Freitag, 22. September 2006

Le Monde explores the paradox of a military putsch for democracy

Paradoxical Putsch

Abramoff Associates, Bush Aides Met Often

Republican activists Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed landed more than 100 meetings inside the Bush White House, according to documents released Wednesday that provide the first official accounting of the access and influence the two presidential allies have enjoyed.

Election Dysfunction

"One hundred and eight democratic nations in the world have explicit language guaranteeing the right to vote in their constitutions, and the United States - along with only ten other such nations - does not," writes John Nichols. "As a result, the way we administer elections in this country changes from state to state, from county to county, from locality to locality. The Secretary of the Commonwealth must fight for a Constitutional amendment that affirmatively guarantees the right to vote in the US Constitution."

Surviving Bush's Beneficence

Leslie Thatcher writes: "Ann Jones spent three years paying attention in Afghanistan, and while her fine book was not the result she originally intended, it strips the rest of us bare of any excuses for not taking responsibility for what our country has done to Afghanistan, as it reveals the chasm between what the Bush administration promised and continues to describe as delivered and the reality on the Afghan ground."

The New York Times: Keep Away the Vote

The New York Times states: "One of the cornerstones of the Republican Party's strategy for winning elections these days is voter suppression, intentionally putting up barriers between eligible voters and the ballot box. The House of Representatives took a shameful step in this direction yesterday, voting largely along party lines for onerous new voter-ID requirements. Laws of this kind are unconstitutional, as an array of courts have already held, and profoundly undemocratic. The Senate should not go along with this cynical, un-American electoral strategy."

Next-up News n°103

Kein Ende der Eisschmelze: Dramatische arktische Sommereisabweichungen entdeckt

GAU bei Telefonüberwachung

Greenland ice sheet melting accelerating


[foto] An iceberg calved from a glacier floats in the Jacobshavn fjord in southwest Greenland. A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates Greenland continues to lose ice mass, and the rate of loss is accelerating.

Provided by: Konrad Steffen, CU-Boulder

Contributed by: CU-Boulder News Services on 9/20/2006

Data gathered by a pair of NASA satellites orbiting Earth show Greenland continued to lose ice mass at a significant rate through April 2006, and that the rate of loss is accelerating, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

The study indicates that from April 2004 to April 2006, Greenland was shedding ice at about two and one-half times the rate of the previous two-year period, according to CU-Boulder researchers Isabella Velicogna and John Wahr. The researchers used measurements taken with the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, to calculate that Greenland lost roughly 164 cubic miles of ice from April 2004 to April 2006 -- more than the volume of water in Lake Erie.

The new study, published in the Sept. 21 issue of Nature, follows on the heels of a study published in Science in August by a University of Texas at Austin team using GRACE that showed Greenland lost 57 cubic miles of ice annually from 2002 to 2005. The new CU-Boulder study indicates the speed-up in ice mass loss charted by the researchers has been occurring primarily in southern Greenland, said Velicogna.

"The acceleration rate really took off in 2004," said Velicogna, a researcher at the CU-Boulder-based Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. "We think the changes we are seeing are probably a pretty good indicator of the changing climatic conditions in Greenland, particularly in the southern region."

Studies by several research groups indicate temperatures in southern Greenland have risen by about 4.4 degrees F in the past two decades, she said.

The CU-Boulder findings also are consistent with studies charting a dramatic acceleration of the Kangerdlugssaq and Helheim glaciers in southeast Greenland using satellite radar observations, said Wahr. A 2006 study by researchers at the University of Wales, for example, showed the two glaciers have doubled their speed and are dumping twice as much ice into the sea as they did five years ago.

"Our results correlate well with independent observations of glacier acceleration in the south of Greenland," said Wahr, also a professor of physics at CU-Boulder. "It's a fairly straightforward story -- the ice loss in Greenland increased dramatically in 2004, particularly in the south, and it is continuing."

CIRES Director Konrad Steffen, who has maintained more than 20 climate stations in Greenland for nearly two decades, said temperatures have warmed by more than 4 degrees F along the western slope of its ice sheet since 1990. "The increased surface melt of snow and ice provides additional meltwater to lubricate the bottom of the ice sheet and increases the ice flow velocity toward the coast," said Steffen, a CU-Boulder geography professor who was not involved in the Nature study.

