Politics

940 posts

KERRY WON OHIO: JUST COUNT THE BALLOTS AT THE BACK OF THE BUS

[ 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, BlackBoxVoting.org 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 | TomPaine.com 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 […]

The Untold Story: Key Republicans Abandon Bush

Even Republicans Fear Bush 31 Oct. 2004 | The Nation by John Nichols The most divisive election campaign in recent American history has not merely split the nation along party lines, it has split the Grand Old Party itself. Unfortunately, most Americans are wholly unaware of the loud dissents against Bush that has begun to be heard in Republican circles.

More Smart People Against Bush

[ Nobel prize winners, scientists, economists, theologians, and academics in general — people who have been specially trained to think — have all come out in droves against Bush and Bush policies. Perhaps this protest led by Hawking is the icing on the cake. –BL ] Hawking to lead anti-war protest on election day 31 Oct. 2004 | The Independent by Andy McSmith Stephen Hawking, Britain’s most eminent scientist, has become the latest prominent opponent of the Iraq war by agreeing to take the lead role in a ceremonial protest to coincide with the United States presidential election. Peace protesters will […]

American Conservative Magazine Exec. Editor Prefers Kerry to Bush

[ Although the executive editor of American Conservative magazine — a strong voice of the traditional conservatives abandoned by Bush — promises that, “If Kerry wins, this magazine will be in opposition from Inauguration Day forward,” he laments that, [t]he only way Americans will have a presidency in which neoconservatives and the Christian Armageddon set are not holding the reins of power is if Kerry is elected…. A Bush defeat will ignite … a quest to find out how and where the Bush presidency went wrong. George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost […]

Bush Seeks to Limit Voting Rights Lawsuits

29 Oct. 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Bush administration lawyers are now attempting to overturn decades of legal precedence by claiming that only Attorney General John Ashcroft and not individual voters have a right to ask federal courts to enforce voting rights. In legal briefs filed in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, the Bush administration is arguing that the new Help America Vote Act stipulates that only the Justice Department, and not voters themselves, may sue to enforce the voting rights. Veteran voting rights lawyers say this would overturn decades of legal precedent and could greatly […]

Bush’s Ghostwriter Says Bush Talked About Invading Iraq Two Years Before 9/11

Exclusive: Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000 27 Oct 2004 | Guerilla News Network by Russ Baker Houston – Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography [A Charge to Keep].

Florida computers snatch thousands of votes from Kerry

[ In related news, DemocracyNow! (28 Oct. 04) reports: Up to 58,000 Absentee Ballots Missing in Florida In election news, as many as 58,000 absentee ballots have gone missing in the heavily Democratic Broward County in Florida. The ballots were said to have been mailed two weeks ago but many have disappeared. The county is blaming the postal service but the post office denied it is at fault. Now county officials are attempting to get ballots sent out in time to voters. In the 2000 presidential elections Al Gore won 67 percent of the vote in Broward County. –BL ] October […]

Contra Bush Administration: IAEA-Sealed Explosives Untouched as of mid-March, 2003, Perhaps as of April

[ The Associated Press is reporting that “the International Atomic Energy Agency warned the U.S. about explosives stored at Al-Qaqaa in Iraq after [the] April 2003 looting” of Iraq’s main nuclear complex. Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for forwarding the first story below. –BL ] Video Suggests Explosives Disappeared After U.S. Took Control; Evidence Indicates U.S. Military Opened Al-Qaqaa Bunkers, Left Them Unguarded 28 Oct. 2004 | ABC News The strongest evidence to date indicates that conventional explosives missing from Iraq’s Al-Qaqaa installation disappeared after the United States had taken control of Iraq. Barrels inside the Al-Qaqaa facility appear on videotape shot […]

Study: 100,00 Excess Civilian Iraqi Deaths Since War

[ From the piece: “The use of air power in areas with lots of civilians appears to be killing a lot of women and children,” Roberts [of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health] told Reuters. –BL ] Oct 28, 2004 | Reuters by Patricia Reaney LONDON – Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the U.S.-led invasion last year, American public health experts have calculated in a report that estimates there were 100,000 “excess deaths” in 18 months. The rise in the death rate was mainly due to violence and much of it was caused […]

