1
Jul
2004

Rice yields dip as planet warms

Global warming could have a severe effect on rice production, say scientists working in the Philippines.

The researchers studied 12 years of rice yields and 25 years of temperature data, to work out how they are linked.

Yields dropped by 10% for each degree of warming, an alarming trend since rice is the staple diet for most of the world's expanding
population, they say.

The study, by an international team, appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Increasing demand

World rice production must increase by about 1% every year, to meet the demand of our planet's bulging population.

Many experts believe the only way to achieve this output is to improve the productivity of existing cropland. The alternative - planting more crops - would involve a costly encroachment into natural ecosystems.

But can rice crops rise to this challenge? If the new research is correct, maybe not.

A team of researchers went to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, to monitor the performance of rice crops planted next to a weather station.

Because the rice and the weather station were such close neighbours, it was possible for the researchers to relate varying performance with varying temperature.

They found that average daytime temperatures, which increased by 0.35C since 1979, had little effect on productivity.

However, there was a strong link between increasing night temperatures - which rose by an impressive 1.1C over 25 years - and decreasing rice yields, they discovered.

Hot nights

The authors believe this is because, during hot nights, rice puts more energy into respiring and less into growing.

"Increases in temperature, with all else being equal, can add to maintenance and respiration costs," explained co-author Kenneth Cassman, of the University of Nebraska, US.

Increases in temperature can add to the maintenance and respiration costs of rice Kenneth Cassman, University of Nebraska, US.

But why do night-time temperatures have such a big impact?

"There could be two things at work here," explained Professor Cassman. "It could be that the increase in temperature was too small during the day for one to see a difference in yield.

"Or it could be that temperature tends to increase on sunny days, and that leads to higher rates of photosynthesis [which accelerate growth]. So there is a confounding factor."

Jaded view

The team fear that global warming will make it increasingly difficult to feed the Earth's growing population.

Computer models of climate change suggest that night-time temperatures will continue to rise faster than in the day - by several degrees C in the coming decades.

This is bad news for rice because it often grows in the tropics - very near the top end of its temperature range. So a slight increase in temperature can bear a heavy cost.

"Our data suggests that where rice is grown near the upper end of its temperature range, a small increase in temperature can make it exceed that range - and yields suffer," said Professor Cassman.

Of course, as global warming renders some areas inhospitable to rice growth it will make other - cooler - regions more hospitable. But that should not necessarily be a comfort, Professor Cassman argues.

"You hear people arguing that warming effects really are not as severe as they appear to be, because you can simply move the locus of production south to north," he said. "But that is a rather jaded view, particularly if you don't live in the south, if you are not a poor
farmer that depends on rice for their livelihood.

"So while we can call that an option we have to be very careful that it doesn't come at a price."

SEE ALSO:

Rice producers in 'cartel' talks
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2312297.stm

09 Oct 02 | Business
GM rice: A growing Philippines debate
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3139440.stm

26 Sep 03 | Asia-Pacific
Global warming 'biggest threat'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3381425.stm

09 Jan 04 | Science/Nature
UN World Food Programme http://www.wfp.org/

There is a strong link between increasing night temperatures and decreasing rice yields
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/3841477.stm

Published: 2004/06/29 18:07:24 GMT

© BBC MMIV


Informant: Teresa Binstock

Without Reservation

http://www.militaryweek.com/kk062904.shtml


Informant: kevcross5

1 in 6 Iraq Veterans Is Found to Suffer Stress-Related Disorder

July 1, 2004

By ANAHAD O'CONNOR

The first study to examine the mental health of troops returning from Iraq showed that one in six soldiers shows signs of post-traumatic stress disorder...

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/01/national/01MENT.html?ex=1089688188&ei=1&en=947944e969ef322f


Informant: m macleod

Back to the Land

EARTH MEANDERS

Letting land rest as an act of love, independence and Gaia worship

By Dr. Glen Barry
http://www.environmentalsustainability.info/

July 1, 2004

Gaia is the global ecosystem in total and it is alive, with the biospheremaintaining conditions conducive for life. Cataclysmic destruction to the Earth's land ecosystems threatens these processes.

