones


* * * * * * * * * * *
kelly duane
loteria films
www.loteriafilms.org
* * * * * * * * * * *

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

 

Published on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 by The Nation

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0825-10.htm


Johnny Cash was NOT a Republican

by Peter Rothberg


The songs of Johnny Cash--"the Man in Black"--were beacons of light for those who were unjustly locked up,
kicked down, and knocked around. He sang from his heart for the poor, the imprisoned, and the oppressed.

And, as John Nichols wrote in his Nation weblog after Cash's death last year, "Though he was not known as
an expressly political artist, Cash waded into the controversies of his times with a passion. Like the US troops
in Vietnam who idolized him, he questioned the wisdom of that war. And in the mid-1960s, at the height of his
success, he released an album that challenged his country's treatment of Native Americans."

But it was his songs which really marked him as a man of the people. He took sides in his songs, and he
preferred the side of those imprisoned by the law--and by poverty and hard luck.

Yet, this Tuesday the GOP and the American Gas Association, a network of 154 utility multinationals, are
shamelessly trying to appropriate the singer-songwriter's legacy by hosting an exclusive "celebration" of Cash
for the Republican delegation from Tennessee inside the elite corridors of Sotheby's auction house.

In response, an ad-hoc group of activists have created a website to honor Cash's memory
(www.defendjohnnycash.org) and to express what is safe to say would be Cash's outrage over the Bush
Administration's malign neglect of the poor in this country. Do you think Cash would be supporting the
President's economic policies? How about the Iraq war? If you think the answer is "no," then come join other
Johnny Cash defenders at 4:00pm (dressed in black if you'd like) on Tuesday, August 31st, at Sotheby's at
1334 York Avenue in Manhattan.

As the call to action reads: "Bring your black clothing, pompadour, guitars (real or cardboard), hair grease,
singing voice, megaphones, jail-stripes, skeleton costumes, signs, art, posters, CD players, boom-boxes,
musical instruments, Johnny posters and records, and, of course, your favorite political Cash lyrics as big as
you can print 'em!"

Click here for more info, click here for a bio of Cash's life and click here to read some of the song lyrics that
made Cash a legend.

And check out a Tennessee group that is doing work in Cash's tradition: Music Row Democrats, formed in
December 2003 by a group of Nashville music industry leaders who were "fed up with feeling as if they had to
apologize for being Democrats, particularly when they knew that Republican policies were negatively affecting
the lives of the working class people who make up much of the audience for their music."

We'll continue to highlight some of the hundreds of anti-RNC protests, panels, presentations and parties as
the RNC draws closer, so watch this space for details and let us know about any activities you think we should
be featuring by clicking here.

Copyright © 2004 The Nation

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 2:49 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Neo-Cons Rethink Iraqi Fiasco

We covered the Democratic National Convention inside and out, beginning to end.
Now the t r u t h o u t team is headed to New York. Please tune in for our video, audio
and blog reports from both inside the Republican National Convention and outside on
the streets. Our coverage will begin this Sunday, August 29th.


t r u t h o u t | 08.26

U.K. to Take Tough Line against U.S. over Kyoto

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

Steve Weissman | Neo-Cons Rethink Iraqi Fiasco
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604A.shtml

A Trail of 'Major Failures' Leads to Rumsfeld
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604B.shtml

War with Russia is Close, President of Georgia Declares
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604C.shtml

First War-Crimes Case Opens at Guantanamo Base
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604D.shtml

Swift Boat Ties Sink Bush Lawyer
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604E.shtml

Bush's Dad Foresaw 'Incalculable' Costs of Iraq War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604F.shtml

Jean-Pierre Perrin | We were Saddam's Hostages; Now We're the Terrorists
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604H.shtml

Police Brace for Unauthorized Protest in Central Park
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604I.shtml

J. Sri Raman | Bangladesh: the Forgotten 'Fundamentalists'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604J.shtml

Israel Urged to Adopt Geneva Convention
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604K.shtml

Michael Tomasky | Kerry Coverage: Conservative Bias?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604L.shtml

Cleland Blasts Bush for Not Condemning Anti-Kerry Ads
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604W.shtml

Kerry Renews Call for Rumsfeld to Resign
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604X.shtml

Top Iraqi Cleric Sistani Returns to Lead March on Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604Y.shtml

Russian Plane Sent Hijack Alert before Crash
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082604Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'One Hell of a Showdown'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

Published on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 by Newsday / Long Island, New York

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0824-09.htm


What We've Really Lost in this Indefensible War

by Jimmy Breslin


There were four Marines and an Army soldier killed in Iraq in one 24-hour period over the weekend.

George Bush, who does not like people who go to war, probably will say that they are not dead.

As of Aug. 20, we list 952 of our troops killed in fighting.

That is the Defense Department figure. When the figure goes over 1,000, that can be devastating in an
election.

But the figure of 1,000, so easily remembered, already has been reached. That was on July 7, when a
rocket-propelled grenade killed Pfc. Samuel Bowen of Cleveland. The people keeping track at the Army Times
newspaper, which has given the best, and often the only, coverage of the war, made Bowen the 1,000th.
The Army Times, with no election to effect, properly includes deaths in Afghanistan.

The names of the dead in Iraq over the weekend have not been released yet, except for Army Pfc. Kevin A.
Cuming, 22, of White Plains. And so you sat yesterday with all these Department of Defense death notices for
the last weeks covering the desk and you glanced at them, with the ages of the dead reaching up from the
paper to grab your throat. Now and then you called one of their homes to get a small idea of what they were
like when they lived, and what we have lost in a war that now pleases only the mentally unbalanced.

Printing as many names and as often as possible is a gloomy task. These are the deaths that the president
and his people try to sneak past the country. The dead were brave men. The president is craven. He buries
the war, and the news reporters, indolent and in fear of authority, follow like cattle going into pens. For so
long, the public believed the news it was given. Saddam Hussein was going to blow us up with an atom
bomb! The Muslims of Iraq love us!

Herewith are some of the names we went through yesterday. It is taken here as an obligation that we print
the rest in following columns.

Spc. Anthony J. Dixon, 20. 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. Killed on
Aug. 1 at Samarra when improvised explosive device detonated near his guard post. Home, Lindenwold, N.J.
Killed with him was Spc. Armando Hernandez, 22. Home, Hesparia, Calif.

"He lived every day like it was his last day," Spc. Anthony J. Dixon's sister, Mary, said yesterday. "If something
came up, he did it right then. We have a 100-foot cell-phone tower in the back yard. Somebody dared them
to climb it. Anthony didn't say a word. He and Jay, the two of them climbed right to the top. They came down
and my brother said, 'There. I did that.'

"His best friend, Adam Froehlich, was killed in Iraq. In March. He was 21. He and my brother enlisted together.
Anthony already was in Iraq. Someone in his troop told him everything about Adam.

"On Sunday afternoon, somewhere between 1:30 and 2 o'clock, on August 1st, there was somebody at the
door and my mother opened it. There were two officers, a sergeant and a chaplain. My mother knew what
they were here for. She started crying. The two officers couldn't say anything. My mother threw them out."

Sgt. Juan Calderon Jr., 26, of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary
Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Killed on Aug. 4 due to enemy action in Al Ambar Province, Iraq. Home,
Weslaco, Texas.

Spc. Brandon T. Titus, 20, of 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
(Light Infantry), Fort Drum, Watertown, N.Y. Killed on Aug. 17 in Baghdad when an improvised device
exploded near his checkpoint. Home, Boise, Idaho.

Pfc. Fernando B. Hannon, 19, of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine
Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Died Aug. 15 due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province. Home,
Wildomar, Calif.

And Pfc. Geoffrey, Perez, 24, of same unit and died on same day, Aug. 15, of wounds in Anbar Province.
Home, Los Angles, Calif.

Spc. Jacob D. Martir, 21, of 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Killed on Aug. 18 in Sadr City when his patrol came under enemy small arms fire. Home, Norwich, Conn.

First Lt. Neil Anthony Santoriello, 24, of 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley,
Kan. Died on Aug. 13 in Khalidiyah when improvised explosive device detonated near his mounted
reconnaissance patrol vehicle. Home, Verrona, Pa.

"He lived for oatmeal cookies," his sister, Amy, said yesterday. "He was an Eagle Scout. He took children
hiking, swimming. He went to Penn Hills High School and Dickinson College. What did he do after college? He
went right into the Army. He had no time in between. He's only 24."

Capt. Michael Yury Tarlavsky, 30, of 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Ky. Died Aug. 12
in Najaf when his unit came under small arms fire and a grenade attack. Home, Passaic, N.J.

Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio, 30, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary
Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Control Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. Killed by enemy action in Al Anbar
Province. Home, Milford, Mass.

His uncle, Dana Fontecchio, says that when Elia told them he was being sent back to Iraq for a second tour,
"None of us moaned about it. He's a Marine. The gunnery sergeant. They need him."

The surgeon at the forward hospital where they operated on Fontecchio said a helicopter was waiting to fly
him to Baghdad when he died.

Pfc. Raymond J. Faulstich Jr., 89th Transportation Company, 6th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation
Group, Fort Eustis, Va. Died Aug. 5 in Najaf when enemy using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades
attacked his convoy. Home, Leonardtown, Md.

"He had a problem with drugs and alcohol and went one place to the other," his mother, Linda, was saying
last night. "Then he met a girl he loved. Her family said she couldn't see him unless he straightened out. He
did. For her love. He joined the Army, and they married.

"When the two Army men came to the house to tell us, I was inside cleaning. I started to scream. 'Oh, my
God! My son is dead!' He had his rosary beads in his pocket when he was killed. His wife, Crystal, had been
out, and when she came over and saw the crowd in the yard she thought he was home on his two-week
leave that he was supposed to be on. She's 19. She was going to go to college but she just can't do it now.

"My son was a beautiful young man. Everybody speaks about his smile. He had such a beautiful smile. My
husband's smile. I say to my husband, 'Could you please smile so I can see my son's face?'"

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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

 

Published on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0824-05.htm

 

Iraqi Olympic Soccer Players Kick the Stuffing Out of Bush's Fantasy

by Robert Scheer


With just 70 days until election day, the race for the presidency has gone from bitter to outright poisonous:
John Kerry is faulted in television ads by President Bush's moneyed allies for winning combat medals in a war
that Bush avoided, then slammed by the same hypocrites for having the courage to criticize that war after his
return as a wounded vet.

Meanwhile, Bush pretends to be above the fray, all the while parading as a war commander and boasting,
bizarrely, about his mythical achievements in the invasion of Iraq. That war, like Vietnam, has been a costly
disaster since its inception. In an eerie echo of previous presidents who knowingly lied us into the Vietnam
horror, always affirming that victory was "just around the corner," Bush's latest campaign ads prematurely
declare Afghanistan and Iraq as the world's newest democracies. According to the implicit logic of one ad, the
proof can be found in the fact that they both sent teams to the Olympics.

Never mind that both countries are racked by insurgencies and warlordism and dependent on U.S. troops for
what passes for security. Forget that both countries are under martial law and their leaders are unelected U.S.
appointees. Cover your eyes to the fact that both countries are squalid economic basket cases, with the vast
majority of the populace unemployed - or, in the case of Afghanistan, cultivating opium poppies. Ignore the
facts. They're democracies because George W. Bush says so.

But members of the very successful Iraqi Olympic soccer team beg to differ, blasting Bush's attempt to use
their participation in the Games as justification for the U.S. occupation of their country. "My problems are not
with the American people," Iraq's soccer coach, Adnan Hamad Majeed, told the Associated Press. "They are
with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American Army has killed so many people in
Iraq." His star midfielder, Salih Sadir, agreed: "Iraq as a team doesn't want Mr. Bush to use us [in an ad] for
the presidential campaign. We don't wish for the presence of the Americans in our country. We want them
to go away."

These are not anonymous bomb throwers sending notes to the media. These are Iraq's favorite sons, stars of
the national sport. Yet they all seem to be saying the same thing: America's military is not wanted on our land.
Another team member, Ahmed Manajid, demanded to know: "How will [Bush] meet his God having
slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes." The athlete added that were he
not playing for his country he would "for sure" be fighting in the Iraqi resistance. "I want to defend my home. If
a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" Manajid asked.

That is a legitimate question that no one in the Bush administration and few in Congress want to grapple with.
And yet we wonder why, 15 months after the United States "liberated" Iraq, are there so many people there
who hate us?

The honest answer would be similar to the one once offered by Vietnam vet and now-Secretary of State Colin
L. Powell to explain the failure of the U.S. occupation of South Vietnam: "We had been sent to pursue a
policy that had become bankrupt," Powell wrote in his autobiography. "Our political leaders had led us into a
war for the one-size-fits-all rationale of anti-communism, which was only a partial fit in Vietnam, where the war
had its own historical roots in nationalism, anti-colonialism and civil strife beyond the East-West conflict."

The only essential difference between Powell's remarks and the 1971 remarks by Kerry that Bush supporters
cite in their ugly smear campaign is that Powell's dissent came 20 years too late to stop the carnage. Those
who attack Kerry for speaking out in 1971 against the Vietnam War don't understand that it was an enormous
public service for returning American veterans to expose the cynicism of their leaders, as Kerry did in testifying
before the U.S. Senate.

The young Kerry was speaking truth to power, facing a reality that presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon B.
Johnson had admitted in private, as records made public later revealed. In private White House tapes,
Johnson made it clear he could never justify the death of a single U.S. soldier in Vietnam.

His successor, knowing the war was unwinnable, nevertheless carpet-bombed the region in order to fend off
an inevitable defeat until after his reelection campaign.

In the end, who better than veterans to speak out when our commander in chief has betrayed the trust of
U.S. troops, sending them to kill and be killed in an unnecessary war?

Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

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

 

Published on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 by the Baltimore Sun

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0824-03.htm


Defending Liberty

by Robert C. Byrd


The Constitution of the United States of America is sheer genius captured on parchment. The delicate
balance of authority -- the system of checks and balances and separation of powers -- has served as the
foundation for our liberties, providing for the flexibility needed to accommodate two centuries of change and
growth while also inspiring people around the world to strive for liberty.

The Constitution is designed, as Chief Justice John Marshall observed, "to endure for ages to come." But our
national charter is being threatened as never before by reckless disregard for its wisdom.

Especially since Sept. 11, 2001, I have viewed with increasing alarm the erosion of the people's liberties at
the hand of an overreaching executive and a less than vigilant Congress. This White House wraps itself in the
garb of patriotism while running roughshod over the very ideals for which the first American patriots sacrificed.
A concentrated, manipulative and ruthless grasp for power by an arrogant executive which eschews the need
to answer questions, seek counsel or build consensus is a dangerous phenomenon, especially in these
troubled times.

This Bush administration preys on fear, twists the truth and relies on extreme secrecy in an unprecedented
display of contempt for the American people.

Let President Bush speak for himself. "I'm the commander," he told journalist Bob Woodward for the book,
Bush at War. "See, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting
thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I
don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

In this country, the people are sovereign. The first three words of the preamble to the Constitution are "We
the people." The people are always owed an explanation by those who serve them. For any public servant to
believe otherwise is arrogant in the extreme and can be costly at home and abroad.

Consider the cornerstone of Mr. Bush's foreign policy -- the doctrine of pre-emption, the first-strike war. This
doctrine is unconstitutional. It cuts the people's representatives -- the Congress -- completely out of decisions
to send Americans to fight and die.

Look to Iraq, the first testing ground for this radical doctrine. America is not safer because of Mr. Bush's war.

Instead, we have forged a cauldron of contempt for America, a dangerous brew that may have poisoned
efforts at peace throughout the Middle East and, indeed, the world, while giving rise to generations of young
people who now hate America for its aggression and for shameful debacles like the horrors at Abu Ghraib.
We have squandered the goodwill of the world. Such has been the price of the Bush doctrine of pre-emption.

A weak Congress buckled in its vote to authorize force in Iraq. The country was misled by an administration
that waved the bloody shirt of 9/11 then subtly shifted the blame to Saddam Hussein, despite the fact that
there exists no demonstrable link between the two.

The White House propaganda machine convinced the country and Congress that it was unpatriotic to
question the president; that it was damaging to our troops to question the war; and that it now serves no
purpose to rehash the events that took us to war. But we must learn from an examination of the sad mistakes
that have been made. Nearly 1,000 Americans have died in Iraq. No president must ever again be granted
such license with our troops and our treasure.

Each generation of Americans has the responsibility to renew the framer's legacy, and to make this nation
shine as a lasting beacon of hope for the world. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." We must reacquaint
ourselves with the Constitution and forge new links with our history. Congress must reinvigorate its defense of
the people's liberties. Amid the sound and fury of election-year politics, all of us must take a long, hard look at
the kind of country we want to leave to our children.

Robert C. Byrd, the senior Democratic senator from West Virginia, is the author of Losing America:
Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun

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

 

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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1289515,00.html

The beginning of history

Fahrenheit 9/11 has touched millions of viewers across the world.
But could it actually change the course of civilisation?


John Berger
Tuesday August 24 2004
The Guardian


Fahrenheit 9/11 is astounding. Not so much as a film - although it is cunning and moving - but as an event. Most commentators try to dismiss the event and disparage the film. We will see why later.

The artists on the Cannes film festival jury apparently voted unanimously to award Michael Moore's film the Palme d'Or. Since then it has touched many millions across the world. In the US, its box-office takings for the first six weeks amounted to more than $100m, which is, astoundingly, about half of what Harry Potter made during a comparable period. Only the so-called opinion-makers in the media appear to have been put out by it.

The film, considered as a political act, may be a historical landmark. Yet to have a sense of this, a certain perspective for the future is required. Living only close-up to the latest news, as most opinion-makers do, reduces one's perspectives. The film is trying to make a small contribution towards the changing of world history. It is a work inspired by hope.

What makes it an event is the fact that it is an effective and independent intervention into immediate world politics. Today it is rare for an artist to succeed in making such an intervention, and in interrupting the prepared, prevaricating statements of politicians. Its immediate aim is to make it less likely that President Bush will be re-elected next November.

To denigrate this as propaganda is either naive or perverse, forgetting (deliberately?) what the last century taught us. Propaganda requires a permanent network of communication so that it can systematically stifle reflection with emotive or utopian slogans. Its pace is usually fast. Propaganda invariably serves the long-term interests of some elite.

This single maverick movie is often reflectively slow and is not afraid of silence. It appeals to people to think for themselves and make connections. And it identifies with, and pleads for, those who are normally unlistened to. Making a strong case is not the same thing as saturating with propaganda. Fox TV does the latter; Michael Moore the former.

Ever since the Greek tragedies, artists have, from time to time, asked themselves how they might influence ongoing political events. It's a tricky question because two very different types of power are involved. Many theories of aesthetics and ethics revolve round this question. For those living under political tyrannies, art has frequently been a form of hidden resistance, and tyrants habitually look for ways to control art. All this, however, is in general terms and over a large terrain. Fahrenheit 9/11 is something different. It has succeeded in intervening in a political programme on the programme's own ground.

For this to happen a convergence of factors were needed. The Cannes award and the misjudged attempt to prevent the film being distributed played a significant part in creating the event.

To point this out in no way implies that the film as such doesn't deserve the attention it is receiving. It's simply to remind ourselves that within the realm of the mass media, a breakthrough (a smashing down of the daily wall of lies and half-truths) is bound to be rare. And it is this rarity which has made the film exemplary. It is setting an example to millions - as if they'd been waiting for it.

