May 3, 2003
Miscellaneous Subjects #182: A Hodgepodge of Heavy Duty Stuff
After another very busy week, here is a hefty conclusion which hopefully you'll have time to explore this weekend.
Please remember to check your emails early Sunday morning for the next Meditation Focus.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MiscelSubjects182.htm
Check also my latest Media Compilation #134: How Can the U.S. Media Give Such a Free Pass to Bush? archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation134.htm
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
1. Cover up of DU Health impact in Iraq
2. Arundhati Roy's article
3. War in Iraq a Reason for Shame
4. The Mightiest Nation
5. Why Does the Department of Defense Say the War Costs $20 Billion and You Say $40 Billion?
6. Further de-regulation of the Federal Communications Commission?
7. Steer away!
SPECIAL GREEN ISSUES TO CONSIDER
Studies find disturbing amounts of chemical contamination in lettuce
For six months of the year, 70% of the nation's lettuce comes from a few Western counties irrigated by the Colorado river. Now, two studies have found that some of this winter lettuce is contaminated with perchlorate, a pollutant that has found its way into the groundwater in as many as 20 states, from the manufacture of rocket fuel, flares and munitions and is known to contaminate the Colorado. A study by the Environmental Working Group found perchlorate in four of 22 lettuce samples purchased in January and February in the San Francisco Bay Area. The four positive samples had more than 30 parts per billion of the pollutant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a preliminary safety level of one part per billion of perchlorate in water. And recent tests by The Press-Enterprise newspaper of Riverside, Calif., found perchlorate in 18 of 18 lettuce samples, at an average of eight parts per billion. Perchlorate affects the thyroid gland and can disrupt hormone production. This is of particular concern to pregnant women because proper thyroid function is crucial to the development of a baby's brain and nervous system. It's believed that the Colorado's contamination comes from two now-closed perchlorate plants near Las Vegas. The plants' water is known to contain perchlorate levels from three to 10 parts per billion.
Otters dying in record numbers (April 30)
92 have washed up on California coast in past four months
Australian Endangered Species
CANBERRA, Australia, April 23, 2004 (ENS) - The most comprehensive assessment to date of Australia's wildlife shows that some 3,000 whole bushland ecosystems are disappearing, taking more than 1,500 species with them. The Commonwealth Government's National Land and Water Resources Audit on the state of Australia's biodiversity was issued today, providing a national picture of the status and distribution of threatened species and ecological communities.
Electric Car Rules Dropped State Panel Turns To Fuel Cell Vehicles (April 25)
In a potential death knell for the electric car, California air officials on Thursday dropped landmark regulations dating back to 1990 that require automakers to make a specific number of electric cars. Instead, state regulators threw their lot in with a new technology, approving a revised program that forces car companies to build a quota of equally non-polluting fuel cell vehicles over the next decade.
California's Crude Awakening (April 23)
"America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen powered automobiles ... the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free ... to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy."
Genesis World Energy
Introduces Revolutionary Automotive Hydrogen Fuel Generation Device - Genesis HICEF Technology leapfrogs current fuel cell-based transportation development by enabling the use of hydrogen in internal combustion engines - Boise, ID - April 21, 2003 - Genesis World Energy, the company behind a revolutionary energy generation technology introduced in December 2002, has announced an automotive and transportation application that creates an on-demand source of hydrogen fuel for internal combustion engines. The Genesis HICEF (Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Fuel) Technology represents a stunning breakthrough in hydrogen-based automotive power systems through its on-board, on-demand generation of hydrogen gas derived from water - circumventing the need for either externally supplied sources of hydrogen or hydrogen generation based on chemicals or fossil fuel derivatives.
Cross-Country "Drive To Survive"
LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2003 - The Drive to Survive 2003 launched its cross-country journey today at the Santa Monica Pier led by actor and community leader Dennis Weaver. The Drive to Survive was created by the Institute of Ecolonomics (IOE) to demonstrate the viability and availability of hybrid, hydrogen and alternative fuel vehicles. Drive to Survive participants will leave Los Angeles on May 1, arrive in Washington D.C. on May 14, and stop in cities across the country to showcase cutting-edge vehicles powered by electricity, hydrogen, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, methanol and ethanol. "We can create cars that preserve the environment while enabling a robust economy," said IOE co-founder Weaver. "The Drive to Survive is an exciting way to demonstrate the success of these alternative fuel vehicles."