They are not making much new land, and much of what exists is in a poor state. Millennia of poor land management practices which have intensified in the past few centuries have degraded or even made uninhabitable huge swathes of land. Gaia is not dead yet - but she is hemorrhaging badly.

If land is to continue providing humans their habitat, a profound shift is needed in how we relate to land and all nature. We must learn to live with and not on the land, as productive and symbiotic member of the land's natural community. Our and Gaia's salvation lies in letting damaged lands rest and wild lands be.

This essay will focus on the land imperative - the urgent need to reduce humanity's burden upon the land. I will recommend that you find a piece of land to love and become its long term custodian. The task of our time is to wrest a small piece of the biosphere from the global economic growth machine, protecting and restoring land in a manner that maximizes its life-giving potential.

A disciple of Gaia may choose to devote their being to protection of the wild end of the spectrum - working as an advocate for large, natural ecosystems. Alternatively one may work to temper the excesses of urban industry - bringing smart growth, green spaces and urban habitat to our cities. Or one may focus on sustainably living with the Earth on the pastoral lands that lie in between. Each is a highly worthy activity that would provide the basis for a satisfying life of service to Gaia and her humanity.

In my own modest effort to live an ecologically righteous life, I spent over a decade organizing for the protection of Papua New Guinea's rainforests. I tried many avenues to agitate for their continued existence - ranging from landowner awareness to propaganda to protests to working for the World Bank.

That whole period of my life proved to be a mixture of extreme joy and utter despair. But I can say with pride that as I "handed off" the task to others that the rainforests had largely been protected on my watch. I am convinced that my efforts in conjunction with others lead to more - perhaps much more - intact PNG rainforests today than would otherwise be the case.

I exhort you to find a special wild place to love and defend. There are innumerable large natural landscapes and smaller biodiverse remnants that need stewards. The best conservation in the world is being done by a handful of dedicated people around a kitchen table with the beverage of their choice, working to establish biotic preserves as no go zones for industry.

Organize, educate and agitate. Begin by learning about the place, organizing information, and using it creatively to keep wild lands wild.

You may diversify into community based ecologically sustainable development, radical protest to inform and obstruct, related social struggles and/or seeking to broaden the movement including identifying your successor(s).

Further, in making a call to get back to the land, I wish to emphasize the need to rewild the pastoral portion of the natural spectrum. In the countryside - not city or wilderness but somewhere in between - there exists much potential to achieve land sustainability, while pursuing self-sufficiency and personal ecological sustainability.

Much of the world's countryside has been over managed - as industrial farming and resource extraction have caused much diminishment. Yet much that is natural remains and there exists great potential to assist fragmented nature to expand and reconnect. In areas where land is managed as gardens, there is great potential to create agricultural ecosystems that are resilient, stable and sustainable, and which are integrated with natural ecosystems.

On my small piece of land in northern Wisconsin I have begun to work to liberate seven acres from the megalomaniacal American marketplace. I was raised there by parents that had gone back to the land to homestead. I grew up raising animals and growing a large garden, and couldn't wait to leave for the city as I came of age. Twenty years later to the day I am back.

The vision for these old farm fields is of a self-sufficient organic ecologically sustainable homestead. This will take time and hard work.

An initial focus is ecological restoration of woodland - hundreds of trees went in this year. Given the strength, I plan to expand into permaculture and homesteading, integrating ecological restoration with sustainably producing my family's sustenance. Appropriate technologies such as the Internet allow me to continue my activism on behalf of Gaia while living with and restoring particular land.

As the industrial economy bursts, land will provide a refuge from ecological and social collapse. Those that are connected to land will have a better time of it. Only autonomous collectives of dark greens are likely to provide know how and vision to pursue post-industrial livelihoods and conservation rehabilitation of the natural world.

From green seeds, landed communities of hope that are just, equitable and sustainable will spring forth.

The task of our time is to protect what land remains, restore what has been ripped asunder, and find a new way to live as a member of the land community. Land gives you something you can not buy - life. Gaia - the sum of all Earthly life - will be maintained one piece of land at a time.