The film proposes that the White House and Pentagon were taken over in the first year of the millennium by a gang of thugs so that US power should henceforth serve the global interests of the corporations: a stark scenario which is closer to the truth than most nuanced editorials. Yet more important than the scenario is the way the movie speaks out. It demonstrates that - despite all the manipulative power of communications experts, lying presidential speeches and vapid press conferences - a single independent voice, pointing out certain home truths which countless Americans are already discovering for themselves, can break through the conspiracy of silence, the atmosphere of fear and the solitude of feeling politically impotent.

It's a movie that speaks of obstinate faraway desires in a period of disillusion. A movie that tells jokes while the band plays the apocalypse. A movie in which millions of Americans recognise themselves and the precise ways in which they are being cheated. A movie about surprises, mostly bad but some good, being discussed together. Fahrenheit 9/11 reminds the spectator that when courage is shared one can fight against the odds.

In more than a thousand cinemas across the country, Michael Moore becomes with this film a people's tribune. And what do we see? Bush is visibly a political cretin, as ignorant of the world as he is indifferent to it; while the tribune, informed by popular experience, acquires political credibility, not as a politician himself, but as the voice of the anger of a multitude and its will to resist.

There is something else which is astounding. The aim of Fahrenheit 9/11 is to stop Bush fixing the next election as he fixed the last. Its focus is on the totally unjustified war in Iraq. Yet its conclusion is larger than either of these issues. It declares that a political economy which creates colossally increasing wealth surrounded by disastrously increasing poverty, needs - in order to survive - a continual war with some invented foreign enemy to maintain its own internal order and security. It requires ceaseless war.

Thus, 15 years after the fall of communism, a decade after the declared end of history, one of the main theses of Marx's interpretation of history again becomes a debating point and a possible explanation of the catastrophes being lived.

It is always the poor who make the most sacrifices, Fahrenheit 9/11 announces quietly during its last minutes. For how much longer?

There is no future for any civilisation anywhere in the world today which ignores this question. And this is why the film was made and became what it became. It's a film that deeply wants America to survive.

John Berger is a novelist and critic

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, August 23, 2004 2:45 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Your Children are Burning

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.24

Howard Geller | A Solution to Global Warming

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

William Rivers Pitt | Your Children are Burning
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404A.shtml

How Many More al-Sadr Martyrs will Bush Create in Iraq?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404B.shtml

U.S. Deal 'Wrecks Middle East Peace'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404C.shtml

Kerry TV Ad Pins Veterans' Attack Firmly on Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404D.shtml

Washington Post | Making Law at Guantanamo
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404E.shtml

Judge: Show the Abu Ghraib Photos
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404F.shtml

"Veterans Present a Numeric and Political Interest"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404H.shtml

New Anti-Semitic Attack in Paris
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404I.shtml

Bob Herbert | A Chill in Florida
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404J.shtml

Antonia Zerbisias | How the Mighty Post has Fallen
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404K.shtml

In U.S., Latino Discord over CAFTA Trade Accord
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404L.shtml

Bush Campaign Worker Denounces Swift Boat Vets
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404V.shtml

500 Tragic Years of Mayan Life
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404W.shtml

Iraq Soccer Coach: 'We're No Symbol of Freedom'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404X.shtml

U.S. Launches Fresh Assault on Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404Y.shtml

UN Expert Denounces Abuses, Illegal Prisons in Afghanistan
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082404Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Do Not Insult Them. They are Your Children.'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

Pasadena Star-News - Sunday, August 22, 2004

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/Stories/0,1413,206%257E22097%257E2352434,00.html


Student saves wilderness as park

By Emanuel Parker , Staff Writer


A South Pasadena High School junior has won a national environmental leadership award for waging a four-year campaign to save South Pasadena's last remaining wilderness area and turn it into a city park.

Lily Dong, 16, who was born in China and came to Southern California when she was 10, will receive a Brower Youth Award, a prestigious prize that recognizes young environmental activists and rewards them with $3,000 cash.

The award is named after David Brower, an environmentalist who modernized the Sierra Club in the 1950s and 60s and founded the San Francisco- based, nonprofit Earth Island Institute in 1982, which presents the awards and nurtures projects and leaders in environmental advocacy.

The Arroyo Seco-South Pasadena Woodland and Wildlife Park is scheduled to open Oct. 16, said Cara McLane, who designed it and works for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a joint powers agency of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

A $250,000 grant obtained by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, when he was a state senator, will convert the land into a park with native plants, paths, a water retention basin, outdoor classroom areas and signs explaining the park's plants and wildlife, McLane said.

Dong founded the Arroyo Field Science Club to help preserve the park and will use the cash award to buy equipment for the club, for college and to help her parents.

The three-acre park is at the intersection of Pasadena and Sycamore avenues its entrance is marked by a kiosk and a brick wall. Dong said there were plans to use it for a private school.

In middle school, Dong joined students attracted to the site by its peaceful setting. They visited it weekly and tried to keep it clean.

When classmates graduated and dropped the project, Dong picked it up. She attended numerous City Council and task force meetings where the fate of the site was debated and lobbied to turn it into a park.

"I suggested what kind of features the park should have; better trails, cleaning the rocky soil and widening some of the trails, features like a kiosk and display cases,' she said.

She and 15 to 20 club members photographed and documented the life cycles of the park's plants and animals, cleared trails, planted native plants and removed trash.

"It's going to be a restoration of three different plant communities; an oaks savanna, California walnut and Sycamore riparian,' McLane said. "It's going to retain the same character it has now, a very natural feel, a little bit wild, and will feature California native plants and function as a different type of open space for the city.'

Dong and five other Browser Award winners are scheduled to be honored at a public ceremony Sept. 30 in Berkeley. Tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill will be one of the hosts.

Meanwhile, Dong is thinking about college and wants to attend a University of California campus or an Ivy League school. She's also invented her own major called "ecogmathematics.'

"It involves the three sciences of ecology, cognitive science and math. I want to use those three subjects interchangeably to study the landscape and topology of the environment and how the brain works and uses math.'

She likes American schools more than those of mainland China.

"Here students can think creatively, and here you can do a lot of projects and get involved in the community and learn to serve other people,' Dong said.

She is an only child of Rong Fu Dong, an assembler and packager, and Xiao Ling Zhou, who cares for elderly hospital patients.

Emanuel Parker can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475, or by e-mail at emanuel.parker@sgvn.com .

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

 

sfgate.com

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/08/23/MNGLC8CNVH1.DTL

 

Battle royal over monarch habitat

Illegal logging by armed gangs a big threat to villages, butterfly reserve in Mexico


- Dave Roos, Special to The Chronicle
Monday, August 23, 2004


Every fall, hundreds of millions of orange-and-black-emblazoned monarch butterflies from the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada complete a miraculous 2,000-mile journey to their winter roost in the states of Michoacan and Mexico.

Their arrival attracts throngs of international tourists to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, four hours outside of Mexico City, where wide- eyed visitors marvel at the colonies of semi-hibernating monarchs blanketing the trunks and weighing down the branches of towering Oyamel fir trees.

What few tourists realize is that this idyllic wilderness scene is threatened by an ecological guerrilla war raging in the fog-shrouded Mexican highlands, one that pits under-coordinated forces of conservation -- international environmental organizations, government agencies and local forest watch groups -- against well-armed, well-financed gangs of illegal loggers.

In their battle for survival, the butterflies have a vocal ally in Jordi Honey-Rosés, a lanky 26-year-old Sunnyvale native and UC Berkeley graduate who heads the World Wildlife Fund's monarch program in Mexico.

"The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a place where happy tourists come with their families to witness nature at its best," says Honey-Rosés, "and yet, this is the same stage for humans at their worst: corruption, greed, violent internal conflict and environmental destruction."

Honey-Rosés was hired in late 2001 to help administer the newly minted Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. The multimillion-dollar trust, heavily bankrolled by the Bay Area-based Packard Foundation, is designed to eradicate the plague of illegal logging by directly paying poverty-stricken communities not to cut down their trees.

According to a May 2004 report published by the World Wildlife Fund Mexico, illegal loggers felled more than 1,235 acres of forest within the boundaries of the Monarch Reserve from 2001 to 2003. On the ground, the once pristine forest now is marred by fresh stumps and muddy logging roads. Every last tree in the protected area is crucial to the survival of the fragile butterfly colonies, said Lincoln Brower, a biology professor and monarch expert at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

"The Oyamel forest ecosystem provides a microclimatic envelope that protects the monarchs," Brower said. Removal of even a single tree sometimes can lower the ambient temperature enough to freeze a monarch to death.

But the WWF money-for-trees scheme, Honey-Rosés soon discovered, had one critical weakness: It was based on what he calls the "starving peasant myth."

For decades, conventional wisdom dictated that the illegal logging within the reserve was perpetrated by desperate peasants trying to put food on the table. If you ban logging, the logic went, the people will starve.

The starving peasant story was easy to swallow, said Honey-Rosés, given the history of the region. Villagers couldn't cut down trees without a permit. They couldn't expand their farmland. But in late 2002, Honey-Rosés and his colleagues uncovered a more complicated story.

After spending extensive time in the protected area, attending community assemblies and interviewing peasant leaders in an attempt to sell the Monarch Fund, Honey-Rosés and the other WWF field workers discovered that the "starving peasant" story was thin cover for a much larger problem: organized crime in the form of armed, illegal logging gangs.

"We're very slow to understand the situation of these rural communities," Honey-Rosés said. "To be honest, maybe it's that we were never listening before."

The massive level of deforestation documented within the reserve, the peasants told Honey-Rosés, is the work of outside forces -- illegal logging syndicates based in larger cities like Ciudad Hidalgo and Ocampo -- that pay cash to disenfranchised peasant youth to rob the forest of its resources.

Leon Mondrogor Cruz, of the indigenous community of Crescencio Morales, said there are few job opportunities in the region, forcing young men to either ship off to the United States or Mexico City, eke out a living from the family plot or sign up with the logging gangs. For many, the choice is easy.

Thus far, 31 of the 38 communities within the protected area have signed up with the Monarch Fund and pledged to protect their trees -- indirectly prompting many communities to battle back against the logging gangs.

To receive their semiannual check, communities must prove that the forest cover has remained virtually unchanged. When the gangs take trees illegally, they rob the communities not only of their natural patrimony but also a steady paycheck.

With the first few payments from the Monarch Fund, communities have invested in equipment for forest watch groups. They have rented heavy machinery to dig hundreds of ditches to block illegal access roads. Villagers from Crescencio Morales have captured, and, in one case, destroyed, logging trucks.

Honey-Rosés doesn't promote violent resistance, but he said he understands the frustration that fuels such outbreaks.

"We need to give voice to those communities that feel they've been ignored by the government, and show that indeed they've been doing the best they can," he said.

As part of this effort, the WWF keeps files of the hundreds of the letters community leaders have written to government agencies pleading for assistance.

Placido Cruz Alcantara, community leader of San Francisco Curungueo, a hamlet of 1,600 people, said his petitions have largely gone unanswered.

"In these complaints we have identified cars, license plates," he said. "Everybody knows who they are."

Cuauhtemoc Gonzalez Pacheco, director general of protection and surveillance for PROFEPA, the government office charged with enforcing anti- logging laws, said budget constraints limit him to four inspection officers in the reserve. Inspectors need better police support to contend with armed loggers, he added.

"You can't walk up to an armed group with only a piece of paper in your hand," he said.

Reports in the Mexican press have detailed other actions the government is taking to address the logging, including using the army to provide additional support for police and mounting surveillance cameras throughout the reserve.

Honey-Rosés acknowledged that such steps could help provide basic security in the reserve. But he said the key to success lies in grassroots community organization and increased self-reliance.

"When communities are well organized ... the forests are in better shape, " he said.

Honey-Rosés points to the example of Ixtlan de Juarez in the impoverished state of Oaxaca, where villagers banded together to wrest control of their forests from private logging companies, established their own system of sustainable forestry and used the profits to forge a fledgling ecotourism industry. "It is hard to emphasize enough how much I admire what many local community members have done to protect their forest with minimal resources," Honey-Rosés said. "Ultimately, it is really their home, their future and their struggle. Our responsibility is to empower them to protect what is theirs."

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

 

Published on Monday, August 23, 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0823-05.htm


Arundhati Roy: Life Comes Between a Firebrand and Her Fiction

by Jonathan Curiel


The applause started at 7:40 p.m., when she was first introduced to the overflow crowd at
the San Francisco Hilton. By the time Arundhati Roy finished an hour later -- by the time this
novelist-activist-public intellectual completed her speech titled "Public Power in the Age of
Empire" - - the audience had given her two standing ovations, 20 more rounds of applause
and countless variations of more personal salutations like, "That's right!"

Roy says she doesn't want to be "iconized" by the public, but it's happening anyway. After
readings and speeches, she's mobbed by people seeking her handshake, her signature in a
book or a photograph to prove they got close to this firebrand from India. Firebrand may be
an understatement. Last Monday at the Hilton, where she addressed the American
Sociological Association, Roy generated some of her biggest responses when she urged the
United States to immediately pull its troops from Iraq and "pay reparations" to Iraqis, criticized
John Kerry and other Democrats ("How dare the Democrats not be anti-war!") and described
President Bush's Cabinet as "thugs."

Two days later, at a KPFA fund-raiser in Berkeley, Roy energized the sold- out crowd
within minutes of taking the stage by saying, "We have to strategize and take our struggle forward."

It's been seven years since Roy burst onto the international literary scene with "The God of
Small Things," her semiautobiographical novel about a hard-luck family in southern India. Roy could
have been content to stay within the confines of fiction -- and some critics say she should have -- but
she was too restless for that. Her first big project: fighting dam building in India. Roy's celebrity
helped generate media coverage of India's anti-dam movement, which objects to the way New
Delhi's water projects have displaced millions of poor people. Roy has also opposed India's
nuclear weapons capabilities and its embrace of capitalism -- issues that connected her with
international human rights groups such as the World Social Forum.

Roy's name is now synonymous with other well-known activists and liberal figures, including
Noam Chomsky (who calls Roy "a wonder"), Howard Zinn (another big fan) and Michael
Moore. In fact, Roy has essentially given up her love of fiction for a full-time career as a social
critic. She still writes prodigiously, but every one of her new books -- such as the just-released
"An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire" -- is a critique of current affairs. It's hard to find
another writer who made such a big splash with a first novel ("The God of Small Things"
commanded a $1 million advance, won the Booker Prize and has been translated into more
than 30 languages), then veered so quickly into activist nonfiction, but Roy's background
gives clues to her transition.

Raised in Kerala, an Indian state whose electorate supported the Communist Party for many
years, Roy is the daughter of a woman who successfully challenged India's inheritance law
as it applied to Kerala's Christians. Under the old law, a daughter could claim only one-fourth
of what a son could claim; Mary Roy's case was a landmark ruling in India that showed the
younger Roy that activism could be a central mission. Even before writing "The God of Small
Things," Roy wrote a series of essays called "The Great Indian Rape Trick," which criticized
filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and "The Bandit Queen" for the way she says the drama exploited
the life of Phoolan Devi. Devi was a lower-caste woman who, after being sexually attacked,
led a group of men on robberies and at least one revenge killing. Roy argued that Kapur
should have gotten Devi's permission to depict her rape on camera. Roy even helped
convince India's courts that the movie's filmmakers erred.

"I'm someone who has a very political way of looking at things," says Roy, sitting on the
steps of Union Square for a brief interview.

In person, Roy is soft-spoken and nothing like a rabble-rouser. She seems to save her
sharpest words for the printed page. For her public speeches in the United States, Roy
usually reads essays she has written. In fact, Roy says, her onstage comments are really
written for herself. That many people (especially liberal thinkers) agree with her statements is
but a kind of bonus.

"I think what probably drives me as a writer is a curiosity to understand and to keep
understanding," Roy says. "When I write, I write for myself, not just in order to let people
know, because the writing clarifies things to me."

Roy, who saw Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" during her Bay Area visit ("It was fantastic"), is one
of many people outside the country who've taken an active interest in the November
presidential election. Though she wants to see U.S. voters oust Bush from office, Roy
doesn't believe that Kerry and the Democrats offer a viable alternative to Republicans. She
says Bush's conservative agenda will continue even if Kerry wins. Roy says the same thing
happened in India, where in May voters turned away the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in
favor of the Congress Party.

"I personally don't think that public power today is about voting in an election," Roy says. "If
you look at the Hindu nationalists and the Congress Party, the BJP is out of power -- but
they set the agenda already in the country. And the debate and the discussion and
everything have been shifted to the right. What you get is a situation in which we don't really
have choice. It's an apparent choice. I'm not an expert on the U.S. elections, but I know this
much: Kerry has said that, even if there were no weapons of mass destruction (in Iraq), he
would have still supported the war, and that he intends to send 40,000 more troops, and
that he hopes to get U.N. consensus. (This way), they'll get Indians and Pakistanis to die
there instead of Americans, and the French and Russians and Germans will share a little
more than just what Halliburton and Bechtel have. As a person who belongs to a 'subject
nation,' I don't know if that's supposed to make me more happy."

Regardless of what happens in November, Roy says that progress shouldn't be measured
in terms of "wins and losses." Citing her work in India, Roy says that dam building is continuing
on a large scale in the country, but the anti- dam movement has succeeded in stopping smaller
projects and has persuaded some international investors to withdraw their support for the dams.

"The philosophy that I believe in is, I'm not doing something in order to win," she says. "I know
people who go out to do their stuff every day knowing that the chances of anything happening
are not very high. But if you're involved in something on a real basis, as opposed to just
conceptually -- if you look at the anti-dam movement, sure the dams are getting built, but
there's a whole different attitude of people involved in the struggle. It's not that the police
can go in there (anymore and crack down illegally). Those are huge victories -- in a way, bigger
victories than stopping the dam. India is a bullying society in many ways. And to just see people
stand up to the police is such an amazing thing.

Just to see that is a huge victory. . . . Ten years ago, big dams were like secular temples
in people's heads. But now the faith has been broken. And people know the
government is building these dams and violating the rights of people and doing it anyway.
Even saying (my activism) was a complete failure -- I'd rather be doing this. That's the kind of
person I am."

Roy says that she might one day write another novel but that "I never think in advance. I
never have plans. I still don't. The truth is that fiction is my big love. But often you're in a
situation where it's very hard, especially because I live in India, not to intervene immediately
when someone is shot or police have opened fire. In India, we have all these anti-terrorism
laws, with thousands of people being picked up. We have the highest number of custodial
deaths in the world. And still, India retains its reputation as some kind of spiritual destination
and a real democracy, which it is not, by any means. My life is a bit out of my control right
now. My plans keep getting ambushed by the real world."

Roy laughs at her comment. Though it's difficult to tell this from her nonfiction, she has a
keen sense of humor. During her two Bay Area talks, Roy, 44, often had her audience
laughing. She has a magnetic presence, which leads to steady attention from the media, but
she's cautious of it -- especially "corporate media," which she says focuses on superficial
issues. (An example, perhaps: In 1998, People magazine named Roy, who is striking, one of
the world's "50 most beautiful people.") Though some of Roy's critics say she is a
grandstander, Roy is comfortable with who she has become, and how far she has come. At
16, she left home and lived in a squatter's camp in New Delhi before turning to architecture
as an academic pursuit. To earn a living, she taught aerobics for a few years. Eventually, she
found her mark as a writer with a strong voice.

Says Roy: "I wouldn't feel I was doing anything right if everyone stood up and applauded."

