Freitag, 29. Dezember 2006

Third Time's the Harm

Steven Henderson served his country during two tours of duty as an Army sergeant in Afghanistan - repeatedly coming under enemy fire and seeing fellow soldiers maimed and US helicopters gunned down. The Chicago native is back home now, after being honorably discharged 20 months ago. He's married and is working toward a college degree - but the Army has called upon him again. A letter he received two weeks before Christmas orders him to fight in Iraq for a period "not to exceed 545 days."

A Failed Revolution

Paul Krugman writes: "Republicans didn't shrink the government. But they did degrade it. Baghdad and New Orleans are the arrival destinations of a movement based on deep contempt for governance."

Living in America's Fringe Economy

The fringe economy is hardly new. Pawnshops and informal high-interest lenders have been around forever. What we see today, however, is a fringe-economy sector that is growing fast, taking advantage of the ever-larger part of the US population whose economic lives are becoming less secure.

Deja Vu All Over Again: Haditha and My Lai

Charles E. Anderson writes: "The alleged war crimes committed at Haditha were not the misdeeds of defective warriors. Nor is it likely that they were committed by Marines suffering from 'personality disorders.' Their actions were the result of conditioning, on both the training field and the battlefield."

"Surge" Protectors

Greg Mitchell writes: "Inside reports suggest President Bush has already decided on sending many more troops to Iraq starting next month. Until now, the media has bought into his labeling of this as a mere 'surge.' But the media needs to call it by its proper name: 'escalation.'"

US Death Toll in Iraq Nears 3,000

The US military death toll in Iraq this month continued to rise. Officials reported Thursday that five more American service members had died. The latest deaths brought to 100 the number of service members killed in December, according to, an independent Web site that tracks military fatalities.

Härtere Sanktionsmaßnahmen beim Arbeitslosengeld II ab 1.1.07

Ab 1 Januar schneller Hartz IV Kürzung

Anstatt eine Weihnachtszulage zu genehmigen, erläutert die Bundesagentur für Arbeit in Nürnberg, dass bei sog. "Pflichtverletzungen" das Arbeitslosengeld II (ALG II) ab dem 1. Januar 2007 schneller als bisher gekürzt werden kann. Nach der zweiten "Plichtverletzung" kann der Hartz 4 Regelsatz schon um 60 Prozent gekürzt werden. Danach kann der ALG II Regelsatz sogar für 3 Monate ganz gestrichen werden, wenn man den "Anweisungen der ARGE" nicht folge leistet. Sogar die Heizkosten und Unterkunftskosten bleiben von dieser Neuerung nicht verschont. Lesen Sie weiter:

North American Union: Treason on the Installment Plan

Informant: Amy Sasser

From ufpj-news


WARNING: The End of America as we Know It is at Hand

by Greg Evensen

The Bush Administration has been pursuing a blending of Canada, America and Mexico into the “North American Union.” They have done it under the cover of governmental darkness. They have been running a race as to how fast they can manipulate our great nation into a “no going back” strategic position with these other two nations. The president and his cabal of sell-out White House/Congressional turncoats have intentionally kept the American people in a state of confusion (war on terror, etc.) so that organized resistance to this national sovereignty killing plan can not be formulated.......

'Blackpool Tower' mast to be lowered

Dec 29 2006

Chester Chronicle

A MOBILE phone giant is to lower Chester's highest mast by five metres after admitting a planning bungle.

T-Mobile's mast at Tile Farm, Guilden Sutton, was dubbed Blackpool Tower by angry residents when it was erected earlier this year.

A series of blunders further angered people in Littleton, who were not consulted when the proposal came before planners.

They later highlighted an error in drawings put before the Planning Board which showed the mast as 37.5m with the trees standing at 35m. City council measurements revealed the trees were 10m shorter leaving the mast towering over neighbouring houses.

This week, T-Mobile spokesman Richard Owens said: 'There was some genuine confusion over the tree height in the planning stage and we're happy to make a goodwill gesture on a one off basis.'

