Freitag, 12. Oktober 2007

Illegal Government Surveillance Opens Door to More Privacy Violations


US Torture Tactics Shame Us All

Rumsfeld Debate Heats Up At Stanford

US Income Gap Widens, Richest Share Hits Record

We stand by you

We stand by you

Erklärung: "We stand by you" in deutscher Fassung



Aide to GOP House Rep. Lewis Subpoenaed

Erica Werner, reporting for The Associated Press, writes, "A House aide has been subpoenaed by a grand jury in Los Angeles investigating ties between a lobbyist and Rep. Jerry Lewis, the top Republican on the powerful House Appropriations Committee."

Bush Administration Will Oppose Environmental Ruling

Juliet Eilperin, reporting for The Washington Post, reports, "Although the Environmental Protection Agency joined in a legal settlement this week to force the largest power-plant pollution cleanup in US history, the Bush administration signaled in the agreement that it has no intention of taking enforcement actions against the utility for the same kind of Clean Air Act violations in the future."

Burma's Struggle: The Avowed Against the "Atheists"

Cynthia Boaz, writing for Truthout, says: "Not the generals, but the people who make up what appears to be a mass nonviolent movement which has formed in one of the most closed, repressive societies in the world. That such a movement exists at all should cause the military regime to shudder. But the fact that people seem determined to continue the resistance despite the ongoing crackdown suggests that the effectiveness of regime violence is limited and has begun to be counterproductive."

Send a message to the DCCC 15 targets demanding they vote to override the Presidents veto


With the children's health insurance override vote set for next week, the progressive blogosphere is fired up's+Health+Insurance+Program

Zur Verhandlung über die Online-Durchsuchung in Nordrhein-Westfalen

Won’t Back Down

Informant: Cal


American Tears

UN Report on Iraq Details an "Ever-Deepening" Crisis

Joshua Partlow and Colum Lynch report for The Washington Post: "A UN report issued Thursday outlined an 'ever-deepening humanitarian crisis' in Iraq, with thousands of people driven from their homes each month, ongoing indiscriminate killings and 'routine torture' in Iraqi prisons."

Judge Suspends Key Bush Effort in Immigration

Julia Preston writes for The New York Times: "A federal judge in San Francisco ordered an indefinite delay yesterday of a central measure of the Bush administration's new strategy to curb illegal immigration. The judge, Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California, said the government had failed to follow proper procedures for issuing a new rule that would have forced employers to fire workers if their Social Security numbers could not be verified within three months."

CIA Chief Orders Investigation of Inspector General

Greg Miller reports for The Los Angeles Times, "CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has mounted a highly unusual challenge to the agency's chief watchdog, ordering an internal investigation of an inspector general who has issued a series of scathing reports sharply critical of top CIA officials, according to government officials familiar with the matter."

Despite Supplemental Postponement, More Funds Poured Into War Coffers

Truthout's Maya Schenwar reports: "In the months leading up to the anticipated winter vote on the 2008 war supplemental spending bill, activists and progressive Congress members are pushing hard to cut off funding and begin an immediate troop withdrawal. However, despite the much-celebrated postponement of the supplemental vote and legislators' promises to stop unconditionally financing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, new funds continue to flow into the war budget every day."

Warming climate shrinking Glacier Park's glaciers

Informant: Teresa Binstock

Das Verschwinden der Kindheit

Die deutsche Illustrierte "Stern" Nr. 39 vom 20.9.07 hat die markanten Veränderungen im Leben der heutigen Kindergeneration in Wort und Bild sehr ausführlich von verschiedenen Seiten beleuchtet. Der Beitrag ist sehr lesenswert...

Das Gequatsche über den Wolken

Es ist ein Zeichen von Unkultur, dauernd und überall erreichbar zu sein. Hat man ein Handy gehört man dem Handy es hat einen sozusagen in der Hand. "Ohne Handy sind Sie nackt", wirbt ein Hersteller. Das stimmt höchstens insofern...

