Samstag, 11. März 2006

Articles of impeachment will be emerging soon in Washington


The month of March is the time for marching, according to David Swanson. The cherry buds and articles of impeachment will be emerging soon in Washington. On the Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras hangovers and media interest in hurricane victims are wearing off.

Next-up News 11 Mars 2006

060311 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

060310 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

060308 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

060307 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

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060303 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

Rachel's News #845

Let's Get Real About Our Rigged Voting System

By Bev Conover
Online Journal Editor & Publisher
Mar 10, 2006, 00:40

Writer after writer keeps talking about how we are just going to march into the polls come November and vote the monsters out.

If only that were true.

The system is rigged, folks. Just like oil and water, computers and voting don't mix.

And that includes touch screens, optically-scanned ballots, even punch cards that are tabulated by computers.

Worse, the voting equipment is in the hands of partisan private firms and they deny you the right to see the code, claiming it is proprietary information.

Adding so-called "verifiable" paper receipts to touch screens would be meaningless, because a handful of scumbags still can change the results just enough to give their candidates a win without triggering a hand recount.

Is this so hard to understand?

It must be, because we, Bev Harris, Lynn Landes Bob Fitrakis and others have been screaming about this elephant in the room for nearly six years.

Bev Harris and her Black Box Voting team have proved in state after state how easily computers can be rigged. Lynn Landes' voting rights lawsuit has made its way to the US Supreme Court (Docket No. 05-930), where she intends to represent herself.

"I tried to get civil rights organizations interested in this case, but had no luck.

Their disregard for this issue is incredible.

It's clear to me that without direct access to a physical ballot and meaningful transparency in the process, our elections have no integrity whatsoever," Landes said.

Fitrakis and three other attorneys, who filed a 1awsuit questioning the results of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, found themselves the target of Ohio Attorney General James Petro, who sought stiff legal sanctions against the four for filing a "political nuisance" lawsuit.

In a Feb. 3, 2005, Free Press article, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman wrote, "In documents filed with the Ohio Supreme Court, Petro's office charges that the citizen contestors -- Ohio voters -- and their attorneys lacked evidence and proceeded in bad faith to file the challenge. Petro says the election challenge was a 'political nuisance' lawsuit, and as such, the legal team should be fined -- personally -- many thousands of dollars."

That ploy backfired on Petro, when more documents were entered into evidence, including the 102-page Status Report of the House Judiciary Democratic Staff entitled "What Went Wrong in Ohio?", further exposing the 2004 skullduggery. While Petro's sanction motion was denied by the Ohio Supreme Court, the voters lost again when the case was dismissed.

But instead of remedying the situation, the legislature passed and Gov. Robert Taft, the only sitting Ohio governor ever convicted of a crime, signed into law on Jan. 31 a draconian bill (HB 3), which Fitakris noted in a Dec. 7 article, "HB3's most publicized provision will require positive identification before casting a vote.

But it also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio.

When added to the recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be dominated by the wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list of GOP attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over."

So what chance do you think Fitrakis, who is now a Green Party candidate for Ohio governor, has against the winner of the GOP primary -- either Petro or Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, the man at the center of the 2004 vote horror? Ditto for whoever wins the Democratic primary.

While the Bushistas have learned to be a bit more careful in the wake of the 2000 Florida debacle, stuff happens, as Donald Rumsfeld would say.

Perhaps Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 were diversions to keep people from looking at the skullduggery that went on everywhere. For example, George W. Bush received an extra 100,000 votes -- "phantom votes," as Chris Floyd called them -- in Alaska in 2004.

Floyd wrote, " A good example of how this control really works can be found in Alaska. There, the state Democratic Party has long been seeking an audit of some of the 2004 Diebold-counted returns, which produced a series of strange anomalies - including awarding George W. Bush an extra 100,000 votes that turned out to be phantoms.

First, state officials blocked the request because that information - the vote count of a public election - was a "company secret" that belonged exclusively to Diebold, Friedman reports. Then they decided that the returns could be examined - but only on the condition that Diebold and the Republican officials be allowed to "manipulate the data" before it was released.

In the end, even this tainted transparency was too much for the Bushist ballot crunchers; late last month, Alaska officials suddenly declared that examining the returns would pose a dire but unspecified "security risk" to the state.