"NO SURPRISES" rule

COMMENT ON "NO SURPRISES" POLICY BY JULY 26TH!

The Endangered Species Act, the safety net for fish, plants and wildlife on the brink of extinction, is a flexible law allowing the federal government to work with landowners to protect species. In 1982, Congress amended the Endangered Species Act to include some specific exceptions to prohibition against hurting, harming, or killing (taking) species listed as endangered or threatened. This allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to authorize the otherwise-prohibited taking of a listed species by issuing an "incidental take permit" under certain circumstances.

To obtain an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), a landowner must develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). These Plans allow development to proceed if plans specify, with scientific credibility, that the impacts of the proposed habitat changes are minimized to the "maximum extent practicable" and that the take will not reduce the likelihood that the species will survive and recover. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, as of April 2003, 541 HCPs had been approved; covering approximately 38 million acres and involving more than 525 endangered or threatened species.

In 1994, the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries updated Habitat Conservation Plan regulations to include a "No Surprises" policy. This change made mitigation more attractive to private landowners by guaranteeing the conditions of the HCP would not be changed over a specific period, lasting anywhere from 25 to 100 years.

The "No Surprises" policy is controversial because it prevents stronger measures from ever being implemented, even if biologists find that the permitted action is having a greater impact on the species than anticipated.

A recent court order requires the USFWS to reconsider the "No Surprises" policy, in the process of re-issuing the "permit revocation
rules" for Incidental Take Permits/Habitat Conservation Plans (ITP/HCPs). They are currently accepting comments from the public
regarding the policy.

ACTION: Please write a personalized comment letter on the "No Surprises" policy by July 26th. Some points you may want to include are pasted below along with more background information.

ADDRESS:
Mail: Chief, Division of Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, Recovery, and State Grants, US Fish & Wildlife Service,
4401 N. Fairfax Dr., #420,
Arlington, VA, 22203.
Fax: 703-358-2229.
Email: pprr@fws.gov

For more information on this issue, please visit:
http://www.stopextinction.org/Issues/IssuesList.cfm?c=35

Thank your for working to protect the web of life for future generations!

Sincerely,
The staff of the Endangered Species Coalition
http://www.stopextinction.org


POINTS YOU MAY WANT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR LETTER:

1) If you or your organization has specific examples where Habitat Conservation Plans have either not benefited species or harmed species recovery efforts, PLEASE include those in your letter. The more such cases can be highlighted, the greater weight your comments will have.

These could include, for example,

(a) the species is doing worse than anticipated at the time of ITP/HCP approval and hence more or different mitigation is now recognized as necessary but cannot be furnished because of No Surprises;

(b) scientists have learned more about the needs of the affected species and this new information counsels in favor of changes in the ITP/HCP;

(c) assumptions about conditions in areas surrounding the ITP/HCP have proven to be erroneous - e.g., in approving the ITP/HCP, the Service assumed that certain areas would be maintained as habitat, but they have not been;

(d) the HCP is not working in the manner that was initially anticipated;

(e) new species have been listed or critical habitat designated since the ITP/HCP was approved, but these are not being adequately
addressed by the permittee.

2) Concrete, well-explained examples of previously approved ITPs/HCPs that are impairing the recovery of any listed species, even if they are not contributing to the immediate extinction of the species - e.g., by destroying or degrading travel corridors, unoccupied habitat that is needed for long-term expansion, or any formally designated critical habitat. The Revocation rule changes proposed by the Service would exempt ITPs from a broad revocation rule that applies to all other FWS permits and allows such permits to be revoked whenever they are impairing the recovery of any population of a species. Instead, the Service is proposing to replace that broad revocation standard with one that would allow revocation only when a permit is contributing to the immediate extinction of an entire species and, even then, only when the government has first attempted to rectify the problem and been unable to do so. Hence, it is essential that the public also furnish concrete exampl! es of how this change in policy will immediately harm species covered by ITPs.

