Freitag, 10. März 2006

The President’s Budget: Shifting a Harmful, Unjust Burden to the Most Vulnerable

From: Kathy Guthrie
kathyguthrie@fcnl.org
[FCNL]

Legislative Action Message

The President’s Budget: Shifting a Harmful, Unjust Burden to the Most Vulnerable - FCNL

House and Senate Budget Committees this week began putting together the federal budget for next year. The stakes are high, and the debate contentious.The votes in the weeks ahead are likely to be close.

The president’s plan would, over the next five years, waste more than $2.5 trillion on wars and preparing for war, and it would cut taxes, primarily for the wealthiest, by at least another $285 billion (and much more over the next ten years). To reduce the deficits caused by these priorities, the president’s budget would shift the burden of deficit reduction to the most vulnerable by cutting funding for programs that address human needs.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the president’s plan, if enacted, will increase the debt by at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years - not counting the future cost of the wars and other emergencies which will increase the debt still further.

Act Now

The House and Senate are on a fast track to complete their budget work early in this short legislative year. March through early April will be key. Please contact your senators and representative now. Urge them to oppose balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.

To see talking points and write a letter to your senators and representative visit //www.fcnl.org/redir/2206budgetlam/

Read More

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the president’s budget would cut domestic discretionary programs $183 billion below the current services baseline over the next five years (adjusted for inflation). The president’s proposed cuts and changes to mandatory programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps would be in addition to that - more than $40 billion over five years, according to the Coalition on Human Needs.

To reduce the deficits caused by the mounting costs of the wars, runaway military spending, and tax cuts for the wealthiest, the president would cut programs that serve the poor, the young, the disabled, the disadvantaged, the elderly, and low- and middle-income households. Funding for education, training, employment, and social services would be cut more than $27 billion (24%) next year alone. Health care for the elderly and poor (Medicare and Medicaid), community services, food and nutrition programs, housing for the elderly and disabled, and child care assistance would also be cut below current services levels.

The president would cut environmental protection and conservation programs by $4.3 billion (13%) for next year. Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would be cut 1% to just over $1 billion, and energy conservation programs, an even smaller crumb in the budget pie, would be cut 15% to only $662 million. Adjusted for inflation, these cuts go even deeper into current levels of services.

The Indian Health Service budget would increase about 3.5%, which is about the rate of inflation, but it would not keep up with increasing demand due to population growth, and it would still fall far short of what is needed to close the wide disparity between Indian Country and the rest of the U.S. in the quality and availability of health care. Other Native American programs (education, housing, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and law enforcement programs) would be frozen or cut. Again, adjusted for inflation, these cuts go even deeper into current levels of services.

In the president’s plan, funding for international development and humanitarian assistance, key to the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict, would increase $1.9 billion (14.3%) to $14.9 billion. (Omitted from this total are funds for wasteful, ill-conceived overseas anti-narcotics programs.) Overall funding for non-military international affairs, adding to the above State Department and foreign information and exchange activities (but excluding foreign military financing, economic support funds for Israel, and other security assistance) would increase $4.6 billion (23%) to $24.4 billion. This is a trend in the right direction, but falls far short of the level of need.

More Information

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Program Cuts in the President’s Budget: Cuts Grow Deeper Over Time and Will Hit States Hard,” Feb. 23, 2006 //www.fcnl.org/redir/2306cbpp/

Coalition on Human Needs, “Guide to the FY 2007 Federal Budget: What’s at Stake for Human Needs,” March 7, 2006 //www.fcnl.org/redir/2406coalition/ (PDF)

The U.S. Can't Abandon Iraq, But the Troops Must Leave: Join FCNL's Iraq Campaign, //www.fcnl.org/iraq/

Contact Congress and the Administration: //capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials/


Informant: Martin Greenhut

Kritik an Verschiebung der Veröffentlichungspflicht von Nebeneinkünften

"Kein Eilantrag": Kritik an Verschiebung der Veröffentlichungspflicht von Nebeneinkünften (10.03.06)

Bundestagspräsident Norbert Lammert hat heute angekündigt, die vom Bundestag im letzten Jahr beschlossene Veröffentlichung der Politiker-Nebeneinkünfte auszusetzen bis die beim Bundesverfassungsgericht anhängigen Klagen von sechs Bundestagsabgeordneten dagegen entschieden sind. Das Online-Netzwerk Campact und die Anti-Korruptionsorganisation Transparency International kritisierten diese Ankündigung. Es dürfe nicht sein, "dass einige wenige lichtscheue Bundestagsabgeordnete die Umsetzung einer Bundestagsentscheidung um Jahre verzögern", meint Günter Metzges von Campact. Die klagenden Abgeordneten hätten bei Gericht nicht einmal einen Eilantrag gestellt.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet: //www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=13151

Federal Plan for Changes in Child Care Draws Protest

A Bush administration plan to reorganize programs for low-income families has brought protests by service agencies around the country, which fear it signals a waning in the federal commitment to child care assistance for working mothers.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006I.shtml

Cindy Sheehan's Arrest at UN

On Monday, March 6th, Cindy Sheehan and three others were arrested while attempting to deliver a petition to the US Mission at the UN. t r u t h o u t's Rebecca MacNeice was on the ground and filmed the arrests.