Surge protectors

The American Conservative
by Philip Weiss


Late this summer, just as American political armies were squaring off over the next, and likely last, act of President Bush’s Iraq War policy, a new pro-war group called Freedom’s Watch announced a $15-million ad buy over several months in key states. The first ads featured soldiers who had been maimed in Iraq but stood by the cause of a global war on terror. Political observers said they were targeted at the districts of Republican congressmen who were going wobbly on the war. The rollout was not auspicious. Ari Fleischer, a board member of Freedom’s Watch and the former White House spokesman, stumbled on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’ when Mike Barnicle screened one of the ads and asked, ‘What’s that soldier’s name?’ ‘I don’t have that soldier’s name in front of me,’ Fleischer said. (His name is John Kriesel, and he lost both legs in Fallujah last year). The fact that Fleischer and another member of the group’s board had worked in the Bush White House seemed to support the view that that the group was an administration front...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

White House video leak is tip of insecurity iceberg

Nolan Chart
by Walt Thiessen


Independent reports by the AP and the Washington Post say that SITE Institute director Rita Katz has accused the Bush Administration of leaking advance information regarding the recently released video by Osama bin Laden. Such actions undermine the efforts of intelligence institutes like hers which perform valuable services to our country in the struggle to detect and apprehend Al Qaedda’s leadership. But it isn’t just an isolated blunder. It is the tip of a huge insecurity iceberg that not only plagues the Bush administration but also threatens the liberties and best interests of the American people...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The failed legacy of interventionism

by Jacob Hornberger


The New Hampshire Union Leader recently attacked Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s noninterventionist foreign-policy views, making the standard pro-empire, pro-intervention arguments that have come to characterize the conservative movement. The paper implied that the United States should continue meddling and intervening all over the world. … ‘By their fruits you will know them.’ Herein lies the legacy of almost a century of empire and interventionism: death, chaos, mayhem, and terrorism, not to mention out-of-control federal spending that is leading to severe monetary crisis...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The silenced majority

The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson


We are condemned, the smart guys tell us, to stay in Iraq. None of the three leading Democratic presidential candidates will pledge to remove all U.S. forces by 2013. In the think-tankocracy of Washington, defense intellectuals of both parties argue that pulling up stakes is not an option. ‘Some of the people mentioned as possible defense secretaries under a Democratic White House,’ the Post’s Thomas E. Ricks reported last month, ‘offer a vision of a U.S. presence in Iraq that does not differ markedly from that of the Bush administration.’ … Everyone’s on board except the American people, but what do they matter?

Pre-empt preventive war

The Nation
by staff


This week marks the fifth anniversary of Congress’s vote to authorize the overthrow of the government of Iraq by military force. The consequences of that vote have been disastrous. More than 3,800 US soldiers and 70,000 Iraqi civilians have paid with their lives. If Congress passes Bush’s recent request for additional war funding, which appears likely, the cost of the war will exceed $600 billion. These are among the more measurable tolls of the Iraq War, and they are immense and unforgivable. When Congress approved the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq, however, it did more than permit an illegal and unjustified attack on Iraq; it enshrined the Bush doctrine of ‘preventive war’ and intensified a potentially unending ‘war on terror’...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Huckabee horror

by Justin Raimondo


What killed the Republican party’s long-lost love of liberty, its realism and prudence in the field of foreign affairs — think of Robert A Taft, or, better yet, Rep. Howard Buffett (yes, father to that other Howard Buffett) — is the cancer of militarism, and the baneful influence of the very military-industrial complex President Dwight Eisenhower warned us against. To hear Huckabee’s contempt — there is no other word for it — for the constitutional order, and his apparent indifference to the war-weariness of the American people, was shocking: this guy, after all, is supposed to be a moderate, of sorts, and yet here he is up-ending every law and tradition designed to limit the abuse of power. From the perspective of those concerned with preserving what’s left of our old republic, as well as preventing the next war, the team of Giuliani-Huckabee is the worst of all possible eventualities. Yet that is what we may very well get from the GOP...