But he admitted the mast will still be visible to ensure continued coverage.

Mr Owens added: 'This doesn't entirely please everyone but is a deal which accommodates the resident's views without compromising coverage.'

Huw Morgan, of Tarvin Road, is in the process of discussing the compromise with other members of Littleton Mast Action Group.

He said: 'We're disappointed at this small reduction. Now we might push for an enquiry into how this mast came into being without the residents being advised.

'We may even continue our fight for it to be relocated.'

David Taylor, clerk of Littleton Parish Council, said: 'A great deal of pressure has been brought to bear on a number of levels on T-Mobile and we are all very pleased with this kind of result.'

City Councillor Brian Bailey said: 'I think this may be the first time a mobile company has agreed to reduce the height of its masts. We're now trying to settle the details with surveyors.'

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

What will it take to defeat terrorism?

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Political correctness gone mad

Hawaii Reporter
by Jim Kouri


Chalk up another victory for the terrorists' Fifth Column -- the Council on American-Islamic Relations. After much prodding and capitalizing on phony incidents of racial profiling, CAIR has achieved something few Americans have achieved -- they got airport security officials to back off. The Transportation Security Administration announced a new training program -- some may call it an indoctrination program -- that will be mandated for more than 45,000 security officers and supervisors. No, it's not training that'll be used to identify terrorists or protect airline passengers. This training program is being billed as 'Muslim Sensitivity Training'...

The war on political correctness

Frontiers of Freedom
by Joe Mariani


Many of the things that seem to be going wrong for America today can be traced to an excess of political correctness -- if, indeed, that's not a redundant phrase. When tempered by confidence in one's self and culture, the desire not to offend others comes out as simple politeness. But when it gets out of control, as it does among Liberals, it becomes a need to prevent oneself from giving any possible hint of offense, combined with a desire to 'make up' for any self-perceived racial or cultural advantage one may have, at any cost. Such desires can cause great harm to a person or a culture -- or even kill them...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

At least I know I'm free

by Wilton D. Alston


Listen, at some point we just have to wake up and smell the coffee. The number of times the Constitution -- the ostensible 'highest law in the land' -- has been violated this week is enough that the sons of liberty would have long since taken up arms. And yet, for most Americans, it's pretty much business as usual. (Heck, as a matter of fact, I just realized I'm missing a football game! Maybe this essay can wait.) From the most basic standpoint, it seems pretty clear that President Bush doesn't have a close personal relationship with the Constitution, but this view is shared by more than a few outside the Whitehouse...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Protesting mom Cindy Sheehan arrested at Bush ranch



Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan was arrested Thursday afternoon outside President Bush's ranch, according to a law enforcement official. Sheehan, who in the past has camped out for weeks in protest outside the ranch in Crawford, Texas, was arrested for blocking the road leading to the property, Texas Department of Public Safety's Tela Mange told CNN. Four others were also arrested after law enforcement officials asked the group to move and they refused, Mange said...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Cindy Sheehan to Ramp Up "Peace Surge" After Arrest Thursday

"Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan was arrested Thursday for blocking a road near President Bush's ranch. Sheehan said she plans to become more "confrontational" and that it's time to "ramp up" peace efforts with a "peace surge." The five protesters, including Dede Miller, Gerry Fonsecca, Carl Rising-Moore and Jeri Reed, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of obstructing a roadway. The group is expected to be bonded out of the McLennan County Jail today.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Rachel's News #887


LAND owner Simon Greenwood has defended the installation of phone masts on a radius of land he owns around Balcombe despite the disquiet of residents.

Mr Greenwood, who lives in London, owns the 3,000-acre Balcombe Estate, which includes forestry, arable and grazing land, numerous houses and farms.

The estate receives annual rent from phone operators for each mast on its land. Fees, as elsewhere, vary from site to site but conservative estimates put each in excess of £5,000 to £6,000 a year.