U.S. Now Arrests Marijuana Smoker Every 42 Seconds

26 Oct. 2004 | DemocracyNow! And new FBI statistics show that police arrested a record-high 755,000 people for marijuana violations last year. The pro-legalization group NORML reports a marijuana smoker is now arrested every 42 seconds in this country at a cost of approximately $7.6 billion annually. The number of marijuana arrests have nearly doubled since 1993 and now exceed the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Report: 1.7 Million Veterans Without Health Coverage

22 Oct. 2004 | DemocracyNow! A new report by the Physicians for a National Health Program has found nearly 1.7 million military veterans have no health insurance or access to government hospitals and clinics for veterans. The study reported the number of uninsured veterans jumped by 235,000 since 2000 and that veterans are losing their health insurance at a rate faster than the general population.

Weapons Inspector Kay: Explosives missing a “result of not having enough troops on the ground”

[ Rumsfeld’s plan to “take” Iraq with a minimum number of U.S. troops — against the advice of the military leadership — has probably helped terrorists gain access to unguarded explosives south of Baghdad. From the piece: “[T]he U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency confirmed Monday that about 380 tons of explosives are missing from an Iraqi military complex” …. David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, said he was not at all surprised at the report, which was initially revealed in Monday’s New York Times. “Al-Qaqaa had been heavily looted in April and May,” said Kay, who left […]

The US flu vaccine crisis: a debacle for profit-based medicine

26 October 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Patrick Martin The shortage of flu vaccine has become a major social issue in the United States, with thousands of elderly people?those most at risk of life-threatening complications from influenza?lining up to receive vaccinations at the limited number of clinics and hospitals that have a supply. The total number of vaccines available in the US is estimated at barely 60 million, compared to the 90 million people in the categories most at risk, such as the elderly, small children, pregnant women and people with respiratory ailments. Nearly half the total supply, […]

Army Denies Most Claims From Iraqis

[ Donald Rumsfeld has famously learned to ease consciences around him: “Things happen in war”; “People get hurt.” Apparently, innocent civilians’ moral weight is easily ignored if you just keep muttering platitudes. This might be why the U.S. military doesn’t see that it’s adding insult to injury when, after killing and injuring tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians during its bombing campaign, it continues to deny most claims of Iraqis seeking compensation on the grounds that they do not provide sufficient proof of having been harmed! One marine commander who supervised claims payments in Iraq [said,] “As soon as they […]

NYT Editorial: How to Skew Intelligence

[ Although the timing of the “Levin” report — as its critics charge — is probably political and even gets some of its facts wrong (e.g., pertaining to the timing of meetings), it defends important conclusions that cannot be dismissed on the basis of technicalities. Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for forwarding this editorial. –BL ] October 23, 2004 | New York Times It’s long been obvious that the allegations about Saddam Hussein’s dangerous weapons and alliance with Osama bin Laden were false. But as the election draws closer, the remaining question is to what extent President Bush’s team knew the allegations […]

The world has lost Iraq’s oil

5 October 2004 | USA Today by Youssef M. Ibrahim DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The costs and benefits of America’s occupation of Iraq vary, according to proponents and opponents, except when it comes to oil exports. The U.S.-led invasion has resulted in the loss of an average of 2 million barrels a day of Iraqi oil from world markets. That is a significant number with huge consequences for economies around the globe. Instead of rosy promises by the neoconservatives of the Bush administration who pushed for the invasion — partly on the premise that they would turn it into […]

The peacekeeping paradox: as peace spreads, surge in demand strains UN resources

[ Thanks to Bill Bryant of Oklahomans for Global Solutions for passing this article along. –BL ] From the “10 Stories the World Should Hear More About” series 2004 | United Nations In an often overlooked phenomenon, the resources needed to help keep the peace are being strained by so much peace to keep. Recent headlines may seem to contradict it, but today fewer people are being killed by war than at almost any time in the past century. Some 25,000 were killed in armed conflict in 2002, barely one tenth the number killed each year during the 1990s. Even 9/11, […]

The World According to a Bush Voter

October 21, 2004 | AlterNet.org by Jim Lobe, AlterNet.org Do the supporters of President Bush really know their man or the policies of his administration? Three out of 4 self-described supporters of President George W. Bush still believe that pre-war Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or active programs to produce them. According to a new survey published Thursday, the same number also believes that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein provided “substantial support” to al Qaeda.

