Monthly Archives: August 2004

89 posts

Swift Boat Vet Got $40M Contract From Bush

31 August 2004 | Misleader.org The Bush White House has denied any connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth1 – the group that has been airing factually unsupportable smear ads against Sen. John Kerry’s war record. But a new report today shows that one of the key accusers in the smear ads was a lobbyist for a company that recently received a massive federal contract from the Bush administration.

500,000 March Against Bush in Largest Convention Protest Ever

30 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets Sunday in the largest demonstration ever at a political convention. Organizers with United For Peace and Justice estimated more than a half million protesters marched past Madison Square Garden where the Republican National Convention opens today. In New York, major protests against President Bush began on Friday when 5,000 bikers took part in a Critical Mass bike ride. Some 15,000 marched on Saturday in one of the city’s largest women’s marches in history. Today two more large demonstrations are scheduled to mark the start of the […]

Justice Dept. Opens Investigation Into NYC Indymedia

30 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! In news from the Republican convention, the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the New York City Indymedia center. The Justice Department is demanding Indymedia’s internet service provider hand over records regarding posts on the site that listed the names of Republican delegates. The federal government is claiming the posting of the delegates’ names may constitute a form of voter intimidation. The American Civil Liberties Union is defending Indymedia and the internet provider Calyx in the case. Ann Beeson of the A.C.L.U. said “We can’t see any legitimate purpose behind this investigation, and […]

Ex-Texas Politician Admits He Helped Bush Get Nat. Guard Duty

30 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! The former speaker of the Texas House, Ben Barnes, has revealed that he helped President George W. Bush and the sons of other rich families to get into the Texas National Guard so they could avoid serving in Vietnam. Meanwhile on Saturday, President Bush admitted on the Today show that he believes that John Kerry was heroic during the Vietnam War. He said “going to Vietnam was more heroic than my flying fighter jets. He was in harm’s way and I wasn’t.”

Gandhi’s ‘March Home’ Cry: Allow Israeli Army’s Murders to Shock the World

[ Although Michael Moore called on the Palestinians to engage in massive nonviolent action to shame Israel before the world in his Stupid White Men (2002), Palestinian cynicism is understandable: As the International Herald Tribune’s Jonathan Cook points out, for most of the 37 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians were nonviolent – and it did them little good. Israel simply entrenched the occupation, illegally moving hundreds of thousands of settlers on to Palestinian land…. The sad truth is that over the last four years, in the second intifada, the Palestinians have learned that […]

In the name of God: George Bush really is doing God’s work – according to the Rev Evans’ best-selling book, that is

August 30, 2004 | The Guardian by John Sutherland One of the surest ways of testing a country’s political temperature is to look at the national bestseller list. The current No 1 on Amazon’s chart, Unfit for Command, in which “Swift Boat veterans speak out against John Kerry”, will draw attention in this country. Formerly No 1, currently holding on at No 3 among the mega-sellers, The American Prophecies, will probably not. It should. The author, Michael D Evans, is part preacher, would-be sooth-sayer, big-time blowhard. He’s also rich, given his book’s runaway sales. Not that money is a main […]

The FBI’s Pre-Emptive Interrogations Of “Possible” Demonstrators: Chilling Political Speech

[ Conservative Bob Barr was a Republican Representative from Georgia until 2003, supported Pat Buchanan for president, and has been accused of being tied to white supremacist groups. But, as a traditional conservative sympathizer with privacy (apart from his support for the war on drugs!) and free speech, he naturally opposes the violations of basic rights under the Bush Administration. –BL ] Aug. 25, 2004 | FindLaw Legal Commentary by BOB BARR The FBI, no longer content with working to maintain order at political events, is now preemptively identifying and interrogating (“interviewing”) possible demonstrators. It has summarized this strategy in a […]

Just Deserters?: Soldiers are singing ‘O Canada.’ Is it the beginning of a Vietnam-like trend?

[ From one conscientious objector, Camilo Mejia: ?I cannot say that I [went to war] to help the Iraqi people. I cannot say that it was to make America and the world safer. I cannot say that it was for democracy. I cannot say that it was to prevent terrorism. I could not find a single good reason for having been there and having shot at people and having been shot at.” … ?But if I’m going to commit to killing people, there had better be a good reason. Not for the right of someone to drive an SUV with […]

‘The Oil We Eat’: Following the Food Chain back to Iraq

[ Manning insightfully connects meat protein output to fossil fuel input, wheat to imperialism. The underlining is mine. Thanks to Matt Miller for forwarding the article. –BL ] February 1, 2003 | Harper’s Magazine by Richard Manning The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly. –Balzac The journalist’s rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money, as even our vice president will tell you, is really a way of tracking energy. We’ll follow the energy.

