Dienstag, 6. Mai 2008

Agrofuels Continue to Threaten Colombian Rainforests and Communities



Agrofuels on Stolen Lands Continue to Threaten Colombian Rainforests and Communities

By Ecological Internet, http://www.ecologicalinternet.org/ May 6, 2008


It is gravely unethical and ecologically devastating to expand production of biofuels by allowing land to be stolen from local Afro-Colombian communities; and at the expense of Colombia's ancient primary rainforests, food security, water resources and regional climate


Plantation expansion for agrofuels remains a major threat to the lives, livelihoods and the environment of Afro-Colombian and other peasant communities in Chocó, Colombia. This is one of the world's most biodiverse regions, with large areas of rainforest now facing destruction. The Chocó rainforests are home to 7,000 to 8,000 species, including 2,000 endemic plant species and 100 endemic bird species. Even before the current palm oil and agrofuel expansion, 66% had been destroyed. Communities and rainforests are under threat from palm oil and sugar cane expansion for agrofuels in other parts of Colombia, too, for example around Tumaco, near the border with Ecuador, in Santander and in Magdalena. If agrofuels -- growing food for fuel -- continue to expand in Colombia, food prices are bound to rise and the nation's food security erode as is happening around the world. Please ask the government to stop and reverse those policies and to protect Colombia's communities and rich environment from further destruction for agrofuels.

TAKE ACTION NOW: http://www.rainforestportal.com/alerts/send.asp?id=colombia_biofuel

DISCUSS ALERT: http://www.rainforestportal.com/issues/2008/05/alert_agrofuels_on_stolen_land.asp


House and Justice Department Have Showdown Over Interrogation Techniques

As House and Justice Department Have Showdown Over Interrogation Techniques, Human Rights Activists Mobilize Against Torture.



Let's Get Serious About Patriotism



Tortured Justification



US Panel Authorizes Subpoena of Cheney Aide



House Panel Subpoenas Top Cheney Aide

Pamela Hess, The Associated Press, writes: "The House Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to compel a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney to testify to the committee about the Bush administration's interrogation practices."



War Funding Continues Pattern of Dems' Broken Promises



We Can Stop The Latest War Funding Cave In, But You Have To Know Who To Call

We all know the routine by now. The Democratic so-called leadership makes a feeble attempt to attach something else to the latest emergency war appropriation, like a half-hearted stipulation for a withdrawal date, or some crumbs of a desperately needed social program, like this time.

And the President stomps his feet demanding a "clean" bill, clean of any kind of assertion of Congressional power or meaningful oversight, that is. And the Democrats end up caving in, out of fear of being accused of not supporting the troops, if "supporting" really means leaving them in mortal harm's way for no justifiable strategic reason, that is.

Should we call Congress yet again, to send them the same message again . . . stop the funding, bring our troops home now. We'll make our calls. Here are the toll free numbers yet again 800 828-0498, 800
614 2803 and 866 340 9281. And of course you should call too. Never let them be able to honestly say they didn't hear from you.

But we need a back up plan, folks. And we've got one. This is all just one big game of "what'cha gonna do?" What will we do if they completely ignore us again, because they think they are esconced in safe districts where they can never be seriously challenged? We have to challenge them in those districts in contested primaries . . . and win. At some point we must understand that is the only message they are actually going to take seriously.

And that is exactly what is happening in San Francisco right now, where a political miracle is taking place in the primary challenge against Nancy Pelosi June 3. Thanks to you, Shirley Golub's "Rubber Chicken" TV ad started running on all 3 major network TV stations this very morning. And before the end of the day at least one of their news departments was clamoring to interview her for the evening news. Here is that amazingly powerful TV spot.

Rubber Chicken TV Spot: http://www.shirley08.com/rubber_chicken.php

So call Congress again, please do it, and tell them to bring the troops home. It costs you nothing. But then help to send the most powerful message of all, by donating whatever you can to empower Shirley Golub to put more and more spots like these on the air, to send Nancy Pelosi herself, the queen of the cave in, packing before even the general election.

Or maybe you like the radio spot where Shirley also calls Pelosi a political coward, with sound clips of Pelosi saying "I'm afraid" over and over.

Pelosi Afraid Spot: http://www.shirley08.com/pelosi_afraid.php

So pick up the phone and call your member of Congress again. Only this time tell them you are making the most generous donation you possibly can from the page above, to defeat Nancy Pelosi herself, and that they will be next if they don't start listening to the people quick, fast and in a hurry. Tell them that what they do now will determine whether they will lose to a primary challenger of their own the very next chance the people get.