Yet, writers blat on and on about what the Democrats need to do to win, as if the Democratic cretins were any better than the Republican cretins, and how "progressives" of any stripe need support in the primaries and general election.

Meanwhile, the Bushes and their criminal allies continue on their merry way, pulling off "miraculous" win after "miraculous" win. Hey, God is on their side and if the exit polls say the other guy or gal should have won, declare the exit polls erroneous.

Some pundits are even foolish enough to think that a little bribery scandal spells the end of Rep. Katherine Harris' bid for a US Senate seat.

Harris, who, as Florida's secretary of state, pulled every dirty trick in the book to hand the Sunshine State's electoral votes to George W. in 2000, was rewarded with a seat in the US House of Representatives. So why not a Senate seat?

Harris, unlike Tom DeLay, hasn't yet been indicted, and an indictment didn't stop DeLay from "winning" his primary bid against three opponents.

Harris will be gone only if the powers that be, not the voters, want her gone.

Elections, for most people, used to be a relatively simple thing. They took a paper ballot into a voting booth and penciled an X next to the names of the candidates they favored. The paper ballot was then dropped into a locked box. At the end of the voting day, the box was opened and the votes were counted one by one. Most states even allowed the public to witness the counting.

Sure, it was slow and, depending on the length of a ballot, the election board workers tended to gripe.

For the voters, though, election nights used to be filled with anticipation and excitement as the results trickled in.

So the question comes down to do we want accurate and honest vote counts or fast and crooked vote counts?

If it's fast and crooked, stay with easily rigged computers.

If it is accurate and honest, demand a return to paper ballots, which make it much harder to steal a statewide, congressional or presidential election.

Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal

Fake Voting Rights Activists And Groups Linked To White House

By Bob Fitrakis
Online Journal Guest Writer
Dec 31, 2005, 00:34

Top level Republican operatives with ties to the White House, Senate Majority Leader William Frist and the Republican National Committee (RNC) not only engaged in the suppression of poor and minority voters in the 2004 Ohio presidential election, but they spun the election irregularities into a story linking blacks to cocaine and voter fraud. Bush allies in Ohio are now using this myth of voter fraud to pass a repressive "election reform" bill.

In the month prior to and immediately after the 2004 presidential election, the Republican Party engaged in an orchestrated campaign to divert the mainstream media focus away from election fraud and irregularities in Ohio and manufactured the myth of "voter fraud."

According to a former Columbus Dispatch reporter, Ohio Senator Mike DeWine sent his spokesperson, Mike Dawson, to meet with the editorial board of the Dispatch and other Ohio newspapers. The primary talking point for the GOP was that there was no evidence of irregularities in Ohio.

The Republican state legislature used the "voter fraud" spin to introduce the draconian Ohio House Bill 3. The "election reform" bill has passed both Republican-dominated houses and is awaiting a conference committee at the start of the new year.

HB 3's most publicized provision will require voters to show their ID before casting a ballot. But it also opens voter registration activists to criminal prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. HB 3 will also reduce voter rolls by ordering county boards of elections to send cards to registered voters every two years. If a card comes back as undelivered, the voter must rely on a provisional ballot.

As the League of Women Voters put it in a letter to Republican legislative leaders, "Its [HB 3's] purported purpose of preventing voting fraud is based on the fallacy that there was widespread fraud perpetrated by voters in Ohio. In fact, the fraud was committed against Ohio voters by inadequate preparation that suppressed the votes of those whose registrations were not recorded correctly, those who could not wait for hours to vote, or those whose votes were not counted because of misdirection or mishandling."

The Senate sponsor of HB 3, Kevin Coughlin, could only cite the names of a few cartoon characters and celebrities on voting registration forms, which were easily weeded out by county election boards, as the reason for his repressive legislation.

Fake Voting Rights Groups Tied to the White House

In March 2005, Congressman Bob Ney held a U.S. House Administrative hearing at the Ohio Statehouse where a general counsel for the brand new voting rights group, the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), told the congressional committee that the voting problems in Ohio were the result of the NAACP paying people with crack in order to entice them to register to vote. ACVR's general counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, turned out to be the former national general counsel for Bush-Cheney '04, Inc., with no history of working in a voting rights organization. Hearne relied on a lawsuit filed against the NAACP in Wood County, Ohio, "alleging fraudulent voter registration under the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act."

