My name is Tosha and I'am a student at Burney HighSchool, I have a question for you all what is the difference of the Florida panther and a cugar? I would appreciate it if you could answer my question.
Thank you Tosha
Refer to: BusinessWire 2/25/02 Press Release; Region: California: BW2317 FEB 25,2002 6:13AM PACIFIC 09:13AM EASTERN
Yahoo: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020225/252317_1.html =======================================
For Immediate Release
AUC Announces Publication of An Explosive New Health Study To Help High-Tech Workers Injured By Toxic Chemical Exposure.
To: Business & News Editors/Occupational Health & High-Tech Writers
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California - - March 04, 2002 - - Leading chemical exposure expert, American author Debora Townsend PhD, has written a fascinating new book about her explosive twelve-year study on the deadly devastating health effects of toxic chemical exposure on high-tech employees working in computer semiconductor manufacturing facilities. The author is also a victim of severe chemical exposure and poisoning from the computer manufacturing company at which she previously worked and is seriously ill.
According to Dr. Townsend, this is the first and only book that addresses this very serious community issue. Not much has been known about the subject - until the writing of this riveting book. Published by AUC.
"Deadly Employment: How to Survive Toxic Chemical Exposure & Poisoning "© focuses on humanely helping the mortally injured who are now faced with a very serious and permanent health crisis. Before this study, there has been no help for the thousands of victims of high-tech toxic chemical exposure over the past three decades whereby thousands have already died from chemical exposure and poisoning. Help is finally available for chemical-injured workers.
"Deadly Employment"© contains groundbreaking life-saving health solutions to help the injured prolong their life. This expert also explains in detail the meaning of all those serious puzzling symptoms the affected-one may be experiencing, i.e. wheezing, nausea, vomiting, red eye, nosebleeds, black gums, skin problems, cysts, diarrhea, miscarriages, joint problems, hair loss and cancer to name a few. All these injuries eventually lead to death. Find out how. This invaluable information is already helping many people get back on the road to enjoying some level of recovered health. Biochemical exposure and anthrax aftercare are also addressed.
The U.S. has the highest number in the world of occupational and environmental health problems from high-tech development - with the San Francisco Bay Area being in the far lead in the country according to the author and an independent source, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
Along with its technologies, the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley has also exported to all parts of the world its toxic chemicals and a pandora's box of deadly health hazards. Find out what they are.
"Deadly Employment"© is already being endorsed by injured worker support organizations and health and safety groups throughout the world. The Worker death toll is in the thousands and continues to grow.
For more life-saving information on this explosive new study and to learn what steps you can take to safeguard your health and protect your life, email: email@example.com .
Note: Author available for interview and to give Expert commentation on the health effects of toxic chemical exposure in chemical and environmental incidents.
- - 30 - -
Contact: Tiffany at AUC, 650.965.1987 PST firstname.lastname@example.org
copyright 2002 AUC
At first, it all seemed so obvious. It was those Islamic terrorists. Osama bin Laden. Mullah Omar. George W. Bush had nothing to do with it ... did he?
by Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun
"The right wing benefited so much from September 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it."
When the paladin of Camelot joined the fray, I knew 9/11 had become the Kennedy Assassination of the 21st century -- a real-life X-Files episode occurring before my eyes. Like those X-Files accounts of aliens living in oil deposits, this was a story with such staggering implications the mainstream media are loath to go near it. The question isn't who killed the president -- it's who piloted the airplanes that slammed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvanian countryside.
Just as there remains lingering doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald fired a burst of fatally accurate shots from the Texas Book Depository, so there is skepticism that cells of Islamic terrorists secretly coordinated and simultaneously commandeered four commercial jetliners.
The culprit responsible for the Sept. 11 attack is now rumoured to be the same one who lurked behind the grassy knoll: the oil-dependent U.S. military-industrial complex.
Not everyone is ready to accept this -- a substitute teacher in North Vancouver's Sherwood Park elementary school has been called on the mat for suggesting to Grade 5 students the Central Intelligence Agency might have been involved in 9/11.
And at last count, there were a dozen U.S. Congressional Committees investigating the tragedies and how such an intelligence and security breakdown was allowed to occur.
But President George W. Bush and his right-hand man, Vice President Dick Cheney, have taken the unprecedented step of trying to restrict those investigations, pouring fuel on the simmering conspiracy theories being propagated in alternative publications, on wingnut Web sites and among some serious media outlets.
In Germany, a former minister of technology, Andreas von Buelow, made headlines when in an interview he dismissed the U.S. government's explanation that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network is responsible for the attacks. His own explanation implicated the White House.
"I wonder why many questions are not asked," von Buelow said. "For 60 decisive minutes, the military and intelligence agencies let the fighter planes stay on the ground; 48 hours later, however, the FBI presented a list of suicide attackers. Within 10 days, it emerged that seven of them were still alive."
In Britain, a flight engineer has published a detailed paper asserting the U.S. took the joysticks out of the pilots' hands using a method of remote control developed by the American military in the 1970s.
In the U.S. and Canada, independent publisher and editor Mike Ruppert (a former LAPD cop who hates the CIA) has drawn huge crowds to his two-hour lecture in which he states baldly that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks and had foreknowledge. He opens his documentary presentation with an offer of $1,000 US to anyone who can prove any of his sources were misrepresented or inauthentic.
A former U.S. government agent also has given interviews claiming the CIA has been dealing with Osama bin Laden since 1987.
According to those who do not believe in The Lone Gunman, the truth is as plain as the nose on your face: Sept. 11's terrorist acts were planned and paid for by the CIA to enable the Bush Administration to "legitimately" bomb Afghanistan into submission on behalf of the oil industry.
After all, everyone knows the Bush family has strong and long acknowledged ties to the oil industry, as do other senior members of the administration. Cheney until recently was president of a company servicing the oil patch. National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice was a manager for Chevron. Commerce and Energy Secretaries Donald Evans and Stanley Abraham worked for Tom Brown, another oil giant.
Follow the money, as they say, and you'll find the smoking gun.
Under this scenario, conspiracy theorists say a pliant Afghan regime was essential because of plans to pipe central Asian oil across Afghanistan. And there is a harvest of coincidence and contradiction to feed such imaginings.
Consider first that the intelligence breakdown that led to 9/11 appears to have been a consequence of the Bush Administration telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation to back off on its investigation of Middle Eastern terrorism. A senior FBI investigator resigned from the agency, noisily claiming its main obstacle in the investigation was Big Oil's political influence. In an ironic twist of fate, the agent died in the World Trade Center.
(Fox Mulder, was that you? Is that why they cancelled the series?)
There also are recurring reports the CIA station chief in Dubai met with bin Laden only seven weeks before 9/11 while he was laid up for surgery. (The CIA denies this, but of course you can't believe anything it says.)
Now think about this for a second: The Independent in London questions how Bush could claim in two public appearances to have seen the first plane hit the first tower long before any such TV footage was broadcast. The paper also asks why Dubya continued sitting with elementary school students after the second tower was hit and he'd been told, "America is under attack."
Very mysterious, when standard procedure for such a situation is to whisk the president away to safety. Unless -- and here is the nub -- unless he knew something more than we did that morning. As the Independent asked, "What television station was HE watching?"
This is rich stuff for those who see Them under the bed, especially since the financial miasma melds nicely with the already swirling rumour and insinuation.
In the days before the attacks, there was unusually heavy trading in airline and related stocks using a market tactic called a "put option" that essentially bets that a stock will decline in value. If you were Osama, buying puts would be a great way to boost the value of your investment portfolio.
And sure enough, unusually high numbers of put options were purchased in early September for the stocks of AMR Corp. and UAL Corp., the parents of American and United -- each of which had two planes hijacked. The U.S. government is now investigating suspicious trading in 38 companies directly affected by the events of Sept. 11.
The initial survey of beneficiaries, however, turns out not to include one tall, dark-haired, olive-skinned, Allah-loving, Saudi-born sheik. Mainly the profiteers were blue-chip, establishment, red-white-and-blue Americans, some of whom were tenants in the collapsed twin towers, such as Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Lehman Brothers and the Bank of America, major airlines, cruise companies, General Motors Corp., Raytheon and others. Several insurance companies are also on the 38-name list U.S. and Canadian financial firms were asked to review and compare with their records for any unusual patterns.
(Which may say more about who plays the market than anything else, but why quibble with the quixotic?)
Cynics are also questioning the incredible speed with which evidence in the WTC collapse is being destroyed. Never in the history of fire investigations, they say, has evidence been destroyed before exhaustive investigations are complete.
(Say what? Two skyscrapers' worth of debris should be warehoused?)
And then there were the curious developments swirling around the anthrax public health hysteria triggered shortly after 9/11. Even dullards can appreciate that anthrax sent to a top Democrat and to the U.S. media helped unify the nation behind the war effort while literally shutting down Congress --a remarkably useful outcome for Dubya and his gang.
Indeed, specialists in biological warfare say the anthrax appears to be a U.S. military strain and the culprit a disgruntled American scientist who possesses a rare combination of laboratory skills that make him (they believe it's a man) relatively easy to identify. Hmmm.
And who didn't smell a bad odour two weeks ago when Tennessee driver's licence examiner Katherine Smith died in Memphis under "most unusual and suspicious" circumstances. One day before her arraignment on charges she conspired to provide phoney licences to five Arabs tied by the FBI to the 9/11 attacks, her car crashed into a utility pole. The car was only slightly damaged, the gas tank was full and intact, but the vehicle was immediately engulfed in flames.
As one report pointed out, Smith and the car interior apparently were doused with gasoline, which would certainly qualify in my book as at least "suspicious."
And Memphis ... Memphis? Wasn't that the same place a noted Harvard bio-warfare expert "fell" off a bridge in December?
The truth is out there. I know it. You too can help find it.
If you would like an activist kit to get involved in urging a full public investigation of 9/11 and its aftermath, reply to findtruth email@example.com with "Send kit."
But be warned.
The Pentagon has just established a new Office of Strategic Influence that calls for the planting of false stories in the foreign press, phoney e-mails from disguised addresses and other covert activities to manipulate public opinion.
This could be one of them.
Ian Mulgrew claims to be a Vancouver Sun reporter.
First Tower To Fall Was Hit At Higher Speed, Study Finds
By Eric Lipton and James Glanz
Researchers trying to explain why the World Trade Center's south tower fell first, though struck second, are focusing on new calculations showing that the passenger jet that hit the south tower had been flying as fast as 586 miles an hour, about 100 miles an hour faster than the other hijacked plane.
The speed of the two planes at impact has been painstakingly estimated using a mix of video, radar and even the recorded sounds of the planes passing overhead.
Two sets of estimates, by government and private scientists, have surfaced, but both show that the plane that hit the south tower at 9:02 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175, approached the trade center at extremely high speed, much faster than American Airlines Flight 11, which hit the north tower at 8:46 a.m.
In fact, the United plane was moving so fast that it was at risk of breaking up in midair as it made a final turn toward the south tower, traveling at a speed far exceeding the 767-200 design limit for that altitude, a Boeing official said.
"These guys exceeded even the emergency dive speed," said Liz Verdier, a Boeing spokeswoman. "It's off the chart."
The speed of the planes is far from the only factor that will be important in explaining why the south tower, which was struck between the 78th and 84th floors, fell within 56 minutes and the north tower, which was hit between the 94th and 99th floors, stood for 102 minutes.
Ultimately, it was the combination of structural damage and the fires, fueled by thousands of gallons of jet fuel, that brought the buildings down. The south tower was also hit at a lower point, meaning there was more weight bearing down on the damaged floors.
But the difference in the towers' survival times, which translated into a difference in the amount of time tenants and rescue personnel had to get out, could be related in part to the planes' speeds, researchers said.
"Clearly one plane came in faster and had more energy," Dr. Jerome Connor, a professor of civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is studying the collapses, said of the new calculations, in which he was not directly involved.
"If one building had more damage, it would take less for the heat to build up enough for it to come down," Dr. Connor said. "That would help explain why the building that was hit second, fell first."
The high speed of United Flight 175 may also have complicated the hijackers' mission, because it would have been more difficult to make accurate adjustments in the plane's direction, several pilots said. Loud and repeated alarms would also have been sounding in the cockpit.
"The faster you go, the less time and room you have for error," said Tim O'Toole, a former 767 pilot and staff engineer in safety department of the Air Line Pilots Association.
The flight data recorders from the two planes have not been found; Boeing officials said these so-called black boxes are not designed to survive the forces they encountered in the collapse.
But a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, by closely studying videos of the attack, has estimated the planes' speeds. The Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with the National Transportation Safety Board, has come up with its own estimates, based on radar and video.
The M.I.T. analysis, by Eduardo Kausel, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, found that the United plane was traveling an estimated 537 m.p.h., while the American plane, the first to hit, was traveling 429 m.p.h.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the government's analysis put the speeds at 586 m.p.h. for the United flight and 494 m.p.h. for the American one.
In both cases, the planes were flying much faster than they should have been at that altitude: the aviation agency's limit below 10,000 feet is 287 m.p.h.
Investigators could not say for sure why one plane was traveling faster than the other; it may have been accidental choices of novice pilots, or perhaps the second group of hijackers feared being shot down. But what is clear is that at impact, this difference was important.
The energy of motion carried by any object, called the kinetic energy, varies as the square of its velocity, so even modest differences in speed can translate into large variations in what the building had to absorb.
That means that while the United jet was traveling only about a quarter faster than the American jet, it would have released about 50 percent more energy on impact.
"The difference is enormous," Dr. Kausel said of the energy created by the impact of the planes.
Even at a speed of only about 500 m.p.h., a partly loaded Boeing 767 weighing 132 tons would have created about three billion joules of energy at impact, the equivalent of three- quarters of a ton of T.N.T., according to another team of researchers at M.I.T.
Only about 6 percent of that energy would be used up in cutting more than 30 exterior steel columns, said Dr. Tomasz Wierzbicki, a professor of applied mechanics at M.I.T., who did his research with a student, Liang Xue. But some 25 percent would go into ripping up floor structures and 56 percent in damaging structural columns in the core.
The energy poured into the core at this speed would probably be enough to damage or break about 23 of the 47 columns in the core. At a higher speed, more may have been damaged.
Aviation experts have disagreed over just how difficult the mission was for the hijackers, who had limited flying experience and had probably never operated a real commercial jet. The high speeds added to the complexity of their task.
The typical cruise speed of a Boeing 767-200 at 35,000 feet is 530 m.p.h. The lower the plane goes, however, the thicker the air becomes, so the slower the plane must travel to avoid excessive stress.
Flying a Boeing 767 straight ahead at 1,000 to 1,500 feet would not be too difficult, even at more than 580 m.p.h., and it would most likely not threaten the structural integrity of the plane, a half a dozen pilots and a Boeing spokeswoman said.
But accurately turning the plane at that speed and maintaining the proper pitch, or up and down movement, is difficult, the pilots said, particularly for a novice pilot, and turning at that speed would have put excessive stress on the plane.
An automatic pilot device could have directed the hijacked planes to Manhattan, if the hijackers knew how to enter certain coordinates into the computerized flight management system. But as they approached the city, the hijackers almost certainly had to take manual control of the aircraft, because the automatic pilot in navigation mode is not accurate enough to target the center of building, pilots said.
Video of the approach of United Flight 175 to the south tower shows that it banked westward in the final moments, its right wing going up, its left wing down. That maneuver may have been intended to maximize damage to the building. But it has been interpreted by some pilots as a sign that the hijacker nearly missed the tower.
"It was unfortunate luck," said Richard Fariello, a retired T.W.A. captain who works as a consultant to NASA. "The way he was headed, he could have just clipped it perhaps with one wing. There is a good chance that would have been the case."
Structural engineers cannot yet say how important a role the planes' speed played in how quickly the towers collapsed. Aside from the fact that the second plane hit a lower floor, it also struck more to one side of the tower's face, presumably causing asymmetric damage that could have made it more difficult for the tower to reapportion its loads among surviving structural columns.
But determining the force and energy of impact is the starting point for any effort to understand what failures within the buildings eventually caused collapse, said Dr. Shyam Sunder, chief of the structures division at the building and fire research lab of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
"It's important to have the speed of the plane and the direction that it hit for any analysis that we do relating to aircraft impact on the structure," Dr. Sunder said.
If the plane that hit the south tower had been traveling slower, and the tower perhaps had stood longer, it is still unclear how many more people would have survived. Even though the south tower fell in only 56 minutes, fewer tenants died in it than in the north tower. In large part, that is because many of the people who worked in the upper floors had evacuated during the 16 minutes between the two attacks. But extra time might have meant that those trapped above the impact zone at the south tower would have found the one emergency exit stairwell that was still passable.
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Global Sea Levels Likely To Rise Higher In 21st Century Than Previous Predictions
New calculations by a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher indicate global sea levels likely will rise more by the end of this century than predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001.
The projected sea-level rise is due to a revised estimate of the ice melt from glaciers, said geological sciences Emeritus Professor Mark Meier.
Meier and CU-Boulder colleague Mark Dyurgerov have collected new data showing the worlds glaciers and ice caps have exhibited significant ice loss in the 20th century, which has accelerated since 1988. That loss has contributed to at least 20 percent of the observed rise in sea level, said Meier.
"Some glaciers around the world now are smaller than they have been in the last several thousand years," he said.
"The rate of ice loss since 1988 has more than doubled," said Meier, a researcher and former director of CU-Boulders Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research. Dyurgerov also is an INSTAAR researcher.
Meier said the IPCC report might have underestimated the wastage of glaciers and ice caps around the word -- excluding Greenland and Antarctica -- for several reasons. The IPPC did not include increases in ice wastage since the late 1980s, an apparent increase in the sensitivity of ice wastage to both temperature and precipitation, and a probable increase in melting from small, cold glaciers surrounding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, he said.
In addition, new data from colleagues at the University of Alaska show that huge glaciers on the West Coast of Alaska and northern Canada are wasting rapidly, said Meier. The melting of these large glaciers has contributed roughly 0.14 millimeters per year in sea rise over the long-term, according to calculations by Meier and Dyurgerov, jumping to more than 0.32 millimeters per year during the last decade.
The IPCC, which estimated global ice wastage of only 0.3 millimeters per year, probably underestimated the contribution of glacier disintegration to sea-level rise because little data on the large, maritime glaciers in Alaska was available, said Meier. But this region is the largest contributor to sea-level rise, he said.
"The sensitivity of glacier melt to temperature rise depends largely on precipitation, which in some glaciered areas like southern coastal Alaska has been greatly under-measured," said Meier. "The large glaciers of Alaska and adjacent Canada currently are contributing about half of the rate of global ice loss, exclusive of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets," said Meier. "But they contain only 17 percent of the glacier ice area."
The new data suggests the IPCC calculation for the 21st century -- a total of 0.16 to 0.36 feet -- was an underestimate, said Meier. He calculated that glacier melting could contribute 0.65 feet or more to sea level this century.
The IPCC estimated that other processes such as ocean warming would cause an additional 0.36 feet to 1.4 feet of sea-level rise by the year 2100, Meier said.
"These estimates in sea-level rise may seem small, but a 1-foot rise in sea level typically will cause a retreat of shoreline of 100 feet or more, which would have substantial social and economic impacts," Meier said.
Meier said that in the United States, some large coastal cities like Houston "are not much above sea level now." He also said island nations such as Seychelles off the West Coast of Africa and Kiribati southwest of Hawaii are within a meter of being inundated by sea rise.
In addition, sea rise of only 1 meter in Bangladesh would put one-half of the nation underwater, displacing more than 100 million people.
A Warmer, Wetter World: Global Warming Effects Will Continue for a Century Even if Emissions Curbed Now
Though significant uncertainty remains regarding the amount of global warming that will occur over the next century or two, scientists agree that the trend will continue for the next hundred years even if fossil fuel consumption is dramatically reduced.
Scientists predict significant increases in global temperature and sea level this century. And related changes in weather patterns are expected to affect agricultural production. Global warming is likely to have the greatest human impact in poor countries unable to adequately respond to the changes.
Professor Robert Dickinson of the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences presented the evidence behind this assessment at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Feb. 17 in Boston. Dickinson's presentation, titled "Predicting Climate Change," was part of the symposium "Climate Change: Integrating Science, Economics and Policy."
"Current climate models can indicate the general nature of climate change for the next 100 to 200 years," Dickinson says. "But the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) that have been released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels last for at least 100 years. That means that any reductions in CO2 that are expected to be possible over this period will not result in a cleaner atmosphere and less global warming than we see today for at least a century."
Climate models indicate temperature increases of 3 to more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit this century and a sea level rise of 6 inches to nearly 3 feet. The burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases, such as CO2, into the atmosphere. These gases contribute to global warming, and the temperature increase expands the oceans and causes ice sheets to melt, in turn increasing sea level.
Despite differences in climate model projections and the limitations of the models themselves, scientists agree that significant consequences from global warming will occur in this century, Dickinson says.
"Given enough time, there may be as many winners as losers. However, many of the losers will be very unhappy, such as people who live on islands that will be put under water," Dickinson says. "It will take a lot of time for humans to adjust their systems to these changes. The biggest problem is the speed at which global warming is occurring.
"If it were happening over 1,000 years, rather than 100 years, it would hardly be noticed. But we're talking about fairly large changes within the next generation. We're talking about people with houses on the beach having to move. The U.S. is fairly resilient, and people can move. But in Bangladesh and other low-elevation areas with few resources, there will be severe difficulties."
The world can also expect large shifts in agricultural productivity, Dickinson says. Some regions will become more productive, and others will become less so because of changing patterns in temperature and rainfall. Overall, there will be more rainfall, but also more evaporation leading to more floods and more droughts.
Climate modelers are fairly certain of these consequences because their models have improved as their understanding has increased of the underlying physical processes of climate change. Dickinson adds, however, that the models still have some limitations. For example, current climate models do not adequately address the issue of natural temperature variability.
The global temperature has increased more rapidly in the past 10 years, but the changes are more dramatic in high latitudes perhaps because of natural variability, Dickinson explains.
"There's a question of how much the natural variability is related to the human-caused global warming," Dickinson says. "The latter could be amplifying some of the patterns of natural variability. It's not necessarily a question of either/or. Both are occurring. In Alaska, for example, warming of several degrees -- rather than just 1 degree -- has occurred over the past 100 years."
Also, some evidence suggests that the coupling of natural temperature variability and human-caused global warming is causing an increase in El Nino weather patterns in the tropics, with consequences elsewhere. For example, Australia and Indonesia may see more droughts, while the West Coast of the United States may see more rainfall.
Climate models are also limited in giving reliable regional details on global warming, Dickinson adds. For example, models cannot distinguish changes between Atlanta and New York City. The models can predict differences between high latitudes and the tropics.
Much research is yet to be done regarding climate change, but Dickinson believes policymakers can already glean some guidance from the evidence he will cite in his presentation at AAAS. That evidence will come from research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where Dickinson worked for 21 years, as well as his current research and the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
For example, enough data exists to develop mitigation and adaptation plans regarding greenhouse gases, Dickinson says. Mitigation involves strategies for reducing greenhouse gases or changing other factors to compensate for them (a fairly new concept). Reductions can involve both consuming lesser amounts of fossil fuels and also finding ways to capture the gases and put them in places other than the atmosphere. The latter approach is called sequestration and is part of a U.S. Department of Energy research initiative.
"The only way to stop the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to reduce CO2 emissions to 20 to 30 percent of today's levels," Dickinson says. "This may require a similar reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels. I believe we will eventually achieve that goal, but it will probably take 100 years. That means reductions in automobile emissions and carbon dioxide released from coal-powered electric power generation and other industrial activities.
"We have to move our energy systems to forms other than fossil fuels. And when I say we, I don't just mean the United States. The U.S. is the biggest user of fossil fuels, but China and India are likely to surpass the U.S. in the next 50 years, and China may surpass the U.S. in the next decade."
GLOBAL WARMING WILL PERSIST AT LEAST A CENTURY EVEN IF EMISSIONS CURBED NOW
Though significant uncertainty remains regarding the amount of global warming that will occur over the next century or two, scientists agree that the trend will continue for the next hundred years even if fossil fuel consumption is dramatically reduced.
RESEARCHERS REVEAL MASSIVE REDUCTION IN PRODUCTIVITY OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC
Using innovative techniques for mapping fisheries, scientists released the results of the first ocean-wide synthesis of the status of fisheries in the North Atlantic, showing the cumulative extraction of fishes from the sea.
EARLY MALNUTRITION AND PARASITIC INFECTIONS REDUCE COGNITIVE ABILITY LATER IN CHILDHOOD
Stunted growth caused by chronic malnutrition during the first two years of life has an adverse affect on a childs cognitive ability later in childhood, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The researchers also concluded that early infection with the diarrhea-causing parasite, Giardia lambia, might be associated with diminished cognitive function later in childhood. The study, which appears in the February 16 issue of The Lancet, suggests that efforts to improve cognitive function of school children in developing nations should focus on improving the nutrition and well being of children early in life.
RESTRICTING R-MOVIES LINKED TO DECREASED TEEN SMOKING, DRINKING
Researchers from the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth College have identified a new strategy for parents who dont want their children to smoke or drink: dont let them watch R-rated movies. A new paper in the January/February 2002 issue of Effective Clinical Practice states that children who are not restricted from watching R-rated movies are three times more likely to smoke or drink alcohol compared to those who are never allowed to watch them.
GLOBAL WARMING LENGTHENS DAY
Global warming caused by increasing manmade carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lengthen the day, according to a study to be published this month by the journal, Geophysical Research Letters. Researchers at Belgiums Royal Observatory and the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, lead by Olivier de Viron, used computer models to analyze the effect of adding one percent more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year, in order to reach a doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration after 70 years.
SCIENTISTS LOOK TO EUROPE AS EVOLUTIONARY SEAT
University of Toronto anthropologist David Begun and his European colleagues are re-writing the book on the history of great apes and humans, arguing that most of their evolutionary development took place in Eurasia, not Africa.
STILL WATERS? "CLEAR-CUTTING" ROBS THE DEEP-SEA OF ANCIENT TREASURES
Deep beneath the Earth's oceans, "Ancient groves of invertebrates are being clear-cut by trawling just as quickly and surely as loggers felled groves of giant redwoods," Callum M. Roberts reported Feb. 15 during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.
DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS MAKE OLD RATS YOUTHFUL, MAY HELP REJUVENATE AGING HUMANS, ACCORDING TO UC BERKELEY STUDY
Two dietary supplements straight off the health food store shelf put the spark back into aging rats, and might do the same for aging baby boomers, according to a study at the University of California, Berkeley, and Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute.