It all comes back to the same thing. With exception of a handful of valiant souls, most politicians only consider the voice of the people if they are actually afraid it will cost them their own seats. Only defeating Pelosi, and doing it now, can send a message that they can no longer ignore.

More and more primary challengers are springing up all over the country, like Mark Welyczko (OR-01), Joe Walsh (OR-03) and Nancy Moran (OR-05), who are running at a team in the Portland, OR area on an impeachment now platform.

We need more of these valiant souls, and we surely have one in Shirley Golub, who has worked her heart out for other progressive candidates for years. Check out the rest of her site from one of pages above. Cindy Sheehan is also one of those valiant souls, but Cindy cannot defeat Pelosi on June 3, because she is not running until the general election in November. Only Shirley Golub can do that. And with your courageous help, she surely will.

Paid for by Shirley Golub for Congress

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.


Powered by The People's Email Network Copyright 2008, Patent pending, All rights reserved


Pentagon Targeted Iran for Regime Change After 9/11



Wenn Oma vor Hunger klauen geht



Marjorie Cohn's Testimony on Torture in House Judiciary Committee


Informant: David Swanson

From ufpj-news


Die Deutschlandakte: Was Politiker und Wirtschaftsbosse unserem Land antun

Parteienkritiker Arnim wirft der politischen Klasse Wählertäuschung vor

Deutschland ist ein demokratisch regiertes Land? Alle Macht geht vom Volk aus? Das Volk hat sich kraft seiner verfassungsgebenden Gewalt sein Grundgesetz gegeben? Alles richtig? Alles falsch, behauptet der Verfassungsrechtler und Parteienkritiker Hans Herbert von Arnim. Sein neues Buch "Die Deutschlandakte - was Politiker und Wirtschaftsbosse unserem Land antun" stellte er am Dienstag in Berlin vor. Glaubt man dem Autor, dann ist in Parlamenten, Ministerien und Ämtern nichts, wie es scheint - und nichts, wie es sein sollte. Arnim sieht eine "politische Klasse" an der Macht, die vor allem eines tut: den Wähler täuschen. Damit rührt sie nach seiner Meinung an die Grundfeste der Verfassung.


Regierungs-Koalition verteidigt neuerliche Diätenerhöhung

Die große Koalition hat die geplante neuerliche Anhebung der Diäten um knapp 500 Euro ("rund 490 Euro") in den nächsten zwei Jahren verteidigt. Der Parlamentarische Geschäftsführer der Unions-Fraktion, Norbert Röttgen (CDU), sagte am 6. Mai in Berlin, der Maßstab, die Diäten an die Einkommensentwicklung im öffentlichen Dienst zu koppeln, sei richtig. SPD-Generalsekretär Hubertus Heil nannte die Regelung "vernünftig". Er räumte allerdings ein: "Populär ist das nicht. Das ist klar." Auch SPD-Fraktionschef Peter Struck verteidigte die "ganz normale Anpassung". Ihm sei allerdings bewusst, dass dies bei den Bürgern nicht ankomme.



Iraqi Alleges Abu Ghraib Torture, Sues US Contractors

Greg Rislin reports for The Associated Press: "An Iraqi man sued two U.S. military contractors, claiming he was repeatedly tortured while being held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison for more than 10 months. Emad al-Janabi's federal lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles, claims that employees of CACI International Inc. and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. punched him, slammed him into walls, hung him from a bed frame and kept him naked and handcuffed in his cell beginning in September 2003."



War Made Easy

Norman Solomon writes for Truthout: "When The New York Times published its explosive 'Pentagon Pundits' story on April 20, the result was a wave of criticism directed at the Defense Department for manipulating TV news coverage of the Iraq war. Critics also faulted the networks for failing to scrutinize the conflicts of interest of the 'military analysts' who went on the air. Many of those retired military officers were being coached by the Pentagon to mislead the public, and many had personal financial stakes in corporations with major Pentagon contracts."



Stromkonzerne verbreiten falsche Hoffnungen über vermeintlich klimaneutrale Kraftwerke



Pledge on mast study

Residents in Llanidloes have vowed to keep monitoring emissions from a mobile phone mast in the town.


Rachel's News #957


68% Want Troops Home in 6 Months


Informant: michael098762001

From ufpj-news

Stop the U.S. from renewing Lethal Shooting Contracts

Hold Blackwater accountable!

Demand an explanation from the State Department as to why it renewed Blackwater's contract, and call for the contract's suspension.



McCain Courts Right Wing

Alexander Bolton, of The Hill: "Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) will launch a new push Tuesday to ingratiate himself with social conservatives who mistrust him but whose support is vital to his hopes of winning the White House. Right-wing leaders, who know he needs their backing, are working on a list of demands to pin him down on choosing judges with a conservative philosophy. The two sides are engaged in a minuet that will determine the shape of this year’s Republican presidential platform."