Almost Half The Earth Is Still Wilderness
Wilderness areas still cover close to half the Earth's land, but contain only a tiny percentage of the world's population, finds a new report from Conservation International. The 37 wilderness areas identified in the report represent 46 percent of the Earth's land surface, but are occupied by just 2.4 percent of the world's population, excluding urban centers.
Cheap Coffee 'Threatens Wildlife' (April 27)
Demand for coffee in the West is threatening to destroy already endangered wildlife, according to new research. Conservation experts say overproduction of cheap robusta coffee beans - commonly used in instant coffee - may be contributing to the loss of tigers, elephants, orang-utans and rhinos in Sumatra. A study by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society says that large areas of Indonesian lowland forest are being cut down to make way for coffee plantations.
World's Wettest Area Dries (April 28)
One of the world's wettest places is suffering from a shortage of water.
The Khasi Hills, in a remote part of north-east India, usually experience torrential rains. Famously, the area once recorded more than 1,000 inches (2,540 centimetres) of rain in just one year - a global record. But villagers in the region, which was named after the rain-filled clouds that supplied the waterfalls and streams, now have to bring water from other areas. Increases in pollution and deforestation have been blamed for the environmental changes.
PATRIOT RAID (April 29 - Frightening experience!)
(...) Three days later I phoned the restaurant to discover what happened. The owner was nervous and embarrassed and obviously did not want to talk about it. But I managed to ascertain that the whole thing had been one giant mistake. A mistake. Loaded guns pointed in faces, people made to crawl on their hands and knees, police officers clearly exacerbating a tense situation by kicking in doors, taunting, keeping their fingers on the trigger even after the situation was under control. A mistake. And, according to the ACLU a perfectly legal one, thanks to the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is just the first phase of the erosion of the Fourth Amendment. From the Justice Department has emerged a draft of the Domestic Securities Enhancement Act, also known as Patriot II. Among other things, this act would allow the Justice Department to detain anyone, anytime, secretly and indefinitely. It would also make it a crime to reveal the identity or even existence of such a detainee. Every American citizen, whether they support the current war or not, should be alarmed by the speed and facility with which these changes to our fundamental rights are taking place. And all of those who thought that these laws would never affect them, who thought that the Patriot Act only applied to the guilty, should heed this story as a wake-up call. Please learn from my experience. We are all vulnerable so speak out and organize, our Fourth Amendment rights depend upon it.
Make Your City Or Town A Civil Liberties Safe Zone
One state and 93 cities, towns, and counties have passed resolutions protecting the civil liberties of their 7,823,560 residents. Many more are in progress. Hawaii is the first state to pass a resolution to defend the Bill of Rights and civil liberties, and Arcata, California, is the first city to pass an ordinance.
Is America Becoming Fascist? (April 27)
The similarities between American fascism and particularly the National Socialist precedent, both historical and theoretical, are remarkable. Fascism is home, it is here to stay, and it better be countered with all the intellectual resources at our disposal.
Corporate Colonialism (April 23 - 29)
Like one of the 19th-century European colonial empires, the Bush government is calling on Bechtel, Halliburton, and other major corporations to take over the job of running the Iraqi colony. These companies are to act in the name of the government. They are to be paid out of our taxes. It might just as well be the British East India company. The colonial corporations become the instrument of the nation-state, in this case to undertake the reconstruction of Iraq. They, not the government, are the purveyors of laws and customs and democratic ideals.
Under Uncle Sam's Thumb - The History of Washington's Occupations (April 30)
Washington isn't just a failure at bringing democracy abroad. It's utterly incapable of it.
The war is over (except for Iraq), As Bush prepares to announce an end to hostilities today, more Iraqis are killed by American troops (May 1)
(...) the war with the American and British occupiers seems to be just beginning. Hatred is taking hold here, and throughout Iraq.
