Montag, 31. März 2008

Eine Frage des Patriotismus?

USA: Die Demokraten im Sumpf des Wahlkampfes

The Welfare King of the 21st Century

Dean Baker, writing for Truthout, says: "If the welfare queen is dead, then it's time to say, 'Long live the welfare king.' This person really exists, his name is James E. Cayne, and taxpayers just handed him almost $50 million. Mr. Cayne got this gift when J.P. Morgan renegotiated the terms of its takeover of Bear Stearns. The buying price went up fivefold, fetching Bear Stearn's stockholders $1.2 billion instead of the $236 million in the agreement brokered by the Fed last week."

As Jobs Vanish, Food Stamp Use Is at Record Pace

Erik Eckholm reports for The New York Times, "Driven by a painful mix of layoffs and rising food and fuel prices, the number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million in the coming year, the highest level since the aid program began in the 1960s."

Paulson's Regulation Plan Won't Fix Current Economic Crisis

Kevin G. Hall reports for McClatchy Newspapers, "Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson makes public on Monday a new blueprint for regulation of the turbulent financial markets, one that has plenty to do with the future and little to fix what ails the economy right now."

Keep Idaho Forests Wild

Valence: Les enfants sont-ils en danger?

WIMAX-Netz abgeschaltet

Fluggastdatensammlung grundrechtswidrig

Klageschriften veröffentlicht

„Der Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung hat heute zwei Klageschriften des Europäischen Parlaments gegen die Fluggastdatenübermittlung in die USA veröffentlicht. Daraus geht hervor, dass sowohl die Fluggastdatensammlung in den USA wie auch die von den EU-Staaten aktuell geplante Aufzeichnung des Reiseverhaltens grundrechtswidrig sind…“ Pressemitteilung des Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung vom 31.03.2008:

Aus: LabourNet, 31. März 2008

Fallacy, state and utopia

Unqualified Offerings
by Thoreau


A common statement regarding the incompetence of the Bush administration is that people who don’t believe government can solve a problem shouldn’t be in charge of running it. Whatever the merits or demerits of that statement, let’s get one thing straight: The Bush administration does think that the government can solve problems. They just don’t feel like using it to try to solve the problems that you care about. They’re more interested in solving such problems as their cronies’ need for easy money. Whether or not libertarians are competent to run a government program may be a fascinating discussion to have, but it has no bearing on the Bush administration. They may have tossed out a few lines of libertarian rhetoric here and there, but they never acted on it...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

I’m getting stimulated

No Force, No Fraud
by Bob Smith


Last week, I mailed off my Federal tax return, sort of. It was an abbreviated 1040A, intended only to elicit my ‘Stimulus Payment’ from our beneficent government. It marks the first time I’ve ever filed a tax return before the 2nd week of April. Since my income is paltry, I would not otherwise be required to file. Surprisingly, the IRS mailed a special packet to me just so I could make that filing. I’m impressed. I had checked online, and knew I had to file in order to receive the ’stimulus,’ and was wavering whether it was worth the effort of a normal 1040A to receive $300. After spending untold weeks wrangling with my own income tax returns over a period of 40 years of so, being able to bypass that annual annoyance is one of the best benefits of living poor. April is now one of the best months of the year, the core month of glorious spring rather than the month of stressful, often painful, tax filing...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

A ring of truth

The Libertarian Enterprise

by L. Neil Smith

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US business interests at risk from domestic spying

by John C. Dvorak


At what point does government snooping become a hindrance to commerce? That must be the question a lot of companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. must be asking themselves after a recent episode in Canada where a controversy over the use of online tools has emerged...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health

The manufacture of uncertainty

The American Prospect
by Chris Mooney


The sabotage of science is now a routine part of American politics. The same corporate strategy of bombarding the courts and regulatory agencies with a barrage of dubious scientific information has been tried on innumerable occasions — and it has nearly always worked, at least for a time. Tobacco. Asbestos. Lead. Vinyl chloride. Chromium. Formaldehyde. Arsenic. Atrazine. Benzene. Beryllium. Mercury. Vioxx. And on and on. … Tobacco companies perfected the ruse, which was later copycatted by other polluting or health-endangering industries. One tobacco executive was even dumb enough to write it down in 1969. ‘Doubt is our product,’ reads the infamous memo, ’since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.’ In his important new book, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health, David Michaels calls the strategy ‘manufacturing uncertainty’...