Altogether in Mid Sussex, planning permission has been given for 79 mobile phone masts since 1996. In cases such as Northlands Avenue in Haywards Heath hundreds of residents opposed a mast opposite a doctors' surgery and near to Northlands Wood School, but despite a concerted campaign a mast was finally approved by a planning inspector.

At a high point in Keysford Lane, Horsted Keynes, objectors won their battle as the site was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This week Balcombe Parish Council chairman Graham Gosney and district councillor Gary Marsh took the unprecedented step of writing to Mr Greenwood, who is a parish councillor himself, to appeal to him to withdraw his support for a mast on a particularly controversial site.

For the full story see this week's Mid Sussex Times.

29 December 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

Squeamish consumers may balk as FDA backs cloned meat, milk

FDA Set to OK Food From Cloned Animals

The government has decided that food from cloned animals is safe to eat and does not require special labeling.


Cloned milk and meat expected to go on sale in months after winning US approval

Food won't be labelled as cloned
UK must decide if it will follow suit

Tim Reid in Washington and Nigel Hawkes,,3-2522437,00.html

Find the best food in season

The sale of milk and meat from cloned animals moved a step closer yesterday after the US Government ruled that the products were safe to eat and could be sold in supermarkets without labelling.

The landmark draft decision, taken by the US Food and Drugs Administration, was condemned by consumer groups and food safety experts, who gave warning of the implications for food consumption throughout the world.

FDA officials said that they saw little problem with the controversial technology, which could result in cloned food being sold in the US within months without any labels identifying its origins. They added that cloned food products, if approved, could also be exported.

Authorities in Britain have yet to address the issue of the sale of food from cloned animals, including those approved by the US — cattle, pigs and goats. However, precedents set by the FDA are often followed by UK and European authorities. The Food Standards Agency said last night that it had not received an applications for the marketing of food products from cloned animals in the United Kingdom.

The move would have to be approved by the European Union before such products could be introduced, even if they were only being imported from the US. The UK’s Advisory Committee for Novel Foods would also be consulted.

The FDA, which overseas food safety for the US Government, determined after a five-year review that food from cloned livestock was as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals. The decision was all the more controversial because the agency declared that special labels were not needed to alert shoppers to its origin.

Decrying the ruling, consumer groups gave warning that cloned food would enter the food chain untested on humans, and from a field of science in which cloned animals are often born sick or with severe abnormalities. “Consumers are going to be having a product that has potential safety issues and a whole load of ethical issues tied to it, without any labelling,” said Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Washington-based Centre for Food Safety.

Some US consumer groups maintain that surrogate mothers, in which the cloned animals are grown, are treated with high levels of hormones. They claim that clones are often born with severely compromised immune systems and receive massive doses of antibiotics, opening the way for large quantities of pharmaceuticals to enter the food supply.

The US National Academy of Sciences also warned recently that the commercialisation of cloned livestock for food production could increase the incidence of food-borne illness, such as E-coli infections.

Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat senator from Maryland, wrote in an open letter to the FDA: “Just because a scientist can manufacture food in the laboratory, should Americans be required to eat it?” Experts say it would probably take years for sales of cloned food to begin in earnest, because the technology’s high cost makes it prohibitive for most farmers. It costs about $15,000 (£7,500) to clone one dairy cow. But already several hundred cattle among America’s nine million have been cloned.

The FDA pointed out that many consumers confuse cloning with genetic modification. To produce a clone, the nucleus of a donor egg is removed and replaced with the DNA of a cow or other animal. A tiny electric shock coaxes the egg to grow into a copy of the original animal. Supporters of the technology say that it will be used primarily for breeding good milk and meat producers, and that produce will most likely be drawn from offspring, rather than the cloned animal.

The FDA said yesterday that meat and milk from clones was as safe to consume as products derived from naturally raised animals. Within six to eighteen months, cloned animals were “virtually indistinguishable” from conventionally-bred livestock, it said. “Meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day,” said Stephen F. Sundlof, the director of the FDA Centre for Veterinary Medicine.

