1145 posts
A revolution without dancing? Pfft.

The Einstein-Russell Manifesto on Nuclear Weapons: The 50-Year Shadow

17 May 2005 | New York Times by JOSEPH ROTBLAT London – FIFTY years ago, I joined Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and eight others in signing a manifesto warning of the dire consequences of nuclear war. This statement, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, was Einstein’s final public act. He died shortly after signing it. Now, in my 97th year, I am the only remaining signatory. Because of this, I feel it is my duty to carry Einstein’s message forward, into this 60th year since the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which evoked almost universal opposition to any further use of nuclear weapons. […]

What is there It Is . org? is a left-oriented political site, and I’m Brendan Lalor, the one who runs it. Starting in 2003, before the Iraq war, I published some of my own political writings here, in large part for my students at the University of Central Oklahoma, and for some right-wing members of my extended family. From January through December of 2004, the site became a venue for daily news and analysis pieces to which I (and 400 subscribers) pointed right-wing relatives, students, neighbors, or acquaintances for the antidote to delusions induced by propaganda from FoxNews, ClearChannel radio, the Bush Administration, and others. Although […]

Ecuador Gets Chávez’d

11 May 2005 | The Nation by GREG PALAST George Bush has someone new to hate. Only twenty-four hours after Ecuador’s new president took his oath of office, he was hit by a diplomatic cruise missile fired all the way from Lithuania by Condoleezza Rice, then wandering about Eastern Europe spreading “democracy.” Condi called for “a constitutional process to get to elections,” which came as a bit of a shock to the man who’d already been constitutionally elected, Alfredo Palacio. What had Palacio done to get our Secretary of State’s political knickers in a twist? It’s the oil–and the bonds. […]

Chiquita’s Children

May 10, 2005 | In These Times by Nicolas B?rub? and Benoit Aquin In the ’70s and ’80s, the banana companies Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita used a carcinogenic pesticide, Nemagon, to protect their crops in Nicaragua. Today, the men and women who worked on those plantations suffer from incurable illnesses. Their children are deformed. The companies feign innocence.

Using software to model death row outcomes

27 April 2005 | Christian Science Monitor by Susan Llewelyn Leach Convicts on death row can wait for years while appeals are filed and protests lodged. Many never get beyond this limbo. Others are executed. What determines the final outcome? That is the question two professors, one a criminologist, the other a computer scientist, asked as they took 28 years of data on prisoners facing the death sentence and fed it into a software program. What the software – known as an artificial neural network – managed to do was to predict with more than 90 percent accuracy who would […]

Feeling Overworked? Well who isn’t?

[ Americans are “trapped” in a dysfunctional culture of work: Why not value leisure and take increases in productivity as time off? –BL ] 2 May 05 | Mother Jones by Bradford Plumer A little fodder for those grumbling at the water cooler. The Families and Work Institute just put out a new report (pdf) entitled “Overwork in America” that deserves a bit of discussion. The crucial findings: 44 percent of Americans are overworked using at least one of three different measures, and those overworked employees have, on average, poorer health and higher rates of clinical depression, both of which help […]

IRS Winks at Rich Beadbeats, Cracks Down on the Poor

Stroke the Rich 11 April 2005 | San Francisco Chronicle by David Cay Johnston IRS has become a subsidy system for super-wealthy Americans IRS winks at rich deadbeats. The federal tax system that millions of Americans are forced to deal with before April 15 is not at all what you think it is. Congress has changed it in recent decades from a progressive system in which the more one earns the more one pays in income taxes. It has become a subsidy system for the super rich. Through explicit policies, as well as tax laws never reported in the news, […]

Times’ Coverage of Nicaragua Misleads and Propagandizes

by Brendan Lalor To the editor of the New York Times: Ginger Thompson’s April 5 piece, “Old Foe of U.S. Trying for a Comeback in Nicaragua,” misleads about history and promulgates State Department propaganda. It is misleading because it depicts Daniel Ortega as an anti-democratic “strongman” who lost in 1990 when he finally agreed to an election. In fact, he won office democratically in 1984, when he took almost 70% of the vote in an election which drew 83% of the country’s electorate to the polls. The election was declared fair by impartial, third-party monitors, despite unsubstantiated claims to the […]

“A Moment of Silence”

by Emmanuel Ortiz Before I start this poem, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silence in honour of those who died in the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon last September 11th. I would also like to ask you a moment of silence for all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, for the victims in both Afghanistan and the U.S. And if I could just add one more thing… A full day of silence for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have […]

The Long Emergency: What’s going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?