SETTING MICRO GEARS IN MOTION
The movement of gears and motors in micromachines just got easier because of the lateral Casimir force. This force acts tangential to two surfaces, resulting in a horizontal sliding motion of one surface against the other.
GLOBAL SEA LEVELS LIKELY TO RISE HIGHER IN 21ST CENTURY THAN PREVIOUS PREDICTIONS
New calculations by a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher indicate global sea levels likely will rise more by the end of this century than predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001. The projected sea-level rise is due to a revised estimate of the ice melt from glaciers, said geological sciences Emeritus Professor Mark Meier.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES LEADS TO A BIOLOGICAL ARMS RACE
Boxes of chocolate and Valentine cards wont get you far in the animal world, where courting is considerably tougher. New research confirms earlier beliefs: an evolutionary battle of the sexes can lead to a biological arms race between males and females.
HUMANS MAY NOT BE AS AGGRESSIVE AND COMPETITIVE AS THOUGHT
Is it human nature to be competitive? Aggressive? Violent? Popular and scientific literature says yes. An anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis who studies primate behavior says no.
PINATUBO VOLCANO RESEARCH BOOSTS CASE FOR HUMAN-CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING
Research into the worldwide climatic impact of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption during the 10 years since the eruption has strengthened the case for human causes of global warming, a Rutgers scientist reports in a paper published in the February 14 issue of the international journal, Science.
LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY DEVELOPS POWERFUL NEW RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed and demonstrated a laboratory prototype miniature thin-film fuel cell power source, which provides portable electrical power for a range of consumer electronics. With the LLNL fuel cell, a typical cell phone battery could be projected to last more than 300 percent longer, extending standby time from four days to two weeks, and talk time from six hours to two days.
CYCLED LIGHT PROMOTES GROWTH IN PRE-TERM INFANTS
A Duke University Medical Center study has shown that exposing babies born before 31 weeks of gestation to cycled light helps them grow faster, and the study identifies no short-term advantages to keeping infants in total near darkness -- the standard practice with many infants.
ORIGAMI HELPS SCIENTISTS SOLVE PROBLEMS
Fold the paper in half and then fold it in half again and eventually that piece of paper will be transformed into an airplane, a hat, or a peace crane. Origami - the ancient Japanese tradition of paper folding has long been recognized as an art, but now origami is providing the answers to real world problems in mathematics, engineering, and astronomy proving that origami is more than just childs play.
A CURRENT CONTROVERSY: IS EUROPE ABOUT TO FREEZE?
One of the odd possibilities that could emerge from global warming is that much of Europe, robbed of the ocean current patterns that help keep it warm, could rather abruptly enter a deep freeze and have a climate that more closely resembles Alaska than the modest temperatures it now enjoys. Researchers from Oregon State University explored this potential phenomenon, and the fluctuations in "thermohaline circulation" that could trigger it.
TANGO BETWEEN BLACK HOLE AND STAR REMNANT MAY EXPLAIN COSMIC EXPLOSION, MIT TEAM REPORTS
Gamma-ray bursts, extremely powerful explosions occurring in distant parts of the universe, may be the energetic offspring of a cosmic dance between black holes and their dance-partner stars, said scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University in the Feb. 21 issue of Science. But they show that the bursts are only a small portion of the total energy released during this cosmic tango.
WHEAT MAY BE VITAL IN BATTLE AGAINST CANCER AND OTHER DISEASES
A new weapon has been discovered in the battle against disease: whole grain wheat. According to Kansas State University biochemist Dolores Takemoto, new research is showing that wheat contains powerful antioxidants which are key to its ability to prevent colon cancer, and possibly diabetes and heart disease.
COMPOUNDS REJUVENATE RATS, MAY AID HUMANS
Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and the University of California at Berkeley have identified a combination of dietary supplements that dramatically improves both the activity, energy level and cognitive function of old rats.
PLANT STEMS AND LEAVES ARE ALWAYS PROPORTIONAL TO ROOTS, SCIENTISTS FIND
Add this universal truth to biology textbooks: the mass of a plant's leaves and stems is proportionally scaled to that of its roots in a mathematically predictable way, regardless of species or habitat. In other words, biologists can now reasonably estimate how much biomass is underground just by looking at the stems and leaves above ground.
NEW SUPERCONDUCTING TRANSFORMER IS LIGHT AND COMPACT
Researchers from the Technology Foundation STW and the University of Twente, in cooperation with Smit Transformatoren and Smit Draad, have developed a prototype coil for a superconducting transformer which is not only light and compact but also energy-efficient. A keen interest has already been expressed by several companies.
OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY HELPING MAKE TOMORROWS SOLDIERS ALL THEY CAN BE
Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator has nothing over the Objective Force Warrior envisioned by the Army and a team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and organizations throughout the country. The goal is to develop a high-tech soldier with 20 times the capability of todays warrior and to have that soldier commissioned by about 2010. With advanced technologies, the Army plans to create an overmatch and greatly minimize danger to its soldiers.
Planet Ark World Environment News
US team to meet with China on GMO policy - Veneman - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14692/story.htm
UPDATE - Last three months warmest on US record books - NOAA - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14682/story.htm
Bush to set out constitutional defense to GAO suit - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14683/story.htm
UPDATE - GAO takes W.House to court over energy task force - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14684/story.htm
Biotech soybeans help soil quality, industry says - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14702/story.htm
UPDATE - Jury decides against Monsanto, Solutia in PCB case - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14691/story.htm
Ofili good dung deal for London Zoo - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14705/story.htm
HSBC to send staff to become eco-warriers - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14701/story.htm
INTERVIEW - Britannia Zinc plans battery recycling trials - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14711/story.htm
Pesticides, asbestos slated for trade controls - SWITZERLAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14710/story.htm
WWF calls for saving harbour porpoise in Europe - SWITZERLAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14694/story.htm
Salvors remove more logs from ship beached off NZ - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14706/story.htm
FEATURE - Mexican butterfly death raises questions on numbers - MEXICO http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14681/story.htm
Kenya bans land grabs, graft-watchers sceptical - KENYA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14709/story.htm
Zoo practises polar bear break-out - JAPAN http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14704/story.htm
Italy suspects could have made lethal gas-experts - ITALY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14688/story.htm
INTERVIEW - Germany aims to overtake Japan in solar wafers - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14690/story.htm
German power dips on extra hydro,wind power supply - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14687/story.htm
Brunsbuettel n-plant seen out for several weeks - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14686/story.htm
French Socialists pledge not to boost nuclear power - FRANCE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14689/story.htm
Unsold coffee piles up in Ivory Coast - COTE D'IVOIRE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14698/story.htm
Calpers' Asia ethics motives right, tactics wrong - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14699/story.htm
Pragmatism rules in Asia's ethical investing debate - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14685/story.htm
Zhu tells Bush China GM rules meet global practice - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14693/story.htm
Chile fires destroy protected forests - CHILE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14697/story.htm
Canada says can overrule provinces and ratify Kyoto - CANADA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14708/story.htm
UPDATE - Court ruling keeps Canada seal pups safe from hunt - CANADA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14696/story.htm
Rio battles growing dengue epidemic with a samba - BRAZIL http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14707/story.htm
Petrobras to appeal $180 mln oil spill ruling - BRAZIL http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14703/story.htm
Brazilian scientists start to map coffee genome - BRAZIL http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14700/story.htm
Brazil starts mapping medicinal plant potential - BRAZIL http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14695/story.htm
t r u t h o u t
Ken Starr Underling to Judge Cheney in GAO Suit
Henry A. Waxman | GAO v. Cheney "Everyone in our government--even the Vice President--should be accountable to the American people..."
DynCorp Disgrace | Employees Accused of Sex With Minors
No Child Left Behind? Come to Indian Country
Congressman Ron Paul, House of Representatives, November 29, 2001
As Bush Visits China, He Should Reflect On An Execution Looming At Home
A Fragile Land Is Ruined In The Name Of Energy
The Pentagon Mindset: Poison Them
by Matthew Rothschild
Deep inside the sixth of eight glowing articles in its series "10 Days in September" about what wonderful crisis managers George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice are, The Washington Post on February 1 buried the following bit of information: The Pentagon was considering poisoning Afghanistan's food supply.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld prepared a briefing for Bush on September 17, Bob Woodward and Dan Balz reported.
Rice, head of the National Security Council, "and Frank Miller, the senior NSC staffer for defense, went with the President to the Pentagon. Before the briefing, Miller previewed the classified slide presentation prepared for Bush and got a big surprise," Woodward and Balz reported.
"One slide about special operations in Afghanistan said: Thinking Outside the Box--Poisoning Food Supply. Miller was shocked and showed it to Rice. The United States doesn't know how to do this, Miller reminded her, and we're not allowed. It would effectively be a chemical or biological attack--clearly banned by treaties that the United States had signed, including the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
"Rice took the slide to Rumsfeld. 'This slide is not going to be shown to the President of the United States,' she said.
"Rumsfeld agreed. 'You're right,' he said."
Why this wasn't a major story in itself is beyond me: The Secretary of Defense wanted to propose to the President that he poison Afghanistan's food supply!
The Pentagon, unchastened by reports that it had intentionally destroyed Iraq's water supply ten years ago (see "The Secret Behind the Sanctions," by Thomas J. Nagy, The Progressive, September 2001), was still at its old tricks, planning at the highest levels to pull a similarly lethal and illegal stunt in Afghanistan, one that is banned by the Geneva Convention.
I hope at least one courageous member of the House or Senate Armed Services Committee will ask Rumsfeld about this the next time he comes to Capitol Hill.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE
U.S. REGULATION OF TRANSGENIC PLANTS CALLED INADEQUATE
WASHINGTON, DC, February 22, 2002 (ENS) - Regulations now in place to protect the public and the environment from potential harmful effects of genetically engineered crops are inadequate, concludes a new review by the National Research Council. The report, released Thursday, says the government must do a better job of screening these crops - both before and after they are planted.
GREENHOUSE GASES LINKED TO STRONGER EL NINO EVENTS
SYDNEY, Australia, February 22, 2002 (ENS) - Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases may have tipped the world into a changed climate pattern, research by two Australian government climate scientists indicates.
$50 MILLION INVESTED IN NATURE
LONDON, England, February 22, 2002 (ENS) - A US$50 million contribution from financial service's giant HSBC Group will fund a five year partnership to support conservation projects around the world, including several in the United States. The partnership, dubbed Investing in Nature, will augment contributions already made by HSBC Bank USA to various environmental groups for projects in New York State.
CANADIAN GOVERNMENT RIGHT TO FORBID SEAL PUP KILLING UPHELD
OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada, February 22, 2002 (ENS) - In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court of Canada today ruled that the federal government has the right to prohibit the commercial killing of newborn harp and hooded seals during Canada's yearly hunt.
CONSERVING SOUTH AFRICA'S WILDLIFE BRICK BY BRICK
PRETORIA, South Africa, February 22, 2002 (ENS) - One brick at a time, South Africa is building financial support to safeguard its unique wild animals and wild lands.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE AMERISCAN: FEBRUARY 22, 2002
U.S. Has Warmest November - January Ever
Gulf War Mortality Figures Alarm Veterans
Lawsuit Seeks to Curb Central Valley Water Pollution
$2.22 Million Funds Phytoremediation Studies
Women Play Vital Role in Environmental Planning
Chinese Tallow Trees Take Over Texas Grasslands
Environmental Changes Increase Fish Disease Vulnerability
Sunflowers Could Replace Rubber Trees
Campaign Offers Sea Turtle Information
Idaho Team Helps Set Up Guatemalan Reserve
HEALING OUR WORLD: WEEKLY COMMENT
We Are on Our Own - But There is Help
Each day, thousands of toxic substances compromise our health and tens of thousands of people become ill or die every year from a whole host of environmental illnesses, many of which may never be diagnosed properly by a doctor. While these people suffer, committees meet, studies are conducted, rules are debated, and drugs are prescribed. Industries continue to pollute, backed by a U.S. presidential administration committed to improving the life of the rich at the expense of the Earth and everyone else.
ACLU Action Network Members
In response to September 11th, many have started talking about creating a national ID system as a counter-terrorism measure. In fact, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators is already urging the federal government to create a national ID system by linking state drivers licenses and state databases.
Unfortunately, just like the use of Social Security numbers evolved far beyond its original purpose, a national ID card is likely to lead to a surveillance society where our movements are monitored and recorded through the use of "internal passports."
A national ID card would not prevent terrorism, and in fact, would lure us into a false sense of security by enabling individuals with an ID -- who may in fact be terrorists -- to avoid heightened security measures. The creation of a national ID would be a misplaced "quick fix" that would pose serious threats to our freedom and privacy.
Take Action! You can read more and send a FREE FAX to your Members of Congress, urging them to oppose the motor vehicle administrators' proposal from our action alert at:
t r u t h o u t
Brisard and Dasquie | Bush, oil and the Taliban
Jeb Bush Was in Enron Partnership
Dennis Kucinich | A Prayer for America
Cheney Halliburton Supplied Iraq, Circumvented US Law and Policy
Ashcroft Invokes Religion In U.S. War on Terrorism
Anthrax Expert Stands By Her Claim | Administration Remains Silent on Suspect
Judge Asks Why Interior Secretary Norton Shouldn't Be Held In Contempt In Indian Royalties Case
DOL vs The Last American Wild Buffalo | Update 02.21.2002
LOS ANGELES AND BERKELY STUDENTS UNITE IN DEMANDS FOR 25% SOLAR
On Wednesday February 20th, the LA Community College District committee on Accreditation and Planning passed yet another motion supporting green buildings for the $1.2 billion Proposition A construction and renovation projects. Not only is the committee recommending to the full Board to set high LEED "certified" and "silver" green building standards but now all renovated buildings should beat the national building codes by 20% and exceed California's Title 24 standard by 10%. While the district is attempting to green the entire "Proposition A" re-building project for their nine campuses, they still have not set a solar standard. Over the next two months, the committee will be finalizing their decision, so please TAKE ACTION today and urge them to use 25% solar power for all their nice new green buildings.
Los Angeles is not alone in the greening of their campuses. Clean Energy Now! has joined University of California at Berkeley student groups and Professor Dan Kammen to encourage the university administration to complete an environmental audit, reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions, and install solar on all new buildings on the Berkeley campus and at the new UC Campus Merced. This coming Monday, February 25th at 10am in the ASUC Senate Chambers, located on the first floor of Eshlman Hall there will be a press conference. If you are around please join the Berkeley Solar Bears to bring on the sun!
Take action and tell the LA Board of Trustees to go solar:
For more information about the UC Berkeley campaign, call Kristin Casper, Clean Energy NOW! Campaigner at (415) 297 5621 mobile or Alisa Arnett, Greenpeace media (415) 407-9293
CALIFORNIANS WANT CLEAN ENERGY NOW!
A recent poll taken by the Energy Foundation reveals that Californians strongly support the doubling of renewable energy supply and reducing greenhouse gases as path to energy security and economic growth, rather than rely on development of oil and natural gas. Seven in ten Californians believe that investments in conservation and energy efficiency programs will help the State's economy and developing renewable energy sources is more important than building more dirty fossil fool plants! In addition, the survey demonstrated that more than 80% of Californians support doubling the State's renewable energy supply from 10% of current energy production to 20% by the year 2010. Will voters endorse Governor Gray Davis in his bid for reelection if he continues to lead the state towards a fossil fuel future? Let's hope not!
To read more about the Energy Foundation's findings, go to:
LABOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS UNITE CALLLING FOR DRAMATIC ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING
An unprecedented coalition of the leaders of some of the nation's largest labor unions and environmental groups came together Wednesday calling for dramatic action to combat global warming while protecting economic security for workers and the economy. At a press conference on Wednesday, February 20th in Washington, D.C., the coalition embraced a study released by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for a Sustainable Economy that sets forth a feasible plan to achieve a worker-friendly clean energy plan. The event brought together the United Steelworkers of America, Service Employees International Union, Union of Concerned Scientists, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the Sierra Club, and UNITE to release a joint statement pledging to end the alleged conflict between the environment and jobs and will work to develop effective public policy to present to Congress. To read the report, go to:
To learn more about approaches to climate protection that benefit working people and their unions, go to:
The "Positive Energy" newsletter and our website,
http://www.cleanenergynow.org, will give you good news about ways to achieve clean air, climate justice and renewable energy solutions to our ongoing energy crisis.
SCREAM OF THE CROP
Genetically modified crops should be subject to stricter and more public review prior to being approved for use, as well as more careful monitoring in the field afterward, a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences determined yesterday. The panel said its recommendations were intended to "improve an already functioning system" of monitoring GM crops, but warned that new genetic innovations (for example, plants that produce their own chemical pesticides) will require more rigorous review. Naturally, bioengineering companies interpreted the report as praise for the status quo, while their critics said they hoped it would help encourage stricter regulation on genetic modification of plants.
straight to the source: New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, 22 Feb 2002 <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/22/science/22CROP.html>
straight to the source: Wall Street Journal, Jill Carroll, 21 Feb 2002 (access ain't free) <http://online.wsj.com/article/0,4286,SB1014258907686755440,00.html>
It might be the Magic Kingdom, but sometimes it has to face reality: That's the message of an environmental study released today on a future Disney theme park in Hong Kong. Environmentalists have attacked the $1.8 billion project as an ecological nightmare, and now the report seconds the opinion. The park is slated to be built in Penny's Bay, just southwest of the recently decommissioned Cheoy Lee Shipyard, which must be dismantled to make way for the Mouse. Doing so will involve cutting almost 55,000 cubic yards of earth and rock to stabilize the area, and removing around 114,000 cubic yards of polluted soil, which will then be transported to another site for treatment and decontamination. The study warned that the dismantling process could "cause high level impacts on ecological resources," particularly to rice-fish habitats and protected plant species.
straight to the source: Planet Ark, Reuters, 22 Feb 2002 <http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14664/story.htm>
In what was billed as her first major environmental speech of the year, Interior Secretary Gale Norton called Wednesday for "a new environmentalism" in which local residents and landowners, not just the government, would take responsibility for protecting the Earth. Norton also called for an environmentalism that did not threaten jobs. The Interior secretary said that a number of her pet projects -- such as the $100 million Citizen Conservation Initiative, which will pay landowners to protect the environment -- fall under the rubric of new environmentalism. Environmentalists were both unsurprised and unimpressed, saying there was nothing very new about Norton's new environmentalism: Melanie Griffin, public lands director for the Sierra Club, said "Gale Norton has never favored environmental laws. She seems to prefer voluntary solutions."
straight to the source: Denver Post, Mike Soraghan, 21 Feb 2002 <http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E415548,00.html>
GONE WITH THE WIND
Enron, the financially (and, some would say, morally) bankrupt energy trading firm, announced this week that it will sell its wind-turbine business to General Electric. If the transaction is approved by bankruptcy court and federal regulators, Enron will use the proceeds -- a rumored $250 million -- to repay creditors, while GE will use the new business as a stepping-stone into the renewable energy sector. The proposed acquisition would mark the energy giant's first investment in wind power, an industry which it expects to grow at an annual rate of some 20 percent. The deal covers Enron's wind turbine manufacturing and marketing operations, but not the wind farms it owns and operates, which are slated to close later this year. The proposed sale to GE comes as a surprise to analysts, who were expecting European companies -- which dominate the sector -- to vie for purchase of the operations.
straight to the source: Planet Ark, Reuters, 22 Feb 2002 <http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14662/story.htm>
If three environmental groups have their way, California's mammoth agriculture industry will be subject to state water-pollution laws for the first time in history. The three groups (San Francisco BayKeeper, DeltaKeeper, and the California Public Interest Research Group) filed suit yesterday against the Central Valley Regional Water Control Board to close a loophole that allows farmers in the Central Valley to discharge pesticide-filled irrigation runoff without a permit. The federal Clean Water Act exempts agricultural runoff, and in California, farmers are not subject to the restrictions imposed on other industries. The result, according to the allegations in the lawsuit, is that every year, millions of gallons of polluted agricultural runoff flow into the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, and from there into the San Francisco Bay, where it kills and injures marine life.
straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle, Jane Kay, 22 Feb 2002 <http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/02/22/MN140393.DTL>
The Death Of Empires
by Jon Carroll
HISTORY TEACHES THREE pretty clear messages. One is that all empires die. Second, empires take a long time to die. Finally, the citizens of the empire rarely recognize the warning signs for what they are.
The necessity for change is immutable. Empires by their natures do not change very well. They have had positive feedback for not changing -- usually it's called "standing by our principles" -- for years, even centuries.
Empires think they have beaten the rule of change. They haven't. Empires think size will protect them. It won't. Empires think military might will protect them. It won't. Empires think charismatic leaders will protect them. They won't. Nothing will. The old makes way for the new.
The American empire is beginning to die. We will not see its death, nor will our grandchildren, but it is dying. Its leaders, sensing trouble, are fetishizing the "old ways," the ways that brought us power in a different world, a world in which America was young and the other empires were fading.
They have made denial a national creed. They have made arrogance a national stance. "We do not need the others because we are America," they say. A dying empire is like a dying dinosaur; the only question is how much damage the huge tail will do as it thrashes around.
I have some examples. Our foreign policy is governed by our need for oil, and yet we have no effective formal programs to reduce our need for oil. Instead, we purchase large vehicles that use gasoline with staggering inefficiency. We do it because we can, because God is on our side, and something will happen because something always does.
Dick Cheney is the prophet of this mind-set. Conservation is a hobby; use whatever you want; go to sleep, little citizens, your oil-based politicians will protect you.
WE ARE GRADUALLY killing the earth that gives us succor. We are poisoning the air and the water. We are cutting down the forests that give us life; we are killing the creatures of the ocean that feed us or feed the things we eat and use; we are ignoring the benefits of biodiversity.
Because something will happen. Because God is on our side. Because the scientists are wrong -- indeed, it is important to our whole way of life to marginalize science. Hey, they said we'd all be dead by the year 2000, and here we are. Fools.
We know more about the human body than we ever have. We understand more about nutrition than we ever have. We are a child-centered culture; we worship our little darlings and protect them from all harm. Except that childhood obesity is on the rise. Type 2 diabetes strikes children as young as 10. Only the very rich and very poor are thin.
We know more about the brain than we ever have. We use that knowledge to persuade children to eat food that will make their lives more difficult and place a greater burden on our medical system. This practice exists outside the morality that we are so very proud of.
Inside the morality is discouraging the use of condoms that can stop the spread of disease that also kills children. Death, where is thy sting? We are Americans.
WE ARE PROUD of our fine economic system, and yet our government routinely fails to punish profiteers and cheaters. We are proud of our Constitution, yet our government seeks to suspend parts of it when we enter an armed conflict. We are proud of our military, yet we spend billions on politically mandated weapons systems of no utility.
Maybe this is the way empires die. Maybe they weaken themselves from within.
The structure is so rotten that any young and enthusiastic foe can push it over. I dunno. Heck, I've got mine; why should I care?
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a fine speech.
World's 10 Richest Reefs Hammered By Humans
WASHINGTON, DC, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - Fishing with explosives and poison, overfishing, sedimentation and pollution from activities on land are wiping out the world's coral reefs, according to two new reports presented by conservation organizations based in Washington.
Pressure on the reefs is most intense in the coral triangle formed by Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and southern Japan.
The Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International reports that biodiversity is rapidly "bleeding away" in the coral reef hotspots, "10 regions exceptionally rich in marine species found nowhere else and also facing extreme threat."
The reefs of the Philippines are the most endangered of the 10 coral reef hotspots, named for the first time in the study published in the February 15 issue of Science magazine.
These 10 hotspots contain just 24 percent of the worlds coral reefs, or 0.017 percent of the oceans, but are inhabited by 34 percent of the hundreds of thousands of endemic marine species.
The list was prepared by a dozen scientists from Harvard, the UK's York University, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Ocean Voice International of Canada, the Eastern Ontario Biodiversity Museum, the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, and the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
The researchers identified global priority areas for coral reef conservation by mapping the geographic ranges of 1,700 species of reef fish, 804 species of coral, 662 species of snail and 69 species of lobster and comparing them to known threats to coral reefs from human impacts.
They identified the 10 coral reef hotspots, ranked by degree of threat, as:
1.Philippines 2.The islands of Annobon, Bioco, Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, 3.Sunda Islands of Indonesia 4.Southern Mascarene Islands, in the Indian Ocean 5.Eastern South Africa 6.Northern Indian Ocean 7.Southern Japan, Taiwan and southern China 8.Cape Verde Islands 9.Western Caribbean 10.Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden
Two of the top three reef hotspots are in Southeast Asia, a result that squares with a separate report from the World Resources Institute issued February 14 that adds to the evidence of damage affecting the coral reefs of Southeast Asia.
"Coral reefs are the cornerstone of the economic and social fabric of Southeast Asia, yet they are the most threatened reefs in the world," said Lauretta Burke, a co-author of "Reefs at Risk in Southeast Asia," published by the World Resources Institute (WRI). The data compiled by 15 scientists presents a "pretty grim," picture, says Burke, but it is intended to provide resource managers and government officials with "the kind of information that they need to effectively manage their coral reefs."
Using sophisticated computer software and a new index of threats, Burke and her co-authors estimate that 88 percent of Southeast Asia's reefs are severely threatened by human activities -overfishing, destructive fishing, and sedimentation and pollution from land based sources.
The WRI report estimates that the sustainable value of Southeast Asias coral reef fisheries is US$2.4 billion annually. If ecosystem services like tourism and shoreline protection are included, the value is higher.
Not all Indonesian reefs are destroyed. Relatively pristine reefs ring the island of Hoga in Indonesia's Wakatobi Marine National Park. (Photo courtesy Geography Dept. University of Portsmouth)
The total economic value for Indonesia, with the largest coral reef systems in the region, is estimated at US$1.6 billion annually. The Philippines comes second with an annual estimated value of US$1.1 billion.
The WRI researchers found 64 percent of Southeast Asias reefs to be threatened by overfishing. More than 70 percent of the reefs of Cambodia, Japan and the Philippines are overfished.
Just over half the reefs of Southeast Asia are being destroyed by fishing with poison and dynamite. Dynamite is used to stun or kill fish for either food or the tropical fish trade. "The threat is particularly high in the Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, and in Vietnam. Over two-thirds of the reefs in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan, as well as over 50 percent of those in Indonesia are threatened by destructive fishing," the WRI researchers found.
In addition, sedimentation and pollution associated with coastal development and changes in land use place 37 percent of the regions reefs at risk.