© 2004 San Francisco Chronicle

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, August 22, 2004 2:46 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | When the Feds Come Knocking

t r u t h o u t | 08.23

Depleted Uranium: Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304W.shtml

SUVs Blamed for Boom in Sahara Dust Storms
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304G.shtml

Marc Ash | Alternatives to Mindless Slaughter
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304X.shtml

Steve Weissman | When the Feds Come Knocking
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304A.shtml

U.S. Bars U.N. from Alleged Torture Centers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304B.shtml

Two Power Brokers Collide in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304C.shtml

New York Times | Politics of Exclusion in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304D.shtml

Bush Is 'Exploiting 9/11 for Re-election'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304E.shtml

J. Sri Raman | Manipur's Magnificent Struggle
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304F.shtml

"Al-Qaeda, a Social Movement"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304H.shtml

FBI Fumbled on Terror Financing, 9/11 Panel Says
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304I.shtml

Edwards Faults Bush for Overtime Pay Cuts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304J.shtml

War Heats Up in the Neoconservative Fold
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304K.shtml

Garrison Keillor | Flamingly Anti-Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304L.shtml

U.S. Tanks Move Toward Najaf Shrine, Clashes Kill 40
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304Y.shtml

Vietnam Vet Leaves Bush Campaign over Kerry Ad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082304Z.shtml

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

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tompaine.com

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/the_politics_of_bullying.php

The Politics Of Bullying

Paul Rogat Loeb

August 20, 2004

Examples abound of how bullying politics have shaped our country in the past four years. From the mob in
Miami-Dade county to the jammed phone lines of a Democratic voting call center, manipulative tactics have
become astoundingly commonplace. The challenge now, says Paul Rogat Loeb, is to make the issue of bullying
the central theme of the election. Demanding that our leaders play fair isn't old-fashioned, it's democracy.

Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen,'s Guide to Hope in a Time
of Fear (Basic Books, August 2004 www.theimpossible.org), and of Soul of a Citizen.

The best thing John Kerry did at the Democratic convention was to challenge the bullying. He talked of the
flag belonging to all of us, and how "standing up to speak our minds is not a challenge to patriotism [but] the
heart and soul of patriotism." By doing this, he drew the line against the pattern of intimidation that the Bush
administration has used to wage war on democracy itself.

A former Air Force colonel I know described the administration,Äôs attitude toward dissent as "shut up and
color," as if we were unruly eight-year-olds. Whatever we may think of Bush's particular policies, the most
dangerous thing he's done is to promote a culture that equates questioning with treason. This threatens the very
dialogue that's at the core of our republic.

Think of the eve of the Iraq war, and the contempt heaped on those generals who dared to suggest that the war
might take far more troops and money than the administration was suggesting. Think of the attacks on the
reputations and motives of longtime Republicans who've recently dared to question, like national security advisor
Richard Clarke, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, weapons inspector Scott Ritter, and Bush's own former Treasury
Secretary, Paul O'Neill. Think of the Republican TV ads, the 2000 Georgia Senate race, (which paired
Democratic Sen. Max Cleland with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein), asserting that because Cleland
opposed President Bush's Homeland Security bill, he lacked ,"the courage to lead."

In this last case, it didn't matter that Cleland had lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam, while the Republican who
eventually defeated him had never worn a uniform. Nor that Republican strategists nearly defeated South Dakota
Sen. Tim Johnson in the same election, with similar ads, although Johnson was the only person in Congress
whose child was actually serving with the U.S. military, and would see active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It,'s hard to talk about such intimidation without sounding partisan or shrill, but we need to make it a central
issue, because if it succeeds, it becomes impossible to discuss any other issues. Remember after the 9/11 attacks,
when Attorney General John Ashcroft publicly declared that anyone who disagreed with administration policy
was an ally of terrorism. We were still stunned and reeling at that point. Yet Democrats and honorable
Republicans should have had the courage to say that this definition was unacceptable. Instead they capitulated to
the tactics of Republican strategists like Grover Norquist, who proudly quotes Lenin's motto, "Probe with
bayonets, looking for weakness." And a message of intimidation has dominated since, amplified through the
endless echo chamber of O'Reilly, Rush, Hannity and Drudge.

Some who've embraced this approach believe they're on a divinely sanctioned crusade. Others simply love the
game, like Karl Rove, who got his start by destroying the reputation of a fellow contender to head the national
Young Republicans, and helped Bush first take office by spreading rumors that then-Texas governor Ann
Richards was a lesbian. My friend Egil Krogh, who worked in the Nixon administration, hired G. Gordon
Liddy, and went to prison for Watergate, did things he knew were morally wrong, wanting to be loyal. He
watched Nixon's administration frame everything in terms of national security, then identify that security as
whatever consolidated their power, while branding those who challenged them as traitors. Bush's administration,
to Krogh, seems even more ruthless.

The resulting rule of intimidation and manipulation grinds into the dust traditional conservative ethics of honesty
and fair play. In the 2000 election, while the Florida ballots were still being counted, a mob of a couple hundred
people, pounding on doors and windows, succeeded in permanently stopping a count of 10,000 Miami-Dade
County ballots that were expected to favor Al Gore. As The Wall Street Journal reported, this mob was made up
largely of Republican Congressional aides, organized by future House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and flown in
by the Bush campaign. In a tight 2002 race for the New Hampshire Senate seat that Republican John Sununu
eventually won, a Virginia-based campaign consultant group, GOP Marketplace, hired an Idaho telemarketing
firm to jam the phone lines of Democratic "get-out-the-vote" call centers. More recently, Michigan and Oregon
Republicans have gone all out to get Ralph Nader on the ballot, to siphon off votes from John Kerry.

The United States is an experiment, one whose outcome can be in doubt on any given day. But when our leaders
embrace the ethics of Don Corleone, they undermine the very terms of our democracy. Go back to Richard
Nixon's "Southern strategy" where he deliberately used racially polarizing language and images to lure white
southerners into the Republican Party. Or the Willie Horton ads overseen by Karl Rove's mentor, Lee Atwater.
Or the Iran-Contra scandal, when the first President Bush and key members of the current president's
administration, then working for Reagan, crafted and enacted secret foreign policies that defied the will of
Congress, while collaborating with dictators and terrorists. Or the illegitimate purging, in the 2000 election, of
94,000 largely poor and minority voters from the Florida rolls. Recently, the same five Supreme Court justices
who installed Bush prevailed by a single vote in upholding Tom DeLay's midnight redistricting in Texas and
Pennsylvania, where Republicans broke all conventional rules about redistricting only after a census, and
instead gerrymandered as many Congressional seats as they could, just because they held the reins of power.

Whatever our party identifications or stands on particular issues, which, of course, will vary, we should be
profoundly troubled by these developments. Since the United States was founded, neither major political party
has exercised a monopoly on deceit, venality or political abuse. Dead people voted in Chicago. Lyndon Johnson
closed an air base in a Congressional district that dared to vote against him. No administration since the World
War I Palmer Raids, however, has so systematically attempted to silence its critics.

But just as a culture of silence is contagious, so is one of courage. And citizens are beginning to stand up and
question, from Republican conservationists questioning Bush's environmental policies, to career foreign service
officers decrying the rift our unilateral actions are creating between us and the world, to cities across America
challenging the USA PATRIOT Act.

The challenge now is to make the issue of bullying the central theme of the election, linking the intimidation of all
questioners with the blind insularity that leads to debacles like Iraq. If we can do this, Bush will lose. As
old-fashioned as it may sound, the demand that our political leaders play fair still resonates. And in a democracy,
we should expect nothing less.

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

 

From: Richard C. Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
Reply-To: kiiski@earthlink.net
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Saturday, August 21, 2004 4:40 PM

Visualize This!

Credit: "Splash Gallery" at http://www.rense.com

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

 

truthout.org

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/printer_082204G.shtml

Bush campaign tries to trash Kerry's environmental record 

If at First You Don't Succeed, Go Negative

  By Amanda Griscomb
  Grist Magazine

  Thursday 19 August 2004

  Over the past few weeks of Presidential WrestleMania MMIV, the Bush campaign has fired off more than a dozen press releases about John Kerry's policies on energy, nuclear-waste storage, forest and water protections, and other environmental issues -- a hodgepodge of smears, exaggerations, and obfuscations intended to besmirch Kerry's pro-environment reputation.

  Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, says the Bush campaign is responding to polls indicating that voters are taking the environment seriously in key battleground states. "The polling in Nevada is showing that people are voting on the Yucca Mountain issue. The polling out of Arizona says voters are very concerned about forests and water; Wisconsin polls have shown that the mercury issue could hurt [the GOP]," he told Muckraker.

  Hence the Bush campaign's efforts to neutralize the environment as an election issue: "They know they can't persuade voters that Bush is good on the environment, so they're trying to create enough confusion about Kerry's record that people decide it can't be the issue that decides their vote," said Pope.

  Kerry strategists agree: "The Bush campaign has got Kerry written all over it," said Roger Ballentine, a senior environmental strategist for the Kerry campaign. "From Day 1, the goal of the Bush campaign has not been to get voters to like their candidate and respect his record, but to get people to dislike John Kerry even though on this issue Kerry is widely thought to be the greenest candidate America has ever seen. They want people to go into the voter booth, hold their nose, and pick the lesser of two evils."

  Bush campaign spokespeople failed to return Muckraker's repeated calls, but a quick glance at the George W. Bush campaign website confirms that Bush's strategy is Kerry-centric. The homepage is a montage of derisive cartoons and photographs of the opponent: Here's Kerry playing the "Flip-Flop Olympics," there's a "Kerry Gas Tax Calculator," which claims to compute how much a 50-cent-per-gallon gas tax would cost individuals (a tax, mind you, that Kerry has repeatedly said he has no intention of imposing). Not a single image of the president himself graces the page.

  The Kerry website looks remarkably similar -- photos of Kerry abound, only the depictions are more flattering. It has only a low-placed and somewhat defensive nod to Bush, saying, "The Bush-Cheney campaign is running one of the most negative and misleading campaigns ever."

  Full Court Press Release

  A comparison of the two campaigns' press releases is even more telling. Thus far in the month of August, the Bush campaign has churned out 18 releases dealing with energy and the environment, nearly all of them roasting Kerry, with titles along the lines of "THE RAW DEAL: John Kerry: 'Brought to You by Special Interests.'" The Kerry campaign, meanwhile, has put out a total of six releases on energy and the environment. While they all slam Bush's rollbacks, at least half of each is devoted to the Democratic candidate and his campaign promises. One representative headline: "Kerry Pledges to Make Decisions Based on Sound Science and Put Public Health and Safety First."

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

 

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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1287763,00.html

'Death after death, blood after blood'

Killing goes on despite claims that siege is over


Luke Harding inside the Imam Ali shrine, Najaf
Saturday August 21 2004
The Guardian


Inside the pockmarked entrance of Najaf's Imam Ali shrine, there were no police to be seen yesterday afternoon.

Supporters of the rebel Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr loafed on carpets in the pigeon-infested courtyard. A few smoked; others dozed. A couple of young students stood next to a makeshift infirmary; parked nearby was an empty pallet covered in blood.

"We haven't given up. This is a lie by the government," said Amar Al-Khaji, a 29-year-old civil engineer from Baghdad. "As you can see, we are still here."

Only hours earlier a senior Iraqi government official had claimed that Iraqi police had secured the shrine, apparently bringing to an end the two-week standoff with Mr Sadr's militia. At least 400 Mahdi army members had been arrested, and the bloodshed had ended.

By dusk, it was apparent that this was not the case. Hundreds of unarmed supporters of the cleric were bedding down for another night in the mosque. In the rubbish-strewn alleyways around the shrine, fighters armed with Kalshnikovs sat on metal chairs.

The evidence of withering American bombardment was all around: tangled electricity wires, pulverised remains of earth barricades and the smell of decaying human flesh.

Far from being vanquished, the Mahdi army is still in Najaf, battling to win. "The fighting is still going on," Saeed Mustafa confirmed, as we crunched through Najaf's glass-strewn old city toward the shrine, arms raised and waving a white handkerchief.

All afternoon the dusty streets had echoed intermittently with the crump of mortars. Puffs of black smoke wafted over the Imam Ali shrine's golden dome.

The standoff in Najaf has plunged Iraq's beleaguered prime minister, Ayad Allawi, into his worst crisis so far. Mr Allawi issued a "last call" to the cleric on Thursday and the battle is clearly a defining moment for his interim government, which owes its existence to Washington.

Mr Sadr has rejected its authority and refused to compromise with foreign occupation.

What happens in Najaf next will determine Iraq's future, for better or worse. That may in part explain the confusion which surrounds events. The claims of victory, of a Sadr cave-in, appear to be wishful thinking, more than reality.

So, too, is the attempt to portray the battle for the Shias' holiest city as one in which the US military is merely assisting government forces.

At the moment, the Americans are doing all the fighting. The Iraqi police play merely a cameo role: a massive convoy rode towards the shrine yesterday, sirens blazing, celebrating a victory that never happened. Two minutes later it turned back.

On the streets there is exasperation. "Our situation is disastrous," said Abu Qatam, a 25-year-old taxi driver. "We don't have water or power. My neighbour came back yesterday to check on his house and he was killed. We don't know whether the Americans did it or the Mahdi army."

Where the Mahdi army has been newly turfed out, there is little sympathy for Mr Sadr, or for his militia, many of whose corpses lie unburied to the north of the shrine, in Najaf's vast cemetery.

"They are looters, murderers and Ba'athists," a shopkeeper, Abdul Amir, said. His troubles started six months ago, he said, when an American soldier bought one of his fridges.

"A month later the Mahdi army took me to the cemetery, accused me of being an American agent, and beat me up. After that I had to appear before Moqtada's Sharia court. Dozens of people have been tortured or disappeared. Moqtada has a secret underground jail. His followers have executed at least 300 people," he claimed.

It is not a claim that can be easily verified. But what is clear is that in the battle for Najaf, civilians are dying.

Forty six people were injured and 11 killed in the past two days of fighting, the director of Najaf's hospital, Falah Almahana, said yesterday.

A short stroll from his office was the evidence. The newly dead were stored in a makeshift truck, next to a German refrigerating unit that did not work. In it, the bodies were too numerous to count.

But it was clear the small girl with the gamine haircut and the other corpses had little to do with the battle that has been raging down the road. Three blanket-covered bodies lay nearby in the dust.

"They were walking down the street when a mortar landed on them," a morgue attendant, Abu Muhammad, explained.

Even if Iraqi troops eventually storm the shrine, or kill Mr Sadr, it seems optimistic to think his uprising will then disappear. In the town of Kufa, close to Najaf, dozens of Shia militiamen armed with rocket-propelled grenades were yesterday standing on the streets.

As night fell, the small girl's body lay unclaimed in Najaf's morgue. Next to her lay the corpse of a middle-aged woman who might have been her mother.

"I don't believe in violence. I've never fired a gun. The only way to solve this problem is through peaceful means," Dr Almahana said. "But this isn't happening in Najaf. Instead we have sadness after sadness, death after death, blood after blood."

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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

 

Published on Friday, August 20, 2004 by the Chicago Sun Times

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0820-09.htm


America's Disease is Greed

by Andrew Greeley


The most serious spiritual problem in the country today is reckless and untrammeled greed. Greed caused the
disgraceful corporate scandals that fill our newspapers. Greed is responsible for crooked cops and crooked
politicians. Greed causes the constant efforts to destroy unions that protect basic worker rights.

Greed has produced rash tax cuts that have given money to the rich and in effect taken it away from the
poor. Greed has led to the immigration policy in which hundreds of poor men and women die every year as
they struggle across the desert for the jobs that el norte promises them. Greed accounts for the efforts to take
profitability out of the pensions and health insurance of working men and women. Greed is responsible for the
fact that so many Americans have no health insurance and the fact that the recent reform of Medicare was a
fraud. Greed causes newspapers to overestimate their circulation.

Greed is responsible for the obscene salaries of CEOs. In the '90s the ratio of CEO compensation to average
workers' compensation was 250 to 1, meaning that the boss earned on his first day of work during a year as
much as the worker did in a whole year. In European countries the ratio is closer to 100 to 1. Recent
estimates put the current ratio at 500 to 1 -- the boss makes as much before lunch as the worker does all
year. Greed is the cause of the high wages paid to the bosses even if the company is failing.

Greed is responsible for the endless stress and ruthless competition of the workplace and the strains and
tensions of professional class marriages. Greed (in this instance another name for relentless ambition)
explains much of the cheating on college campuses. Greed is responsible for outsourcing, which is incapable
of comprehending that the employees who lose their jobs are also the consumers who sustain the economy.
Greed generates the reckless ventures that in part caused the bubble of the late '90s. Greed causes
expensive wars that shatter the budget. Greed is the reason that only the wealthy are benefitting so far from
the economic upturn that is allegedly happening. Greed drives loan sharks. Greed is responsible for the
success of big box stores that tax the poor with low wages to provide bargains for affluent suburban
shoppers. Greed is the reason poor white Appalachians, poor African Americans and poor Native Americans
must fight the wars that the wealthy start. Jessica Lynch joined the Army so she could go to college. Her
Native American roommate, killed in action, joined so, single mother that she was, she could support her
children. Greed is the reason why the country is being run by those whom the president has described,
however inelegantly, as the ''haves and the have mores.''

No one said during the bizarre deification of President Reagan that he taught us that greed is good and that
we should feel good about our greedy country. Greed is the reason that the country is being run by the
insurance, pharmaceutical, weapons and petroleum industries. Greed causes worldwide sex slavery of women
and children.

Greed drives the murders of the narcotics world. Greed is responsible for the exploitations of teen sports stars
by colleges and for the mess in the pro sports world. It is also the cause of the use of performance drugs by
young athletes. Greed is responsible for the bad advice lawyers gave the Church years ago to beat victims of
sexual abuse into the ground. It is behind the scam artists who steal from the elderly.

Greed may have been a more serious problem for Americans, say, in the era of the robber barons. But the
Garys and the Morgans and the Carnegies were a small bunch of men. Now their greed has seeped down to
a much larger segment of the population.

The Catholic Church speaks of four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. Two are cheating workers out of
wages and exploiting widows and children. Both happen every day in our greedy country.

Ambition is not evil within limits. The struggle for success is not bad within limits. Hard work and fair rewards
are good within limits. It is not good to take from the poor and give to the rich, and that's exactly what this
country is doing today.

Don't let anyone tell you that lust is the most deadly of the deadly sins.

Copyright 2004, Digital Chicago Inc.

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COUNTERPUNCH - August 18, 2004

http://www.counterpunch.org/hess08182004.html


Laying Odds on Armageddon

A Midtown Hiroshima?

By JOHN L. HESS

Nicholas Kristov of the New York Times dropped in on a conference of experts and came away worried about a new Hiroshima.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry figured it was even money that a nuke would go off in this country during the next six years. Another bigtime player posted a standing bet at the same odds that it would happen somewhere in the world in the next ten years. Kristov put himself down for five bucks that it would not. He explained that if a bomb with the force of Hiroshima went off in midtown Manhattan, it would vaporize half a million people--including him--so he couldn't lose.

Well, it's anyone's guess, but the odds seem to be getting worse.

The Bush Administration used that as a reason to go to war. This is ironic since we have more nukes than the rest of the world put together and are building more and planning to station them in outer space. Ours is the only nation that claims the right to use the bomb, the only one that has done it and the only one that has threatened, convincingly, to do it again.

The great physicists who invented the bomb came to regret it. They sponsored the project only because they were afraid Hitler would get his hands on it first. They begged Truman not to let the genie out of the bottle. He said he never lost any sleep over incinerating the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Many people did, but in this country, those who opposed the arms race were called traitors. One by one, other countries got into the atomic club. So the odds on a rogue hit keep getting worse.

It would not be hard to make them better. We could, for one, stop making bombs and begin cutting our stock down toward zero. With the money we save, we could buy out Russia, the Ukraine and North Korea--all of which have shown signs that they're willing. We could revive our support for the world ban on nuclear weapons. Countries that rejected UN inspections would face sanctions.