U.S Bombing Continues to Kill Civilians

[ See the IraqBodyCount.net database for data on Iraqi deaths by U.S. airstrikes. Many children have been killed by so-called “precision strikes” targeting the elusive Zarqawi. –BL ] ‘US war planes wipe out family of six’ 20 Oct. 2004 | Agence France-Presse BAGHDAD- US warplanes have struck targets in rebel-held Fallujah. Two “terrorist safe houses” linked to Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, Iraq’s most wanted man, were destroyed, the US military said, although residents claimed a family of six were wiped out in the air strike. “The house was completely destroyed by a missile dropped from an American plane and we […]

Action on Sudan Genocide Underwhelming, Given What’s at Stake

[ From the article: We in America could save kids [in the Sudan]. This wouldn’t require troops, just a bit of gumption to declare a no-fly zone, to press our Western allies and nearby Arab and African states, to impose an arms embargo and other targeted sanctions, to push a meaningful U.N. resolution even at the risk of a Chinese veto, and to insist upon the deployment of a larger African force. Instead, President Bush’s policy is to chide Sudan and send aid. That’s much better than nothing and has led Sudan to kill fewer children and to kill more […]

Bush Before Iraq Invasion: We’re Not Going to Have Any Casualties!

Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties; President’s response: ‘We’re not going to have any’ 19 Oct 2004 | CNN.com NEW YORK — The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, “We’re not going to have any casualties.” Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion. He described Bush in the meeting as “the most self-assured man I’ve ever […]

Republican Fraud will Disqualify 200,000 in Florida Vote, Says Harper?s and New Documentary

18 Oct. 2004 | UN Observer Rampant voter fraud in Florida will disqualify 200,000 mainly Democratic and African American voters on November 2, according to an article in next week?s Harper?s by Greg Palast, the BBC investigative reporter who in 2000 broke the original story regarding the infamous felon list in Florida. Palast?s findings were echoed in the October 14 New York Times Op Ed by Paul Krugman…. In the Harper?s article, Palast illustrates how Bush has a ?head start? on the voting before the first ballot is cast: ? Palast documents that 180,000 votes will be cast but not […]

Oxfam Details How U.S. Cotton Subsidies Hurt African Cotton Farmers On Behalf of Big AgriBusiness in the U.S.

Oxfam America: ‘Where’s the Moral Fiber?’ October 18, 2004 | Oxfam America WASHINGTON – International agency Oxfam is concerned that the United States has signaled its intention to fight to defend its massive cotton subsidy program that is causing suffering to millions of poor African farmers. The US announced today that it is appealing a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that had declared the majority of US cotton subsidies illegal. In a new report today, Oxfam details how US subsidies encourage overproduction and facilitate the dumping of excess cotton overseas, undermining the livelihoods of poor farmers in the developing world. […]

U.S. Troops Still Without Armor: THE G.I.’S: Soldiers Saw Refusing Order as Their Last Stand

[ While George W. Bush repeatedly insists that his Administration has given the military everything it needs in Iraq, the story below is one of a persistent stream of reminders that Bush’s claim is false and that troop safety is less important than many other priorities of his Administration. From the piece: … the unit’s trucks were not yet armored… None of the trucks in his command were armored when they arrived in Iraq, General Chambers said. A sampling of related stories from the last year and a half: Bio/Chem Attack Protection Questioned (14 Feb 2003) U.S. Troops Buying Own […]

Crackdown on Anti-Bush Dissent Continues in U.S. — Characterizes Bush-style “Democracy”

by Brendan Lalor In a land in which presidential candidate G.W. Bush delivers campaign speeches in halls to which only adoring fans are granted entrance, the crackdown against dissent continues. To point to just a couple representative cases from the regular slew of cases: “Police in riot gear fired paintballs filled with cayenne pepper Thursday night to disperse a crowd of protesters assembled in this historic gold mining town where President Bush was spending the night after a campaign appearance.” (Associated Press, 15 Oct 2004) “Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush […]

Report: Jeb Bush ignored warning on flawed voter list

[ From the piece: 2,500 ex-felons on the list had had their voting rights restored. Most were Democrats, and many were black. Hispanics, who often vote Republican in Florida, were almost entirely absent from the list due to a technical error. –BL ] October 17, 2004 | Associated Press Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ignored advice to throw out a flawed felon voter list before it went out to county election offices despite warnings from state officials, according to a published report Saturday.

