Yearly Archives: 2004

889 posts

BBC: The Same Fear Mongers Who Extended the Cold War Are Shaping the So-Called “War on Terror”

[ If you didn’t have the chance to view the three-hour BBC2 documentary, “The Power of Nightmares,” announced here earlier this month, read this piece: it encapsulates some of the most stunning “morals of the story” from the documentary. Thanks to Bill Bryant of Oklahomans for Global Solutions from whom I received this piece. –BL ] Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit – And Power 7 Dec 2004 | Common Dreams by Thom Hartmann What if there really was no need for much – or even most – of the Cold War? What if, in fact, the Cold War had been kept […] Shifts Into Lower Gear

This is to announce that I am going to be mailing fewer pieces, and doing so less frequently for at least a while. I will still mail out pieces that I take to be particularly insightful or provocative (such as this one) or urgent, but I will not likely cover basic alternative news. Such news is available through a number of sites, including DemocracyNow!, CommonDreams, and InformationClearingHouse. I encourage readers of to sign up for daily email updates from these other excellent sources. Want more? See the News Roundup and Peak Oil sections of this site. Peace, –Brendan […]

“Among health care experts there is a surprising consensus that the United States must inevitably adopt some kind of universal coverage”

The Disparate Consensus on Health Care for All 6 Dec. 2004 | New York Times by STEVE LOHR IN Washington, the phrase “universal coverage” is rarely mentioned as the way to provide health insurance for the 45 million uninsured Americans. It evokes memories of the Clinton administration’s sobering failure to forge a national health care plan. Yet among health care experts there is a surprising consensus that the United States must inevitably adopt some kind of universal coverage.

Inventing a Crisis: Social Security

December 7, 2004 | New York Times by PAUL KRUGMAN Privatizing Social Security – replacing the current system, in whole or in part, with personal investment accounts – won’t do anything to strengthen the system’s finances. If anything, it will make things worse. Nonetheless, the politics of privatization depend crucially on convincing the public that the system is in imminent danger of collapse, that we must destroy Social Security in order to save it.

45 Million Children To Die in Next Decade Due to Rich Countries’ Miserliness

Dec. 6, 2004 | OneWorld US by Jim Lobe Unless the world’s wealthiest countries comply with their past pledges, some 45 million children in the world’s poor countries will die needlessly over the next decade, according a new report released Monday by the international development group, Oxfam. Despite the fact that Group of Seven (G7) countries — Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Britain, the United States, and Canada — are richer than they have ever been, they are spending only half as much in real terms in development assistance as they did in 1960, according to the report, “Paying the Price.”

The way our country treats returning soldiers is a national shame

2 Dec. 2004 | Citizen-Times Keywords: veterans benefits by Tim Pluta, a veteran currently living in Mars Hill Supporters of our invasion of Iraq cheerlead from their armchairs for the women and men of our military. Some folks send packages of goodies and letters to soldiers and sailors. Veterans for Peace stand on a street corner each week asking to bring our troops home. These are all examples of different ways we express our support for U.S. soldiers. But what about support when they come back? While some historical references reflect an effort to support our soldiers upon their return […]

Psalm 23 (revisited)

Bush is my shepherd; I shall dwell in want. He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests. He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness. He restoreth my fears. He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war, I will find no exit, for thou art in office. Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me. Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion. Thou anointest my head with foreign oil. My health insurance runneth […]

Right-Wing Propaganda Networks to Unite

Fox News To Partner With Clear Channel 6 Dec. 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Wall Street Journal is reporting Fox News will soon become the primary news provider to radio giant Clear Channel. By mid-next year as many as 500 Clear Channel radio stations will be airing hourly five-minute news reports from Fox. Many stations will also carry syndicated talk shows hosted by Fox News personalities.

You asked for my evidence, Mr Ambassador. Here it is: In Iraq, the US does eliminate those who dare to count the dead

Saturday December 4, 2004 | The Guardian by Naomi Klein David T Johnson, Acting ambassador, US Embassy, London Dear Mr Johnson, On November 26, your press counsellor sent a letter to the Guardian taking strong exception to a sentence in my column of the same day. The sentence read: “In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone – doctors, clerics, journalists – who dares to count the bodies.” Of particular concern was the word “eliminating.”