American lockdown

Speaking Truth to Power
by Carolyn Baker


In my recent article ‘The End Of America: The Police State Is Right Here, Right Now’ I included experiences of escalating intimidation on the part of law enforcement in the United States within recent months. I must confess that when I cite such incidents, I fear that in a few days or weeks, it will all go away, and everyone else, myself included, will begin to question the validity of the examples, breathing a heavy sigh of relief and rejoicing that the situation isn’t nearly as dire as I’m asserting it is. This time, however, I have nothing to fear because since that article was posted, the ante of out-of-control law enforcement in America appears to have been upped with a rapidity that I could not have imagined just a few weeks ago...

Gore, IPCC win Nobel Peace Prize

Financial Times [UK]


Al Gore, former US vice president, and the UN climate panel won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for raising awareness of the risks of climate change. The Norwegian Nobel Committee chose Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to share the $1.5m prize from a field of 181 candidates...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Gore and UN Panel Win Nobel Peace Prize

The Associated Press reports, "Former Vice President Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it."


Nobel Peace Laureate 2007: Al Gore

2003 Speech to



Informant: Mari

Iraq: Nine children dead in US raid

Biloxi Sun Herald


A U.S. attack killed 19 insurgents and 15 civilians, including nine children, northwest of the capital Thursday — one of the heaviest civilian death tolls in an American operation in recent months. The military said it was targeting senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq. American forces have applied fierce and determined pressure on militants, especially al-Qaida in Iraq, since the full contingent of additional U.S. troops arrived June 15...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Pain of Caring Too Much about the Earth's Death

Earth Meanders, A series of personal Earth essays by Dr. Glen Barry (~2/month) October 11, 2007

I am unwilling and unable to sit by stoically and impassively as the Earth, her creatures and humanity suffer and die; no matter how much it hurts emotionally, and you should not either.

The Earth is dying and it makes me feel sad. Not just a bit tense or melancholy; but deeply and profoundly anguished, depressed, and angry. Humanity had so much potential that has been wasted. Our self consciousness, opposable thumbs, upright walking and ability for limited rationality has lead to great triumphs in philosophy, art, sport and leisure. But alas other aspects of our animalistic nature; libido, insatiable appetite, and desire to dominate, have won out.

This week a leading scientist reported what many of us already knew and intuited: that climate change has already surpassed critical thresholds that ensure it will be dangerous and deadly. Increasingly humanity is called upon to come to terms with the fact that our habitat and societies are almost certainly going to fail. I believe that seeing clearly the Earth’s looming demise accounts for much of my and others' emotional pain.

We are witnessing a political, social, economic and ecological failure of unprecedented magnitude as the Earth is poised upon global ecological collapse. It is unsettling to know that your species is not going to make it. I believe strongly that we must continue our efforts to halt ecological collapse, by urgently pursuing policies such as ending the use of coal and ancient forest logging. And we must prepare our families and communities to pursue self-reliance, as we return to the land for a final stand.

Yet, how does one continue living and working with the certain knowledge that a time of extreme suffering, death, and the possible end of being is at hand?

I am suffering. I am told this means I am alive. But this is gut-wrenchingly intense. Anguish that makes you question where you are going, where you are and where you have been; feeling as if your brain is exploding, your skin drying up and falling off. Unable to think clearly or maintain relationships as you continually ponder creation is nearing an end, it could be avoided, and few care.

To be a bright green political ecologist is to feel emotional pain from cut land, trashed oceans, toxic waters and a disintegrating atmosphere. Thinking about ecological crises full-time for 20 years has made my psyche tawdry and torn. Sure I have a useful insight or campaign success now and again, but does it really matter? These achievements have been made at such expense to my personal well-being that I am beginning to wonder whether it has been, and is, worth it.

And then I remember what is at stake. Climate change is not about on average being 2C warmer. It is about whole countries and regions not having food and water, about an end to ecosystems and agriculture, about enormous and continuous floods and droughts, and so much more. Climate change is about death, destruction and mayhem for billions, maybe for all.

One can reasonably disagree upon tax rates and numerous other contemporary issues. But how can one willfully not engage with the remarkably well documented issue of looming planetary death? There are not two sides to the climate change "debate". One is in denial, the other experiencing truthful, immobilizing pain.