Hearne wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice in March 2005 claiming there was "substantial evidence to suggest potential criminal wrongdoing by organizations such as Americans Coming Together ("ACT"), ACORN and the NAACP -- Project Vote."

"We understand that local Ohio law enforcement authorities are pursuing criminal prosecution against some of the individuals involved in this activity, which activities include paying crack cocaine for fraudulent voter registration forms," Hearne wrote.

Cliff Arnebeck, the attorney representing the NAACP, denounces this as a deliberate racist disinformation campaign to divert attention from Ohio's election theft. "Crack cocaine, the NAACP -- Hearne and the Republicans are using racist code words," Arnebeck said. The Wood County case was withdrawn in June 2005, but not before it was revealed that the plaintiff, Mark Rubick, had been "indemnified" and held "harmless" by an obscure group, the Free Enterprise Coalition, with ties to the Republican Party. Signing as the "Authorized representative" for the coalition was one Alex Vogel.

Who Is Alex Vogel?

This is the same Alex Vogel who is now identified as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's attorney. Vogel was busy in December explaining why Frist's so-called AIDS charity, World of Hope, Inc., paid nearly a half million dollars in consulting fees to his "political inner circle," according to the Washington Times.

While Vogel fights to keep secret the amount of money that Frist's 96 World of Hope donors gave to the "charity," his top-level political connections are emerging in the media. Vogel co-founded a lobbying firm with Bruce Mehlman, the brother of Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman. Vogel and Mehlman's lobbying firm has close ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Arnebeck recently won a ruling against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which he claims gave $14 million secretly to Ohio Republican candidates in the 2002 and 2004 election cycle, allowing the GOP to dominate Ohio's Supreme Court.

Vogel also served as a member of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and as parliamentarian at the 2004 Republican Party platform hearings.

Other Players Tied to Bush-Cheney

While Vogel helped create the voter fraud myth and Hearne acted as the group's general counsel, a man named Jim Dyke acted as spokesperson for the dubious ACVR. Dyke served for many years as Republican National Committee Communications Director. In October, Dyke emerged as a White House spokesperson on National Public Radio pushing the ill-fated nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court.

Dyke and Hearne incorporated their "nonpartisan" tax-exempt voting rights organization in Dallas, Texas, only three business days prior to the Ney hearings in Ohio's capital. Despite its lack of history, the ACVR was the only "voting rights group" called to testify on election irregularities in Ohio. With a few exceptions, like Raw Story and Bradblog, news organizations have ignored these obvious political connections.

Other interesting individuals involved in so-called "election reform" activities in Ohio are William E. Franke of Gannon Technologies Group and Steve Hertzberg of the Election Science Institute.

Franke, a close friend of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, installed a computer operating system for Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. The Gannon Technologies website bragged that the Ohio Secretary of State joins the FBI and a host of other government agencies as clients of "an innovative system that compiles records in different formats via an imaging program with 100 percent accuracy." One worker who helped install the technology warned the Free Press that there were possible back doors into the system and it may have "points of vulnerability."

Franke came to national attention during the 2004 election as the man heading the operations of the Swift Boat Veterans and Vietnam POWs for Truth. Their nasty attack ads against John Kerry became legendary.

Hertzberg, the project director of Election Science Institute (ESI), received a contract in 2005 from the Franklin County commissioners to monitor and certify new voting machines. Hertzberg's website is dedicated to disputing any scientific claims of election fraud in Ohio. Oddly, Hertzberg's biography posted at the ESI website shows he has no advanced degrees in political science, only a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Purdue University. As Hertzberg explains it, he "spent the first several years of his career as a civilian within the U.S. Department of Defense" also " . . . serving as a Project Manager and Test Director for highly visible military development programs. . . ."

Hertzberg launched an organization called Vote Watch in 2002 before renaming it Election Science Institute in 2005. Recent ESI publications seek to discredit real social scientists with Ph.D.s who claim there was election fraud.

The ability of the Bush-Cheney White House to both blatantly repress poor and minority voters in the 2004 election and divert attention from these activities to spin this political operation into a bogus election reform bill bodes well for their ability to win the 2006 mid-term elections, despite a majority of the voters disapproving of the president's performance.