There -- that might not solve every problem but it would certainly improve the odds. First, though, we'd have to disarm the Bushies.

John L. Hess is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Thursday, August 19, 2004 3:10 PM
Subject: Chavez Victory: Defeat for Bush Policy

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.20

 

Steve Weissman | How Far Will Bush Go? Part II

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081904A.shtml

Joe Feller | In Bush Grazing Decision, Politics and Secrecy Win Again
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Marjorie Cohn | Chavez Victory: Defeat for Bush Policy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004A.shtml

Brutal Fighting Continues in Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004B.shtml

Sidney Blumenthal | Isn't This a Democracy?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004C.shtml

Iraq Oil Pipeline Shut for 10th Day
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004D.shtml

FBI 'Expects Violence' at GOP Convention
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004E.shtml

Hasain Haqqani | Subcontracting the Hunt for bin Laden
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004F.shtml

David Bornstein | Jorge Hank, Mayor of Tijuana on the Border of the Law
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004H.shtml

Kevin Krajick | Why Can't Ex-Felons Vote?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004I.shtml

Saul Landau | Halliburton: Designer of the Real Manchurian Candidate?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004J.shtml

Echo Company: Ambush in Ramadi, Part III
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004K.shtml

NOW with Bill Moyers | Lou Dobbs' Crusade
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004L.shtml

U.S. Polling Firm in Hot Water over False Venezuela Results
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004W.shtml

Sacred Shrine in Najaf Damaged, Fighting Rages Outside
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004X.shtml

Sadr Rejects Ultimatum, Najaf Fighting Escalates
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004Y.shtml

Military Records Debunk 'Swift Boat' Kerry Attacker
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082004Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'All Hell Breaking Loose'
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/comment/story/0,3604,1287054,00.html

Colombia's oil pipeline is paid for in blood and dollars

Trade unionists are the prime target of the US-funded 18th Brigade


Isabel Hilton
Friday August 20 2004
The Guardian


If peace ever comes to Colombia after decades of civil war, it will come too late for three citizens of the oil-rich north-east region of Arauca, on the border with Venezuela. They were murdered by the army on August 5. The men were all trade unionists, and their killings bring to 30 the number of unionists killed in Arauca so far this year.

I met the men on a recent visit to Saravena, a town in Arauca at the epicentre of the government's security policies. Armed soldiers stood on every street corner. At a packed meeting, they and other trade unionists described the conditions they had struggled with after the President Alvaro Uribe designated their area a special security zone. Armoured cars cruised past the building, as though warning those inside that we were all being watched.

The stories they told were of mass arrests, kidnappings, intimidation and murder. On one occasion, in November 2002, more than 2,000 people were rounded up at gunpoint and taken to the sports stadium where they were interrogated, photographed and marked with indelible ink. Hooded informers pointed out individuals, who were then arrested. The codename for this mass abuse of civil rights was Heroic Operation.

Heroic Operation was an army undertaking, but civilian authorities cooperated: officials from the attorney general's office issued arrest warrants on the spot, on the word of the informers rather than any judicial investigation. Of the 2,000 rounded up, 85 were arrested. They were taken into detention, during which some were told they would be released if they agreed to become informers. Months later, 35 had been released for lack of evidence. When they finally returned home, many faced death threats from paramilitary groups. About 40 of the 50 who remained in detention were trade unionists.

The returnees talked of the harassment they endured and the alarming death rate among civilians in Arauca who assumed any position of leadership. Teachers, health workers and union activists were being killed in appalling numbers. The latest three victims were prominent local union officials. The government claims they were guerrillas, but two had been under the special protection of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Why has Arauca been singled out for "enhanced" security? One answer is oil. It is home to the Ca&#241;o Lim&#243;n oilfield, which accounts for 30% of Colombia's oil production. The oil is pumped to the Caribbean through a pipeline that has been a major target for guerrilla forces. Now a complex mosaic of armed groups - rightwing paramilitaries and the army, often working closely together, and leftwing guerrillas - struggle for control of the lucrative pipeline and cocaine routes.

The civil war is decades old but has grown more complex in recent years. Uribe was elected on a promise of security. The civilians of Arauca - farmers, oil workers, health workers and their families - bear the brunt of the conflict and need peace more than anybody, but for them Uribe's promises have proved hollow. The reality of the security zones poses the question of whose security they are designed to enhance.

There are seven municipalities in the department of Arauca, but the special security zone was only imposed in the three northern municipalities where the oil pipeline runs. The four municipalities to the south are dominated by illegal far-right paramilitary groups, notorious for their abuses of the civilian population - but they were excluded. The supreme court ruled the security zones unconstitutional because of the extraordinary powers they gave to the security forces, but that did little to change the facts on the ground. Now they are designated rehabilitation and consolidation zones - little more than a change in name.

These are tough times in Colombia and the government argues that tough measures are necessary. But key officials who look at whether these measures work point out that they are counterproductive. The Colombian human rights ombudsman and the procurator general reported that not only did human rights abuses increase, but the security situation in Arauca deteriorated after the special security zone was set up. There was a documented increase in abuses by the army and paramilitary groups, with no decrease in the danger to civilians posed by the guerrillas.

The procurator general's report on Arauca said: "Neither the increase in military personnel, the strategy of informers or that of peasant soldiers has had the expected results. On the contrary, they have led to other difficulties [such as] the exposure of the civilian population to greater risk."

It may be a different matter, of course, for an oil company. Occidental Petroleum, which operates in Arauca, has funded the army's controversial 18th Brigade, the main army force in the department. The US government also funds the 18th Brigade, apparently unconcerned that it has been accused of abuses against civilians and of cooperation with paramilitaries.

Last year, the US gave Colombia $99m to protect the pipeline, to be split between the 18th Brigade and a new mobile unit. President Bush also sent 60 US special forces personnel to Arauca to train the brigade. Given this involvement of the oil companies and the US government in the brigade's activities, perhaps they can explain something the Colombian government does not care to: how does it enhance the security of the people of Arauca when the army, directly or through its collaboration with paramilitary groups, targets health workers, trade unionists, teachers, journalists and human rights defenders and forcibly displaces indigenous and peasant communities who lived near the pipeline?

A year ago, in a meeting in London, Colombia's vice-president signed a commitment to implement a long list of recommendations from the UN Human Rights Commission. Twelve months on, the UN reports that there has been almost no progress on most of the recommendations, and on others Colombia has moved backwards. The Colombian government claims that the vice-president's signature did not commit the country to anything - an approach to commitments that Colombia's partners might care to bear in mind in future dealings with the Uribe government.

Uribe denounces the UN view as foreign interference in Colombia's affairs. Human rights organisations - including Amnesty International - that protest against army abuses are labelled terrorist sympathisers by the president himself. At the same time, Colombia hopes for other kinds of foreign interference - the kind that pours money into military coffers (as Britain does through bilateral military aid) and no-questions-asked funding and investment. The people of Colombia need investment, but more urgently they need a security policy that genuinely enhances their security.

isabel.hilton@guardian.co.uk

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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

 

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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1287212,00.html

4x4s replace the desert camel and whip up a worldwide dust storm

Winds carrying 3bn tonnes a year threaten environment and human health


Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Friday August 20 2004
The Guardian


Dust storms emanating from the Sahara have increased tenfold in 50 years, contributing to climate change as well as threatening human health and destroying coral reefs thousands of miles away.

And one major cause is the replacement of the camel by four-wheel drive vehicles as the desert vehicle of choice.

Andrew Goudie, professor of geography at Oxford University, blames the process of Toyotarisation - a coinage reflecting the near-ubiquitous desert use of Toyota Land Cruisers - for destroying a thin crust of lichen and stones that has protected vast areas of the Sahara from the wind for centuries.

Four-wheel drive use, along with overgrazing and deforestation, were the major causes of the world's growing dust storm problem, the scale of which was much bigger than previously realised, Prof Goudie, master of St Cross College, told the International Geographical Congress in Glasgow yesterday.

"I am quite serious, you should look at deserts from the air, scarred all over by wheel tracks, people driving indiscriminately over the surface breaking it up. Toyotarisation is a major cause of dust storms. If I had my way I would ban them from driving off-road."

The problem has become so serious that an estimated 2-3bn tonnes of dust is carried away on the wind each year. Storms in the Sahara transport dust high into the atmosphere and deposit it as far away as Greenland and the US.

Britain was seeing increasing levels of "blood rain" in spring that came direct from the Sahara, Prof Goudie said. From an aircraft over the Alps in summer it was possible to see the telltale colour of red dust on the mountains.

Although the storms are mainly particles of quartz, smaller than grains of sand, they also contain salt and quantities of pesticide and herbicide which can cause serious health problems. Microbe-laden dust from storms is also credited with carrying cattle diseases such as foot and mouth.

The world's largest single dust source is the Bod&#233;l&#233; depression in Chad, between an ever-shrinking Lake Chad (now a twentieth of its size in the 1960s) and the Sahara. The depression releases 1,270m tonnes of dust a year, 10 times more than when measurements began in 1947, according to Prof Goudie's research.

Taking the whole Sahara, and the Sahel to the south, dust volumes had increased four to sixfold since the 1960s. Countries worst affected were Niger, Chad, northern Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania, the research found.

Smothering of coral reefs

But the effects went far beyond. In the Caribbean, scientists had directly linked the death of coral reefs to smothering by dust which had travelled 3,000 miles.

African dust had also found its way to Greenland, Prof Goudie said. While white ice reflected sunlight and remains frozen, the dark dust on top absorbed the sun's heat, causing the ice to melt and accelerating the raising of sea levels.

Prof Goudie said it was as yet uncertain what other effects the dust was having on the climate. The airborne dust both reflected sunlight back into space and blanketed the earth holding the heat in. When it dropped in the sea it fertilised the plankton which absorbed carbon dioxide and cooled the ocean surface, creating fewer clouds and less rain - a vicious circle which made the dust problem worse.

Where the dust source was the dried-up bed of a salt lake or sea, salt deposited from the storms could ruin agricultural land, leading to more deserts and more dust. There might be more serious consequences for human health emerging elsewhere in the world.

The Aral Sea in central Asia had almost dried up, according to the research. Its inflowing rivers were used for irrigating cotton, causing the seabed to be contaminated by pesticide toxins which were now being blown about in the dust. People who have breathed in the dust have serious allergic reactions.

Prof Goudie also warned that climate change might cause dust problems to return to the US prairies. While improved agricultural practices, wind breaks and higher rainfall had cured the Dust Bowl of the 1930s (immortalised in John Steinbeck's novel the Grapes of Wrath), the conditions were once again similar. Dust storms were now common in the US and could lead to a disease, Valley Fever, an allergic reaction to pesticides in the dust which caused inflammation of the nose and throat, killing several people a year.

In China, extensive efforts had been made to plant trees to hold back the dust, and increases in rainfall had also helped, the study found. However, large dust storms were still emanating from the vast deserts in the north, which included the Lopnor nuclear test site - raising fears that storms could interfere with the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and might contain radioactive particles. The Chinese have said they were confident this would not happen.

Choking storms hit far and wide

--> Dust storms are typically 200km (125 miles) wide and carry 20 to 30m tonnes of dust. Some carry up to 100m tonnes

--> Worldwide dust in the atmosphere is predicted to be 2bn-3bn tonnes this year

--> Florida receives more than 50% of the African dust that hits the US, causing increased respiratory problems

--> Mauritania, which had two dust storms a year in the early 1960s, now has 80 a year

--> The worst dust storm to reach Britain was in 1903 when an estimated 10m tonnes landed from the Sahara

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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

 

.sfgate.com

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/08/18/international1416EDT0572.DTL

Report warns of flooding, heat waves, melting glaciers across Europe as consequence of global warming

- JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, August 18, 2004


(08-18) 11:16 PDT COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) --

Rising sea levels, disappearing glaciers in the Alps and more deadly heat waves are coming for Europeans because of global warming, Europe's environmental agency warned Wednesday.

The European Environment Agency said much more needs to be done -- and fast. Climate change "will considerably affect our societies and environments for decades and centuries to come," its 107-page report said.

It said rising temperatures could eliminate three-quarters of the Alpine glaciers by 2050 and bring repeats of Europe's mammoth floods two years ago and the heat wave that killed thousands and burned up crops last summer. The rise in sea levels along Europe's coasts is likely to accelerate, it added.

Global warming has been evident for years, but the problem is becoming acute, Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the Copenhagen-based agency, told The Associated Press. "What is new is the speed of change," she said.

"It takes a long time to see these changes in the glaciers, at the sea level, so like big tankers turning around, they take a long time to change. But now that we see them changing direction, then it means that there are warning signals in many parts of our life," she added.

McGlade said action is needed at all levels in Europe -- continental, regional, national and local. She said, for example, that European nations should insist climate change be on the agenda of international free-trade talks.

Greenpeace welcomed the report. Flooding, heat waves and melting glaciers "make people become more and more aware of the consequences of global warming," Steve Sawyer of Greenpeace International told AP.

Global warming is believed to be intensified by human activities, in particular emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

The European Union has been a leader in pushing for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. pact drawn up in 1997 to combat climate change by reducing carbon-dioxide emissions worldwide in 2010 to 8 percent below 1990 levels.

So far 123 countries, including all 25 EU members, have ratified the pact, but it isn't in effect because it hasn't reached the required level of nations accounting for 55 percent of the industrialized world's emissions. The United States, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has refused to ratify, arguing the agreement would hurt its economy, and Russia also hasn't signed.

Wednesday's report, "Impacts of Europe's Changing Climate," urges that the Kyoto Protocol be adopted, saying climate changes "will considerably affect our societies and environments for decades and centuries to come."

It said the 1990s were the warmest decade on record, and the three hottest years recorded -- 1998, 2002 and 2003 -- occurred in the last six years, with the average global temperature now rising at almost 0.36 degrees per decade.

The report singled out floods across Europe two summers ago and last summer's heat wave in western and southern Europe as examples of destructively extreme weather caused by global warming.

The flooding killed about 80 people in 11 countries, affected more than 600,000 and caused economic losses of at least $18.5 billion, the report said. More than 20,000 deaths, many of them elderly, were recorded during the 2003 heat wave, which also caused up to 30 percent of harvests in many southern countries to fail, it said.

The report said melting shrank glaciers in the Alps by 10 percent in 2003 alone and predicted three-quarters of them could be gone altogether by 2050. European sea levels have been rising by 0.03-0.12 inches a year over the last century, it said, and the rate of increase could be two to four times faster during this century.

The agency is sponsored by the 25 EU countries as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the Net: EEA report: reports.eea.eu.int/climate_report_2_2004/en.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
©2004 Associated Press

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

 

enn.com

http://www.enn.com/news/2004-08-18/s_26589.asp

Global warming could bring extreme changes to California, says study

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
By Don Thompson, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, California - Global warming could cause dramatically hotter
summers and a depleted snow pack in California, leading to a sharp increase in
heat-related deaths and jeopardizing the water supply, according to a study
released this week.

The report is substantially more pessimistic than previous projections and was
dismissed by one expert as "another piece of climate alarmism."

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists,
focused on California because of its diverse climate, large economy, agricultural
interior, and profuse pollution from industries and population centers.

The researchers used computer models they said illustrate the consequences of
doing nothing or adopting "relatively aggressive" policies such as the greater
use of renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels. California can avoid
the worst effects by quickly cutting how much carbon dioxide and other
heat-trapping gases are released into the atmosphere, the scientists said.

The 19 scientists who prepared the report include experts from Stanford
University and the University of California, Berkeley, along with consultants and
members of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"If we do not take action now to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, the
consequences for California after about 2050 will become significantly more
harmful than if we do take action now," said Michael Hanemann, director of the
California Climate Change Center at U.C. Berkeley.

Under the most optimistic computer model, periods of extreme heat would
quadruple in Los Angeles by the end of the century, killing two to three times
more people than in heat waves today; the Sierra Nevada snow pack would
decline by 30 percent to 70 percent; and alpine forests would shrink 50 percent
to 75 percent.

The most pessimistic model projects five to seven times as many heat-related
deaths in Los Angeles, with six to eight times as many heat waves. Snow pack
and high altitude forests would shrink up to 90 percent.

The scientists' temperature projections are higher than previous estimates,
particularly in summer. Their predictions of an extreme decline in snow pack
and alpine forests and the spread of desert areas all exceed earlier projections.

"It's another piece of climate alarmism," said Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the
Competitive Enterprise Institute. "It's layers of assumptions, and it's all
designed to paint a very frightening picture."

He and Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy
Research, questioned the reliability of the computer models and said the report
fails to account for human ingenuity and adaptability.

Among other predictions, the report says spring melt-off will come earlier,
increasing the risk of flooding and decreasing how much snow-melt could be
captured in reservoirs. The state will rely more on increasingly scarce
groundwater, even as droughts become more frequent and more severe.

Also, the state's renowned wine industry could suffer everywhere except on the
coast, the scientists say, countering previous projections that at least the wine
might improve.

Source: Associated Press

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

 

From: Richard Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 5:46 PM
Subject: Some Dare Call It Treason. Wake up, America!

Some Dare Call It Treason: Wake Up America!

by Dr. Robert Bowman, USAF Ret.
April 27, 2004


I am a member of Veterans For Peace, an organization of thousands of combat veterans. All of us have put our life on the line for this country. Most of us opposed the recent invasion of Iraq. We also opposed the first Gulf War, and the sanctions that followed. We opposed the slaughter of fleeing Iraqis on the Road to Basra. We opposed the use of Depleted Uranium munitions. And we opposed the lies upon which the first Gulf War was based. But there was one good thing about that first Gulf War. It ended. And without a wholesale invasion of Iraq. Why?

Here's what the first President Bush wrote about that in his memoirs:

--Trying to eliminate Saddam would have incurred incalculable human and political costs.

--Apprehending him was probably impossible.

--We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq.

--There was no viable exit strategy we could see, violating another of our principles.

--Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world.

--Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish.

--Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.

My brothers and sisters, it is just too darn bad his son can't read!

I've been severely criticized for speaking out in opposition to this war. So have you, probably. We're told that we're aiding and abetting the enemy. We're told that we should support the president no matter what. We're told that patriotism demands that we support the war. They say that we're abusing the freedoms that our troops are in the Middle East defending. They say we should be ashamed to be protesting while the troops are in the desert protecting our right to do so.

Well I say, Hogwash! . . .

To read the rest of Dr. Robert Bowman's article-which is as relevant now as it was in April -- please go to:

http://www.serendipity.li/bush/bowman01.htm


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Richard C. Kiiski
240 Redwood Highway, #3
Mill Valley, CA 94941-6605
(415) 332-0223
kiiski@earthlink.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

 

t r u t h o u t | Perspective - Tuesday 17 August 2004

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081704A.shtml


Brain Dead, Made of Money, No Future at All

By William Rivers Pitt
  

  To: George W. Bush
  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
  Washington, DC 20500

  Dear George:

  A pretty awful joke has been making the rounds lately. Some might say it's an awful joke because of the comparison. Most, however, think it's an awful joke because it isn't funny. It's too close to the truth to be funny.

  The joke: What is the difference between President George W. Bush and President Ted Bundy?

  The answer: Bush killed more people than Bundy.

  See? I told you it was a terrible joke. On the one hand, it is in poor taste by commonly accepted standards to compare a sitting President to a notorious serial killer. On the other hand, though, the 943 dead American soldiers in Iraq, the more than ten thousand dead Iraqi civilians, the more than five thousand dead civilians in Afghanistan, and let's not forget the large crowd of Americans you toddled off to the Texas killing bottle while Governor, pretty much means you have left Mr. Bundy in the deep shade when it comes to the body count.