The Forgotten Famine (April 30)
While the western humanitarian focus is on Iraq, millions are starving in Africa in what is becoming a permanent continent-wide crisis - Whatever happened to the food crisis in Africa that western charities, the UN and governments warned last year could engulf 25 million people? Did it never happen? Did the charities and governments get their forecasts wrong? Did the rains come and the food suddenly grow? Did the world stump up enough cash and food? Can we stop our standing orders to Oxfam, Concern and other charities? The answer to all these questions is no. There may not be any pictures of dying children on television, but this slow-burn humanitarian crisis is now at a critical point and in many countries, such as Ethiopia, the situation is worse than forecast. Last week, James Morris, the World Food Programme's director, warned the UN security council that 40 million people needed emergency food aid - far more than expected. This week Ethiopia has revised its estimates and appealed for a further $205m of food.
HRW: Iraq: Clusters Info Needed from U.S., U.K, Ground-Launched Cluster Munitions Endangering Civilians (April 29)
(...) The U.S. Department of Defense has acknowledged using nearly 1,500 air-dropped cluster bombs, but has not revealed any information about ground-launched cluster munitions, which may have been much more numerous. The U.K. Ministry of Defense has admitted to using more than 2,000 cluster munitions, but like the Pentagon, it has not provided detailed information that deminers need to clear "dud" submunitions, which pose hazards to civilians.
Uniting for Peace Petition for an Emergency United Nations Resolution on Iraq
This petition ask the UN Security Council to ensure that the United Nations plays a central role in restoring peace and security in Iraq. It will close for signatures on May 31, 2003. A pdf version is available at http://habitat.igc.org/ufp/petition.pdf
Nuclear War Risk Grows As States Race To Acquire Bomb (April 29)
A conference on nuclear non-proliferation began in Geneva yesterday, in the shadow of North Korea's departure from the global treaty and with the bleakest prospects for progress in the pact's 33-year history. John Wolf, US Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Non-proliferation told a news conference on the first day of the meeting that Iran has "an alarming, clandestine programme" to get hold of nuclear technology. "Iran is going down the same path of denial and deception that handicapped international inspections in North Korea and Iraq," he said. But disarmament experts said that American lack of commitment to non-proliferation was as damaging as the behaviour of the proliferators. CLIP
Dianne Feinstein | Low-Yield Nuclear-Proliferation
``As the United States contemplates the new international order in the wake of the war in Iraq and engages diplomatically with North Korea to convince that nation to relinquish its nuclear ambitions, it is critical that the United States leads the way in both word and deed to rid the world of nuclear weapons. I am therefore deeply concerned that the Administration's renewed emphasis on the developing so-called 'low-yield' nuclear weapons is taking our Nation's policy in exactly the wrong direction. This includes possibly repealing prohibitions on developing 'low-yield' bombs and deep-penetration 'bunker-busters,' and contemplating giving nuclear armaments a role in the new U.S. doctrine of preemption. CLIP
Kennedy warns on nuclear tests (April 30)
Senator Edward Kennedy yesterday warned that the Bush administration was preparing to restart the testing of nuclear weapons so it could develop a new generation of bunker-busting bombs and tactical "mini-nukes", potentially triggering a new arms race
Media Nix-- From Blix To Kucinich To Dixie Chicks (by Norman Solomon, April 24)
Hans Blix, Dennis Kucinich and the Dixie Chicks are in very different lines of work -- but they're in the same line of fire from big media for the sin of strongly challenging the president's war agenda.
Springsteen Backs Under-Fire Dixies
Bruce Springsteen has given his support to country band the Dixie Chicks, who have faced severe criticism over a comment they made about President George Bush. The Dixie Chicks received death threats, had their records burned and were removed from radio playlists after singer Natalie Maines said she was embarrassed that Bush was from her home state of Texas. But Springsteen said the band were merely expressing their "right to free speech" and had received a "raw deal" from critics.
An Orwellian Pitch
The inner workings of the war-propaganda machine
Bush Lies And Manipulates Public And Congress
Both Orwell and Aldous Huxley have written about dictatorial leaders and their methods of managing public opinion. In Brave New World Revisited, Huxley wrote that tyrants often use propaganda techniques that rely on the following.
(1) Repetition of catchwords, (2) Suppression of facts the propagandist wants the public to ignore. (3) Inflaming mass fear or other strong emotional reaction for the purpose of controlling public opinion and behavior.
National Conference -- United for Peace and Justice Coalition
On June 6-8, United for Peace and Justice will hold a National Conference in Chicago. Representatives of local and national peace and justice groups from across the U.S. will come together to assess the new challenges and opportunities we face in stopping the Bush administration's program of permanent war. It is time to develop plans for coordinated action over the next 6-12 months. We invite all organizations affiliated with or interested in joining UFPJ to send a representative to participate in this important meeting.