Garrison Keillor vs. Bush: We?re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore

[ From the article: This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm. The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke […]

Pinochet Stripped of Immunity

27 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! For the first time, former Chilean dictator Augosto Pinochet could be brought to trial for the death of thousands of people in 1970s. Chile’s Supreme Court yesterday stripped Pinochet of immunity from prosecution. More than 3,000 people were killed for political reasons under Pinochet’s rule after he led a bloody coup overthrowing democratically-elected president Salvador Allende.

Abu Ghraib Report Faults Rumsfeld For Iraq Plans

25 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came under intense criticism yesterday by a panel he appointed to review the abuse and torture that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The four-member panel headed by former defense secretary James Schlesinger faulted Rumsfeld’s leadership, his battle plan to invade Iraq and his failure to develop plans for a postwar Iraq. The panel revealed that the Pentagon is now investigating 300 incidents of prison abuse — three times as many cases as previously known. At least five prisoners have died from abuse during interrogations and another 23 […]

Army Report on Prisoner Abuse Admits Torture, Faults Pentagon and CIA

U.S. General Admits Iraqis Were Tortured At Abu Ghraib 26 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! For the first time, a U.S. Army general has admitted that U.S. forces tortured Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison Army Major General George Fay told a Pentagon briefing on Wednesday “It’s a harsh word, and in some instances, unfortunately, I think it was appropriate here. There were a few instances where torture was being used.” Yesterday Fay and Lt. Gen. Anthony Jones released a 143-page report that found military intelligence soldiers played a major role in directing and carrying out the abuse on Iraqis. The […]

Bush Admits Iraq ‘Miscalculations’; Equivocates on Giving “Timelines to Dictators”

[ Robert Lee, who forwarded this article, reflects: How’s this for Doublespeak? [Bush] says the American people won’t see him change positions, but towards the end of the article he says of N. Korea and Iran, “I don’t think you give timelines to dictators.” Maybe I’m crazy, but I remember a strict timeline for the dictator that actually didn’t pose a threat. –BL ]26 August 2004 | Reuters NEW YORK – President Bush acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that he had miscalculated post-war conditions in Iraq, the New York Times reported.

Coalition of the Coerced: America?s allies rethink their Iraq commitment

excerpted from August 30, 2004 | The American Conservative by Eric S. Margolis …. President George W. Bush’s crusade against Iraq … managed to convoke only an embarrassingly skimpy assemblage of vassal states, but the invasion proved a smashing military success, if a subsequent disaster. Now, over a year later, many of America’s 32 allies, tributaries, supplicants, and camp followers that sent a total of 22,000 troops to Iraq are wishing they had never become involved and are seeking escape or giving thanks they are well out of the growing carnage in Mesopotamia.

Public Remains Poorly Informed On Reasons for War

26 August 2004 | Editor and Publisher New poll raises old question: Has the press done enough or is there only so much it can do? by Greg Mitchell Shortly after the U.S. attack on Iraq last year, reputable polls showed that vast numbers of Americans were woefully uninformed or misinformed about certain key issues relating to the war. These were not minor matters, but cut to the heart of the stated reasons for the war: that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), had strong links to al Qaeda, and/or might have had something to do with 9/11. One […]

Ranks of Poverty, Uninsured Rose in 2003

August 26, 2004 | Associated Press by GENARO C. ARMAS WASHINGTON – The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. While not unexpected, it was a double dose of bad economic news during a tight re-election campaign for President Bush.

White House Puts the West on Fast Track for Oil, Gas Drilling

excerpted from the 25 August 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Alan C. Miller, Tom Hamburger and Julie Cart, Times Staff Writers WASHINGTON — Placing a heavy emphasis on energy production in the American West, the Bush administration has moved aggressively to open up broad areas of largely unspoiled federal land to oil and gas exploration. The administration has pressed for approval of new drilling permits across the Rocky Mountains and lifted protections on hundreds of thousands of acres with gas and oil reserves in Utah and Colorado. In the process, it has targeted a number of places prized for […]

Mercury in many lakes, rivers

24 August 2004 | USA TODAY by Elizabeth Weise and Traci Watson One third of the nation’s lake waters and one-quarter of its riverways are contaminated with mercury and other pollutants that could cause health problems for children and pregnant women who eat too much fish, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. States issued warnings for mercury and other pollutants in 2003 for nearly 850,000 miles of U.S. rivers — a 65% increase over 2002 — and 14 million acres of lakes. The warning level is the highest ever reported by the EPA. It is partly a result of states […]