---Bob Fitrakis is the co-editor of "Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election?" with Harvey Wasserman ( and co-counsel with Cliff Arnebeck in the Alliance for Democracy suit against the Hocking County Board of Elections.

Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal

Informant: Friends

U-turn over mobile phone mast

By Faye Casey

Mar 11, 2006

Campaigners in Lichfield braced to fight revived plans to put a mobile phone near school buildings in their community have forced a U-turn by a mobile giant.

T-Mobile appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after its bid to put up a 15-metre mast on land near Ryknild Street and Tamworth Road was refused by councillors in January.

But the firm has now withdrawn its appeal and the inspectorate has closed the file.

The scheme caused outrage among neighbours and more than 1,600 signed a petition objecting to the mast, with letters also sent to Lichfield District Council.

Campaign organisers Boley Park Action Group, said they were concerned for pupils at King Edward VI High School and the play group at Boley Park Community Centre because of claims radiation could affect health.

They were delighted when Lichfield District Council threw out T-Mobile's application in January but expected to fight again. Now they hope to relax.

Alan Begley, action group spokesman, said: "T-Mobile have withdrawn the appeal because of the weight of evidence put forward.

"I am very pleased - the strength of the people has carried this through.

"The people have won the day.

"I am very pleased, and grateful, for their support.

"This news protects Boley Park as an amenity, the schools, and a Grade II listed building in the vicinity."

Mr Begley said the group would remain vigilant over phone masts.

He urged residents to contact the group if they receive letters notifying them of applications.

Mr Begley has also written to the city's MP, Michael Fabricant, to gauge his opinion.

For more information on the action group log on to
[ ]

A spokesman for T-Mobile said the company had withdrawn the appeal to review the situation.

But he insisted coverage was needed for the area and that the company would look to try again elsewhere.

© Express & Star Ltd, 1997-2006

Everyday Low Vices

Wal-Mart's bottom line is hurting America says T.A. Frank: It won't be easy for Wal-Mart to change its ways ... Wal-Mart could raise its average wages by two dollars an hour if it raised prices by only a penny on the dollar. But Wal-Mart is led by people whose lives are devoted to coming up with ways to shave a penny - or a half-penny, or a quarter-penny - off of a dollar.

Oversight by Capitulation

Robert Parry writes: Despite a dip in his opinion polls, George W. Bush's transformation of the United States into an authoritarian society continues apace, with new "compromises" with Congress actually consolidating his claims to virtually unlimited executive power.

House votes to dump state food safety laws

The vote was a victory for the food industry, which has lobbied for years for national standards for food labeling and contributed millions of dollars to lawmakers' campaigns. But consumer groups and state regulators warned that the bill would undo more than 200 state laws, inc.

From Information Clearing House

Americans take their ringside seats for the great conservative crack-up

Republicans are falling out among themselves like the starving Israelites in the desert.,,19269-2078588,00.html

From Information Clearing House

Bush's Approval Rating Falls to New Low

More and more people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of President Bush's performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the bleakest points of his presidency.

From Information Clearing House

The ExxonMobil War Boycott

Vote with your dollars. When governments and/or corporations perpetrate gross injustice and war - or do nothing to stop it - we, the people, must take action to end the violence and exploitation.

From Information Clearing House





- EXXONMOBIL AND OTHER MAJOR OIL COMPANIES STAND TO MAKE HUGE PROFITS ON IRAQ OIL AGREEMENTS DRAFTED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO THE INVASION OF IRAQ according the “Crude Designs” report published by Platform in the UK last November. It appears there there is still time for a boycott to have a positive effect, as none of these contracts have yet been signed, though it is reported that negotiations are underway with the new Iraqi government. The U.S. drafted contracts could bring the oil companies profits on investment ranging from 42% to 162% compared to the minimum of 12% return that is considered more normal. Contracted access to one of the major southern Iraq oil fields could double ExxonMobil’s oil reserves, doubling the worth of the company. In January, 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority CPA appointed former senior executives from oil companies to help set up the framework for a longer-term oil policy in Iraq, with Gary Vogler of ExxonMobil, being one of the first advisors. ExxonMobil is on the board of directors of the International Tax & Investment Centre (ITIC), with is seeking Production Sharing Agreements in Iraq. Before the war started, ExxonMobil was in the hunt for Iraqi oil and it continues this quest during the occupation.