Support Proper Solutions To National Security Issues (April 29)
Congress will soon be voting on legislation that would significantly infringe on privacy rights without making us any safer from terrorism. The Congressional investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees into the September 11 attacks uncovered a number of serious, structural breakdowns in the intelligence community. But instead of taking action to address the real failures in the national intelligence services, several Members of Congress have proposed legislation that would give the government new, unprecedented spying powers and significantly infringe on the privacy rights protected by the Fourth Amendment. Congress needs to address the real national security issues -- not adopt false solutions that violate Constitutional rights.
Take Back America
The right-wing politicians who now run Washington are out of control. They are weakening America. Join activists from over 25 national organizations in Washington, DC on June 4, 5 and 6 to kick off a national progressive movement to Take Back America.
Treasury Says U.S. Could Face Default - Thanks to Smirk-o-nomics!
"The Treasury Department says the United States could face the prospect of not being able to pay its bills in late May unless Congress raises the government's borrowing authority, now capped at $6.4 trillion...
Is Clear Channel Buying Political Favors With Pro-War Fanaticism? (April 4)
Clear Channel Communications, a relatively unknown broadcaster based in San Antonio, Texas. Led by L. Lowry Mays, a rancher and one-time George W. Bush business associate, Clear Channel has ridden a wave of acquisitions, spending more than $30 billion to become the world's largest radio broadcaster, concert promoter and billboard advertising firm. Clear Channel owns more than 1,200 radio stations (approximately 50 percent of the U.S. total), five times more than its closest competitors, CBS and ABC. Considering the fact that prior to the Telecommunications Act, a single broadcaster could not own more than 40 stations in the entire country, it is hard to see the behemoth as anything but a creation of the act itself.
Inspired by a Clear Channel "United We Stand" billboard.
Clear Channel owns 1,250 radio stations in the United States. Clear Channel from Texas, wants to take over the world's airwaves - Like they have in the United States within the last 7 years. This Wal-Mart business style also controls, tours / concerts and outdoor billboards.
Iraq's Missing Items
This is a web-site that is cataloguing the items missing from the Baghdad Museum
The day of the jackals (April 19)
The conservative British weekly, The Spectator, suggests the looting of the Iraqi national museum may have been organized by unscrupulous American art collectors, and hints at Pentagon collusion in the theft.
US Worse Than Saddam, Iraqi Shiite Leader Charges (April 23)
A prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric, saying he was detained and beaten by US forces, charged that American methods were "worse" than those employed by the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein. "Our arrest by the Americans was worse than the arrests that Saddam ordered against our students," Sheikh Mohammed al-Fartusi told Abu Dhabi television.
Arab world now faces invasion by American TV
Rumsfeld Calls for Regime Change in North Korea (April 23)
THE WAR NOBODY WON Part 1: Chaos, crime and incredulity
Very few serious observers in the Middle East, if any, expect the United States to achieve its declared aims of establishing a democratic government in Iraq. Some are openly skeptical of US intent, while others give the US the benefit of the doubt, but consider its aim a hopeless fantasy. Three days after US invasion forces officially announced the fall of the Iraqi government and proclaimed military control of the city of Baghdad, they allowed, if not encouraged, lawlessness to destroy a cradle of civilization on a scale thousands of times worse than that which the US accused the Saddam Hussein government of having done to the Iraqi nation and its people. The war itself has made a reality of harsh misery out of the abstract discontent of political oppression, the liberation from which had been the pretext for the war. Instead of saving the Iraqi people from alleged oppression, the war has brought them undeniable destruction. CLIP
Bush bars UN weapons teams from Iraq (April 24) http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/23/1050777306319.html
Playing With Death (April 21)
Horror mine toll as Iraq's war children invent new games - The figures are frightening the reality is appalling. Most guns may have fallen silent but the death toll in Iraq continues to rise. In the city of Kirkuk in the past seven days, 52 people have been killed and 63 injured by mines and dangerously unstable unexploded munitions.
Where are they? Hunt for WMD draws a blank (April 24)
American forces are changing their search strategy after coming up empty at most of the top suspected weapons sites in Iraq, officials said today. And the White House appeared to be trying to scale back expectations that weapons of mass destruction will be found. Troops have searched more than 80 sites that pre-war US intelligence judged the most likely hiding places for chemical and biological weapons as well as evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program, Defence Department officials said on condition of anonymity.