Launched in 2002 by NASA and Germany, the two GRACE satellites whip around Earth 16 times a day at an altitude of 310 miles, sensing subtle variations in Earth's mass and gravitational pull. Separated by 137 miles, the satellites measure changes in Earth's gravity field caused by regional changes in the planet's mass, including ice sheets, oceans and water stored in the soil and in underground aquifers.

A change in gravity due to a pass by GRACE over a portion of Greenland imperceptibly tugs the lead satellite away from the trailing satellite, said Velicogna. A sensitive ranging system allows researchers to measure the distance of the two satellites down to as small as 1 micron -- about 1/50 the width of a human hair -- and to then calculate the ice mass in particular regions of Greenland.

In March 2006, Velicogna and Wahr used GRACE to determine that the Antarctic ice sheet -- which holds 70 percent of Earth's freshwater -- lost up to 36 cubic miles of ice annually from April 2002 to August 2005. Greenland, the largest island in the world, harbors about 10 percent of the world's freshwater in its ice sheet, which is up to two miles thick in places. If the Greenland ice sheet melted completely, the world's oceans would rise more than 20 feet, according to scientists.

Significant ice loss in Greenland has the potential to have severe effects on the climate of the Northern Hemisphere, said Velicogna, who also is affiliated with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which manages GRACE for NASA. Scientists believe that large amounts of freshwater purged from Greenland's eastern coast could help to weaken the counterclockwise flow of the North Atlantic Current, lowering water and wind temperatures and potentially triggering abrupt cooling events in northern Europe.

CIRES is a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Animation of the GRACE mission is available on the Web at .

Gene-Altered Profit-Killer A Slight Taint of Biotech Rice Puts Farmers' Overseas Sales in Peril

By Rick Weiss Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, September 21, 2006; D01

The disclosure last month that American long-grain rice has become widely contaminated with traces of an experimental, gene-altered rice has provoked an economic crisis for farmers and reignited a long-smoldering debate over the adequacy of U.S. oversight of biotech food.

Already, Japan has banned U.S. long-grain imports, noting, as have other countries, that the genetically altered variety never passed regulatory muster. Stores in Germany, Switzerland and France have pulled American rice off their shelves. And at least one ship last week remained quarantined in Rotterdam, awaiting word of whether its contents would be diverted or destroyed.

"Until this happened, it looked like rice farmers were finally going to make a profit this year," said Greg Yielding, executive director of the Arkansas Rice Growers Association. Instead, U.S. rice prices have slumped about 10 percent, and some expect market losses to reach $150 million.

Scientists are just now figuring out how LLRICE601 made its way into the nation's commercial rice supply. The company that developed it, Bayer CropScience of Research Triangle Park, N.C., says it abandoned the project in 2001.

The unapproved rice poses no threat to human or animal health, federal officials have assured the public. And the level of contamination is minuscule, on the order of just six genetically engineered grains in every

But the growing economic fallout from LL601's unwanted and illegal reappearance -- including a handful of lawsuits against Bayer -- is a reminder that when it comes to food, public perception is as important as scientific assurances.

"We've been warning for years that something like this could happen," Yielding said, citing a December 2005 report from the Agriculture Department's inspector general that lambasted the government for not keeping a closer eye on companies developing new crops. "This is one of those deals where you hate to be right."

Genetically engineered crops are common in the United States, where 60 to 90 percent of the corn, soybean and cotton plants are enhanced with genes from bacteria and other organisms. Most of the added genes allow the plants to make their own insecticides or, as in LLRICE601, confer resistance to commonly used weedkillers.

But motivated by scientific, cultural and economic concerns, most countries around the world are finicky about biotech crops and allow relatively few in. That, in turn, has created tension for U.S. agriculture.

Although U.S. farmers say they favor, in theory, further development of the crops, many have called for delays in field testing or marketing until other countries agree to accept them. With few mechanisms in place to segregate engineered from conventional varieties, and wide availability of tests able to detect minute quantities of foreign DNA, they say it is not worth the risk that shipments will become contaminated and rejected.

"Once it's in the pipeline, it's very hard to get it out," said Jeffrey Barach, a vice president at the Food Products Association, a D.C. trade group.

Concerns have been especially high among rice growers, who sell big portions of their harvests to Kellogg for Rice Krispies, Anheuser-Busch for beer and Gerber for baby food, said Eric Wailes, an agricultural economist at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

"These are companies with huge brand equity," Wailes said, and are unwilling to risk their reputations.