Final approval for lifting the current ban on cloned food could come early next year. The agency will accept comments from the public for the next three months before announcing a final decision.

The Consumer Federation of America said that it would run a publicity campaign to ask food companies and supermarkets to refuse to sell cloned food. Polls show already that most Americans do not favour eating such a product, and many food companies are skittish about selling cloned food.

Opponents also maintain that cloning results in high failure rates and distress for the cloned animals. The Centre for Food Safety points to the example of Greg Wiles, whose Maryland farm was the first to have cloned cows. He says he told the FDA that one of his cloned cows was having terrible health problems, but was ignored.

Making Your Voice Heard at FDA: How to Comment on Proposed Regulations and Submit Petitions

However, I couldn't find a comment link regarding milk and beef from cloned animals.


P06-215 December 28, 2006

Media Inquiries: Michael Herndon, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Issues Draft Documents on the Safety of Animal Clones Agency Continues to Ask Producers and Breeders Not to Introduce Food from Clones into Food Supply

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued three documents on the safety of animal cloning -- a draft risk assessment; a proposed risk management plan; and a draft guidance for industry. Draft risk assessment

The draft risk assessment finds that meat and milk from clones of adult cattle, pigs and goats, and their offspring, are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals. The assessment was peer-reviewed by a group of independent scientific experts in cloning and animal health. They agreed with the methods FDA used to evaluate the data and the conclusions set out in the document.

The draft risk assessment presents an overview of assisted reproductive methods widely used in animal agriculture, the extensive scientific information available on animal health and food consumption risks, and draws science-based conclusions. These conclusions agree with those of the National Academies of Sciences, released in a 2002 report. Due to limited data on sheep clones, in the draft guidance FDA recommends that sheep clones not be used for human food.

"Based on FDA's analysis of hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and other studies on the health and food composition of clones and their offspring, the draft risk assessment has determined that meat and milk from clones and their offspring are as safe as food we eat every day," said Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "Cloning poses no unique risks to animal health when compared to other assisted reproductive technologies currently in use in U.S. agriculture."

An animal clone is a genetic copy of a donor animal, similar to identical twins but born at different times. Cloning is not the same as genetic engineering, which involves altering, adding or deleting DNA; cloning does not change the gene sequence. Proposed risk management plan

The proposed risk management plan addresses risks to animal health and potential remaining uncertainties associated with feed and food from animal clones and their offspring.

The proposed plan outlines measures that FDA might take to address the risks that cloning poses to animals involved in the cloning process. These risks all have been observed in other assisted reproductive technologies currently in use in common agricultural practices.

One such measure could be that the agency would work with scientific and professional societies with expertise in animal health and reproduction to develop a set of care standards for animals involved in the cloning process. Although the agency does not have authority to address the ethics of animal cloning, the proposed risk management plan does state that FDA plans to continue to provide scientific expertise to interested parties working on these issues.

"Because the release of the draft risk assessment and proposed risk management plan marks the beginning of our interaction with the public on these issues, we are continuing to ask producers of clones and livestock breeders to voluntarily refrain from introducing food products from these animals into commerce so that we will have the opportunity to consider the public's comments and to issue any final documents as warranted," said Sundlof.

Draft guidance for industry

The draft guidance for industry addresses the use of food and feed products derived from clones and their offspring. The guidance is directed at clone producers, livestock breeders, and farmers and ranchers purchasing clones. It provides the agency's current thinking on use of clones and their offspring in human food or animal feed.

In the draft guidance, FDA does not recommend any special measures relating to human food use of offspring of clones of any species. Because of their cost and rarity, clones will be used as are any other elite breeding stock -- to pass on naturally-occurring, desirable traits such as disease resistance and higher quality meat to production herds. Because clones will be used primarily for breeding, almost all of the food that comes from the cloning process is expected to be from sexually-reproduced offspring and descendents of clones, and not the clones themselves.

FDA is seeking comments from the public on the three documents for the next 90 days.

To submit electronic comments on the three documents, visit

Written comments may be sent to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD, 20852.