These findings are confirmed on a regular basis by other coral reef protection organizations. The California based Coral Reef Alliance says the most ecologically important site with soft coral habitats in Thailand's Andaman Sea, Hin Muang Hin Daeng, was damaged in December when dynamite from an illegal and unidentified fishing boat blasted two underwater rocks, each as large as a football field and as tall as a 100 story building.
The Nature Conservancy's Komodo Field Office is part of the group's Indonesia Program. Its personnel patrol Komodo National Park (KNP), located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Established in 1980, the park was declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site in 1986 and has a management unit with 88 staff. But still, its reefs are threatened by destructive fishing methods, including the use of hookah compressors, reef gleaning, fish traps, gillnets and bottom lines.
The organization recommends "banning the use of hookah compressors, which are used in both dynamite and cyanide fishing." But laws already on the books to protect the park are not being enforced partly because the local fisheries service, "feels that the KNP waters are fishing grounds where yields have to be maximiszed." the conservancy says.
Diver photographs corals destroyed by dynamite in American Samoa. (Photo by Nancy Daschbach courtesy NOAA)
All reef protection organizations, including Conservation International and the World Resources Institute, advise that to safeguard coral reefs, protected area networks must be expanded and management improved, requiring political will and financial commitments from governments, private organizations, and the tourism industry.
Development of alternative livelihoods for fishers, and regulation of the $1 billion a year trade in live reef fish will help the reefs survive, the World Resources Institute suggests.
In the Philippines, largest, most species rich, and most endangered of the coral reef hotspots, more than 90 percent of adjacent forests have been logged. Development of many small, community based marine reserves are showing "great promise," but they will need to be larger and have stronger enforcement, says Conservation International.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE
SCORECARD SHOWS PARTISAN POLARIZATION IN CONGRESS
WASHINGTON, DC, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - Congress's first year of the Bush administration saw environmental issues dividing Democrats from Republicans more sharply than at any other time in the past two decades, finds the 2001 National Environmental Scorecard. The annual report by the League of Conservation Voters, released Wednesday, details the voting records of every member of Congress over the past year.
COUNTRIES TO HAVE DISCRETION OVER IMPORT OF MORE CHEMICALS
GENEVA, Switzerland, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - Scientists have recommended adding a pesticide to a list of chemicals earmarked for global trade restrictions under the United Nations Rotterdam Convention. The national experts discussed further possible additions, including more pesticides and five types of asbestos.
WORLD'S 10 RICHEST REEFS HAMMERED BY HUMANS
WASHINGTON, DC, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - Fishing with explosives and poison, overfishing, sedimentation and pollution from activities on land are wiping out the world's coral reefs, according to two new reports presented this week by conservation organizations based in Washington. Pressure on the reefs is most intense in the coral triangle formed by Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and southern Japan.
AFRICAN LIONESS ADOPTS ANOTHER ORYX, SEEKS A THIRD
By Jennifer Wanjiru
SAMBURU GAME RESERVE, Kenya, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - The lioness that attracted international attention in January after it adopted an oryx calf in Kenya's Samburu Game Reserve is back in the news. This week the lioness adopted another baby oryx.
CORPS OPPOSES BREACHING SNAKE RIVER DAMS
WALLA WALLA, Washington, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - As expected, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers final report on improving salmon passage through the lower Snake River dams recommends against dam breaching. Conservation groups warn that leaving the dams intact could lead to the extinction of the Snake River's salmon and steelhead runs.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE AMERISCAN: FEBRUARY 21, 2002
East Coast Drought Intensifies
Lieberman Reproaches Bush on Environment
Slowing Ocean Currents Could Freeze Europe
Deep Water Waves Power Ocean Engines
Researchers Map Herbivore Biodiversity
California Utility Submits Historic Clean Energy Plan
Action Mining Funds Runoff Treatment
Removing Dominant Males Can Boost Genetic Diversity
For full text and graphics visit:
Waxman Shows Lieberman Damning Enron Video
Georgia: Bill to replace electric chair with guillotine
HILLARY CLINTON FREE LEGAL SERVICES IN PRIVATE LAWSUIT - Judicial Watch
Information Awareness Office
AMERICAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS (MAPS) - Will flat
SECRET MILITARY CODES DISCOVERED HIDDEN IN OUR ROAD SIGNS!
OR Judge Refuses Constitutional Oath
CEO'S & BUSH MEET IN SECRET
Corruption and the US ARMY - Randy L. Dixon
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HIDING SECRET WEEKLY REPORTS
RE: CHANDRA LEVY: UNRAVELING GOVERNMENT COVERUPS?
The True Story of Waco
`In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.' APFN, PMB 107, 6630 W. CACTUS #B107, GLENDALE, AZ 85304
ARIEL SHARON: BUSH'S ROLE MODEL?
Steven Day, PopPolitics.com
With his mega-hawkish "axis of evil" attitude, George W. Bush seems to be taking a page from Ariel Sharon's playbook -- the page about seizing power by provoking war.
THE ELECTRIC CHRISTIAN RAPTURE TEST
Kate Silver, Las Vegas Weekly
Inventor and Christian evangelist Dennis Lee has gotten thousands of people to buy $10,000 "dealerships" that sell "free electricty machines." Scam artist, cult hero or savior?
MEGA MEDIA MERGER MANIA
Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet
The age of media mega-mergers just went from bad to worse, as a federal court struck down some of the last safeguards against huge media conglomerates. AOLDisneyNBCViacom, here we come.
WORKING ASSETS RADIO: FRIDAY MEDIA ROUNDTABLE
with host Laura Flanders
What's creepier: the U.S. Office of Strategic Information or the San Francisco dog-mauling defendants? Discuss the week's headlines with journalists John Moyers (TomPaine.com), Evelyn Nieves (New York Times) and Ruth Rosen (SF Chronicle). Tune in online from 10-11amPT/1-2pmET, and call in at 866-798-TALK.
I HAVE A PALESTINIAN DREAM
James Zogby, AlterNet
Palestinians desperately need a new strategy to counter the latest Israeli offensive. Perhaps it is time to take a page out of Martin Luther King's book.
* In Global Affairs: http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=31
LETTERS: GLOBALIZE THIS!; THE REACH OF HIP-HOP
Both the global justice movement and Hip-Hop get a boost in our Letters to the Editor section.
ENRON AND THE MYTHS OF RUNAWAY CAPITALISM
Marjorie Kelly, Business Ethics
The story of Enron's implosion is not about one diabolical company, nor about a few bad apples, or a few broken rules. It's about the ugly guts of our entire economy.
* In EnronGate: http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=30
VOUCHERS AND THE FALSE PROMISE OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Barbara Miner, AlterNet
The U.S. Supreme Court has finally taken up the issue of school vouchers, the most important education case since 1954's Brown v. Board of Education.
ANDRE HAS A POSSE -- HUH?
Nathan Ihara, LA Weekly
Often mistaken as a communist logo, Nazi symbol or banner of some cult, Andre the Giant is the Frankenstein's monster of guerrilla artist-cum-marketing whiz Shepard Fairey.
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS GO FOR GOLD
Nancy Watzman, OUCH!
The 2002 Olympics will cost American taxpayers some $1.5 billion, and plenty of that will go straight into the pockets of fat cat political contributors.
HEMP IS GOOD FOOD
David Bronner, IMPACT Press
As other countries cash in on hemp, U.S. businesses face new DEA restrictions on products. The president of Doctor Bronner's Magic Soaps explains why activists and companies are fighting back.
HUFFINGTON: THE BUSH OIL-IGARCHY'S OLD FRIEND OXY
Arianna Huffington, AlterNet
With Enron's stench growing more acrid each day, you'd think President Bush would avoid toadying to another deep-pocketed energy giant. Well, you'd be wrong.
TERRORISM AND DRUGS: WHAT'S THE REAL CONNECTION?
Judy Appel and Skyla Olds, Drug Policy Alliance
Equating drug trafficking and use to terrorism will allow the government to extend the drastically expanded police and prosecutorial powers of the war on terrorism into the war on drugs. Here's how it could happen.
HUTCHINSON: VATICAN STILL MUST ANSWER ON HOLOCAUST
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet
Though the Catholic church has taken steps in the last 25 years to apologize for its role in past oppression, silence continues on Pope Pius XII's ties to Nazi Germany.
DURST: OLYMPIC WINNERS AND LOSERS
Will Durst, AlterNet
I am glued to the tube watching the XIX Winter Olympics where we, and yes, I do mean the US of A, are kicking major Russkie and Scandinavian ass.
t r u t h o u t
Waxman Shows Lieberman Damning Enron Video
Germany and France warn Bush on Iraq
Former Employee Says Enron Manipulated California Power Market
William Safire | Too Much Surveillance Means Too Little Freedom
Democrats Foil House Republicans' Effort To Limit Native American Political Donations
Tom Oliphant | 'Education President' Reneges on the Deal
Enron CEO: Some Could Go to Jail
Wind Project On Blackfeet Land Up In The Air
NAS Study on Rollover Rating System a Breath of Fresh Air
Statement of Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook
For the countless victims of rollover crashes, today's study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a breath of fresh air. Its findings mirror what we said in testimony more than a year ago -- that the government's star-based system with numerical calculations of vehicle rollover propensity is wholly inadequate and uninformative. Without precise consumer information, auto manufacturers can continue to tell customers that more rollover-prone vehicles are safer than they really are.
The National Research Council report confirms that consumers need more detailed information than the government is now providing. The current rating system, in which vehicles are given between one and five stars, creates categories so broad that two vehicles can receive the same rating but have widely varying rollover risks. That's hardly sufficient, and it's more likely to mislead than inform.
The report also underscores that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should quickly fulfill its congressional mandate to develop a "dynamic" rollover test on which to base useful consumer information. Such tests, in which vehicles are test-driven, are vastly more effective than "static" tests, those based solely on measuring vehicle track width and center of gravity height.
Certainly, it's good to warn people about how dangerous their vehicle is. But NHTSA does this only by posting the ratings on the Web, not by requiring manufacturers to provide information to consumers when they buy cars. However, it would be much better to design safer vehicles. For that reason, we again call on the government to create an effective rollover standard to ensure that manufacturers build vehicles that are less prone to tipping over.
The NAS rightly calls on the government to stop enabling manufacturers to pussyfoot around the truth about their vehicles. We need to go one step further, though, and require auto makers to give consumers better vehicles in the first place.
Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.
For more information, please visit http://www.citizen.org
Planet Ark World Environment News
Monsanto aiming for GM wheat introduction in 2005 - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14667/story.htm
Alliant extends Iowa deadline for renewable power - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14661/story.htm
UPDATE - Enron to sell wind power unit to General Electric - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14662/story.htm
EPA close to settlement in diesel engine case-filing - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14656/story.htm
Love-struck toads on road to safety - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14674/story.htm
Global warming not linked to increase in malaria - UGANDA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14659/story.htm
EU says US global warming plan falls short - SPAIN http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14673/story.htm
Beached log ship in New Zealand fails to budge - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14658/story.htm
ANALYSIS - Emissions trading systems developing as patchwork - NETHERLANDS http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14672/story.htm
Court finds Luxembourg late to enact EU environment law - LUXEMBOURG http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14657/story.htm
Eni Gela refinery halt could be postponed - sources - ITALY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14671/story.htm
FEATURE - Asian lake mirrors Kashmir's sorrows - INDIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14666/story.htm
German marks turned to alcohol - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14675/story.htm
Finnish media slams minister for nuke disloyalty - FINLAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14676/story.htm
EU proposes curbs on toxic chemicals by 2003 - EU http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14677/story.htm
Greenpeace to push bank on Ecuador pipeline credit - ECUADOR http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14668/story.htm
HK Disney site poses ecological threat - experts - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14664/story.htm
Pragmatism rules in Asia's ethical investing debate - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14660/story.htm
UPDATE - US says soybean row with China unresolved - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14665/story.htm
Canada edges further away from Kyoto ratification - CANADA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14670/story.htm
Whispers In The Land
by Kent Southard
Washington Knows That Bush Has Gone Too FarThere are whispers and murmurings abroad in the land, accompanied by strange signs and wonders. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward appears on CSpan to discuss his 10-part puff piece on Bush at War, and apropos of nothing, says 'In the past, what were considered to be conspiracy theories turned out to be true.' John McCain gives an interview on the Enron scandal, and finishes with the mysterious, 'This could lead to places we wouldn't expect.'Colin Powell chooses to appear on MTV, using that forum to advocate condom use; with the added instruction, 'don't listen to that conservative advice.' His message couldn't have been more explicit, both sexually and politically, and would have gotten him fired from the Clinton administration, much less from the Crisco-smeared foreheads of Bush's minions. George W. Bush inexplicably tries to send his Texas Governor's papers to his father's presidential library, where they would apparently be exempt from Texas' tough freedom of information laws. While the papers sit in legal limbo, not yet safely entombed, a Texas FOI request frees Bush's entire correspondence with Enron - and out pops a letter from Kenny Boy requesting Gov. Bush to please meet with the President of.....Uzbekistan."We are negotiating a $2 Billion venture with Neftegas of Uzbekistan and Gazprom of Russia to develop Uzbekistan's natural gas and transport it to markets in Europe and Kazakhstan and Turkey. This project can bring significant economic opportunities to Texas...."What does it all mean? What are the 'conspiracy theories' currently in circulation? Where could the Enron scandal lead that we wouldn't have expected? Why would Colin Powell seem to be trying to get himself fired? Why would George W. Bush not want us to know he and Enron had interests in Uzbekistan?The 'conspiracy theories' are only theories in this country, it seems, in the rest of the world they're reported as fact. What the rest of the world knows is that Uzbekistan and the rest of the 'Stans' in the Caspian Sea sit atop what may be the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, the oil and gas that will be used primarily in the coming economic growth of the world's two largest countries - China and India. The rest of the world knows that Enron, Halliburton, Unocal, and other American energy concerns wished to build pipelines through neighboring Afghanistan to get that oil and gas to market; knows that the Bush administration was negotiating with the Afghan Taliban to build those pipelines, knows Bush threatened war if the Taliban didn't play along.Hence the whispers and murmurings - what all of Washington knows is that Cheney's Energy Task Force wasn't just about handing the California State surplus over to Enron, that was the least of it; what Cheney was doing was plotting with the largely Texas energy concerns to capture, one way or another, and control the Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves so that they could exercise economic dominance over China and India; displacing Russia from its own backyard in the process. They whisper because of the dark questions that remain unadressed concerning Sept. 11th: the refusal to grant a FISA warrant against Zacarias Moussaoui, even though he had been tagged by French Intelligence as a terrorist, was paying cash for turn-and-bank lessons in jumbo jets, and had been arrested on an expired visa; the hijacked jets wandering around the eastern half of the country for the better part of two hours without Air Force interception, even though it had taken mere minutes for them to reach the stricken jet of golfer Payne Stewart; the concerted efforts of Bush to be physically absent from Washington in the weeks preceding the attacks, the same weeks that followed his threat of war against the Taliban. As an oil industry expert observes, 'The strategic considerations of oil supercede all other values.'They murmur because George W. Bush has gone too far, and rushes heedlessly farther. His Secretary of State has lost the stomach for the crimes envisioned, and is trying to find an honorable escape. The Bush family has stolen the presidency, and doesn't mean to give it back. They're seeking to rule the world by controlling its energy supply, enforced with lawless military supremacy. The whole of Washington apparently now knows this; and the knowledge sits uneasily, because it is the end of the America of the founding fathers. There's the ominous sense that if God has lifted his veil of protection, it is not because of the sins of its citizens, but rather the crimes of its leaders; which crimes compound daily.
In the most scathing attack on George W. Bush since the terrorist attacks of Sep. 11, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) blasted the president's environmental record in a speech made yesterday in California. Lieberman, a possible presidential candidate in 2004 and one of 15 senators to be recognized by the League of Conservation Voters for a perfect environmental voting record, was particularly critical of Bush's energy and global warming plans. The senator also took Bush to task for pushing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a proposal Lieberman said he would filibuster "until the caribou come home ... or Vice President [Dick] Cheney releases the energy task force records, whichever comes later." Lieberman announced that the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs, will begin hearings next month on the administration's environmental record.
straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Ronald Brownstein, 21 Feb 2002 <http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-000013364feb21.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dscience>
One of the world's largest financial organizations, HSBC, has earmarked nearly $50 million to create a five-year environmental program called Investing in Nature. The program will funnel money to three environmental nonprofits organizations -- WWF, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, and Earthwatch -- to support projects that enhance access to safe drinking water and help preserve endangered plants. WWF will use its share of the money to restore almost 5 million acres of river basin habitats along the Amazon, Yangtze, and Rio Grande. BGCI will use the money to help protect 20,000 endangered plants by creating gene banks in botanic gardens around the world. And Earthwatch will train conservation scientists in developing nations. HSBC Chair Sir John Bond explained the motivation behind Investing in Nature by saying, "Companies as well as individuals have a responsibility for the stewardship of this planet."
straight to the source: BBC News, Alex Kirby, 21 Feb 2002 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1832000/1832356.stm>
PAX WITH THE DEVIL
Enron is seldom called "socially conscious" these days -- but that's how some investment companies routinely described the company in the not-too-distant past. The Pax World Balanced Fund, which promotes investing in good corporate citizens, and the Domini 400 Social Index and Calvert Social Index, which screen stocks based on social and environmental criteria, all once championed Enron, as did other socially responsible investment funds. The much-maligned company was one of the few energy firms that passed environmental muster for do-good investors, thanks to its emphasis on natural gas and wind energy. (Not that Enron's image was entirely untarnished; socially conscious investors worried about the company's treatment of protestors at an energy plant in India, for example.) Happily, Pax World Fund pulled out of Enron before it imploded, so not all green investors lost the farm.
straight to the source: Planet Ark, Reuters, Martha Slud, 21 Feb 2002 <http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14639/story.htm>
THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SNOW BUSINESS
Former President Clinton's eleventh-hour ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks just received yet another blow from the Bush administration, when the Interior Department, acting on the request of the snowmobile industry, offered three alternatives to an outright ban. Option one: Delay the phase-out by one year. Option two: Limit the number of snowmobiles at Yellowstone's popular West Entrance (where air quality is so bad that rangers were provided with respirators last week) while increasing the number permitted to enter elsewhere and requiring all snowmobiles to be cleaner and quieter. Option three: Allow snowmobiles (the cleaner and quieter kind) only on major roads and reduce their overall numbers. Critics say the administration is just buying time before reversing the ban entirely, and note that support for the ban has remained unwavering through four public comment periods. But hey, a fifth (now in progress) never hurt.
straight to the source: New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye, 20 Feb 2002 <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/20/politics/20SNOW.html>
SEND ME THE IVORY BILL
Call it a wild goose chase: A 30-day search through a southern Louisiana swamp was called off yesterday after some of the world's top ornithologists failed to find the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker. The bird, once the largest North American woodpecker with a wingspan of up to 33 inches, has not been seen for certain since shortly after WWII. But three years ago, a forestry student said he saw a mating pair, and the claim was credible enough to launch a major search. Traveling by foot and canoe through mosquito- and alligator-infested swamps, and using state-of-the-art technology, six scientists combed 35,000 acres of land northeast of New Orleans. The team turned up some evidence that the birds might not yet be extinct -- but not the definitive sighting they'd hoped for.
straight to the source: Washington Post, Eric Pianin, 21 Feb 2002 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42529-2002Feb20.html>
Pot Club Crackdown Continues
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency ratcheted up its crackdown on medical marijuana clubs this week, confiscating thousands of plants and arresting four men in the San Francisco Bay Area. While the DEA has raided medical marijuana clubs several times in recent months, the arrests on Feb. 13 mark the first time suspects have been taken into custody.
Just hours before DEA head Asa Hutchinson was scheduled to speak in San Francisco, DEA agents seized 600 marijuana plants from the Sixth Street Harm Reduction Center, a well-known medical marijuana club located in a gritty section of downtown.
"They were here when I got here yesterday morning," says David Witty, one of the center's directors. "They'd popped the locks and were hauling out plants when I arrived."
The DEA also served related search warrants around the Bay Area, confiscating thousands more plants and arresting three men connected to the center, including executive director Richard Watts at his home in San Francisco. Former director Kenneth Hayes was arrested by Canadian police on the same day in Vancouver, British Columbia, and may be deported to face a US arrest warrant. In what the DEA is calling a separate case, agents also arrested James Halloran in his Oakland home. All four of the men arrested in the US have been charged with the cultivation and possession of marijuana, charges which can mean up to forty years in prison.
In response to the raids, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Commonwealth Club of California where Hutchinson was scheduled to speak Tuesday evening. Among the demonstrators were San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan and several city council members.
"This city has been declared a sanctuary," for medical marijuana, Hallinan said. "This is such a misdirection of federal priorities they are cracking down on a bunch of sick people." Hallinan said that he has no doubts the raid was scheduled for Hutchinson's benefit.
The DEA, however, says the raids were just business as usual. "This was a long-term investigation and it just happened to coincide with Hutchinson's visit," DEA Special Agent Richard Meyer said. "We wouldn't put our agents at risk just to impress him."
California in 1996 legalized marijuana growing and consumption for people suffering from certain ailments. But federal law still bans marijuana use of any sort. After a long legal stalemate, a US Supreme Court ruling in May cleared the way for federal agents to move against medical marijuana. The DEA raided several California clubs last fall.
The Harm Reduction Center, at least for now, remains operational -- not as a marijuana dispensary, but as what David Witty calls a "living room" for the neighborhood. "I intend for the doors to be open every day of the year," Witty said. "People come here to feel safe. They really have no other place to go."
* America's Arms -- Into Whose Hands? * - Opinion: Since Sept. 11, the US has stepped up military assistance to allies old and new. But might America's own weapons someday be turned against it?
* Deporting to Death * - A Los Angeles gang-peace organizer faces an immigration ruling that his supporters say could be a death sentence.
* Deporting America's Gang Culture * - Photo Essay: For the past decade, US officials have been deporting street-gang members back to El Salvador and other native countries they barely know. But that policy hasn't broken up gangs -- only exported the problem.
* A Slippery Ad Ploy * - Cartoon: What would Washington's high-profile new anti-drug ad campaign look like if it considered America's petrodependence?
* News Beat * - Afghan about-face; Bush in Beijing; Himalayan eco-crisis; more ...
* Capitol Beat * - Year of the white male; Democratic "Armageddon"; Enron's Gore plan; more ...
* Updates * - Pot club crackdown continues; invisible ingredients; counting Afghanistan's dead; more .. . http://www.motherjones.com/web_exclusives/features/news/updates.html
* Talkback * - Answering for "Ecoterrorists": Elaine Close, spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front's press office, discusses the property-destroying tactics of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front with MotherJones.com readers.
Groups to Call on Bush to Attend World Summit
A Call for Action urging President Bush to join other heads of state next August at the World Summit for Sustainable Development will be released at an EMS press breakfast this Friday, Feb. 22, in Washington, D.C. Informally known as "Rio+10," the Summit is designed to stimulate renewed actions on the commitments made at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Media advisory: http://www.ems.org/advisories/rio.html
A Reawakening for Rail
In a variety of forms -- from streetcars to high speed trains -- rail is on the rise, even though it receives far less money from the government compared to automobile and air travel.
Elm Street Writers commentary:
Tesla technology that is soon to be marketed
According to Frank Germano (President & CEO International Turbine And Power), "This technology will literally hit the streets within the next six months. We are in the process of acquiring funding and merging with several west coast companies and once that has been legalized with possibly a public offering, you will see the amazing Tesla Turbine and Tesla Pump and the Tesla 'Air-to-air' refrigeration systems popping up almost everywhere."
Frank Germano's web site includes several pages dealing with the theories of the 'Water Wizard', Viktor Schauberger. Germano writes: "The term 'free energy' is found floating around in just about every corner of the web. Schauberger and Tesla not only proved that free energy exists and is obtainable (in our present lifetimes), they patented their inventions! Why haven't these amazing inventions been developed and implemented into our so-called modern economy? There are many reasons, however, the one that I most readily believe is correct, is that WE (yes, you and me, and all of the people of the United States of America and the world) have not 'pushed' for this exciting technology to be made - no, demanded to be made - available. It is my belief, that by combining Schauberger's theories on the 'living energies' contained in water with the Tesla Turbine, a radical approach to how we obtain and distribute electrical energy will result.
Non-polluting, environmentally sound, readily obtainable, virtually 'free' energy, that can be distributed economically to everyone on the planet. At the very least, it will be a revolutionary concept. I have gathered together most of Viktor Schauberger's wonderful inventions, and a very large database of information about his intuitive, far-reaching environmental theories. I think you will be quite taken back at the scope of his work."
Definitely a site worth visiting...
Of particular interest:
Tesla Technology, Today:
Who was NIKOLA TESLA, and what were his greatest inventions?
The LOST INVENTIONS of NIKOLA TESLA
This page will give you some surprising information about Tesla, the disk turbine, the magnifying transmitter, high-frequency lighting, the Tesla Coil, and more. Also included is a very "short winded" biography on Tesla. http://www.frank.germano.com/lostinventions.htm
Nikola Tesla LINKS
Deaths Mount as Israel Unleashes Reprisals
CIA-Who Do They Really Work For?
All you've ever wanted to know (or ignore?) about Mind Control
OMCT Human Rights NGO, against torture and executions
OMCT is today the largest international coalition of NGOs fighting against torture, summary executions, forced disappearances and all other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in order to preserve Human Rights. It has at its disposal a network, SOS Torture, consisting of some 240 non-governmental organisations which act as sources of information.
URL for the emperors-clothes article on 9/11:
OK, George, make with the friendly bombs
To prevent terrorism by dropping bombs on Iraq is such an obvious idea that I can't think why no one has thought of it before. It's so simple. If only the UK had done something similar in Northern Ireland, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today.
Nowhere to Hide? - FCC okays technology capable of "seeing" through walls
George Bush and the Oiligarch
Bush Offers Alternative Plan on 'Greenhouse Gases'
(Reuters) - President Bush on Thursday outlined a voluntary plan to slow the growth of global warming gases in place of the mandatory cuts demanded by the widely accepted Kyoto treaty he rejected last year as harmful to the U.S. economy. Advocates for stronger action immediately attacked the proposal as insufficient to stop what they see as an inexorable climb in the earth's atmospheric temperature tied to ''greenhouse gases'' like carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and automobiles. ``Instead of accepting an accord endorsed by over 170 nations, President Bush has put forward a plan that falls far short of the needs of both America and the world,'' said former Vice President Al Gore.(...) Philip Clapp, president of National Environmental Trust, said voluntary reductions have failed in the past. ``The president's global warming proposal appears to be another faith-based initiative.