Without a Doubt: a disturbing look inside Bush’s mind

October 17, 2004 | New York Times by RON SUSKIND Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ”if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.” The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion. ”Just in the past few months,” Bartlett said, ”I think a light has gone off for people […]

Iraq audit can’t find billions; Gaps found in spending for reconstruction

16 Oct 2004 | Boston Globe by Bryan Bender WASHINGTON — About half of the roughly $5 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds disbursed by the US government in the first half of this year cannot be accounted for, according to an audit commissioned by the United Nations, which could not find records for numerous rebuilding projects and other payments. One chunk of the money — $1.4 billion — was deposited into a local bank by Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq but could be tracked no further: The auditors reported that they were shown a deposit slip but could find no […]

Corporations’ Rape of Iraqis Continues

[ This follows up articles printed here on the economic attack on Iraq. –BL ] Why is war-torn Iraq giving $190,000 to Toys R Us? 16 Oct 2004 | Guardian Naomi Klein Iraqis are still being forced to pay for crimes committed by Saddam Next week, something will happen that will unmask the upside-down morality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. On October 21, Iraq will pay $200m in war reparations to some of the richest countries and corporations in the world. If that seems backwards, it’s because it is. Iraqis have never been awarded reparations for any of the […]

Poll reveals world anger at Bush: Eight out of 10 countries favour Kerry for president

October 15, 2004 | Guardian by Alan Travis George Bush has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world towards America since September 11 with public opinion in 10 leading countries – including some of its closest allies – growing more hostile to the United States while he has been in office. According to a survey, voters in eight out of the 10 countries, including Britain, want to see the Democrat challenger, John Kerry, defeat President Bush in next month’s US presidential election. The poll, conducted by 10 of the world’s leading newspapers, including France’s Le Monde, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, […]

Chiquita, Dole, & Del Monte Sued for Poisoning Banana Workers in Costa Rica

SICKENED COSTA RICAN BANANA PICKERS FILE SUIT AGAINST TWO CHEMICAL COS. AND U.S. FRESH PRODUCE FIRMS October 6, 2004 | Reuters Thousands of banana pickers in Costa Rica have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against two chemical companies and three major U.S. fresh produce companies, claiming exposure to a toxic pesticide caused a range of reproductive disorders. The suit — filed against Dole Food Co., Chiquita Brands International Inc., Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Dow Chemical Co. and Shell Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell Group — accuses the companies of using dibromochloropropane on bananas in Central America […]

One Study: Palestinian Children’s Deaths Reported 5% of Time; Comparable Israeli Deaths 150% of Time

Scaring children is yet another way of dispiriting Palestinians 13 October 2004 | Aljazeera If Americans appreciated the scale of human-rights abuses committed by Israeli colonists in the occupied territories, they would condemn the journalists who keep them in the dark, a US peace activist says. Kim Lamberty, a member of the Christian Peacemakers Teams (CPT), has told Aljazeera.net on Tuesday that a cruel and criminal practice is largely going unreported: settlers are routinely attacking children on their way to school. And Lamberty should know. Unable to walk since a vicious attack on 29 September by Jewish colonists, she says physical […]

Israel Kills Palestinian Girl in Classroom

[ Unfortunately, these stories are all too common; and equally unfortunately, they are not carried by major U.S. media. This “blackout” aids both Bush and Kerry, neither of whom intend to meaningfully address this problem. –BL ] 14 October 2004 | Islam-online.net “Meanwhile, the Israeli army said it suspended an officer under investigation for firing at the dead body of 13-year-old girl, who was riddled with 20 bullets …” GAZA CITY – A 10-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl died Wednesday, October 13, of her wounds after Israeli occupation troops shot her in the chest while sitting inside a United Nations school in a […]