Iran Claims Right to Bush Doctrine: Preemptive Strike Against the U.S. or Israel

Iran Dismisses Rumsfeld’s Missile Claims 24 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! Iran is dismissing allegations by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that it is working to develop missiles capable of reaching the United States. Meanwhile tension remains high between Iran and Israel. Last week, Iran warned it would preemptively attack Israel or US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear sites. Iran says its nuclear activity is solely for peaceful purposes. Iran’s Defense Minister said last week that the U.S. is not the only country that can claim the right to carry out preemptive attacks. Meanwhile prominent attorney […]

Regarding Kerry: These Charges Are False …

24 August 2004 | Los Angeles Times [Editorial] It’s one thing for the presidential campaign to get nasty but quite another for it to engage in fabrication. The technique President Bush is using against John F. Kerry was perfected by his father against Michael Dukakis in 1988, though its roots go back at least to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It is: Bring a charge, however bogus. Make the charge simple: Dukakis “vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance”; Bill Clinton “raised taxes 128 times”; “there are [pick a number] Communists in the State Department.” But make sure the supporting details are complicated and […]

Iraqi National Conference Picks Puppet Parliament

19 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! In Iraq news, a national conference has to pick a 100-member interim legislature has ended in a storm of controversy. The legislature is comprised almost entirely of former members of the U.S.-appointed Interim Governing Council and pre-selected members from five major political parties. Many candidates who attempted to run were removed from voting lists because of technical reasons. And a slate of independent candidates removed themselves from the selection process in protest. Many other delegates left the conference. No actual vote was taken, the slate of 81 candidates was simply approved. The 19 former members […]

Can I Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree?

by Brendan Lalor If you want to “be all you can be” as a human being, it’s hard to imagine a more practical course of training than the study of philosophy. As Aristotle argued, philosophical activity — reflective, appreciative understanding of and speculation about the world — is conducive to the most fulfilling life. Hence, philosophy is a perfectly practical area of study for people who care to live good lives. But even we philosophers have to consider the other sort of “practical” use of philosophy more closely tied to employment and economic considerations. Not an MBA, a Philosophy degree […]

Sierra Club: Bush Endangered Lives of New Yorkers After 9/11 By Lying About Dangers of Toxic Fallout

[ This story follows up an earlier one, from May. –BL ] 19 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! As Republicans prepare to descend on New York City for their party Convention in less than two weeks, a leading environmental group is raising new questions about the Bush administration’s handling of the cleanup of downtown Manhattan in the days after 9/11. A new report by the Sierra Club charges that the Bush administration was guilty of reckless disregard by failing to inform Ground Zero area workers, residents and rescuers of health risks from toxic air after the collapse of the World Trade Center. […]

Washington accused of ignoring nuclear terror threat

22 August 2004 | The Independent by Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles The Bush administration insists that its top priority is keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. But in a withering new book, one of America’s foremost nuclear weapons experts argues that the White House has been so heedless of the threat that nuclear armageddon in one or more US cities is now “more likely than not” over the next decade. Graham Allison, a former defence official under both Republican and Democratic administrations and now a leading researcher at Harvard, describes the Bush administration as […]

Taxpayer-funded Video Games: ‘America’s Army’ Targets Youth

23 August 2004 | The Nation by JACOB HODES & EMMA RUBY-SACHS The universe of online computer games is home to 200,000 players at any time. It’s also where you can find the newest innovation in military recruiting. Check out America’s Army, a state-of-the art computer game featuring 3-D graphics, surround sound and the most advanced gaming technology available. It’s as entertaining as current favorites Counterstrike or Doom, but there’s a different agenda at work. Unlike commercial games designed to make big money, the aim of this taxpayer-funded project is to generate Army recruits.

THE USES OF PHILOSOPHY

excerpted from the American Philosophical Association’s Philosophy: A Brief Guide for Undergraduates General Uses of Philosophy Much of what is learned in philosophy can be applied in virtually any endeavor. This is both because philosophy touches on so many subjects and, especially, because many of its methods are usable in any field. General Problem Solving. The study of philosophy enhances, in a way no other activity does, one’s problem-solving capacities. It helps one to analyze concepts, definitions, arguments and problems. It contributes to one’s capacity to organize ideas and issues, to deal with questions of value, and to extract what […]

How to Get to the Top — Study Philosophy

Questions of Principle 2 January 1990 | Globe and Mail [Toronto] by Thomas Hurka CALGARY – How should Canada educate students to compete successfully in the business world? Some provincial governments think it is by teaching them business. The Alberta government has announced plans for an “unprecedented” expansion of business education at its three universities. Already, 120 extra students are studying management at the University of Calgary. Recent evidence suggests this approach is mistaken. We will produce better managers if we educate them first in traditional subjects in the arts and sciences. We may do best of all of we […]

Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life And in Work

26 December 1997 | New York Times by CAROL MARIE CROPPER CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – What can you do with a philosophy degree? In an age of M.B.A.’s and computer scientists, more than 4,000 American college students graduate each year with a bachelor’s degree in the ancient discipline. Sometimes their parents and friends wonder what will happen to them. One thing is certain: Not many of them will go on to make a living as philosophers. Even those who persevere through a doctorate may wind up doing something else. More than 1,000 people with Ph.D’s in philosophy applied for the 448 […]

Insurgents showing no sign of letting up

22 August 2004 | USA TODAY by Jim Michaels and Charles Crain BAGHDAD — Nearly two months after the establishment of a sovereign Iraqi government, the violent attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces show no sign of flagging. A USA TODAY database, which analyzed unclassified U.S. government security reports, shows attacks against U.S. and allied forces have averaged 49 a day since the hand-over of sovereignty June 28, compared with 52 a day in the four weeks leading up to the transfer. Read the whole article.

Farmlands Seen as Fertile for Terrorism

22 August 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Charles Piller GREELEY, Colo. — The teeming Swift & Co. slaughterhouse on the edge of town has the feel of a military base lately. Security cars cruise the fenced compound, and periodic drills are run to prepare for any attack. At the Wayne Farms poultry plant in Decatur, Ala., armed guards patrol the grounds, searching for any threat to the tens of thousands of chickens. In Porterville, Calif., dairy farmer Tom Barcellos recently installed video cameras in his milking barns to keep watch over his 1,200 cows. Nothing seems farther from the […]

More Evidence that Depleted Uranium is the Cause of Gulf War Syndrome

[ This important piece follows up others printed here since March, 2003. Thanks to Bob Nichols — who has published on the topic in his own right — for forwarding this article. –BL ] Depleted uranium: Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets 18 August 2004 | San Francisco Bay View Keywords: depleted uranium by Leuren Moret ?Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.? – Henry Kissinger, quoted in Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW?s in Vietnam Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions […]

Canadian health care better than we think

August 16, 2004 | Capital Times [Madison] by Dave Zweifel Thanks to years of propaganda from the giant corporations with a vested interest in the U.S. health system, Americans have a somewhat jaundiced view of Canada’s national health insurance program. We’re told that Canadians have to wait for simple procedures and that there are huge waiting lines for surgery. Doctors aren’t compensated adequately. We’ve been told that so often that we think it’s true. Almost all of it, however, is false. The Canadian plan sometimes is short of money as government there, like here, is constantly under pressure to make […]

Secret US report surfaces on antidepressants in children

[ Once again, Bush appointees’ policy shows a lack of precaution when industry profits are at stake. –BL ] 7 August 2004 | British Medical Journal by Jeanne Lenzer New York – Internal memos and a secret government report about the negative effects of antidepressants in children’suppressed by the US Food and Drug Administration?have surfaced publicly.

Secretive Trial Acquits Haitian Death Squad Leader

18 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! Keywords: Jodel Chamblain, FRAPH In Haiti, former death squad leader Louis Jodel Chamblain who twice helped coups against Jean Bertrand Aristide was acquitted of murder in a secretive trial held during the middle of the night that ended early yesterday. Chamblain was second in command of the paramilitary group FRAPH, the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti. In 1991 the group overthrew Jean Bertrand Aristide’s government and went on to kill thousands of Aristide supporters. After years in exile, he returned to Haiti earlier this year to play a key role in another […]

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley says his religious views influenced his push for a tax increase on the wealthy

Matthew 1040: A Biblical Tax Policy? One Governor Says Yes July 2, 2003 | ABC News by Oliver Libaw What does the Bible have to do with tax policy? For Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, a lot. Alabama’s conservative Republican governor has created a new convergence of faith and politics. Citing his Christian faith, he’s calling for a $1.2 billion tax hike, largely on the backs of wealthier taxpayers, for the benefit of the poor.

Republicans Want to Keep Ex-Con Felons From Voting Because They Don’t Vote Republican

[ Kevin Krajick points out in the Washington Post (18 June) that 4.7 million Americans … are barred from voting because they have felony records. This includes not just prison inmates (48 states), parolees (33 states) and probationers (29 states) but also a large number of people — one third of the disenfranchised in all — who are off parole and “free.” [T]hese state laws … deny 13 percent of African American men the vote…. According to one convincing study done at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, George W. Bush would have lost Florida by 80,000 votes in 2000 […]

Cronkite for Kucinich?: The Department of Peace

Why Not a Department of Peace? 15 August 2004 | King Features Syndicate by WALTER CRONKITE With this nation embroiled in what threatens to be an interminable “War on Terrorism,” an idea put forward last year by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has, for me, considerable appeal. Kucinich, who was the one candidate in the Democratic primaries to unfailingly promote the party’s traditional Franklin Roosevelt liberalism, proposed the establishment of a Department of Peace.