FULL COVERAGE ON GLOBAL WARMING
A Career In Microbiology Can Be Harmful To Your Health On the suspicious deaths of as many as 12 world-class microbiologists.
Primate, Carnivore Diversity At Risk
by Cat Lazaroff
WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - Scientists have discovered that the greatest concentration of all primate and carnivore evolutionary history exists within those species found in just 25 biodiversity hotspots. About 55 percent of the world's primates and 22 percent of carnivores are found only within biodiversity hotspots - and yet they represent 70 percent of the evolutionary history for the entire species.
These species - whose combined evolutionary ages total 2.6 billion years - represent genetic lineages that are vital to the future diversity, evolution and survival of these animals, argues a collaborative study published by the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International and biologists from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Their research appears in this week's issue of the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
The critically endangered northern muriqui is found only in Brazil's Atlantic forest region, one of the Earth's 25 diversity hotspots. (Four photos courtesy Conservation International)
"If one of these species in a biodiversity hotspot goes extinct we not only lose that particular animal, but we also lose its contribution to the evolution and ultimately the survival of that species as a whole," said John Gittleman, University of Virginia evolutionary biologist and coauthor of the report. "You only see the incredible diversity of life that currently exists because previous species were able to develop and evolve over time."
The combined evolutionary ages of these animals amount to 343 million more years of evolutionary history than a similar random sample taken from other portions of the earth.
As species disappear, the genetic base for the future evolution of new primates and carnivores also begins to shrink. Scientists liken this danger to the extinction of the dinosaurs, in which nearly every representative of an entire evolutionary group vanished from the planet.
Delacour's langur is struggling to survive in Vietnam, part of the Indo-Burma Hotspot. (Photo by Tilo Nadlur)
The report is another demonstration of the importance of biodiversity hotspots, the authors say, because the extinction of these species due to the continued destruction of the natural ecosystems in these regions will disrupt and deplete genetic lineages which have taken millions of years to evolve.
The hotspots are 25 highly threatened areas that together contain more than 60 percent of the world's terrestrial plant and animal species - within just 1.4 percent of the planet's land surface. British ecologist Norman Myers developed the concept of hotspots in 1988, and Conservation International and other groups have adopted the concept to help set conservation priorities.
The importance of preserving biodiversity hotspots can be seen in the examples of two lemurs that are found only in Madagascar. The weasel lemur has an estimated evolution history of 18.6 million years and the ruffed lemur dates back an estimated 16.6 million years. By comparison, the evolutionary history of modern humans dates back only 7.1 million years.
"We are facing double jeopardy. Not only are we in danger of losing species, but we are facing the loss of their legacy," said Gustavo Fonseca, CABS executive director. "These animals found in the biodiversity hotspots represent a huge repository of genetic diversity which is invaluable to the advancement of scientific research and the preservation of future biodiversity."
Javan gibbons are found in the Sundaland hotspot in Indonesia. (Photo © Russell Mittermeier)
The 25 biodiversity hotspots identified by biologists at Conservation International and other environmental groups are now under extreme threat - many hotspots have lost more than 90 percent of their original natural habitat.
"If the Louvre in Paris or the Pyramids were to be destroyed, there would be public outrage," said Conservation International president Russell Mittermeier. "When a rainforest disappears, however, nobody expresses alarm. Yet the biodiversity hotspots hold an equal amount of the Earth's treasures."
Conservation International recently announced an unprecedented global initiative to stop species extinctions in biodiversity hotspots and to protect large areas of major tropical wilderness areas. To launch this effort, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is providing the group with the largest gift ever given to a private conservation group: a series of grants totaling up to $261 million over 10 years.
With an alliance of conservation partners, Conservation International aims to secure $1.5 billion in private investments over the next 10 years, and leverage another $4.5 billion from the public sector.
A mouse lemur from Madagascar, first described by science in 2000 (Photo © Russell Mittermeier)
A blueprint for the initiative was developed during the "Defying Nature's End" conference organized by CABS and co-chaired by Gordon Moore and Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson at the California Institute of Technology in August 2000. The initiative will create global alliances, bolster scientific field research and offer new economic options to protect biodiversity.
More information is available at: http://www.biodiversityscience.org
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE
BOLIVIA BATTERED BY WORST STORM IN 500 YEARS
LA PAZ, Bolivia, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - A violent storm that swept through the Bolivian capital Tuesday has claimed 48 lives police officials said today. The storm brought the worst floods and hailstorms in the 500 year history of the city. There is concern that the deadly storm and others in neighboring Peru could herald another El Nino year.
AVOIDABLE CAUSES OF BREAST CANCER MAY INCLUDE MAMMOGRAPHY
WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - Mammography centers around the country have been scaling back operations and closing their doors for the past two years because of inadequate insurance reimbursements. The trend comes at a time when a growing population of older women is increasing the demand for the radiological breast exams. But a prominent cancer prevention physician warns that mammography is a risky, unreliable, profit driven technology.
PRIMATE, CARNIVORE DIVERSITY AT RISK
By Cat Lazaroff
WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - Scientists have discovered that the greatest concentration of all primate and carnivore evolutionary history exists within those species found in just 25 biodiversity hotspots. About 55 percent of the world's primates and 22 percent of carnivores are found only within biodiversity hotspots - and yet they represent 70 percent of the evolutionary history for the entire species.
BIOLOGISTS FIND TANTILIZING HINTS OF LOST WOODPECKER
SLIDELL, Louisiana, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - After an intensive 30 day search of Louisiana wildlands, biologists appear to be no closer to determining whether the ivory billed woodpecker is extinct in the United States. But the searchers found several clues, ranging from stripped bark to tantilizing tapping, suggesting the nation's largest woodpecker may not be entirely gone.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE AMERISCAN: FEBRUARY 20, 2002
EPA Initiative Promotes Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Arctic Ice Melt Could Be Security Issue
Biomass Burning Boosts Stratospheric Moisture
Interior Reviews Yellowstone Snowmobiles - Again
Public Lands Grazing Fees Remain Low
Students Aid National Parks Through Research
Protections for Endangered Dragonfly Aid Ecosystem
Pentagon Rebuilding With Eco-Friendly Paint
For full text and graphics visit:
"People naturally fear misfortune and long for good fortune, but if the distinction is carefully studied, misfortune often turns out to be good fortune, and good fortune to be misfortune. The wise man [or woman] learns to meet the changing circumstances of life with an equitable spirit, being neither elated by success nor depressed by failure."
t r u t h o u t
Enron's New Five Billion Black Hole
Bush 2000 Adviser Offered To Use Clout to Help Enron
Jennifer Van Bergen | In the Absence of Democracy
South Korean Anti - Bush Demonstrators Fight Police
Deaths Mount as Israel Unleashes Wave of Reprisals
Lynda Brewer | Every Mother is a Working Mother
Ken Lay Selling Off 22 Million Dollars Worth of Aspen Real Estate
Planet Ark World Environment News
Vietnam coffee may suffer from dry weather in March - VIETNAM http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14642/story.htm
FEATURE - Shooting case puts focus on pipeline security - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14645/story.htm
California should defer MTBE ban til 2005 - study - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14650/story.htm
FEATURE - Do-good mutual funds did not escape Enron fall - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14639/story.htm
US senators ask China to delay biotech food rules - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14649/story.htm
Britain says Bush climate change plan too little - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14652/story.htm
UK Scientists to clash at GM crop safety hearing - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14646/story.htm
UK's Friends Ivory expands global equities team - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14643/story.htm
Singapore expects some haze from regional dry spell - SINGAPORE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14654/story.htm
Japan to lend Philippines 72.49 bln yen in 2002 - PHILIPPINES http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14638/story.htm
Fresh bid to free beached log ship in NZ abandoned - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14653/story.htm
Beached log ship in New Zealand fails to budge - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14647/story.htm
Mexico watchdog temporarily shuts two Pemex plants - MEXICO http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14636/story.htm
Thick haze in Indonesia could threaten neighbours - INDONESIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14633/story.htm
German power prices ease on more wind power supply - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14640/story.htm
French power slips despite 18-pct nuclear outage - FRANCE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14641/story.htm
Canadian transgenic pigs end up as chicken feed - CANADA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14648/story.htm
UPDATE - Brazil to end electricity rationing March 1 - BRAZIL http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14651/story.htm
UN nuclear watchdog to help rid Africa of tsetse fly - AUSTRIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14655/story.htm
Anti-Americanism takes the world by storm
by Salman Rushdie
America did, in Afghanistan, what had to be done and did it well. The bad news, however, is that none of these successes has won friends for the United States outside Afghanistan. In fact, the effectiveness of the American campaign may paradoxically have made the world hate America more than it did before.
For Rushdie's entire column, go to:
Rabbis for Human Rights: Stop demolition of Palestinian homes
Israel radio's weekly opinion polls reported some surprising numbers: more than 50% of Israelis now believe that Israel is acting immorally in the territories. As the radio commentators tried to understand this, they concluded that there has been a trickle-down effect from the stories that have started to come out about Israeli Army abuses in the West Bank and Gaza. The same poll found that more than 30% of the population now support those soldiers who are refusing to serve in the territories. This shift in opinion is cataclysmic in Israeli society, where even those Israeli Jews who criticize government policy have traditionally opposed conscientious objection. These two statistics show that something is happening in Israel. As angry and traumatized as Israelis understandably feel after a year and a half of Intifada, the population is regaining its moral compass.
Now for the bad news. Jerusalem Mayor Olmert has vowed to demolish homes every week. Rabbis for Human Rights did their best to make sure that all families whose homes were targeted for demolition were represented and obtained court delays. However, this did no good for Bassem Shveiki, whose home was demolished despite a court restraining order. Even if Rabbis for Human Rights can help those families who notify them in time, the next demolition could take place at any moment.
Please write to Mayor Olmert to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes, and send copies to Rabbis for Human Rights. It's urgent.
Mayor Ehud Olmert: Kikar Safra 1, Jerusalem, Israel; Phone: 972-2-629-7717; Fax: 972-629-6014; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send copies to: email@example.com
To find out more about Rabbis for Human Rights, go to:
To read more about the refusal of more than 100 Israeli Army reservists to serve in the West Bank and Gaza, go to:
Eyeing What You Read
FBI In Libraries And Bookstores
by Nat Hentoff
The December 25 issue of Capital Times, a newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, contains a warning about how the FBI, under Attorney General John Ashcroft and the USA Patriot Act, can order bookstores to provide lists of books bought by people suspected of involvement in terrorism. The definition of terrorism in the USA Patriot Act is so broad and vague that any number of American readers may be caught in this additional Ashcroft dragnet. For example: You commit "the crime of domestic terrorism if [any of your acts] appear to be intended to . . . influence the policy of a government by intimidation." Such "acts" could be based on what you read in a book.
From the Capital Times: "At A Room of One's Own . . . which stocks women's literature and women's studies texts but also gay and lesbian erotica, owner Sandy Torkildson does not keep sales records by purchaser name, in order to protect her customers. 'I think this is a real threat,' she said."
This threat was described in a November 1 letter to booksellers across the country by Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. This letter and its fears for the First Amendment have received hardly any mention in the press aside from the Capital Times and The Progressive magazine.
"[Under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act] the director of the FBI may seek an order 'for any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine activities.'
"The request for such an order is to be made to a judge who sits in a special court that is sometimes called the 'spy court.' "
This is the secret court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). On its bench sit federal judges selected by the chief justice of the Supreme Court; they receive requests for subpoenas and warrants from federal agents engaged in investigating terrorism. In the 24 years since this court began functioning, hardly any request for a subpoena has been denied. I confirmed this during a recent debate in Washington with Viet Dinh, John Ashcroft's chief legal adviser in the Justice Department.
Chris Finan's letter to the country's booksellers continues: "The judge makes his decision 'ex parte,' meaning there is no opportunity for you or your lawyer to object in court. You cannot object publicly, either. The new law includes a gag order that prevents you from disclosing 'to any other person' the fact that you have received an order to produce documents." (Emphasis added.)
And this is the United States of America, John Ashcroft, attorney generalnot the People's Republic of China?
Chris Finan goes on: "American Booksellers for Free Expression is deeply concerned by the potential chilling effect of court orders issued to booksellers under this new law. Normally, when a bookseller receives a [court order] for customer information, he or she has the opportunity to ask the court to quash the order on First Amendment grounds. In several cases, booksellers have successfully resisted subpoenas. Under FISA, however, booksellers may not have this chance. Depending on the wording of the order, the bookseller may be required to immediately turn over the records that are being sought." (Emphasis added.)
This is yet another moment in Ashcroft-Bush time when George Orwell should still be with us. Under Section 501 of the FISA, which has been amended in Ashcroft's USA Patriot Act, this command to turn over the names of book buyersand borrowers of library bookshas a deceptive exception, which is also in the USA Patriot Act.
"Such investigation [as demanding library records] of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution."
The freedom to read is not protected by the First Amendment? Well, the semanticists at the Department of Justice have interpreted that phrase to mean that you"a United States person"are still protected by the First Amendment if you stand on a corner and make a speech. But if the FBI has a suspicion that you may be connected to international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, they can find out what you're reading.
A Thomas Paine book advocating revolution, for instance?
So what can a bookseller do when the FBI comes calling? (Next week: advice to librarians.) Chris Finan tells bookstore owners, "You remain entitled to legal counsel. Therefore, you may call your attorney and/or the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
"Because of the gag order, however, you should not tell us that you have received a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. You can simply tell us that you need to contact [our] legal counsel. . . .
"It may be possible for you to have a lawyer present during a search of your store records. If so, the lawyer will be able to help you ensure that there is no violation of the privacy of your other customers. However, it is possible that the FBI will demand immediate access to your records.
"If the agents are unwilling to permit you to contact your attorney, you should cooperate with them. Otherwise, you may be arrested for disobeying a court order. If you have no choice but to turn over your records, the best thing you can do is help the FBI find the information that it is looking for and thus avoid exposing the records of other customers." (Emphasis added).
That is, if you can swiftly remove information about presumably "innocent" customers quickly enough.
Here's a prelude to next week's library warnings. The Capital Times quotes Barbara Dimick, director of the Madison Public Library. She says: "We want to be able to tell people who use the library that records are confidential, and they can use materials without fear of intimidation. That's being usurped now by federal agents. . . . We're all real jittery about it."
Where are the newspaper editorials and reports on television and radio about this beheading of the First Amendment right to read?
GE, WE BRING BAD THINGS TO FISH
The Bush administration asked a federal judge yesterday to dismiss a challenge by General Electric to the Superfund toxic waste cleanup law. Companies faced with multi-million dollar cleanup costs have repeatedly attacked the 1980 law, arguing that it leads to more legal tangles than environmental improvements. In the most recent sally, GE filed suit in November 2000, just before the U.S. EPA announced that the company would have to foot an estimated $500 million bill for dredging PCB-contaminated parts of the Hudson River. GE, which dumped some 1.3 billion pounds of PCBs into the Hudson between 1946 and 1977, is arguing that the Superfund law violates due process by granting federal regulators unlimited authority to order expansive -- and expensive -- cleanups with no chance for timely judicial review. Justice Department attorney Wendy Blake argued that GE does not have standing for a broad-based attack on the law and called the suit "a fishing expedition."
straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Pres, John Heilprin, 19 Feb 2002 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2002/02/19/national1618EST0661.DTL
KENYA BELIEVE IT?
If Kenya gets its way, water distribution in east Africa could change dramatically: The nation's energy minister, Raila Odinga, has called for a review of the 1929 British colonial treaty that grants Egypt the right to veto projects involving use of the headwaters of the Nile. Odinga called the treaty outdated and said it fails to take into account the interests of countries other than Egypt that also depend on the Nile as their main water source. Ethiopia, whose catchment areas account for 86 percent of Nile waters, has echoed Kenya's demands by calling for an end to a 1959 water-sharing treaty between Egypt and Sudan. Odinga said that countries that use the water downstream should compensate those nations that protect and conserve catchment areas and other parts of the river system.
straight to the source: Planet Ark, Reuters, David Mageria, 20 Feb 2002 <http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14624/story.htm>
THEY'RE ALL EARS
Farm states and the environment both stand to gain from a provision in a Democratic energy bill that would require gasoline refiners to triple their use of corn-based ethanol by 2012. The provision, written by Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), would also phase out the use of the petrochemical MTBE by 2006. Both ethanol and MTBE are additives that reduce smog by making gasoline burn more cleanly, but new studies suggesting that MTBE can contaminate groundwater have lead to calls for a ban on its use. Pushing ethanol is good politics for Daschle and other farm-state senators, who are critical in the battle to maintain a Democratic edge in the Senate this election year. The provision has touched off a storm of lobbying, including alleged calls by the oil industry for looser environmental regulations in other areas in exchange for the MTBE phaseout.
straight to the source: Washington Post, Dan Morgan, 19 Feb 2002 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30162-2002Feb18.html>
HATCHING A NEW PLAN
In the first systematic attempt to reform Washington State's fish-hatchery system -- the world's largest -- the Hatchery Scientific Review Group issued a report yesterday recommending the closure of one Puget Sound-area hatchery and alterations for 22 others. The salmon born in Washington State's 100-plus hatcheries are thought to pose a threat to wild salmon because they compete for space in rivers and for food and threaten to wipe out critical genetic variation. The report included 218 pointers encouraging state and tribal fishery managers to, in a nutshell, emphasize quality over quantity and imitate Mother Nature when planning hatcheries. The recommendations were immediately endorsed by Gov. Gary Locke (D), who pledged $8 million for hatchery reform despite the state's considerable budget shortfall.
straight to the source: Seattle Post-Intellegencer, Robert McClure, 20 Feb 2002 <http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/59008_hatch20.shtml>
The majority of our nation's wetlands90 percent, to be exactare what's referred to as freshwater marshes. They purify our drinking water, reduce flooding, serve as an irreplaceable breeding and nesting habitat for millions of creatures, and prevent the erosion of shorelines. Yet, over the past 200 years, we've allowed some 120 million acres of this valuable ecosystem to disappear. Building dams, polluting water sources with livestock waste, and permitting aggressive logging practices are just a few of the human-induced threats facing wetland ecosystems today.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 120,000 acres of wetlands are destroyed annually. And with the leveling of these wetlands go entire delicate ecosystemsand the plants, insects, and animals they support.
Nearly 50 percent of the bird species in North America rely upon wetlands for some aspect of their nesting or feeding. When fleeing colder climes, migratory birds use wetlands habitat as rest areas to provide relief along the way. According to the National Audubon Society, the number of birds migrating over the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s has been cut in half due to the loss of coastal wetlands in Louisiana and Mississippipopular staging spots for the feathered travelers.
Perhaps one of the most strikingand endangeredstretches of wetlands ecosystem is the Florida Everglades. Starting at Lake Kissimmee and running seemingly forever southward into Lake Okeechobee, much of the Everglades is immersed under a half-foot of water. Unfortunately, commercial development and farming have raped the Everglades of more than half of its total acreage over the past 100 years. As a matter of fact, scientists estimate that 70 percent less water flows through the south Florida jewel today as compared with a century ago. And the water that remains is a sickly, polluted shadow of what once was.
Over the past 30 years, agricultural development has been responsible for close to 90 percent of our lost wetlands. Historically, wetlands environment has been perceived as a barrier to commercial and residential expansion. The scenario goes something like this: Developers move in, wetlands lose out. Throw in a steadily increasing dose of pollution and you've got yourself an already-unstable environment readying itself for life support.
And things look to worsen before they take an upswing for the better. Consider this example: Since 1998, commercial developers have relied upon a loophole in the landmark Clean Water Act allowing them to disregard the need to obtain permits and destroy more than 30,000 acres of wetlands.
Make A Difference
· Conserve water. Turn the water off when scrubbing dishes or brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, and water your lawn in the early morning or late evening.
· Contact conservation groups in your area so that you may better familiarize yourself with local concerns.
· Take action. Write letters and make phone calls to influence public decisions that affect the condition and future of our nation's wetlands.
· Educate others. Make sure that the issues of wetlands conservation and ecosystem protection are part of your kids' curriculum at school.
· Make your vote count. Bring environmental issues into the voting booth with you.
Source: National Parks Conservation Association - http://www.NPCA.org
New Study Exposes Bush Administration's Rollback of Clean Air Protections as National Disaster for Public Health
Oil Giants Could Increase Current Emissions by Two to 140 Times Without Triggering Pollution Control Requirements
(Washington, D.C.) - A collaboration of state, local and national groups today released a new study that calculates, for the first time ever, the pollution burden that the nation could suffer if the Bush administration succeeds in its likely proposal to gut the Clean Air Act's New Source Review program. The report, Smokestack Rollback: How the Bush administration's Clean Air Act proposals will increase toxic refinery pollution and jeopardize public health, focuses on the public health threats posed by expected increases in oil industry pollution as a result of the Bush administration's proposals.
"Refinery air pollution is already a nationwide problem and the Bush proposals could make it many times worse, our new study proves," said Kelly Haragan of Public Citizen, the primary researcher of the emissions increases. "Whether there is a refinery in your backyard or not, many Americans live downwind of these giant polluters."
The Bush administration's proposal would roll back the Clean Air Act's New Source Review Program. The NSR protects public health by requiring oil refineries and other industrial facilities to install modern pollution control equipment when they make major pollution-increasing modifications to their facilities. According to the groups' analysis of 17 of these facilities, the administration's proposed changes to the NSR would allow the nation's oil giants to increase their emissions, with pollution increasing by anywhere from two to 140 times, without having to install pollution controls.
"These changes would decimate basic public health protections that have been in place for more than 30 years," said Sandra Schubert, legislative counsel for Earthjustice. "To allow emissions to increase to these levels without pollution controls undermines the very intent of the Clean Air Act."
While much national and regional attention on air pollution has highlighted the problem of dirty, aging power plants, this new report exposes oil refineries as a "sleeping giant" of harmful air pollution for much of the nation. Refineries often have been considered toxic hot spots in the South where they are concentrated, but Smokestack Rollback reveals that 36 states and 125 U.S. cities, where more than 67 million people live, are polluted by refineries.
"This new study proves rolling back our clean air protections under New Source Review will poison the air for more than 60 million Americans," said Denny Larson, Refinery Reform Campaign Coordinator of the Texas SEED Coalition.
Groups fighting air pollution threats from oil refineries across the nation prepared the report to expose how the Bush administration has targeted New Source Review for rollbacks. Enforcement of the law has been problematic since its inception in the 1970s, according to Environmental Protection Agency findings that 80 percent of oil refineries are in violation of New Source Review.
"Instead of stepping up efforts vigorously to enforce NSR, the Bush administration is trying to gut the programs on behalf of industrial polluters," said Ann Rolfes of Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
The report highlights how the Bush administration's proposal could open huge loopholes for polluting industries to avoid reducing emissions. Specifically the proposal would raise the threshold for which modifications trigger the NSR, so that a facility could practically build a new unit without any air pollution reduction requirements. Not only would this lead to more local toxic air pollution, but it would also exacerbate regional smog problems and increase negative health impacts of air pollution.
"It is not common sense or balanced policy to increase pollution that can trigger asthma and other respiratory diseases, cause cancer, and create cardiovascular problems," said Neil Carman of the Lone Star Sierra Club. "The Bush administration ignores the severe health crisis it would create for both the communities that are suffering from nearby refinery pollution and the public-at-large who are also affected by industrial air pollution."
The report was written by Earthjustice, Lone Star Sierra Club, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Public Citizen's Texas office, and the Texas SEED Coalition. It is available at
SPINNING IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict face pressures from governments and media-monitoring groups on both sides as they navigate the minefields of language. (From Columbia Journalism Review)
NEWS DISSECTOR: U.S. MEDIA'S NEW WAR
As the Bush administration signals an intention to attack Iraq, Danny Schechter wonders if the media are prepared to cover the conflict. Also: *Pentagon Propaganda Plans May Be Undemocratic, Illegal *Are We Really Seeing The War "Live On TV"?
AFGHAN MEDIA RISE FROM THE RUBBLE
With handmade satellite dishes and new press laws, Afghans are eagerly rebuilding the media systems crushed by the Taliban. A photo essay.
EMPOWERING VOICES IN EMERGING DEMOCRACIES
As former dictatorships move towards democracies, how do their cultural and political histories shape their media? (From World Association for Christian Communication)
PR AND DISSENT AT THE WEF
Working for the official press team at the World Economic Forum but sympathizing with the protesters outside, Seeta Peña Gangadharan finds that getting out a political message requires a careful strategy.
MEDIA OWNERSHIP, U.S.A.
Concerned about media concentration? Know what to do about it? This in-depth guide explains the issues and gives you the tools to get involved.
REBUILDING THE WTC
An organization representing the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center is expressing concern about the rapid pace to rebuild on the site where the twin towers once stood.
In a statement, Jennie Farrell, chairman of Give Your Voice and one of the leaders of the WTC Victims' Family Committee, said news reports about the debate on what to build at the site ignores "the active efforts still in progress to recover the remains of human beings that remain buried under the rubble. . The recovery effort is very much still in progress and many of the victims' family members remain hopeful that the remains of their loved ones will be returned to them."
Farrell notes that Sept. 11 was just five months ago and the nation is still in mourning. "Funerals and memorial services are still being scheduled," she said. "Newspapers are still publishing obituaries, and profiles of those who died. Countless loved ones are hoping and praying that they, too, will be able to have funerals for their lost family members. It can cause great pain to hear about 'ground being broken by a certain time' when the recovery effort is still ongoing."
Farrell said whatever is planned at the site must include "suitable Memorial elements to those who gave their lives on that tragic day."
Web site: http://www.giveyourvoice.com
UTNE WEB WATCH
The Best of the Alternative Web
by Karl Sabbagh, Prospect
-- Even though a U.S. foundation is offering $1 million to the first person to prove Riemann's hypothesis, it's not the money that motivates mathematicians, it's the beauty of the proof.
Web site review by Kate Garsombke
-- Cranky and opinionated, Bully Magazine lambasts all things political in its weekly rants.
GREENMONEY'S INVESTING RESOURCES
from GreenMoney Journal
-- Spring is on its way, and with green growth on the mind, you may find socially responsible investing resources handy.
Links to the above articles: http://www.utne.com/webwatch
Our latest op ad in The New York Times:
The New Politics Of Judicial Elections
We don't let lawyers in court hand cash to judges about to render a decision. That would be unseemly. But in 38 states where supreme court judges are elected, lawyers can give them money -- in the form of campaign contributions.
NASTIER, NOISIER AND COSTLIER
The New Politics Of Judicial Elections
by Justice At Stake
The year 2000 signaled a dangerous turning point for America's courts, marked by a growing, systematic, and unprecedented infusion of big money and special interest pressure into state supreme court elections.