The Politics of Victimization

7 Nov. 2004 | Matthew Gross’ Deride and Conquer Blog [Mel Gilles, who has worked for many years as an advocate for victims of domestic abuse, draws some parallels between her work and the reaction of many Democrats to the election.– Mathew Gross] Watch Dan Rather apologize for not getting his facts straight, humiliated before the eyes of America, voluntarily undermining his credibility and career of over thirty years. Observe Donna Brazille squirm as she is ridiculed by Bay Buchanan, and pronounced irrelevant and nearly non-existent. Listen as Donna and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer take to the airwaves […]

Documents show CIA knew of Venezuela coup

3 Dec. 2004 | Associated Press Keywords: Chavez Venezuela | Chavez Venezuela by CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER CARACAS, Venezuela — The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency knew dissident military officers were planning a coup in 2002 against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, according to purported U.S. intelligence documents posted on the Internet. Citing the documents, Chavez lashed out at U.S. officials on Thursday, saying they knew a coup was brewing but failed to tip off Venezuela’s government.

Israeli Defense Forces Terrorize, Kill Palestinian Children

Suffer the little children 2 Dec. 2004 | Haaretz by Gideon Levy In the present intifada, 323 Palestinian children under the age of 14 have been killed by IDF fire. Three recent examples from Nablus Why waste ammunition? A few days ago, an Israel Defense Forces soldier fired at two boys in the casbah of Nablus. Just a lone bullet that penetrated the body of one of the boys, exited, penetrated the second boy, and killed both of them. Two 15-year-old boys standing with their arms around each other on the street that descends to the marketplace. The soldier didn’t […]

“The China Price”

[ From the piece: “The China price.” They are the three scariest words in U.S. industry. In general, it means 30% to 50% less than what you can possibly make something for in the U.S. In the worst cases, it means below your cost of materials. Makers of apparel, footware, electric appliances, and plastics products, which have been shutting U.S. factories for decades, know well the futility of trying to match the China price. It has been a big factor in the loss of 2.7 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. Meanwhile, America’s deficit with China keeps soaring to new records. […]

Orwell: ?The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them? (1945)

Gunning for Satan resulted in slaughtered innocents 02 Dec 2004 | Tribune Media Services by Robert C. Koehler ?The enemy has got a face,? a Marine lieutenant-colonel told an embedded reporter just before the invasion began. ?He?s called Satan. He lives in Fallujah. And we?re going to destroy him.? And with that fair warning, 10,000 or so heavily armed avenging angels descended on a latter-day Sodom and reduced it to rubble. It was jihad with a yahoo, ?a return to the simplicity of combat,? wrote Paul Wood of the BBC, ?after the complexities of peacekeeping and an enemy that never […]


Dear Friends, We?re writing to ask your help in defending an inspiring and courageous workers? struggle in Argentina. The Zanon ceramic tile factory, a democratic, worker-run factory in Patagonia, is facing a serious threat of eviction, and the workers have asked us to gather international support for their struggle. To sign the petition, please click here: And for more information, read on…

Networks Won’t Air Commercial Describing Jesus as Welcoming All

[ For more info. and action tips, visit Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. –BL ] Love One Another? Not on NBC, CBS December 1, 2004 | The Nation by John Nichols The Rev. John Thomas, who serves as general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, is having a hard time figuring out why the same broadcasters that profited so handsomely from airing the vicious and divisive attack advertisements during the recent presidential election are now refusing to air an advertisement from his denomination that celebrates respect for one another and inclusiveness. “It’s ironic that after a political season […]

Wal-Mart’s China inventory to hit US$18 b

11/30/2004 | Business Weekly by JIANG JINGJING The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, says its inventory of stock produced in China is expected to hit US$18 billion this year, keeping the annual growth rate of over 20 per cent consistent over two years. The trend is expected to continue, company officials revealed. “We expect our procurement stock from China to continue to grow at a similar rate in line with Wal-Mart’s growth worldwide, if not faster,” said Lee Scott, the president and CEO (chief executive officer) of Wal-Mart.


1 Dec. 2004 | In 2001, the Bush led EPA struck a deal with chemical companies to remove two important rat poison regulations designed to protect the safety of children. Specifically, the safety measures had required rat poisons contain an ingredient that makes the candy-like pellets taste bitter to kids and a dye to make it more obvious to adults when a child has ingested the poison. As a result of no longer requiring those safety additives, the nation is now seeing a record number of children poisoned by the toxic pellets. This year more than 50,000 children were […]

Terror in War and the “War on Terror”

30 Nov. 2004 | DemocracyNow! Red Cross Accuses U.S. of Torture At Guantanamo The International Committee of the Red Cross has concluded that the US has been intentionally using psychological and sometimes physical coercion “tantamount to torture” on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. This according to a report in the New York Times. The conclusion comes in a confidential report written by the Red Cross based on information the group obtained during a visit to Guantanamo in June. The Red Cross also found that experienced medical personnel at the base committed “a flagrant violation of medical ethics” by participating in the […]

Fallujah Napalmed?

