Mittwoch, 14. Januar 2009

Whitewash Report on Racial Discrimination in United States

Human Rights Groups Decry Bush Administration's Whitewash Report on Racial Discrimination in United States.

Detainee Tortured, Says US Official

Bob Woodward, The Washington Post: "The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a 'life-threatening condition.' 'We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,' said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007."


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR): Mohammed al Qahtani Attorneys' Statement on Government Official Torture Admission


One in five Guantanamo Bay detainees is on hunger strike

Most of them are being force-fed. Of the 248 inmates inside the ´, 44 are refusing food - but 33 of those are receiving nutrition with tubes that are forced up their noses and into their stomachs.

Guantanamo force feeding is "a form of inhuman and degrading treatment"

Force feeding, in the words of the World Medical Association, is "a form of inhuman and degrading treatment" that is "never ethically acceptable". More than 250 eminent physicians have protested against its use at Guantanamo and called for the navy doctors involved to be struck off.

Judge orders release of Guantánamo detainee

A federal judge has ordered the release of an Al Qaeda suspect held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, because of insufficient evidence that the Chadian national was an "enemy combatant."

From Information Clearing House


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR): Government Admits Guantánamo Detainee Mohammed al Qahtani's Torture Videotaped

Pontypool phonemast plans delayed

8:10pm Wednesday 14th January 2009

By Natalie Crockett »

TWO decisions on phone masts in Pontypool were deferred for site visits.

A decision on a 17.5m mobile phone mast in Pontypool was deferred for members of Torfaen council’s planning committee.

Residents living near the site are opposed to the application made by O2 to build a telecommunications mast on land at Wiltan Factory Premises, Estate Road,Pontnewynydd.

Sixty letters of objection were submitted from residents living in 24 properties at Hanbury Road, Merchants Hill and Elled Road and from one industrial premises in Pontypool North Industrial Estate.

Concerns raised include the impact on health, depreciation of the value of homes, visual impact and previous refusals of masts at the site. Pontypool Community Council is also opposed to the plan.


Emergency Response to False Pardons

Caring Mothers Strike Fatal Blow against Genetic Determinism

ISIS Press Release 14/01/09

New research on maternal care puts the environment and epigenetic potential at centre stage of how organisms shape their lives and the lives of their offspring

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Neither genetic nor environmental determinism rules

Is it our genetic makeup or the environment that determines who we are? Startling new research results on how maternal care has lasting influence in the offspring’s behaviour that perpetuates for generations [1] are saying that’s not even the right question to ask.

Evidence has been emerging since the early 1990s that lack of parental care or childhood abuse can contribute to subsequent criminal behaviour [2]. A study sponsored by the US National Institute of Justice showed that a child who experienced neglect or physical abuse was 53 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile and 38 percent more as an adult compared with a child who was not neglected or abused. Another study found that 68.4 percent of male inmates from a New York State correctional institution reported childhood abuse or neglect: 71.2 percent for violent offenders and 61.8 percent for non-violent offenders.

It has been estimated that up to 70 percent of abusive parents were themselves abused [3, 4], and 20 to 30 percent of abused infants are likely to become abusers. These findings in humans are replicated in experiments on primates [1].

Clearly, the environment plays a large role, but it does not absolutely determine whether children will grow up to be criminals, any more than their genetic makeup determines what they will become. More importantly, changing the environment can often undo the harm that individuals, or their parents, have experienced in early life, as we shall see.

Myth of genetic determinism perpetrated in academia

Mainstream genetics research during the decades since the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953 has focussed on identifying ‘genes’ or ‘genetic predisposition’ for every ‘trait’, real or imaginary [5] (see Living with the Fluid Genome, ISIS publication). Imaginary traits are rife in the hybrid discipline of ‘evolutionary psychology’, long dedicated to inventing stories on ‘selective advantage’ for each of the ‘traits’ so that the corresponding gene could become ‘fixed’ in the population by neo-Darwinian natural selection.

Another hybrid discipline ‘behavioural genetics’, formerly dedicated to studies based on identical twins, began identifying DNA (gene) markers for behaviour; and indeed claimed to have found one for increased tendency towards violent behaviour in boys who experienced maltreatment in childhood [6]. The gene encoding the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) – involved in the metabolism of neurotransmitters - exists in two variants, one expressing high activity, the other, low activity. While all boys in the study showed increased “disposition towards violence” if they received maltreatment as children, those with low enzyme activity appeared to show a greater increase. The researchers claimed a weak residual effect due to the low activity MAOA, while conceding the large effect of the environment. But even this weak genetic predisposition soon faded away as more data became available [7].