Tobacco funded many researchers
Boston Globe


The nation’s largest cigarette maker has paid for scientific research at four Massachusetts universities since 2000, a practice that critics of the tobacco industry liken to the Mafia underwriting crime fighting. ‘Taking money from the tobacco industry to conduct scientific research is like the DA taking money from the Mafia to conduct investigations of crime,’ said Gregory Connolly, a Harvard School of Public Health professor and former director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro and other top-selling cigarette lines, gave grants to scientists at Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts, company spokesman David M. Sylvia said Friday. The research supported by the company touched on conditions such as heart disease and cancer that are linked to smoking. The grants given by the Philip Morris External Research Program were not used to develop new tobacco products or refine existing brands, but they may have helped the company rehabilitate its public image...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Doubt is Their Product

Industry's Assault on Science Threatens your Health

From Mast Sanity/Mast Network

Five years later, we told you so about Iraq

Orange County Register
by Steven Greenhut


The U.S. war in Iraq recently passed its five-year milestone, having now lasted longer than American involvement in World War II. The surge has brought some recent success, but it has not helped bring about the stated goal of political reconciliation. That might, in the words of Sen. John McCain, take 100 or even 1,000 years of U.S. occupation to achieve. Last week, America commemorated the grisly landmark of the 4,000th U.S. soldier killed there, while official estimates say that more than 29,000 Americans have been seriously wounded. Meanwhile, violence between Shiite militias and the Iraqi government in southern Iraq has been heating up. What a mess. The Bush administration and its supporters are still defending the war. They know that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, that al-Qaida was never operating there until after the U.S. invasion, and that dreams of remaking the Middle East through American military might were overly optimistic and disturbingly utopian. Still, they soldier on, arguing to those of us who opposed the war all along that ‘everyone thought that Saddam had those weapons’ at the time. Actually, everyone did not think that. I was chatting a few months ago with former OC Weekly Publisher Will Swaim, and we laughed at how strange it was that the foreign-policy establishment couldn’t figure out what was obvious to a few lefty editors at an alternative weekly and some righty editorial writers on a suburban newspaper. The skeptics had one thing in common: We didn’t trust the government to give us the straight scoop. We understood that government officials tend to manipulate the facts to reach a preordained conclusion...

When a great power goes mad

Consortium News
by Robert Parry


With the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War and the grim milestone of 4,000 U.S. dead, the nation has been awash with news retrospectives on the war and speeches by politicians, mostly offering sanitized versions of what’s transpired. With a few exceptions, these media/political reflections have had the feel of self-rationalizations, more than self-criticisms. They’ve conveyed a sense that the U.S. system is doing just fine, thank you, although a few mistakes were made...

For the press, no Iraq introspection

Mother Jones
by Greg Mitchell


In the thousands of articles and television reports marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, nearly every important aspect of the war was probed. Fingers were pointed at the usual suspects — Rumsfeld, Bremer, and Cheney; stubborn Republicans and weak-willed Democrats, among many others — but conspicuously absent from the media coverage was any soul-searching on behalf of the press, as if there had been no major media slips or tragic omissions over the past five years. With months to plan for the commemoration, the media were ready to take stock of everything — but themselves...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp,000

States fight as REAL ID deadline nears

Christian Science Monitor


Frustrated by unfunded federal mandates, a number of states are revolting. The latest case in point: stiff resistance to REAL ID, a controversial post-9/11 law that aims to make driver’s licenses more secure [sic]. The Department of Homeland Security set Monday as the deadline for states to get an extension for implementing REAL ID. Miss this deadline, DHS warned resistant states, and come May, your residents won’t be allowed to board planes with their current driver’s licenses. Montana is one state that’s been opposed to the DHS requirements. Rather than request an extension, it sent DHS a letter explaining what it’s already doing to strengthen licenses. Still, DHS responded on March 21 by granting an extension. New Hampshire, another REAL ID holdout, took a similar path with DHS and also got an unasked-for extension last week...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp’s+license