Justice System for Detainees Is Moving at a Crawl

Josh White, of The Washington Post: "At the end of a tattered, sunbaked runway dotted with large green tents here is a building aptly called the Expeditionary Legal Complex Courtroom, surrounded by coils of concertina wire, where the most notorious alleged terrorists in US custody are supposed to face charges related to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Nearly seven years later, however, not one of the approximately 775 terrorism suspects who have been held on this island has faced a jury trial inside the new complex, and US officials think it is highly unlikely that any of the Sept. 11 suspects will before the Bush administration ends."



Racial Disparities Persist in Drug Arrests

Reuters: "The US 'war on drugs' disproportionately targets urban minority neighborhoods with African Americans being arrested and imprisoned on drug charges at much higher rates, according to a pair of reports released on Monday by rights groups. New York-based Human Rights Watch said a review of new statistics across 34 states found persistent racial disparities among drug offenders sent to prison. The 67-page report concludes that a black man is 11.8 times more likely than a white man to be sent to prison on drug charges."


Pentagon Wants Cyberwar Range to 'Replicate Human Behavior and Frailties'



Cyberwar: A Conflict without Footsoldiers, Guns, or Missiles

Goldman Sachs: Bilderberg Target Of $200 Dollar Oil Nears



Mast firm ‘keeping residents in dark’

By Simon Carr

PENSIONERS are protesting against a new phone mast being built just outside their windows.

They say they have been kept in the dark about two O2 masts and only found out when they spotted workmen outside.


We deserve the full truth about 9/11


Informant: Dorothee Krien


Perhaps 60% of today's oil price is pure speculation



Endless War: Is the U.S. Trying to Set Whole World on Fire?



Neuorganisation von ‚Hartz IV’: Das kooperative Jobcenter

Das kooperative Jobcenter

Neuorganisation von ‚Hartz IV’: Erwerbsloseninitiativen fordern „Leistungen aus einer Hand“

„Unabhängige Erwerbslosen- und Sozialhilfeinitiativen aus dem Bundesgebiet haben auf ihrem Bundestreffen am vergangenen Wochenende in Bad Hersfeld notwendige Forderungen für eine organisatorische Umgestaltung der ‚Hartz IV’-Verwaltung verabschiedet. Die Forderungen sollen in die am 9. Mai stattfindende Sonderkonferenz der Arbeits- und Sozialministern der Bundesländer zur Neuorganisation der ‚Hartz IV’-Verwaltung eingebracht werden.(…) Die in der Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Erwerbslosen- und Sozialhilfeinitiativen e.V. BAG-SHI zusammengeschlossenen Initiativen fordern die bundeseinheitliche Aufgabenwahrnehmung im Rahmen des Sozialgesetzbuch II (‚Hartz IV’) unter Trägerschaft der Bundesagentur für Arbeit. Den Vorschlag des Bundesministeriums für Arbeit und Soziales zur Einrichtung ‚Kooperativer Jobcenter’ lehnen die in der BAG-SHI zusammengeschlossenen Initiativen und Organisationen ab…“ BAG-SHI-Pressemitteilung vom 05.05.2008 http://aktionboss.de/hartz-iv-umgestalten

Hartz IV - vorsätzliche Kürzungen bei Schulkindern! Schluss mit dem empörenden Zustand, Kinder für ihr Wachstum und ihren Schulbesuch zu bestrafen!

Flugblatt der Bündnisplattform gegen Regelsatzblockade um das Aktionsbündnis Sozialproteste (ABSP)(pdf) http://www.die-soziale-bewegung.de/2008/regelsatzerhoehung_jetzt/materialien/Schulkinder_1-Mai-2008.pdf

Betteln für Kommunal-Kombi: Beschäftigungsprojekt für Langzeitarbeitslose läuft nur schleppend

„Seit Jahresbeginn ist das Bundesprogramm für den »Kommunal-Kombi« in Kraft. Mit diesem Projekt sollen 100 000 Langzeitarbeitslose bis 2009 für drei Jahre in Beschäftigung gebracht werden. Trotz der mit dem Vorhaben verbundenen Hoffnung kommt die Umsetzung des Projektes nur schleppend in Gang…“ Artikel von Dieter Janke im Neues Deutschland vom 02.05.2008 http://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/128063.html

Aus: LabourNet, 6. Mai 2008


Bundesanstalt für Arbeit - Agentur wofür?

