Freitag, 10. Oktober 2008

Detention Has a Wide, Destructive Impact in Iraq

Nick Mottern and Bill Rau, Truthout: "Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US military reports it has captured about 200,000 Iraqis, with some 96,000 of these being held at one time or another in US prisons in Iraq."

PART II: Detention Has a Wide, Destructive Impact in Iraq

Nick Mottern and Bill Rau, Truthout: "On August 5, 2008, Richard Rowley posted a video on the Web site of the Pulitzer Center, showing Iraqi families heading out into the desert of southern Iraq before dawn to visit relatives imprisoned by the US at Camp Bucca. The camp currently holds about 15,900 Iraqis, according to the US command in charge there."

Part III | Detention Has a Wide, Destructive Impact in Iraq

Nick Mottern and Bill Rau, Truthout: "When an Iraqi is pulled off the street by US forces or captured in combat, that person is facing enrollment in the 'population engagement program called detention.' This description of the US imprisonment of thousands of Iraqis was offered by Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone, former commander of Task Force 134 (TF-134), the unit in charge of US detention prisons in Iraq, speaking at a Pentagon press briefing in June 2008 at the completion of his 14-month tour in Iraq."

Radiation fears over low-energy light bulbs

Here is today's Irish Times update on LED lightbulbs and the related health issue.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gormley to lay down light bulb standards

HARRY McGEE, Political Staff

THE GOVERNMENT will today formally launch the process that will lead to the phasing out of traditional light bulbs from March 2009. Minister for the Environment John Gormley will launch a consultation paper on his proposed energy efficiency and performance standard for light bulbs. The paper proposes the replacement of incandescent tungsten filament bulbs – including halogen – of 75 watts and over from March of next year, to be replaced by energy-efficient light bulbs. Mr Gormley is expected to contend that this move in itself will eliminate almost half of the most energy inefficient light bulbs. According to the proposals, all traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs will be phased out over a period of three years ending in March 2012. However, the proposals make no specific recommendations for incandescent spot and reflector bulbs, including dimmable bulbs. In respect of these classes of light bulb – where the technology is not at a similar stage of development – the proposals state: “From a national policy perspective, the next step will be a review of the standard in 2010 with a view to extending its scope to incandescent spot and reflector bulbs.” The department is also expected to say that no introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards will be introduced if there are no alternatives currently available. For example, the department concedes that “there is an issue in relation to dimming in the case of some CFL bulbs”. The consultation period will last for one month and once it is concluded, the department will seek EU Commission approval for its draft legislation, which it hopes to introduce in the Oireachtas by the New Year. Mr Gormley is expected to argue today that the timely introduction of the bulbs will have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, as well as offering significant benefits to consumers. While the costs of CFL bulbs are higher, the department has said that these costs can be recouped within six months. The light-bulb initiative was announced by Mr Gormley at the time of the first carbon budget last year. It led to a protracted row between the Minister and the Opposition, primarily Labour’s environment spokeswoman Joanna Tuffy, over how quickly the changeover could be introduced and over alleged non-compliance with EU competition rules. If the legislation is enacted in the New Year, the Government contends that 80 per cent of traditional light bulbs will have become obsolete by March 2010. © 2008 The Irish Times

Friday, October 10, 2008

Radiation fears over low-energy light bulbs


SOME ENERGY-saving light bulbs emit ultraviolet radiation (UV) that could be harmful if placed too close to the skin, health experts say. The Department of the Environment said people would have an opportunity to air their concerns before traditional light bulbs were banned. A spokesman for the department said Minister for the Environment John Gormley had confirmed that a public consultation would be held. "Full consideration will be given to all views. He's not just going to bring this in and ride roughshod over everyone's concerns," he said. Britain's Health Protection Agency said some unencapsulated fluorescent light bulbs - where the shape of the coil is clearly visible - emit UV radiation that could make the skin red if used for long periods of time closer than 30cms (1ft) to the body. The agency issued the warning to people who sit close to a reading lamp or desk lamp, and the tens of thousands who suffer from medical conditions that make them sensitive to UV light. The health agency said people should not remain within 30cms of a light bulb for more than one hour a day, or should switch to an encapsulated style of energy-saving light bulb where the outer layer of glass looks more like a traditional bulb. The agency's chief executive Justin McCracken said: "We are advising people to avoid using the open light bulbs for prolonged close work until the problem is sorted out and to use encapsulated bulbs instead." - (Additional reporting PA)