In fact, many experts suspect that pressure from the food industry was a major reason why Bayer mysteriously dropped LL601 five years ago without seeking USDA approval for it. The company has refused to answer questions about its biotech rice program, which produced two other varieties. The Agriculture Department deemed those two safe for sale, but Bayer opted not to market them.

In recent weeks, tests by researchers in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana have begun to unveil how LL601 persisted even after Bayer quit. The rice had been grown in several test locations, including Louisiana State University's rice research station near Crowley from 1999 to 2001.

Analyses in the past two weeks of samples of other rice varieties that were grown over the years at the same research station found that at least one -- a long-grain rice known as Cheniere -- was contaminated with LL601 at least as far back as 2003.

Records indicate that the affected plot of Cheniere rice, which was used to grow "foundation stock" from which much larger amounts were produced over the next few years, was located at least 160 feet from the LL601 plot, farther apart than what USDA required, said LSU spokeswoman Frankie Gould.

Exactly how and when the crossover of the genetically altered rice occurred remains uncertain. It could be, experts said, that some grains of LL601 got mixed inadvertently with grains of Cheniere, so that future plantings of Cheniere were really plantings of both. That could have gone unnoticed for years until someone tested for the errant gene -- which is how Riceland Foods Inc. of Stuttgart, Ark., happened upon the problem this year.

Or it may be that LL601 plants fertilized some Cheniere plants, creating a gene-enhanced Cheniere. Rice pollen does not usually go far afield, but it can.

Tests on more than a dozen other LSU varieties have come up negative for the LL601 gene, as have tests from Texas and Arkansas plots; results from Mississippi are pending. But because many varieties of rice are mixed in huge bins after harvest, it could be difficult to rid the U.S. rice crop of the illegal variety.

"The damage has been done and it is still being done," said Adam J. Levitt, a partner in the Chicago office of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLC, who led a class action lawsuit that won $110 million for farmers after gene-altered and unapproved StarLink corn appeared in food in 2000. "They've really in a very substantial way poisoned the well."

How Bayer will deal with the international ramifications of LL601's escape is uncertain. But its domestic strategy became clear on Aug. 18, the day Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the problem. That day Bayer filed a petition seeking USDA approval -- or "deregulation" -- of LL601.

If the petition is successful, the variety's presence would no longer violate U.S. regulations -- but the strategy has raised some hackles.

"Post hoc approval strikes us as really cynical," said Bill Freese, science policy analyst for the District-based Center for Food Safety. "Bayer has no intention of bringing this rice to market. Clearly this is an effort to avoid liability."

Last week Freese's group filed a petition asking USDA to reject Bayer's request and to rescind its earlier approval of the company's other two engineered rice varieties.

The petition argues that the herbicide resistance trait is sure to make its way into red rice, a weedy wild relative of white rice that is already rice growers' biggest pest. Any advance likely to make red rice herbicide-resistant, the petition claims, would force farmers to turn to more potent weedkillers and violate the Plant Protection Act.

Even if Bayer succeeds in deregulating LL601, farmers will still face international rejection -- a potentially major hit, since most rice profits are from overseas sales.

On Friday the European Commission said the rice "is not likely to pose an imminent safety concern." But it also made plain that the rice is illegal and offered no hints it would soften its stance.

Of even greater concern is whether Central American nations -- the biggest foreign buyers of U.S. rice -- and Mexico, the second biggest, will adhere to their strict rules on engineered foods. Talks were underway late last week, Yielding said.

The December inspector general report scolded USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for failing to conduct required inspections of test plots and in some cases not even knowing where experiments it had approved were being conducted.

APHIS spokeswoman Rachel Iadicicco said the shortcomings cited in that report have been remedied.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Informant: binstock

Melting glaciers in southeast Alaska have scientists worried

Most of them are thinning at twice the rate previously estimated, according to a study


JUNEAU, Alaska — Less than 10 minutes after lifting off from the airport, the helicopter entered the frozen world suspended above Alaska's capital.

Snowcapped mountains rose on either side as the small team of scientists and students peered down at a jagged blue carpet of ice below. The pilot turned up one arm of Mendenhall Glacier only to find the way blocked by a wall of fog. The storm was moving in; the work would have to be done quickly.