- $7 BILLION OF EXXONMOBIL’S 2005 RECORD PROFIT OF $36 BILLION CAN BE CONSIDERED WAR PROFITEERING. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said that as much as 20 percent of EXXONMOBIL’s record $36 billion 2005 profit, or about $7 billion, is “a ball park number” for what can be considered war profits for the oil giant. This is an estimate of the amount of profit that is essentially unearned and is traceable to oil prices that have been inflated because: (1) the Iraq War has severely depressed Iraq oil production and (2) because of fears that the Iraq War may spread, possibly affecting oil production in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Noble Prize winning Joseph Stiglitz has also said that the war, in inflating oil prices, has brought huge profits to U.S. oil companies. Tyson Slocum, Acting Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, says that ExxonMobil accumulated a war profit in 2005 “in the billions”.

- EXXONMOBIL’s recently-retired Chair and CEO Lee Raymond appears to have had a major role in US policy making - including planning for access to Iraqi oil and promoting the war against Iraq. Mr. Raymond has personal access to Vice President Dick Cheney; for example, he met with him privately 10 days after the first Bush inauguration. Shortly after that Cheney’s energy task force began drafting an energy policy. The Vice President went to court to keep the energy task force work secret, but the few papers forced out by law suits have included maps of Iraqi oil fields. Two months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mr. Raymond became the vice chair of the board of the American Enterprise Institute, possibly the foremost “think tank” in engineering the Bush Administration Iraq War Policy, and central in promoting the war. Mr. Raymond continues as vice chair of AEI’s board after his 12/31/05 retirement.

- CONSUMERS FOR PEACE HAS WRITTEN TO EXXONMOBIL asking that the firm endorse the goals of the ExxonMobil War Boycott campaign and engage the full force of its lobbying effort in advancing these goals. The goals are: (1) immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops and mercenaries from Iraq; (2) impeachment of George W. Bush and prosecution of U.S. officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity. ExxonMobil has not responded to a certified letter except with the postal receipt. Consumers for Peace has written to the nine other firms selected for boycott because of their involvement with ExxonMobil through its board of directors, asking that they endorse the above goals. Of the nine, only Novartis has responded, declining to meet the request. The other firms affected are: Campbell Soups; Carlson Companies (Radisson Hotels, TGI Friday’s); Corning Inc. (Steuben Glass); Metlife; Pfizer; Verizon; Wells Fargo; and Wyeth.

- APART FROM APPLYING PRESSURE TO END THE IRAQ WAR AND IMPEACH MR. BUSH, THE PURPOSE OF THE BOYCOTT IS TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT GOING TO WAR FOR OIL. As the competition for oil and other energy sources increases, the temptation to use force to maintain control over oil will increase. The war alternative, one can argue, can be viewed a major factor in delaying the U.S. from seriously addressing petroleum overconsumption, for example through gasoline rationing. The war alternative forestalls urgently needed action to protect the environment.

- There has been some controversy over the “war for oil” premise, with some saying this idea is too simplistic. However, it is becoming more clear that the struggle between nations - between the U.S. and China for example - for assured access to oil reserves is intensifying. Without oil, the Middle East would not have had such keen attention from Washington since the early 1900s. A State Department official under Colin Powell said that while oil wasn’t specifically mentioned in State Department pre-war planning, everyone knew in the back of their minds that Iraq reportedly has the world’s second largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.

- A BASIC PREMISE OF THE BOYCOTT IS THAT THE INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF IRAQ ARE ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, VIOLATING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. The boycott is leveled at a major firm that appears to be complicit in this illegal behavior and is clearly a beneficiary. It is also directed at nine firms connected with ExxonMobil that benefit from this connection. Novartis is one such firm. While the Novartis website states that the firm will not benefit from violations of human rights, it has sent representatives to Iraq investment conferences even as the killing in Iraq escalated. At no point has ExxonMobil, or any of the firms associated with it, come forward to disavow connection with the illegal acts of the United States in Iraq. ExxonMobil has not offered to direct its war profits to relieving the vast suffering caused by the war.