© 2008 The Irish Times
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

Informant: Imelda O'Connor


More Choices Removed: CFLs to Replace 100 Watt Bulbs in Britain in the Name of “Climate Change”

From an EHS point-of-view alone these bulbs are just miserable...and when someone makes the mistake of putting them in a dimming fixture, motion activated fixture or light activated fixture, the harmonics or "Dirty Electricity" are so over-the-top it is just crazy and then there is the mercury and all the other issues. What a crime.


"General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20 years. Now the company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs could become a real problem if sales balloon as expected.

"Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in the use of these products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll be discussing with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says Earl Jones, a senior counsel for General Electric.

In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional staffers on Thursday."


Informant: Mark G.


Compact Fluorescent Bulbs are Making People Sick

Natural - Phoenix, AZ, USA

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are filling home and office environments with dangerous electromagnetic pollution, causing devastating health effects on ...

Vast mast bid

Preston Road is being considered for a giant mast

Published Date: 10 October 2008

By Jackie Mitchell
Chief Reporter

A GIANT mobile phone mast could be sited yards from a children's playground and over the road from a primary school.

Vodafone has applied for permission for the 14-metre (45ft) mast at Preston Road, Linlithgow.

If approved the structure would be placed on the roadside verge at the corner of the new playpark, near Linlithgow Primary School and next to the Union Canal.

A separate application from Vodafone also proposes a new mast on Mains Road.

Linlithgow Community Council plans a formal objection.


McCain and The Evil Empire

A Small Nuclear Blunder?

H. Bruce Franklin, Truthout: "McCain's position on nuclear proliferation two years ago is still his position today. Forget meaningful negotiations, ignore the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and rely on threats and force to keep nations such as Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. So it's not hard to understand how Sarah Palin, after her pre-debate crash course in talking points, could end up saying that Iran should not be allowed to have nuclear energy."

Sozial Bedürftige sollen für Unfähigkeit der Bundesregierung zahlen

10. Oktober 2008

Der Zugang zur Rechtsberatung für Bedürftige soll nach Willen des Bundesrats künftig schwerer werden. Zum Gesetzentwurf von fünf Bundesländern zur Reform des Beratungshilferechts erklärt die stellvertretende Parteivorsitzende Katja Kipping:

Das Beratungshilfegesetz in seiner bisherigen Form sieht vor, dass außergerichtliche Rechtsanwaltskosten für Menschen mit geringen Einkommen, sowie Sozialhilfeempfänger und Arbeitslosengeld-II-Bezieher bis auf einen Eigenanteil von 10 Euro vom Staat übernommen werden. Das Vorhaben der Bundesländer Sachsen-Anhalt, Sachsen, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen und Schleswig-Holstein, nun die Beratungsgebühr um weitere 20 Euro zu erhöhen, zeigt erneut, wie weit sich Regierungspolitik von der Lebenswirklichkeit der Menschen entfernt hat. Eine Eigenbeteiligung von 30 Euro bedeutet für Bezieher von ALG II oder Sozialhilfe, dass sie an anderen Stellen ihres ohnehin viel zu knappen Budgets sparen oder auf Rechtshilfe verzichten müssen. All dies nur, weil der Gesetzgeber mit einem verwirrenden, für viele Menschen kaum durchschaubaren Regelwerk und Antragsverfahren den Antragstellern von vornherein ein Gefühl der Unsicherheit vermittelt, sowie durch in der Vergangenheit tausendfach falsch berechnete Leistungsbescheide ein enormes Misstrauen unter den Betroffenen geschaffen hat. DIE LINKE weist diese rechtliche Schlechterstellung von sozial Bedürftigen entschieden zurück und fordert die Abschaffung der Beratungsgebühr sowie eine umfassende Vereinfachung und Überarbeitung der Sozialgesetzgebung.