//www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

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Video: Cindy Sheehan's Arrest at UN Real Video //real21mt.audiovideoweb.com/ramgen/nj20real2514/unarrest56K.rm

QuickTime //websrvr20.audiovideoweb.com/avwebdswebsrvr2143/news_video/unarrest56K.mov


From Information Clearing House

Bush's optimism in his recent State of the Union address and his subsequent speeches contradicts the economic facts

The Country's Going to H... at Home and Abroad

I don't meet many Republicans, but those few I do talk to agree that the world and the country are going to h..., says Saul Landau. Landau explains: Bush's optimism in his recent State of the Union address and his subsequent speeches contradicts the economic facts.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006F.shtml

Bush Touts Grants to Religious Charities

President Bush said Thursday his administration is making steady progress in steering more federal taxpayer's dollars to religious charities.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006D.shtml

Next-up News 10 Mars 2006

//www.omega-news.info/next_up_news_10_mars_2006.htm

Gewaltvideos bei Handy-Razzia in Schule entdeckt

Immenstadt - Die Polizei hat bei einer Handy-Razzia an einer Hauptschule in Bayern auf 15 Schülerhandys Porno- und Gewaltvideos, Nazi-Propaganda und Sodomiesequenzen gefunden. Insgesamt waren an der Schule über 200 Handys der 7. bis 10. Jahrgangsstufe beschlagnahmt worden, bestätigte die Polizei in Immenstadt am Freitag. Ein Polizeisprecher sagte, selbst altgediente Beamte seien schockiert über das gewesen, was auf den Handys gespeichert war. Den Schülern im Alter zwischen 14 und 18 Jahren drohen Strafverfahren wegen des Besitzes und der Verbreitung verbotener pornographischer und gewaltverherrlichender Inhalte. Der Rektor der Schule hatte die Polizei nach Protesten von Eltern eingeschaltet. Die Schüler hätten die Videos in der Pause und in der Umgebung der Schule ausgetauscht.

Aus der Berliner Morgenpost vom 11. März 2006

© Berliner Morgenpost 2006

//morgenpost.berlin1.de/content/2006/03/11/aus_aller_welt/816149.html

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Gewalt auf Schulhof in Bitterfeld mit Handy gefilmt

Bitterfeld. Ein 14-Jähriger Schüler einer Lernbehindertenschule in Bitterfeld soll eine 15 Jahre alte Mitschülerin geschlagen und die Attacke mit seinem Handy gefilmt haben. Es wird wegen gefährlicher Körperverletzung ermittelt, sagte ein Sprecher der Polizei Dessau am Freitag. Er bestätigte damit einen Bericht der Zeitung „Magdeburger Volksstimme“ (Freitagausgabe). Die Staatsanwaltschaft Dessau, die seit dem 17. Februar ermittelt, war für ein Stellungnahme nicht zu erreichen.

Der Junge soll das Mädchen gegen Brust und Kopf getreten haben. Bei dem Opfer, das bei dem Angriff verletzt wurde, handelt es sich um eine Deutsche mit ausländischem Vater. Es werde derzeit geprüft, ob das Motiv Ausländerfeindlichkeit bei dem übergriff ein Rolle spielte.

Laut Polizei Dessau nennen Experten so etwas „Happy Slapping“ (lustiges Dreinschlagen), eine aktuelle Form von Gewalt bei der Täter ihre Opfer nicht nur verprügeln, sondern auch noch filmen und damit die Demütigung und Schmerzerfahrung für das Opfer intensivieren. Das Prügeln von Mitschülern vor laufender Kamera ist ein „Jugendtrend“ aus Großbritannien, hieß es.

Im im September 2004 hatte ein 19-Jähriger einen 16-Jährigen auf einem Schulhof in Wolfen so kräftig geschlagen, dass er kurze Zeit später im Krankenhaus starb.

dpa

© LVZ-Online vom: Freitag, 10. März 2006

//www.lvz-online.de/aktuell/content/186540.html

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31 Euro pro Monat für das Handy

Jugendliche in der Schuldenfalle

LINZ. 94 Prozent der oberösterreichischen Jugendlichen haben ein Handy und geben im Schnitt 31 Euro pro Monat dafür aus. Das Land wirbt nun mit einer Kampagne für Handypausen vor allem bei Schülern.

Unter dem Motto "Gönn' deinem Handy eine Pause" setzen die Landesräte Viktor Sigl, Rudi Anschober und Josef Ackerl ihre Aufklärungsaktion aus dem Vorjahr fort. Damals hatten sie mit der Vize-Miss-Austria Julia Plakolm als "Kampagnentestimonial" gegen die Schuldenfalle Handy geworben und damit positives Echo geerntet. Immerhin 73 Prozent der Jugendlichen gaben in einer Befragung an, von der Landeskampagne gehört zu haben, 65 Prozent sahen sogar Anregungen für eine Änderung ihres Telefonverhaltens darin.

"Handys sind nicht mehr wegzudenken. Wir müssen aber auch die Risken aufzeigen und versuchen, sie zu minimieren", sagte gestern Landesrat Sigl. Das Handy sei ein starker Kostenfaktor, der laut Studie von Jugendlichen ab 15 Jahren zumindest zu zwei Drittel selber getragen werden muss.

Schuldner immer jünger

Eine alarmierende Auswirkung ist die steigende Zahl der Klienten der Schuldnerberatungsstellen. "Sie werden jedes Jahr mehr und jünger", sagte Landesrat Josef Ackerl. Er fordert von den Telefonfirmen, sie sollten in ihrer Werbung die ganze Wahrheit vermitteln.

Ein handyfreier Tag an den Schulen oder zumindest Handypausen, für die das Land in den kommenden Monaten speziell in mittleren-, höheren und Berufsschulen werben will, seien aber nicht nur eine Präventivmaßnahme gegen Schulden, sondern auch für die Gesundheit. "Damit wird die Strahlungsbelastung gemindert", sagte Landesrat Anschober. (eku)

Informationen unter //www.das-zaehlt.at

Hauptzielgruppe der neuen Landeskampagne gegen die "Schuldenfalle Handy" sind die Schüler. Dauer-Telefonieren ist Geld verlieren, heißt es daher etwa auf einem neuen, von Schnauder Marketing Solutions gestalteten Plakat. Geplant ist über positive Reizwörter in der Information in den Schulen (Pause, Ferien, frei) auf einen "handyfreien Tag" hinzuführen.