Hydrologist Eran Hood used a handheld global positioning system to guide the pilot higher up the ice field on a clearer path. Circling low, the scientists spotted what they were after: A tiny pyramid of wire nearly invisible in the field of white.

In this lonely corner of an ice field larger than Rhode Island, the packed snow crunching under their boots, the group set up shop. They were about to find out just how much this part of the glacier had melted over the summer and how fast it was moving.

Advertisement Hood and physicist Matt Heavner, his colleague at the University of Alaska southeast, measured at least 10 feet of ice loss since May there and at two other spots on the glacier.

Rain was beating down on the tourists at the glacier's terminus below. The year's consistently bad weather has been dreary for the visitors, but something of a reprieve for the melting Mendenhall Glacier.

"It's a good summer to be a glacier," Hood said.

There haven't been too many, judging by the rate at which southeast Alaska's rivers of ice are melting.

Most of the glaciers stretching from Yakutat Bay to the Stikine Icefield, which goes into northwestern British Columbia, are thinning at twice the rate that was previously estimated, according to a new study co-authored by Hood's mentor, glaciologist Roman Motyka of the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute.

Comparing radar mapping data from a space shuttle mission six years ago with air photos taken between 1948 and 1979, Motyka, UAF colleague Chris Larsen and three other scientists pinpointed the extent of the glaciers' volume change.

They found that 95 percent of southeast Alaska's glaciers are thinning. Some glacier surface elevations had dropped as much as 2,100 feet since
1948, such as the Muir Glacier in the popular Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

With the more precise data, they figured the rate of thinning was greatly underestimated from the last study done in 2002.

The scientists calculated that an average of nine cubic miles of glacier ice melts each year in the region due to a combination of climate change and glacier dynamics. They say even that may be an understatement of the actual rate of melting.

Mendenhall Glacier is a relatively small river of ice compared to the rest of southeast Alaska's extensive network, but it stands out. It is Alaska's most visited glacier, drawing 367,000 people to the U.S. Forest Service's visitor center last year.

The glacier is rapidly shrinking up the mountainside — as rapidly as glaciers can, anyway. Visitors who have observed the glacier see the change themselves. Motyka estimated that the glacier's terminus will pull out of Mendenhall Lake entirely within 10 years.

Hikers can trek up the side of the glacier along craggy rock that was under a deep layer of ice just two years ago. They can poke around in ice caves that weren't there at the beginning of the summer — and which will be gone by the season's end.

"We don't want to spend too much time underneath," Hood said in one such cave, as water from the blue roof dripped all around. "These are all pretty ephemeral."

Southeast Alaska's glaciers are very sensitive to climate change because of their large surface areas at low elevations. In Juneau, the winters have been getting warmer and rainier — 6.8 degrees warmer compared to 50 years ago, according to Laurie Craig, a naturalist for the Tongass National Forest.

Those warmer temperatures can disrupt a glacier's surface mass balance, the balance achieved between the melting period of summer and accumulation period of winter.

"Little work has been done to investigate the potential effects of winter warming on the distribution and type of winter precipitation," the authors of the new study wrote.

For many Alaska glaciers at lower elevations, warmer temperatures are causing the equilibrium line that separates the accumulation zone from the melting zone to rise. Yakutat Glacier, for example, has lost nearly all of its accumulation zone.

"This icefield will likely disappear completely under current conditions," the study's authors write.

While climate change causes equilibrium shifts and thinning, it isn't the only reason Alaska's tidewater glaciers are retreating from lakes and the sea. The retreat may be triggered by warmer temperatures, but then the dynamic cycle of a tidewater glacier takes over.

The speed of the glacier increases, drawing down the ice from above at a faster rate and increasing calving below. In southeast Alaska, the ice loss at their terminus can cause tidewater glaciers to retreat more than half a mile a year — and that loss can't be directly attributed to climate change, the scientists say.

"Once initiated, these calving losses are largely independent of climate change and can be an order of magnitude greater than ice losses driven solely by climate change," they wrote.

Then there are the anomalies. Five percent of the glaciers studied, such as the Taku in the Juneau Ice Field, are expanding and thickening.

Many of these glaciers extend higher in elevation, giving them a larger zone where snow can accumulate.

Glacier dynamics have the opposite effect with these glaciers. Their accumulation zones are expanding and their melting zones are shrinking. The result is a different kind of imbalance, one that causes the glaciers to advance.