Prepared by Nick Mottern,

You may download a pdf version of the talking points at

See ExxonMobil War Boycott press release or

Organizational Endorsers:

After Downing Street

Bloomington Peace Action Coalition

Campus Antiwar Network

Coalition Against War and Injustice (Baton Rouge)

Covington (Louisiana) Peace Project

Consumers for Peace

Goldstar Families for Peace

International Socialist Organization

Midsouth Peace and Justice Center

Progressive Democrats of America

Traprock Peace Center

Wespac Foundation

Individual Endorsers*:

Annie and Buddy Spell, Louisiana peace activists (Annie is president of the Greater Covington, LA branch of the NAACP)

Anthony Arnove, author, “Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal”; co-editor with Howard Zinn, “Voices of a People’s History of the US”

Charles Jenks, Chair of Advisory Board - Traprock Peace Center

Cindy Sheehan, Co-founder - Gold Star Families for Peace

Dahr Jamail, independent journalist who spent over 8 months reporting from occupied Iraq

David Swanson, co-founder of

Dennis Kyne, Gulf War veteran, activist and author of “Support the Truth”

Dirk Adriaensens, coordinator SOS Iraq and member of the Executive Committee of the Brussells Tribunal, Belgium

Don DeBar, correspondent, WBAI, New York

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, National Coordinating Committee - Campus Antiwar Network

Eric Ruder, reporter - Socialist Worker newspaper

Gabriele Zamparini, freelance journalist and film maker living in London; co-editor of

Howard Zinn, historian, playwright and activist; author of “A People’s History of the United States” and co-editor with Anthony Arnove of “Voices of a People’s History of the US” Jacob Flowers, Director - MidSouth Peace and Justice Center

Judy Linehan, Military Families Speak Out

Kathy Kelly, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, co-founder - Voices For Creative Non-Violence

Lindsey German, Convener - Stop the War Coalition (UK)

Michael Letwin, Co-Convener - New York City Labor Against the War

Nick Mottern, National Director - Consumers for Peace

Nada Khader, Executive Director, Wespac Foundation

Norman Solomon, Author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”

Paola Pisi, professor of religious sciences (Italy) and editor of

Phil Gasper, Chair - Department of Philosophy & Religion, Notre Dame de Namur University, Professors for Peace

Sharon Smith, author of “Women and Socialism : Essays on Women’s Liberation”

Stan Goff, Master Sergeant Retired, US Army

Sunny Miller, Executive Director - Traprock Peace Center

Thomas F. Barton, publisher, GI Special

Tim Baer, Director - Bloomington Peace Action Coalition

Tim Carpenter, National Director - Progressive Democrats of America

Ward Reilly, SE National Contact - Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Baton Rouge

*Affiliations are for identification purposes only.

Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board and Web Manager
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road Deerfield, MA 01342
413-773-7427 fax 413-773-7507


From ufpj-news


Legacy Of An Exxon CEO

by Charlie Cray,

CEO pay and corporate disinformation reached dizzying new heights at Lee Raymond's Exxon Mobil.


Did a Group Financed by Exxon Prompt IRS to Audit Greenpeace?

Exxon Exxposed

Watch What You Say

How the telephone company listens in on your calls and what they tell the government.

Pentagon admits "errors" in spying on protesters

The Department of Defense admitted in a letter obtained by NBC News on Thursday that it had wrongly added peaceful demonstrators to a database of possible domestic terrorist threats.

From Information Clearing House

Why Data Mining Won't Stop Terror

Many believe data mining is the crystal ball that will enable us to uncover future terrorist plots. But even in the most wildly optimistic projections, data mining isn't tenable for that purpose. We're not trading privacy for security; we're giving up privacy and getting no security in return.,70357-0.html?tw=wn_politics_1

From Information Clearing House

The Gitmo Documents

From Information Clearing House

US beefs up dossier - Manufacturing Consent For Bombing Iran

Official Washington’s quickening drumbeat of hostility is beginning to recall political offensives against Libya’s Moammar Gadaffi, Panama’s Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, which all ended in violence. Rightwing American media are urging action, deeming Iran “an intolerable threat” that is the “central crisis of the Bush presidency”.

US congressmen press for Iran sanctions bill

Key US congressmen on Wednesday said that they would push forward with legislation imposing mandatory sanctions on foreign firms working in Iran, despite administration concerns that the bill could split the international coalition against Iran’s nuclear programme.