  There are, of course, the nearly 3,000 dead people from September 11th, people from all over the world. The 9/11 Commission broke out some buckets of whitewash, and like a group of dutiful Tom Sawyers, painted over the grim realities of that day. It couldn't be stopped, they said in their report. People like Richard Clarke, Sibel Edmonds and the families of the lost who know more about the events of that day than anyone on the planet, disagree.

  "Two planes hitting the twin towers did not rise to the level of Rumsfeld's leaving his office and going to the War Room? How can that be?" asked Mindy Kleinberg, a 9/11 widow who has become a leader in the truth movement. The thing is, Mindy, Mr. Rumsfeld was probably fine-tuning the Iraq invasion plan he'd been working on for years. He is, after all, a professional.

  Three more American kids got killed in Iraq today, George. That makes 30 dead American soldiers in the first 16 days of August. That's thirty more names to be added to the commemorative wall which will appear somewhere in Washington DC someday. Thirty more etchings in ebon stone, thirty more people who would not now be dead but for your decisions and your actions and your appalling dishonesty.

  I'm pretty bored with those commonly accepted standards that are supposed to be applied in the treatment of a sitting President. Too many people have been playing patty-cake with you over the last three years, George. Too many journalists looking to keep their sweet seat in the press crunch at the White House, too many television news anchors who think research and context is for other people, too many media outlet owners - read: 'massive corporations' - whose profit margins are intimately wed to your suicidal policies, and, frankly, too many politicians for the 'loyal opposition' who have been tested in the forge of true crisis these last years, and been found to be sorely wanting.

  So let's not have any patty-cake between us, George. Let's get down to brass tacks. Your people compared Senator Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein during the 2002 midterm campaign. Cleland left two legs and an arm in Vietnam, but your people did that to him anyway. A little hard talk, East Texas style, shouldn't be anything new to you.

  A wiser man once wrote this:

  "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure...if, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us' but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I can see it, if you don't.'"

  The wiser man who wrote these words was Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to his law partner Billy Hendron. Lincoln wrote this letter in 1848 while serving in the House of Representatives, years before he himself would assume the office of the Presidency. Lincoln became, in the fullness of time, a war President who unwillingly inherited his war, and then pursued it with grim determination.

  He summoned Generals like Ulysses Grant, whose essential demeanor, in the words of Civil War historian Bruce Catton, "was that of a man who had made up his mind to drive his head through a stone wall." From March of 1864 to April of 1865, Grant used the mighty Army of the Potomac as Lincoln's merciless fist, until the white flags were raised over bloodied ground at Appomattox.

  Lincoln was a war President who won his war, though the fighting of it was not his choice. He fought the enemies arrayed before him, and did not invent enemies out of whole cloth. Imagine Lincoln, faced with the Confederate insurrection, deciding to undertake an invasion of Greenland. He would have been laughed out of the White House. That's basically what you've done in Iraq.

  You fancy yourself a war President, right? "I'm a war President," you said on television not long ago. "I make decisions in the Oval Office with war on my mind." Your war in Iraq is a war of choice, not of necessity. It had nothing to do with September 11, weapons of mass destruction, or bringing democracy to the Iraqi people. It had nothing to do with defending the American people.

  Your boys wanted to get paid. Cash money on the barrelhead for Halliburton, right? Almost twelve billion dollars they've made to this point. Hey, it's good work if you can get it. All you had to do was use September 11th against your own people for months, scare them to death, denigrate the work of the weapons inspectors you agreed to send in there, flap around some claims about weapons of mass destruction (26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX gas, per your own words from your 2003 State of the Union Address), and then fly onto an aircraft carrier and declare victory while your people were still dying.

  As if that wasn't bad enough, you're also losing your war of choice.

  Hard to believe, isn't it? Your daddy rolled up Iraq like a windowshade when it was his turn at the big wheel. Your daddy made it look easy, which is perhaps why you thought you could take care of business over there on the cheap. Do you have trouble looking daddy in the eyes these days?

  Right now, the soldiers you sent into harm's way are fighting a running battle in the holy city of Najaf, which is home to the Shrine to Ali. Ali, in case you didn't know, is considered to be the legitimate heir to Mohammed himself by followers of the Shi'ite faith. Shi'ites all around the world - millions of them in places like Iran and India and right here in America - are reacting to this action in the same way Catholic parishioners in Boston would react if someone rolled tanks on the Vatican. If you so much as chip the paint on that shrine, you're going to unite yet another group of people in explosive rage against the United States.

  The gap between you and Abraham Lincoln is so wide, George, that it cannot be measured by any scientific instruments currently known to modern science. Abe had you pegged, though, 156 years ago. You were allowed to make war at your pleasure, and the world entire is desperately wondering how you can be stopped.

  You might have heard, George, about a fellow named Hugo Chavez winning the referendum on his Presidency in Venezuela. Millions of poor people flooded out of the hills to cast their votes for him, because he uses his nation's oil revenues to pay for their food and education. Quite a novel idea, yes? How many schools could we have built - schools like citadels - with the twelve billion dollars you have thrown at Halliburton? How many hungry people in your own country could have been fed? How many jobs programs could have been funded? How many catastrophically polluted Superfund sites could have been cleaned?

  That apparently wasn't on your program, George. You have eviscerated OSHA regulations - those pesky things that keep workers from getting injured and killed on the job - because you want to appear 'business-friendly.' The $1.5 million you got from the chemical industry in campaign funding compelled you to lower the safety standards for chemicals used in the production of superconductors, chemicals that are believed to cause miscarriages in pregnant workers. You eliminated overtime pay for six million workers, going so far as to have tips for employers posted on your administration's Labor Department website which will help them screw employees out of the wages they earn. You have obliterated environmental protections across the board.

  The list goes on. For a man who fashions his political persona as a "regular fella," you have delivered a large screwing to the real regular fellas who are going to have to plow through the wreckage you've left in your wake.

  I worry about you, George. You live in a stark black-and-white world, and you actually think God speaks to you. There are a lot of people in padded rooms, wearing coats that button up the back, because they have had similar delusions. You see monsters everywhere. Some of them do exist, to be sure, but I am forced to remember the words of Frederich Nietzsche: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

  You have become a monster, George, and the abyss is staring into your eyes. I wonder what it sees there. I know what I see.


    William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and international bestseller of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

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

 

A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL - August 18, 2004

http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/04/08/edi04057.html#top


Minutes of Silence That Should Live in Infamy

Minutes of Silence That Should Live in Infamy: As Americans Leapt to Their Deaths from
the Twin Towers, George W. Bush Sat Cluelessly in a Florida Classroom, Endangering the
Lives of the Children Around Him, Until His Handlers Could Figure Out What to Do With Him

(If you don't want to read any further, see the video of Bush sitting in a Florida elementary school classroom
for several minutes after he was told of the second terrorist plane attack on the twin towers....)

Whatever we are as Americans, or what we used to think we were, we valued common sense.

But no longer, at least for the 40 some percent of Americans that plan on voting for Bush and Cheney.

Is it common sense to wallow in the unsubstantiated attack on a three-time medal recipient, wounded
Vietnam Veteran, who volunteered to serve in combat, while a man sits in the White House who used family
connections to avoid serving in Vietnam -- letting other young men die in his place while he supported the
war, lost his flying privileges because he refused to take a drug test (thus leaving the tax payers with a
useless bill for his pilot training) -- and then went inexplicably AWOL to boot? Is it common sense that the
media allows a bunch of partisan hacks to, by implication, shred the reputation of ALL decorated Vietnam
combat veterans because of their Republican bias while the Vice-President of the United States requested
and received multiple deferments from serving in Vietnam (he never served at all), yet fully supported
other young men dying there?

Is it common sense that the man with the title of the President -- who went AWOL and some would call a
deserter (if his father hadn't been a Texas Congressman) from flying plants from Texas to Florida -- would
not renounce ads attacking a valiant Vietnam Veteran who volunteered to go into harm's way, nor ask his
surrogate Republican-financed rabid crew of prevaricators and financiers to stop their unseemly dog and
elephant show?

No, there's no common sense to it all.

In fact, it's positively Un-American, which is what is most tragically -- and perilously -- ironic about the Bush
Administration. It portrays itself as unwaveringly patriotic, while it undermines democracy and the American
way at every curve.

Okay, let's try another common sense test. It's just one of many you could apply to the Bush Cartel on any
given day.

Let's take the Cheney attack on Kerry for saying that he would be more sensitive about waging a war. It
appears that the Bush Cartel has used the word "sensitive" in spades in regards to its various war efforts. In
fact, the Washington Post reports that Cheney used the "s" word twice about Bush military policy in Iraq in an
interview in which he denounced Kerry for using the same word. This is from a man who has continued to
trumpet that Saddam Hussein was connected to Al Qaida despite all commission and investigative findings
to the contrary. Does that defy common sense or is it just hypocrisy? Or is it just the Bush motto that if you
repeat a lie five times, it becomes the truth -- or, in other words, pseudo-common sense?

Paul Krugman has talked with BuzzFlash.com about how the brazen mendaciousness of the Bush
Administration is so flagrant that many Americans refuse to believe that their government could so
fundamentally and openly betray them. In short, the Bush defiance of common sense becomes its own best
vehicle for concealing its deceptiveness and dishonesty. It's day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute
lying and contradictions are so audacious that the people with common sense don't believe that the
President of the United States could actually countenance such behavior. So, they -- abetted by an enabling
press that daily rescues Bush from his latest failure, faux pas, or deception -- believe that lies are truth.

But, since BuzzFlash is headquartered in Illinois, the land of Lincoln, and a neighboring state of Missouri
(the "Show Me State"), we still do believe in common sense. We still do say, "Show me, don't tell me."

For that reason, we are offering, (on our web site) a few minutes of George W. Bush sitting in the Booker
School classroom on September 11th, 2001, after he was notified that both twin towers had been attacked.
(Bush will be notified of the second terrorist attack about one minute into the video and then sit another
five minutes before the tape ends.)

We say, "show me," and what does this video show us?

--That Bush is a pawn and unable to act decisively until his handlers tell him what to do and hand
him a script.

--That he put at risk the children and adults at Booker School by staying in the classroom, even
though he might, the White House claimed, have been a target of the terrorist attacks that day.

--That he calmly listened to a pet goat story and complimented the children on their reading skills as
Americans and foreigners burned alive or jumped to their deaths from the twin towers.

--That he did not ask a question of Andrew Card or seek any further information on the terrorist attack
on America until his handlers had decided FOR him what he should do.

--That he showed the chronic lack of leadership that has characterized his entire life, the scion of a
family who are brand names that other forces use to advance an anti-American, Neo-Confederate,
plutocratic, fundamentalist religious agenda. He cannot act on his own.

--That he chose to continue a photo-op with black children designed to give him the image of a
"compassionate conservative" concerned about education for even black kids was more important
than the national security of the United States.

Also note that Bush had been informed of the first attack even before he got into the classroom, so the
several minutes (at least five before this tape ends) that he spent waiting to be told what to do just
represents the time after the SECOND attack.

And when the reading lesson was over, according to a pro-Bush Washington Times Bush hagiographer, Bill
Sammons, Bush lingered, telling the children to stay in school and pose for photos. When a reporter asked
if he knew what was going on in New York, Bush simply dismissed the question: "I'll talk about it later." He
spent some more time in the classroom "as if he didn't have a care in the world...in the most relaxed
manner imaginable."

(Visit the "The Center for Cooperative Research" for an excellent timeline of Bush's actions and words on
September 11th, including his infamous "holding room" appearance at the Booker School.)

Well, dear BuzzFlash readers, this defies common sense.

No one who cared about his or her company would hire Bush as a CEO after watching this video. Then why
does he continue to sit in the White House?

He is a failed leader, a man who is led around from photo-op to photo-op -- and if something happens that
is not scripted, he is rendered inoperable and incapable of personal decision making or action.

One of our BuzzFlash readers proposed this ad:

Dear BuzzFlash.com:

Political ads have annoyed me for many years, but Bush's attempt at smearing Kerry's
Vietnam War record has taken it to lower levels. Tearing into Senator McCain in the 2000
Republican primary race, then Sen. Max Cleland's 2002 during his bid for re-election were
equally despicable. Now the neo-cowards are attempting to play their Vietnam trump card
again.

I have a suggestion for a TV ad that Kerry should use. He need only air this one single ad. It
has no audio. It has no bottom-of-the-screen language trailer to read. It is longer then most
ads, it runs for several minutes, but requires no production costs. It contains coinciding 9/11
events, each share half of a split screen. A real-time clock ticks off the seconds of each event
as they occurred. On the right you see the aircraft striking the Twin Towers. On the left sits
our Commander-In-Chief on a grade schooler's chair, holding a copy of My Pet Goat, while
Andy Card approaches him and whispers into his ear. Both images on the screen are
absolutely silent for the entire seven minutes.

That's all that needs to be done. It is not a "negative" ad. And, it is neither contrived, nor
staged. (As was the Willie Horton ad that deep-sixed Dukakis). The events happened. They
happened simultaneously. I can't imagine a more simple, thought-provoking ad for the
viewer.

A Loyal BuzzFlash Reader

 

* * *

A BuzzFlash Note: BuzzFlash.com has an interesting history with the Booker School tape of George W.
Bush. Several months after 9/11, we were doing some research and went to the Booker School website. To
our amazement, there was a link to a video of Bush's "historic" visit to the school on the school Internet
homepage that included Andrew Card informing him of the second terrorist plane attack and his continued
presence in the classroom.

We couldn't believe it. It was like finding gold in a Colorado stream. Our first thought was, "Why hasn't
someone from the mainstream media posted this or written an article about it?" And then we realized,
because the mainstream media doesn't any longer have any interest in independently analyzing Bush's
behavior or comparing White House spin to actual, documented activity. I mean, wasn't this proof?

Here was the "Zapruder film" of Bush on 9/11 and BuzzFlash.com was the first media outlet to draw
attention to it, only after we found it months after September 11th. So, we posted a link to the Booker
School "historic visit" video and thousands and thousands of people viewed it. Not surprisingly, it
mysteriously vanished from the Booker School site the next day, but we had taken the precaution of asking
other sites to mirror the video, so copies remained caroming around the Internet.

We are offering a different version now, because the Booker School version was edited.

The source of our videos: Dr. Daniel A. Straus sponsored the professional rendering of these digital clips
from the raw VHS feed obtained from the Education Channel of Sarasota, Florida. He dedicates this gift to
regime change on November 2, 2004, his fiftieth birthday. Feel free to mirror this footage with credit to
BuzzFlash.com

Note: Due to overwhelming demand, we've moved the Real Player and Quicktime files to a new subdomain. The
video files on the main BuzzFlash server will be deleted at noon CST. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

 

Published on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 by The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0818-01.htm


IDF Teaches US Soldiers Guerilla Response

by Margot Dudkevitch


In order to improve their skills and learn firsthand tactics adopted by the IDF in urban and
guerilla warfare in the West Bank and Gaza, US Army units are undergoing training in the
special anti-terror school located in the Adam base near Modi'in.

After completing their training, the units will return to Iraq. The IDF Spokesman said, "The
army does not comment on cooperation with foreign armies," but did not deny US forces
were currently training in Israel.

In November last year, US generals visited Israel to study tactics adopted by the IDF in its
ongoing war against terror. A report in the New York Times claimed US military officials were
studying the tactics and strategy used by IDF forces operating in the West Bank and Gaza
within densely populated Palestinian areas.

US Army officials later adopted the IDF's policy of demolishing houses belonging to terrorists
suspected of attacking US troops in Iraq, set up checkpoints similar to those in the West
Bank, deployed sniffer dogs to seek out explosives, and in a number of cases arrested
relatives of terror suspects to glean information.

Last year, a senior OC Ground Forces officer told The Jerusalem Post the IDF will rent out
the new urban warfare training center located at Tze'elim in the Negev to foreign armies in an
attempt to revive the slashed defense budget. Since then, a number of countries, including
Germany, have sent units to the center.

The center, expected to be completely operational within two years, is considered the largest
of its kind in the world and boasts a digital battlefield. Even while it is under construction
entire divisions, infantry, and armored units will be able to train without using their vehicles.

© 1995 - 2004 The Jerusalem Post.

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

 

St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/08/15/Columns/Israel_s_pipe_dream__.shtml

Israel's pipe dream: getting oil from Iraq

By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN
Published August 15, 2004

There's an old joke Israelis like to tell on themselves: Their ancestors followed Moses around for 40 years and he led them to the only place in the Middle East without any oil.

More than three millennia later, Israel's energy outlook has barely improved. Although it is in a region awash with oil, the Jewish state must import most of its supplies from Russia because Arab oil producers refuse to deal with it.

Assuring Israel of an adequate oil supply has long been a goal not just of Israel itself, but also of pro-Israel factions in the United States. Thus emerged a controversial plan that is still kicking around even though its chief booster, Ahmad Chalabi, could soon be behind bars.

Once the Pentagon's choice to lead the "new" Iraq, Chalabi promised to reopen an old British-built pipeline from Kirkuk in northern Iraq to the Israeli port of Haifa. The plan impressed Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other conservatives influencing Bush administration policy toward Iraq in the lead-up to last year's war.

The idea also drew enthusiastic response from Israel.

"The pipeline would be a dream," Yosef Paritzky, Israel's minister of infrastructures, said as reported by Salon.com. "We'd have an additional source of supply, and could even export some of the crude through Haifa. But we'd need a treaty with Iraq . . . to build the pipeline."

Once Chalabi assumed a position of influence in the new Iraqi government, Israel would get its treaty, the neoconservatives were assured. The pipeline was by no means the only reason for going to war, but it could well have been one reason.

After the invasion, though, Chalabi began to slide from U.S. favor when it became apparent his Iraqi National Congress provided faulty intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. A rival, Iyad Allawi, became Iraq's new interim prime minister, and an arrest warrant issued last week accuses Chalabi of counterfeiting Iraqi currency.

As Chalabi's bubble deflates, so has the idea of the Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline. But does a pipeline even make sense? Yes and no, experts say.

A direct pipeline from Iraq might reduce Israel's energy costs, now inflated by the cost of shipping oil from Russia. Because the pipeline might cross Jordan, that struggling country could reap lucrative transit fees. And the United States, a close ally of both Israel and Jordan, would benefit from better access to the rich Iraqi oil fields, thereby reducing U.S. dependence on Saudi Arabia.

All reasons why the pipeline is such a political hot potato.

"Even the suggestion is going to create trouble because it fuels all Iraqis' suspicion that their country was invaded for Israel's benefit," says Jeremy Binnie, Middle East editor of<I> Jane's Sentinel</I>.

He and other experts note Iraq already has several outlets for its oil, including terminals on the Persian Gulf and a major pipeline through Turkey. The big problem is not a shortage of outlets but protecting the ones it has.

The pipeline through Turkey is frequently sabotaged, and Iraq temporarily stopped pumping oil from its southern fields because of violence in the region.

"Until you can secure an existing pipeline it may not make sense to build another one," says Jim Burkhard, director of oil market analysis for Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Massachusetts.

Another expert questions Israel's claim it could save 20 percent on energy costs by getting oil from Iraq instead of Russia.

"Given the near-perfect price arbitrage in oil markets, this is quite implausible," economist Thomas R. Stauffer writes in the<I> Washington Report on Middle East Affairs</I>. "Only two interpretations suggest themselves.

"First, the Russian oil mafia has succeeded in bilking the Israelis - a formidable task. Or, second, the Israelis and their allies in the Bush administration presume that they can force Iraq to sell oil into the line at a steep discount."

Even if the pipeline never materializes, Israel has an ace in the hole. Under a 1975 memorandum of understanding, the United States guarantees virtually all Israel's oil needs in the event of a crisis - even if it means reducing the amount of oil available to Americans.

Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at: susan@sptimes.com

© Copyright 2002-2004, St. Petersburg Times

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

 

Published on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 by the Baltimore Sun

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0817-03.htm


Nuclear Power Still a Deadly Proposition

by Helen Caldicott


WHILE VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney is actively promoting nuclear power as a significant plank in his energy
plan, he claims that nuclear power is "a safe, clean and very plentiful energy source."

The Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industries, is
currently running an energetic campaign for the revivification of nuclear power. Ubiquitous TV and radio ads
carry the admonition that "Kids today are part of the most energy-intensive generation in history. They
demand lots of clean electricity. And they deserve clean air."

Also, a consortium of 10 U.S. utilities has requested funding from the federal government for the construction
of new reactors based on a European design, and they hope to receive government approval by 2010. This
is a major policy change since no new nuclear reactors have been ordered in the United States since 1974.

Nevertheless, the claims of the Mr. Cheney and the nuclear industry are false. According to data from the
U.S. Energy Department (DOE), the production of nuclear power significantly contributes both to global
warming and ozone depletion.

The enrichment of uranium fuel for nuclear power uses 93 percent of the refrigerant chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)
gas made annually in the United States. The global production of CFC is banned under the Montreal Protocol
because it is a potent destroyer of ozone in the stratosphere, which protects us from the carcinogenic effects
of solar ultraviolet light. The ozone layer is now so thin that the population in Australia is currently
experiencing one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world.

CFC compounds are also potent global warming agents 10,000 to 20,000 times more efficient heat trappers
than carbon dioxide, which itself is responsible for 50 percent of the global warming phenomenon.

But nuclear power also contributes significantly to global carbon dioxide production. Huge quantities of fossil
fuel are expended for the "front end" of the nuclear fuel cycle -- to mine, mill and enrich the uranium fuel and
to construct the massive nuclear reactor buildings and their cooling towers.

Uranium enrichment is a particularly energy intensive process which uses electricity generated from huge
coal-fired plants. Estimates of carbon dioxide production related to nuclear power are available from DOE for
the "front end" of the nuclear fuel cycle, but prospective estimates for the "back end" of the cycle have yet to
be calculated.

Tens of thousands of tons of intensely hot radioactive fuel rods must continuously be cooled for decades in
large pools of circulating water and these rods must then be carefully transported by road and rail and
isolated from the environment in remote storage facilities in the United States. The radioactive reactor building
must also be decommissioned after 40 years of operation, taken apart by remote control and similarly
transported long distances and stored. Fully 95 percent of U.S. high level waste -- waste that is intensely
radioactive -- has been generated by nuclear power thus far.

This nuclear waste must then be guarded, protected and isolated from the environment for tens of thousands
of years -- a physical and scientific impossibility. Biologically dangerous radioactive elements such as strontium
90, cesium 137 and plutonium will seep and leak into the water tables and become very concentrated in food
chains for the rest of time, inevitably increasing the incidence of childhood cancer, genetic diseases and
congenital malformations for this and future generations

Conclusion: Nuclear power is neither clean, green nor safe. It is the most biologically dangerous method to
boil water to generate steam for the production of electricity.

Helen Caldicott, a pediatrican, is president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and author of The New
Nuclear Danger, George Bush's Military Industrial Complex (The New Press). She lives near Sydney,
Australia.

Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun

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

 

Published on Monday, August 16, 2004 by the International Herald Tribune

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0816-08.htm


Why are American Troops in Najaf?

by Richard Reeves


Senator John Kerry has not been successful so far in articulating answers to questions about whether and
how the United States should go to war. But he will be guided by this draft of military application policy:

"The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause
is vital to our national interest. If the decision is made to commit its forces to combat abroad,
it must be done with clear intent and support to win. There must be clearly defined and
realistic objectives. There must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for
will have the support of the American people and Congress. ... Our troops should be
committed to combat abroad only as a last resort, when no other choice is available."

The author of those words, slightly paraphrased here, is not working in the Kerry campaign. Those are the
words of President Ronald Reagan, condensing the thoughts of his Secretary of Defense, Caspar
Weinberger, whose original version, part of a speech he made in late 1984, included the phrase "or of our
allies" after "vital national interest."

So what are we Americans doing in Najaf? Is killing the followers of a nasty Shiite preacher, killing them at the
gates of the most holy shrine of Shiite Muslims all over the world, vital to the national interests of the United
States and its allies?

And why is it that we are killing Shiites, the wretched of the earth in the secular Sunni Muslim country of
Saddam Hussein? That is the same Saddam who murdered the father of the preacher five years ago. Was
that our clear intent and realistic objective in invading Iraq? Would the American people and Congress - and
our allies - have supported a $200 billion war to get a preacher, Moktada al-Sadr?

And was invasion our last resort? Even the war-maker himself, President George W. Bush, never claimed that.
In the beginning, he said, it was the last resort because the United Nations had pushed hard enough to find
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. When there were no such weapons, he said Saddam was a very bad
guy. That was true - and it was true 20 years ago when we were supplying him with weapons to use against
Iran. But was he a great enough threat to go to war ourselves? Was killing Iraqis after the war our last resort?

"I know what I'm doing when it comes to winning this war," said Bush last Wednesday. That's good to hear.
What exactly are you doing in Najaf? Killing bad guys, I guess. If that is the criteria for putting the Marines
around the shrine of the Imam Ali, then we will be at war forever, everywhere.

Reagan, no "girly-man" he, began thinking hard and differently about sending young men and women into
harm's way after 241 U.S. Marines on a peace-keeping mission to Lebanon were killed by a truck-bomber who
crashed into their barracks near the Beirut airport in October of 1983. Seven years later in his autobiography
he wrote:

"Perhaps we didn't appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made
the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain
instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the
concern for the Marines' safety that it should have."

Reagan pulled the Marines out five months later, saying: "In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I
believed the last thing we should do was turn tail and leave. ... Yet, the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics
forced us to re-think our policy there."

It was then that Reagan wrote his list of policies regarding use of the military and concluded with this: "I would
recommend it to future presidents."

Copyright © 2004 the International Herald Tribune

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

 

From: Earth Island Institute <earthisland@earthisland.org>
Reply-To: <cclarke@earthisland.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Monday, August 16, 2004 12:30 PM

IslandWire: News from Earth Island

Conservation, Preservation, Restoration

August 16 , 2004 - Vol.7, No.8

Highlights of This Issue

* Victory!
* Orca Peril
* Brower Youth Awards
* News from Nicaragua
* Center for Safe Energy
* Environmental Events

 

Good News for Dolphins

Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project announced a major legal victory for dolphins today. Federal Judge Thelton Henderson, in the case Earth Island Institute v. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, noted that the US Commerce Department's weakening of the "Dolphin-safe" label on tuna cans illegally ignored scientific evidence and must be overturned. He ordered the issuance of a new rule prohibiting the use of a "Dolphin-safe" label on any tuna products caught by netting dolphins.

For all the details, visit www.earthisland.org/immp

To read Judge Henderson,s report, visit
http://islandwire.c.topica.com/maacxNZaa89yIa3ffP4baeQzVo/

But Bad News for Orcas

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Earth Island,s Mark Berman, a staunch advocate for marine mammals. Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo is attempting to import an orca, and Berman is working to let the mammal go free. Read all about it!
http://islandwire.c.topica.com/maacxNZaa89yJa3ffP4baeQzVo/

Brower Youth Awards Winners Announced

Six young activists have been named as winners of the 5th annual Brower Youth Awards. The awards of $3,000 each will be presented on September 30 in Berkeley. To read more about the winners, go to www.earthisland.org/bya
Would you like to attend the awards ceremony? Please RSVP at www.earthisland.org/bya/byaRSVP2004.html

Hola, New Look!

UniversitArea Protegida Nicaragua (UAP) has updated its Web site. Check out the new sections, such as Pinolero Pages, which contains environmental and cultural news from Nicaragua, and a photo gallery featuring the four areas where UAP students are working.

Check it out at www.earthisland.org/uap

Grassroots in Russia

The environmental problems in Russia are staggering, and with little government support, it is left to the small grassroots organizations to try to make a difference. The Center for Safe Energy works with these environmental organizations in the form of civil rights training, women,s leadership training, and environmental exchanges.

The Center for Safe Energy is bringing a group of Russian environmentalists to Berkeley in September to learn about the environmental movement in the United States. The group will visit environmental NGOs, including Earth Island Institute, government representatives, and national park officials in the Bay Area.

For more information on the Center,s work, please go to www.centerforsafeenergy.org

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.

Solfest
The 9th annual Solfest, a fundraiser for Solar Living Institute, will take place on August 21 & 22. The event will feature live music from Bruce Cockburn, the Charlie Hunter Trio, and Emily Richards, and well-known speakers and activists Vandana Shiva, Daryl Hannah, and Richard Heinberg. Get your tickets online at store.solarlivingstore.com/so20ti.html

Eat Your Garden
The first Edible Gardens Festival is happening on August 21 & 22 at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. There,ll be lectures, demonstrations and workshops about gardening and cooking; plus environmentally-friendly local goodies served by dozens of restaurants and Sonoma wineries. Get your tickets online by visiting www.copia.org.

Angel Sleepover
Save the Bay and Environmental Traveling Companions are guiding an overnight excursion to Angel Island on August 21 & 22. Get the details by calling (510) 452-9261 or visiting www.saveSFbay.org.

See Seabirds
Naturalist/biologist Rich Stallcup will present a lecture on seabirds of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Thursday, August 26 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The lecture will be held at the Red Barn Classroom, Point Reyes National Seashore. For directions or more information, visit cordellbank.noaa.gov or call (415) 633-0314 X105.

OAEC,s Tenth Anniversary
The Occidental Arts and Ecology Centre will hold its annual FALL PLANT SALE AND OPEN HOUSE on August 28 & 29.
Plant Sale: 9 am to 5 pm each day, Garden Tours at 10 am and 11 am
Open House: 11 am to 2 pm each day.
Need more information? Go to http://islandwire.c.topica.com/maacxNZaa89yKa3ffP4baeQzVo/

Permaculture Design
Ecoversity is now enrolling for its permaculture design course, August 28 to September 10. The 72-hour certification course, taught by internationally acclaimed designer Scott Pittman, includes lectures, hands-on site assessment and design, special presentations, and option evening activities. For more information call (505) 424-9797 x10 or visit www.ecoversity.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 Web site (www.bioneers.org/rdi/eco_design.html), e-mail agworkshops@bioneers.org, or call (831) 338-1202.

 

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
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: 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, August 15, 2004 9:30 PM

 

EAW Quick Links -- August 16, 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


US Pushes Japan to Abandon Historic "Peace Constitution"
BBC

(August 14, 2004) -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell says Japan must consider revising its pacifist constitution if it wants a permanent UN Security Council seat. Article Nine of the constitution, drawn up under US post-war occupation, renounces the use of force in disputes. Japan plays a role in international peacekeeping, and currently has troops in Iraq, but its constitution limits its military's powers. However, revising Article Nine would be highly controversial in Japan
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86339:206345

 

Fatwa Forbids Iraq Forces from Helping US Troops
Middle-East Online

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's top Sunni Muslim body has warned the security forces against supporting the US military in the fight at the holy city of Najaf. The Association of Muslim Scholars issued a fatwa, or religious edict, forbidding Muslims from offering any support to the forces of "occupation." "It is forbidden for any Muslim to cooperate with the occupation forces and killing their own brothers and fellow citizens," it said.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86341:206345

 

Former Iraqi Governing Council President Turns Against US
Reuters

(August 13, 2004) -- Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, , a former US ally and president of the Iraqi Governing Council, has lost faith in the US-led occupation. Watching his hometown of Najaf come under US bombardment, Bahr al-Ulum now warns that millions of moderates like him, who welcomed last year's invasion, now regard Washington as an enemy. "The Americans have turned the holy city into a ghost town. I do not understand why America craves crisis. A peaceful solution to the confrontation with Muqtada could have been reached. We were hoping that Prime Minister Iyad Allawi would lead the way, but he sided with oppression."
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86342:206345

 

Iraqi South Threatens Secession
Al-Jazeera

(August 11, 2004) -- Basra Deputy Governor Salam Uda al-Maliki is prepared to announce the separation of several Iraqi southern governorates from the Baghdad government. The breakaway provinces would include Basra, Misan and Dhi Qar. He also wants to shut Basra's port and in effect stop oil exports. Al-Maliki said the decision was taken because the Iraqi interim government was "responsible for the Najaf clashes." Ali Hamud al-Musawi, head of the Misan governorate council, told Aljazeera: "This reaction comes in response to the crimes committed against Iraqis by an illegal and unelected government, and occupation forces who claimed they came to liberate Iraq, but it turned out that they have come to kill Iraqis."
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86343:206345

 

Bush GOP Challenger Arrested Prior to GOP Convention
911ShareTheTruth.com

(August 13, 2004) " Federal agents have arrested Republican "9/11 Truth Candidate" John Buchanan on extremely suspicious charges. Buchanan, an investigative reporter whose revelations have embarrassed to the Bush family, faces an August 16 court hearing that could send him to prison for five years for "stalking" an unidentified "victim." On February 4, on his way to speak to the National Press Club, Buchanan was kidnapped by unidentified federal agents posing as Secret Service officers. Four days later, Buchanan was arrested on phony criminal charges contained in a 14-count felony complaint for aggravated stalking against an unidentified victim. One is left to conclude that the "victim" is George W. Bush. That would mean that the Constitutionally protected right for a citizen to politically challenge a fellow Republican has been deemed a "criminal" act. Buchanan's website has been "remove" from the Internet but archived issues can still be read at:
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86344:206345

 

Iraq's Real WMD Crime: Deformed, Dead and Dying Children
Lawrence Smallman / Aljazeera

(March 16, 2004) -- There are weapons of mass destruction all over Iraq and they were used this past year. Iraqi children continue to find them every day. They have ruined the lives of just under 300,000 people during the last decade -- and numbers will increase. Women as young as 35 are developing breast cancer. Sterility among men has increased tenfold. The most devastating effect is on unborn children. Nothing can prepare anyone for the sight of hundreds of preserved foetuses barely human in appearance.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86345:206345

Uranium Weapons Poisoned Iraqi Civilians and Coalition Troops
Tedd Weyman / Uranium Medical Research Centre

In September/October 2003, five months after the cessation of the Shock and Awe bombing campaign in Iraq, the Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC) sent in a team to collect biological and environmental samples, conduct a public health survey, and a field radiation survey. The goal: to determine the extent and nature of radiological contamination from the use of weapons containing uranium. Dr. M. Al Shaickly and Tedd Weyman traveled with Dr. Siegwart-Horst Guenther to survey battlefields in Baghdad and Al Basra. Dr. Guenther conducted an independent survey of Iraqi hospitals and patients, interviewing physicians and surveying the medical effects of Gulf War I and the 2003 Iraq War on civilians exposed to battlefield contaminants and the fallout of US and UK bombs and missiles.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86346:206345

 

FILM: 'Doctors, Depleted Uranium and Dying Children'
Sunny Miller / Traprock Peace Center

(August 11, 2004) -- A powerful new German documentary exposes radioactive warfare in Iraq. "The Doctors, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children" surveys the impact of radioactive weapons in the war against Iraq. The film features two British veterans describing their exposure to radioactive, depleted, uranium (DU), weapons and the congenital abnormalities of their children. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Günther and Tedd Weyman of the Uranium Medical Research Center traveled to Iraq, from Germany and Canada respectively, to assess uranium contamination in Iraq. The film is now available for purchase from the Traprock Peace Center for $25.00 for non-commercial, non-institutional use.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86347:206345

 

Iraqi-Americans Demand US Pullout From Homeland
Jim Irwin / Associated Press

DEARBORN (August 14, 2004) -- Chanting "Get out of Najaf, get out of Iraq," Iraqi-Americans assembled Friday to protest fighting in the Islamic holy city and demand sooner-than-scheduled elections in their native country. "Stop the guns from talking and let,s negotiate!" Imam Husham Al-Husainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center, shouted through a bullhorn while leading 50 men and boys as young as 5 in the peaceable, hour-long demonstration. Some held hand-lettered signs that read, "Occupation is not liberation" and "No puppet government in Iraq." A handful of black-clad women stood silently off to one side of the demonstrators outside the Shiite mosque.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86348:206345

 

MDs Fear Cancer Epidemic Linked to US WMDs
Christopher Bollyn / American Free Press

A growing number of US personnel who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan have become sick and disabled from a variety of symptoms commonly known as Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). "Gulf war vets are coming down with these symptoms at twice the rate of vets from previous conflicts," said Barbara A. Goodno from the Department of Defense,s Deployment Health Support Directorate. Nearly half the soldiers in one returned unit have malignant growths, possibly the result of exposure to depleted uranium weapons (DU). According to GWS researcher Dr. András Korényi-Both, 27 percent to 28 percent of Gulf War vets have suffered chronic health problems -- more than five times the rate of Vietnam vets and four times the rate of Korean War vets.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86349:206345

 

US Soldiers Fear Afghan Drug War
Nick Meo / Independent U.K.

(August 14, 2004) -- US soldiers in Afghanistan fear they are about to be launched into a bloody war on drugs amid mounting evidence that the country's booming opium trade is funding terrorists. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld raised the prospect of the 17,000 combat troops taking an active role against the drugs trade on a visit to Kabul when he spoke of a need for a new strategy. It is widely believed that after October's Afghan elections, troops may be called on to assist Afghan security forces in a strategy modeled on controversial efforts to destroy Colombia's cocaine industry. Meanwhile, patrolling US troops routinely turn a blind eye to opium farming and have recruited warlords suspected of being drug dealers to fight al-Qa'ida.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86350:206345

 

Washington Post Rethinks Its Coverage of War Debate
Jacques Steinberg / New York Times

(August 13, 2004) -- Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor of The Washington Post, said in yesterday's newspaper that he and other top editors had by not giving front-page prominence to more articles that cast doubt on the Bush administration's claims that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. "We were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration's rationale,'' Mr. Downie said in a front-page article. "That was a mistake on my part.'' In May, The New York Times published a 1,220-word article in which the newspaper's editors acknowledged that they had not been skeptical enough of White House propaganda.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86351:206345

 

Death, Duty in Forgotten Corner of War
Doug Struck / The Washington Post

(August 13, 2004) -- QAIM, Iraq -- Gunnery Sgt. Elia Fontecchio, 30, was killed by a roadside bomb, set off by someone who was watching a US Marine foot patrol finish its work on Wednesday, Aug. 4. A half-hour later, Lance Cpl. Joseph Nice, 19, was stringing concertina wire across a road when a single sniper bullet passed through his body. They were deaths 14 and 15 for the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment since it arrived in February. With 156 Purple Hearts as well, the casualty count for this battalion is higher than that of any other unit in Iraq, save for fellow Marines in turbulent Fallujah.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86352:206345

 

Time Reporter Held in Contempt in CIA Leak Case
Adam Liptak / New York Times

(August 10, 2004) -- Federal judge in Washington held Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in contempt of court and ordered him jailed for refusing to name the government officials who disclosed the identity of an undercover CIA officer to him. The magazine was also held in contempt and ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 a day. Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected their contention that the First Amendment entitled journalists to refuse to answer a grand jury's questions about confidential sources. Ironically, Robert Novak and two other Bush-friendly reporters who helped the White House leak the identity of Valerie Plame (a CIA agent whose husband's revelations embarrassed Mr. Bush) have suffered no legal backlash.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86353:206345

 

Porter Goss' Plan to Unleash CIA on Americans
Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball / Newsweek

(August 11, 2004) -- Rep. Porter Goss, President Bush,s nominee to head the CIA, recently introduced legislation that would give the president new authority to direct CIA agents to conduct law-enforcement operations inside the United States"including arresting American citizens. The legislation, introduced by Goss on June 16 and touted as an "intelligence reform" bill, would substantially restructure the intelligence community. In a little-known section, the Goss bill would substantially alter " if not overturn " a 57-year-old ban on the CIA conducting operations inside the United States.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86354:206345

 

Ending on a Positive Note:

Stabilizing the Global 'Greenhouse' May Not Be So Hard
Peter N. Spotts / Christian Science Monitor

Humanity has the hardware in hand to halt the rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gases it pumps into the atmosphere and forestall the worst effects of global warming projected for the end of this century. The goal could be achieved within the next 50 years by more widespread use of a portfolio of at least 15 approaches - from energy efficiency, solar energy, and wind power to nuclear energy and the preservation or enhancement of "natural" sinks for carbon dioxide such as rain forests, or the conservation tillage techniques on farms worldwide, say two Princeton University researchers in a study published Friday.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86356:206345

 

NOTE: Quick Links is produced weekly on an unpaid basis by a committed but unemployed volunteer. If you appreciate these news tips and have the means and desire to support this work, tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Academic Publishing, Inc., PO Box 27, Berkeley, CA 94701.