Motyka said scientists will have a better understanding what has happened to the glaciers since the 2000 space shuttle data once new photos taken this summer are analyzed. With the last analysis showing glaciers melting at twice the rate previously thought, he said he expects more of the same.

"Presumably, things have accelerated," he said.

On the Net:
University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute:
University of Alaska Southeast:
Tongass National Forest:

Informant: binstock

Chain of Contamination: the food link

A survey of common European food items reveals that industrial chemicals such as pesticides, PCBs and flame retardants have been found in food consumed throughout Europe — from dairy products to meat and fish. Many of the compounds are found in a concentration range of 0.1 to 10 ng/g, with the exception of phthalates for which typical concentrations are two orders of magnitude higher. Brominated flame retardants have been found in 19 of 26 samples, with the highest concentrations in meat.

Published by World Wildlife Fund - UK.

EPA Closing Its Headquarters Library October 1

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Thursday 21 September 2006

Congress asks for review of effects on research, regulation and enforcement.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is closing its Headquarters Library to the public, as well as its own staff, effective October 1. This shutdown is the latest in a series of agency library closures during the past few weeks, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As with the other library collections, the books, reports and research monographs in the EPA Headquarters Library have been boxed up and are currently inaccessible to anyone.

The Headquarters Library collection contains 380,000 documents on microfiche (including technical reports produced by EPA and its predecessor agencies), a microforms collection that includes back files of abstracts and indexes, 5,500 hard copy EPA documents, as well as more than 16,000 books and technical reports produced by government agencies other than EPA.

EPA will not say when any of this material will again become available to its staff or the public either via the internet or through inter-library loans. As the agency claims that the library closures are for budgetary reasons, it has no dedicated funds for digitizing hard copies, making microfiche available online or re-cataloguing the tens of thousands of documents that will be relocated to large storage areas called "information repositories."

"EPA is busily crating up and locking away its institutional memory," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that more than
10,000 EPA scientists and other specialists are protesting the library closures as hindering their ability to do their jobs. "Despite its 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' public statements, EPA has no coherent plan let alone a timetable for making these collections available."

EPA made a formal announcement of this latest library closure in a Federal Register notice published on September 20, 2006, just days before the complete shutdown takes effect. The notice is required under a federal policy (Office of Budget & Management Circular A-130) requiring that the public be notified whenever "terminating significant information dissemination products."

Curiously, EPA issued no similar public notice for its closures of its regional libraries in Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City, even though these three libraries provide services for the general public in 15 states and 109 tribal nations.

EPA's library closures (which the agency euphemistically calls "deaccessioning procedures") are sparking congressional scrutiny. On September 19th, the Ranking Members of the House Committee on Science, Energy & Commerce and Government Reform (Reps. Bart Gordon (D-TN), John Dingell (D-MI) and Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), respectively) asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the effects that the EPA library closures will have on access to environmental information and the impacts on scientific research, regulatory quality and enforcement capability.

"EPA is taking the hard copies and microfilms and placing them in three giant information dumps, which they call 'repositories,'" added Ruch, pointing to the agency promise to create three such repositories
(one at its D.C. headquarters with the others in Cincinnati and Durham) to serve the entire nation. "Once these mountains of documents are moved into the repositories, what happens next is anyone's guess."

Informant: binstock

Church says it was misled on mast plan

Sep 22 2006

By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

CHURCH officials at the centre of a mobile phone mast row feel they have been misled by the telecommunications company.

Residents of Clayton West are protesting about Hutchison 3G putting a new aerial on top of the village's United Reformed Church in Church Lane.

Resident Audrey Booth, along with more than 100 other villagers, is worried about the mast on health grounds.

They also feel the church has not been entirely straight with them over the planning process.

Previously a spokesman for the church had refused to comment.

But now a statement on behalf of the church and the URC Yorkshire Synod has been issued.

It said that Hutchison 3G had put a mobile phone aerial on the church roof.

It went on: "The church is being paid £6,000 per annum by the company.

"It is already using the money to provide new toilets and to improve disabled access for the local community.

"Among the groups using its premises are a youth club and a men's group every two weeks."

The statement added that Hutchison had told church trustees that people could object to the planned aerial to Kirklees Council planners when the planing application was submitted.

It goes on: "Neither the church nor the trustees were aware, until recently, that this information was incorrect.