Maybe the movement would be better off without my apocalyptic truth-telling. Perhaps if I stopped; my wrenching, exhausting nightmares would end. Does doom and gloom -- even if 100% truthful -- stymie or inspire adequate responses? How does one know the Earth and humanity are close to self-immolation and still make small talk and maintain personal relations with those that are willingly ignorant on the topic?

Yes, I am wound up tight and right at the breaking point. And my ego is bruised after being so naïve as to think that a well informed, intentioned and motivated person could make any real difference in the situation. I am nearing exhaustion after giving all I have in 100+ hour work weeks to help save the Earth; prepare my house, land and family for an imminent ecological and social collapse; while having to deal with ridicule and abandonment for seeing so clearly what the future holds. Why do it? Why not just live for the moment and damn the Earth and humanity's future?

It is because the strongest biological instinct is a species' sense of self-protection and desire for our children to carry on after us. Humans are animals. Those trained to be touch with the very earliest hominid impulses must protect all the life with who we share the Earth, because we understand their existence provides habitat that makes our existence possible, and because they have an inherent right to be as well. Instead of saber tooth tigers, we need to protect ourselves from an economy run-amok, collapsing ecosystems and the mayhem this will release.

Any thinking, caring person must now be in great pain as they are born into and live within the epic end of human and Earthly history. It is a burden to be an aware, thinking person -- noticing the change in seasonality, declining birds and wildlife, and knowing there is no reason to rejoice that temperatures in Wisconsin were recently 30 degrees above normal. And it is excruciatingly difficult to take action upon this truthful knowledge.

How few are able to overcome their conditioning as children to identify, witness to, and act upon the truths that economic growth, human populations and their combined consumption are a cancer upon the Earth; that Gaia, that gives us life and is thus godlike, is dying; and that all of us -- rich and poor, black and white, educated and ignorant are all careening towards a painful, long drawn out death for ourselves, families, communities, sister species and shared Earth.

Maybe it all comes down to a fear of death. Consciously I do not give it much thought, but who does not worry about their mortality? I have had readers express that ecological collapse, akin to all life dying at once, is more desirable than making necessary personal and societal changes necessary to save creation. Many have allowed religion and capitalist dogma to overwrite their biological instinct to live in a manner that perpetuates their species.

We had our chance to reform industrial technological society over the past 30 years, and now it is irredeemable. There is still hope that industrial society will collapse, and the necessity of right sizing human endeavors realized, prior to the biosphere becoming non-functional and unable to recover, and human death numbering in billions. There is still hope that groups of enlightened Earth lovers will ride out the collapse and reconstitute humanity living within nature. But there is no longer hope that it will be achieved easily, painlessly and without profound conflict and turmoil.

The path to global ecological sustainability exists: fewer babies, less consumption, ending practices like the use of coal and ancient forest logging. To see it clearly, yet know that ignorance and denial hide it to most, is utterly devastating. Yet I refuse to give up. The stakes are too important. It is in my genes and encoded instinct to fight to protect my species, habitat and planet; even if it is tough and causes me to feel emotional pain. Bold ideas that would solve the climate and ecological crises are out there, but people are unwilling to change. They must be compelled to do so.

And this is the core of my sadness -- this beautiful magnificent Earth and all its bright and brilliant creatures including human good works are going to needlessly end because of greed, vanity and intransigence. I may not be a particularly good person -- like most, with many flaws -- but I feel fully and strongly; yearn for truth, knowledge, and justice; and constantly try to better myself and my world.

I think you should allow yourself to feel the Earth's pain strongly as well, and use it as motivation for personal and planetary healing. Yet make sure that after you feel the pain, you move on, for your and Gaia's benefit. Maybe writing this essay will help me do so too.

Dr. Barry is founder and President of Ecological Internet; provider of the largest, most used environmental portals on the Internet including the Climate Ark at and http://www.EcoEarth.Info/ . Earth Meanders is a series of ecological essays that are written entirely in his personal capacity. This essay may be reprinted granted it is properly credited to Dr. Barry and with a link to Earth Meanders. Emailed responses are public record and will be posted on the web site unless otherwise requested.

What’s Really in Your Food?