21st Century Book-Burning: Mrs. Cheney, there’s more to U.S. history than heroes

13 October 2004 | Los Angeles Times by Steven J. Ross One of the marks of authoritarian regimes is their effort to stop the spread of knowledge and free speech. In May 1933, Nazi sympathizers in Berlin burned 20,000 “degenerate” books, many of them written by Jews and anti-fascists such as Albert Einstein, Bertolt Brecht and Franz Kafka. Here at home, slaveholders were so frightened by the power of the word that throughout the antebellum South legislatures made it a crime to teach slaves to read and write. Now, Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife and the former head […]

Bush Misleads on Osama Bin Laden

[ There is an alternate source of the video clip of what Bush actually said in 2002, but denied saying at last night’s “debate.” –BL ] October 14, 2004 | Misleader.org At last night’s debate President Bush claimed that, contrary to Sen. John Kerry’s assertion, he never said he was “not that concerned” about Osama Bin Laden. Bush chastised Kerry saying, “Gosh, I don’t think I ever said I’m not worried about Osama bin Laden. That’s kind of one of those exaggerations.”1 Bush was completely wrong. At March 13, 2002 press conference, Bush said “So I don’t know where he [Osama […]

Pro-life? Look at the fruits

[ Here’s an interesting piece presenting an argument that if you are “prolife,” you ought to vote against Bush because of the relationship between increased abortion and decreased funding for social programs. From the piece: “[Anti-abortion] rhetoric is hollow … without health care, health insurance, jobs, child care, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need policies that provide jobs and health insurance and support for prospective mothers.” –BL ]13 October 2004 | Sojourners by Dr. Glen Harold Stassen I am a Christian ethicist, and trained in statistical analysis. I am consistently pro-life. My son […]

Why not eat children?: Reforms that are presented as economic necessities are in fact usually political choices

October 12, 2004 | The Guardian by Alan Freeman Is social justice possible in a world dominated by corporate globalisation? This Friday, more than 20,000 people, drawn from social movements, peace organisations and trade unions across Europe and the world, will converge on London for the third European Social Forum to debate how to change direction. The experience of two countries, in particular, poses the question most starkly: Germany’s welfare state reforms under Gerhard Schr?der, and the transformation of Venezuela under Hugo Chávez. The fundamental issue is: does society serve the economy, or should the economy serve society?

Propaganda from the U.S. State Department About Haiti

[ After helping orchestrate and support a coup against Aristide, the democratically elected leader of Haiti, U.S. officials have the audacity to complain that Haitian supporters of their former leader have still not accepted the U.S. interference in their country’s political process! Also notice how the Reuters piece below lets stand Boucher’s deceiving, propagandistic characterization of Aristide as using “street gangs to spread violence and political repression.” The article implies that the murders are committed by supporters of Aristide, but fails to mention the fatal attacks against hundreds of Aristide supporters after the U.S. coerced Aristide out of the country […]

Senate OKs $137 Billion Corporate Tax Cut

12 Oct. 2004 | DemocracyNow! The Senate yesterday approved a $137 billion corporate tax cut marking the biggest restructuring of the corporate tax code in two decades. One of the biggest winners is the tobacco industry which will receive a $10 billion buyout. Senator John McCain described the bill as a “disgrace” and a “complete sellout to the tobacco companies.” Originally Congress planned to give the tobacco industry $10 billion in exchange for allowing the Food and Drug Agency to increase regulation of their products. But legislators removed the FDA provision while preserving the tax break. The Center for American […]

FBI shuts down 20 antiwar web sites: an unprecedented act of Internet censorship

[ I have not noticed much coverage of this story by major media in the U.S. –BL ] 13 October 2004 | World Socialist Web Site WSWS correspondent The US government move to shut down nearly two dozen antiwar, anti-globalization web sites on October 7 is an unprecedented exercise of police power against political dissent on the Internet. The World Socialist Web Site denounces the attack on the Indymedia sites and demands a halt to all such attempts at suppressing political criticism of the US government.