"Kooperative Jobcenter" vom Tisch - Betreuung aus einer Hand muss dank Verfassungsänderung nicht besser werden…

Jobcenter-Streit beendet: Verfassungsänderung angestrebt

„Langzeitarbeitslose sollen auch künftig eine Betreuung aus einer Hand erhalten. Damit dies möglich bleibt, wollen Bund und Länder das Grundgesetz ändern. Dies nicht ohne Kritik...“ dpa-Meldung vom 15.07.2008 http://www.haufe.de/SID21.IFqh2Uh8hdY/sozialversicherung/newsDetails?newsID=1216102833.61&portal=SGB&d_start:int=0&

Jobcenter wichtiger als Verfassung

„Für den Arbeitsminister ist es ein "großer Durchbruch": Über eine Verfassungsänderung soll nach dem Urteil aus Karlsruhe einer der Kernpunkte der Hartz-IV-Reformen beibehalten werden. Doch dafür brauchen Bund und Länder die Unterstützung der kleinen Parteien…“ Dossier von Birgit Marschall in der FTD vom 15.07.2008 http://www.ftd.de/politik/deutschland/:Bund%20L%E4nder%20Streit%20Jobcenter%20Verfassung/385572.html

DGB kritisiert Pläne für Verfassungsänderung zu Jobcentern

„Der Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB) hat die Entscheidung für eine Grundgesetzänderung als rechtliche Grundlage für die Zusammenarbeit von Arbeitsagenturen und Kommunen bei der Betreuung Langzeitarbeitsloser scharf kritisiert. "Wir erwarten, dass nicht unsere bewährte Verfassung an die schlechte Praxis angepasst wird, sondern umgekehrt", kommentierte DGB-Vorstandsmitglied Annelie Buntenbach in der "Passauer Neuen Presse" den Beschluss der Arbeitsminister von Bund und Ländern…“ AFP-Meldung vom
15.7.08 http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gJ7yhLpqy96-xhSIZp2Dlxf5ophw

Jobcenter: Kritik an geplanter Verfassungsänderung

„In einem sind sich Arbeitgeber und Gewerkschaften einig: Die geplante Rettung des Jobcentermodells dürfe nicht die derzeit herrschende schlechte Praxis zementieren. Wie die Zusammenarbeit künftig funktionieren soll, ist jedoch umstritten…“ Artikel in der FTD.de vom 15.07.2008 http://www.ftd.de/politik/deutschland/:Jobcenter%20Kritik%20Verfassungs%E4nderung/385979.html

Aus: LabourNet, 16. Juli 2008


Massiver Missbrauch mit Ein-Euro-Jobs

„Die Jobcenter lassen die Vermittlung von langzeitarbeitslosen Hartz- IV-Empfängern vielfach schleifen. Die Arbeitssuchenden werden nicht beraten, und mit den Ein-Euro-Jobs wird in großem Stil Missbrauch getrieben. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt eine erneute Prüfung des Bundesrechnungshofes über die „Durchführung der Grundsicherung für Arbeitssuchende“ im Jahr 2007. Der Bericht an den Arbeits- und Sozialausschuss des Bundestages liegt dieser Zeitung vor…“ Artikel von Bernd Knebel in Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung vom 24.07.2008 http://www.haz.de/newsroom/politik/zentral/politik/deutschland/art667,645212

Aus dem Text: „… Extremen Missbrauch stellten die Prüfer bei den Ein-Euro-Jobs fest, für die „mehr als eine Milliarde Euro“ ausgegeben wurden: Bei zwei Dritteln der geprüften Maßnahmen war mindestens eine Fördervoraussetzung nicht erfüllt. In acht von zehn Fällen waren die Arbeiten nicht zusätzlich. „Meist betrafen sie reguläre Aufgaben eines öffentlichen Trägers (etwa Reinigungsarbeiten in öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln und Gebäuden oder leichte Bürotätigkeiten) und sollten normale Arbeitskräfte einsparen oder einen haushaltsbedingten Personalmangel ausgleichen.“…“

Wozu 1-Euro-Jobs? Hintergründe einer fragwürdigen "Förder"-Maßnahme

Artikel von Jan Gehrken in Forum Recht vom Juni 2008 http://www.linksnet.de/de/artikel/21218

Aus: LabourNet, 25. Juli 2008


25. Juli 2008

Missbrauch durch die Behörden bekämpfen

Zum Kritik des Bundesrechnungshofes an der Arbeit der Jobcenter erklärt die stellvertretende Parteivorsitzende Katja Kipping:

Extreme Unzulänglichkeiten bescheinigt der Bundesrechnungshof der Bundesregierung bei der Umsetzung von Hartz IV durch die Jobcenter und kommunalen Träger: Bei zwei Dritteln der geprüften Ein-Euro-Jobs war mindestens eine Fördervoraussetzung nicht erfüllt. Acht von zehn Ein-Euro-Jobs waren nicht zusätzlich - stattdessen werden mit diesen reguläre öffentliche Aufgaben wie Reinigungsarbeiten in öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln und Gebäuden durchgeführt. Mit Ein-Euro-Jobs werden reguläre Arbeitskräfte eingespart und haushaltsbedingter Personalmangel in den Kommunen ausgeglichen. Drei Viertel der Ein-Euro-Jobber helfen diese "Jobs" nicht in den Arbeitsmarkt. Außerdem müssen Langzeiterwerbslose bis zu vier Monaten auf eine Erstberatung warten. Amtlich bescheinigt steht mal wieder fest: Mit Hartz IV wird durch die Behörden extremer Missbrauch getrieben. Statt Sozialdetektive auf Erwerbslose zu hetzen, statt die Betroffenen mit sogenannten Sofortangeboten von Ein-Euro-Jobs zu drangsalieren und abzuschrecken, sollte lieber der Einsatz der Fördermittel durch die Jobcenter geprüft werden. Ein-Euro-Jobs gehören prinzipiell abgeschafft, das Fachpersonal für Beratung personell aufgestockt und qualifiziert sowie unabhängige Beratungsstellen für Erwerbslose finanziert - damit diese sich gegen den Missbrauch der Ämter wehren können. Grundsätzlich fordern wir: Hartz IV muss weg - sozialversicherungspflichtige und freiwillige Beschäftigungsangebote sowie eine repressionsfreie soziale Grundsicherung müssen her.



Blame the Fed

Cato Institute
by Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr.


The U.S. economy is in the midst of an old-style credit crunch brought on by a combination of bad policies and incredibly lax underwriting standards at financial institutions. The biggest policy failure was the decision by Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve to hold interest rates too low for too long. That led to a tsunami of credit that inundated the economy with cheap money. Mortgage lenders in particular were flush with funds and searched for deals wherever they could be found. Heretofore unqualified borrowers suddenly ‘qualified’ as underwriting standards relaxed and then disappeared. Egged on by statements from Chairman Greenspan, market participants came to believe the era of low interest rates would last indefinitely. But the era did come to an end as the Fed was forced to begin raising interest rates. Faced with the prospect of paying higher rates on their mortgages in the future, borrowers began defaulting. First home prices stopped rising, and then home prices began dropping — precipitously in some overheated housing markets. Now we are approximately six months into a new cycle of lower interest rates, but with no end in sight to the crunch...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


From welfare state to police state

Independent Institute
by Stephen Baskerville


It’s not called the welfare ’state’ for nothing. Even more serious than the economic effects has been the quiet metamorphosis of welfare from a system of public assistance into a miniature penal apparatus, replete with its own tribunals, prosecutors, police, and jails. The subsidy on single-mother homes was never really curtailed. Reformers largely replaced welfare with child support. The consequences were profound: this change transformed welfare from public assistance into law enforcement, creating yet another federal plainclothes police force without constitutional justification. Like any bureaucracy, this one found rationalizations to expand. During the 1980s and 1990s — without explanation or public debate — enforcement machinery created for children in poverty was dramatically expanded to cover all child-support cases, including those not receiving welfare...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


When will we ever learn?

by Mary Ruwart


Our troops cannot effectively defend our shores by guarding the 38th Parallel, patrolling the Mediterranean, or flying sorties over Kurdistan. While we must naturally maintain the ability to project force ‘over the horizon’ versus aggressors, our first line of defense is in keeping on our own side of that horizon — in our own yard — as a matter of course. What should we have done after 9/11? Clearly, we had not only the right but the responsibility to track down and punish the aggressors behind the attacks and destroy their ability to conduct further attacks. We had the tools at hand to do so — the Rewards for Justice Program had previously been successful in bringing terrorists, including 1993 World Trade Center bombing architect, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, to justice. Bounties work, as we learned in our own history with the use of privateers and letters of marque and reprisal. Instead, we invaded Afghanistan to pursue ‘regime change’ and ‘nation-building’...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Big business loves big government

Downsize DC
by James Leroy Wilson


Politicians tell us that government protects the people from the cut-throat practices of Big Business. But in truth, Big Government is in bed with Big Business. If I were CEO of a major corporation — let’s call it the Big Widget Corporation — I would love Big Government. That’s because I could: * lobby Congress to subsidize the widget industry, explaining how vital widgets are to the economy. * lobby for tariff protection against imported widgets. This will allow my company to gouge American consumers with higher prices. * lobby for regulations that would drive my smaller competitors out of business. But what is good for the Big Widget Corporation’s shareholders isn’t necessarily good for the American taxpayers, who must pay for this special treatment...