Hartz IV Beratung wird teurer- nicht mit uns!

Die Länderkammer verabschiedete am Freitag den Gesetzesentwurf zur Änderung des Beratungshilfegesetzes für Sozialhilfe und ALG II Bezieher/innen. Hintergrund der "Reform" dürfte die Klageflut an den Sozialgerichten sein. Die Verteuerung soll die Klageflut eindämmen. Seit der Einführung der Hartz IV Arbeitsmarktreform werden die Gerichte mit Klagen überhäuft.

Hier hilft nur, den Spieß herum drehen indem man die Ämter für die Beratungskosten zur Kasse bittet und so die Pläne der Bundesregierung auf Rechtebeschneidung zu vereiteln. Die Möglichkeit dazu eröffnet § 63 SGB X (Auszug aus Abs. 1 und 2): "Soweit der Widerspruch erfolgreich ist, hat der Rechtsträger, dessen Behörde den angefochtenen Verwaltungsakt erlassen hat, demjenigen, der Widerspruch erhoben hat, die zur zweckentsprechenden Rechtsverfolgung oder Rechtsverteidigung notwendigen Aufwendungen zu erstatten."

"Die Gebühren und Auslagen eines Rechtsanwalts oder eines sonstigen Bevollmächtigten im Vorverfahren sind erstattungsfähig, wenn die Zuziehung eines Bevollmächtigten notwendig war."

Lesen Sie den ganzen Artikel:

Banken sind sinnlos geworden

10. Oktober 2008

"Banken sollen Unternehmen finanzieren. Heute finanziert der Staat die Banken: durch Rettungspakete und Verstaatlichung. Es ist egal, ob Banken öffentlich oder privat sind. Entscheidend ist: Der ganze Müll spekulativer Selbstzweckgeschäfte muss weg", so Axel Troost, Mitglied im Parteivorstand der LINKEN. Er erklärt:

Schon rufen nach den Banken die ersten Autohersteller in Europa nach dem Staatssäckel. Weitere Branchen werden folgen. Gibt die Politik dem drohenden Subventionswettlauf nach und setzt sie ihre einseitige Angebotsorientierung fort, wird es nicht nur teuer, sondern führt ebenso wenig aus der Krise wie die Verstaatlichung maroder Banken. Wir brauchen ein Konjunkturprogramm, um endlich wieder die Nachfrage im Inland zu stützen und ein Sofortprogramm, um die Banken zur Finanzierung der Realwirtschaft zurückzuführen. DIE LINKE hat entsprechende Programme auf ihrer Vorstandstagung am 29. September beschlossen.

Gesetzlicher Mindestlohn für alle, die für Hungerlöhne arbeiten müssen

10. Oktober 2008

Falsches Signal

DIE LINKE hat von Anfang an die von der Großen Koalition beabsichtigte weitere Senkung des Arbeitslosenbeitrages kritisiert. Dazu erklärt Bundesgeschäftsführer Dietmar Bartsch:

Die von der Koalition beabsichtigte Senkung des Arbeitslosenbeitrages ist angesichts der drohenden wirtschaftlichen Verwerfungen durch die Finanzmarktkrise das falsche Signal. Gerade in Zeiten sich abzeichnender Konjunkturabschwächung ist es von der Koalition verantwortungslos, durch weitere Beitragssenkung die arbeitsmarktpolitischen Möglichkeiten der Bundesagentur für Arbeit zu beschneiden. Arbeitsminister Scholz sollte bereits vorhandene Warnungen ernst nehmen, dass eine erneute Senkung des Beitrages zu Kürzungen des Arbeitslosengeldes führen könnte. Effektive Beschäftigungsprogramme und eine weitsichtige Arbeitsmarktpolitik sind nur mit einer entsprechenden Finanzausstattung möglich. Statt im Null-Komma-Bereich beim Arbeitslosenbeitrag den Menschen finanzielle Entlastung vorzugaukeln, sollte besser mehr Geld für öffentlich geförderte Beschäftigung eingesetzt werden, damit auch Langzeitarbeitslose eine Perspektive erhalten. Wirkliche Entlastungen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger brächten Sozialtarife bei Energiekosten, die Wiedereinführung der Pendlerpauschale oder ein gesetzlicher Mindestlohn für alle, die für Hungerlöhne arbeiten müssen.

10. Oktober 2008

Brandstifter als Feuerwehrmann ungeeignet

Franz Müntefering setzt sich offenbar gegenüber dem DGB in NRW nun auch für Mindestlöhne ein. Mehr noch: Er spricht sogar von "sittenwidrig hohen Löhnen" bei Managern und beklagt, dass die so genannten "Heuschrecken" die Demokratie gefährden. Er fordert, "das Primat der Politik zu behaupten, und zu verhindern, das Geld die Welt regiert". Dazu erklärt das Mitglied des Parteivorstandes Jürgen Klute:

DIE LINKE fordert seit langem einen flächendeckenden gesetzlichen Mindestlohn und die Begrenzung der Managergehälter. In der Sache ist also Franz Müntefering zuzustimmen. Nur gibt es bei ihm eine Diskrepanz zwischen Wort und Tat. Zur Erinnerung: Franz Müntefering hat als Vizekanzler - und mit ihm die SPD - im Juni 2007 im Bundestag gegen den Mindestlohn-Antrag der LINKEN gestimmt. Gleiches trifft auf die Begrenzung der Managergehälter zu. Es war die SPD unter Müntefering, die mit ihrem Nein diesen Vorschlag der Linksfraktion im Bundestag mit vom Tisch gewischt hat. Und war es nicht die rot-grüne Bundesregierung unter Gerhard Schröder und mit Franz Müntefering, die den Finanzmarkt dereguliert hat, um den Finanzstandort Deutschland zu modernisieren? Die SPD hat unter Bundeskanzler Schröder und Parteichef Müntefering das Primat der Politik endgültig gekippt. Hier versucht ein Brandstifter der ersten Reihe sich den verunsicherten Bürgerinnen und Bürgern als Feuerwehrmann anzubiedern. Dabei ist heute schon klar: Ist Franz Müntefering in politischer Verantwortung, wird aus dem Feuerwehrmann wieder der altbekannte Brandstifter.üntefering

Wall Street: A new Iraq War

Asia Times
by Pepe Escobar


The Wall Street US$810 billion — and counting — bailout is being interpreted by millions of angry Americans as no less than a class struggle weapon of mass destruction. It may cost US taxpayers over $2 trillion after real interest payments are added. Whoever is elected will inherit this toxic mess — which includes the biggest fiscal and foreign deficits in US history and no control of monetary policy. Yes, this bailout is a second Iraq war...

Fiscal discipline at all levels of society is answer to mortgage crisis

Heartland Institute
by Sandy Liddy Bourne


As I write this, I have already lost more than $7,000 in my retirement accounts and $5,000 in my children’s education accounts due to the financial meltdown. It appears the bailout will cost me approximately $6,500 in additional taxes, and there appears to be no end in sight. This is rapidly becoming an extremely costly exercise, and although I am only adequately educated in the area of finance–and that education came from the school of hard knocks–I am annoyed and beginning to get very nervous. My guess is that I represent middle-America today...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Officials suspect fake voter registration

Dubuque Telegraph Herald


Officials in Missouri, a hard-fought jewel in the presidential race, are sifting through possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has been accused of election fraud in other states. Charlene Davis, co-director of the election board in Jackson County, said many of the forms came from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Probleme mit Wahlmaschinen in Florida

Bei mehreren Auszählungen und Überprüfungen einer Richterwahl in Palm Beach County zeigen sich neueste High-Speed-Geräte, die auch bei der kommenden Präsidentschaftswahl eingesetzt werden, als wenig zuverlässig.