US Companies Quietly Caught Trading with the Enemy (15 April 2003)
By Rex Nutting CBS.MarketWatch.com When individual Americans are accused of helping terrorists, they're thrown in jail and their names are dragged through the mud. But when major U.S. corporations are caught trading with the enemy, they get just a slap on the wrist from the government. WASHINGTON -- In the past two weeks, the government has revealed that 57 companies and organizations have been fined for doing business with terrorists, despots and tyrants. However, neither the government nor the companies are forthcoming with the public about the details of the illicit trade with rogue governments like Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Sudan. Read about the laws. CLIP
How American Power Girds the Globe with a Ring of Steel (April 21)
New Bases Take Pentagon's Armed Presence Far And Wide
Venezuela Has Proof Washington Was Behind Failed Coup (April 18)
SPECIAL 911 SECTION
United States of Apathy Deception Dollar bill
The Deception Dollars were created as a portal to the best information on 9-11
Bush-Nazi Historic Flash
The Secrets of September 11 (April 30)
The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret. Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it? Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks. At the center of the dispute is a more-than-800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry detailing the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the attacks-including provocative, if unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001. (...) The administrations tough stand, some sources say, doesnt augur well for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks-which is conducting its own investigation into the events of 9-11. Already, flaps have developed on that front, as well. When one commissioner, former congressman Tim Roemer, last week sought to review transcripts of some of the joint inquirys closed-door hearings, he was denied access-because the commission staff had agreed to a White House request to allow its lawyers to first review the material to determine if the president wants to invoke executive privilege to keep the material out of the panels hands. (...) The tensions over the release of 9-11 related material seems especially relevant-if not ironic-in light of recent reports that the presidents political advisers have devised an unusual re-election strategy that essentially uses the story of September 11 as the liftoff for his campaign. The White House is delaying the Republican nominating convention, scheduled for New York City, until the first week in September 2004-the latest in the partys history. That would allow Bushs acceptance speech, now slated for Sept. 2, to meld seamlessly into 9-11 commemoration events due to take place in the city the next week. Some sources who have read the still-secret congressional report say some sections would not play quite so neatly into White House plans. One portion deals extensively with the stream of U.S. intelligence-agency reports in the summer of 2001 suggesting that Al Qaeda was planning an upcoming attack against the United States-and implicitly raises questions about how Bush and his top aides responded. One such CIA briefing, in July 2001, was particularly chilling and prophetic. It predicted that Osama bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist strike in the coming weeks, the congressional investigators found. The intelligence briefing went on to say: The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning. The substance of that intelligence report was first disclosed at a public hearing last September by staff director Hill. But at the last minute, Hill was blocked from saying precisely who within the Bush White House got the briefing when CIA director Tenet classified the names of the recipients. (One source says the recipients of the briefing included Bush himself.) As a result, Hill was only able to say the briefing was given to senior government officials.
9/11 Panel, Blocked (May 1 - Letter to the Editor)
As a 9/11 widow who fought very hard for the creation of the independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks, I am particularly upset by your news article discussing the Justice Department's attempts to review and delay the release of certain documents to the commission ("Justice Dept. Seeks Sept. 11 Transcripts," April 26). This delay is nothing more than a stalling tactic by the White House to prepare its spin on whatever information is eventually revealed by the transcripts. The 9/11 families and the country have waited long enough for answers. Each day of delay is another day that this country remains vulnerable and perilously at risk to another terrorist attack.
23 Informative Websites About September 11th
(Prepared by Mark Elsis email@example.com>)
Over 600 Articles / Over 100 Photographs / 20+ Videos / With Polls, Petitions And Audios
Exposing NORAD's Wag The 911 Window Dressing Tale
The Most Comprehensive Minute By Minute Timeline On 911
My Country Right Or Wrong - Questioning September 11th
More Than 500 Great Articles About 911 From Around The World http://AttackOnAmerica.net
September 11, 2001, And The Three Top Sins Of The Universe http://September112001.net
Audios, Videos, Photographs, Polls, Petition And News Archive
The Links For The Rest Of The 17 Websites Can Be Found