Alles rund um das Thema "Schuldenfalle Handy" gibt es im Internet unter //www.das-zaehlt.at

OÖnachrichten vom 11.03.2006

© Wimmer Medien / OÖNachrichten

//www.nachrichten.at/lokal/429308?PHPSESSID=b8c4f6cbafad0a351ba213276a8fb533

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Handy-Verbot an Schulen
//freepage.twoday.net/stories/1677088/

Knallhart: Sozialer Abstieg und kriminelle Karriere

Neukölln ist überall
//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/22/22221/1.html

Die Karten werden neu gemischt

Die 80e und 90er Jahre waren durch eine schwere Schuldenkrise vieler Entwicklungsländer gekennzeichnet, 2006 steigt ein Entwicklungsland zu einem der größten Gläubiger der USA auf: China.

//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/22/22190/1.html

NSA Lawsuit - Stop Illegal Surveillance

Something is wrong in our country. The president is overreaching his authority with a vast program of illegal spying on Americans, and Congress, which is supposed to check executive power, is preparing to ratify his illegal surveillance program after the fact.

In a backroom deal announced this week, key Senate Republicans met with Vice President Dick Cheney and agreed to create legislation that would rewrite our laws by requiring less disclosure and less judicial power to check wiretaps than current law demands.

The message these partisans are sending to the people and the country is clear: partisans are willing to put party loyalty over fundamental and timeless values, such as the preservation of the Constitution and the rightful power of Congress as a check on the president. Many Americans are appalled that our President has not only ordered warrantless spying on Americans, but has unapologetically claimed that he has the power to break the law.

The question for us now is: What message will we the people send Congress?

The ACLU is asking you to join with us in declaring unequivocally that warrantless spying on innocent Americans is unacceptable.

It’s at moments like these that our system of checks and balances matters most. When the president asserts absolute power and the legislative branch abdicates its responsibilities, we must turn to the courts: the third pillar of our democracy.

Yesterday, the ACLU asked the judge in our NSA lawsuit to immediately block the illegal NSA spying program in order to prevent “concrete harm” to our plaintiffs — journalists, non-profit groups and other advocates — and to the American way of life. The ACLU v. NSA lawsuit aggressively challenges the Bush Administration’s abuse of power, charging that the spying violates all Americans' rights to free speech and privacy under the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.

White House allies in Congress may be willing to help cover up this illegal program, and other lawmakers may be willing to stand on the sidelines, but when the president breaks the law, neither Congress nor the courts should give him a get-out-of-jail free card.

I urge you to stay involved as we work to end illegal government spying and restore the rule of law. The debate in Congress is far from over, and our legal challenge to the NSA has only just begun. We must stay vigilant if we want to preserve a democracy where the people are both safe and free.

Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director


GET INVOLVED

Help us check the abuse of executive power and the complicity of Congress in warrantless surveillance on Americans:

Watch Our New Web Movie!
//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=NL-OMuGS3MJmg3Tf7YsRgQ..

"The Spies Have It": Share the movie with friends and ask them to get involved.

Support Us in Our Work Become a card-carrying member or make a donation today.

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=Wn1IGcxLM-ZT6GFPFdJeNQ..

Learn More Read the latest on illegal government spying and the fight to restore the rule of law.

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=T-_IdeGIRV1YzkyXC5nYRQ..

The State of Our Union Cannot be Strong if the President Continues to Violate the Law

Vorsorge contra Indoor-Versorgung

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

als Anlagen sende ich Ihnen das Formular einer Aufforderung an die Mobilfunk-Unternehmen, die Salzburger Vorsorgewerte von 2002 einzuhalten und dafür einigen Kunden mit "Funkloch" im Wohnzimmer die Installation eines Repeaters zuzumuten. Wie Sie dem Artikel aus der Mindelheimer Zeitung unter dem Titel "Schwere Zeiten für Mobilfunker" entnehmen können, ist es uns gelungen, den Bürgermeister von Bad Wörishofen für diese Forderung zu gewinnen; inzwischen gibt es auch Unterschriften von 12 hiesigen Ärzten zur Beachtung des Vorsorgeprinzips.

//www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/mz6308.rtf
//www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/mobilfunk_an_vodafone_und_o2.xls

Wir empfehlen dieses Vorgehen auch für andere Kommunen. Wir haben dabei aber noch ein Problem: Überzeugend wirkt das Balkendiagramm von Frau Dr. Waldmann-Selsam in Verbindung mit Messungen und einfachen Abschätzungen der Immission. Die Presse weigert sich jedoch, Angaben in µW/m² abzudrucken oder das Jahr 2002 als Merkmal der "Vorsorgewerte" anzugeben. Im Rahmen unserer Kommune gibt es zwar eine stillschweigende Übereinkunft, das Wort "Vorsorgewerte" auf das Jahr 2002 (Salzburger Sanitätsdirektion) und damit auf 10 µW/m² im Freien und 1 µW/m² in Wohnräumen zu beziehen sowie den älteren Wert 1000 µW/m² als "Resolutionswert" zu bezeichnen und so von unserem Ziel abzugrenzen. Ich schlage deshalb eine von allen Ärzten und Bürgerinitiativen gemeinsame Sprachregelung vor und wäre Ihnen dankbar für eine entsprechende Aktion; dazu erinnere ich an einen früheren Vorschlag von mir, einen bundesweiten "Verein kritischer Wissenschaftler e.V." zu gründen.