[ There has been a buzz on the net for a few days about the U.S. possibly having used napalm in Fallujah. –BL ] U.S. uses napalm gas in Fallujah — Witnesses 28 Nov. 2004 | Aljazeera The U.S. military is secretly using banned napalm gas and other outlawed weapons against civilians in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, eyewitnesses reported. Residents in Fallujah reported that innocent civilians have been killed by napalm attacks, a poisonous cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel which makes the human body melt. Since the U.S. offensive started in Fallujah earlier this month, there have been reports […]

David Corn: “evidence to date is that the election results were not rigged but were produced by a flawed system”

More on the ‘Stolen Election’ 30 Nov. 2004 | The emails keep pouring in. Please investigate voter fraud! Here’s evidence the Republicans stole the election! We’re watching YOU cover the election irregularities! A number of Americans–is the number growing?–believe George W. Bush only won the election because the voting was somehow rigged. And each day they disseminate via email what they consider to be proof–or, at the least, reasons to be suspicious. In pieces for The Nation magazine, I’ve noted that there is good cause to worry about the integrity of a voting system that is overseen by partisan […]

Congress Seeks to Curb International Court; Measure Would Threaten Overseas Aid Cuts to Push Immunity for U.S. Troops

26 Nov. 2004 | Washington Post by Colum Lynch UNITED NATIONS — The Republican-controlled Congress has stepped up its campaign to curtail the power of the International Criminal Court, threatening to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in economic aid to governments that refuse to sign immunity accords shielding U.S. personnel from being surrendered to the tribunal.

25,000 US Casualties in Iraq; 9% of Troops Put in Hospital or Killed

[ Nice brief, except the part in which Cole allocates all blame to the Administration, and none to the media. –BL ] November 26, 2004 | Juan Cole’s Informed Comment CBS has elicited from the Pentagon the real figure of US casualties in Iraq, which is more like 25,000. That number includes the 1230 or so killed and the 9300 classified as “wounded in battle,” but also 17,000 classified as non-combat sick or injured, of whom 80 percent do not return to their units in Iraq. Although some of the 17,000 are victims of disease, some unspecified number have actually been […]

Bush Rejects Landmine Ban Treaty

[ Visit the U.S. Campaign to Ban LandMines website to take action. –BL ] US urges ban on antitank mines but happy with anti-personnel varieties November 27, 2004 | Agence France-Presse The United States, stung by insurgent attacks in Iraq, has urged the international community to consider banning all sales of anti-tank and other heavy landmines, but ruled out its participation in an international conference on mines designed to maim or kill people. Members of the so-called Ottawa Convention will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday to review implementation of the 1997 accord that bans use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer […]

Four New Senators Aid Exxon’s, BP’s Alaska Hopes

[ If Republicans muster the 60 votes required to kill a filibuster, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge might be plundered for oil — enough to supply the U.S. with a mere 10-month supply … 10 more months the U.S. can keep its head in the ground, ignoring the need to come up with a serious energy policy to mitigate coming crises. –BL ] Nov. 22, 2004 | Bloomberg Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and ConocoPhillips are among companies poised to realize a decades-old dream of drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, thanks to Republican gains in this month’s U.S. Senate […]

The Urban Values Strategy for Progressives

[ This thought-provoking position paper defends a strategy based on urban values, even if it is, as Bob Lee points out, a little mean. Thanks to Bob for passing this article along. –BL ] THE URBAN ARCHIPELAGO 17 Nov. 2004 | The Stranger [ Seattle ] by The Editors of The Stranger It’s the Cities, Stupid. There are two maps on this page. The one at the top should be familiar. It’s one of those red-state/blue-state maps that have been tormenting Democrats, liberals, and progressives since November of 2000. Over the 36 days that George W. Bush and Al Gore fought […]

U.S. Marine: “What does the American public think happens when they tell us to assault a city? Marines don’t shoot rainbows out of our asses. We fucking kill people.”