3) Reform the "No Surprises" policy by developing rules that require Habitat Conservation Plans to:

a) address all foreseeable changing
circumstances,

b) include comprehensive adaptive
management programs to evaluate HCPs over time
and identify any necessary modifications, and

c) require landowners to modify their HCPs over time, as necessary to recover the species, and to meet other conservation objectives in the plans.

4) Modify the permit revocation rules to:

a) include the original, pre-1999 permit revocation criteria in full, as they are highly relevant to Take Permits/HCPs,

b) clarify that the USFWS has the authority to modify or revoke Take
Permits/HCPs if they are found to impair species'long recovery, not just their short-term survival,

c) give the USFWS the option to revoke Take Permits if the permittees fail to make necessary adaptive management changes to their HCPs, and

d) require the recipients of Take Permits to file performance bonds or other securities to guarantee the implementation of their HCPs'mitigation measures.

5) ITPs/HCPs should, at an absolute minimum, be required to address all "changed" circumstances - which are defined by the No Surprises rule as those that are reasonably foreseeable. While the
preamble to the No Surprises rule acknowledges that such circumstances "should" be addressed, the actual text of the rule gives permit holders a free pass when, for whatever reason, they are not dealt with up-front in the ITP/HCP. There is no conceivable justification for not flatly requiring that all reasonably foreseeable
developments (such as hurricanes in Florida) be addressed in the ITP/HCP. Moreover, the rule as presently written affords ITP applicants a perverse incentive not to address such circumstances since, if they are ignored, No Surprises assurances kick into the same extent as "unforeseen" circumstances (i.e., true
"surprises").


MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

The "No Surprises" rule is contrary to the principles of sound science, and effectively prevents the modification of Take Permits and HCPs for decades, despite the fact that scientific knowledge, environmental conditions, and landowners''s own resource management practices inevitably change over time.

The "No Surprises" rule effectively prevents modification of Take Permits/HCPs for decades despite the fact that most HCPs allow substantial losses of threatened and endangered species'populations and habitats, fail to adequately support species'recovery, are based on faulty science, and/or employ inadequate adaptive management programs. A landmark study in 1999 by the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis and the American Institute for
Biological Sciences found that most HCPs are deeply flawed. Yet no enforceable rules have been developed to correct these problems. Among other things, the NCEAS/AIBS report found that: about 50% of HCPs allow 50% or more of species'populations or habitat in the plan area to be eliminated; nearly 30% of HCPs allow 100% of species'populations or habitat in the plan area to be eliminated; and 84% of HCPs fail to specify how monitoring will be used to evaluate
the plans, i.e., the HCPs lack adaptive management programs.

"No Surprises" provides unnecessary regulatory guarantees by exempting companies from regulatory changes for periods as long as 50 or even 80 years. "No Surprises" assumes that businesses cannot handle change, when in fact businesses must constantly adapt to a variety of changing conditions to be successful. "No Surprises" even
exempts landowners from modifying their HCPs to address changes they themselves make to their resource management practices. At the same time, "No Surprises" provides no guarantees to threatened or endangered species.

"No Surprises" is also deeply unfair, as it makes the taxpayers - instead of the recipients of Take Permits - responsible for fixing problems with Take Permits/HCPs. This is despite the fact that Take Permits/HCPs benefit timber companies, developers, and other landowners by allowing them to harm threatened and endangered species and their habitats, and by providing regulatory guarantees lasting many decades.

Therefore, "No Surprises" should be reformed by the development of rules that require HCPs to:

1) address all foreseeable changing circumstances,

2) include comprehensive adaptive management programs to evaluate HCPs over time and identify any necessary modifications, and

3) require landowners to modify their HCPs over time, as necessary to recover the species, and to meet other conservation objectives in the plans.

New rules requiring HCPs to address foreseeable changing circumstances should require that HCPs address:

changes in the landowners'land management and development practices;

changes that may be proposed to the HCP as a result of monitoring and adaptive management;

additional species listings over time;

declines in the condition of the covered species due to inadequate conservation measures in the HCP;

designation of critical habitat for the covered species;

development of recovery plans and recovery plan provisions for the covered species;

fires, windstorms, pest outbreaks, disease outbreaks, and other "stochastic" events that are natural ecosystem processes; and

increased susceptibility of the habitats to invasive exotic pests, pathogens, and plant and animal species due to the landownerís resource management practices.