"We have since been advised that installations of this type do not need permission, because they are treated as `permitted development' by the planning regulations.

"The church shares the concerns of local residents that they appear to have been misled about any objections being heard as part of planning process.

"When the request was received from Hutchison 3G the church elders obtained professional advice and support and also held a public consultation for local residents."

A Hutchison 3G spokesman said: "We appreciate the church's concern about the consultation process undertaken for our proposed radio base station.

"We are committed to undertaking further discussion with those in the local community who have concerns about the proposals, in order to provide additional information and address the key issues."

Mrs Booth, who lives near the church, said of church officials: "There must have been a point when they knew the mast was going ahead, at least at the signing of the contract.

"Did they ever consider the people at all at that time?"

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited 2006

NSA Whistleblower's Life Destroyed After Exposing Eavesdropping Program

NSA whistleblower Russell Tice says his choice to reveal what he says were unlawful acts at the National Security Agency while he was working there has cost him his career and livelihood: "My case, from beginning to end, is a testament to the utter and complete failure of whistleblower protections for federal employees who work within the most crucial aspects of national security."

Libby Fundraiser Working for Lieberman

Mel Sembler, who is board chairman of the Sembler Company, a real estate and shopping center development company, said he has worked hard to raise money for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's legal defense fund. Sembler describes himself as "dear friends" with Cheney. Tammy Sun, a spokeswoman for Lieberman, said the Lieberman campaign is "grateful for Mel Sembler's support."

Nuclear Winter, Global Warming, or Impeachment

"What we need is action, and this is the week for it," writes David Swanson. "The Declaration of Peace has organized massive plans for civil disobedience. And, in a nod to our national insanity and future genocides, the Declaration of Peace - although begun by religious groups - is largely refraining from promoting religion."

Bill Clinton Warns Against Torture Approval

Former US president Bill Clinton criticized Bush administration proposals for treating suspected terrorists, saying it would be unnecessary and wrong to give broad approval to torture and that any decision to use harsh treatment in interrogating suspects should be subject to court review.

National Guard to Be Further Stretched by Iraq, Afghan Wars

Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.


Failings of the Rumsfeld doctrine

Christian Science Monitor
by Carl Robichaud


This month's devastating wave of suicide attacks in Afghanistan (including three attacks on Monday, which brought the total number to 69 since 2005) is a grim reminder that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, under fire for his role in Iraq, has been the architect of not one but two failing wars -- and of a dangerous vision for how to apply American power. August 2002 was Afghanistan's 'Mission Accomplished' moment. Mr. Rumsfeld declared the military effort 'a breathtaking accomplishment' and 'a successful model of what could happen to Iraq.' America had routed the Taliban, disrupted Al Qaeda, and set Afghanistan on a course for stability and democracy -- and it had done it Rumsfeld's way, at little cost and with minimal loss of life...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Demonstrators March Against Bush And Iraq War

Informant: Kev Hall

New Effort Needed to Prevent Attack on Iran

"War Signals" By Dave Lindorff, The Nation As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have issued orders for a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1.

Sign the Don't-Attack-Iran Petition

Sign the Petition to End the Occupation of Iraq

What We Can Do When We Get Together

See the videos, photos, and reports from Camp Democracy:

"Google" Your Voter Registration at

On our first day, over 5,000 Democrats "googled" their voter registrations to make sure they were not removed from the voter list by corrupt Republican election officials like Katherine Harris or Ken Blackwell.

If you are not registered to vote, register here

Avoid long lines and hackable machines - vote absentee! (Rules vary by state)

Angeblich jeder dritte Arbeitnehmer ohne unbefristeten Vollzeitarbeitsplatz

Hans-Böckler-Stiftung: Angeblich jeder dritte Arbeitnehmer ohne unbefristeten Vollzeitarbeitsplatz (22.09.06)

In Deutschland haben immer weniger Beschäftigte einen unbefristeten Vollzeitarbeitsplatz. Das sei das Ergebnis einer Berechnung der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, wie die "Bild"-Zeitung berichtet. Danach hatten im Jahr 2005 bereits 34,5 Prozent der Arbeitnehmer entweder eine Teilzeitstelle, eine Zeitarbeitsstelle, einen Minijob oder einen befristeten Arbeitsvertrag. Laut Hans-Böckler-Stiftung waren dies 2001 nur 31,3 Prozent.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