Comments must be received by Apr. 2, 2007 and should include the docket number 2003N-0573.

For more information, visit

Submit Comments

Squeamish consumers may balk as FDA backs cloned meat, milk.

The FDA declared meat and milk from cloned animals safe to eat, though industry concerns about consumer reactions make their sale unlikely anytime soon.

Wall Street Journal. 29 December 2006.

Consistent with its stance as representative of patent-investors, the FDA's preliminary decree is reported to state that milk and beef from cloned animals will not have to be labeled as such!

- - - -

Feasting on clone lies far in future

Experts say it's too expensive, customers not ready for change

By BEN van der MEER
December 29, 2006

Informant: binstock

A Detainee's Revelations

British citizen Moazzam Begg, who spent three years in captivity at American detention facilities in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, gives NOW a rarely seen intimate view of a detainee's life inside the prisons of the "war on terror."

Former Bush Interior Secretary Takes Job as Attorney for Shell

Months after she resigned her cabinet post as President Bush's interior secretary, Gale Norton is back as a key legal advisor for Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

Many Soldiers Call Troop Surge a Bad Idea

Many of the American soldiers trying to quell sectarian killings in Baghdad don't appear to be looking for reinforcements. They say the temporary surge in troop levels some people are calling for is a bad idea.

Ex-Maine Lawmaker Plans Anti-War Offensive

Tom Andrews, the former Maine congressman who used his position as national director of Win Without War to argue against invading Iraq, is now urging the Democratically controlled Congress to bring the troops home.

Sklavenarbeit - Slavery in the UK

Wenn die Menschen dann das Hopping über die wachsende Zahl europäischer Inselfestungen überlebt haben - wird ihre Arbeitskraft konsequent "vernutzt". Wie auch die Kräfte jener, die "gerufen" wurden. Hausangestellte in Tonyland sollen künftig - gut sozialdemokratisch - an den Arbeitgeber gebunden werden - heisst, wer kündigt, fliegt "heim", auch sehr unfreiwillig. Denn, wer nicht (willig) arbeitet, soll auch nicht... Eine gar nicht seltene Facette der modernen Arbeitswelt der Marktwirtschaft beleuchtet der redaktionelle (englische) Artikel "Slavery in the UK" vom 27. Dezember 2006 im "The Independent":

Aus: LabourNet, 29. Dezember 2006


Moderne Sklavenarbeit in der europäischen Landwirtschaft - Illegalität und Ausbeutung

Artikel von Sissel Brodal, exklusiv im LabourNet Germany (pdf),

erschienen in WIDERSPRUCH – Beiträge zu sozialistischer Politik – Nr. 51: Migration, Integration und Menschenrechte. Siehe zu dieser Widerspruch-Ausgabe auch Inhaltsverzeichnis und Editorial und die Verlagshomepage

Aus: LabourNet, 18. Januar 2007

The meaning of the UNSC Iran vote: were Russia and China given private assurances by Bush?

Informant: Carol Moore in DC

From ufpj-news

Aktion "Zitat des Jahres 2006": 7. Dezember 2006 - Papst Benedikt XVI

Was er wohl gemeint hat?

Guten Rutsch

Helmut Breunig


Papst Benedikt XVI: "Es gibt eine Schwerhörigkeit Gott gegenüber, an der wir gerade in dieser Zeit leiden. Wir können ihn einfach nicht mehr hören - zu viele andere Frequenzen haben wir im Ohr."


Wir sind nicht gegen Handys? Anregungen zum Umdenken

Recruiting Lies vs Military Reality: Health Issues & Redress

US Fighting Strength ToBe 1/3 Robotic By 2015

By Steve Christ

For generations of science fiction writers the idea of robotic hordes ruling the battlefield has been fertile ground for their active imaginations. From "Star Wars" to "The Terminator", the rise of these machines has been the fodder for some great entertainment. But while these extraordinary machines have captured our imagination in both film and print, the reality of battlefield robots is being played out on battlefields all over the globe.