Ich bitte auch um Informationen zur Beschaffung von billigen Repeatern.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Dr.-Ing. Claus Thiessen

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Sehr geehrter Herr Thiessen,

die Bezeichnung Salzburger Vorsorgewert 2002 (innen bzw. außen) wurde gewählt um eine Abgrenzung gegenüber dem erstmals 1998 von der Landessanitätsdirektion Salzburg empfohlenen Richtwert zu haben.

Der Salzburger Vorsorgewert aus 1998 wurde im Juni 2000 (auch) in der Salzburger Resolution empfohlen.

Die Geschichte kann nicht vom Wunsch einer Zeitung eine Jahreszahl zu nennen oder eben nicht, geändert werden.

Da Sie eine einheitliche Bezeichnung anregten ist mein Vorschlag die bisherige Nomenklatur beizubehalten die lautet:

Salzburger Vorsorgewert 1998 (außen 1000 µW/m²)
Salzburger Vorsorgewert 2002 (außen 10 µW/m² / innen 1 µW/m²)

Die Werte gelten jeweils für die Summme der von GSM-Sendeanlagen (BTS) verursachten Immissionen.

Für UMTS gibt es noch keine Salzburger Vorschläge, außer dem Hinweis dass die Beurteilung aufgrund der Ergebnisse der TNO Studie mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit strenger zu sehen ist.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Dr. Gerd Oberfeld

Dr. med. Gerd Oberfeld
Langmoosweg 26
5023 Salzburg
AUSTRIA
Phone 0043 / 662 / 66 32 19
Fax 0043 / 662 / 66 31 80
E-mail office@oberfeld.at

Of Propaganda And Policy

by John Brown, TomPaine.com

When all is said and done, even the most virtuosic spinning by Karen Hughes won't compensate for disastrous U.S. policy.

//www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/10/of_propaganda_and_policy.php

Drain America First

by Joseph E. Stiglitz, TomPaine.com

Bush's energy policy is extraordinary in its willingness to harm American interests and enrich oil companies.

//www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/10/drain_america_first.php

Culture of Intellectual Corruption

Richard Cohen writes: It will be nearly impossible in the next several months to avoid the phrase "culture of corruption." If it applies anywhere, and it does, it's not corruption having to do with money, it's corruption having to do with thought. The Bush administration is intellectually corrupt.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006O.shtml

Murtha to Receive Profile in Courage Award

Rep. John Murtha, a Vietnam veteran who has denounced the war in Iraq, was named a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Thursday.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006P.shtml

Giant Trade Gap: No End in Sight

America's trade deficit has been setting records with such frequency that it seems almost tiresome to hear it again: another month, another $68.5 billion.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006N.shtml

Bush, Singh Unmake History

J. Sri Raman writes: A three-day visit of President Bush threatened to undo a proud history of decades, of India in the international arena. It also made a more than perceptible difference to the country's current political history.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006M.shtml

Bush's Loss on Ports Deal Dents Image, Exposes Rifts

The collapse of a plan to let a Dubai company manage US ports marks another setback for President George W. Bush, exposing deteriorating relations with fellow Republicans and underscoring a perception of incompetence.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006L.shtml

Abu Ghraib to Close in Shame

Abu Ghraib, the prison that will be forever linked with images of Iraqi detainees stripped naked and humiliated by their American jailors, is to be closed. Its 4,500 inmates will be transferred to other jails in Iraq.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006J.shtml

Alaska Oil Spill Exposes 'Gentle Drilling' Problems

A disastrous crude-oil spill at a caribou crossing on Alaska's North Slope has environmental groups renewing calls to stop the expansion of oil exploitation in the state. Defenders of Wildlife said the spill illustrates that improved technologies for drilling do nothing to prevent pipeline ruptures down the line.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/030906EB.shtml

Big Food's Bad Idea

The idea of food as a local resource is now under assault from a congressional measure that would sharply restrict the ability of states and cities to establish their own food safety standards. If the proposal becomes law, nearly all of the decisions about the quality of our food will be made in Washington.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/030906HA.shtml

Hidden Ties: Big Environmental Changes Backed by Big Industry

"Astro-turf" groups are leading the assault on the Endangered Species Act and promoting legislation to open forests to more logging. Unlike traditional grassroots groups that may consist of local activists meeting in someone's living room, these new operations are backed by corporate money and run like professional political campaigns.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/030906EA.shtml



6,000 Scientists Urge Senate to Safeguard Species Act

As a Senate committee prepares to take up revisions to the Endangered Species Act, nearly 6,000 biologists from around the country signed a letter Wednesday urging senators to preserve scientific protections in the landmark law.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/030906EC.shtml

Abramoff Charged $25,000 for Access to Bush

The chief of an Indian tribe represented by the lobbyist Jack Abramoff was admitted to a meeting with President Bush in 2001 days after the tribe paid a prominent conservative lobbying group $25,000 at Mr. Abramoff's direction, according to documents and interviews. The payment was made to Americans for Tax Reform, a group run by Grover G. Norquist, one of the Republican Party's most influential policy strategists.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031006Z.shtml

Bering Sea Climate Is Shifting

Scientists say sea life is fighting to survive as the water warms up and ice melts sooner. The changes are profound and may be irreversible.

By Robert Lee Hotz Times Staff Writer March 10, 2006 //www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-sci-beringsea10mar10,1,902918.story

Whales, walruses, seabirds and fish are struggling to survive the changing climate of the Bering Sea, their northern feeding grounds perhaps permanently disrupted by warmer temperatures and melting ice, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science.