Dead-Check in Falluja: Embedded with the Marines in Iraq 24 Nov. 2004 | Village Voice by Evan Wright In April 9, 2003, the day the statue of Saddam Hussein was being toppled in Baghdad, symbolizing the promised liberation of Iraq, I was embedded with a Marine unit engaged in fierce combat about 30 miles north of the city, on the outskirts of Baquba. Late that afternoon, the Humvee I was in was following about 50 feet behind a Marine Light Armored Vehicle when it pulled alongside a Toyota pickup pushed to the side of the road, its doors riddled with […]

Leftist Movements Growing in Latin America: Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, even Nicaragua and El Salvador

The New Southern Democrats November 24, 2004 | AlterNet by Traci Hukill Fed up with the neoliberal policies advocated by Washington and the IMF, Latin America is turning to the left. The question now is, can it last? In “The Motorcycle Diaries,” director Walter Salles’ tribute to Che Guevara, the hero speeds up the spine of the Andes clinging to his buddy on the back of a wheezing Norton. The year is 1952 and it is dawning on the young Che that the gorgeous vistas of his beloved Latin America conceal a corrosive cancer of greed and oppression. He dedicates […]

Correction: Partial Victory for Nuclear Disarmament

by Brendan Lalor In a Nov. 22 story, I conveyed word from the Friends Committee on National Legislation about a victory for nuclear disarmament. Here is a correction they have sent out: Initially, FCNL was informed by congressional sources that there would be no funds allocated for “advanced test readiness.” However, we now know that $22.5 million–$7.5 million less than the Bush administration’s budget request–has been appropriated to prepare the Nevada Test Site for a nuclear test explosion. While the Bush administration contends that it has no plans to end the 12-year-old nuclear testing moratorium, the administration had asked for […]

Trespass Against Us: Twenty Things to Know About Dow Chemical on the 20th Anniversary of Bhopal

excerpted from 23 Nov. 2004 | ZNet by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman Let’s assume for a second, as the law does, that a corporation is a person. If a corporation is a person, then how come we don’t see biographies of corporations? …. Now comes Jack Doyle. Doyle is trying to make a career out of writing critical corporate biographies. In 2002, under contract with the Environmental Health Fund, Doyle wrote his first corporate biography, titled Riding the Dragon: Royal Dutch Shell & The Fossil Fire. Now, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, Doyle is […]

Republicans Outnumbered in Academia, Studies Find

[ It could be that more academics are liberal because that’s what (generally) happens to people who devote their lives to the expansion of the mind. Thanks to Michael Roselius for passing this article along. –BL ] November 18, 2004 | New York Times by JOHN TIERNEY BERKELEY, Calif. – At the birthplace of the free speech movement, campus radicals have a new target: the faculty that came of age in the 60’s. They say their professors have been preaching multiculturalism and diversity while creating a political monoculture on campus. Conservatism is becoming more visible at the University of California here, […]

Annual Protest at U.S.’s Own Terrorist Training Camp a Success

Report from the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia November, 2004 | School of the Americas Watch Over 16,000 people from across the Americas — including actors Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon and George Wendt and musician Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls — gathered this weekend outside the gates of Ft. Benning, Georgia in the largest and most diverse demonstration yet of opposition to the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC! The gathering culminated on Sunday with a solemn funeral procession to the gates of Fort Benning. Fifteen people were arrested in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, many negotiating a 10-foot-high barbed-wire […]

Revision Marches to Social Agenda; Conservative State Board of Education Leans on Publishers to Tweak Marriage and Sexuality References in Public School Health Textbooks

22 Nov. 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Scott Gold SPRING, Texas — Outside the Spring Church of Christ, a large roadside sign says a lot about the prevailing sensibility in this cordial town. It reads: “Support New Testament Morality.” This is the home and powerbase of Terri Leo, a state Board of Education member representing 2.5 million people in East Texas. At the urging of Leo and several other members — who describe themselves as Christian conservatives — the board this month approved new health textbooks for high school and middle school students after publishers said they would tweak […]

Quakers Celebrate “Victory for Nuclear Disarmament”

[ See also the Washington Post’s piece. –BL ] 22 Nov. 2004 | Friends Committee on National Legislation [ The Quaker Lobby ] [ Here is the content of the email sent out by FCNL: ] Congratulations! You won an important victory for nuclear disarmament! On November 20, Congress said ‘NO’ to new nuclear weapons! The omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2005 deleted all funds for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) and advanced concepts for nuclear weapons. In addition, there will be no funds allocated for “advanced test readiness,” a program that reduces the time needed to prepare for a nuclear explosion at […]


November 16, 2004 | Columbus Dispatch by Joe Blundo The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O’Reilly. Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.