STATE JUDGES AND VOTERS SOUND THE ALARM
Money In Judicial Elections
by Justice At Stake
Seventy-six percent of voters now believe that donors to judges' campaigns get special treatment in court -- and 26 percent of judges agree.
MEMO TO ENRON: THE FIFTH IS YOUR FRIEND
by John Rieger
We know. It's tough being an Enron exec in the congressional hot seat. But don't worry. Others have been there and emerged with whole new careers.
Women Waging Peace:
FROM BEHIND THE SCENES TO THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Swannee Hunt Talks To TomPaine.com
by Sharon Basco
"The U.N. or U.S. pull together negotiations in a war that bring the leaders of the war together, as if these war leaders somehow are the peace experts. Well they aren't... We must include women -- who bring a different slant on the conflict."
Women Waging Peace:
WE WILL TALK; WE WILL NOT SHOOT
by Terry Greenblatt
"As women we want to be able to look our children in the eyes, without shame, and tell them that injustice was committed in our name, and we did our best to stop it. Even when we are women whose very existence contradicts each other, we will talk; we will not shoot."
TRAITOR TO THE CAUSE
Is It Al Gore Or The Liberal Columnists Who Despise Him?
by Richard Blow
The last thing some of the nation's top liberal columnists want to do is cover an Al Gore-George Bush rematch. It's worth asking why.
ECONOMICS REPORTING REVIEW
A Weekly Compendium And Commentary
by Dean Baker
Health Care... Argentina... Generational Equity... Robert Rubin... Germany and the Euro... Labor Market Liberalization in Europe... The Budget and the Economy... Japan... and more.
...AND FROM OUR 'CHECK IT OUT!' SECTION...
DON'T STOP THINKIN' ABOUT TOMORROW
In another step forward for intelligent activism, a number of the families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks have founded a nonprofit group, Peaceful Tomorrows.
The organization seeks to "make possible a safe, open dialogue on alternatives to war" and "provide support and fellowship to others seeking peaceful and just responses to terrorism," among other initiatives.
The group's launch on February 14, 2002 was marked by a call to President Bush to create an Afghan Victims Fund.
Statement by 100 Nobel Prize winners
Nobel Laureates warn that the poor and dispossessed people of the world will not wait much longer for the rich to help them.
At the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize, 100 Nobel Laureates from a variety of fields issued a brief but dire warning of the profound dangers facing the world, and outlined the way forward into the future.
The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the worlds dispossessed. Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live a marginal existence in equatorial climates. Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their fragile ecologies most. Their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust.
It cannot be expected, therefore, that in all cases they will be content to await the beneficence of the rich. If then we permit the devastating power of modern weaponry to spread through this combustible human landscape, we invite a conflagration that can engulf both rich and poor. The only hope for the future lies in co-operative international action, legitimized by democracy.
It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls. Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world. These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone gives hope of peace.
Some of the needed legal instruments are already at hand, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Convention on Climate Change, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As concerned citizens, we urge all governments to commit to these goals that constitute steps on the way to replacement of war by law.
To survive in the world we have transformed, we must learn to think in a new way. As never before, the future of each depends on the good of all.
US targets Saddam: Pentagon and CIA making plans for war against Iraq this year. An assault on Iraq involving up to 200,000 US troops is likely to be launched later this year.
Indonesian Rainforests Pulped To Extinction
Statement by 100 Nobel Prize winners Nobel Laureates warn that the poor and dispossessed people of the world will not wait much longer for the rich to help them.
Detoxifying Terrorism: The Bio-Chemical Threat That Doesn't Make the Headlines
Heightened national security concerns have renewed interest in our vulnerability to toxic chemicals, a health threat Americans have faced for decades. In the United States, around 850,000 industrial facilities routinely use hazardous and extremely hazardous chemicals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, creating a plethora of health and environmental problems even when the facilities are working normally. (...) In 1999, the latest year for which there are complete figures, the EPA reports that during production and disposal U.S. industrial facilities released 7.7 billion pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and water. And this total is far from complete. (...) Innovative companies, business leaders, and public authorities worldwide have proven that many toxic chemicals are simply unnecessary, and that phasing them out with safer substitutes or with redesigned industrial processes saves money, is healthier for workers and the public, and reduces potential domestic targets.
United Nations mission for the 21st century
Crop Circle Year Book 2001, a book review
Despite the fact that authorities restricted access to English fields because of the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic, many new crop circles were found and photographed.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE
GLOBAL WARMING EFFECTS ON SEA LEVEL UNDERESTIMATED
BOSTON, Massachusetts, February 19, 2002 (ENS) - Global sea levels could rise eight inches by the end of this century, more than the rise predicted last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Melting glaciers and collapsing Antarctic ice sheets, such as the 58 square mile iceberg that calved from the Matusevich Glacier Tongue earlier this month, foreshadow the problems to come.
BELIZE DAM APPROVAL CHALLENGED IN COURT
BELIZE CITY, Belize, February 19, 2002 (ENS) - Belizean environmental and business groups have filed a lawsuit to block the controversial, Canadian backed Chalillo Dam project. The suit challenges the Belizean government's conditional approval for the Canadian backed hydroelectric dam, charging that the government failed to hold public hearings or consider comments from scientists, as required by Belizean law.
TOXIC WOOD PRESERVATIVE POISONING PORT OF DJIBOUTI
ROME, Italy, February 19, 2002 (ENS) - Workers and the environment in the Port of Djibouti are at risk from 10 leaking plastic shipping containers of a toxic pesticide, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today. The toxic is chromated copper arsenate, used as a wood preservative for power and telegraph poles. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen.
NEPAL'S NEW NATIONAL PARK PROTECTS KATHMANDU WATER SUPPLY
By Deepak Gajurel
KATHMANDU, Nepal, February 19, 2002 (ENS) - The drinking water supply for Kathmandu Valley's one million inhabitants has been secured by the designation of a new national park near Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu. The Shivapuri National Park, 13 kilometers (eight miles) north of Kathmandu, protects the Shivapuri watershed from which more than a quarter of the valley's water demand is supplied.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE AMERISCAN: FEBRUARY 19, 2002
Sustainable Agriculture Adopted in Developing World
Information Technology Aids Biodiversity Conservation
Robots Track Algae Bloom, Global Warming
Sharks in Alaskan Waters Could Herald Global Warming
Houston Gains High Tech Environmental Facility
Scientists Simulate Chemical Release in Salt Lake
Grants Available for Environmental Technologies
Salt Lake Honors Environmental Achievements
Firefighter Told Bush Not to Drill in ANWR
For full text and graphics visit:
"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him."
Booker T. Washington
New Energy Field Photography Reveals Life Force Secrets
Canada - The lights were dimmed in the auditorium as two slides were projected side-by-side on a screen. On the left was a uniform field of claret red, and on the right, the same field with a blob of white light, a kind of starburst-turned-modern art. "What you see on the right," said the lecturer, "is the energetic profile of organic muesli, pulsing with light. What you see on the left is a very popular, universally available commercial breakfast cereal. No light." Thus began the lecture of Harry Oldfield, a trained biologist conducting scientific research at a clinic near London, England. His presentation, given at the annual International Association for Near-Death Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, was filled with the findings of his research in Britain over the past 25 years.
He proceeded to show a black-and-white image of a Canadian maple leaf with a slight bar across the top third. Next to it was the leaf¹s energetic profile, this time a kind of pulsing corona, with the silhouette quite clear. Minor detail, added Oldfield: the crown was intact in the energy field, whereas the top third of the actual leaf had been cut off before the energy picture was made. It did not require much imagination to extrapolate to the frequently-heard tales of phantom limbs.
And so it seems. In his quest for understanding the energy behind matter, Oldfield developed a new research tool he calls Polycontrast Interference Photography (PIP), which adapts an older technology commonly associated with satellite pictures of hot/cool land and sea masses. He perfected this application after many years of research into Kirlian photography, which captures changing patterns of light energy emanating from all living things, including the human body, plants, animals, and even crystals.
The book, Harry Oldfield¹s Invisible Universe, presents a succinct explanation: "The PIP instrumentation employs a device which can distinguish between many different grades or qualities of light. The innovation is in the computer program, which allocates a number to each grade of light and then color codes each number. The end result is the image you see on the computer screen." Oldfield¹s technology is now used in three hospitals in Britain and several clinics abroad, in conjunction with electro-scanning and crystal therapy machines which he has devised.
The slides got "curiouser and curiouser", as Alice in Wonderland might say, depicting advanced scientific research in the most mundane contexts. Oldfield showed the energy pattern of a common caterpillar, which was an indistinguishable haze of milky white with a vague column in the center. Minutes later, injected with potassium cyanide, the departed caterpillar was now the merest image of the same white but, this time, with the life force gone, a kind of Oskeletal cartoon¹ of broad caterpillar segments against a field of deep space black.
The cabbage on which the caterpillar sat in Oldfield¹s garden was PIP-photographed as a nebula of radiant fibers before picking. The PIP scan showed a murky, blotchy, lifeless mulch once it had been overcooked, with all light gone. At this point, Oldfield quipped that schoolboys under his charge years ago managed to capture the Kirlian imprint of institutional dinners being served at their school: the food was completely devoid of any energy, so the film was blank.
Oldfield said he regretted having killed the caterpillar, and later realized that field research could be done live and on the spot, as with a pond water sample he showed. When PIP images are taken, he related, there is no need to kill and stain specimens to be able to analyze them. Vivisection is no longer necessary for animals, and the PIP imaging can even be used to diagnose human conditions.
Oldfield found that PIP photographs of the human form tended to correlate closely with two healing systems that have been known for thousands of years. In all cases, there was graphical representation of energetic eddies and clusters similar to the chakras described in Ayurvedic medicine, and of the meridian energy pathways described in traditional Chinese Medicine. So here, at last, was a simple, cheap and non-invasive tool that depicted visually the state and movement of force-fields, using not much more than a Tesla coil, a computer chip and a video recorder.
Oldfield proceeded to show slides of the energy patterns created by disease states like angina and throat infections, and others that showed how the pattern shifted remarkably after the application of crystal healing or healing touch. Documenting practices involving the laying-on of hands, he had slides pointing to the phenomenon of empathetic resonance, whereby the healer absorbs negative energies from the patient and stores them, later to transmute them to higher levels or ground them.
Oldfield had images of the light exhibited by the healing energy available in hands and of the brilliant imprint of babies forming in the womb. Most disturbing was the PIP image of a 15-year-old cocaine addict. The crown chakra was fractured and forming a drain while seemingly detached entities clung, suction-like, to the lower limbs.
The profiles of depression and schizophrenia are quite characteristic, as is that of cancer. In PIP photographs, cancer shows up as a chaotic, riotous explosion of light fibers, a kind of frayed and fleeing fragmentation around finger tips, in sharp contrast to the more organized and harmonious bundles of sustained light energy in a healthy human being where there is no such depletion.
Oldfield¹s PIP technology is able to pinpoint pathological states before they become evident by standard diagnosis, allowing practitioners the chance to nip in the bud such things as breast tumors. People at risk could be screened regularly to detect and curtail hereditary or common diseases like diabetes while remedial treatment is still swift, cheap and easy to carry out. The instrumentation can be used to study forms of vibrational medicine such as acupuncture, homoeopathy and reflexology, many of which have been practiced effectively for centuries but have lacked until now a methodology for concrete demonstration and verification.
Oldfield¹s work with energy fields has opened the door to much wider fields of research and broached the previously undocumented and unfathomable: the afterlife and the space-time continuum. He has current PIP photographs of the Tower of London, where a phantom scaffold is clearly visible by PIP where there now stands just a small plaque. During some research he was conducting with three accredited assistants in another famous place of execution for British commoners, the forms of two Cromwellian soldiers appeared and dissolved, but were clearly visible for a short period.
The imprint of history does in fact live on, he believes, in old train stations, cemeteries, etc., and he has PIP photographs of ghost forms and extended hands where current owners of Ohaunted houses¹ report cold spots and a shadowy presence. The book Harry Oldfield¹s Invisible Universe explains: "The proposition is that other energy-universes may exist on what are often called Orelated planes of reality¹, other dimensions where matter is vibrating at higher frequencies than matter in the physical plane. "To take the point further, another analogy often used is the Oghosting¹ effect that sometimes happens when we watch television. We may be on a particular channel, but, due to signal interference, the broadcast from a second channel may also be visible on screen. In effect, there are two broadcasts, representing two different Orealities¹, occupying the same space."
This correlates with research Oldfield conducted in British mortuaries, specifically by performing PIP scanning on the bodies of people who had died suddenly, unexpectedly and violently, as in car accidents. In such cases, there was often evidence of a force-field hovering over or near the exposed body. Oldfield states that many coroners and mortuary personnel sense a presence near the corpse, which prompts them to be extremely respectful in their interventions. He personally experienced a situation where the hovering field above a recent accident victim pulsated dramatically in response to his assistant praying in sympathy over the body. From this, he approves of the common practice of many religions to allow a three-day Osettling period¹ before the disposal of the remains.
By contrast to violent death, Oldfield showed slides of PIP photography of the energy field surrounding elderly people whose death was expected and peaceful, and who died surrounded by supportive family members. The quality of the scans is quite different, validates the work of hospice volunteers and terminal-ward personnel, and begs the development of an Oart of dying¹.
Oldfield has on record a portrait of a "soul harvester", an entity his research group nicknamed "Angelos". He believes there is a class of discorporate beings, Angels of Death as it were, whose purpose is to comfort and guide disoriented people at death and abet the moment of passing. He has found more than one such entity while scanning graveyards and mortuary rooms.
Perhaps the person most surprised at what he has uncovered and managed to document visually is Harry Oldfield himself. By his own assertion, he was a "Newtonian" biologist 25 years ago, interested only in the concrete evidence of hard scientific fact. But through thought, meditation and sheer luck, he stumbled upon PIP and, later on, discovered how certain crystals can be used to alter the aura and promote conditions under which medical conditions can diminish or disappear.
"I am trying to invent instruments that will help more of us to experience more of the invisible universe," he says. He may, as part of his research, have discovered a new form of life on Earth. While PIP-scanning various crystals, Oldfield discovered that about 10 per cent of them have undulating within, on or about them a previously-unknown life-form, a creature with its own aura that looks like a slug. The first one he discovered dived back into the crystal, seemingly when it realized it was being observed, and the PIP computer crashed with the message "unidentified instruction". Oldfield states that other researchers have independently confirmed the same phenomenon.
His respect for the universal pulsation and presence of "life" is paramount, and Oldfield has developed both a school and clinic near London to make available his gentle and inexpensive diagnostic and treatment methods. He also teaches that conscious intent and awareness can influence and change energetic patterns, or keep negative ones in place. In effect, what you think does matter in the invisible universe.
For more information:
The School and Clinic of Electro-Crystal Therapy,
117 Long Drive, South Ruislip, Middlesex, England, HA4 0HI.
Tel/fax: 0181 841 1716, email: <eileen firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Adapted from an article by Diana Holland, Share International correspondent from Vancouver, Canada
Rally In Washington D.C. April 20th For Peace
As the bombing in Afghanistan goes on and the Bush Administration manufactures an axis of evil and brazenly prepares to go to war against Iraq, a broad coalition of organizations is coming together for a major demonstration in Washington, D.C. on April 20th. It is time to stand up against this destructive foreign policy and the degradation of our civil liberties. We are demanding, Stop the War, at Home and Abroad!
We urge your organization to endorse this action and get involved in the mobilization.
This call to action was initiated by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, joined by the National Coalition for Peace and Justice, the 9-11 Emergency National Network and NYC Labor Against the War. Over fifty organizations have since endorsed, and the list continues to grow.
We are united in support of these demands:
-A U.S. foreign policy based upon social and economic justice, not military and corporate oppression
-An end to racial profiling and military recruitment targeting youth of color and working class youth
-Government funding for programs to benefit the economic victims of the 9-11 attacks and the recession
-An end to the degrading and secret imprisonment of immigrants
-Full disclosure of military contracts with universities
-Increased funding for non-military-based financial aid for education
We have also joined forces with and are coordinating with the coalition of 60 organizations organizing activities on April 19-22 calling for the closing of the School of the Americas and an end to U.S. support of the war in Colombia.
Washington, D.C. is the place to be the third weekend in April!
To endorse the April 20th demonstration and receive more information go to our website, http://www.a20stopthewar.org.
To find out more about the Colombia/School of the Americas activities go to
We hope to hear from you soon! All out for peace and justice April 20th!
The April 20th Mobilization Committee
If you haven't been to http://www.saynotogmos.org in a while, please stop by for a visit. There have been some revisions to resolve problems with different browser interpretations and screen resolutions. Some important new links have also been added to the home page. Check it out!!
THE HIP-HOP GENERATION'S OWN BLACK HISTORY
Lee Hubbard, AlterNet
While much of Black History Month has focused on the past, maybe it should focus a little more on the black history that's currently being shaped by the hip-hop generation.
TEARING APART BUSH'S DRUG PLAN
Maia Szalavitz, AlterNet
By focusing on addiction treatment and prevention, Bush is doing exactly what Clinton did: talking treatment and funding law enforcement.
SEX, LIES AND COLIN POWELL
Lara Riscol, AlterNet
Colin Powell recently came under intense fire for advocating condom use among young people. Can the "abstinence-only" Bush crowd survive Powell's honesty?
BUSH'S GLOBAL-WARMING SMOG
David Corn, AlterNet
George W. Bush's new global warming plan (and, no, that shouldn't read "anti"-global warming plan) will let polluters spew out more waste than ever before in history.
FOUR LIES ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY
Chris Hartman, IMPACT Press
A multi-year public relations campaign engineered by Wall Street and Washington conservatives is built on misinformation, distortion, and outright lies.
HART'S WAR: THE UNBEARABLE WHITENESS OF BEING
Cynthia Fuchs, PopPolitics.com
Hart's War, the latest World War II nostalgia flick, tries take on racism in the U.S. army, but ends up as yet another yarn about white guys learning to do the right thing.
* In MediaCulture: http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=19
WEAPONS OF TEENY BOO-BOOS
Dennis Hans, AlterNet
In response to "weapons of mass destruction," the Pentagon is creating a new generation of kinder, gentler arms, including Weapons of Modest Destruction and Weapons of Nasty Scratches.
GLOBAL JUSTICE'S NEW FACE
When 50,000 people gathered for the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, what exactly happened? Why should we care? A package of stories to answer those and many other questions.
Chris Lombardi, The Nation
A class-action lawsuit representing half a million Native Americans is drawing attention to our government's disastrous century-long stewardship of resources on Indian lands.
* In Human Rights USA: http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=22
HIGHTOWER: BUSH'S BAIT-AND-SWITCH ON JOB TRAINING
Jim Hightower, AlterNet
George W. is proving to be a master of the political bait-and- switch scam, saying one thing for political gain, then quietly switching to an entirely different position in his budget.
DEATH PENALTY FIGHT REFOCUSES AFTER 9/11
Brett Essler, Artvoice
The events of September 11 revived popular support for the death penalty. But opponents of capital punishment say the need for a moratorium is more pressing than ever.
* In After 9/11: http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=25
TECHSPLOITATION: THE PROTEIN AND MARILYN
Annalee Newitz, AlterNet
When I was a student, I never questioned the idea that basic science education was for other people, the ones who were destined to be engineers or lab geeks.
FRANKENFOODS: REJECTION AND ACCEPTANCE
Diane Lane, AlterNet
As numerous supermarket chains try to eliminate genetically modified ingredients from their stock, the EPA has reauthorized GMO corn and cotton.
* In EnviroHealth: http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=18
The Dark Ages of Agriculture
By Brian Halweil, CropChoice
Congress is shocked, yes shocked, to learn that Kenneth Lay and his associates at Enron used their political clout to game the federal regulatory system and skim off hundreds of millions of dollars while their company went bankrupt. But while Representatives and Senators vent their displeasure at the many Enron hearings, these same elected officials are about to perpetrate an equally bold grab of the public purse for another group of special interests, in the guise of a new Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill could have been a vehicle for strengthening rural communities, supporting more environmentally sound farming methods, and helping farmers make a transition to organic farming. In other parts of the world, governments are redirecting agricultural subsidies away from commodities and paying farmers for meeting ecological goals, like reducing pesticide use, or planting trees along riverbanks to halt erosion.
Such "conservation farming" policies are an anathema to the commodities firms and large agricultural companies that dominate U.S. agriculture. And as major players in the world of political fundraising, agricultural lobbyists make the contributions to get the subsidies they want. According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, agricultural interests donated $58 million to Washington politicians in the 2000 election cycle, and have already pitched in over $14 million for 2002.
In response to this largess, our representatives have written a farm bill that continues a long tradition of funneling massive subsidies to an elite group of farmers with little regard for how they farm. The payments are determined by the quantity of crop they produce, so the largest (and wealthiest) farms benefit the most. The largest fifth of growers received a staggering 84 percent of the $27 billion of payments last year. The other one and a half million farmers shared the remainder.
Worse yet, the lion's share of these subsidies supports the production of just a few crops, like corn, soybeans, and wheat, encouraging farmers to plant giant monocultures. In states like Iowa and Indiana, over 80 percent of the landscape will be sown in two plants, corn or soybeans.
These monocultures depend on the regular application of agrochemical cocktails that leak into the environment, poisoning our drinking water and making our waterways uninhabitable by wildlife. Where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, there is now a "deadzone" the size of New Jersey, as excess fertilizer from Midwestern farms has encouraged massive blooms of algae that suffocate ocean life.
Some economists argue that the incentives in the current payment system create perverse incentives to reduce spending on resource conservation. For example, a Midwestern farmer who wants to sow winter rye rather than subsidized corn or soybeans -- a simple change that would greatly reduce water pollution -- risks losing a significant source of income, since the government doesn't pay for rye.
In Europe, well-publicized food safety crises -- from dioxin-tainted chicken to the on-going "mad cow" crisis -- have generated broad political support for "greener" farm subsidies. After Germany detected its first mad cows last year, the prime minister replaced the agriculture minister with an environmentalist who declared the end of industrial farming as we know it. She quickly set a goal for increasing Germany's organic area from the current 2.6 percent to 20 percent by 2010. (Organic regulations forbid feeding animal parts back to cows, the practice that spawned the mad cow epidemic in the first place.)
In the European Union as a whole, broad government support for organic farming has increased the amount of land in organic production nearly 40-fold since 1985. Over 80 percent of this explosive growth has occurred in the last seven years, spurred by the 1993 EU-wide policy to support farmers during conversion from conventional to organic production. Austria and Switzerland, which have the most attractive conversion subsidies, have the highest transfer rate. Roughly 10 percent of the area is organic today.
In contrast, the U.S. Farm Bill sets aside just $1.5 million dollars -- less than 0.001 percent of the total spending --for the National Organic Program, whose functions are largely administrative.
Switzerland has begun to shift large shares of its total agricultural support towards meeting ecological goals. By the end of the 1990s, 85 percent of Swiss farmland complied with basic ecological standards, which includes rotating crops, reducing pesticide use, and creating on-farm refuges for wildlife. Pesticide use has fallen by a third in the last decade. Phosphate fertilizer use is down 60 percent, and nitrogen fertilizer use has been cut in half.
Nordic countries are also using fiscal policy to improve farming. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden already have substantial taxes on pesticides, with the goal of cutting use by 25 to 50 percent. And the Netherlands taxes farms that generate excess manure.
These European initiatives are helping farmers and the environment, and they profoundly benefit struggling rural communities. By decoupling farm support from production of a specific commodity, they spread the payments more equitably, boosting local economies.
Americans have a right to demand a farm bill that better serves the public interest, if only because farmers now get nearly half of their income from government payments, straight out of taxpayers' pockets. Our elected officials claim the Farm Bill helps "family farmers," but the benefits that actually reach such farmers are almost as fictitious as the "income" from Enron's infamous partnerships. Our representatives claim to find Enron's corporate conduct shameful, but they are ignoring the political and environmental shame of the Farm Bill they are about to pass. This bill will line the pockets of the already well to do. But the bill will not help real family farmers or rural communities, and it's certainly not one that encourages care for the American landscape.
Farm News from Cropchoice
An alternative news service for American farmers
Brian Halweil is a research associate at the Worldwatch Institute
He studies issues related to food and agriculture, including organic farming, biotechnology and hunger.
t r u t h o u t
Pentagon Readies Campaign of Dis-Information
Bush Appoints Iran-Contra Conspirator
Expert : FBI Shielding Anthrax Suspect
A Den of Thieves
The "Shallow Throat" Documents: A Pre-9/11 Bush & Co. Scenario
Tribal Amendment Expected in Campaign Finance Reform Bill
Major Victory for Voting Rights
Planet Ark World Environment News
Insurers press for climate-change controls - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14618/story.htm
BP sells virtually sulphur-free fuel in Scotland - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14623/story.htm
Wildlife group says UK smuggling law inadequate - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14625/story.htm
UK offshore wind farms face long permit wait - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14626/story.htm
Yellow school buses come to UK - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14631/story.htm
Asia Grains-China to please Bush with wheat orders - SINGAPORE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14621/story.htm
Philippines first naphtha cracker deal by June - SINGAPORE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14628/story.htm
Fresh bid to free beached log ship in NZ abandoned - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14622/story.htm
Malaysia hit by fires and haze, sees rain ahead - MALAYSIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14627/story.htm
Kenya minister urges review of Nile water treaty - KENYA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14624/story.htm
German prompt power prices drift, wind power cited - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14619/story.htm
Canada leaves door open on whether to ratify Kyoto - CANADA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14630/story.htm
Singapore Power to build Australia generator - AUSTRALIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14620/story.htm
Australian govt hopes gas sales aid PNG project - AUSTRALIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14629/story.htm
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism
Pentagon Propaganda Plan Is Undemocratic, Possibly Illegal
The New York Times reported today that the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence is "developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations" in an effort "to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries."
The OSI was created shortly after September 11 to publicize the U.S. government's perspective in Islamic countries and to generate support for the U.S.'s "war on terror." This latest announcement raises grave concerns that far from being an honest effort to explain U.S. policy, the OSI may be a profoundly undemocratic program devoted to spreading disinformation and misleading the public, both at home and abroad. At the same time, involving reporters in disinformation campaigns puts the lives of working journalists at risk.
Despite the OSI's multi-million-dollar budget and its mandate to propagandize throughout the Middle East, Asia and Western Europe, "even many senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides say they know almost nothing about its purpose and plans," according to the Times. The Times reported that the OSI's latest announcement has generated opposition within the Pentagon among those who fear that it will undermine the Defense Department's credibility.