Why have governments?

from Reason to Freedom
by Peter Namtvedt


For what reason do cities, states and nations each require leaders with special powers to rule over them? It matters not how they are selected, by popular vote or an electoral college, whether the national leader is chosen by the people or by parliament. Why do we keep letting them restrict our liberties? Why do we put up with the huge burden they impose, economically, through taxes, the cost of regulations and harassment?


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Betrayed: The Iraqis who risked all for Britain

Independent [UK]
by Robert Verkaik


Sami Faleh Mohammed was one of thousands of exiled Iraqis who after the invasion of Iraq decided to give his country another chance. In September 2004 he led his wife and three children from the safety of Jordan to Basra, where he found work as a translator for the British Army. Two years later he was dead, murdered by members of the Shia militias who have targeted Iraqis who risk their own lives to help the British try to bring stability to the region. His case is now one of 12 test claims being brought in the High Court by Iraqi translators and other workers who believe they have been betrayed by Britain. Many more are still in hiding, under sentence of death after being branded ‘collaborators and spies’ by the militias...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Few Details on Immigrants Who Died in US Custody

Nina Bernstein, of The New York Times: "Word spread quickly inside the windowless walls of the Elizabeth Detention Center, an immigration jail in New Jersey: A detainee had fallen, injured his head and become incoherent. Guards had put him in solitary confinement, and late that night, an ambulance had taken him away more dead than alive. But outside, for five days, no official notified the family of the detainee, Boubacar Bah, a 52-year-old tailor from Guinea who had overstayed a tourist visa. When frantic relatives located him at University Hospital in Newark on Feb. 5, 2007, he was in a coma after emergency surgery for a skull fracture and multiple brain hemorrhages. He died there four months later without ever waking up, leaving family members on two continents trying to find out why."



Too much secrecy

Las Vegas Sun
by staff


The deaths of U.S. immigration detainees are lost in a patchwork process in which they can be dead for days or even weeks before their families are notified. …. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials review cases of detainee deaths internally but are not required to investigate them or report them to the public...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Immigrants Facing Deportation by U.S. Hospitals

Mr. Jiménez was deported - not by the federal government but by the hospital, Martin Memorial. After winning a state court order that would later be declared invalid, Martin Memorial leased an air ambulance for $30,000 and "forcibly returned him to his home country," as one hospital administrator described it.


From Information Clearing House


Helping the Unemployed

The New York Times: "Americans don't have to wait for the statistics to know these are very hard times. For the fourth month in a row, the economy lost jobs in April. The economists said the contraction was not as bad as expected - 20,000 jobs were shed versus an anticipated loss of 75,000. Not as bad as expected is cold comfort. The latest employment report shows other deepening problems for American workers, including slower wage growth, cutbacks in hours, a sharp increase in the number of part-timers who would prefer full-time work and lengthening spells of unemployment."



GOP Uses "Hate" and "Race Baiting" to Win

Klaus Marre, of The Hill: "Howard Dean argued that the use of Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) former pastor Jeremiah Wright in GOP ads in local races is 'race baiting.' 'When you start bringing up things that have nothing to do with the candidate and nothing to do with the issues, that's race baiting,' Dean said on Fox News Sunday in response to a question whether the Wright issue and his ties to Obama hurt Democrats down ticket."



Blackwater Shooting Highlights a US, Iraq Culture Clash

Borzou Daragahi and Raheem Salman, of The Los Angeles Times: "He refused to take the Americans' blood money. Mohammed Hafidh Abdul-Razzaq had been summoned by US Embassy officials who wanted to make amends for the killing of his 10-year-old son. The boy died during a shooting involving employees of Blackwater Worldwide, the US security firm. Deputy Chief of Mission Patricia A. Butenis told him that she was sorry for what had happened, Abdul-Razzaq recalled. She gave him a sealed envelope. It had his name written on it. Abdul-Razzaq pushed it away."



Stop Secret Spying Deal



Lateinamerika: Scheitern des neoliberalen Projektes

Annen kritisiert Reisepläne Merkels für Lateinamerika

Der SPD-Außenpolitiker Niels Annen hat die Lateinamerika-Reisepläne von Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) kritisiert. "Die Kanzlerin sollte die neue politische Realität Lateinamerikas zur Kenntnis nehmen, die aus der Ablehnung von entfesselten kapitalistischen Märkten und dem Scheitern des neoliberalen Projektes entstanden ist", sagte der SPD-Politiker dem "Tagesspiegel". Er bemängelte, dass Merkel nach dem EU-Lateinamerika-Gipfel in Peru neben den zwei einzigen noch konservativ regierten Länder des Kontinents, Kolumbien und Mexiko, nur Brasilien besuchen wolle. Die Kanzlerin reist Mitte Mai erstmals in ihrer Amtszeit nach Lateinamerika.