Conservative TV Network to Air Anti-Kerry Documentary

[ Should Kerry get equal time? According to The Guardian (12 Oct. 2004), Under US broadcasting rules, the film actually gives airtime to Mr Kerry. Andrew Jay Schwartzman, who heads the Media Access Project watchdog, said: “The way our equal time law works depends on what candidate is appearing on the air – so the equal time rule would run to Bush, not to Kerry. It does not provide Kerry a right to reply.” –BL ]12 Oct. 2004 | DemocracyNow! The nation’s largest local television chain, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, has ordered its 62 television stations to pre-empt its regular prime-time […]

Crisis in the US airlines industry: the case for public ownership

11 Oct. 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Joseph Kay and Samuel Davidson With US Airways? decision to file for bankruptcy on September 12, the crisis in the US airline industry has reached a new stage. The seventh-largest airline in the country now joins United Airlines, the second-largest, in Chapter 11 court proceedings. The country’s third-largest carrier, Delta Airlines, is threatening to declare bankruptcy as well.

Bush Recasts Rationale For War After Report

[ From the article: In the wake of the report, President Bush has reframed the way he characterizes his rationale for the launching the war. A review of his public statements before the war and this week shows how broadly his public argument has shifted, away from warnings that Hussein actually possessed horrible weapons in favor of talking almost exclusively about the dictator’s intent. –BL ] 10 October 2004 | Washington Post [Page A32] by Glenn Kessler In announcing 19 months ago that the United States was poised to invade Iraq, President Bush told the nation: “Intelligence gathered by this and […]

Oil Wars

[From the piece: Iraq is hardly the only country where American troops are risking their lives on a daily basis to protect the flow of petroleum. In Colombia, Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of Georgia, U.S. personnel are also spending their days and nights protecting pipelines and refineries, or supervising the local forces assigned to this mission. American sailors are now on oil-protection patrol in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the South China Sea, and along other sea routes that deliver oil to the United States and its allies. In fact, the American military is increasingly being converted into […]

The Endangered US Dollar: From Gold-Backed to Oil-Backed and Beyond

August 2004 | MuseLetter No. 149 by Richard Heinberg To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.   –Thomas Jefferson For decades the US dollar has served as the world’s default currency. The phrase "sound as a dollar" has expressed the faith and confidence of generations, not only of Americans, but people worldwide. That situation is coming to end, and the consequences will be far-reaching. A Brief History of Money In order to understand why this sea change is about to […]

B’Tselem: 50,000 Palestinians Under ‘Complete Siege’; U.S. Refuses to Condemn

5 Oct. 2004 | DemocracyNow! A new report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has found that 41 percent of the fatalities in Gaza over the past week have been civilians. The group estimates Israeli forces have killed 75 Palestinians – 31 of whom were civilians. Among the dead were 19 Palestinian children aged 17 and under. The group says 50,000 Palestinians in Gaza are living under complete siege without water and electricity and little food. B’Tselem also reports Israeli forces have demolished 55 houses in the Jabaliya refugee camp and another 50 additional houses have been severely damaged. […]

Iraqi Insurgency Distinguishes Itself from Terrorist

5 October 2004 | DemocracyNow! Report: Iraqi Resistance Uniting Against U.S. & Zarqawi A leading Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that a number of Iraqi resistance groups are planning on uniting under a single umbrella group to oppose the US presence in Iraq. The paper reports the resistance group will command a total of 7,000 fighters across Iraq. In addition, the resistance groups are threatening to take up arms against suspected Al Qaeda leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi unless he stops carrying out attacks against Shiite Iraqis. A source for the new unity group said, “If Zarqawi does not abandon his plans […]

Cheney’s Debate Misleads Debunked

excerpted from 6 Oct. 2004 | MoveOnPac.org Email [Of the recent] vice presidential debate … CBS News reported … that Edwards “continued the Democratic ticket’s winning streak,” beating Cheney by 13 percentage points in a post-debate poll of uncommitted voters.[1] Again and again, Cheney tried to mislead the public about the war in Iraq and our economic problems here at home. He even claimed that he’d never met Edwards before when he had, in public, twice. But John Edwards wouldn’t let him get away with it: when Cheney tried once again to link al Qaeda and 9/11, Edwards said, “Mr. […]

“Regular Fox watchers were, depending on the issue, between three and seven times more likely than public-network audiences to harbour factually incorrect beliefs”

Fox – the naked truth 5 October 2004 | The Guardian by Zoe Williams It’s rare for Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s American news channel, to admit that a story is total fabrication, but a recent report on John Kerry was so wild, and its falsity so easily verifiable, that an apology was the only option. The story was written by Carl Cameron, who has been following Kerry’s campaign trail. He attributed to him this remark: “I’m metrosexual – [Bush is] a cowboy,” following it with a swift, if curious, left hook to the candidate’s sexuality by saying that he liked manicures.