Tarnished credibility may be the least of the problems created by the OSI's new plan to manipulate media-- the plan may compromise the free flow of information that democracy relies on. The government is barred by law from propagandizing within the U.S., but the OSI's new plan will likely lead to disinformation planted in a foreign news report being picked up by U.S. news outlets. The war in Afghanistan has shown that the 24-hour news cycle, combined with cuts in the foreign news budgets across the U.S., make overseas outlets like Al-Jazeera and Reuters key resources for U.S. reporters.
Any "accidental" propaganda fallout from the OSI's efforts is troubling enough, but given the U.S. government's track record on domestic propaganda, U.S. media should be pushing especially hard for more information about the operation's other, intentional policies.
According to the New York Times, "one of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence" is the U.S. Army's Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS). The Times doesn't mention, however, that PSYOPS has been accused of operating domestically as recently as the Kosovo war.
In February 2000, reports in Dutch and French newspapers revealed that several officers from the 4th PSYOPS Group had worked in the news division at CNN's Atlanta headquarters as part of an "internship" program starting in the final days of the Kosovo War. Coverage of this disturbing story was scarce (see http://www.fair.org/activism/cnn-psyops.html), but after FAIR issued an Action Alert on the story, CNN stated that it had already terminated the program and acknowledged that it was "inappropriate."
Even if the PSYOPS officers working in the newsroom did not directly influence news reporting, the question remains of whether CNN may have allowed the military to conduct an intelligence-gathering mission against the network itself. The idea isn't far-fetched-- according to Intelligence Newsletter (2/17/00), a rear admiral from the Special Operations Command told a PSYOPS conference that the military needed to find ways to "gain control" over commercial news satellites to help bring down an "informational cone of silence" over regions where special operations were taking place. One of CNN's PSYOPS "interns" worked in the network's satellite division. (During the Afghanistan war the Pentagon found a very direct way to "gain control"-it simply bought up all commercial satellite images of Afghanistan, in order to prevent media from accessing them.)
It's worth noting that the 4th PSYOPS group is the same group that staffed the National Security Council's now notorious Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), which planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration's Central America policies during the 1980s. Described by a senior U.S. official as a "vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory" (Miami Herald, 7/19/87), the OPD was shut down after the Iran-Contra investigations, but not before influencing coverage in major outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post (Extra!, 9-10/01).
The OPD may be gone, but the Bush administration's recent recess appointment of former OPD head Otto Reich as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs is not reassuring. It suggests, at best, a troubling indifference to Reich's role in orchestrating the OPD's deception of the American people.
Indeed, as the Federation of American Scientists points out, "the Bush Administration's insistent efforts to expand the scope of official secrecy have now been widely noted as a defining characteristic of the Bush presidency" (Secrecy News, 2/18/02). The administration's refusal to disclose Enron-related information to the General Accounting Office is perhaps the most publicized of these efforts; another is Attorney General John Ashcroft's October 12 memo urging federal agencies to resist Freedom Of Information Act requests.
In addition, the Pentagon's restrictive press policies throughout the war in Afghanistan have been an ongoing problem. Most recently, Washington Post reporter Doug Struck claims that U.S. soldiers threatened to shoot him if he proceeded with an attempt to investigate a site where civilians had been killed; Struck has stated that for him, the central question raised by the incident is whether the Pentagon is trying to "cover up" its actions and why it won't "allow access by reporters to determine what they're doing here in Afghanistan" (CBS, "The Early Show," 2/13/02).
Taken together, these incidents and policies should raise alarm bells for media throughout the country. Democracy doesn't work if the public does not have access to full and accurate information about its government.
Bush's Radical Shift in Military Policy
by James Carroll
GEORGE W. BUSH is widely regarded as the avatar of a conservative restoration, but he is the opposite. This presidency marks a radical overthrow of traditional American values and policies. Civil liberties are obviously at issue in the new regime of homeland security, but the most drastic shift involves American attitudes toward war.
For a generation, the massive US arsenal has been managed with the purpose of not being used. With the exceptions of the Gulf War and the NATO air war against Serbia, this purpose was achieved. It was rooted in the post-Vietnam assumption that war is a last resort, to be avoided if possible. And it was confirmed when the terrifying conflict with the Soviet Union ended nonviolently, a victory for the policies of deterrence and containment that finally enabled the Soviet peoples themselves to take back their governments. Something called the ''peace process'' moved from the idealistic fringe to the heart of the exercise of American power.
Now, a radically different assumption is undergirding American purpose, a repudiation of the experience of the last 55 years. With putative battlefields around the globe, war is all at once being defined as the essence of who we are, and nothing makes this clearer than the new Pentagon budget.
For the next fiscal year, the Bush administration proposes to spend nearly $400 billion on defense. Last week, in testimony before the House Budget Committee, Lawrence J. Korb of the Council on Foreign Relations and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, put this figure in perspective. It represents a 30 percent increase over last year; a level 15 percent more, averaged annually, than what the Cold War required; the biggest budget jump since Vietnam. If approved, America's military spending will exceed the total defense outlays ''of the next 25 countries in the world combined.'' This year's ''increase of $48 billion alone is more than the total military budgets of every nation in the world.''
This budget request, Korb observed, surpasses any budget that Donald Rumsfeld sent to Congress when he served as secretary of defense during the height of the Cold War. But doesn't Rumsfeld's war on terrorism require such urgent increases? No. As Korb notes, the war in Afghanistan has cost about $6 billion, and the budget for next year allocates $10 billion for the ongoing conflict against terrorism - both figures falling far short of the new increases which, Korb argues, will push the budget total to $580 billion by 2007.
The proposal funds programs and equipment that will play no role in any conceivable war against stateless terrorists - high-tech aircraft, submarines, tanks, the missile defense system. Fulfilling just these commitments will cost more than $100 billion. All of which amounts, in Korb's view, to ''throwing ... money at the Pentagon and refusing to make choices.''
Korb's is a lonely voice in this debate, and, incidentally, not one raised from the left. He served as assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan.
Here are the questions raised by the Bush administration's proposed military budget:
Who benefits? Alas, the old answer, in the era of Enron, suggests itself with a new edge. Of dubious security value, these unprecedented expenditures will enrich resuscitated defense contractors and reelect politicians they fund. Compared to this nexus of corporate-political corruption, Enron is benign.
Aware that the preparation for war has its own momentum, are we setting loose forces we cannot control? Has the shoot-first-ask-questions-later mode of the war on terrorism led to a new recklessness in relation to anticipated wars against states that alone justify such a budget?
Knowing what the effect on our enemies of such a massive new arsenal will be, what will be its effect on us, just having it? The moral question: When America could have used its unprecedented power to lead the world away from war, what will it reveal about our national character that we did the opposite?
If this budget is adopted, will it mean that we Americans responded to our traumatic season of vulnerability with a radical new military posture because it seemed to salve a wound? World violence more likely, the long-term economic health of our own country undermined - and for what? To feel better?
These questions boil down to questions about our president. In proposing such a wildly disproportionate defense budget, is Bush deluded, or is he cynical? Is he consciously exploiting the nation's moment of uncritical patriotism, or is he himself ontologically uncritical? And which would be worse?
In wrapping himself in the flag, while putting the interests of defense contractors ahead of the nation's, is Bush betraying what the flag stands for? And while this radical change is being implemented in Washington, why aren't conservatives asking such questions?
James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.
A Propaganda War Of Lies
Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
By James Dao and Eric Schmitt
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said.
The plans, which have not received final approval from the Bush administration, have stirred opposition among some Pentagon officials who say they might undermine the credibility of information that is openly distributed by the Defense Department's public affairs officers.
The military has long engaged in information warfare against hostile nations - for instance, by dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages into Afghanistan when it was still under Taliban rule.
But it recently created the Office of Strategic Influence, which is proposing to broaden that mission into allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. The office would assume a role traditionally led by civilian agencies, mainly the State Department.
The small but well-financed Pentagon office, which was established shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was a response to concerns in the administration that the United States was losing public support overseas for its war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.
As part of the effort to counter the pronouncements of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and their supporters, the State Department has already hired a former advertising executive to run its public diplomacy office, and the White House has created a public information "war room" to coordinate the administration's daily message domestically and abroad.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, while broadly supportive of the new office, has not approved its specific proposals and has asked the Pentagon's top lawyer, William J. Haynes, to review them, senior Pentagon officials said.
Little information is available about the Office of Strategic Influence, and even many senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides say they know almost nothing about its purpose and plans. Its multimillion dollar budget, drawn from a $10 billion emergency supplement to the Pentagon budget authorized by Congress in October, has not been disclosed.
Headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.
The new office "rolls up all the instruments within D.O.D. to influence foreign audiences," its assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent conference, referring to the Department of Defense. "D.O.D. has not traditionally done these things."
One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said.
General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.
"It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white," a senior Pentagon official said.
Another proposal involves sending journalists, civic leaders and foreign leaders e-mail messages that promote American views or attack unfriendly governments, officials said.
Asked if such e-mail would be identified as coming from the American military, a senior Pentagon official said that "the return address will probably be a dot-com, not a dot-mil," a reference to the military's Internet designation.
To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington-based international consulting firm run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. The firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.
Officials at the Rendon Group say terms of their contract forbid them to talk about their Pentagon work. But the firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab countries, including one denouncing atrocities by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The firm has been hired as the Bush administration appears to have united around the goal of ousting Mr. Hussein. "Saddam Hussein has a charm offensive going on, and we haven't done anything to counteract it," a senior military official said.
Proponents say the new Pentagon office will bring much-needed coordination to the military's efforts to influence views of the United States overseas, particularly as Washington broadens the war on terrorism beyond Afghanistan.
But the new office has also stirred a sharp debate in the Pentagon, where several senior officials have questioned whether its mission is too broad and possibly even illegal.
Those critics say they are disturbed that a single office might be authorized to use not only covert operations like computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, but also the instruments and staff of the military's globe- spanning public affairs apparatus.
Mingling the more surreptitious activities with the work of traditional public affairs would undermine the Pentagon's credibility with the media, the public and governments around the world, critics argue.
"This breaks down the boundaries almost completely," a senior Pentagon official said.
Moreover, critics say, disinformation planted in foreign media organizations, like Reuters or Agence France-Presse, could end up being published or broadcast by American news organizations.
The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in the United States. In the mid-1970's, it was disclosed that some C.I.A. programs to plant false information in the foreign press had resulted in articles published by American news organizations.
Critics of the new Pentagon office also argue that governments allied with the United States are likely to object strongly to any attempts by the American military to influence media within their borders.
"Everybody understands using information operations to go after nonfriendlies," another senior Pentagon official said. "When people get uncomfortable is when people use the same tools and tactics on friendlies."
Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public information, declined to discuss details of the new office. But she acknowledged that its mission was being carefully reviewed by the Pentagon.
"Clearly the U.S. needs to be as effective as possible in all our communications," she said. "What we're trying to do now is make clear the distinction and appropriateness of who does what."
General Worden, an astrophysicist who has specialized in space operations in his 27-year Air Force career, did not respond to several requests for an interview.
General Worden has close ties to his new boss, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, that date back to the Reagan administration, military officials said. The general's staff of about 15 people reports to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, which is under Mr. Feith.
The Office for Strategic Influence also coordinates its work with the White House's new counterterrorism office, run by Wayne A. Downing, a retired general who was head of the Special Operations command, which oversees the military's covert information operations.
Many administration officials worried that the United States was losing support in the Islamic world after American warplanes began bombing Afghanistan in October. Those concerns spurred the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence.
In an interview in November, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained the Pentagon's desire to broaden its efforts to influence foreign audiences, saying
"Perhaps the most challenging piece of this is putting together what we call a strategic influence campaign quickly and with the right emphasis. That's everything from psychological operations to the public affairs piece to coordinating partners in this effort with us."
One of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence is the Army's Psychological Operations Command. The command was involved in dropping millions of fliers and broadcasting scores of radio programs into Afghanistan encouraging Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers to surrender.
In the 1980's, Army "psyop" units, as they are known, broadcast radio and television programs into Nicaragua intended to undermine the Sandinista government. In the 1990's, they tried to encourage public support for American peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.
The Office of Strategic Influence will also oversee private companies that will be hired to help develop information programs and evaluate their effectiveness using the same techniques as American political campaigns, including scientific polling and focus groups, officials said.
"O.S.I. still thinks the way to go is start a Defense Department Voice of America," a senior military official said. "When I get their briefings, it's scary."
Too Much Surveillance Means Too Little Freedom
by William Safire
'Big Brother' in America
WASHINGTON Stipulated: The protection of the U.S. capital, its monuments and its centers of authority is a vital national interest.
Early in American history, when faced with a potential rebellion of unpaid officers, one U.S. leader employed an uncharacteristic emotional trick - pretending to be going blind - to appeal to the infuriated military not to march on the capital. He soon had them in tears and in hand. In another time, another leader risked all by turning the capital's defense over to the man most opposed to his political aims, gambling that he could later overcome the nation's gratitude to a man on horseback. In contemporary times, after the Pentagon was hit, the White House targeted and the Capitol anthraxed, Washington again saw itself besieged. But now, in terror of an external threat, U.S. leaders are protecting the capital at the cost of every American's personal freedom.
Surveillance is in the saddle. Responding to the latest Justice Department terror alert, Washington police opened the Joint Operation Command Center of the Synchronized Operations Command Complex (SOCC). In it, 50 officials monitor a wall of 40 video screens showing images of travelers, drivers, residents and pedestrians.
These used to be the Great Unwatched, free people conducting their private lives; now they are under close surveillance by hundreds of hidden cameras. A zoom lens enables the watchers to focus on the face of a tourist walking toward the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial.
The monitoring system is already linked to 200 cameras in public schools. The watchers plan to expand soon into an equal number in the subways and parks. A private firm profits by photographing cars running red lights; those images will also join the surveillance network.
Private cameras in banks and the lobbies and elevators of apartment buildings and hotels will join the system, and residents of nursing homes and hospitals can look forward to an electronic eye in every room. A commercial camera atop a department store in Georgetown catches the faces of shoppers entering malls, to be plugged into omnipresent SOCC. Digital images of the captured faces can be flashed around the world in an instant on the Internet. Married to face-recognition technology and tied in to public and private agencies around the world, an electronic library of hundreds of millions of faces will be created. Terrorists and criminals - as well as unhappy spouses, runaway teens, hermits and other law-abiding people who want to drop out of society for a while - will have no way to get a fresh start.
Is this the kind of world Americans want? The promise is greater safety; the trade-off is government control of individual lives. Personal security may or may not be enhanced by this all-seeing eye and ear, but personal freedom will surely be sharply curtailed. To be watched at all times, especially when doing nothing seriously wrong, is to be afflicted with a creepy feeling. That is what is felt by a convict in an always-lighted cell. It is the pervasive, inescapable feeling of being unfree. As the law now stands, there is no privacy in public places; that's why sports stadiums are called "Snooper Bowls." A whisper to your spouse on your front porch is the public's business, say the courts; and on that intrusive analogy, long-range microphones may soon be allowed to pick up voice vibrations on windowpanes. When your government, employer, landlord, merchant, banker and local sports team gang up to picture, digitize and permanently record your every activity, you are placed under unprecedented control. This is not some alarmist Orwellian scenario; it is here, now, financed by $20 billion last year and $15 billion more this year of federal money appropriated out of sheer fear.
By creating the means to monitor 300 million visits to the United States yearly, this administration and a supine opposition are building a system capable of identifying, tracking and spying on 300 million Americans. So far, the reaction has been a most un-American docility.
This Monday was Presidents' Day. To save the capital and thus the nation, the leader who manipulated his rebellious officers with an emotional pretense of incipient blindness was George Washington, and the one who risked creating a Caesar out of a necessary general was Abraham Lincoln. Neither would sacrifice America's freedom to protect his monument.
THEY DRILLED KENNY!
President Bush approved on Friday a plan to bury the nation's radioactive waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain, provoking a firestorm of outrage and an immediate lawsuit by the state's governor, Kenny Guinn (R). The federal government has spent 10 years and $4 - $7 billion on studying the Yucca site to determine if it is a suitable burial ground for the 77,000 tons of nuclear waste generated by the nation's 131 nuclear power plants. Yucca Mountain has been the only site to receive serious consideration in recent years, and it has been a highly controversial one. Nevada politicians, the state's tourism sector, environmentalists, scientists, and anti-nuclear advocates all oppose the use of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository. Critics point out that the waste would be shipped through 42 states, only to arrive at a site that is crisscrossed with 34 fault lines. Nevada has set aside $5.4 million to fight the decision.
straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Tom Gorman and James Gerstenzang, 16 Feb 2002 <http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-000012065feb16.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dscience>
straight to the source: Las Vegas Sun, Erin Neff, 15 Feb 2002 <http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/special/2002/feb/15/513046995.html>
LITTLE DRUMMER BUOY
For almost a quarter-century, government and private research agencies dumped drums of radioactive waste into the waters just west of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge -- and now the waste is leaking into the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Federal officials say they don't have enough money to determine the extent of the damage; so far, scientists have studied only 15 percent of the disposal site and found that most of the radiation levels are not dangerously high. Still, environmentalists are calling for more research to study the effect of the radiation on marine life -- not to mention the rest of the food chain. Perhaps most troubling, no one has any idea of how to clean up the mess, because the drums were dumped over 540 square miles of water from 300 to 6,000 feet deep, and many are so badly corroded that any attempts to move them would spread the waste further. That's grim news for the 1,225 square-mile marine sanctuary, which surrounds the Farallon Islands, a national wildlife refuge that is home to 36 species of marine mammals.
straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Colleen Valles, 17 Feb 2002 <http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-000012370feb17.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dscience>
DOE, OH DEAR!
In the latest sad litany of pro-extraction industry decisions handed down by the federal government, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday that the Doe Run Company should be allowed to drill up to 232 holes in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest to search for possible lead mining sites. About 80 percent of the nation's lead comes from Missouri, and all of that comes from a single rich vein that runs beneath the trees and rivers of the Ozarks. Drilling advocates say lead mining is essential for the region's economy, but critics point to an ever-increasing number of drilling permits in the nation's remaining pristine areas, and, in the specific case of Mark Twain National Forest, worry that the porous limestone in the area could allow pollution from drilling to reach distant watersheds. A final decision on permits for the company will be made by the Bureau of Land Management.
straight to the source: MSNBC.com, Associated Press, 18 Feb 2002 <http://www.msnbc.com/news/704432.asp>
The U.S. EPA and the Energy Department are engaged in fierce infighting over the White House's proposed revisions to the Clean Air Act, according to internal EPA documents obtained by the New York Times. The battle pits EPA Administrator Christie Whitman and her agency against Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and high-powered energy lobbyists, who say the Clean Air Act's new source review regulations cost industry billions of dollars by requiring factory owners to install state-of-the-art pollution controls when upgrading their facilities. The rules apply to more than 17,000 power plants, refineries, pulp and paper mills, smelters, and steel mills. Normally, the EPA would review and approve changes to the rules, but the Bush administration asked the Energy Department to participate in the review. The EPA seems unhappy about that request, and noted in the documents obtained by the Times that Energy Department proposals would "vitiate" clean air policy.
straight to the source: New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye, 19 Feb 2002 <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/19/national/19ENVI.html>
Did you hear the one about the theft of the American presidency?" jokes The Nation's Washington correspondent, John Nichols, at the start of his entertaining recounting of the 2000 election, "Jews for Buchanan." But humor is just comic relief--the election, needless to say, was not a joke at all. Still, Nichols writes, "if we are to believe that George W. Bush was elected president of the United States...we must suspend disbelief and accept that there were indeed Jews for Buchanan."
Of course, Nichols's detailed recap ventures far beyond the "Buchanan stronghold in Florida," as Ari Fleischer spun Palm Beach County, and into the shady workings of the Bushes, Katherine Harris, Tom DeLay and the Supreme Court. Along the way we are treated to a series of memorable political cartoons and astute political analysis.
As Studs Terkel said: "This book is sensational! It's the best thing anyone has written on that whole damn election. Period!"
To see why Studs is so excited and to order a copy online, check out The Nation literary department's "In Our Orbit" feature from the March 4, 2002 issue of the magazine. Available currently at:
And for more from John Nichols's, please visit The Online Beat, his regularly-updated Nation web feature, exclusively available at:
A profile of Laura Miller, a former muckraking journalist and the first female mayor of Dallas; a look at the Shays-Meehan Bill and an examination of Bush's budget, are among the latest offerings.
And don't miss these other new articles and editorials from the March 4, 2002 issue of The Nation:
JOHN NICHOLS: Enron's Global Crusade
NATE BLAKESLEE: How Enron Did Texas
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Black Mischief
JIM HIGHTOWER: Winning Against Wal-Mart
To whom it may concern,
We continue to ignore information that would put a stop to the "war on terror". I find it ridiculous that people have information which completely tears down all the lies we are being fed in regards to the "attack on America" and yet the war effort continues. Our countrymen are valiantly giving their lives in a far off land and we thank them deeply for their effort.......... but they need not be there.
For those of you who are unaware of what has occurred....... we have been deceived. Our government has lied to us repeatedly on more issues than I care to count. Facts which show that our "new war" is based on lies have been circulating ever since September 11, but we have been given none of these facts so we follow blindly into war; taking the lives of others and giving up our own rights.
Many of us have seen enough information to completely collapse the farce which has led us to war. The acts of September 11 have been torn down by many learned people from architects who insist that the WTC could not have collapsed as we are told to pilots who insist those planes would never have been given to men with box cutters. Proof is now appearing that warnings to many US intelligence organizations from multiple sources prior to the attacks was ignored. Air traffic controllers alerted the military almost instantly that the planes in question were off track but the air defenses that should have been deployed were given instructions to stand down and and an order such as this can only come from very high in the chain of command. A prominent doctor and researcher has shown that the "anthrax scare" was orchestrated by the "terrorists" in the industrial/medical complex as a way to drum up business. Several sources have shown that the tapes we have seen of Osama Bin Laden were very likely faked using a double of the "world's most wanted man" so I must point out that Bin Laden has actually professed his innocence from day one or should I say day 911.
So what is left to support this war...... a war which takes countless lives each day? Are we supposed to believe leaders who have themselves been deceived; who are making too many choices without us....... the people....... the voters. I think WE should be given the facts and then asked how we would like to proceed rather than have our government dictate our choices to us.
This is a democracy ........ or is it?
The greatest deception that mankind has ever known began on September 11. We need to open our eyes to this deception or our freedoms will be stolen from us by a group called the Freemasons.
The Freemason group is a secret fraternity that insists that it is not secret. Masons are so secret however that they have a secret handshake to maintain their security. They guard their teachings well so Masons use symbols and numbers as lessons and as code to communicate. The number 11 is key in their teachings which is why Sept. 11 is an important date. This day has been used often by powerful Masons including George Bush senior who announced in 1990 what was to come in 11 years....... the creation of a "new world". A Masonic new world pushes for globalization and control by elite bankers and other rich Masons. The "new world order" that they speak of is not one where the masses will be free. It would be a world run by men who are concerned with nothing but power and greed.
A key figure in the development of this secret group was brother Mason John Rockefeller. JR took control of the US in the early 1900s when his empire took control of the oil industry, the industrial military complex, and the medical/pharmaceutical complex. The Rockefellers are still a powerful force in the US as several members of the family are in the US congress. The real family power is in David Rockefeller's hands . As a member of the Masons and part of the Bilderberg group David has been working toward globalization for many years. His goal is not a world of freedom but a fascist state run by him and his rich United Nations friends.
As you may now understand the events of September 11, 2001 may have been orchestrated by a secret fraternity called the Freemasons (the old boys club). The goal of this plan..... to trick the people into giving up their rights and freedoms. The importance of 9 11 has been demonstrated many times including George H Bush's speech to congress exactly 11 years prior to the New York attacks where he stood and announced the coming of the "New World Order". World War 2 can also be linked to the Bush family and the Masons as Grandpa Bush used the Carlyle group to create and support Hitler. This Masonic "new world" would be a world of hate and greed run by men who do not fear God.
There are only a select few of these powerful men who actually are involved and their only real power is deception and fear. So they have used the "anthrax scares" to create that fear so people will give up their freedoms. We have recently seen articles by Len Horowitz of Tetrahedron Publishing that link the anthrax to the industrial/military complex and therefore to the Rockefeller family and the Bush family (Masons).
The next concern is the small pox "scare" that the government is creating. People should know that there are only 2 countries who that have access to the small pox virus..... Russia and the US. The last strains of this virus are housed in secure biohazard facilities and terrorists would not have access to these viruses. Yet the government has purchased 155 million vaccination units to prepare for the use of small pox as a weapon. The interesting fact is that the US bought 40 million units earlier in the year..... long before Sept. 11 and the fear of terrorist attacks. This would suggest that people in power may have known about this concern long ago.
I personally believe that we in North America can now begin to identify with those people in Germany during WW2 who looked away as the atrocities of that war happened.
This "war on terror" is so clearly a deception that it amazes me that we have bought into it.... but who said "the bigger the lie the more people will believe it"?
There is so much info going around that shows what we are being told about "the attack on america" is based on deception and yet the war effort continues. Our troops and innocent Afghan people are being killed (murdered would be my word) for what?
This entire war can be tied back to our leaders and the people in the defense/war industry... people who are making money off a war that shouldn't even be happening.
Many of us now really understand the motives behind 911 and the new war, but many of us just look away "oh it doesn't impact me..... I can still sit at home and watch football on Monday nights"......" Our troops are dying and many innocent civilians are being killed.... well that is war ...... collateral damage and all that!? Somebody has to pay for 911 and our leaders say that it is Bin Laden and the terrorist network..... right!?"
North Americans will one day look back and say "wow we should have paid closer attention to what was going on and spoke up..... think of all the people who died for the profit a few".
Lucky for us we don't have to see all the death and horror that is war. The government and media filter the facts and images that we get, to soften the blow so we can still go about our lives as if nothing is really going on.
WE ARE AT WAR...... but be sure to go out and travel and buy as much stuff as possible, because if you don't then the "terrorists" win.......?
Many people believe that the attacks on Sept. 11 were actually organized and carried out by the Bush family and their political and financial partners. Osama Bin Laden may well be innocent or at least have played a very small role.........
It seems possible that the President of the United States was not only aware of the attacks before they happened on Sept. 11, but may have been involved in the planning and execution of them.
Osama Bin Laden may be a scapegoat for the real "terrorists" who are in our government.
We would be remiss to continue to support a war effort based on lies and greed.
As this bogus war continues and we work to determine who the real culprits of Sept. 11 were let us discuss the man who we have been told was the mastermind of that event......