Kalifornien droht die Staatspleite, weitere Staaten könnten folgen

Dem Bundesstaat fehlen bis Ende Oktober sieben Milliarden Dollar, die Finanzkrise erschwert dem sechstgrößten Wirtschaftsland der Welt die Aufnahme von kurzfristigen Krediten.

Is Colorado the Next Florida?

Naomi Zeveloff, The Colorado Independent: "First there was Florida. Then there was Ohio. Will Colorado be next? The state has a brand new voter database system, the longest ballot in the nation and hundreds of thousands of new voter registrations to contend with, all of which raise the specter of chaos at the polls come November. And while elections officials maintain that Colorado can pull off its elections without a hitch, several voter watchdog groups say otherwise."

Colorado Poorly Prepared for Electronic Voting Machine Problems

Myung Oak Kim, The Rocky Mountain News: "A new national study released today said Colorado is one of the least-prepared states to handle electronic voting machine failures on Election Day. The report gave Colorado low marks because state regulations don't outline in detail how poll workers should address problems with voting terminals and don't require counties to keep paper ballots as back-up."

Cook County Sheriff: I Will Stop Enforcing Evictions

Azam Ahmed and Ofelia Casillas, The Chicago Tribune: "As the nationwide mortgage crisis puts the squeeze on homeowners, the Cook County Sheriff's Office is on pace to evict more people than ever from foreclosed homes."

The modern conservative movement

Rachel's News #980

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

There's Something Rotten in Alaska

American Empire Is 'Crumbling'

The Money Masters: How International Bankers Gained

Home of the brave, land of the free

The SEC Short Sells Us Down the River

SEC Report: Employees Browsed Adult Material, Ran Private Businesses

Jake Bernstein, ProPublica: "The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking a drubbing these days for its abject failure - despite detailed tips - to catch Bernie Madoff in what appears to be the biggest Ponzi scheme in our nation’s history. Now, thanks to a little-noticed report from the agency’s inspector general, we have a detailed glimpse into other bad behavior by some SEC employees."

On the real reasons for the war in Iraq

Blame the Government

Weathering the Financial Storm

Wireless device may have caused Qantas plane plunge

Passengers investigated over plummeting plane

Written by Iain Thomson in San Francisco, 10 Oct 2008

The possibility that an electronic device cause pilots to lose control of a plane and led to the injury of dozens of passengers is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Qantas flight QF72 from Singapore called in a mayday and had to make an emergency landing after the pilots lost control at 37,000 feet. The plane made a series of violent manoeuvres that left 12 people seriously injured and over 30 more in need of medical attention.

“A preliminary review of the data indicates that after the aircraft climbed about 200 feet from its cruising level of 37,000 feet, the aircraft then pitched nose-down and descended about 650 feet in about 20 seconds, before returning to the cruising level,” said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).



Mobiles, laptops a risk to air safety - expert - Australia

... a company specialising in testing and consulting in the field of electromagnetic compatibility and interference (EMC/EMI) and electromagnetic radiation...,26058,24474421-36335,00.html


Beep, beep... danger calling

New Straits Times - Persekutuan, Malaysia

The electromagnetic interference (EMI) generated by most electronic equipment can affect the sophisticated electronic systems of airplanes, including the ...


Qantas asks if laptops caused plane's nose-dive

Electromagnetic interference a growing problem in Aviation

A Wasted Vote

by Chuck Baldwin

When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, "He cannot win." Or, "I don't want to waste my vote." It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two major party candidates is not a wasted vote? I don't think so........


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