Behavioural geneticists are not the only ones wasting time and resources chasing ‘will o’ the wisp’ gene markers. The project to map genetic predisposition to diseases was the main rationale for the $3 billion Human Genome Project that decades later, delivered next to nothing; basically because it is not genomic DNA but epigenetic environmental influences that overwhelmingly affect our health and well- being [8] (see From Genomics to Epigenomics SiS 41).

Read the rest of this article here

This is the second article in a six part series entitled Epigenetics and Beyond

The complete series is as follows:

Epigenetic Inheritance - What Genes Remember

Caring mothers strike fatal blow against genetic determinism
From Genomics to Epigenomics Epigenetic Toxicology Rewriting the Genetic Text in Brain Development and Evolution Epigenetic Inheritance through Sperm Cells, the Lamarckian Dimension in Evolution

Justice Dept. Official Lied to Congress, Internal Probe Finds

Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers: "A former acting Justice Department civil rights chief illegally favored conservative job applicants as 'real Americans,' kept liberal lawyers off key cases and lied in Senate testimony to conceal his misconduct, internal investigators say in a report made public Tuesday. Bradley Schlozman privately dubbed liberal department lawyers 'commies' and 'pinkos' and told a subordinate that the Civil Rights Division shouldn't be limited to hiring 'politburo members' who belong to some 'psychopathic left-wing organization designed to overthrow the government,' the department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility found."

Army Suicides Rise as Time Spent in Combat Increases

Gregg Zoroya, USA Today: "Josh Barber, former combat soldier, parked outside the Army hospital here one morning last August armed for war. A cook at the dining facility, Barber sat in his truck wearing battle fatigues, earplugs and a camouflage hood on his head. He had an arsenal: seven loaded guns, nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition, knives in his pockets. On the front seat, an AK-47 had a bullet in the chamber."

The bailout, the fraud and the war on terror

Weltweite Verbreitung von Hetze gegen Hartz IV- Bezieher

Plea to move phone mast from school

WalesOnline - United Kingdom

What do you think about the plans to build a mobile phone mast in Six Bells? Are you a concerned parent? If you want to have your say on this issue contact ...

Probe into siting of mobile phone mast

Blackpool Gazette - Blackpool, England, UK

AN investigation has been ordered after council bosses agreed to spend £85000 relocating a mobile phone mast. Blackpool Council faced losing a £1.7m housing ...

Residents’ fury at phone mast ‘risks’

This is Local London - UK

By Hannah Crown

CAMPAIGNERS have hit out at a mobile phone firm for putting up a new mast despite Enfield Council refusing planning permission. ...

Richard Perle: Still crazy after all these years

by Justin Raimondo


Now that the greatest strategic disaster in American military history is an accomplished fact, its architects are distancing themselves from their handiwork. For the past year or two, we have been treated to the spectacle of what might be called neoconservative panic syndrome — the cabal that lied us into war is frightened to death of being held responsible for the catastrophe. Their catastrophe. … Some have recanted. Others, less reflective, blame everyone but themselves. And a good many are defiant and more full of themselves — as well as other substances — than ever. Such a one is Richard Perle, the so-called Dark Prince of the neocons, the most relentless and disreputable of the lot...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The mother of all bailouts

Liberty For All
by Larken Rose


As our ‘leaders’ have been teaching us recently, the way to save the world is to throw money around. If huge corporations or banks are failing, flinging zillions of dollars at them is the solution. Well heck, since we know how to fix everything, why hold back? I hereby propose a $300,000,000,000,000 bailout. Let’s not waste time bickering over what’s necessary and what’s fair. Lots of people are having financial troubles, but with a wave of Congress’ magic wand, we can have utopia on earth...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

We can no longer afford the empire

Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland


Somebody is going to have to whisper in President-elect Obama’s ear that the unipolar moment has passed and that the United States can no longer afford its informal worldwide empire. Even though the looming economic meltdown will likely be serious — and maybe even cataclysmic — the foreign policy chattering classes of both parties are on autopilot and have not yet abandoned their interventionist consensus. A rude awakening awaits...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US deficit soars to $485.2 billion for quarter