"Pyrrhussiege rot-grüner Ausstiegsrhetorik": Kritik an möglicher Laufzeitverlängerung für Atomkraftwerk Biblis


Die Umweltschutzorganisation Robin Wood hat Ankündigungen des Energiekonzerns RWE, eine Laufzeitverlängerung für den Atomreaktor Biblis A zu beantragen, scharf verurteilt. "RWE will Atomausstieg abwürgen, bevor er richtig begonnen hat", so Robin Wood. Die Minister Gabriel und Glos sowie Kanzlerin Merkel fordert die Organisation auf, einen entsprechenden Antrag von RWE abzulehnen. Statt längerer Laufzeiten fordern die Umweltschützer die sofortige Stilllegung des Atomkraftwerks Biblis. Auch alle anderen Atomanlagen in Deutschland müssten vom Netz, da anders eine sichere, umweltfreundliche und effiziente Energieversorgung in Deutschland nicht zu gewährleisten sei.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

Lost in a Bermuda Triangle of Injustice

Tom Engelhardt writes: "Abu Ghraib prison is the place where Saddam's functionaries tortured (and sometimes killed) many enemies of his regime, and where Bush's functionaries, as a series of notorious digital photos revealed, committed what the US press still likes to refer to as "prisoner abuse." Now, there are no prisoners to abuse and the prison itself is to be turned over to the Iraqi government, perhaps to become a museum, perhaps to remain a jail for another regime whose handling of prisoners is grim indeed."

UN Rights Envoys Condemn Bush Plan on Interrogation

United Nations human rights investigators said on Thursday that legislation proposed by President Bush for tough interrogations of foreign terrorism suspects would breach the Geneva Conventions. Washington's admission of secret detention centers abroad pointed to very serious human rights violations in relation to the hunt for alleged terrorists.

CIA Abductors of al-Masri Identified

The US intelligence agents involved in wrongly kidnapping a German citizen of Arab descent could soon face warrants for their arrest. Clues to their identity have turned up from Spanish authorities and German TV journalists.

The Power of Public Opinion

Patrick McElwee writes: "In the past few weeks, we've been reminded that public opinion can constrain the actions of government officials who seek to bring us into conflict with other nations. The Bush administration's attempt to pressure Congress into granting it immunity to abuse and torture detainees - not only in the future but also for acts committed over the last five years - has been slowed and may be halted."

It's Our Responsibility to Govern

Lower pay overseas is a straw man: America can afford a living wage

The Globalization Excuse

by Susan B. Hansen,

Howie Rich is the man behind the conservative scheme to undermine legitimate state laws

Monster Stomping The States

by Kristina Wilfore,

Maher Arar was tortured at the behest of our government, John McCain will allow it to happen again

Torture Exhibit A

by William Fisher,

Routine testing for HIV for all Americans aged 13-64

Peace - Anna

US Has Highest Infant Mortality Rate of All Industrialized Countries

When compared to nearly two dozen other industrialized countries, the US has the highest infant mortality rate and the lowest life expectancy for people who have reached the age of 60. The nation's youngest and oldest citizens are suffering the most from a fragmented, wasteful and in some cases, dangerous health care system.

A Stealth Campaign for Deep Cuts in Social Services

In the voting booth this fall, voters in states across the country will find ballot initiatives attempting to make deep cuts in social services.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Will the Next Election Be Hacked?

Fresh disasters at the polls - and new evidence from an industry insider - prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. reports.

We have done too many bad things in the world

An Interview With Howard Zinn

We have done too many bad things in the world. You know, if you look at the way we have used our armed forces throughout our history: first destroying the Indian communities of this continent and annihilating Indian tribes, then going into the Caribbean in the Spanish-American War.

Judge Orders More Gitmo Papers Unsealed

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Department of Defense to release documents detailing mistreatment or disciplinary action taken against detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other information sought by The Associated Press.,,-6094165,00.html

From Information Clearing House

CIA ‘refused to operate’ secret jails

The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantánamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities.

VT Cong Candidate Calls For Arrest of Bush and Cheney by U.S. Military

Former Army Lieutenant and a candidate for Congress in VT, Dennis Morrisseau of W. Pawlet, today called for the arrest of President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the American military "if necessary" to prevent an unauthorized attack upon the nation of Iran.