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, August 15, 2004 2:49 PM
Subject: Shia Backlash Wrecks U.S. Strategy

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.16

How Business Responds to Global Warming

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

Reporters Ordered to Leave Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081604W.shtml

David S. Broder | Bush's Two Albatrosses
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081604J.shtml

Paul Auster | We're in the Process of Losing Our Country
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081604H.shtml

Shia Backlash Wrecks U.S. Strategy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081604A.shtml

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Gail Sheehy | Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11
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Bush Deregulation Helps Business, Lets TB Spread
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The New York Times | Vatican Wants Turkey Out of Europe
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Venezuela Voters Turn Out in Huge Numbers
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chicagotribune.com - August 15, 2004

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0408150290aug15,1,5853346.story?coll=chi-news-hed



Fade to blue

A tale of fish, pirates, greed and the end of a global frontier

World fish stocks vanish in hidden food war

Story by Paul Salopek
Tribune foreign correspondent


Strange blue stars are appearing in the west. False stars. They rise unnaturally, against the usual migration of the constellations, from the smooth dark skull of the Atlantic.

These are the deck lights of the foreign poachers. They are Chinese boats, mostly: big diesel-powered trawlers slipping inshore to plunder Angola's rich waters. The fish they come to steal--teeming shoals of hake, sole and grouper--are frozen and shipped to warehouses in Asia, Europe and the United States. If you eat packaged seafood, some will end up on your plate.

By contrast, the open boat Daniana fades into the dusk. It is an Angolan catronga, a frail, 24-foot-long craft that rides the waves like a lurching coffin, and it leaks. A waterlogged Portuguese Bible is its only emergency gear. Rusty wires angle up from the rails to a tubular steel mast. Draping them, the skins of flayed moray eels flap in the salty breeze like grisly scalps.

"Whore pirates," mutters Antonio Rodriguez, the skipper, peering through the gathering darkness at his enemy. "Taking the food right out of our mouths."

A skinny 27-year-old Angolan fisherman, Rodriguez orders his five gristly crewmen to battle stations. He places baseball-size rocks around the greasy deck--crude artillery should the marauders draw close.

This is an act of desperation. Because in the increasingly violent struggle over the planet's last wild fish stocks--a sprawling, global food war replete with rammed boats, frenzied nighttime chases and nameless bodies washing up on desolate beaches--the outcome is all but settled.

For more than 50 years, the motorized fishing fleets of the industrial world have scoured the wide seas, hauling up a seemingly endless bounty of seafood.

But as global fish populations shrivel--and especially since the richest nations have sealed off their coastlines inside 200-mile "exclusive economic zones"--the crews of thousands of steel-hulled trawlers from the developed world have taken to raiding or buying their way into the waters of the poor.

The result: a showdown over scarce protein in which some 20 million ragged traditional fishermen such as Rodriguez are the inevitable losers.

"We are witnessing the last buffalo hunt at sea," says Reg Watson, a researcher at the University of British Columbia who has helped document steep declines in the world's key seafood stocks since the 1960s. "Our southern oceans are becoming the new Wild West."

And so it goes tonight on the remote frontier shores of Angola. As the waves darken to matte black, an armada of international trawlers sneaks inside a 4-mile coastal zone reserved exclusively for local fishermen.

Aboard the Daniana, one of Rodriguez's crewmen staggers to the rolling bow. His job: to frantically hand-haul the anchor--a stone tied to a rope--in case a foreign ship bears down on the Angolans.

Rodriguez tosses a baited hook over the side. He wheezes a Portuguese love ballad. The others, too, begin to sing, though none sings the same song.

This is the Angolans' secret weapon: They claim to "sing up" the fish. But as the fishless hours drag on through the night, it's clear the old juju isn't working. The fish are deaf. Or, more likely, the heavy nets towed by the outsiders have dragged away the submerged rocks that have sheltered schools of fish for centuries. Rocks the Angolans locate as if by feel, using mental maps passed down from father to son. Maps now being wiped clean by the pirates.

Dawn finds the fishermen of the Daniana sprawled in their squalid boat. They are exhausted. Bitter. Confused by the lack of fish. They bicker. One crewman hooks a razor-toothed eel. Pounding it angrily with a shark club made from a length of old water pipe, he chants, "Piratas! Piratas! Piratas!"

Rodriguez pretends not to hear. He stares numbly out to open sea, slapping the back of his head with a callused palm. As if somehow the pirates were trawling in there also, wreaking havoc on the remembered ocean.

2 The pirates

When does a frontier vanish?

The most fabled one of all, the American West, expired more than a century ago in a spasm of violence known as the Range Wars--a vicious fight among settlers over control of the last of the unfenced prairie.

This is precisely what is happening today as the seas' once-vast shoals of fish fade into memory.

Nobody can accurately count ocean fish, but a growing body of research indicates that the world's seafood supply peaked sometime in the late 1980s. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the agency responsible for tracking the health of the oceans, now estimates that three-quarters of the world's fish stocks are either depleted or hunted to the brink of collapse.

This global food crisis hasn't yet hit the display cases of First World supermarkets, UN analysts say, partly because fishermen are "fishing down the food chain" for smaller, less appetizing species--and because they have been dipping their nets into the marine larders of the developing world.

Roughly half of the seafood eaten in the United States today, for example, is pulled from distant oceans. Import figures show that much of this catch comes from southern waters via China, Mexico and Peru.

Fleets of modern trawlers--efficient fish-killing machines equipped with huge nets, onboard freezers and satellite guidance systems--have been stampeding across the equator for decades, of course, and even more so in recent years as northern fishing grounds have played out. Most fish legally, paying cash-starved governments for the right to harvest their coasts. But lately, as even these end-of-the-world pockets of fish start to vanish, impoverished nations are scrambling to guard their fading riches with air patrols. And before that door closes, desperate crews are turning to what marine scientists call "illicit biomass extraction."

In a word, piracy.

"If you buy fish in a store, do you know where it comes from?" asks a recent UN report on the alarming 100 percent rise in fishing piracy over the past decade. "It might be stolen from the poor. It could even have cost lives."

Pirate fishing has many guises: outright poaching in another nation's territorial waters; buying local fishing rights but then flouting established catch quotas; and using prohibited gear, such as small-mesh nets, to indiscriminately vacuum the host nation's resource.

The result is the same. The fish disappear. And the world's remaining seafood is tainted with violence as impoverished local fishermen fight for their survival.

In Senegal, fishers in hand-dug canoes have been plowed under by European trawlers. Indonesian gunboats now protect domestic fishermen by blasting foreign poachers out of the water. And bizarre cops-and-robbers chases have begun roiling even Antarctica's remote seas: Last August, an Australian patrol boat pursued a sea bass pirate more than 4,000 miles across the bottom of the world.

But the ultimate redoubt of the fishing wars--conflicts that northern consumers benefit from but hardly know exist--is the immensely long, untamed and vulnerable shoreline of sub-Saharan Africa.

For decades, European, Russian, Japanese and Korean boats--both legal and piratical--have raked Africa's rich continental shelves. Now China, a powerful new player in the world's fish race, has steamed into the African battlefield.

"It's like the end of the world," says Antonio Rodriguez, the bewildered Angolan skipper of the Daniana. "We don't stand a chance."

Angola's wild, beautiful, 1,000-mile seashore is typical of most in Africa. Three government patrol boats, often docked for lack of fuel, theoretically guard territorial waters as long as the U.S. Western Seaboard. Foreign trawlers have hammered patches of coastline so hard that fish have become locally scarce--a blow to a nation where a million people rely on UN food aid.

"It's not worth going to sea," says Jose Texeira da Cunha, an unemployed fisherman in Tombua, a forgotten port of crumbling stone houses and old fish meal factories corroding to rust. "You have to stay out for three days to get the same catches you once got in eight hours."

A dollar a day is the best living most fishermen can hope to wring out of the ocean, da Cunha says. Now some refugees from Angola's fishing wars are even pushing into deserted coastline, seeking more fish.

On virgin beaches, they clap together raw outposts of corrugated zinc and flotsam washed up by the Atlantic. Skinny-legged, bull-chested, shouting gruffly, the men heave their plank boats through the breakers at dawn. And their wives and rag-clad children ululate and dance on the sand, wishing them luck. The seamen wave goodbye in silence. They hold up both arms in an attitude of surrender.

3 The current

To understand why Angola has emerged as a hotbed of the oceanic food wars, you must rent a Jeep, load it with fuel and water, and drive south from the nation's monumentally dilapidated capital of Luanda.

You will traverse a country almost twice the size of Texas, utterly wrecked by civil war. Though Angola's 27-year-long fratricide finally ended in 2002, its people remain dazed and exhausted. Bullet-pocked towns still lack basic amenities such as power and water. Roads are mere smears of dirt. Indeed, past Tombua, on the remote southern coast, they disappear altogether.

This is the edge of the Namib Desert. And here the route hugs the coast. If you pass a driftwood cairn topped by a human skull, you are on the right track.

Park at roughly 17 degrees south latitude. Camp in a bay where hyenas nose the surf, digging up the eggs of sea turtles. Then climb a sand dune at first light.

There, facing the sea, you will witness one of the great natural wonders of the world: bronze sunlight glinting off countless millions of mullets, kob, sardines, garrick and elf that swim in the rollers like specimens trapped inside immense, translucent aquariums. Behind these glittering clouds of fish loom the silhouettes of monstrous sharks. It is a mesmerizing scene. A glimpse of the primordial majesty of the sea. In terms of sheer fish abundance and biodiversity, no other marine ecosystem in the world--excepting Chile's Humboldt Current--can match it.

This dazzling display of aquatic life is a rarity, one of the last unfished corners of Africa. It owes its existence to the storminess of the local seas, and to a strange dance of waters called the Angola-Benguela Frontal Zone.

Cold currents from the South Pole and warm currents from the equator collide along the lonesome beaches of Namibia and southern Angola. A comparable boundary on land would thrust together the frosty tundra of the Yukon and the sweltering grasslands of the Serengeti --a bizarre overlap of moose and zebra.

Yet this is exactly what happens in the ocean off southern Africa. Scientists have compared the swarms of intermixing warm- and cool-water fishes on Angola's seaboard to a "marine Amazon." Meanwhile, only last year, European biologists stumbled across an even more species-rich habitat farther offshore, on the 3-mile-deep seabed: 80 percent of the hundreds of organisms dredged up by a German-led expedition were new to science.

"Whole sections of this coast belong in marine reserves," says Tamar Ron, an Israeli ecologist and the only environmental adviser on the staff of the UN Development Program in Angola. "But there is no political will to protect anything here. No baseline data exists. Nobody funds studies. So we will never know what's being lost through overfishing."

But noble causes such as marine sanctuaries or "no take" zones--a concept that is rapidly gaining momentum in conservation circles as global fish populations stagnate or collapse--can seem faintly absurd to the beleaguered fishermen of Africa.

Some policemen stationed, for example, on the remote island of Ilha dos Tigres, Angola's only official marine environmental preserve, don't protect wildlife; they terrorize bird, seal and turtle nesting grounds with their drunken target practice, local villagers say. Angolan seamen also tell stories of having their shoes and meager catches stolen by officers.

On the feral shores of Angola, even the good guys are flint-hearted.

"This is one of the last good places left on Earth," insists Bruce Bennett, the closest thing to a conservationist on Angola's outlaw coast. "But they're destroying it real fast. It won't last 10 years."

Once an up-and-coming biologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Bennett pioneered research on the ecological benefits of marine reserves. But he turned his back on academia a decade ago to become a fishing guide in Angola.

Sandpapery, broiled red by the tropical sun, he sports a threadbare pair of shorts and hasn't worn shoes for years. Local Angolans have dubbed him Tarzan. He presides over a tin-roofed fishing camp where he rails against international fishing poachers and the garbage they toss into the sea, polluting Angola's pristine beaches.

Then, poker-faced, he tells this story:

Out casting on the beach one day, he spotted four men rolling in the waves. Two were dead already--drowned--and the others were alive but ranting. They were Congolese stowaways pitched overboard by the crew of a passing cargo ship, standard practice in Angola's cutthroat waters. Bennett dutifully covered the corpses' gull-pecked faces and offered water to the survivors. Then he kept on angling up the shore. Only when he had bagged his self-imposed limit of lira, a spirited surf predator, did he load the Congolese, alive and dead, into his truck and cart them off to the police.

4 The open boat

"Fish learn," Antonio Rodriguez is insisting.

It is the second day at sea aboard the hard-luck Daniana.

The boat creaks as if under the iron weight of the African sunlight. The Punta Grossa lighthouse, gutted by war, stares blindly down from faraway desert cliffs. Gray and empty, the Atlantic stretches away like a fogged mirror.

Rodriguez sits on the rocking bow, his legs dangling over the side, tensing a fishing line across the pad of his left ring finger--the finger most attuned, Angolan fishermen believe, to the tremblings of the sea. He smiles dreamily into the water. He is warming to his favorite subject: his prey.

"If a hooked fish escapes, you might as well move to another bay," Rodriguez says. "He will alert every friend within a kilometer."

This fact applies, however, only to "heroic" fish, because fish--much like humans, Rodriguez points out--possess distinct personalities.

Hence shad: a "supremely courageous" fish because it fearlessly attacks lures nearly as big as itself.

And pungu: "lazy" because it slumbers by river deltas, waiting for its dinner, in the form of catfish, to swim past its mouth.

And peixe-voador, or four-winged flying fish, the most "confident" fish of all: It holds dead still in the water, invisible to its predators, until--pok!--it explodes into the air like a bullet.

"Don't be fooled by fishes' eyes," Rodriguez says, holding up a bait sardine, its dead, lidless pupils flat as polished stones. "They can think. They even have learned to recognize this boat. I must paint it a different color every year!"

Such folk wisdom--the vivid, personalized worldview of the true hunter-gatherer--is what irrevocably divides the lives of the antagonists in the oceans' fishing wars.

Afloat day after day, surrounded by elemental beauty, Rodriguez and his crew know how the skin of the sea is made of light, and how you can peer into its middle depths through the mossy green shadows of every ripple. They can read the tiny bubbles of bream feeding 100 feet below. They know the fickle moods of sharks. The ocean of the industrial trawler deckhand, by contrast, is a backdrop, a dull abstraction: inert, blurred by walls of sound, steel and diesel smoke.

Surprisingly, some of the native lore of traditional fishermen is being confirmed today by science.

Gone is the conceit that fish are pin-brained drones governed by instinct--a view that has made it easier to slaughter them in untold billions.

"Now fish are regarded as steeped in social intelligence, pursuing Machiavellian strategies of manipulation, punishment and reconciliation," say the editors of "Learning in Fishes: From Three-second Memory to Culture," a survey of 500 scientific papers on fish behavior that was published last September. "They also use tools . . . build complex nests and bowers . . . and can even exhibit impressive long-term memories."

Groundbreaking studies by British biologist Dan Hoare and his German colleague Jens Krause reveal that huge fish shoals such as those depicted in countless television documentaries are anything but random masses of identical, robotic organisms. Instead they are complex, hierarchical communities on the move--fish cities where individuals sort themselves into subgroups defined by size, sex, kinship, age and experience.

The most recent and startling discovery of all, however, involves fish memory.

Kevin Warburton, an Australian scientist, has revealed that fish not only possess long-term recollections (and some fish live nearly a century) but are capable of lengthening or shortening their "memory windows" depending on environmental change. This is a skill most humans would envy; fish have learned when it is adaptive to forget.

"Ay!" Rodriguez cries, yanking back on his line as if it were a lawn mower cord.

Hand over hand he pulls up a slapping 20-pound grouper, or garoupa vermilion, a fish of such hallucinogenic beauty--fiery orange flecked with spots of cobalt blue--that it seems like some exotic sky beast dropped from the heavens, not something hauled from the murky Benguela Current.

It is the first sizable fish landed on the Daniana in hours.

The crew is grumbling. Cramped onto 8 pitching yards of deck, and irritable after two days of working, sleeping and defecating within elbow range of each other, they talk of returning home. The food is scarce and bad: oily moray eels. The fishing is miserable. Lino, the crew's strongman, blames global warming--a punishment from God he overheard on Angolan national radio. But most of the older men curse the foreign trawlers that have licked the seabed clean.

Rodriguez, more guileless and cheerful, tries to raise their spirits.

Whistling, he butchers the grouper on the spot. The valuable carcass goes into the fish hold. And the guts go into a sooty pot. Boiled in seawater, they are dinner for the hungry crew.

5 The war

One billion people worldwide, most of them poor, rely on fish as their main source of protein.

A disturbing study published last year by the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington and the WorldFish Center in Penang, Malaysia, lays bare the sobering consequences of this massive hunger pang.

Driven by exploding population growth in developing countries, nearly 80 percent of the world's seafood soon will be extracted from tropical waters--the same embattled seas that today also help sate the rich world's craving for fish.

These two competing appetites are colliding brutally in Angola.

"People talk about blood diamonds!" hollers fisheries inspector Jorge Martins, referring to the shadowy trade in gemstones that has fanned Africa's endless civil wars. "Well, here we have blood fish!"

Shaved-headed, clad in baggy hip-hop shorts and sneakers, Martins is the unlikely defender of 300 miles of anarchic Angolan coastline. He steers a roaring Ministry of Fisheries and Environment patrol boat toward a nighttime ambush against fishing pirates. Eight Chinese trawlers have been spied poaching in sensitive fish nurseries near the port of Tombua. And Martins and his ragtag band of fisheries police, armed with two AK-47 assault rifles and a medium machine gun, are pounding across the Atlantic waves to confiscate the vessels.

Three hours out of port, the aging patrol boat's steering fails. Apparently, this isn't a surprise. Martins uses an old coffeepot to refill the boat's leaking hydraulic fluid system. But by the time the lawmen finally reach position, dawn singes the horizon glowing orange. And the Chinese, who possess radar, are long gone.

"To do it right, you need something bigger than an AK-47," Martins says of his underdog job as marine avenger. "The surest bet is a rocket-propelled grenade launcher."

He isn't joking. The fishing violence churning Angolan waters--like that in other pirate-infested fishing grounds in Africa, Southeast Asia and Oceania--is nothing short of an undeclared guerrilla war. Occasionally the nautical skirmishes resemble B-grade Hollywood action flicks. Police hurl grappling hooks onto poaching vessels. Fistfights erupt on decks. And captured skippers hide their passports down their underwear.