McCain commitment to public financing questioned

Boston Globe

Senator John McCain has retreated from his longtime commitment to public financing of campaigns since he started planning his 2008 bid for the presidency, according to nonpartisan advocates who had hoped McCain would be a strong voice for reform during the most expensive presidential campaign in history. McCain, who angered conservatives when he coauthored a bipartisan law aimed at taking big money out of politics, in 2003 cosponsored legislation to expand the federal matching system to help fund presidential campaigns, but failed to add his name to similar measures in 2006 and 2007. And while McCain once supported a law in his home state of Arizona providing full public financing of campaigns, he now says he opposes that idea at the federal level...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

A New Measure of Election Auditing Discrepancy

The atrocities of the sealers and the incompetence of the Canadian Coast Guard

Why were all the great Americans killed?

Bosnia 'mistake' damages Clinton campaign

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

How Can the Earth Win If Global Citizens Do Not Seek Ecological Truth and Sufficient Action?

Sustaining biodiversity, climate, and the biosphere requires protest to achieve sufficient policies based upon ecological science; and all of us including the environment movement taking risks while committing to massive social change

Earth Meanders by Dr. Glen Barry, March 30, 2008

As the fourth anniversary of my Earth Meanders personal ecological essays approaches, I thought it appropriate to meander on the past and future challenges of their writing. Given the demands of 80 hour weeks required by my day job running Ecological Internet (EI), the leading provider of environmental portals, I much desired an opportunity to more broadly express my ecological insight. Thus Earth Meanders was born with the mandate of "placing environmental sustainability within the context of other contemporary issues".

After 20 years of focusing tightly upon studying and working to protect forests, and climate for the last ten years, writing these essays and expressing more widely a biocentric vision has helped me tremendously. I do this out of love for the Earth and to help myself deal with the personal pain of knowing the violence being done to her. However, I do realize there has been some confusion regarding my dual roles within EI and these writings. They are completely separate, and to make this clearer you will see that future Earth Meanders will be coming from .

Earth Meanders is my attempt to understand and communicate how ecology pervades every aspect of life. This ongoing dialogue regarding ecological sustainability and related issues is not meant to be strategic, or part of a campaign. The only criterion determining whether I like a piece and will send it out is if I believe it to be truthful, and it says what I meant to say. This essay is even more bloated and self- indulgent than usual, but I find it necessary to respond at length to what I consider unfair criticisms and further explain what I do and why.

Far too little effort has been made to truthfully determine global ecological policy required to sustain humanity and the Earth. A strong disservice is done to the Earth's prospects by those who generally know the scope and seriousness of the global ecological crises but continue living and working as if token change is enough. My personal approach as an essayist, and professional methods as an activist -- both based upon biocentric ecological truth seeking and protest action -- are frequently criticized, even by my closest colleagues.

Let me give a few examples, not to chastise, but to illustrate some important points. A dear advisor and financial supporter recently castigated me in regard to my cellulosic biofuels essay, letting me know "nothing that you write will have any significant impact", urging me to accept them as inevitable rather than tipping at windmills. A longtime colleague of EI recently suggested we should not protest Brazil's soy policy because it was undiplomatic and could cause outrage. As I went ahead, this individual reneged on pledged financial support.

And there is the long-standing six-year effort to get former colleague Rainforest Action Network out of the business of supporting ancient forest logging. RAN refuses to answer the simple question "how does FSC certified logging of primary and old-growth forests protect endangered forests". These sincere, truthful efforts have been met with stonewalling and increasingly personal attacks suggesting I just seek attention, like causing problems, and dismissal of EI's campaign to end ancient forest logging as "flame bait". If all I wanted was attention I would go and hang off a building as RAN does!