Vermont Congressional Candidate Calls For Arrest of Bush & Cheney by U.S. Military

Iran could cut West's oil supplies in event of war, warns American chief in Gulf

Iran could trigger a global terrorist campaign and choke the West's oil supplies in the event of war with America, the top US commander in the region has warned.

From Information Clearing House

US troops in Iraq are Tehran's 'hostages'

Three and a half years after the occupation began, the US military is no longer the real power in Iraq. As the chief of intelligence for the US Marine Corps revealed in a recent report, US troops have been unable to shake the hold that Sunni insurgents have on the vast western province of al-Anbar.

From Information Clearing House

Anti Occupation Forces Gain Alarming Support Among Iraq's Sunni Muslims

A confidential Pentagon assessment finds that an overwhelming majority of Iraq's Sunni Muslims support the insurgency that has been fighting against U.S. troops and the Iraqi government

Analysts say violence will continue to increase

Violence in Iraq will continue despite different reconciliation plans being proposed because insurgency and militia actions are a response to the US-led occupation.

From Information Clearing House

The Doomsday Code: Is This What Motivates U.S. Foreign Policy?

The people with powerful political friends in the White House, who are trying to bring about the end of the world. Julia Bard reports.

Channel 4 (UK) Video Documentary

The leaders of the End Time movement are rich, well-connected and very powerful. Though the USA constitution enshrines the separation of church and state End Timers are frequent visitors to the White House.

Click to view - Real Video and Windows Media.

Like Taking Candy From A Baby

By Manuel Valenzuela

Knowing the absolute ignorance, gullibility and lack of critical thinking of the American masses, those in power are able, once more, in what has become all too familiar throughout the annals of history, to skew the decision, mentality and vote of large segments of the population by simply reaching to the primitive instincts of human nature and manipulating emotions, psychology and the instinct of survival prevalent in every living organism.

Imperialism 101: The US Addiction to War, Mayhem and Madness

By Stephen Lendman

The US is now at a dangerous watershed moment struggling to save the tattered republic and our sacred constitutional rights. Unless we reverse the present course, our future may be the one Orwell foresaw when he wrote: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face....forever...." Like the totalitarian state of Oceania led by Big Brother in his best known book 1984, we're waging a permanent long war; no one is safe anymore.

On Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance

Audio and Transcript

“If you repeat it loudly enough it will become the truth” - MIT institute professor of linguistics and author Noam Chomsky speaks out on U.S. hegemony, controlling the domestic population through fear and the historical parallels of current U.S. foreign policy.

Is It Just Me, Or Are People Getting Meaner?

by Pastor Chuck Baldwin

Is it just me, or are people really getting meaner? It seems that much of what I hear and read these days indicates that people's actions and attitudes are increasingly rude, crude, and downright cantankerous. Has it always been this way? If it was, I don't remember it.....

What the White House Has Not Released about the Abramoff Secret Service Records

Halliburton Ambush in Iraq Caught on Video

The Torture Battle Royal

'The Best War Ever,' Exposes Failed Propaganda Efforts by the Bush Administration

Is it the PR, or the Policy?

The Deadly Hole in Global Security

UN Finds Baghdad Toll Far Higher Than Cited

Toxic Shock: How Western Rubbish is Destroying Africa

DNA Tests Prove Justice Has Failed

Secret Rumsfeld Meeting to Implement North American Union

by Byron Richards, CCN

Any North American Union will have military, political, economic, social, and healthcare strategies for implementation. The secret meeting held in Canada this past week brings to light just how seriously and quickly the Bush administration is moving on this issue. It also underscores the importance of a needed Congressional inquiry into the illegal collusion by the FDA and related agencies in Canada and Mexico known as the Trilateral Cooperation Charter.....

Reclaiming The Issues: "Keep George Out Of Jail"

Informant: NHNE

Why we are really in Iraq

Informant: Lew Rockwel

Permanent Bases and Permanent Prisons: Mini-Gulags, Hired Guns, Lobbyists, and a Reality Built on Fear

The Torturer-in-Chief and his rift with the military,,1877300,00.html

Informant: Lew Rockwell

The First Day or the Last

R mobils th nxt 2bacco?

This is brilliant. Well done to all of you who contributed to this and made it happen.

John E.

'2nd-stage contingency planning' underway for US strike on Iran

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

War Signals

Informant: Kev Hall


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