The Official Who Cried Wolf Now Points to Iran

by Brendan Lalor As The Telegraph (20 Nov. 2004) and others are reporting, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is once again sounding the alarm, this time claiming not only that Iran is producing materials for use in nuclear weapons, but that it “is studying how to equip a missile with a nuclear bomb.” Is this another move to justify an attack on Iran? If you feel a sense of déjà vu, that’s probably because it was Powell who made a presentation before the U.N. in February of 2003 — based on evidence recognized as bogus then — in order […]

US soldiers in Iraq suffer horrific brain and mental injuries

20 November 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Rick Kelly According to official figures, the Iraq war has so far seen 9,000 US soldiers wounded in action, in addition to the more than 1,200 troops killed. These wounded, whose numbers may well be underestimated, include those with gunshot and shrapnel wounds, lost limbs and other injuries caused by landmines and bombs. Less well known, however, is the terrible toll enacted through brain and psychological injuries, which frequently have devastating and permanent effects.

Iraq War Topping $5.8 Billion A Month

18 Nov. 2004 | United Press International WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is spending more than $5.8 billion a month on the war in Iraq, according to the military’s top generals. That is nearly a 50 percent increase above the $4 billion-a-month benchmark the Pentagon has used to estimate the cost of the war so far. The Army alone is spending $4.7 million a month while the Air Force is spending $800 million a month transporting soldiers and flying combat missions. The Marine Corps is spending $300 million a month, the four service chiefs told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday. […]

Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq

3 Nov. 2004 | Rolling Stone by PAUL ALEXANDER The nineteen months since the war in Iraq began, some of the most outspoken critics of President Bush’s plan of attack have come from a group that should have been the most supportive: retired senior military leaders. We spoke with a group of generals and admirals that included a former supreme Allied commander and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and they all agreed on one thing: Bush screwed up.

Police scoff at Ashcroft speech

18 Nov. 2004 | USA Today by Kevin Johnson A day after Attorney General John Ashcroft told the nation’s largest association of law enforcement executives that the Bush administration had made the nation more secure from terrorist attacks and violent criminals, the group lashed back at the White House on Tuesday. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) said that cuts by the administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever to public safety threats. The 20,000-member group also said in a statement that new anti-terrorism duties for local cops — […]

US media applauds destruction of Fallujah

excerpted from 17 November 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by David Walsh Not a single major voice has been raised in the American media against the ongoing destruction of Fallujah. While much of the world recognizes something horrifying has occurred, the US press does not bat an eye over the systematic leveling of a city of 300,000 people…. In none of the US media commentaries is there a single expression of concern about not merely the moral, but the legal issues involved in the attack on Fallujah. The American military operation in the city is an illegal act of […]

Children pay price of US offensive

[ In an astonishing attempt to play to the U.S. propaganda media machine, “The Iraqi Interim prime minister Eyad Allawi alleged that he does not believe that there are civilians who were killed in the attack” on Fallujah (16 Nov. 2004, “A high-ranking official with the Red Cross in Baghdad told IPS that ‘at least 800 civilians’ have been killed in Fallujah so far.” (16 Nov. 2004, Inter Press Service). Amnesty International and others have of course confirmed the civilian deaths. But in the U.S., a disingenuous public is eager to hear it is not so. –BL ] 16 Nov. […]

UC Berkeley Research Team Sounds ‘Smoke Alarm’ for Florida E-Vote Count Statistical Analysis – the Sole Method for Tracking E-Voting – Shows Irregularities May Have Awarded 130,000 – 260,000 or More Excess Votes to Bush in Florida

November 18 Research Team Calls for Investigation BERKELEY, CA — Today the University of California’s Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study – the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting – reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods – what the team says can be deemed a “smoke alarm.” […]

“For Republicans to deny Americans the opportunity to `buy American’ at the grocery store is anti-consumer, anti-farmer and anti-rancher”

GOP Looking to Repeal Food Labeling Law November 18, 2004 | Associated Press by LIBBY QUAID WASHINGTON – Telling consumers where their meat, fruit and vegetables came from seemed such a good idea to U.S. ranchers and farmers in competition with imports that Congress two years ago ordered the food industry to do it. But meatpackers and food processors fought the law from the start, and newly emboldened Republicans now plan to repeal it before Thanksgiving.

In Sudan, a sense of abandonment; Victims of humanitarian crisis see little help from outside

[ To tell Congress not to “drop support for needed action in Darfur,” visit the Citizens For Global Solutions action page. Thanks to Bill Bryant for passing this message along. –BL ] 16 Nov. 2004 | Washington Post By Emily Wax NEW AL-JEER SUREAF, Sudan – The Bush administration has called it genocide. Other governments have labeled it ethnic cleansing and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. There have been calls for collective action and promises of relief. There have been somber reminders of the slaughter in tiny Rwanda a decade ago and solemn vows not to let such a thing happen […]

Syngenta’s Massive Lobbying Keeps Carcinogenic Corn Pesticide on Market

Company spent $260,000 lobbying for herbicide Oct. 27, 2004 | Associated Press by FREDERIC J. FROMMER WASHINGTON – The manufacturer of a herbicide that has been linked to frog deformities has spent $260,000 lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency and other government officials, an Associated Press review of disclosure forms shows. Syngenta Crop Protection, which makes the herbicide atrazine, enlisted former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole to meet with White House officials on at least one occasion. Dole represents the U.S. affiliate of Swiss-based Syngenta as well as the Kansas Corn Growers.