Osama Bin Laden.
As many people know OBL was a construct of the CIA and American government. We supported him with money, training and weapons, as I understand it. Since his time as one of the "good guys" with the CIA he has become the focus of so much negative attention........ but was he really involved at all?
Almost immediately on 911 reports that OBL had no involvement in the attacks was received by media. The CNN website included this transcript that day:
This report was clearly ignored and within hours of the attack we were told Bin Laden was the head of a major terrorist organization that had attacked America. And although many learned and influential people came forward to say that not only did OBL not have the influence to orchestrate such an attack , but that based on passed statements it was very unlikely that he would even have tried.
Bin Laden has always said that he would only "attack" those who were attacking in his own home ...... he wouldn't attack outside his land and would not knowingly kill innocent people. Certainly an understanding of the man would allow one to realize if anything he would have attacked a military installment or government buildings.
On September 16 a man believed to have been Bin Laden faxed a document to the media in which he denied any involvement in the attacks. People magazine recently included an image of that fax in a detailed article about "the most wanted man in the world".
Now consider that we have never seen any real evidence of Bin Laden's guilt. We have seen a few tapes ...... which really told us nothing and would not be admissable in court. The one tape that the government insists is proof of guilt has been shown to be a forgery with a poor look-alike of OBL : http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/osamatape.html a tape probably created by the CIA or the Bush administration to help further the war effort (see WAG the DOG with Robert de Niro). The tapes that may actually have been legitimate contained no confession ... and although they also contained no denial , do you think the Bush crew would allow the American public to watch such a denial?
So once again we are back to ........ who actually profited from the events in question ?
I think the answer to that is clear.
Wagging the Dog?
How is it that so often art and entertainment reflects and even precedes real life?
The film Wag the Dog was produced and released in 1998 and was, at the time an interesting look into the political use of a "spin-doctor". In light of recent events in the world it is a strange precursor to events that have led to the "war on terror".
In the film Robert De Niro's character is hired by the President to help his administration avoid a major scandal as the commander in chief has been implicated in a "sexual misconduct" case. Brean (De Niro) creates a story which derails the media concern about the scandal. He creates a bogus war simply by giving the media a few "juicy" rumors and begins a story that reflects much of what we have seen since September.
Brean hires Stanley Motss (Hoffman) to direct and produce the "war" and we are shown how easily and completely the media and therefore the public can be controlled.
The similarities to the "spin" we have seen regarding Sept. 11 are striking. A particularly interesting parallel is that Motss decides that the terrorists who threaten the American way of life have infiltrated the "home of the brave" through Canada. Albania is the country of choice for the "war" and the producer even creates a bogus clip for television with a young woman running from her "war-torn" village to create an emotional response from the public. In addition the spin-doctors create a song and a theme for the war, for the "sale" of the event to the masses.
If the "entertainment files" are really searched you would find many similar connections to real life. Often Hollywood revamps a good story and sells it after the real events , but often as in Wag the Dog, film , TV , fiction writing , and other forms of entertainment seem to forecast what is to come.
Many people will suggest that the "elite" who plan and manipulate world events are blatantly open about their goals and agendas to the point that they will "covertly" explain the things we are going to see happen beforehand. It is certain that Hollywood and the entertainment industry is part of the distribution of government propaganda. This is very clear today as many "war" movies have been produced lately. Recently Collateral Damage was released in which Arnold Schwartzenegger plays an American firefighter chasing a terrorist that elludes the US military.
The American government had been preparing for a war in Afghanistan for some time.
Is it possible that Hollywood was preparing the public for war as well?
``Why does a dog wag its tail?...... Because the dog is smarter than the tail. If the tail was smarter, it would wag the dog.'' De Niro's character explains in the film.
It would seem these days that the tail is smarter than the dog.
The preceding articles were written by Blaine Machan, Calgary Alberta with information gathered by SIGA Calgary.
Bush Counts On War Without End
by Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star
The war against terrorism is a brilliant construct. It may not have been started by George W. Bush, but it certainly works to his advantage.
It has provided oomph to the sagging U.S. economy and a new raison d'etre for the alliance of politicos, defence contractors and security specialists who make up what former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower christened the military-industrial complex.
What makes this war so superior, in political terms, is its vagueness. Since the terrorist, by definition, can be anyone the man in the next apartment, the person lurking on the subway platform we can never be sure who the enemy is. More important, we can never know when we've won. As a result, this war has the capacity to go on forever. It will be called off only when those in charge choose to do so. And why would they?
Thanks to the war, Bush has been transformed from a figure of fun into a national icon. Before Sept. 11, the U.S. president was viewed as a slightly moronic frat boy mocked even on prime-time television. The very legitimacy of his election was in question.
Now the frat boy is a war president, every patriotic American's commander-in-chief. Those who mock Bush now - those who even dare criticize him - do so at their peril.
For Bush, an end to the war against terrorism could spell political disaster. Look what happened to his father. George Bush Sr. was an immensely popular president when he was waging war against Iraq. But as soon as the fighting stopped, his ratings tumbled. Without war to focus their attention, Americans remembered why they disliked the elder Bush and threw him out of the White House.
By contrast, Bush Jr. has discovered the perfect way to avoid his father's fate war without end. The war against terror can go on indefinitely because, unlike the Gulf War, or World War II or even the Cold War, it involves no measurable criteria of success.
Is Afghanistan defeated and its former Taliban government in chains? No matter, says U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Afghanistan is small potatoes, the Taliban mere tools. The terrorists, we are told, live on. They are everywhere, part of the international conspiracy known as Al Qaeda.
Yet even Al Qaeda escapes definition. Each time its alleged leaders are identified, we are warned that more are hiding in the shadows. And whenever the world's attention flags, a new discovery is made. A notebook found in a bombed-out house in Kabul proves that Al Qaeda is planning a nuclear attack. A videotape found in Singapore demonstrates that Al Qaeda is preparing another terror bombing.
Luckily for us, these fanatic anti-modernists make plenty of videos. They video each other plotting, video attack plans, video their dinner parties, then leave the videos lying about.
Luckily also, they write down many of their schemes in English. In November, for instance, journalists searching through a Kabul home said to be an Al Qaeda training centre found hand-printed plans, in English, on how to manufacture a multi-million-dollar, homemade stealth bomber.
Other reporters found jars of "foul smelling liquids" and notebooks filled with equations, all of which were taken as evidence of an Al Qaeda germ warfare factory.
Even when the New York Times reported that the most well-publicized find plans for the manufacture of a homemade nuclear bomb had probably been cribbed from a hoax website, the thunder of fear and condemnation continued.
Not since novelist Ian Fleming invented SPECTRE, the shadowy force of evil dedicated to eliminating 007 agent James Bond, has the world's imagination been seized in quite the same way. Is there a rebellion in the Philippines? Al Qaeda is responsible. A plot in Malaysia? Al Qaeda again.
Like Fleming's SPECTRE, Al Qaeda has access to unlimited funds. Its leaders, like the villains of Bond movies, live in vast underground complexes staffed by fanatical minions.
Even the occasional intervention of reality has no effect. In Afghanistan, the underground complexes turn out to be cramped, primitive caves rather than sumptuous subterranean cities. No matter. All it proves is that the real Al Qaeda headquarters are somewhere else perhaps Yemen or Somalia.
In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, the enemy of the state is personified in Emmanuel Goldstein. Goldstein is the Osama bin Laden figure of the novel, an elusive figure who is never seen, never captured but believed by all patriotic citizens of Oceania (Orwell's fictitious state, an amalgamation of North America and Europe) to be an evil genius bent on their destruction.
Since Goldstein is never captured, Oceania's battle against him must never cease. Sometime it wages war on one country said to be aiding the nefarious Goldstein, sometimes on another. The battleground may change but the war never ends.
"War is the American way of teaching its citizens geography." -- Anon
click on "Walkom: War Without End" under Terror/War
I am offering a string of small rayon flags with the words for peace in various languages on them, as well as a peace dove, and peace symbol. Take a look at my web site at
and follow the links to flag strings or Universal Peace flags. They are hand-batiked by families in Bali, in bright colors.
UNIVERSAL PEACE FLAG STRING (F14) Words for peace in many languages, including Shanti, Shalom, Salaam, Pax, and Mir. $33 postpaid for the string. Each individual flag is about 28 centimeters wide by 24 tall, string of 8 flags.
Instructions for ordering are on the website.
Wahaba Karuna Karuna Arts PO box 912 Makawao, HI 96768 808-442-4434
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE
WARMING CLIMATE FORECAST FOR FUTURE WINTER OLYMPICS
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, February 18, 2002 - The Alpine skiiers competing in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games are zooming downhill at the Snowbasin Ski Area over a firm base of snow 65 inches deep topped with packed powder.
HIGH TECH METHODS DECIMATING FISH POPULATIONS
BOSTON, Massachusetts, February 18, 2002 (ENS) - New fishing methods based on military technology are accelerating the decline of commercial fish populations, a new study suggests. Despite increased fishing efforts, catches continue to decline in the North Atlantic and other prime U.S. fishing grounds, shows research detailed this week at a scientific conference in Boston.
PUBLIC COMPANIES TWEAK ACCOUNTING TO HIDE ENVIRONMENTAL DEBT
By Donald Sutherland
WASHINGTON, DC, February 18, 2002 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a national campaign in January 2001 to get publicly traded companies to disclose their environmental debts to shareholders as required by regulation. Now, more than a year later a majority of public companies that have violated federal environmental laws still do not make those disclosures.
EU FUNDS ENVIRONMENTAL UPGRADES IN CANDIDATE COUNTRIES
BRUSSELS, Belgium, February 18, 2002 (ENS) - The European Union is assisting the candidate countries that are applying to join the bloc by funding ?1.1 billion (US$958 million) worth of transport and environment projects that will help bring those sectors up to EU standards.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE AMERISCAN: FEBRUARY 18, 2002
Global Warming Could Persist for Centuries
Make Conservation Profitable, Ecologist Urges
California Seeks Oil Lease Swap With Louisiana
$7 Million Targeted for Casmalia Superfund Site
Asian Longhorned Beetle Invades Central Park
EPA Lifts San Francisco Highway Sanctions
2001 Shark Attacks Not Unusual
Florida to Buy Panther Habitat
NRC Issues Reports on Safety, Enforcement
Paint Contractor Dumped Lead Chips
For full text and graphics visit:
t r u t h o u t
George Bush Showers Pakistan With Money (Literally) http://www.truthout.com/02.19A.Bush.Showers.htm
Allies Hear Sour Notes in 'Axis of Evil' Chorus http://www.truthout.com/02.19B.Sour.Notes.htm
Korean Women Protest Bush's "Evil Axis" Statement http://www.truthout.com/02.19C.Women.Protest.htm
Detainees Held in Limbo http://www.truthout.com/02.19D.Detainees.Held.htm
Roads to Ruin (Paving Our National Forests) http://www.truthout.com/02.19E.Roads.to.Ruin.htm
Backward on Global Warming http://www.truthout.com/02.19F.Global.Warming.htm
Planet Ark World Environment News
Nevada sues Bush administration over Yucca Mountain - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14607/story.htm
US investigates dolphin sales by Cuba - report - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14610/story.htm
ANALYSIS - New UK energy goals need a design revolution - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14603/story.htm
Fur still flies at animal cabaret - RUSSIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14604/story.htm
Rare parrot numbers set to soar - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14605/story.htm
Tugs re-attached to log ship grounded off NZ - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14609/story.htm
Kuwait 200,000 bpd Shuaiba refinery to restart - KUWAIT http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14601/story.htm
Wardens take baby oryx from lion "mum" - KENYA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14613/story.htm
Koizumi says climate fight need not harm economy - JAPAN http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14602/story.htm
Indonesia open-pit ban hits regions, official says - INDONESIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14608/story.htm
Hong Kong to kill more chickens as virus spreads - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14611/story.htm
Australia metbureau sees 50/50 chance of El Nino - AUSTRALIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14612/story.htm
Myron Fagan's Illuminati and Council on Foreign Relations
Myron Fagan recorded his exposé on the Illuminati and Council on Foreign Relations in the late 1960's on three LP Records. We present his lecture in six parts representing each side of those Records.
Several members of the Alaska Legislature found Myron Fagan's exposé on the Illuminati and Council on Foreign Relations to be of great importance and had their staff members make a transcript. As you read, you will discover the names, places and events that has brought us to the edge of President George Bush's New World Order.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HIDING SECRET WEEKLY REPORTS....
BUSH MUST DECLARE INDIA A MAFIA STATE - Rep. DAN BURTON
Monetary Freedom and Accountability Act - Rep. Ron Paul
"The dangers facing America in this new era cannot be overstated. Our national security and our economic well-being have been shaken. The prospects for the future of liberty and prosperity seem uncertain. No one challenges the need to protect American citizens from further terrorist attacks, but we must be very careful before we relinquish more of our personal liberty here at home. We must consider whether our efforts overseas might escalate the crisis and actually precipitate more violence. A growing number of Americans are becoming concerned that the war on terror will have the unintended consequence of permanently damaging our constitutionally protected liberties."
--Rep. Ron Paul
Worlds Most Polluted City Soon To See 40,000 New Air Fueled Taxis
MEXICO - What do you get when you combine the most polluted city in the world with a new national government that makes the Green Party presidential candidate the Minister of Environment? A car that runs on fresh air and exudes even fresher air.
Jokingly referred to by some as "The George Bush Nightmare," it might sound like just that -- a dream. Not so. There is such a vehicle - and a French company has a contract to build 40,000 of them for the Mexican government which plans to use them as taxis in Mexico City.
Guy Negre, a former designer of engines for Formula 1 cars and lightweight aircraft, has been working on his "zero pollution" design for almost 10 years. The power unit burns nothing. It gets its motive power from 300 litres of air, compressed to 300 times atmospheric pressure. Mr. Negre says tests indicate that it could run for 120 miles in an urban environment where speeds of 30 mph would be sufficient - but that it could also manage a top speed of up to 60 mph. Recharging the vehicle would simply require a stop at an "air pumping" station, where the tanks would be refilled. The stop would take less than five minutes.
The car runs by releasing the super compressed air into a piston chamber, driving the piston down. Heated air from outside is then added to the chamber to warm it up, and the mixture is expelled as the piston rises again. The expelled air is passed through carbon filters, meaning that generally it will emerge cleaner than the air that went in.
Mr. Negre insists that the "Taxi Zero Pollution", as the car has been dubbed, handles and drives just as well as a petrol powered one. He has licensed the design to a number of companies to build it in different countries: moves are under way to manufacture them in Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, New York, Switzerland, and France.
The project isn't without challenges, however, include providing a big enough network of air filling stations, and starting the vehicle if the air tanks are nearly empty, when they might not have enough energy to keep the car going. Also, as some environmentalists point out, It won't reduce congestion, road traffic accidents or pressure on the countryside.
Adapted from an article by Charles Arthur, Technology Editor for
Independent News: http://sbn.netforchange.com
Native American Day Needed - Request for Federal Holiday
To: All people of the world
Congress of the United States Senate of the United States President of the United States
We the undersigned come together before you to request that each of these governing bodies take all necessary action to bring about a Federal Holiday for Native American Elected Leaders, To include Congressional hearings on the racial exclusion of Native Americans in movies, television, sports, advertising, music companies, etc.
With the special government to government relationship between the Indian Government of America and the Federal Government it is fitting for the Federal Government to enact this holiday, and conduct Congressional hearings.
Indian governments and the people they represent are requesting that the federal government bring about a National Holiday for Native Americans to be celebrated by all citizens of America and people around the world.
This holiday would pay tribute to Indian tribal leaders to include Alaskan Nation leaders, Hawaiian Nation leaders and Taino Nation leaders of Puerto Rico (All US territory tribal Nation leaders indigenous to that land). This holiday also should pay tribute to those that endured the worlds longest holocaust and most costly in human lives.
It is further stated that no Indian Government nor its people find reason to celebrate and pay for Columbus Day. Seventeen states do not recognize Columbus Day. The state of South Dakota has changed Columbus day to Native American Day.
Therefore be it resolved that the Federal Government should reevaluate Columbus Day by moving it back to its original day the second Wednesday of October and not be a tax paid holiday as is St. Patrick's Day and Octoberfest, and make the second Monday of October a Federal holiday for Native Americans.
The polls we conducted across the country show that the vast majority of Americans prefer changing Columbus Day as to creating a whole new holiday.
It is inappropriate for Indian children and children of America to celebrate Columbus discovering a nation of people and not having a holiday paying tribute to the people of those nations.
Check out the flash presentation and additional information at the following website:
Note: *Sound takes a little over a minute to load, thank you for your patience. Once loaded, it will come up faster.*
United Native America was formed in 1993 as a nation wide grass roots movement to bring about a federal national holiday for Native Americans. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma fully supports this issue with resolution 91-93. United Native America resolution 1-1 calls on the federal government to stop using our tax dollars to pay for Columbus Day. Columbus does not rate a federal tax paid holiday in this country. We are standing up against the racial exclusion of Native Americans in our society to include these industries, national television stations, movie industries, national sports industries, national news media and music industries. Bringing about these changes have to take place before America can say it represents all its people equally. The American Indians helped give birth to this country and helped form the government we have today, this is the true beginning history of America. This contribution and many more are noted in the American Indian heritage month of November resolution passed each year by the United States Senate and signed by the president, please join us in the struggle in the spirit of Crazy Horse, Tecumseh and countless others to live in peace on our land.
Petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/indian/petition.html
BioTech Firms Gird For Fight In China
by Danielle Knight, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)
The biotechnology industry has threatened possible legal action against China if the world's most populous country does not back away from barring genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The American Soybean Association (ASA) has said it is confident China -the world's largest importer of soybeans - eventually will give in to pressure from US officials, who were in Beijing last week seeking clarity on trade restrictions proposed by the government there. Nevertheless, at least two firms have hired a lawyer to plot strategy in the event China implements its restrictions starting March 20, as it has proposed. William DiSalvatore, a partner in the New York law firm Hale and Dorr, told the Reuters news agency his clients - a US and a European biotechnology firm that have yet to be identified by name - "will consider some form of action if the rules are implemented". He did not elaborate.
Various biotechnology companies contacted by IPS - including industry leaders Monsanto, Novartis, and Aventis - declined or were unavailable to comment on DiSalvatore's remarks.
In January, Beijing announced the long-awaited details of its controversial rules on genetically modified food, which appear to be stricter than those adopted by the United States. US industry and government officials have complained that China's new regulations on imports of biotech foods were so restrictive that they would threatened US$1 billion in annual sales of US soybeans, about 70 percent of which are genetically modified. The regulations require that all GMO imports be labeled. Exporters must also apply for safety certificates - which could take up to 270 days to obtain - stating that the goods are harmless to humans, animals and the environment.
Tang Yangli, a senior expert at the Ministry of Agriculture Information Center, said the new rules were likely to delay any imports of GMOs. "It will cost traders more and take them longer to get GMO products labeled, obtain safety certificates, approval documents and pay quarantine fees," she said.
US officials have argued the proposed rules were really an effort by China to protect its domestic soybean market. Chinese agricultural officials have stated their concern that soybean imports exceeded domestic production for the first time last year, a trend that could accelerate with China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). China's imports of soybeans have skyrocketed in recent years, from less than 2.5 million tonnes per year in the early 1990s to more than 10 million tonnes in 2000, half of which came from the United States, according to industry and official statistics. China purchased $1.28 billion worth of soybeans last year - triple the amount it bought in 1999 - and is the largest buyer of US soybeans and soy products, according to the ASA.
During last week's talks in Beijing, Chinese Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin said his country still planned to implement its GMO rules on March 20. The US soybean industry said, however, it was confident the United States would eventually compel China to loosen the restrictions. "Ultimately, I think pressure from our government and pressure from their own [soybean companies] will force them to open their import door again," said Phil Laney, China director for the ASA. It was unclear whether GMOs would be on the agenda when President George W Bush visits China on February 21.
Critics of biotechnology have long accused the United States and other agricultural exporting nations, including Argentina, of bullying less powerful nations that have prohibited or proposed to prohibit the import of GMOs. Bolivia, Croatia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, which adopted or proposed to adopt strict rules on biologically engineered products, have been facing heightened pressure for the past two years to drop any bans or proposed restrictions on the import of products derived from modified crops, according to environmentalists in those countries. The United States and Argentina have argued that rules restricting imports of GMOs violate trade law under the WTO. US officials said the existing regulatory framework and monitoring policies were adequate to ensure that GMO products were safe for human and animal consumption.
Early in 2001, the government of Sri Lanka drafted a ban on GMOs in their country that was supposed to enter into force in September. The ban has been deferred indefinitely, however, because of pressure from the United States, said Larry Bohlen, director of health and environment programs at Friends of the Earth US. "The US government's promotion of genetically modified organisms is so aggressive that it is working to overturn other countries' laws," he said.
Oh, no - Pentagon loses $2.3 trillion
By Uri Dowbenko
February 17, 2002-The Pentagon is still the home of the highest grossing fraud on Planet Earth-fraud so lucrative that even the September 11 Incident would not disturb the insider-criminals.
According to a CBS News story, the US Department of Defense cannot account for $2.3 trillion of taxpayer money. [For that story, go to:]
On September 10, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld promised change, but the next day the World Trade Center was destroyed. Shortly thereafter, the new phony war on terrorism was inaugurated. It was another great reason for more military fraud, which would exceed all previous projections and expectations. Rumsfeld's promises of "reform" were quickly forgotten.
Today, despite the fact that Congress has not declared war against any enemy, Bush Administration rhetoric has produced a new "war on terrorism," which has gobbled up more than $1 billion to date.
In fact, it could be said that the September 11 Incident was like the proverbial manna from heaven for beleaguered defense contractors.
George W. Bush has promoted this new war fraud by asking Congress for a fresh $48 billion in new "defense" spending.
And in the Pentagon, large-scale military fraud continues apace.
Rumsfeld himself has said that "according to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions."
This amount of $2.3 trillion amounts to $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
Instead of blaming Pentagon accountants, however, the American people should understand that privately held firms, which have federal contracts for so-called accounting and computer systems (which coincidentally never seem to work) are the real culprits. The liability for government fraud begins and ends with these private contractors. These "Beltway Bandits" with insider government connections are the most blatant unindicted white-collar criminals to date.
Public money is most likely siphoned out through companies like DynCorp, AMS, and Lockheed Martin, which control the bookkeeping for federal agencies, where fraud is rampant, unchecked and very lucrative for corporate and government insiders.
The fraud is so egregious, in fact, that the sovereignty of the nation itself can be questioned when bogus accounting systems can mask the revenue streams and expenditures of federal agencies to such an extent.
Government? What government? Like parasites which have overwhelmed the host, corrupt private contractors who control federal accounting and computer systems (as well as their bureaucratic cohorts in crime) have decimated US Government agencies into a state resembling bankruptcy.
The usual suspects are a literal handful of federal contracting firms with lucrative insider deals that have become outrageously brazen in their schemes of fraud.
The amount of taxpayer monies they have stolen is mind-boggling.
Consider these facts:
* The Department of Defense (DoD) "lost" $1.1 trillion in Fiscal Year 2000 and $2.3 trillion in Fiscal Year 1999.
* The racketeers in the Pentagon refuse to publish audited financial statements, yet are asking for more taxpayer money to fund fraudulent missile systems and other sweetheart deals for their pals in the infamous Military-Industrial-Medical Complex.
* The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) "lost" $59 billion in Fiscal Year 1999 and refuses to disclose what it "lost" in Fiscal Year 2000.
* The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has arranged contract kickbacks to its commissioner Charles O. Rossotti through so-called "ethical waivers" on his stock held in American Management Services (AMS), a federal contracting firm he founded and which currently holds contracts with many federal agencies including the IRS.
* Former Pentagon insider Herbert S. "Pug" Winokur is a kingpin in failed energy giant Enron (he's on the board of directors), as well as Harvard University, whose Highfields Capital shorted Enron stock while it was a major shareholder, as well as the notorious DynCorp, which rakes in asset forfeiture funds in the US, has lucrative mercenary contracts in Colombia in the bogus War on Drugs, and whose other mercenary personnel are alleged to participate in the prostitution of teeenage girls as part of its "peacekeeping" mission in Bosnia.
Yikes. So what are we going to do?
Uri Dowbenko is the Chairman and CEO of New Improved Entertainment. He is a frequent contributor to Conspiracy Digest, Steamshovel Press and Conspiracy Planet. He can be reached at email@example.com
UTNE WEB WATCH
The Best of the Alternative Web
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU READ
by Christopher Dreher, Salon.com
-- Independent and corporate booksellers across the country are crying foul at government demands to reveal their customers purchasing records.
SUING BIN LADEN
by Yigal Schleifer, Mother Jones
-- Civil suits against Osama bin Laden are expected to be an easy win for families of Sept. 11 victims, but finding someone to pay for it will be difficult.
BIKE GEEK: GRAEME OBREE AND THE WORLD HOUR RECORD
by John Stesney, Failure Magazine
-- Bicycle racing in Europe could be compared to Hockey in the US: both garner huge, boisterous and dedicated crowds, -- even so, former World Hour Record holder Graeme Obree is nearly unknown, even in Europe. Why? Obree's outsider status and his strange biking form certainly didn't win him any friends.
Links to the above articles: http://www.utne.com/webwatch
WHEN THE EARTH DRIED OUT
About a billion years ago, the continents emerged relatively suddenly from an ocean that covered 95 percent of the Earth's surface, according to a new theory by Eldridge Moores, a geologist at the University of California, Davis. The appearance of large masses of dry land would have caused more extreme weather, changes in ocean currents and the emergence of proper seasons. In turn, these environmental changes may have led to rise in atmospheric oxygen that enabled the explosion of new life forms around 500 million years ago.
MATING MOLDS PROVIDE NEW INSIGHTS INTO SPECIATION AND HUMAN REPRODUCTION
A new study on the sex life of molds is raising startling new questions about gene silencing, speciation and perhaps some facets of human reproduction.
SCIENTISTS PROVE MATURE ADULT CELLS CAN BE CLONED
Researchers from Rudolf Jaenischs lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have taken a significant step toward answering a half century old questiondo clones, like Dolly, derived from adult cells develop from a fully mature adult cell or do they develop from rare stem cells found in adult tissues? The researchers have proved for the first time that fully differentiated adult cells can form clones, but they found the process is extremely inefficient. It is more likely that elusive adult stem cells, which exist in tiny numbers along with the mature adult cells, are actually the ones to form clones, says Jaenisch.