Last year, one of Martins' ill-equipped fish posses angrily fired some 300 rounds of ammunition at a pirate trawler that wouldn't obey orders to stop. The barrage shattered the steel boat's windows and running lights, and snapped off the radar and radio antennas, Martins recalls. Still, the sortie failed: The poacher escaped to the open sea. Other missions have ended worse.

Illegal trawlers--lately Chinese, but also Koreans, Spaniards, Namibians, Russians and others--have rammed and sunk attacking Angolan inflatable boats, Ministry of Fisheries and Environment officials say. Other pirates have hurled buckets of boiling water on Angolan boarding parties. In one case, a foreign ship ran down and killed an irate Angolan fisherman who was trying to block its way with his rickety skiff. And at least two Angolan inspectors have vanished mysteriously while on observer duty aboard large industrial trawlers--suicides, assert the foreign skippers; pushed overboard, the fisheries police insist.

"It's no fish ye're buying," Sir Walter Scott wrote of the hazards of the trade nearly two centuries ago, "it's men's lives."

Clearly, little has changed. But it will. As with any frontier, the days of the world's fishing wars are numbered.

One reason is technology.

Aquaculture is fast replacing the relentless global hunt for wild fish. A quarter of all fish eaten today is farmed. And now even poor countries are using the same high-tech means of fencing off their seas that industrial nations pioneered a generation ago. Such tactics, called "Monitoring, Control and Surveillance," employ aircraft and cheap satellite tracking technology to safeguard dwindling fish populations.

"It's the beginning of the end of the cowboys," asserts Paulo Jose Cusso, a young fisheries officer who flew with Angola's first air patrols earlier this year. "We're putting these guys out of business."

And at first glance such optimism appears justified. Cusso's shiny plane soared over Angola's wild shoreline like the first sheriff to swagger into Dodge City. Sweaty pirate crews gaped up in amazement. In the program's first month alone, almost 20 Chinese boats were nabbed red-handed inside protected zones closed to allow fish stocks to rebuild. Others were caught pillaging fish inside the 4-mile coastal limit reserved for traditional fishermen.

But Angola's new surveillance program completely ignores the opportunists from within.

As in other poor countries, many of Angola's worst poachers are what one fisheries official calls "legal pirates"--that is, outsiders licensed to sift territorial waters for a fee, or in exchange for setting up a joint venture with local fishing companies. Ministry of Fisheries and Environment records show that many of the Angolan associates in these dubious operations are political elites--ministers, generals or the family of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. (One business partner of Chinese pirates sighted by recent air patrols was the president's sister Marta.) Thus, the foreigners who are carting away Angola's marine treasures are shielded from prosecution, helpless fisheries police complain.

"Politicians are using the oceans as a bank account," Jose Goldschmidt da Silva, the commodore of Angola's minuscule patrol boat fleet, snorts with an angry shrug. "If they keep it up, there will be nothing left worth fighting over. Nothing."

6 The enemy

Twelve degrees south latitude. The Atlantic is the color of wet concrete. A warm offshore breeze carries the faint tang of overripe fruit, smoke and dust--the scent of tropical Africa.

The Xangongo, a massive trawler manned by 30 Chinese and two Angolan deckhands, is busy. It drags a net half the size of a football field through Angola's waters, snaring every fish in its wake bigger than a child's hand.

This morning it happens to be 2,000-pound hauls of wriggling, silvery grunts--a bony reef fish of little commercial value. The helmeted crew wades knee-deep into the shuddering mass of life, picking out barely two basketfuls of prized sole, bream and skates. The rest of the dead and dying catch is scraped over the side with square-nosed shovels.

Such grotesque waste is termed "bycatch": the modern fishing equivalent of mowing down buffalo herds for their hides and leaving the flayed carcasses on the prairie to rot. Anywhere in the maritime world, killing so many untargeted species to harvest a handful of valuable fish could be subject to prosecution. Yet so toothless are the laws of the sea in the far, tattered shores of the Earth--whether they be Angolan environmental regulations or the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries--that captain Kim Kuang Ho's main worry is that the "wrong fish" are clogging up his nets.

"This slows us down," says Kim, 33, overseeing his noisy deck operation from an air-conditioned wheelhouse decorated with vases of plastic tulips. "It's bad, bad, bad. Want a Coke?"

Kim is an affable swashbuckler in flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt.

In the typically murky and unaccountable fashion of the international fishing industry, he and his crew are overwhelmingly Chinese, his boat's owner is listed as Angola's own Ministry of Fisheries and Environment, and its operator is an Angolan-South Korean conglomerate appropriately named Worldwide. Such muddled lines of responsibility, UN fisheries experts say, only complicate law enforcement at sea.

Kim hasn't seen home for years. A latter-day nomad, he moves from fishery to fishery, having lately chased tuna in the Indian Ocean until those stocks plummeted by more than 90 percent. He embodies the twilight of an era: perhaps the last generation of global fishermen, and part of a far-flung tide of Chinese crews and boats that is tirelessly strip-mining the oceans.

China's fishing fleet has mushroomed sevenfold since the early 1980s, according to the UN. Today, it is by far the largest in the world. And though European fishermen still dominate the waters of Africa, China's eventual supremacy is a foregone conclusion: The nation's exploding appetite for fish, like its burgeoning demand for oil, iron and other natural resources, ensures it will elbow aside all competition. The UN Environmental Program calculates that, at its current rate of consumption, China theoretically could swallow the world's entire seafood catch by 2023.

Moreover, China is becoming fishmonger to the developed world; today, it is the United States' third-largest supplier of seafood.

"They take whatever they can get, wherever they can get it," says Jackie Alder, a researcher at the Fisheries Center at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. "The Europeans and Russians can be good pirates too. But the Chinese are absolutely single-minded."

In hapless Angola, that means the superpower is leveraging its control of fishing rights with $2 billion in development aid to the Angolan government--unprecedented largesse that Angolan bureaucrats say will guarantee China's primacy at sea over European competitors.

"We have been accused of breaking fishing laws, but our captains are simply inexperienced in these waters," declares Antonio Bernardo, the Angolan spokesman for Dalian Yanming Enterprises, a Chinese company that has racked up $1.3 million worth of fishing fines in Angola. "We are not pirates."

Translating for a grim-faced company executive who would identify himself only as "Mr. Guan," Bernardo called Angola's fishing police "gun-happy." Both men sat in a high-walled compound in Luanda where scores of Chinese seafarers peered warily from stark barracks. They were fishing crews waiting to rotate to sea.

Back aboard the 140-foot Xangongo, the trawler men's work ethic is on noisy display.

Steel cables snap taut under tons of fish, instantly vaporizing the seawater that wets them. Hydraulics whine. Captain Kim thunders orders on a public-address system. And northern Chinese seamen with weather-beaten faces sift through the mountainous bycatches day after day, night after night, sweating around the clock on backbreaking six-hour shifts.

At the end of a 60-day trip, the Xangongo's flash freezers are expected to brim with 80 tons of seafood, the precious residue of a slaughter. On this occasion, Angola's fish are bound for European markets. The crew of the leaky Daniana would toil more than four years to amass such a bonanza.

"Some days fishing is good, other days not," Kim says, brushing aside any suggestion that Africa is a final enclave of plenty.

In a gesture of rebuttal, he opens his map cabinet with a flourish. Arranged neatly inside are marine charts of his fishing grounds--the entire world.

7 The open boat

The night sea is on fire.

A southerly breeze has stacked up waves like the wales in corduroy, and with them comes plankton, microscopic organisms that float freely in the ocean current, sparking with bioluminescence.

Pale green light smears the surface of the sea. Rodriguez recalls seeing migrating schools of sardines that thrashed the nighttime Atlantic into a weird brightness that seemed to shine from the core of the Earth. Such sights are rare these days.

It is the third day of toil for the Angolans, and finally their luck has turned. Rodriguez has maneuvered his ratty boat close under some crumbling shoreline cliffs, a treacherous place where foreign poachers will not go. The jackpot: a net bulging with 250 gasping pounds of grouper, bream, guitarfish, sharks and skates.

For a few hours it seems like old times. The boat's rock projectiles, instruments of war, lie forgotten under masses of dying fish.

The six Angolans horse the net onboard, grunting snatches of song, clubbing netted sharks, joking about debts to be paid, or about new dresses to buy wives. All the while the shuddering fish make themselves heard as they die--a soft but unsettling medley of sighs, chirrups, clicks and grunts, one of the oldest sounds of human labor in the world, a noise that foreign trawler crews rarely hear over the thrum of their engines.

The electric sea drips from the wet net like fireflies. Drips from the men's busy hands. Their singing dips and rises across the waves. The fish rise. And as a few squiggle away, they leave faint afterimages in the sea, like ghosts.


Copyright (c) 2004, Chicago Tribune

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Friday, August 13, 2004 3:19 PM
Subject: Offensive Operations Halted in Najaf

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.14

Elusive Dead Zone Tracked in the Pacific

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

Offensive Operations Halted in Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404A.shtml

U.S.: 'No Legal Rights' for Detainees
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Couples Vow to Fight for 'Little Piece of Paper'
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Eric Boehlert | Risky Business
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Charities Required to Screen Employees for Terrorist Ties
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Doug Struck | Death, Duty in Forgotten Corner of War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404F.shtml

Gerard Dupuy | Sanctuary
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404H.shtml

Tax Burden Shifts to the Middle
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404I.shtml

Floyd Norris | Diplomacy Can't Move Oil to Port
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404J.shtml

Paul Krugman | Bush's Own Goal
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404K.shtml

Venezuela: Chavez Camp Accuses U.S. of Pushing for His Recall
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404L.shtml

Najaf Officials Quit in Protest over U.S.-Led Assault
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404X.shtml

FOCUS: Gore Criticizes Bush's CIA Director Pick
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404Y.shtml

FOCUS - Newsweek: Will Goss Turn the CIA Loose on Americans?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081404Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Hellbent to Destroy the Sacred Places'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

From: The Nation Magazine <emailnation@thenation.com>
Reply-To: emailnation@thenation.com
Date: Friday, August 13, 2004 11:03 AM

Bush's Military Past


Backed by rightwing money and the conservative media, the authors of
"Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" look
poised to storm the bestseller charts. As Newt Gingrich recently said on
The O'Reilly Factor, this book could cause a "mess throughout the
election" for John Kerry.

Nation Books has the perfect antidote to this, a new book that could and
should cause a "mess" for George Bush. Ian Williams' "Deserter: George W.
Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Past," is a revelatory
dissection of George Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard.
Drawing on extensive research on the President's nebulous military career,
Williams convincingly argues that our Commander-in-Chief is guilty of
breathtaking hypocrisy.

Read a special extract from "Deserter" recently published on The Nation
Online to whet your appetite.
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040816&s=williams

And then order a copy of the book today:
http://www.nationbooks.org/book.mhtml?t=williams

As Nobel Prize laureate and president of the Vietnam Veterans of America
Bobby Muller says: "Williams describes a President who inhabits a world
where the soldiers are tin, where our brave men and women are reduced to
photo opportunities in service not of their country's security but the
President's warped political and foreign policy agendas. As a veteran I
cheer Williams's courage even as I lament the exploitation of our troops."

For more info on "Deserter," including how to buy copies:
http://www.nationbooks.org/book.mhtml?t=williams

You can also check out a collection of Nation articles by Williams, The
Nation's UN correspondent, at:
http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/bio.mhtml?id=479

Don't miss numerous new exclusive Nation Online features currently.

Ask Dr. Marc by Marc Siegel
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040830&s=drmarc

Bush's House of Cards by Dean Baker
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040816&s=baker

Google's 'Haphazard' Ad Policy by Katherine Reilly
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040830&s=reilly

What They're Reading by Ben Adler
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040816&s=reading

Web Letters
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040816&s=webletters

And make sure to watch The Nation's new TV Spot! View it now, and help us
get it on the air! http://www.thenation.com/special/commercial/

Finally, please make sure to check out http://www.thenation.com every day
for new weblogs, exclusive online reports, info on nationwide activist
campaigns, Nation History offerings, reader letters and special weekly
selections from The Nation magazine. (This week we're featuring new magazine
articles by Eric Alterman, Mark Hertsgaard, Eyal Press and Stuart Klawans!)

Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg, The Nation

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

 

Published on Friday, August 13, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0813-04.htm

 

Environmental Buck Private

by Marty Jezer


It's not been hot in Vermont this summer. It's been wet, but not hot. According to my utility bill, the average
temperature was 66 in July, down three degrees from a year ago. As one who hates the sweat and swelter of
summer heat, I can live with that.

Nor have the thunderstorms been particularly violent. No squall lines or hail stones coming in from the west or
up and down the Connecticut River Valley; no downed trees or mangled corn. This may change in the next
few days with Bonnie and Charlie moving north. (And don't the hurricane-namers wish they had named
"Charlie" "Clyde"). But so far the summer has been mild and easy.

So maybe the Bush administration is right. Global warming is a science fiction fantasy. God loves SUVs. Fossil
fuels are good and good for you. There's no need for government to fund a crash program on clean energy.

But wait! Elsewhere across the planet the climate is heating up. New research indicates that the Greenland
icecap is melting ten-times faster than previously thought. The polar icecaps, north and south, are also
shrinking. And in mountainous regions, glaciers are melting.

A recent lead article in Business Week (8/16/04), not previously known as a green, tree-hugging
environmentalist magazine, begins, "Consensus is growing among scientists, governments, and business that
they must act fast to combat climate change." Man-made greenhouse gases produced mostly by fossil-based
fuels are chiefly responsible. "Get serious about global warming -- or be prepared for the consequences,"
Business Week concludes.

What are the consequences? "Even if the world manages to make big cuts in [greenhouse gas] emissions
soon," the article states, "the earth will still warm several more degrees in coming decades, most climate
scientists believe. That could slash agricultural yields, raise sea levels, and bring more extreme weather." The
one upside, I suppose (in the satirical spirit of Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal), is that global warming will
solve the problem of Florida elections as the entire state, chads and all, will disappear under water -- along
with Long Island, Cape Cod, New Orleans, and, British scientists say, the city of London.

A more horrendous scenario, considered as possible by a growing number of scientists, is cataclysmic climate
change taking place over a couple of decades. "There is a real potential for sudden and perhaps catastrophic
change," Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, is quoted in Business
Week as saying. "The fact that we are uncertain may actually be a reason to act sooner rather than later."

The European Union, some corporations, and a growing number of politicians are heeding the warnings of
the scientific community. Next year, the European Union will impose mandatory caps on carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases. Germany already gets 4.5% of its energy from wind power and other European
countries are publicly investing in wind, solar and other clean alternatives to minimize greenhouse gas
emissions.

In the United States, there is growing bipartisan support for political action. "The facts are there," says
Senator John McCain (R-AZ). "We have to educate our fellow citizens about climate change and the danger it
poses to the world." McCain's biggest challenge is to educate George W. Bush on the subject. The Bush
administration chooses to listen to the advice of oil industry lobbyists rather than non-industry affiliated
scientists and researchers.

Those who do not believe that there is a substantial difference between Bush and John Kerry and between
the Republican and Democratic Parties ought to look hard at their respective environmental policies. The
Bush administration believes the issue of global warming still needs study. And if there is a problem, free
markets (along with tax subsidies for oil drillers, drilling in environmentally-fragile areas, and an interventionist
military policy to assure an international supply of oil) will solve everything.

John Kerry, whom the League of Conservation Voters calls "an environmental champion," has a long history
of environmental concern. Whereas the Bush administration rejected the Kyoto Treaty, a modest first-step by
the countries of the world to deal with global warming, Kerry promises to "reengage" with the international
community.

On August 6, Kerry offered a ten-year, $30 billion plan for clean energy and energy independence. The plan
includes tax credits to consumers to purchase clean burning, energy efficient cars and funding for research
and development. As Kerry notes, Europe is far ahead of the United States in the utilization of alternative
energy sources. This has produced jobs for European workers and, in the long run, will provide European
industry with competitive advantages.

Kerry's program would fund research into hydrogen fuel cell technology, as well as wind, solar and other forms
of alternative energy. There are many exciting possibilities, including harnessing the tides of such waterways
as the Cape Cod Canal and New York City's East River.

The United States was always the leader of technological innovation, but this is not a subject that inspires the
Bush administration, members of which prefer oil industry cronyism to public support for energy and industrial
innovation.

George W. Bush touts his role as commander-in-chief as reason enough to vote for him, but he's nothing but
a buck private, a real slacker, when it comes to understanding or even being interested in environmental
issues such as climate change and global warming. To Bush, science is something to be manipulated to win
the support of core constituencies like the oil industry and the creationists of the Christian fundamentalist
community.

In the long run, climate change is a greater threat to the world than terrorism, according to Sir David King,
chief science adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair, as quoted in the Business Week article. "Delaying action for
a decade, or even just years," he insists, "is not a serious option."

When it comes to global warming and environmental protection, the American people have a clear-cut choice
in the November election.

Marty Jezer writes from Brattleboro, Vermont and welcomes comments at mjez@sover.net.

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

 

ImageShack

http://img70.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img70&image=aproval_vs_alert_chart_NEW.gif


TRACKING TERROR!

For a darkly amusing chart that plots terror alerts against the President's poll ratings and various political events, see <http://juliusblog.blogspot.com/> . These bloggers could never function as journalists-they're too independent, skeptical and creative.)



There are a few things that are quite evident from the chart:

-> Whenever his ratings dip, there's a new terror alert.

-> Every terror alert is followed by a slight uptick of Bush approval ratings.

-> Whenever there are many unfavorable headlines, there's another alert or announcement (distraction effect).

-> As we approach the 2004 elections, the number and frequency of terror alerts keeps growing, to the point that they collapse in the graphic. At the same time, Bush ratings are lower than ever.

Update: for the record, we are not claiming that all these alerts are politically motivated. We are sure a considerable amount of these alerts were legit and caused by real and immediate information of potential threats. What is important to note is that many of these "immediate" terror alerts were later on discredited (in some cases they used old data, in other cases the announcements were less immediate and less urgent that we were lead to believe, as the press reported.) Those are the cases that could be interpreted as politically motivated, especially when they seemed to coincide with political news and events unfavorable to the administration.

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

 

League of Conservation Voters

Act Now: We Need An Environmental Debate


It's time for the candidates to go head-to-head on environmental issues. Tell them you want a public debate.

http://www.tompaine.com/action/#001404

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

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Thursday, August 12, 2004 3:20 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | Lawful Resistance to Occupation in Najaf

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.13

World Bank Undermines Efforts on Global Warming

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304G.shtml

Greg Palast | Florida-Style Vote Fixing in Venezuela?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304F.shtml

Marjorie Cohn | Lawful Resistance to Occupation in Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304A.shtml

Michael Schwartz | Americans Rolling the Dice in Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304B.shtml

GIs in Iraq: Why Are We Here?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304C.shtml

Sidney Blumenthal | Bush Needs to Change the Subject
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304D.shtml

New Jersey Governor Announces His Resignation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304E.shtml

Didier Francois | "When There's an Occupation, There's Resistance."
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304H.shtml

Iraq Delays Charges Against Ahmad Chalabi
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304I.shtml

Joe Conason | Latest Bush Blunder: A Mole Made Public
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304J.shtml

Filmmaker Moore Quotes Goss on Lack of CIA Credentials
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304K.shtml

NOW with Bill Moyers: Starting from Behind
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304L.shtml

FOCUS: CBS | Bush's Big Blunder: Chalabi
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304W.shtml

FOCUS - John Cory: The Ghosts of War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304X.shtml

FOCUS: 1,000th U.S. Death in Iraq Looms for Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304Y.shtml

Massive U.S. Attack on Iraq Holy City, Scores Killed
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081304Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'A Signal from the Enlisted Men Who Bear the Brunt'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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

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

 

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.

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

 

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

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

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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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