EPA Will Use Poor Kids as Guinea Pigs in New Study on Pesticides

16 Nov. 2004 | Organic Consumers Association Study Launch Date Suspended Until Early 2005 Offers Public Comment Period The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by Bush appointees, is seeking input on a new proposed study in which infants in participating low income families will be monitored for health impacts as they undergo exposure to known toxic chemicals over the course of two years. The study entitled Children?s Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS) will look at how chemicals can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by children ranging from babies to 3 years old. For taking part in these studies, each family […]

Still Confident of No Draft?

[ It might not be a bad idea to find the conscientious objection organization in your state, analogous to the Oklahoma Committee for Conscientious Objectors. Thanks to Bob Lee for passing this article along. –BL ] Government looking at military draft lists 15 Nov. 2004 | Brownsville Herald [Texas] Keywords: draft selective service by ALMA WALZER McALLEN — It’s taken one year, seven months and 19 days of combat in Iraq for the Lone Star State to lose 100 of its own. Texas is the second state, after California, to lose 100 service members, according to The Associated Press. With continuing […]

New York Times Rewrites Fallujah History

[ Here’s a copy of the email I sent to New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent: Mr. Okrent, I urge you to call for the investigation of why your paper treats credible reports of hundreds of civilian casualties in Fallujah as “unconfirmed.” After the Judith Miller incidents, you ought to be on your guard against being a mouthpiece in the Bush Administration propaganda war. Sincerely, –Brendan Lalor –BL ] November 16, 2004 | Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting In three recent reports about the military invasion of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, the New York Times has misreported the facts […]

US accused of ?torture flights?

November 14, 2004 | Times Online by Stephen Grey AN executive jet is being used by the American intelligence agencies to fly terrorist suspects to countries that routinely use torture in their prisons. The movements of the Gulfstream 5 leased by agents from the United States defence department and the CIA are detailed in confidential logs obtained by The Sunday Times which cover more than 300 flights. Countries with poor human rights records to which the Americans have delivered prisoners include Egypt, Syria and Uzbekistan, according to the files. The logs have prompted allegations from critics that the agency is […]

TruthOut and Other Sources: “Recount in Ohio a Sure Thing”

15 Nov. 2004 | For the latest, see results on Green Party Campaign Raises $150,000 in 4 Days, Shifts Gears to Phase II WASHINGTON — There will be a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio. On Thursday, David Cobb, the Green Party?s 2004 presidential candidate, announced his intention to seek a recount of the vote in Ohio. Since the required fee for a statewide recount is $113,600, the only question was whether that money could be raised in time to meet the filing deadline. That question has been answered.

Fleeing AP Photographer: U.S. Kills Family of Five Trying to Evacuate

[ Doctor Ahmed Ghanim told the Los Angeles Times (15 Nov. 2004), “I think if the Americans let us treat the injured, even in the streets, we could have saved hundreds.” Yet the U.S. military denies there are families trapped inside Fallujah! According to independent journalist Dahr Jamail, “bodies … are being eaten by dogs and cats in the streets, as reported by refugees just out of the city, as well as residents still trapped there” (Electronic Iraq, 15 Nov. 2004). –BL ] AP Photographer Flees Fallujah 14 Nov. 2004 | Associated Press by KATARINA KRATOVAC BAGHDAD, Iraq – In the […]

The Ohio Factor: Did Homeland Security and the FBI interfere With the Vote Count?