USE IT OR LOSE IT?" STUDY SUGGESTS MENTALLY STIMULATING ACTIVITIES MAY REDUCE ALZHEIMER'S RISK
In recent years, many of us have come to believe that doing crossword puzzles or playing cards might ward off a decline in memory or help us maintain brainpower as we age. Now, a new study suggests there might be some truth to the use-it-or-lose-it hypothesis.
STUDY SHOWS PLANTS INHERIT TRAITS FROM MORE THAN GENE SEQUENCE ALONE
Two plants, same species, same environment, same genetic sequence, yet one is a normal, healthy specimen of weedy mustard relative, Arabidopsis thaliana, and the other is a tiny dwarf plant, shriveled, a mere shadow of its genetically identical neighbor. With so many similarities in the environment and genetic make-up of these two plants, how can their many differences be explained?
RESEARCHERS OBSERVE ABNORMALITIES IN BRAINS OF AUTISM PATIENTS
Withdrawing from social interaction and communication is a hallmark of autism. Now, researchers have identified structural differences in the brains of autism patients that might explain the behavior.
NEW STUDY FINDS UNDIAGNOSED, UNTREATED GONORRHEA, CHLAMYDIA INFECTIONS COMMON
Between 1997 and 1998, undiagnosed gonorrhea and chlamydia infections occurred in a combined one in 12, or 7.9 percent, of young adults ages 18 to 35 in Baltimore, a surprisingly high total that approaches or exceeds the number of such infections that were diagnosed and treated there in 1998, researchers found.
MEETING ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIETAL NEEDS FOR FRESHWATER
Freshwater is vital to human life and societal well-being, but society has frequently not recognized the full value of healthy rivers, lakes, groundwater, and wetlands. There has been growing recognition that intact aquatic ecosystems provide many economically valuable services and long-term benefits to society, in addition to the provision of water. A new Ecological Society of America position paper explains the basis for sustaining freshwater ecosystems and details ways to go about reconciling ecosystem and human needs.
PHYSICIANS WARN OF NUCLEAR TERRORIST THREAT
In the aftermath of September 11, the threat of nuclear terrorism is among the most real and most dire of our countrys current public health concerns, according to a report in the Feb. 8 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which estimates that a Hiroshima-scale nuclear explosion on a ship in port in New York City would result in more than 250,000 deaths.
NEW SPECIES CLARIFIES BIRD-DINOSAUR LINK
The discovery and analysis of an early carnivorous dinosaur, Sinovenator changii, are clarifying the evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds, according to a paper to be published in Nature Feb. 14, 2002.
STAINLESS STEEL CORROSION MYSTERY SOLVED BY UK RESEARCHERS
From cutlery and cooking pans to the inside of a Formula 1 car engine or a huge chemical process plant, stainless steel is all around us. Its not meant to corrode, but it can, and when it does the results can be disastrous, whether its a hole in your dishwasher or a failed industrial plant.
TEXAS A&M CLONES FIRST CAT
In what is believed to be the first success of its kind, researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University have cloned a cat. A kitten, named "cc," was born to "Allie" a surrogate mother, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2001.
ENORMOUS ICEBERG MAY BE IN ITS DEATH THROES; COLLISIONS WITH ANOTHER LARGE BERG MAY DOOM B-15A TO A BREAKUP
For perhaps the last time, a researcher has visited iceberg B-15A, an enormous fragment of ice that broke away from Antarcticas Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. During a one-hour visit on Jan. 29 (New Zealand time), Douglas MacAyeal of the University of Chicago upgraded the software of an automated weather station on the enormous piece of ice that helps track the icebergs position and reports on the microclimate of the ice surface.
NEW LOW-COST VACCINE OFFERS BETTER PROTECTION AGAINST CHOLERA
Trials of a cholera vaccine manufactured in Viet Nam at a cost of about only 20 US cents a dose have produced encouraging results, especially for children, an international team of researchers reports in the latest issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. The team, headed by Professor Dang Duc Trach at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, concluded that the vaccine was "safe and immunogenic" and "could elicit robust immune responses".
t r u t h o u t
Burton Threatens Bush With Contempt Charge
Text of Sherron Watkins' Testimony at House Hearing on Enron
Pentagon and CIA Plans for War Against Iraq
Bush Pushes for Nuclear Waste Dump
ACLU Files Lawsuit Against South Dakota For Indian Voting Rights
Norton Admits Some Indian Trust Records 'No Longer Exist'
John W. Gardner | "The Father of Campaign Finance Reform" | Passed away at 89
Indonesian Rainforests Pulped To Extinction
Planet Ark World Environment News
Californian power agency plans to boost energy supplies - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14584/story.htm
Bush touts Alaska refuge as viable energy source - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14599/story.htm
UPDATE - Swap proposed to halt new California offshore drilling - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14557/story.htm
Scientists warn of poisonous lionfish off Florida - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14598/story.htm
FACTBOX - Bush climate change, pollution reduction plan - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14596/story.htm
NY Indian Point 2 nuclear plant has small leak - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14595/story.htm
UPDATE - Bush offers alternative plan on "greenhouse gases" - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14585/story.htm
US reaches $7 mln settlement in Superfund site - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14579/story.htm
Fate of hydrogen cars seen helped by Bush plan - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14575/story.htm
WRAPUP - US tightens nuclear security, Pearl's fate unknown - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14574/story.htm
GM calls suppliers to fuel-economy fight - WSJ - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14555/story.htm
UPDATE - Bush endorses Nevada's Yucca as nuclear waste site - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14568/story.htm
US offers sites for first nuke plants in 20 years - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14569/story.htm
FACTBOX - Highlights of Senate Democrats' energy bill - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14570/story.htm
UPDATE - US Senate opens debate on energy policy overhaul - USA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14571/story.htm
Elementis says US ruling could impact sales - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14582/story.htm
UPDATE - UK to up renewable energy, keep nuclear door open - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14577/story.htm
UK industry says govt green target may raise costs - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14565/story.htm
TXU says UK green scheme to cost it 20 mln stg - UK http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14563/story.htm
Sushi tastes threatens Mediterranean tuna, WWF warns - SWITZERLAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14558/story.htm
Three Volvo models pose electromagnetic risk - study - SWEDEN http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14597/story.htm
Asia keen on Bush-backed emissions credits trade - SINGAPORE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14566/story.htm
NZ says Wednesday the earliest to free Korean ship - NEW ZEALAND http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14578/story.htm
Logging threatens Monarch butterflies in Mexico - MEXICO http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14583/story.htm
Japan left-wingers demonstrate ahead of Bush visit - JAPAN http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14600/story.htm
UPDATE - Japan not satisfied with Bush climate proposal - JAPAN http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14592/story.htm
Italian cabinet approves Kyoto climate accord - ITALY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14587/story.htm
Nuclear safety should be key to EU entry - Palacio - ITALY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14588/story.htm
Malnutrition emergency hits Guatemalan children - GUATEMALA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14593/story.htm
Wind farms offered hedge against windless days - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14576/story.htm
US climate proposals "disappointing" - Germany - GERMANY http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14590/story.htm
Coral reef ecology under threat - FRANCE http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14559/story.htm
ANALYSIS - Kyoto coalition seen safe from Bush's climate plan - EU http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14589/story.htm
UPDATE - EU welcomes Bush climate concern, defends Kyoto - EU http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14561/story.htm
Czech Temelin plant going on line after shutdown - CZECH REPUBLIC http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14573/story.htm
UN seeks crackdown on hazardous chemicals - COLOMBIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14594/story.htm
Bush climate plan disappoints as UN meeting ends - COLOMBIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14580/story.htm
Environment one thing Israelis and Arabs agree on - COLOMBIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14581/story.htm
China offers lukewarm response to Bush on climate - CHINA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14591/story.htm
Canada environment minister says Bush plan not enough - CANADA: http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14560/story.htm
Brazil set to end rationing, but power woes go on - BRAZIL http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14586/story.htm
Italy will present a conservative strategy for European Union farm reform - BELGIUM http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14564/story.htm
INTERVIEW - Bekaert prefers solar panels over steel wire - BELGIUM http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14572/story.htm
Australia backs US climate plan, doubts on Kyoto - AUSTRALIA http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14556/story.htm
Letters Show Bush and Lay Shared Much
By JIM YARDLEY
AUSTIN, Tex., Feb. 15 < In more than two dozen letters written from Kenneth L. Lay to then-Gov. George W. Bush, the former Enron (news/quote) chairman lobbied repeatedly for his company's pet issue, electric deregulation, sought the governor's presence at Enron-related functions and sent magazine articles and personal notes.
The letters are included in 350 pages of correspondence between Enron executives and Mr. Bush when he was Texas governor, all of which suggests that Mr. Lay was involved in a variety of pressing state issues, including education, civil justice reform and electric deregulation. Mr. Lay also asked for the governor to lobby the state's Congressional delegation on federal issues important to Enron, including tax relief.
The letters, released today after open records requests, are a reminder that the relationship between Mr. Lay and Mr. Bush, which has chilled as scandal has enveloped Enron, was once close. Mr. Bush wrote Mr. Lay a teasing note about his 55th birthday. Mr. Lay twice thanked the governor for Christmas presents, including in December 1997 after Mr. Bush sent him a state Capitol ornament.
"It was a thoughtful gift and one our family will enjoy hanging on the tree every year," Mr. Lay wrote. "We want to wish you and your family a healthy, happy and prosperous 1998. Ken."
A year later, after thanking Mr. Bush for a "Tejano Santa" print for Christmas, Mr. Lay scribbled a handwritten note in the margin: "George and Laura < Linda and I are so proud of both of you and look forward to seeing both of you in the White House. Hope you have a great Christmas with your family, Warmest Regards, Ken."
Mr. Lay's pre-eminent concern in his letters was the deregulation of the retail electricity market, a law signed by Mr. Bush in 1999. He wrote Mr. Bush several letters about the issue, including one after the 1997 legislative session, when the measure fell short of passage.
"We would have liked to have accomplished more," Mr. Lay wrote, "but realistically, the issue would not have moved nearly as far as it did without your involvement, and for that Enron is deeply grateful."
On other occasions, Mr. Lay solicited Mr. Bush to appear at a variety of functions, including twice for an annual conference promoting trade between Japan and the United States, for a gala in Houston for a Civil War musical sponsored partly by Enron as well as for the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Mr. Bush attended the Japan conference at least once, though he apparently declined the gala for the musical. It could not be confirmed whether he attended the Davos conference.
In April 1997, Mr. Lay wrote the governor about an upcoming meeting scheduled between Mr. Bush and an influential official from Uzbekistan. He noted that Enron had opened an office in Tashkent and was negotiating a $2 billion joint venture.
"I know you and Ambassador Safaev will have a productive meeting which will result in a friendship between Texas and Uzbekistan," Mr. Lay wrote.
Two years later, Mr. Lay wrote asking that Mr. Bush meet with the prime minister of Romania during his visit to Houston. He noted that Enron had recently finalized a joint venture gas marketing deal in the country. But a handwritten note by a staff member suggests that Mr. Bush declined to meet the official.
Scott McClellan, a White House spokesman, called the letters and other documents "old news" and said the relationship between Mr. Bush and Mr. Lay was never improper.
"The president has always acknowledged that he was a supporter," Mr. McClellan said of Mr. Lay, the man Mr. Bush once nicknamed Kenny Boy and who contributed about $600,000 to Mr. Bush's campaigns.
Mr. McClellan added, "But as governor he made decisions based on the best interests of all Texans."
The correspondence released today were taken from 1,800 boxes of documents collected during Mr. Bush's service as governor from January 1995 until December 2000. Before he became president, Mr. Bush used a new state law to designate his father's presidential library at Texas A&M University as repository for his papers as governor. This arrangement has left the status of the papers murky.
The presidential library is federally operated and does not consider itself subject to the tough open records law in Texas, which requires a response to all requests for public documents within 10 days. Officials at the Texas state archives, the usual repository for governors' papers, have expressed concerns. An opinion on the legality of the arrangement is expected in May from Attorney General John Cornyn of Texas.
Until then, the papers are being handled under an interim memorandum of understanding, which gives President Bush's lawyer, Terri Lacy, the right to know in advance which documents are being released. Before today's release, Ms. Lacy acknowledged that she had questioned whether archivists needed to release first drafts of certain documents before ultimately relenting.
"I never tried to block the release of the first drafts," she said today from Houston. "I just questioned whether it was helpful to anyone."
Also included among the documents released today were records from the Governor's Business Council, the advisory group appointed by the Texas governor. Mr. Lay, the group's chairman, was first appointed by Gov. Ann Richards, then reappointed by Mr. Bush.
In documents from 1995, Mr. Lay and other council officials raised money and worked to build public support for a reading initiative championed by Mr. Bush that later became state law.
"I know that the governor spoke to Ken Lay about the importance of providing some `outside' momentum to his initiative," one council administrator wrote in a memo.
Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer and government watchdog group, said he believed that Mr. Lay and other business officials supported the reading initiative because of the governor's help on other issues.
"Essentially what you see here is kind of a quid pro quo," said Mr. Smith, whose group had filed an open records request for the documents, along with several news organizations, including The New York Times (news/quote), "where the governor helps on electric utility deregulation and tort reform, and these guys are helpful for the governor on his education reform."
Mr. McClellan said electric deregulation, tort reform and education reform all had strong bipartisan support in Texas and disputed any characterization of a deal.
Enron Put Bush In White House
by Tim Wheeler
Employees lose as CEO gains Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), scoffed at President George W. Bushs clumsy attempts to distance himself from Enron Corporation.
McDonald pointed out that the bankrupt Houston energy trading corporation poured millions of dollars into Bush campaign coffers since 1994.
TPJ, a non-profit research group that has exposed the role of corporate campaign contributions in buying influence in Texas politics, issued a report on Bushs gubernatorial elections, titled The Bush Gusher.
President Bushs explanation of his relationship with Enron is at best a half truth, McDonald told the World in a Jan. 14 telephone interview. He was in bed with Enron before he ever held a political office.
He was referring to Bushs claim that Enron chief Kenneth Lay had supported Democrat Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. Records show that Lay gave twice as much to Bush in that election as he gave to incumbent Richards.
Enron also pumped an estimated $2 million into the Bush-Cheney campaign. Bush regularly flew from one campaign stop to another aboard Enron jets. Enron was so determined to put Bush in the White House that they sent their top lawyer, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, to Florida to orchestrate the stealing of the 2000 presidential election.
Baker was on the Enron payroll, McDonald said. When Bush senior lost his reelection bid in 1992, Lay scooped up both Baker and Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher as Enron consultants. Bush senior did a Gulf War victory tour of Kuwait in 1993. Baker, Mosbacher and former Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly, a Gulf War commander, were on the tour to sell Enron contracts to Kuwait.
Baker arranged lucrative contracts for Enron to rebuild Kuwaiti power plants destroyed during the war. Baker promoted Enron as a global energy corporation.
Together with Shell Oil, Bechtel and GE Capital, Enron won lucrative contracts to construct natural gas pipelines and electric generating plants in more than 20 countries including India, Indonesia, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
Baker and Lay arranged for former Soviet chiefs Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Shevardnadze to receive the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service conferred by the James A. Baker III Public Policy Institute at Rice University in Houston. It was part of Enrons efforts to secure concessions to develop oil and natural gas in Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, a key element of the current war policy in Afghanistan, where the Pentagon is already deploying permanent military bases.
Lay needed politicians at every level to buy his plan for energy deregulation, McDonald added. Vice President Richard Cheney, himself the former CEO of Halliburton Corporation, the Houston-based oil and gas equipment firm, was a longtime Lay crony. Cheney set up his secretive Energy Policy Task Force to draw up a plan for energy deregulation.
The vice president might have been talking but it was Ken Lays words, McDonald said of the Cheney plan.
Lay was so powerful that he arranged for the firing of Curt Hebert, the pro-deregulation chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Administration, replacing him with Lays handpicked choice, Pat Wood. Hebert was fired because he was not friendly enough to Enrons deregulation agenda, McDonald told the World. You dont have enough pages to cover all the conflicts of interest between Enron and the Bush administration.
Other Bush appointees who had been on Enrons payroll include Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White, vice chairman of Enron Energy Services; Bushs chief economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, paid $50,000 annually as an Enron consultant; and Bush trade representative Robert Zoellick, who served on Enrons advisory board. Karl Rove, Bushs chief of staff, owned a block of Enron stock once worth $250,000.
There is a human tragedy to this bankruptcy, McDonald said. At least 5,000 of Enrons employees have lost their jobs and their Enron 401(k) retirement accounts have vanished. At the same time, 29 top Enron executives, including Lay, sold $1.1 billion in Enron stock before it collapsed, raising the question of insider trading, a scandal that could eclipse the Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken junk bond scandals of the 1980s.
I think there was criminal activity involved here, McDonald said. Someone has to be held accountable. The government must intervene to help the people who have been hit by this debacle. Making people whole is not a bad idea.
The ripple effect of the scandal is already spreading to other corporations. The New York Times reported Jan. 15 that former President George Bush and Baker are also on the payroll of the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based corporation headed by former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci.
The Carlyle Group owns United Defense Industries, which has secured a $20 billion contract with the Army to supply the Crusader Advanced Field Artillery System. Eyebrows have been raised about Carlyle Group because the family of Osama bin Laden, the main suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, was a heavy investor in the company until Sept. 11.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) said, Enrons investors and employees and the American people deserve an investigation that is thorough, far-reaching and free from any hint of political favoritism. He pointed out that Attorney General John Ashcroft was forced to withdraw from the Enron probe. He received more than $57,000 from Enron in his unsuccessful bid for reelection as Missouri Senator. The entire U.S. Attorneys office in Houston has also removed itself because it is so tainted by connections with Enron.
Feingold said it confirms the deep conflicts of interest created by Enrons enormous soft money contributions to both Republicans and Democrats over the past several years. Feingold demanded immediate and complete disclosure and review of all communications between high ranking administration officials and Enron executives.
This Bud's Not For You
Not if you want to get high, anyway. But if hemp isn't a drug, why is the DEA treating it like heroin?
by John Cloud
LEXINGTON, KY - No one is saying Kentucky doesn't offer its share of distinctive intoxicants. Bourbon and tobacco have long been popular drugs here, and even in these abstemious times, a well-known member of the political class will occasionally pour his visitors a glass of moonshine from a Mason jar with plumped cherries bobbing on the bottom.
But the farmers around Lexington are mostly old-fashioned men with a serious problem: the decline in demand for U.S. tobacco. And when they tell you they know of a crop that could help replace tobacco and maybe save their farms, they aren't promoting any stoner foolishness. True, the crop they hope to grow is known to botanists as Cannabis sativa, but different races within that species can have widely varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the merrymaking chemical in pot. Marijuana will typically have anywhere from 3% to 20% THC. Hemp is bred to contain less than 1%. You could roll and smoke every leaf on a 15-ft. hemp plant and gain little more than a hacking cough.
Next month, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration is set to begin enforcing a new rule treating foods that contain "any amount of" THC (even nonpsychoactive amounts) as controlled substances, making them as restricted as heroin. Anyone possessing such foods is supposed to dispose of them now, though hemp sellers and eaters won't be prosecuted until March 18. Nationally marketed products include the Hempzel Pretzels, baked in Pennsylvania, and Organic Hemp Plus Granola, made in Blaine, Wash. Gastronomically speaking, a ban on these earthy-tasting comestibles would be no great tragedy--though the hemp-crazy Galaxy Global Eatery in New York City serves an apple pie with a delightful hemp crust.
Economically speaking, though, a ban could ruin the 20 or so companies that make and sell more than $5 million worth of hemp waffles, salad oils and other foods a year. Hemp Universe here in Lexington stopped selling food weeks ago, and Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas, recommended last week that its 129 stores remove hemp products. Other retailers are holding firm, saying hemp foods contain such tiny traces of THC that the chemical wouldn't register in a routine lab test. But that's not the same as having zero THC, and the threat of further DEA action has prompted seven hemp companies to ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to block the rule. They say the DEA is effectively creating a new law, not interpreting existing statutes. A Canadian hemp firm has filed a claim saying the DEA is violating NAFTA by failing to provide scientific justification for a rule that "will be nothing short of an absolute ban on trade in hemp food." (The Canadian government has also formally objected.) The DEA's position is that U.S. drug laws clearly ban THC--any THC. The court's decision will turn on the historically murky question of whether Congress intended hemp to be part of those laws. Some antidrug groups-- including, most stridently, the Family Research Council--believe allowing hemp foods would send a pro-marijuana message.
Many farmers are watching the case because it shows how hard the government will fight a growing movement to legitimize hemp farming in the U.S. Right now it's legal to sell hemp products but illegal to grow the hemp used in them, which is imported. The global market for raw hemp is expanding. Foods are only a fraction of the hemp-product universe, which includes Mercedes door panels, Body Shop Body Butter, Armani place mats, and countless humbler items such as twine, carpet and diapers. These nonedibles would remain legal under the rule. But if the court doesn't intervene, investors may think twice before supporting a business associated with drugs.
If hemp cultivation were legalized, could it really save U.S. farms? That's unclear, but legislators in more than 20 states have asked for research. They know that a year after Canada allowed hemp cultivation in 1998; its farms were already growing 35,000 acres. The U.S. has taken a different, more tangled approach to the plant, one that reflects the quick assumptions of the war on drugs. The farmland around Leafland, a once commanding estate east of Lexington, used to provide a rich bounty to the Graves clan. Jacob Hughes, a Welshman, first planted in this part of Kentucky in the 1770s, but now his great-great-grandson, Jacob Hughes Graves III, 75, grows corn and tobacco only out of tradition. Although he earned his livelihood as a banker, Graves grew up working on the farm, and he always hoped his land might provide at least one of his nine children with an agricultural career.
His son Andrew made a go of it, but by the mid-'90s, it was clear to the son that tobacco was in trouble. Pushing 40, Andrew was wondering what to do with himself when local entrepreneurs suggested hemp. Products have been made from the versatile plant for thousands of years. Early American planters grew it widely; George Washington sowed it on four of his farms. But the cotton gin--and later nylon--all but killed the industry. Beginning in the late 1980s, hemp products enjoyed a renaissance, at first as novelty items for liberals. Greens love hemp because it's a renewable resource and an effective rotation crop that requires little or no herbicide. Nutritionists and vegetarians found that hemp oil has an unusually beneficial ratio of essential fatty acids ("good" fats).
The plan was simple, if naive: Andrew Graves would grow the hemp, then local companies would sell products made from it. Graves wouldn't have to go far to learn the horticulture. As a boy, his father Jacob had helped his father grow hemp on the same land. But there was a small glitch. The Federal Government began requiring permits to grow Cannabis sativa in 1937, when Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act. Some say Congress meant to exclude hemp from the law, but the regulators who have carried it out have rarely distinguished between psychoactive and nonpsychoactive cannabis varieties. Today winning a DEA permit to grow hemp is just as hard as getting one to grow marijuana.
Jacob thought the regulations were ridiculous, since in all his years on the farm, no one had done something so silly as smoke hemp. What's more, the U.S. government had been his biggest buyer of hemp in the '40s. Cannabis-growing permits were plentiful during World War II because imports of other fibers dried up. In 1942 the USDA even produced a film, Hemp for Victory, to encourage farmers to plant hemp to meet wartime demand for rope.
After the war, when the U.S. became concerned that the Mob and foreign governments were pushing drugs on Americans, hemp became anathema. That did have a certain logic at a time when the chemical line between the two crops was more blurred. THC wasn't identified as marijuana's active agent until 1964; it's likely that some pot and hemp plants back then were closer cousins than they are today. Even now, people caught with marijuana occasionally claim it's only hemp. Cops have complained that they can't tell the difference. And as recently as the mid-'90s, a few hemp-food products could trigger a false-positive result on a drug test.
Advocates say such concerns are out of date. Today hemp can be grown with its seeds closely monitored to keep THC negligible, and a recent scholarly study showed that today's hemp foods don't trigger false positives. What's more, in open fields, low-THC hemp is actually a threat to high-THC marijuana. Since hemp and marijuana are members of the same species, they will cross-pollinate, degrading the quality of any pot hidden in a hemp field.
The Graveses thought the U.S. could adopt a simple regulatory scheme of controlled seed markets and unannounced field inspections. After all, Britain, Canada and other countries had legalized hemp cultivation without major incident. And the U.S. made regulatory changes to accommodate poppy seeds, which contain opiate traces.
But the Graveses needed political help to do the same for hemp, so Andrew went to an old family friend, Louie Nunn, a former Governor of Kentucky. If you associate hemp only with Woody Harrelson, Nunn is a jarring figure. He's a lifelong Republican. He will be 78 in March, and his major indulgences are University of Kentucky basketball and dirty jokes. But for Nunn, hemp is about economics, not the drug war. He wants locally grown hemp to be used for parts in the 1.2 million cars built in Kentucky every year. Like his allies in other farm-state legislatures who favor hemp, Nunn opposes marijuana legalization.
But even with the ex-Governor on board, the state is scarcely closer to cultivating the plant. It did enact a law last year requiring the state agriculture department to grow and study hemp, but DEA regulations treating hemp as marijuana make such work expensive--high security is required around research plots--and Kentucky's plan isn't funded. "I wouldn't expect us to grow any hemp this year or even next," sighs majority whip Joe Barrows, a Democrat in the Kentucky house who sponsored the bill. Hawaii has a small plot where hemp cultivation is allowed, but research is going slowly.
Since the crack epidemic, drug-law enforcers have been granted huge budget increases ($19.2 billion this year, up from $3.1 billion in 1982). When the Ninth Circuit weighs the hemp case, a broader issue will be whether the DEA has overstepped the authority that accompanies so much cash. For its part, the agency is seeking to minimize the importance of its new rule on hemp foods. Last week DEA administrator Asa Hutchinson told TIME the rule could even change in light of recent objections from the public, though that may be small comfort to businesses that lose money until then.
Meanwhile, hemp's defenders crop up everywhere. Three years ago, after a friend convinced former CIA Director James Woolsey of hemp's salubrious ecological profile, Woolsey became a lobbyist for the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Woolsey takes no direct swipes at the DEA, but he impugns its logic. "You'd have to be stark raving mad to try to hide marijuana in the middle of a hemp crop because of cross-pollination," he says. "I'm very proud of the fact that I've been attacked in High Times magazine." A High Times columnist called him a "dirtbag" for promoting hemp's potential to degrade marijuana grown nearby.
Back in Kentucky, Jacob Graves drives out U.S. 60 a little ways east of Leafland. He stops at a historical plaque placed by the state to mark hemp's history. STATE'S LARGEST CASH CROP TILL 1915, it says. "See?" says Graves. "If we get this done, what's old will be new again." Hemp-crust apple pie, anyone?