More R2D2 than C3PO, today's military robots are playing life saving roles in both Afghanistan and Iraq. They fulfill missions either too dangerous or impossible for humans to perform themselves. In the process they not only give U.S. troops the tactical advantage but also save precious lives.

In fact, the contributions of military robots have become so important to the forces in the field that the machines are quickly becoming as commonplace and accepted as the rifle itself.

And it is a tactical trend whose weight in value continues to soar. So much so that by 2015 the U.S. Department of Defense has projected that a full 1/3 of its future fighting force will be made up entirely of robots.

It's all part of $127 billion project, known as Future Combat Systems that is being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), whose mission is to ensure that the U.S forces maintain their technological superiority. It is a transformation that is one of the largest technology missions ever undertaken in American history.

*** Rumsfeld's Going Away Gift . . . a $214 Million Order for America's New Ultimate Combat Vehicle This new armored vehicle eats IEDs for lunch. In fact, not a single American soldier in Iraq has ever been killed while inside these bomb-busters. The Pentagon is buying so many, the company's stock is up 1,011% for the year. But the gains are just getting started.

Here's my personal 100% satisfaction guarantee to you. If this stock doesn't gain at least 50% in the next 12 months, you can ask for a complete refund on your subscription. But while the exploits of the many unmanned aerial drones are now part of the common understanding, it is the ground variants of these machines that are paying dividends to the boots on the ground today. Led by robots such as the TALON, produced by Foster Miller, and various smaller robots made by iRobot (IRBT:NASDAQ), these new machines are hard at work protecting the troops from their enemies.

The TALON, in fact, played a large role in the now famous battle of Tora Bora. These heavily armed mini-tanks were sent into the areas where humans feared to tread, dispatching Al-Qaida fighters and searching for the Bin Laden himself. And while these machines never did find our elusive arch enemy, they did prove themselves to be an effective alternative to putting troops at risk.

Today these same types of machines are also being put to use in Iraq. Along with the TALON, smaller variants of these robots have proven themselves time and time again. Among them are the man-portable iRobot Packbot Tactical EOD Mobile Robot designed to eliminate the dangerous improvised explosive devices that have been so harmful to our troops in Iraq.

Developed by the same company that produces the famous Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, about 300 of these Packbots have been deployed in Iraq. Since then they have been involved thousands of Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) missions.

These rugged track wheeled devices are controlled by users on the ground using the same type of joystick controls that are commonplace among video gamers. Working form the safety of a vehicle soldiers use a monitor to guide the robot to the weapon and are able to disable it without having to go to the extreme of sending in a man with a clunky bomb suit.

The bottom line for these robotic exploits is saved American lives. As a Navy chief said commenting on a Packbot destroyed in the line of duty, "When a robot dies you don't have to write a letter to its mother."

Other robots produced by the company include the PackBot Scout and the Packbot Explorer, which allow soldiers to perform reconnaissance and surveillance missions from safe positions.


Informant: Neo Mulder

A people's group actively working for environment in central India

A number of risks and practices are threatening forests, wildlife, wetlands and the environment. Crew (Crusade for Revival of Environment and Wildlife) works hard at preventing them. CREW has continued to campaign for the protection of environment, biodiversity, wildlife, forest cover, endangered species and wetlands. CREW has decided to use the visual media and would be releasing b-rolls in digital broadcast quality format on crucial environment related issues to different sections of the media for direct relay and wider dissemination of knowledge and information relating to natural environment and factors threatening environmental balance. The Crew website focuses attention on issues like:

--Disintegration of natural habitats and the remaining forest corridors due to rapid development and human pressure.

--Pollution due to the reckless dumping and disposal of waste and the destruction of the ecosystem and the threat to aquatic and avian species.

--Destruction of natural habitats because of unlawful mining, logging of timber, grazing, man-made forest fires, large-scale commercial exploitation of minor forest produce, use of chemical pesticides, and fishing practices.