Posted Mar 24, 2005 | Rolling Stone by JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above fifty-five dollars a barrel, which is about twenty dollars a barrel more than a year ago. The next day, the oil story was buried on page six of the New York Times business section. Apparently, the price of oil is not considered significant news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in the span of ten days. That same day, the stock market shot up more than a hundred points because, CNN said, government data showed no […]

The Nature of CIA Intervention in Venezuela: Interview with Philip Agee

22 March 2005 | by Jonah Gindin Philip Agee is a former CIA operative who left the agency in 1967 after becoming disillusioned by the CIA’s support for the status quo in the region. Says Agee, ?I began to realize that what I and my colleagues had been doing in Latin America in the CIA was no more than a continuation of nearly five-hundred years of this, exploitation and genocide and so forth.  And I began to think about what, until then would have been unthinkable, which was to write a book on how it all works.?  The book, Inside […]

When Democracy Failed – 2005: The Warnings of History

[ This is a chilling piece, drawing out a common parallel in uncommon detail. Thanks to J. Mock for passing it along. –BL ] 22 February 2005 | by Thom Hartmann This weekend – February 27th – is the 72nd anniversary, but the corporate media most likely won’t cover it. The generation that experienced this history firsthand is now largely dead, and only a few of us dare hear their ghosts. It started when the government, in the midst of an economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few […]

The dysfunctional society: US billionaires on the rise–roads, bridges in decay

22 March 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Jamie Chapman and Kate Randall Two recent reports cast light on the impact of growing social inequality in the US. The first, the annual inventory of the very rich compiled this month by the business magazine Forbes, tracks the wealth of the world’s billionaires, and their increasing numbers in the US. The second is the “report card” issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on the state of the infrastructure in the United States. Together these studies provide a devastating exposure of the price being paid—in the form of […]

Toxic Contaminant Levels in Farmed and Wild-Caught Salmon Species

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, accessed 21 March 2005 through their website Recent studies surveying contaminant levels in farmed and wild-caught salmon have shown that, on average, farmed salmon contain substantially higher concentrations of a variety of persistent organic contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides. These studies indicate that wild salmon, being generally lower in toxic contaminants, is a healthier choice for consumers. However, closer inspection reveals that contaminant levels in individual fish can vary widely across wild and farmed salmon of various species and from various geographic regions, so the issue is not black and white.

Five A Day For Fish? Veggie-Eating Creatures Healthier For Humans

4 March 2004 | Scripps Howard News Service by Joan Lowy You are what you eat, even if you’re a fish. And fish that thrive on veggies tend to be less toxic than flesh eaters. With new studies showing PCBs, dioxin, and pesticides in salmon and mercury in canned tuna, consumers who find themselves struggling to figure out what’s safe to eat will find some species of fish are high in contaminants, while others are generally low. The reason is usually diet — some fish eat smaller fish, but other fish eat veggies and tiny organisms.

Reagan’s Daughter Slams Bush & Senate for ANWAR Policy

[ True to the pattern, ignorant Americans may again be duped by short-sighted politicians under the sway of large corporations which aim to hide the unsustainability of our energy consumption as long as possible. While recent U.S. government claims suggest that drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge will yield “up to” 1.4 billion barrels of oil, this is at best a stopgap measure: the U.S. consumes 20 million barrels a day; hence one way to quantify the net effect of the proposed destructive drilling is to think of it as a 50-day appeasement of our oil-greedy appetites […]

Haiti: the forgotten milestone in Bush?s crusade for ?freedom?

12 March 2005 | World Socialist Web Site by Bill Van Auken Dozens of Haitian men, women and children drowned when their rickety homemade craft went down in the waters of the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Some 50 people had crowded onto the boat, which sank under their weight. Three survivors made it ashore to tell of the disaster, while officials reported recovering nine bodies, which were buried in a mass grave. ?There?s nothing we can do,? said Cap-Haitien Mayor Apile Fleurent. ?We?re just waiting to see how many bodies are brought in by the waves.? While the […]

FCNL: 42 Percent of Your Tax Dollars Buys More War

[ FCNL is the Friends (Quaker) Committee on National Legislation. –BL ] FCNL Email | 11 March 2005 Tax day is April 15. Did you know that about 42% of our income taxes this year will go for military purposes? This figure is computed based on federal funds outlays in fiscal year 2004 (FY04) of $1.7 trillion. The federal funds budget includes spending for all discretionary programs (for which Congress appropriates funds each year) and for all mandatory programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, and other needs-based programs (which are paid for out of general revenues). The […]

US bars Nicaragua heroine as ‘terrorist’

[ One or more of the anti-democratic Reagan-era appointees in the State Department are responsible for barring anti-dictatorial, Sandinista movement leader Dora Maria Tellez from entering the U.S. Or perhaps John Negroponte himself has pulled strings to block her entry. After all, as ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte played a key role in running Reagan’s terrorist war against the popular Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Either way, this move only increases the Orwellian flavor of the times we live in here in the U.S.A.: Those who oppose U.S.-backed dictators are terrorists. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. –BL ] Writers and […]

Rocket Fuel Chemical in Breast Milk?

Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Breast Milk of Women in 18 States 24 February 2005 | by Robert Roy Britt A toxic component of rocket fuel has been found in breast milk of women in 18 states and store-bought milk from various locations around the country. The chemical, perchlorate, can impede adult metabolism and cause retardation in fetuses, among other things. It leaches into groundwater from various military facilities. Previous studies have found perchlorate in drinking water, on lettuce, and in cows milk.

John Adams: “the Government of the United States…is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion”

[ In light of all the negative attention Bill Maher has gotten from predominantly religious groups such as Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association for his remark that “religion is a neurological disorder,” it’s worth noting that his position — about fundamentalist religion at least — is closer to that of Thomas Jefferson than is that of our nation’s fundamentalists! The following article is of independent interest as well. –BL ] Our Godless Constitution 21 Feb. 2005 | The Nation by BROOKE ALLEN It is hard to believe that George Bush has ever read the works of George […]

Healthcare in U.S. Most Expensive Per Capita in Industrialized World

Health care tab ready to explode: Costs could be 19% of economy by 2014 24 Feb. 2005 | USA TODAY (Page 1A) by Julie Appleby The nation’s tab for health care — already the highest per person in the industrialized world — could hit $3.6 trillion by 2014, or nearly 19% of the entire U.S. economy, up from 15.4% now, a sobering government projection says. Growth in health care spending will outpace economic growth through the next decade, and the government will pick up an increasing share of the tab. By 2014, the nation’s spending for health care will equal […]

Bush Nominates Convict to be First Director of National Intelligence

by Brendan Lalor In yet another loss for human rights and peace, Bush nominated John Negroponte — his previous ambassador to the U.N. and recently to Iraq — to be the first director of national intelligence. Negroponte is a Reagan-era criminal who illegally subverted democracy in Latin America.’s previous articles on Negroponte are worth another look, for instance, “Negroponte, a Torturer’s Friend.”

2018: The Magic Number (Alarm, Deception, and Social Security)

4 Feb. 2005 | AlterNet by Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Sometimes a number can take on great significance as a symbol. The number on a famous athlete’s uniform, or the date of an historic event. Anniversaries, the turn of a century, or fears associated with such events — remember the Y2K scare? “Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in,” declared President Bush in his State of the Union speech. President Bush, along with others who want to cut Social Security benefits and partially […]

All Players Gained From ‘Oil-for-Food’

3 February 2005 | Los Angeles Times On the U.N. Security Council, competing national interests and economic stakes in Iraq chilled willingness to scrutinize the program. by Maggie Farley UNITED NATIONS — It was the summer of 1990, and Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard had just stormed into oil-rich Kuwait. The U.N. Security Council, hoping to induce Iraq to withdraw and disarm, responded by imposing sanctions. Nearly 15 years, two wars and a regime change later, those sanctions and the multibillion-dollar “oil-for-food” program that followed them still shadow the United Nations. Eight investigations are underway in Washington and New York into […]

Newsletter Worth Reading: OrganicBytes

[ I’ve sung the praises of, DemocracyNow!, and other sites before. Now it’s worth bringing OrganicBytes (from to your attention! There’s an excerpt of the newsletter below. FYI: It only comes out every week or two. –BL ] Organic Bytes #49 Food and Consumer News Tidbits with an Edge! 1/28/2005 Subscribe __________________________________ ALERT: NEW EPA DEAL LETS FACTORY FARMS POLLUTE AIR WITHOUT RESTRICTION The day after the inauguration, January 21, the Bush Administration signed an agreement that allows factory farms to freely violate any and all clean air standards for the next two years, and forgives these same companies […]

Martin Luther King’s Anti-war Words Ring True Today

[ I hope you’ve been keeping up with the latest news via,, and other sites. I thought this piece from the Herald an especially poignant reminder of Martin Luther King’s relevance to our current situation. –BL ] 05 Jan. 17 | Miami Herald by KEVIN DANAHER and TONY NEWMAN We usually honor great historical figures by studying their entire body of work. For many years, every January, Americans have heard 30 seconds of Martin Luther King Jr. from the I Have a Dream speech. It was a great speech, but why do we never hear the many speeches […]

Baboons, Humans, and Aggression

The end of war excerpted from 30 Dec. 2004 | Toronto Star by GWYNNE DYER The good news for humans is that it looks like peaceful conditions, once established, can be maintained. And if baboons can do it, why not us? ? Frans de Waal, Yerkes Primate Centre, Emory University About 20 years ago, a disaster struck the Forest Troop of baboons in Kenya. There was a tourist lodge within their range, and the biggest and toughest males in the troop would regularly go to the garbage dump there to forage for food. Subordinate males, however, did not go — […]

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.” […]