Cheney and Bush Mislead about Hussein/Zarqawi Connection

5 October 2004 | Misleader.org Vice President Cheney and President Bush have repeatedly claimed that al-Qaeda had a working relationship with Saddam Hussein which justified the invasion of Iraq. The key piece of evidence Cheney and President Bush have used to support this claim was that Hussein harbored Abu Musab al Zarqawi – a suspected associated of al-Qaeda. For example, on 6/21/04 Cheney said “Mr. Zarqawi, who is in Baghdad today, is an al Qaeda associate who took refuge in Baghdad, found sanctuary and safe harbor there before we ever launched into Iraq.”1 President Bush said on 6/15/04 “Zarqawi’s the […]

Lakoff: Conservative Tricks Progressives Need to Learn

A Man of His Words September 8, 2004 | Alternet.org by George Lakoff, AlterNet The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of “Don’t Think Of An Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate,” published by Chelsea Green Publishing. Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse January 21, 2004 — On this date I spoke extemporaneously to a group of about two hundred progressive citizen-activists in Sausalito, California. When I teach the study of framing at Berkeley, in Cognitive Science 101, the first thing I do is I give my students an exercise. The exercise is: Don’t […]

Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia

[ I ran another great piece on the pillaging of Iraq in June. Here’s Naomi Klein from the article below: In June, Bremer [former leader of the U.S. occupation of Iraq] flew to an economic summit in Jordan and announced that these firms would be privatized immediately. “Getting inefficient state enterprises into private hands,” he said, “is essential for Iraq’s economic recovery.” It would be the largest state liquidation sale since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But Bremer’s economic engineering had only just begun. In September, to entice foreign investors to come to Iraq, he enacted a radical set […]

Cheney’s Delightful Debate Blunder

by Bob Lee Did you catch the part of the debate where Cheney referred viewers to “factcheck.com”? I knew he had meant factcheck.org, which is critical of both campaigns, but I thought I would see what factcheck.com had to offer. Turns out, factcheck.com takes you to GeorgeSoros.com, where it says in all caps at the top, “WHY WE MUST NOT RE-ELECT PRESIDENT BUSH,” and the top column on the page is entitled, “President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests, and undermining American values.” How true; I hope everyone watching checked out factcheck.com.

Bush Administration Ignored Doubts on Iraq’s Nuke Program

4 October 2004 | DemocracyNow! The New York Times has published a major 10,000 word investigation into how the Bush administration ignored claims from within its own government that Saddam Hussein did not have an active nuclear program before the invasion of Iraq. The article examines the story behind the claim that Iraq possessed aluminum tubes that could be used in a nuclear weapons program. The Bush administration repeatedly cited the existence of the tubes as definitive evidence that Iraq had a nuclear program. But what the Bush administration never revealed was that the top officials inside the Energy Department […]

U.S. Building a Dozen “Enduring Bases” In Iraq?

US bases in Iraq: sticky politics, hard math September 30, 2004 | Christian Science Monitor by David R. Francis If a new Iraq government should agree to let American forces stay on, how many bases will the US request? One, as the United States Army currently maintains in Honduras? Six, the number of installations it lists in the Netherlands. Or maybe 12? The Pentagon isn’t saying.

U.S. Left Behind by Russia: Russian Decision Today Will Put Global Climate Treaty Into Force Without U.S. Participation

30 Sept. 2004 | EnvironmentalDefense.org NY – Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp praised the Russian Government’s decision today to submit the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change to the Russian Duma for ratification. “It’s the first clear sign since May that Russia is committed to taking the steps to usher in the age of carbon limits and climate stabilization. Sadly this leaves the U.S. isolated in its refusal to join the international effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Krupp. “Russian ratification will bring into force a landmark international treaty under which for the first time nations will work together to […]