By pulling together a broad range of observations and surveys, an international research team concluded that it is witnessing the transformation of an entire ecosystem in a region home to almost half of U.S. commercial fish production.

All in all, the researchers said, the Arctic climate of the northern Bering Sea is in full retreat, yielding to the sub-Arctic system of the south.

The changes are profound and perhaps irreversible, even if cold weather eventually returns, the researchers said.

"It really is changing," said University of Tennessee ecologist Lee W. Cooper, a coauthor of the Science study. "We can see the impact."

Wildlife experts long have worried about the response of single species to the region's fickle weather patterns, which can fluctuate dramatically from one decade to the next. From season to season, they have cataloged puzzling but apparently unrelated die-offs of seabirds, rare algal blooms and odd migration patterns.

For the first time, however, U.S. and Canadian researchers, led by Jacqueline M. Grebmeier, a specialist in polar biological oceanography at the University of Tennessee, systematically assessed the long-term effect of warmer temperatures on the sea life between the Alaska coast and St. Lawrence Island in the northern Bering Sea.

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the researchers analyzed two decades worth of wildlife observations and tied them to climate records that documented warmer water currents, rising air temperatures and vanishing ice packs.

Overall, the Arctic is warming at twice the average global rate.

Until recently, the northern Bering Sea was dominated by a vast subsurface pool of cold water at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the last 12 years, near-freezing water temperatures along the Bering Sea floor have grown steadily warmer.

By 2004, the surface water temperature had reached a high of 50 degrees.

Consequently, the local sea ice melts three weeks earlier than in 1997, records of recent years show. Last year, Arctic ice retreated farther than in 25 years of satellite monitoring.

"Here we put all the pieces of the puzzle together," Grebmeier said.

The researchers found that by 2002, Pacific gray whales were fleeing northward to feed in cooler currents, while pink salmon by the millions swarmed into warmer waters the whales had abandoned.

Bottom-dwelling species, unable to adapt, were destroyed in large numbers. The broken shells of a vanished clam species carpeted the sea floor.

As sea ice diminished, breeding grounds for seals were disrupted and populations plummeted. Polar bears started to drown. Walruses, accustomed to diving in the shallows to feed along the sea bottom, found themselves adrift on broken ice floes in waters 6,500 feet deep. The animals starved.

In its essence, the report confirms the anecdotal evidence of Yupik hunters of St. Lawrence Island. Every winter, they told researchers, the winds have been warmer, the ice pack thinner and more unstable. Every year, there is more open water.

Such widespread disruptions may be a symptom of climate changes throughout the Arctic, Grebmeier said.

"It is symptomatic of what may be happening further north," she said, "and that may have global implications."


Informant: Teresa Binstock

The Federocracy: explained and indicted

Strike the Root
by Bernard Chapin

03/09/06

The real story of government, indeed, the real story behind any socialist enterprise, is that the power given to the state is always power wrenched away from the people. Where Leviathan reigns supreme, the rights of the citizenry are irrelevant and dismissed for the 'good' of the whole as disinterested clerks and functionaries determine the fates of millions...

//www.strike-the-root.com/61/chapin/chapin2.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

GOP deal on NSA eavesdropping would keep Americans in dark

NewsDay
by staff

03/09/06

A Republican deal is in the works to provide congressional cover for the administration's warrantless wiretapping of American citizens. It is a classic example of the blind leading the blind. Negotiated by a cadre of Senate Republicans and Vice President Dick Cheney, the deal would allow the National Security Agency's electronic eavesdropping to continue, even though the public and most members of Congress have no idea what the NSA is actually doing. That's outrageous when the agency may be invading the privacy and violating the fundamental rights of Americans on a grand scale...

//tinyurl.com/nzy3r


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Groups ask courts to shut down Bush spy ring

Yahoo! News

03/09/06

Civil liberties groups on Thursday asked federal courts to halt the Bush administration's controversial program of domestic eavesdropping, saying it violated the privacy and free speech rights of U.S. citizens.The requests for court-ordered injunctions filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Detroit and by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York were an extension of legal challenges the two groups had filed in January. Both groups said their most recent actions were prompted by indications that Republican senators were working with the White House to draft a law that would allow eavesdropping on some communications to and from the United States without a warrant...

//tinyurl.com/hp4xq


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Frist a frequent flier on drug companies' jets

Tennessean

03/09/06

Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist has been ferried on corporate aircraft more than most other politicians in Washington over the past five years, according to a study released this week. The Senate majority leader's travels were ranked seventh by PoliticalMoneyLine, a company based in Washington that tracks money in politics. He reimbursed companies $69,030 for flying on their planes from 2001 to 2005. Frist's most frequent corporate hosts were pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer Corp. and Schering-Plough. He reimbursed the three $22,656 for use of their aircraft, the report states...

//tinyurl.com/hy9ev


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

U.S. Annual War Spending Grows - US trade deficit widens to record $68.5bn

U.S. Annual War Spending Grows

Monthly expenditures are running at $5.9 billion; the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan adds roughly another $1 billion. Taken together, annual spending for the two wars will reach $117.6 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 -- 18% above funding for the prior 12 months

//tinyurl.com/f4e52



US trade deficit widens to record $68.5bn

The US trade deficit ballooned to a record $68.5bn in January, far surpassing expectations and raising the prospect of a large drag on economic growth in the first months of the year.

//news.ft.com/cms/s/1aa3ffec-af6f-11da-b417-0000779e2340.html


From Information Clearing House

China rejects US rights 'hypocrisy'

"As in previous years, the state department pointed the finger at human rights situations in more than 190 countries and regions, including China, but kept silent on the serious violations of human rights in the United States," the Chinese report said.