November 10th, 2004 | DemocracyNow! Earlier this week on Democracy Now!, we reported on a story in Ohio’s Franklin County. In one precinct, 638 people cast ballots. Yet, George W Bush got 4,258 votes to John Kerry’s 260. In reality, Bush only received 365 votes. That means Bush got nearly 3,900 extra votes. And that was just in one small precinct. This in a state that Bush officially won by only 136,000 votes. Elections officials blamed electronic voting for the extra Bush votes. Now, questions are being raised across the state of Ohio. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the County’s website […]

CIA plans to purge its agency: Sources say White House has ordered new chief to eliminate officers who were disloyal to Bush

[ Bush is once again purging elements that threaten his ideologically-driven agenda; he has no tolerance for facts or for dissent. –BL ] 14 Nov. 2004 | Newsday by KNUT ROYCE WASHINGTON — The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources. “The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House,” said a former senior […]

On Fallujah: “The horrific conditions for those who remained in the city have begun to emerge in the last 24 hours as it became clear that US military claims of ‘precision’ targeting of insurgent positions were false”

[ Try telling Ayisha Saleem (BBC 12 Nov. 2004) and the masses of other victims about the so-called “precision strikes.” –BL ] Civilian cost of battle for Falluja emerges November 14, 2004 | The Observer by Rory McCarthy in Baghdad and Peter Beaumont The full cost of the battle of Falluja emerged last night as large numbers of wounded civilians were evacuated to hospitals in Baghdad, as insurgents stepped up retaliatory attacks in other cities. As the first Red Crescent aid convoy was allowed into Falluja, Iraq’s Health Minister, Alaa Alwan, said ambulances had begun transferring a ‘significant number’ of injured […]

Iraq: the unthinkable becomes normal

[ See also Pepe Escobar’s piece, “A Thousand Fallujahs,” in the Asia Times (12 Nov. 2004). –BL ] 15 Nov. 2004 | New Statesman by John Pilger Mainstream media speak as if Fallujah were populated only by foreign “insurgents.” In fact, women and children are being slaughtered in our name. Edward S Herman’s landmark essay, “The Banality of Evil,” has never seemed more apposite. “Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on ‘normalisation’,” wrote Herman. “There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set […]

The Banality of Evil

from the book Triumph of the Market and ZMag, April, 1991. by Edward S. Herman The concept of the banality of evil came into prominence following the publication of Hannah Arendt’s 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, which was based on the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt’s thesis was that people who carry out unspeakable crimes, like Eichmann, a top administrator in the machinery of the Nazi death camps, may not be crazy fanatics at all, but rather ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any […]

Unlelected Iraq Gov’t Threatens Media

by Brendan Lalor Against the backdrop of a state of emergency declared by the unelected Iraqi government, Aljazeera (12 Nov. 2004) is reporting, Iraq’s Media High Commission this week “demanded news media ‘differentiate between the innocent Falluja residents who are not targeted by military operations and terrorist groups that infiltrated the city and held its people hostage under the pretext of resistance and jihad’” and asked “media to set aside space in your news coverage to make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the aspirations of most Iraqis, clear. We hope you comply … otherwise we regret we […]


[ Palast argues that Ohio Republicans, simultaneously in charge of both the Bush-Cheney get-out-the-vote drive and the state’s vote-counting rules, doggedly and systematically insured the spoilage pile would be as high as the White House. And the color of most of those who cast the spoiled votes is Black. –BL ]November 12, 2004 | In These Times Most voters in Ohio chose Kerry. Here’s how the votes vanished. by Greg Palast This February, Ken Blackwell, Ohio’s Secretary of State, told his State Senate President, “The possibility of a close election with punch cards as the state?s primary voting device invites a […]

“I want them to know about conditions inside [Falluja] – there are dead women and children lying on the streets.”

Eyewitness: Smoke and corpses 11 Nov. 2004 | BBC US troops, backed by Iraqi forces, are locked in a fierce fight to wrest the city of Falluja from rebel control. The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist and resident of Falluja who reports regularly for Reuters and the BBC World Service in Arabic. We are publishing his and other eyewitness accounts from the city in order to provide the fullest possible range of perspectives from those who are there: A row of palm trees used to run along the street outside my house – […]

Iraqi Doctor in Falluja: “There are scores of injured civilians in their homes whom we can’t move. A 13-year-old child just died in my hands.”

[ On the eve of Veterans Day in the U.S., the U.S. military fatalities now total more than 1,143 due to the Iraq War, while Iraqi civilian deaths exceed 14,248, and one study concluded that overall Iraqi deaths exceed 100,000. The International Committee of the Red Cross and other groups are concerned about the violence in Falluja. Muhammad Abbud said he watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja home, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down on the Iraqi city. (Al Jazeera, 9 Nov. 2004) “Body parts everywhere!” […]

PIPA Survey: Bush Voters Riddled With Misperceptions; Electoral Outcome Plagued (By Fraudulence?)