Other foreseeable changing circumstances include the effects of human-induced climate change, which is likely to cause ecological gradients, vegetation zones, and species'habitat needs to shift significantly, and is likely to create more severe weather patterns, further impacting species and ecosystems.

New rules requiring HCPs to include adaptive management programs should require, among other things that: HCPs monitor each covered
species'populations, reproductive success, primary habitat components, and other key biological outcomes and trends, including those which correlate to the species'recovery. The rules should also require HCPs to include thorough and effective adaptive management protocol that:

are linked to effectiveness monitoring for all biological goals,

include comprehensive adaptive management triggers, and

outline the responses and responsibilities that can result from adaptive management reviews.

Reviews should include independent peer review and public participation. All plan components should be subject to adaptive management.

New rules requiring landowners to modify their HCPs should require that landowners adopt modified, new, or additional conservation
measures to recover the covered species, should their original conservation measures prove ineffective or should conditions change in ways that are foreseeable or under the landowners' control. The rules must require landowners to remain responsible for modifying their HCPs in response to monitoring and adaptive management reviews, and in response to foreseeable changing circumstances, regardless of whether the specific adaptive management changes and changing circumstances are specified in the HCP. The USFWS should also establish a program to cover the costs of other changes, which may be needed to HCPs over time, in response to genuinely unforeseeable circumstances that are beyond the landowners' control.

The USFWS should also modify the permit revocation rule to:

1) include the original, pre-1999 permit revocation criteria in full,

2) Clarify that the USFWS has the authority to modify or revoke Take Permits/HCPs if they are found to impair species'long recovery, not just their short-term survival, 3) give the USFWS the
option to revoke Take Permits if the permittees fail to make necessary adaptive management changes to their HCPs, and 4) require the recipients of Take Permits to file performance bonds or other securities to guarantee the implementation of their HCPs'mitigation measures.

The normal, pre-1999 revocation rules include provisions that are highly relevant to Take Permit/HCPs, including a provision that was
eliminated in the post-1999 rules for Take Permits/HCPs. This provision essentially states that the USFWS can revoke permits in cases where they are detrimental to species that continue to slide towards extinction. The post-1999 Revocation Rule exempts Take Permits/HCPs from this important provision. The USFWS also needs
to be given authority to revoke Permits if landowners fail to make necessary improvements to their HCPs over time; without such authority, landowners will have little incentive to fix their plans.

The existing and proposed permit revocation rules will not be sufficient to guarantee the implementation of mitigation measures where the "take" of threatened and endangered species is allowed prior to the implementation of those mitigation measures. Threatening to revoke a Take Permit will have little effect after the
permittees have finished their desired activities, i.e., the "take" of species'habitats.

Thus the USFWS should develop rules requiring the recipients of Take Permits to file performance bonds or other securities to guarantee the continued implementation of mitigation measures.


Informant: Earth First!

MSN Money Website Asks: Would You Have An RFID Chip Implanted In Your Body?

Alex Jones' Prison Planet/Paul Joseph Watson | July 1 2004

Microsoft's MSN Money website is currently running a poll asking its readers if they would voluntarily have an RFID tracking chip implanted in their body.

To the majority of us with a shred of common sense this would be like asking, would you like a bullet to be fired into your brain? However, the website couches the question in positive semantics by stating, 'The radio frequency chips are becoming more popular. But would you put one in your body?'

The rest of the piece states, "Some retailers love the idea of radio frequency identification chips, which they can use to easily track merchandise. Wal-Mart (WMT, news, msgs), for instance, wants its suppliers to tag items shipped to the giant retailer.

But there are other uses of RFID that have some people worried. Passports will soon have some RFID ability, which means authorities could track your movements around an airport. There's even talk of having RFID chips placed under people's skin, possibly encoded with items like their work security pass."