//english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4EFCE581-8C22-4A6A-95D5-7EAEE7D537FF.htm


From Information Clearing House

White House Linked to Mitch Wade Iran Group?

Mitchell Wade -- the guy who paid off Duke Cunningham for help bagging contracts -- registered as the 'registered agent' for an outfit called the "Iranian Democratization Foundation."

//www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000045.php


From Information Clearing House

The buck goes all the way to the top

I was tortured, says Australian held in Iraq

A SYDNEY man, Ahmed Jamal, imprisoned in northern Iraq for 18 months without charge has told Australian officials he was tortured.

//tinyurl.com/eq9up



Egypt tortures for the US, so why not on its own account?

Human rights cannot be regional or selective: Guantánamo, Belmarsh, Laz Oghli and Facility 1391 stand or fall together

//www.guardian.co.uk/egypt/story/0,,1726812,00.html



Torture: Janis Karpinski Interview

She's since left the US military and written a book, in which she claims that far from stopping with her, the buck goes all the way to the top - to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Video and transcript.

//tinyurl.com/ejx7x


From Information Clearing House

NeoCon allies desert Bush over Iraq

These are the right-wing intellectuals who demanded George Bush invade Iraq. Now they admit they got it wrong. Are you listening, Mr President?

//informationclearinghouse.info/article12267.htm

Logic out the window at the White House

By Gwynne Dyer

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was calmly proposing an illegal attack on a sovereign state, possibly involving nuclear weapons.

//informationclearinghouse.info/article12261.htm



Steamroller Bolton at the U.N.
//informationclearinghouse.info/article12263.htm

Depleted Uranium: US Lung Cancer Rates Soar

//www.rense.com/general69/soar.htm

On the March 8, 2006 edition of the CNN American Morning program with Miles O'Brien and Soledad O'Brien, they made a startling announcement. On average there are 175,000 new cases of lung cancer each year in the United States. For just the months of January and February 2006 there are 172,000 confirmed, newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer. This is not just a little spike on the charts and much worse news is coming. That is already averaging this year about 6 times the normal incidence of new lung cancer cases in a year.

Do you mean that DU doesn't just disappear when you aerosolize it?!!!

Most DU comes from MN. Since I lived in MN I decided to try to stop it.

I confronted Mike Hatch, MN Atty.Gen., DFL. He said it was his job to defend MN industry after I explained that energy, and munitions manufacturer execs should be prosecuted under R.I.C.O. He told me to tell my Congressperson about nuclear waste disposal.

Betty McCollum, my DFL Congressperson told me she had been working on DU for 3 years, but she didn't know who Maj. Doug Rokke was. Yah, right. She said she would be seeing Dennis Kucinich in a week, and asked if I had any message for him. I put my hand on her shoulder, and when I said, "We're going to stop this war.", the expression on her face turned from feigned interest to a hurried discomfort. It seemed to me that she had positioned herself to allow it and perhaps complain about, but not oppose it or stop it.

4 million pounds of DU aerosolized in 2003 in Iraq...

I don't have much faith in Herseth. Maybe if enough people run against her, regardless of whether they win, she will have to beat a hard truth that will bend her. Maybe she can lose.

Maybe the spoiled brats who used to say that he who dies with the most toys wins, have already killed us all. I wonder how excited they are about becoming eternal winners.

Dave Diggins

Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization

//www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts142.html


Informant: Friends

Sele Farm protestors' phone mast victory

//tinyurl.com/mvb8x

Ballygunner residents meet over mobile mast

By Jennifer Long

Friday, March 10, 2006

RESIDENTS of Ballygunner are holding a public meeting this Thursday night, March 9th, to discuss the situation regarding a controversial mobile phone mast in their area.

The meeting, at The Woodlands Hotel at 8pm, is being organised by a group of residents and parents of children attending the local national school, who maintain they’re still “hugely concerned” over the location of the mast.

The Meteor mast has been operational on Ballygunner GAA Club’s grounds, which are beside the school, for several months now but a planning application — for retention — was only lodged at the end of January.

Before the deadline for public submissions on Tuesday last (Feb. 28), a total of 23 objections/submissions were lodged with the City Council in respect of the application.

In addition to private residents of Ballinakill Court, Berkely Court, The Moorings, Bishopscourt and other estates who have children attending the school, submissions were lodged by the Parents’ Association at St. Mary’s National School as well as by school principal Michael White. A decision will be made by the local authority on March 21.

The controversy erupted only last week when local residents began to learn of the mast’s existence and the application to retain it.

But despite the outcry, chairman of Ballygunner Hurling Club Pat O’Sullivan told the Waterford News & Star that there could be no going back.

He said Meteor had assured the club that the mast did not pose a health risk but in any case, contracts were now signed for it between both parties so there could be no u-turn on the part of the club.

The matter was aired extensively on Deise Am on WLR last Wednesday and Thursday and because of the adverse publicity, the club released a statement.

Signed by club secretary Charlie Lapthorne, it read that the club had become “aware” of the concern expressed by some parents in regard to the location of a mobile phone base station on their grounds. “Under no circumstances would the club have agreed to the project if it posed the slightest threat to the health of children who play on our fields or who attend the schools in Ballygunner.

We have been assured that no such threat exists.”

Omega this is not true. See under:
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Wissenschaft+zu+Mobilfunk/
//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Cancer+Cluster
//www.buergerwelle.de/body_science.html


Yesterday (Tuesday), Charlie Lapthorne said that a delegation from the parents’ association had been told that a Meteor representative could meet with them on Thursday but no response had been received to date. It’s understood the meeting in The Woodlands tomorrow night is just for residents to discuss the matter amongst themselves.