Safety Gap Grows Wider Between S.U.V.’s and Cars

excerpted from 17 August 2004 | New York Times by DANNY HAKIM DETROIT, Aug. 16 – The gap in safety between sport utility vehicles and passenger cars last year was the widest yet recorded, according to new federal traffic data. People driving or riding in a sport utility vehicle in 2003 were nearly 11 percent more likely to die in an accident than people in cars, the figures show. The government began keeping detailed statistics on the safety of vehicle categories in 1994. S.U.V.’s continue to gain in popularity, despite safety concerns and the vehicles’ lagging fuel economy at a […]

Bush Admin Allows Mining Waste into Water

[ From the article: Today, mountaintop removal is booming again, and the practice of dumping mining debris into streambeds is explicitly protected, thanks to a small wording change to federal environmental regulations. U.S. officials simply reclassified the debris from objectionable “waste” to legally acceptable “fill.” –BL ] Appalachia Is Paying Price for White House Rule Change August 17, 2004 | Washington Post by Joby Warrick BECKLEY, W.Va. — The coal industry chafes at the name — “mountaintop removal” — but it aptly describes the novel mining method that became popular in this part of Appalachia in the late 1980s. Miners target […]

Chavez Defeats Recall Attempt: Monitors Endorse Venezuelan Vote; Margin Is Wide

August 17, 2004 | Washington Post [page A01] by Mary Beth Sheridan CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug. 16 — President Hugo Chávez was declared the winner of a national recall referendum by a substantial margin on Monday, and said he had won a fresh mandate for the highly centralized, populist style of government that has stirred fierce opposition at home and irritated the Bush administration. About 58 percent of the voters in the Sunday ballot said “no” to a recall of Chavez, while 42 percent said “yes,” according to nearly complete returns from the national elections council. Officials said that at least […]

Why Venezuela has Voted Again for Their ‘Negro e Indio’ President

Dick Cheney, Hugo Chávez and Bill Clinton’s Band August 16, 2004 | GregPalast.com There’s so much BS and baloney thrown around about Venezuela that I may be violating some rule of US journalism by providing some facts. Let’s begin with this: 77% of Venezuela’s farmland is owned by 3% of the population, the ‘hacendados.’ I met one of these farmlords in Caracas at an anti-Chavez protest march. Oddest demonstration I’ve ever seen: frosted blondes in high heels clutching designer bags, screeching, “Chavez – dic-ta-dor!” The plantation owner griped about the “socialismo” of Chavez, then jumped into his Jaguar convertible. That […]

U.S. shamefully delayed request to ship vests to Iraq

[ Vests? Why not armored humvees? Oh, that’s right: Rumsfeld insisted on a minimalist, sleek fighting force. –BL ] 14 August 2004 | Gainesville Sun As a veteran who has seen combat, I’m disgusted that any military vehicles in Iraq are not ?up-armored,? meaning they can’t stop bullets, let alone roadside bombs. Marion County Sheriff Ed Dean got a request for bulletproof vests to line the Humvees’ sides and floor panels from deputy Fred Chisholm, a reservist in Iraq serving in the 351st Military Police Company. By May 2004, Dean collected more than 850 vests and asked the military to ship […]

Washington Post Series on Bush Admin’s Pro-Business, Anti-Labor Approach to Regulation

excerpted from 15 August 2004 | Slate The Post‘s story on the “business-friendly” agenda OSHA has adopted under President Bush is the first in a three-part series examining the administration’s approach to regulation. The article reveals that the administration has trimmed OSHA’s budget and staff, killed dozens of rules under consideration held over from the Clinton years, and built new alliances with industry groups that exclude union representatives. The piece moves quickly despite its unglamorous topic; the authors explain policy detail without getting tangled in bureaucratic minutiae. [ In the 15 August installment, the Post reports the Bush Administration’s cancellation […]

Long-term Global Warming Worse Threat than Terrorism

The end of the world is here 5 August 2004 | Salon.com Disasters spawned by global warming are no longer science fiction, Ross Gelbspan argues in “Boiling Point” — they’re already here. by Katharine Mieszkowski In Scotland, hundreds of thousands of arctic terns, kittiwakes, guillemots and great skuas suddenly aren’t having any babies. The culprit? Global warming has disrupted their food supply, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The seabirds feed primarily on sandeels, a small silvery fish that once teemed along the northern Scotland seashore. But changes in sea temperature and currents caused by the […]

“First time a broad spectrum of the scientific community has opposed a president’s overall science policy”