'US not doing enough to stop Iran'

The United States has until now not done enough to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a senior Defense Ministry official has told The Jerusalem Post while expressing hope that Wednesday's referral of the Iranian issue to the United Nations Security Council would prove to be effective.

Manufacturing Consent For Bombing Iran

Video - Bush: Iran 'grave' security concern

U.S. President Bush called Iran an ''issue of grave national security concern'' during a press conference to a national newspapers group.

War pimp: O'Reilly: Blowing Iran "off the face of the earth ... would be the sane thing to do"

Summary: On his radio program, Bill O'Reilly stated: "You know in a sane world, every country would unite against Iran and blow it off the face of the Earth. That would be the sane thing to do."

From Information Clearing House

30 US Reps for Bush Impeachment Inquiry

30 US House Representatives have signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors of H. Res 635, which would create a Select Committee to look into the grounds for recommending President Bush’s impeachment.

From Information Clearing House

Soldiers Back From Iraq, Unable to Get Help They Need

"The numbers are simply going to overwhelm them, and they are not going to have the proper funds to deal with these folks on a long-term, chronic basis," said David Gorman of the advocacy group Disabled American Veterans.

From Information Clearing House

Western Shoshone Victorious at UN: US Found in Violation of Human Rights of Native Americans

Urged to Take Immediate Action

Biotech Foods: David Versus Goliath

United Nations talks on the global trade in genetically modified (GM), or biotech foods and crops will highlight the gap between countries demanding the right to regulate imports of GM products and the huge business interests that seek to benefit from weak rules...

The Democrats: Still Ducking

The Democrats: They Can't Even Win a War of Words

Enough of the D.C. Dems

Stop Force-Feeding Inmates, Doctors Tell US

Detainee Deaths: The Failure of a Society

China's Boom is Killing Sea That Gives It Life

by Clifford Coonan

China's spectacular economic boom will mean the death of its major economic and maritime hub, the Bohai sea, unless action is taken to stop industrial pollution of its waters, environmental advisers said yesterday.

The warnings, yet another example of the crisis gripping the world's fastest-growing major economy, come as China tries to balance its desire for economic growth with the need to avoid environmental catastrophe...

Islamophobia Worse in America Now Than after 9/11

A Mother's Loss Spurs War Debate


Zbigniew Brzezinski: "The notion of total national security is now a myth. Total security and total defense in the age of globalization are not attainable. The real issue is: with how much insecurity can America live while promoting its interests in an increasingly interactive, interdependent world?"...


Raw Story

March 10, 2006

Supreme Court justices keep many opinions private but Sandra Day O¹Connor no longer faces that obligation. Yesterday, the retired justice criticized Republicans who criticized the courts. She said they challenge the independence of judges and the freedoms of all Americans. O¹Connor¹s speech at Georgetown University was not available for broadcast but NPR¹s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg was there.

Nina Totenberg: In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, O¹Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms. O¹Connor began by conceding that courts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, as she put it ³really, really angry.² But, she continued, if we don¹t make them mad some of the time we probably aren¹t doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, she said, is premised on the notion that we won¹t be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts. The nation¹s founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, said O¹Connor, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don¹t protect judicial independence, people do.

And then she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didn¹t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said O¹Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress¹ onetime only statute about Schiavo as it was written. Not, said O¹Connor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O¹Connor, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts.

It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn¹t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn¹t name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement, after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge¹s home. O¹Connor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms, recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges, stripping the courts of jurisdiction and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decisions that political leaders disagree with.

I, said O¹Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O¹Connor said we must be ever-vigilant against those who would strongarm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.

Nina Totenberg,
NPR News,

NPR Report:

Informant: NHNE

Anatomy of an Agreement

Informant: Lew Rockwell

The Financial Police State

Informant: Lew Rockwell

Bird Flu Capers

The worry is that Bird Flu could strike the U.S. any day now. Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, a known authority on influenza, especially when blown in by hurricanes, said Thursday. "If we get a wild bird or even a domestic chicken that gets infected with avian flu, we're going to be able to deal with it, because we've got a lot of experience with that," Chertoff said. What, was Homeland Security distracted with Bird Flu drills while winds blew in New Orleans? Is the entire Homeland Security agency ready to strike if a lone bird gets the flu? Pity the sole bird. For the sake of the birds, let's hope Homeland Insecurity "fouls" the job like it did in New Orleans...


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