by Brendan Lalor A right-wing in-law asked me the other day whether I accept the election outcome, given that 59.5 million people voted for Bush. My response was two-fold: First, it’s still not clear how many people voted for Bush, given that Broward County, FL voting machines subtracted from candidates’ tallies once they reached 32,000 votes; the machines in a precinct in Franklin County, OH credited Bush with 4,258 although “only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct”; voting machines in many counties in Florida registered massive Republican wins in Democratic districts; most ballots “spoiled” due to hung or pregnant […]

Broward machines count backward

5 Nov. 2004 | Palm Beach Post by Eliot Kleinberg FORT LAUDERDALE — It had to happen. Things were just going too smoothly. Early Thursday, as Broward County elections officials wrapped up after a long day of canvassing votes, something unusual caught their eye. Tallies should go up as more votes are counted. That’s simple math. But in some races, the numbers had gone . . . down. Officials found the software used in Broward can handle only 32,000 votes per precinct. After that, the system starts counting backward.

“Kyoto is not enough”

Study: Arctic warming at twice the global rate; Species, including polar bears, may go extinct as ice melts 8 Nov. 2004 | Reuters OSLO, Norway — Global warming is heating the Arctic almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet in a thaw that threatens millions of livelihoods and could wipe out polar bears by 2100, an eight-nation report said on Monday. The biggest survey to date of the Arctic climate, by 250 scientists, said the accelerating melt could be a foretaste of wider disruptions from a build-up of human emissions of heat-trapping gases in Earth’s atmosphere.

Machine Error Gives Bush Thousands of Extra Ohio Votes

[ In a story related to the AP wire story below, is taking a stand: Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence — red flags, exit polls — but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the […]

Evidence of Electoral Fraud in Florida!?

by Brendan Lalor Here’s the body of an email I sent out this morning to TrueMajority, MoveOn, Voice4Change, United for Peace and Justice, Common Dreams, Information Clearing House, and Global Exchange. Admittedly, there’s some hype here, but it’s point is worth considering, since — as I wrote to the Kerry campaign — “an actual count [or at least the exposure of foul play] surely has more legal weight than a mis-informed concession speech!!!!” Hello, progressives! If I am right, we have to ACT FAST! I just received a forwarded email which originated with one Cheryl Gutmann, who is a member […]

What’s the Worry About the Vote Count in Florida and Ohio?

Exit Polls Right, Tallies Wrong? November 5, 2004 | Alternet by Thom Hartmann The rallying cry of the emerging “honest vote” movement must become: Get Corporations Out of Our Vote! The hot story in the blogosphere is that the “erroneous” exit polls that showed Kerry carrying Florida and Ohio (among other states) weren’t erroneous at all – it was the numbers produced by paperless voting machines that were wrong, and Kerry actually won. As more and more analysis is done of what may (or may not) be the most massive election fraud in the history of the world, however, it’s […]

Kerry Won

4 Nov. 2004 | by Greg Palast Kerry won. Here’s the facts. I know you don’t want to hear it. You can’t face one more hung chad.  But I don’t have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called American democracy, it’s my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.

Whether Bush Won Democratically or Not, He Has Power: What Now?

by Brendan Lalor We’re angry that Black voters in Ohio cast votes against Bush that were likely ignored. We’re angry because giant media corporations won’t investigate the story. We’re worried about the further erosion of checks and balances, now that right-wing extremists exercise even more significant control over every branch of government. We’re worried about Bush pulling out all the stops and moving to implement more of his domestic shock and awe program: discriminatory amendments to the Constitution, privatization of Social Security, more military and economic dominance in the Middle East, more undermining of the U.N., more taxpayer dollars transferred […]

Democracy Fails: Corporations Win

[ Note the speculation about the voting machines “below the fold” … For more, see also the Reuters piece today titled, “U.S. Voters Report Problems with Computer Systems.” Thanks to Bob Nichols for passing this article along. –BL ] by Peter Phillips, Project Censored Director Democracy in the United States is only a shadow in a corporate media cave of deceit, lies and incomplete information. We stand ignorant of what the powerful are doing in our name and how the corporate media ignores key issues affecting us all. A young professional couple from San Diego stated the weekend before the election, […]

Election 2004: Is Wisconsin a Microcosm?

[ Stauber argues that a more progressive Democratic candidate could have won in swing states Kerry lost. Look at what happened in Wisconsin, where voters re-elected their progressive anti-war, pro-civil liberties Senator, Russ Feingold by a relatively comfortable margin: It appears Kerry won the presidential contest there by a razor-thin margin, perhaps unable to muster support from progressives. Much of the blame for the loss surely goes to the Democratic Party leadership, which, together with the media, sunk Ship Dean, which was on course to mobilize many more young voters. –BL ] 3 Nov. 2004 | Alternet by John Stauber Only […]