Science, Politics Collide in Election Year 14 August 2004 | Associated Press by MATT CRENSON With more than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel Prize winners, having signed a statement opposing the Bush administration’s use of scientific advice, this election year is seeing a new development in the uneasy relationship between science and politics. In the past, individual scientists and science organizations have occasionally piped up to oppose specific federal policies such as Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars missile defense plan. But this is the first time that a broad spectrum of the scientific community has expressed opposition to a president’s overall […]

Report Finds Tax Cuts Heavily Favor the Wealthy

12 August 2004 | New York Times by EDMUND L. ANDREWS WASHINGTON – Fully one-third of President Bush’s tax cuts in the last three years have gone to people with the top 1 percent of income, who have earned an average of $1.2 million annually, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to be published Friday. The report calculated that households with incomes in that top 1 percent were receiving an average tax cut of $78,460 this year, while households in the middle 20 percent of earnings – averaging about $57,000 a year – were getting an […]

Saletan Explains Kerry’s Consistency Against Bush’s Flip-Flop Charges

[ While I am no fan of Kerry, it is worth looking at Saletan’s account of Kerry’s consistency on issues the Bush campaign appeals to in its attempt to paint Kerry as a “flip-flopper.” Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for forwarding the article. –BL ] Would Kerry Vote Today for the Iraq War? No. 12 August 2004 | Slate.com by William Saletan Last Friday, President Bush challenged Sen. John Kerry: “My opponent hasn’t answered the question of whether, knowing what we know now, he would have supported going into Iraq.” On Monday, pressed by a reporter to answer Bush, Kerry said, “Yes, […]

Political Leaders and Activists Announce Support for Venezuelan President Chavez

excerpted from Aug 12, 2004 | U.S. Newswire Keywords: Chavez, Venezuela August 12, 2004 Dear President Chavez, We are writing to express our solidarity during this important moment in Venezuela’s history. It is our hope and expectation that, on August 15, you will once again win an electoral mandate from the Venezuelan people to be their president. The world knows that you are achieving something remarkable in Venezuela: you are investing your country’s vast oil wealth in ways that benefit everyone, not just small minority of well- connected elites. Over the last year your government’s literacy campaign taught one million […]

White supremacist wins Republican nomination for Tennessee congressional seat

14 August 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Patrick Martin In a development that reveals more about the nature of the US Republican Party than countless media handouts from the Bush reelection campaign, a virulent racist and white supremacist has won the party?s nomination as its candidate in the 8th Congressional District of Tennessee. James L. Hart, a proponent of eugenics who calls for the elimination of racial minorities and the poor through a ?war on poverty genes,? won the Republican primary August 6, and will be the party?s candidate in the November election against eight-term incumbent Democrat John […]

An American Hiroshima

11 August 2004 | New York Times by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF ASPEN, Colo. — If a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon, a midget even smaller than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, exploded in Times Square, the fireball would reach tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit. It would vaporize or destroy the theater district, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall (along with me and my building). The blast would partly destroy a much larger area, including the United Nations. On a weekday some 500,000 people would be killed. Could this happen? Unfortunately, it could – and […]

U.S. tactics seen raising Iraqi cleric?s support

[ Aljazeera reports today that the deputy governor and “sixteen of Najaf’s 30-member provincial council resigned in protest at the US-led assault on the Najaf,” denouncing what they called “the hasty US invasion and bombardment of Najaf.” “I resign from my post denouncing all the US terrorist operations that they are doing against this holy city,” Jawdat Kadam Najim al-Kuraishi, deputy governor of Najaf, said on Thursday morning. On Thursday evening, the director of tribal affairs at the Iraqi Interior ministry announced his resignation through Aljazeera and said he could no longer work with the interim government in good faith […]

The Other African Crisis

August 13, 2004 | Washington Post [page A25] by Jason Stearns Who is to blame for the largest humanitarian catastrophe of our times? I am referring not to Darfur, a terrible tragedy in its own right, but to the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 4 million people have died in a conflict that has been going on for eight years. So who is to blame? A U.N. panel sent to Congo to look into illegal arms trading believes it has part of the answer. In a recent report, it explains that Rwanda gave “both direct and indirect […]

Dupont Denies Poisoning Consumers with Teflon Products

DuPont, Now in the Frying Pan 8 August 2004 | New York Times by AMY CORTESE TEFLON has been hugely successful for DuPont, which over the last half-century has made the material almost ubiquitous, putting it not just on frying pans but also on carpets, fast-food packaging, clothing, eyeglasses and electrical wires – even the fabric roofs covering football stadiums. Now DuPont has to worry that Teflon and the materials used to make it have perhaps become a bit too ubiquitous. Teflon constituents have found their way into rivers, soil, wild animals and humans, the company, government environmental officials and […]

Washington Post: We Buried Anti-War Voices

[ This follows-up the May story about the New York Times’ admission of failure. –BL ] 12 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Washington Post published today a major 3,000 word front-page story examining how the paper downplayed critics of the Iraq war before the U.S. attacked lat year. Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks revealed how in October 2002 editors killed a piece of his titled “Doubts” that outlined how many senior Pentagon officials were reluctant about plans to attack Iraq. Ricks also added “The paper was not front-paging stuff. Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challenged the administration were […]

Will Marines Enter the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf?