The federal budget deficit expanded by $83.6 billion in December, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday, bringing the total deficit for the first three months of the 2009 fiscal year to $485.2 billion. By comparison, the budget deficit for all of fiscal year 2008 was $455 billion. In fiscal 2007, it was $161 billion. The deficit has ballooned in the first quarter of the fiscal year as the Treasury, Federal Reserve and FDIC began spending record amounts of the $7.2 trillion committed so far to bailouts, financial stabilization efforts and capital investments...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Democrats seek criminal probe of Bush abuses

USA Today


The incoming Obama administration should launch a criminal investigation of Bush administration officials to see whether they broke the law in the name of national security, a House Democratic report said Tuesday. President-elect Barack Obama has been more cautious on the issue and has not endorsed such a recommendation. Along with the criminal probe, the report called for a Sept. 11-style commission with subpoena power to gather facts and make recommendations on preventing misuse of power, according to the report by the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee...

Bush’s midnight regulations

by Veronique de Rugy

The political scientist James Pfiffner has compared the ability of a lame-duck president to achieve anything in his final months in office to ‘a balloon with a slow leak that shrinks with each passing week until it hits the ground.’ Yet in his waning hours, President George W. Bush managed to rush through an unprecedented number of late-breaking regulations, ranging from a rule increasing the length of time truck drivers can stay behind the wheel to a requirement that organizations providing aid to victims of sex trafficking certify that they do not advocate prostitution.” (for publication 02/09)

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

IWF: Abschreibungen der Banken werden 1,4 Billionen Dollar weit überschreiten

Der Internationale Währungsfonds korrigiert die Prognosen nach unten und fordert mehr Geld, um ärmeren Staaten helfen zu können.

Verantwortung übernehmen - Geht doch!

Warning that house prices may fall by 80%

IRELAND WILL see more demolition than construction of houses over the next decade, as the economy struggles to recover from the collapse of the ´ market and the emergence of "zombie" banks, UCD economist Morgan Kelly told the conference.

State Pensions' $865 Billion Loss Affects New Workers

State governments from Rhode Island to California have run up estimated pension-fund losses of $865.1 billion, forcing some to cut benefits for new hires.

From Information Clearing House

New admission over legal advice on Iraq invasion

The admission has revived allegations that the former attorney general was pressured to revise his opinion that an invasion could be illegal without an explicit UN resolution.

From Information Clearing House

Afghanistan: Bagram, Worse Than Guantanamo?

By William Fisher

While millions know that the administration of George W. Bush has left Barack Obama with the job of closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, relatively few are aware that the new president will also face a similar but far larger dilemma 7,000 miles away.

Bush: I Personally Authorized Torture Of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

By Think Progress - Video and Text

In an interview with Brit Hume that aired on Fox News Sunday, President Bush admitted that he personally authorized the torture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He said he personally asked "what tools" were available to use on him, and sought legal approval for waterboarding him.

Obama: Declare an End To 'The War on Terror'

By Robert Dreyfuss

Obama can make it clear that the United States is, from now on, playing by the rules. No more torture. No more rendition to torture-prone nations. No more Guantanamo. No more Abu Ghraibs. Respect for the rule of law.

Clinton Still Hawkish On Iran

Clinton Confirmation Hearing: HRC on Iran's Nuclear Program

By Spencer Ackerman

Kerry asks about a "bottom line" from Obama: is it acceptable for Iran to have a weapon "or is it simply not desirable?" Clinton: "The President-elect has said repeatedly it is unacceptable." Will pursue diplomacy "with all its multitudinous tools" but "no option is off the table," a euphemism for military force.

A New Spin on Iran's Nuclear Threat

By Nader Bagherzadeh

The neo-cons, some of the reporters from major US newspapers, and a number of nonproliferation experts are now spinning a new story about the potential threat of Iran's uranium enrichment capability.

Urge Obama to stop Guantanamo

Stimulating Our Way to Rock Bottom

Obama Unveils New Grand Plan for the Economy

Premises of the New Deal

Workers Forced to Take Unpaid Vacations

The Associated Press: "Financially struggling universities, factories and even hospitals are requiring employees to take unpaid 'furloughs' - temporary layoffs that amount to one-time pay cuts for workers and a cost savings for employers. This year, the number of temporarily laid off workers hit a 17-year high."

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