Union stößt mit Forderung nach Nationalem Sicherheitsrat auf heftige Kritik

Militärische Mittel zur Sicherung der Rohstoffversorgung

Mit ihrer Forderung nach einem Nationalen Sicherheitsrat stößt die Union parteiübergreifend auf scharfe Kritik. Nach dem Willen von CDU/CSU soll ein im Kanzleramt angesiedeltes Gremium mit einem "eigenen handlungsfähigen Stab" künftig auf mögliche Bedrohungen in Deutschland reagieren. Ein Strategiepapier dazu will die Fraktion am 6. Mai beschließen. Medienberichten zufolge soll der Sicherheitsrat nach US-Vorbild ressortübergreifend mögliche Bedrohungen für die innere und äußere Sicherheit analysieren, präventive Maßnahmen einleiten sowie die zivil-militärische Krisenbewältigung und -prävention im In- und Ausland koordinieren.



5. Mai 2008

Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik darf nicht der parlamentarischen Kontrolle entzogen werden

Zu den Plänen von Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) für einen beschleunigten Aufbau von gemeinsamen europäischen Streitkräften erklärt das Mitglied des Parteivorstandes Helmut Scholz:

Mit der Schaffung einer europäischen Armee besteht die Gefahr, dass die parlamentarische Kontrolle der Streitkräfte auf nationaler Ebene zunehmend ausgehöhlt wird, während das Europäische Parlament dabei gar keine Rolle spielt. Entscheidungen fallen dann künftig nur noch auf Regierungsebene. Die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik wird so zur Spielwiese von Staats- und Regierungschefs. Das darf nicht sein. Diese Pläne des Außenministers sind die konsequente Umsetzung des Vertrages von Lissabon, der eine Zusammenlegung von militärischen Kapazitäten festschreibt. Auch deshalb hat DIE LINKE den Reformvertrag abgelehnt. DIE Linke sieht keine Notwendigkeit für den Aufbau einer europäischen Armee. Nicht eine Zusammenlegung von militärischen Kapazitäten schafft mehr Sicherheit, sondern eine friedenspolitische Ausrichtung der Europäischen Union. Selbst wenn die von Steinmeier berechtigt hinterfragte Vergeudung von enormen finanziellen und materiellen Mitteln für die Verteidigungs- und Angriffsfähigkeit von 27 nationalen Armeen zutrifft, so weist die jetzt von ihm gegebe Antwort in die falsche Richtung: Nicht um den weiteren Aufbau von EU-battle-groups und Armee-Strukturen der EU darf es gehen, sondern um die strukturelle Nichtangriffsfähigkeit der existierenden Strukturen und eine entsprechende Umwandlung der nationalen Kontingente. Eine weitere Vermengung von politischen Entscheidungsstrukturen der EU mit der NATO ist der falsche Weg - ebenso falsch wie die Geheimdiplomatie, mit der die Außenminister Deutschlands und Frankreichs den Motor der EU wieder anwerfen wollen: Die Abschaffung der französischen Atomwaffen wäre ein überzeugenderer gemeinsamer Ausgangspunkt für eine sicherheitspolitische Initiative im Rahmen der EU-GASP.



Pentagon Backs Plan to Build US "Zone of Influence" in Baghdad

Satyam Khanna, of ThinkProgress.org, reports: "The White House has repeatedly insisted that the United States has 'no desire for permanent bases' in Iraq. Nevertheless, the Bush administration is seeking to leave its footprint on Iraq through other means. The AP reports that the Pentagon is backing a $5 billion dollar plan to 'transform the US-protected Green Zone' into a 'centerpiece for Baghdad's future,' resulting in 'big paydays for early investors.'"



More Attacks on Social Security and Medicare

Dean Baker writes for Truthout, "Last month, a bipartisan group of prominent budget experts had a press event at the Brookings Institution where they argued that ... major cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid ... were necessary in order to prevent the explosion in the budget deficit that is projected if these programs stay on their current course. While these experts are right to point to the long-term fiscal problems facing the country, the real problem is not the budget and these key programs on which tens of millions of people depend. The real problem is the United States has a broken health care system, which is projected to get progressively more inefficient through time."



Top US Officer Warns Against Conflict With Iran

Reuters writes: "U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq would make it difficult to mount any attack on Iran, the Pentagon's top officer said in remarks broadcast on Monday, adding that he would prefer to avoid a new regional war. 'I actually am very hopeful that we don't get into a position where we have to get into a conflict,' Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Israel's Channel Ten television..."