U.S. Risks Alienating Millions Across Muslim World with Major Attack on Holy City of Najaf excerpted from 12 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! (and other DN! stories of the day) Thousands of U.S. troops have launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Najaf, one of the holiest cities in the Muslim world. Shortly after dawn, U.S. tanks moved into the city center to block off roads to the holy Imam Ali Shrine, where the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law, Ali, is buried.

Human Rights Groups Blast ‘Israeli Only’ Roads

11 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has issued a new reporting criticizing Israel’s decision to bar Palestinians from traveling on 41 roads in the West Bank. The report reads “By unlawfully discriminating against Palestinians based on their national origin, the Forbidden Roads Regime is reminiscent of the apartheid system that existed in South Africa.”

Why Won’t the EU Use the ‘G’-word to Describe Sudan?

EU Says Darfur Not Genocide 10 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! Keywords: Darfur genocide Following the lead of the Bush administration, the European Union said yesterday that it does not consider the widespread violence in Sudan to be genocide. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana did say that “it is clear there is widespread, silent and slow killing and village burning of a fairly large scale. There are considerable doubts as to the willingness of Sudan’s government to assume its duty to protect its civilian population against attacks.” Solana cited unwillingness to send a significant military force, saying the EU and […]

Billionaires Back Bush Over Kerry

9 August 2004 | DemocracyNow! If the country’s billionaires could select the president, Bloomberg News is reporting President Bush would easily win. According to Bloomberg, nearly four times as many billionaires have contributed to Bush’s candidacy than to Kerry’s. Bush has received donations from a total of 131 billionaires including Bill Gates of Microsoft. John Kerry has received the backing of 31 billionaires. Donald Trump was one of six billionaires to give to both campaigns.

VENEZUELA FLORIDATED: Will The Gang That Fixed Florida Fix the Vote in Caracas this Sunday?

August 10, 2004 | GregPalast.com by Greg Palast Hugo Chávez drives George Bush crazy. Maybe it’s jealousy: Unlike Mr. Bush, Chavez, in Venezuela, won his Presidency by a majority of the vote. Or maybe it’s the oil. Venezuela sits atop a reserve rivaling Iraq’s. And Hugo thinks the US and British oil companies that pump the crude ought to pay more than a 16% royalty to his nation for the stuff. Hey, sixteen percent isn’t even acceptable as a tip at a New York diner. Whatever it is, OUR President has decided that THEIR president has to go. This is […]

New Pentagon Cell Asserted Iraq-al Qaeda Link Over CIA Hesitation

Fury over Pentagon cell that briefed White House on Iraq’s ‘imaginary’ al-Qaeda links 11 July 2004 | The Telegraph [London] by Julian Coman in Washington A Senior Pentagon policy maker created an unofficial “Iraqi intelligence cell” in the summer of 2002 to circumvent the CIA and secretly brief the White House on links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa’eda, according to the Senate intelligence committee. The allegations about Douglas Feith, the number three at the Department of Defence, are made in a supplementary annexe of the committee’s review of the intelligence leading to war in Iraq, released on Friday. According to […]

Nuclear Tests Vindicate Iran So Far

August 10, 2004 | Associated Press by GEORGE JAHN VIENNA, Austria – New findings by the U.N. atomic agency appear to strengthen Iran’s claim it has not enriched uranium domestically and weaken U.S. arguments that the country is hiding a nuclear weapons program, diplomats said Tuesday. The diplomats, who are familiar with Iran’s nuclear dossier, told The Associated Press that the International Atomic Energy Agency has established that at least some enriched particles found in Iran originated in Pakistan.