In each case criticism from respected associates that I depend upon for my livelihood has strongly stung. I am deeply reflective, and this leads me to consider whether changing my approach would be a good idea. Ecological Internet continues to struggle financially. Is this because of these controversial personal writings and EI protests, and should I sell out and stop strongly identifying and advocating ecological truth in order to better fit in while paying my modest mortgage?

Certainly if I stopped writing these essays and removed controversial content from EI's portals, while toning down our campaigns, it would result in more mainstream, broad-based support including more funding. But would the Earth's interests and truth in general be best served? Though modest in resources (though perhaps not in personality) I have built one of the world's only ecological truth-telling truly global networks committed to sufficient policies to achieve global ecological sustainability. Should this be traded away for social acceptability, some coins, and a return personally to IT/ecological consulting to make a living?

In response to each expression of concern, I have replied that truth matters, that a central truth is that ecosystems are required for life and are failing, and that discussion of uncomfortable yet sufficient alternative ecological views is a good thing. These three instances are but tiny examples of the timidity and cautiousness of the environmental movement.

I am constantly amazed at the lack of fight. If any other issue threatened to kill billions, and even perhaps end human civilization, there would be outrage and urgent mobilization to action. Alas, it is easier to raise armies than achieve necessary widespread personal and societal sacrifice. When asked to give up material comforts to save their species and habitat, even the greenest would rather seek reform than revolt.

If the Earth is to have a future, it is critical that little in regards to human consumption patterns remains sacrosanct. If we cannot fuel personal automobiles, power our electronics and use large timbers in construction without destroying global ecosystems; then autos, coal and ancient forest logging have to go. The status quo is irredeemable and will change either through lack of effort, continued destruction and eventual collapse; or through personal and societal revolutionary change based upon ecological truth.

Humans are animals. Fundamentally our habitat requirements are met by the variety of life and their cumulative outputs and interactions; that is, biodiversity creates ecosystems we need to live. There is virtually no chance that humanity can engineer these ecological processes and patterns. All aspects of human endeavors – economic, cultural, social, artistic and political – are subsets of the global ecological system. No ecology, no economy.

Economic, justice, security and other political concerns are very important. Yet none rise to the level of biodiversity loss, ecosystem failure, global heating and the biosphere's pending collapse. If the global ecological system fails, being ends, and all these other matters mean nothing. There are many fancy and increasingly complex policies proposed to protect the Earth's climate and biodiversity. These range from carbon markets, to biofuels, to payments for avoided deforestation -- all meant to extend growth of the human enterprise.

Yet in reality, limits to such growth have already been exceeded, and the solutions are simple -- ending the burning of fossil fuels, and any diminishment of rainforest and other natural habitats. And we must be willing to pay the price of forgone development including meeting needs of those economically dependent upon these antiquated activities.

If humanity really decides saving the Earth’s diversity of life and relatively stable climatic patterns is worthwhile, we would swing into action with a sense of urgency to support this environmental sufficiency agenda at all costs. Ecologically enlightened global citizens will protest across borders judging rightly that their survival depends upon success. Europeans and Americans will protest Amazonian rainforest loss; even as Bolivian victims of climate change induced floods protest their wasteful use of energy.

Saving the Earth and all her species including humans depends critically upon creating a movement of global citizens interested in truthfully identifying what is required to maintain the Earth, and then taking sufficient action (whatever the odds) to achieve that which must be done. This effort must not be bound by social convention, political boundaries, or the interests of environmental funders and gatekeepers of permissible thought.

I believe strongly it is less risky for the Earth and the survival of all her creatures to perhaps fall short of what is truly necessary to achieve ecological sustainability, while just maybe wholly succeeding; than to achieve in their entirety policies that are inadequate and can only inevitably lead to ecocide. For as long as we can possibly hold out, you can count upon Ecological Internet to help facilitate required global protests, and for me to write freely and truthfully here about sufficient measures to achieve global, just and equitable ecological sustainability. It is what I do.

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 behind the boom in homeland-security and emergency-management majors? Terror U

Informant: Lew Rockwell

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Informant: Lew Rockwell

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Tibet, China and the Neocons

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März 2008


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