Greenpeace Tracks Whales As Japan Prepares to Hunt

Michael Perry of Reuters reports: "Environmental group Greenpeace is satellite tracking 19 humpback whales as they travel from the South Pacific back to Antarctic waters this whaling season, to prove Japan does not need to kill whales to study them."

Waiting for the Energy

Truthout's Environmental Editor Kelpie Wilson writes: "Conventional wisdom among environmentalists today says it would be unwise to pass a major climate change bill too soon. As long as the Bush veto looms and Republicans retain the filibuster club in the Senate, any climate change bill that passes through that birth canal is likely to be a stunted, shriveled thing. Better to wait until a strong bill can be passed than to establish a weak policy now."

No Immunity for Telco Spying

New VNR Catches Prove the Fake TV News Problem Continues

Five Years On…

It Takes A Village to Start World War III

Credit card debt is ready to blow

After every financial crisis over the past 10 years, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates and pumped money into the economy. Each rescue solved the problem - and created a new one.,0,987590.column

Americans charge it as Bank of Subprime closes

The automated teller for home loans is empty and Americans are relying increasingly on credit cards to pay their living costs, indicating tough hurdles ahead for U.S. consumer spending and markets.

From Information Clearing House

Foreclosure Filings Nearly Double

Foreclosure filings across the U.S. nearly doubled last month compared with September 2006, as financially strapped homeowners already behind on mortgage payments defaulted on their loans or came closer to losing their homes to foreclosure, a real estate information company said Thursday.

From Information Clearing House

Qwest was targeted

The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.

NSA's Lucky Break: How the U.S. Became Switchboard to the World

A lucky coincidence of economics is responsible for routing much of the world's internet and telephone traffic through switching points in the United States, where, under legislation introduced this week, the U.S. National Security Agency will be free to continue tapping it.

From Information Clearing House

What Iraq and Burma Have in Common

The champions of democracy often share an overly romantic view of how quickly it can flower in hostile soil.

Only now, the full horror of Burmese junta's repression of monks emerges

Harrowing accounts smuggled out of Burma reveal how a systematic campaign of physical punishment and psychological terror is being waged by the Burmese security forces as they take revenge on those suspected of involvement in last month's pro-democracy uprising.

From Information Clearing House

Battle against terrorism in Fata is lost, US Congress told

The US pressure on President Pervez Musharraf to do more in the war against terror has been counter-productive and the battle against extremists in the tribal areas has been lost, a key congressional panel was told on Wednesday.

Pakistan elder accuses army of killing 'innocent people'

"We know that the army killed 55 innocent people, and they included women and children," Zaman told The Associated Press. "We know it because we buried them."

From Information Clearing House

Baghdad shooting victims sue Blackwater in U.S.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights, a legal advocacy group, said it filed the suit charging that Blackwater and its affiliates violated U.S. law in committing "extrajudicial killings and war crimes."

From Information Clearing House


Blackwater USA Sued for Firing on Iraqi Civilians


Blackwater Faces War Crimes Inquiry

Anne Penketh, reporting for The Independent, writes, "The American firm Blackwater USA has been served notice that it faces investigations for war crimes after 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed in a hail of bullets by its security guards in Baghdad."

Daughters' anguish at funeral of mother killed by mercenaries

Three Christian sisters, beating their mother's coffin in grief, wailed and hugged each other at her funeral in Baghdad yesterday as their rapidly shrinking religious community vented anger at the foreign security guards who killed her.

From Information Clearing House

Eco-Terrorisme de Robin de toits, des ONG ou Manipulations des RG?

Southsiders irked by mast ‘slur’

A mobile phone company has infuriated residents of the Southside by accusing them of adopting NIMBY (‘Not in My Backyard’) attitudes to planning.

In an appeal against a decision by Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission for a mobile phone mast in Crumlin, Threefold – operating on behalf of Meteor – accused locals who had objected to the masts of having a “typical NIMBY approach to development in Ireland”.

The statement has angered locals who feel that it is an insult to people who were exercising their constitutional right to object to planning applications.
Francis Barnett, a resident of Iveagh Gardens, said the document had got local people “really fired up”.


Is this what the world's coming to?

Informant: Bob Banner


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Oktober 2007


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