Vaccine Blamed for the Worst Flu Season in Four Years



What if 5.3 Million More Americans Could Vote?

Across the country there are 5.3 million Americans who are denied the right to vote because of a felony conviction in their past. Nearly 4 million of these people are not in prison; they live, work, pay taxes, and raise families in our communities, but remain disenfranchised for years, often for decades, and sometimes for life.


From Information Clearing House


The head of security at one of our nation's most vulnerable nuclear facilities


If you learned that the man in this photo -- a professional assassin -- was the head of security at one of our nation's most vulnerable nuclear facilities, would it trouble you? Or would it sound like one hell of a story?


From Information Clearing House

Iran says new talks with U.S. on Iraq meaningless

Iran on Monday dismissed any prospect of new talks with the United States on Iraq, accusing U.S.-led forces on Monday of a "massacre" of the Iraqi people.


Iran will not hold talks with U.S. on Iraq

Iran does not intend to hold talks with the United States on Iraq while American forces are fighting Shiite militias in Sadr City, the Iranian Foreign Ministry reported on its Web site on Monday.


Iraq: No Evidence Iran Is Arming Shiites

A top Iraqi official said Sunday there was no "conclusive" evidence that Shiite extremists have been directly supplied with some Iranian arms as alleged by the United States.


Manufacturing Consent For An Attack On Iran:

US: Hezbollah training Iraqi Shiite extremists in Iran

Iraqi Shiite extremists are being trained by members of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in camps near Tehran, a U.S. military spokesman said Monday.


Selling war:

Breakthrough reached in intel on Iran

Mossad chief Meir Dagan is expected to brief Britain's MI6 head Sir John Scarlett, who is slated to visit Israel later this month, on an intelligence breakthrough regarding the Iranian nuclear program, London's Sunday Times reported.


Nir Rosen: Selling the War with Iran

When the American media, which, in the build up to the American attack on Iraq abdicated its duty to challenge those in power and inform the public, continues to demonstrate the same lack of skepticism, it is very distressing.


Former UN weapons inspector says attack on Iran 'virtual guarantee'

I would say that it's a virtual guarantee that there will be a limited aerial strike against Iran in the not-so-near future-or not-so-distant future, that focuses on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command".


Iran Set To Reject Nuclear Incentives Offer By World Powers

Iran was quick to pour cold water on the offer, which reportedly outlined possibilities of technical assistance if Iran gave up its uranium enrichment program.


Iran offers major breakthrough for ending world crises Tehran

Hosseini added that Tehran's proposed package "can help international peace, stability and security" and are based on "respecting rights of all nations and their territorial integrity."


Iran says U.S. aids rebels at its borders

The violence may be driving Tehran's efforts to back its own allies in Iraq.

John Bolton: US should bomb Iranian camps

While he acknowledged that the risk of a hostile Iranian response harming American's overseas interests existed, he said the damage inflicted by Tehran would be "far higher" if Washington took no action.


From Information Clearing House


The Last Roundup

By Christopher Ketcham

For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?



World Bank Controlling Global Warming Spending?



Tomato Pickers Say Burger King Spies on Allies

Writing for Labor Notes, Tiffany Ten Eyck says, "Members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have exposed Burger King for its role in attempts to infiltrate and spy on the inner workings of a CIW-allied organization, the Student/Farmworker Alliance."


Russian Scientist Discovers Gassy Permafrost

The Chicago Tribune's Alex Rodriguez writes: "Sergei Zimov waded through knee-deep snow to reach a frozen lake where so much methane belches out of the melting permafrost that it spews out from the ice like small geysers."



Despite Bush Administration Pressure, the Japanese People Continue to Say "No More War"

Truthout contributor Ann Wright says, "After the end of World War II, the Japanese Constitution, written by the United States for the defeated Japanese, rejected war as a solution for conflict. Article Nine states: 'Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.'"



Net Neutrality

Christopher Kuttruff, Truthout, reports: "The Federal Communications Commission has recently encountered mounting scrutiny in response to its broad deregulatory practices. Public frustration regarding the FCC has peaked at a time of fierce debate on net neutrality."



Insuring Against the End of the World


Informant: Lew Rockwell




They manage the world

Informant: Doctor Plum


Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law


Informant: Lew Rockwell


Perpetual War For Perpetual Power



Is war with Iran inevitable, even imminent?



Militarism Is Eclipsing Christianity



Report: U.S. Not As 'free' As Touted

By Betsy Pisik

The U.S. political system is, at best, "a work in progress" according to an evaluation from the pro-democracy group Freedom House, which finds significant flaws in the U.S. criminal justice system, counterterrorism strategies and the treatment of minorities and immigrants.



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