© Waterford News & Star, 2006.

//www.waterford-news.ie/news/story.asp?j=21107

Gitmo: The Worst of the Worst?

//www.villagevoice.com/news/0610,hentoff,72399,6.html


Informant: Lew Rockwell

Was Congress Bribed by Big Business to Steamroll Consumer Labeling Laws Without Hearings?

"National Unity for Food Act" Will Kill Strict Labeling Laws.
//www.commondreams.org/news2006/0309-04.htm

Iran und Weltsicherheitsrat

//ondemand-mp3.dradio.de/file/dradio/2006/03/09/dlf_200603091905.mp3

'Mast Hysteria' In Albany

By ANDREW WOLF

March 10, 2006

There is a disease spreading from Europe, a dangerous pandemic that will cause death and cause palpitations in our economic growth. I'm not talking about the Avian Flu, but a rare strain of "Mast Hysteria," as our friends in Britain call the opposition to construction of cell phone antennae.

In Albany, bill is wending its way through the Capitol. This bill, with a raft of co-sponsors from both parties, would, if passed into law, effectively shut down the installation of new cell phone antennae in our urban areas. For the most part, the crippling effects will come down on us right here, in the nation's center of communications. In the Assembly, the lead sponsor is Queens Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, a Democrat. More ominously, Republican Frank Padavan, a legislator who usually has his head screwed on straight, is leading the charge in the State Senate.

//www.nysun.com/article/28955

--------

Cancer Clusters in Vicinity to Cell-Phone Transmitter Stations
//omega.twoday.net/stories/580224/

PARENTS PROTEST OVER RATHMINES PHONE MASTS

Here is a short report from today's edition of THE IRISH TIMES.

Best,

Imelda, Cork


THE IRISH TIMES, FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2006

"PARENTS PROTEST OVER RATHMINES PHONE MASTS

[by] Fiona Gartland

Parents and children from two schools in Rathmines, Dublin, yesterday protested outside the Office of Public Works against a mobile phone mast built close to their schools. The OPW gave Hutchinson Ireland and Vodaphone licences to install six mobile phone antennae on the Central Statistics Office at Ardee House in Rathmines, close to St. Mary's and St Louis schools in 2004. They were activated in 2005. Last October, following concern raised by locals, parents and workers in the office, the Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Tom Parlon, wrote to the operators and asked them to deactivate the masts. However, they declined to do so. Speaking outside the OPW offices in St Stephen's Green yesterday, Miriam Hennessy, a parent, said the parents believe the Minister could be doing more to resolve the issue and are angered by his refusal to meet them. A spokesman for the OPW said that they requested the operators to turn off the masts in advance of a report on non-ionising radiation to be presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health in June, but could not force them to do so. "We would be in breach of contract and would be liable to be sued if we forced them to deactivate the masts," he said.

"The masts operate within current health and safety guidelines and planning regulations, and if future laws lower the emissions allowed, these will have to be taken on board by operators."

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: //omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

"Meanwhile, a group protesting about a 12 antennae mast on the Shankill Garda station in south Dublin have secured a commitment from Mr Parlon that no further work would take place until a further meeting later this month."

Nuclear Waste: Bury It and Forget?

//www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0309-01.htm

Calls for transparency on mobile phone masts

Local coverage with Mast Sanity prominent and a decent MP standing up for our rights.

Andy


This is a good example of a local paper fully on board. Congrats to them. This took up most of the front page.

Yours, JO'B


West Sussex Gazette

Calls for transparency on mobile phone masts

By JEANNIE KNIGHT and CLARE HAWKIN

March 9th 2006

West Sussex MP has said that it is no longer acceptable for the government to sweep people's concerns about phone masts under the carpet.

The comments were made by Nick Herbert at a House of Commons debate on Friday (March 3) at the second reading of the Telecommunications Masts (Planning Control Bill) proposed by MP David Curry.

His remarks came in a week when a leading campaign group, Mast Sanity, claimed that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was in collusion with the Department of Trade and Industry and watchdog OFCOM, ignoring calls by councils, MPs, MEPs and phone mast campaigners, as well as their own advisors for planning controls, to prevent further despoliation of the country by the telecoms industry.

The group claimed that two separate requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act has been ignored and secret high-level meetings had been held with mobile phone operators.

Mr. Herbert, who represents Arundel and South Downs, said that while mobile phones were important, people were concerned because the siting of masts for them was outside of the planning process.

"In the eyes of our constituents masts can affect people's health, particularly when they are sited close to schools and medical facilities, without any proper consultation with local communities.

"As my Right Honourable friend the member for Skipton and Ripon and other members have explained the problem is that the siting of such masts is effectively outside the planning process. No proper consultation with communities therefore takes place and people feel disenfranchised from the decisions that are taken."

The new bill has proposed that any new masts would be subject to full planning permission and that health concerns should be taken into account when applications are considered.

"The principle of the bill - that local communities should be properly consulted over the location of masts - must be right," said Mr Herbert. "For too long there has been a creeping attitude that the government knows best and a process whereby too many decisions are in effect taken out of local control and away from local communities."

He said that the government should support the principle behind the bill and be willing to discuss it in committee.

It has been suggested that 3G technology - the technology that provides a faster service to handsets and other features, including internet access - will require up to four times as many masts as at present. This would result in 135,000 more masts in the country - 200 for every constituency. Currently 85 per cent of people in Britain own a mobile phone with more than 35.000 phone masts throughout the country.

Mr Herbert added: "The issue will not go away. We must be capable of achieving a sensible balance."