Rather disturbing is that fact that at time of writing, only 81 percent are against the notion. That means almost two in ten people want a microchip in their body allowing the government to track their movements. This is vomit-inducing. Please and vote no to send a message to these people that Big Brother is not 'cool' and implantable microchips are the modern day concentration camp tattoo.

By pure coincidence (ahem) IBM, the company behind Verichip, the major retailer of implantable chips, also ran the cataloging system used by the Nazis to store information on Jews in Hitler Germany.
http://www.guerrillanews.com/ibm/
Something tells me we should be a tad more concerned about that than who's going to win American Idol.


Informant: m macleod

House Bill Would Enforce Patriot Act Secrecy Clause

http://newstandardnews.net/content/?action=show_item&itemid=589


Informant: m macleod

Voting official seeks process for canceling Election Day over terrorism

http://nctimes.com/articles/2004/06/26/election2004/21_17_566_25_04.txt


Informant: vinski2004

Schwarzer Tag für soziale Rechte: Kommunen sollen Verdrängung arbeitsloser Mieter verhindern

AG der Mietervereine Bochum, Dortmund Witten und der MG Essen

01.07.2004

„Das war ein schwarzer Tag für die Arbeits- und Wohnrechte in Deutschland“, kommentiert Mieterforum Ruhr das Ergebnis des gestrigen Vermittlungsausschusses zu Hartz IV. „Gemeinsam mit unseren Bündnispartnern in der Mieter-, Gewerkschafts- und Erwerbslosenbewegung werden wir unsozialen Zielsetzungen und Konsequenzen der Hartz IV-Reform weiter entgegen treten und uns an konkreten Maßnahmen in der Region beteiligen, um die Rechte der Betroffenen mit den Betroffenen zu verteidigen. Dabei werden wir uns darauf konzentrieren, die Gefahren für die Wohnsicherheit abzuwehren.“

Im Zuge der Hartz-Umsetzung werden die Bezüge der Dauerarbeitslosen auf Sozialhilfeniveau abgesenkt, das gilt auch für die Wohn- und Heizkosten. (siehe frühere Mitteilungen). Zwar wurde gestern die Kostenersatz für die Kommunen aufgestockt und es gibt eine Revisionsklausel zu Erstattung steigender Wohnkosten. Welche Wohnkosten als angemessen angesehen werden, ist aber nicht geregelt. Hier haben die Kommunen weiter den schwarzen Peter. Auch Details des Kostenersatzes sind bislang unklar.

Mieterforum Ruhr fordert deshalb die Kommunen und Arbeitsagenturen auf, die bisherigen Wohnkostengrenzen des BSHG nicht zum 1.1.2005 einfach auf die Gesamtgruppe der LeistungsbezieherInnen nach SGB II + XII zu übertragen. Stattdessen ist die „Angemessenheit“ der Wohnkosten vorsorglich so zu definieren, dass Kostensenkungsaufforderungen und Kürzungen bei laufenden Wohnverhältnissen ab 1.1.2005 auszuschließen sind.

Eventuelle Mehrkosten gegenüber den bisherigen Ansätzen müssen sich die Kommunen von Clement und Eichel zurückholen. Das ist ja der Sinn der Revisionsklausel.

Wer arbeitslos wird, darf nicht auch noch aus der Wohnung gedrängt werden.

Knut Unger
p. 0202-455994

Mieterforum Ruhr, c/o Mieterverein Bochum e. V., Brückstr. 58 , 44787 Bochum
Aichard Hoffmann (0234) 9 61 14 44
Helmut Lierhaus (0231) 55 76 56 33
Knut Unger (02302) 27 61 71


MieterInnenverein Witten u. Umg. e.V.
im Mieterforum Ruhr, DMB
Bahnhofstr. 46 D-58452 Witten
Postfach 1928 D-58409 Witten
Tel. Geschäfsstelle 02302-51793
Tel. Öffentlichkeitsarbeit 02302-276171
Fax. 02302-27320
Beratungs- und Geschäftszeiten:
Mo. u. Di. 13.30 – 18.30 Uhr
Do. U. Fr. 10.00 – 13.00 Uhr
Email: info@mvwit.de