Informant: lalitshastri

Alaska's Wolves Need YOUR Help

From November 2005 to May 2006, more than 150 Alaskan wolves were killed in the brutal practice of aerial gunning. Now the Alaska Board of Game is gearing up for another winter of aerial gunning. With your help, we can stop them! Take action now to help save the wolves -- Sign our petition to urge the Bush Administration to put an end to aerial gunning in Alaska. Easy targets against fallen snow, wolves are gunned down from airplanes or chased to exhaustion, then shot at point blank range. State-licensed marksmen can target entire packs -- even pregnant mothers! Aerial gunners have killed more than 550 wolves over the past three winters. Worse, hundreds more wolves could be killed under “management” plans approved by the Alaska Board of Game in May 2006. That’s not wolf management. It’s a wolf massacre. Tell the Bush Administration to enforce the Federal Airborne Hunting Act, the federal law that could put an end to the killing. Wolves help the overall health of natural ecosystems. They help keep Alaska's moose and caribou populations healthy and strong. Wolves are also important to Alaska's billion-dollar tourism industry. Yet the state continues to allow aerial gunning. In fact, the Board of Game’s new proposals would expand the areas where aerial gunning is permitted, allow gunners on snow machines to harass and kill wolves and expand aerial gunning of bears. Please sign our petition right now and help us end aerial gunning in Alaska. Our wolves are a crucial part of the natural heritage that we’ll leave our children and grandchildren, and we have a real chance to end this terrible practice.

Informant: Scott Munson

Satellite images unlocks extent of logging

Snapshot of the view of logging in Tasmania.
Photo: Google Earth

Asher Moses December 13, 2006 - 12:32PM

Australian anti-logging groups are using Google Earth to show the impact of forest clearing.

At least two groups - the Tasmanian arm of The Wilderness Society and the Victorian Rainforest Network (VRN) - have created Google Earth "overlays", which can be downloaded from their websites.

An overlay adds a layer on top of the basic Google Earth satellite map, and can be used in this case to add specific information about logging campaigns beside the relevant geographical area.

The Wilderness Society's overlay provides details on Forestry Tasmania's logging plans for the coming year based on information publicly available on its website, says Vica Bayley, a forest campaigner with The Wilderness Society.

These details include the outline of logging zones, as well as pop-up text boxes that provide further information and images on individual logging areas.

Mr Bayley said Google Earth allowed the group to more effectively convey the impact of logging, which had been difficult to do previously as many Tasmanian forest areas were closed off to the public.

"For those people who don't go out to the forest a lot, it basically unlocks the gates," he said.

"Many of these areas are hidden in more remote catchments where people can't get in, can't get a look, and can't see for themselves what's going on."

Paul Oosting, a spokesman for The Wilderness Society, added in a statement: "These images highlight the close proximity of logging operations to the Tasmanian wilderness World Heritage area."

While The Wilderness Society has a national presence, its Google Earth campaign is limited to Tasmania.

This is because other states "don't have a government department, such as our Forestry Tasmania, that produces maps and plans of exactly what they're going to clear", Mr Bayley said.

He said logging in NSW was "not as forwardly planned as it is here in Tasmania", so there wasn't sufficient data available for a NSW overlay.

In Queensland, it was mainly "rogue landowners that are clearing", which also meant data on proposed logging plans was sparse.

But the VRN has managed to acquire sufficient information for a Victorian overlay, and provides similar information to the Tasmanian version, including past and future logging plans, and how close these are to national parks and water catchments.

Environmental groups say logging causes habitat loss, water degradation and climate change.

"Logging is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases and climate change in Tasmania - more than the entire transport sector," Mr Bayley said.

"Not only are you destroying huge and globally important carbon sinks [the trees], but you're actually releasing vast, vast amounts of that stored carbon back into the atmosphere through huge forestry burns in autumn, [and] through broad-scale woodchipping."

-- Tim Hermach
Native Forest Council
PO Box 2190 Eugene, OR 97402
541.461.2156 fax
web page:

Informant: Scott Munson

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