Mast Sanity said there was currently no regulation of the mobile industry in this country. Indeed, one of the requests denied under the Freedom of Information Act was for the findings of the study, which focused on how the Mobile Operators comply with the self-regulatory Codes of Best Practice and Ten Commitments.

Campaigners believe that one of the reasons that the study has not been released by the government is because of the auction of licences for the new broadband regime this week, which completely by-passes local planners and the public.

A report that very probably states that greater planning controls are needed would not go down very well when a regime to expand broadband, which has no planning controls whatsoever, is about to be introduced, it suggested.

A request under the Freedom of Information act was made to OFCOM for statistics on the number of phone masts in Wales. This has also been met with a wall of silence.

"The refusal of these requests, and the arrogant and unaccountable manner in which they have been denied are just the tip of the iceberg," said Mast Sanity trustee, Amanda Wesley.

"Our democratic and human rights are being violated by the conduct of the ODPM, OFCOM and the DTI. One has to ask if the Freedom of Information Act or any report commissioned by the government is worth the paper it is written on when they only seem prepared to release information that will not expose or embarrass them. The same applies to the Litchfield Report and the Stewart Report, both of which included the removal of permitted development rights, along with other recommendations which were ignored. This government seems concerned only with protecting the commercial interests of the mobile phone industry, no matter what the impact on ordinary people is."

Mast Sanity also believes that enormous pressure was put on MPs to snub the Telecommunications Masts (Planning Control) Bill debated in the House last Friday, when it was presented by David Curry for its second reading.

"This was the third attempt to get a Private Members' Bill through parliament to tighten planning controls on phone masts, yet here we were again with MPs coming up with the same excuses as to why they couldn't attend on Friday. They are in parliament to represent their constituents and it's about time they made a stand and stood up for the democratic rights of their constituents. If MPs didn't turn up on Friday then they can't look their constituents in the eye and claim to support a precautionary principle," said Mast Sanity press officer Sian Meredith.

"There is growing anger among ordinary people. These cosy chats behind closed doors between the Mobile Operators Association and their members and the government, aimed at promoting and protecting the unique perks enjoyed by the industry are undemocratic. We need a serious investigation into the activities of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, OFCOM and the DTI, and the industry now to stop this disgraceful state of affairs from continuing," she added.

During the parliamentary debate MPs were told that while exact figures of masts were not known, it was estimated there are 50,000 base stations in the country, with as many as 300 in some local authority districts.

Concerns were expressed about the 'Christmas tree effect' when numerous other masts were added to a base station, without need for further planning permission.

Following last Friday's discussion in parliament of almost two hours, the debate was adjourned and will be continued this coming Friday.

A spokesman for OFCOM said: "There is no secret about the number of masts. Anyone can look them up county by county on //www.sitefinder.radio.gov.uk .

"We have not had any inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act from Mast Sanity itself. To say whether we have answered queries, we would need to know the name of person who made any inquiry." Residents in East Preston have outlined their concerns after mobile phone company Vodaphone approached the local church about installing a 3G mast in its bell tower.

The plans for St Mary's Church are being handled by QS4 technology, which is part of the Qinetiq defence group and works on behalf of the Church of England. It specialises in designing and installing mobile phone masts in churches and has been involved in hundreds of applications across the country. There are currently 500 churches across the country which have had mobile phone masts installed in them.

Bill Scott of QS4 said that the company's job was to liaise with the mobile phone companies and churches and between the church and residents.

"The CoE asked us to represent them in order that full consultation could take place with local residents," he said. "The church was worried that mobile phone companies were not carrying out as much consultation as they should.

"Masts in churches are much less obtrusive and on the whole people do not mind them as much as normal mobile phone masts. Churches are often the tallest buildings in an area and so are very good places to install masts."

Mr Scott said that the consultation was more involved when a church was concerned than for other mobile phone masts and that it would only go ahead if people in East Preston agreed with it.

St Mary's Parochial Church Council has provisionally approved the mast and is now waiting for the results of consultation.

The extra equipment needed for the mast would be hidden in shrubbery on Station Road.

Two attempts by Orange to install mobile phone masts in the village were blocked last year by Arun District Council.

One resident, who asked not to be named said she was unhappy with the plans. "I was brought up to believe the church to be a sacred place for one to commune with God - I feel it is being abused if masts are allowed to be fitted within it and in its grounds."

There are currently 496 masts in West Sussex, consisting of 355 GSM masts, 31 Tetra and 110 UMTs.


This was accompanied by the following editorial comment:

Masts must be put on hold for now

Mobile phone masts have somehow become part of our countryside and townscapes without the majority of people having had the chance to voice their approval or disapproval.

By stealth the masts have proliferated, and there seems little likelihood that their spread can be halted. As Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert says, the government has swept people's concerns under the carpet. It is time for these concerns to be taken seriously.

Doubts persist over the safety of clamping your mobile phone to your ear at regular intervals, but that's your choice; you can inflict it on yourself if you so wish.

That choice is denied communities when it comes to the siting of phone masts. If there are safety implications - and there seems sufficient concern from different quarters that there might well be - then it is a safety implication for all of us, regardless of whether we are mobile users or not... and most of us are.

As such, the sensible way forward would be to have a moratorium on erecting new masts anywhere near settlements of people until there is conclusive, independently verified evidence that they are not detrimental to people's health.

As things stand no one can categorically rule out the possibility these masts, some years down the line, will be found to have damaged us in some way.

And all this before we have even mentioned the aesthetic downside of having a prominent hunk of metal near your home.

There is endless pussyfooting over the degree of concealment, and, indeed, some new masts are totally unobtrusive. But that's missing the point: Just because it's well hidden, it isn't necessarily safe.

We must proceed with caution for the real cost won't remain hidden for ever.

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