Bush Admin.: Don’t Forget the War on Terror

[ The Bush Administration is coordinating efforts to “heighten … awareness and preparedness” during September — presumably timed to rekindle fear so as to prevent clear thinking during the election season. –BL ] National Preparedness Month-September 2004 11 August 2004 | Office of Emergency Management Throughout September 2004, the US Department of Homeland Security, American Red Cross, American Prepared Campaign, the National Association of Broadcasters, the US Department of Education and other partners, will host a series of events to highlight the importance of citizen emergency preparedness. During National Preparedness Month, coalition partners will promote the basic steps all Americans can […]

The Broken Promises of George W. Bush: Rhetoric vs. Reality

August 2004 | American Progress Action Fund President Bush made a lot of promises during his 2000 presidential campaign. The record shows it was all talk. HEALTH CARE RHETORIC HEALTH CARE REALITY “There are 43 million uninsured Americans – 4 million more than when the current administration took office. George W. Bush will reverse this trend by making health insurance affordable for hard-working, low-income families.” [Source: Bush-Cheney 2000 website] In the first two years Bush was in office, the number of uninsured American increased by nearly four million. Since Bush took office, health insurance premiums have risen by an average rate of 12.5 […]

“Horrors seldom seen by the American public ? already [thousands] of battlefield casualties from Iraq”

Casualty Ward: U.S. Medical Center Handles Thousands of Trauma Cases From Iraq War excerpted from Aug. 8, 2004 | ABCNEWS.com by Mike Lee L A N D S T U H L, Germany, — It looks like that opening scene from the TV comedy M*A*S*H. But Hawkeye and Pierce, Radar, and Clinger don’t exist here. These are real doctors and nurses at the Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, facing horrors seldom seen by the American public — already over 12,000 battlefield casualties from Iraq. Their patients speak with tension in their faces. Not even the pain killers can stop all […]

Thousands of Vets Returning from Iraq Fall Through Cracks

[ From the article: Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, 6,239 troops had been wounded in action, according to a recent Pentagon count. Of those, 57% were so severely injured that they were unable to return to duty…. In looking to the government for their healthcare needs, new veterans follow a long line of their predecessors who, since the Civil War, have been assured that the country they fought for would make its best efforts to take care of them. But there have always been difficulties in following through. And the VA is a difficult bureaucracy to navigate […]

Citing 2000 dispute, OSCE to track US presidential vote

10 August 2004 | Boston Globe by Paul Basken, Bloomberg WASHINGTON — The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe plans to observe the US presidential election this year, concerned by the disputed results in 2000, a spokeswoman said. OSCE members, which include the United States, agreed in 1990 to invite the group to observe their elections. This would be the first invitation to a US presidential election the OSCE accepts, spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir said. The agency observed the 2002 congressional election and reported that many of the problems found in the 2000 vote were fixed.

Did the Bush Administration Burn a Key al-Qaeda Double Agent?

[ The underlining in the article is mine. –BL ] excerpted from Saturday, August 07, 2004 | Juan Cole Simon Cameron-Moore and Peter Graff of Reuters reveal the explosive information that the Bush administration blew the cover Monday of double agent Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. On Sunday August 1, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced a new alert against an al-Qaeda plot concerning financial institutions in New York and Washington, DC. Pressed for details by the New York Times, some Bush administration official revealed that the information came from a recently arrested man in Pakistan named “Khan.” The New York Times […]

Terror Alerts Political?

Bush campaign is crying wolf excerpted from the August 8, 2004 | Chicago Sun Times by WILLIAM O’ROURKE The first thing to notice about the elevated orange terror alert is that it is confined to Democratic stronghold cities and states. The next is to realize that no battleground states will be subjected to formal elevated alerts, lest the security interruptions sour the swing voters residing therein. Terror alerts are mini-“October surprises” for this administration, ready to be employed anytime President Bush wants to move the Kerry-Edwards campaign off the front page for a few days. The ”cry wolf” factor is […]

Thanks to Support for Iraq War, Will Israel Get Cheaper Iraqi Oil?

U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan 7 Aug 2004 | Ha’Aretz by Amiram Cohen The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem. The Prime Minister’s Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a “bonus” the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the […]

Scientists alarmed at increase in melt rate of ice

4 August 2004 | The Scotsman by HAMISH MACDONELL GREENLAND?S cover of ice is melting ten times quicker than previously thought, an increase that could lead to floods across the world, scientists have found. Newly published research shows an alarming rise in the rate of collapse of the massive Greenland ice-sheet as a result of global warming. Scientists now believe the ice-sheet is shrinking at the rate of ten metres a year, not the one metre previously thought. If the entire ice-sheet melts, the resulting flood waters would raise the level of global seas by seven metres, submerging large areas […]

Freedom and community can ? and should ? coexist

[ Brown provides a nice little introduction to the “New Urbanists” here. –BL ] 4 August 2004 | USA Today by Ben Brown FRANKLIN, N.C. — What we all need is a big idea that works. We’re up to our ears in the other kind, whether it’s an attempt to purchase with blood and money stable democracy in the Middle East, or to grow an economy that ensures profits and meaningful employment at the same time. In my rural county in the mountains of North Carolina, we’re embroiled in one of those struggles that’s a miniature version of a national debate. […]