Monthly Archives: December 2004

22 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 […]