Defining Terrorism

From: Hank Roth

Topic: empire

Collateral Damage (known in Germany in WWII as terror bombing) is what happens when you drop bombs somewhere and someone who is not the intended victim also dies or is maimed. It is the collateral consequence of war. A lot of Afghans died in the bloodlust for Osama bin Laden, especially with 15,000 pound daisy cutter bombs being dropped on them, which are almost equivalent to low yield nuclear weapons. It is the closest weapon the U.S. has in it's arsenal to a nuclear bomb without being one...

http://g0lem.net/vortal/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=39


Informant: ARISTOTLE

Declare Energy Independence

AMERICA'S FUTURE

http://www.ourfuture.org

On July 4th, Declare Energy Independence!

Dear Fellow Citizen,

On America's birthday, we're asking you to do something patriotic, visionary and bold. This July 4th, help America declare energy independence by signing the Apollo Pledge http://action.apolloalliance.org/petition, a challenge to Presidential candidates and other elected officials telling them to lead our country in a better direction. We will deliver this pledge to the candidates at key points throughout the election starting this summer at both major parties' political conventions.

Sign the Apollo Pledge and Declare Energy Independence: http://action.apolloalliance.org/petition

As our country celebrates its 228th year of independence, we face real problems -- from high gas prices to an outdated electricity grid. It's time to demand good jobs here at home and to ensure that no American soldier is put in harms way defending Middle East oil. The new Apollo Project, named for President John F. Kennedy's bold challenge to send a man to the moon, will build a sustainable economic future that breaks our addiction to imported oil, cleans up the environment, and invests in American infrastructure and jobs that can't be outsourced.

Sign the Apollo Pledge and Declare Energy Independence: http://action.apolloalliance.org/petition

This is a country built on hope and innovation. On July 4th, help us solve our most pressing challenges by building a growing movement for Energy Independence. Take the pledge at http://action.apolloalliance.org/petition! And as you head off to picnic with family or watch the fireworks with friends, bring our pledge along with you -- click here to download the pledge form: http://www.apolloalliance.org/strategy_center/declaration.cfm. Or you can forward this email to five more of your friends by using our tell-a-friend interactive tool: http://action.apolloalliance.org/tellafriend/

Together we can make a difference!

Important Reading for the Bush Administration

July 01, 2004

Thirty years ago, a book called The Limits to Growth created an international sensation by stating what now -- to most people -- seems obvious: that industrial and population growth would reach real limits in the future, and that global society could suffer severe damage, depending on how we respond to a world of finite resources.

Now a 30-year update of the book, based on massive amounts of new date, provides the most comprehensive analysis of our global future ever assembled. The new 30-year update suggests that the central problem for the next 70 years will not be averting environmental decline -- which the authors view as inevitable -- but containing and limiting damage to the planet and humanity.

It's too late for sustainable development, the authors conclude. The world must now choose between uncontrolled collapse or a carefully planned reduction of energy and materials consumption, back down to supportable levels.

The original Limits was compiled by an international team of experts assembled at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Using system dynamics theory to construct a global computer model called "World3," the book presented 12 scenarios that revealed different possible patterns -- and environmental outcomes -- of world development from 1900 to 2100. Eventually, The Limits to Growth became a bestseller with some 9 million copies sold in more than 30 languages.

The 1972 text was the object of intense criticism by economists of the time, who dismissed it as Malthusian hyperbole. But events over the past three decades have turned out to be remarkably consistent with the 1972 book's scenarios.

The new Limits to Growth, published this spring by Chelsea Green Publishers, presents 10 new scenarios, positing what may happen if certain steps are -- or are not -- taken. In most scenarios, the gap between rich and poor will widen, vital nonrenewable resources like oil will become much more difficult and expensive to obtain, and industrial production in developed countries will decline.

In 1972 the authors found the world's population and economy were still comfortably within the planet's carrying capacity. There was still room to grow safely while we examined longer-term options. Today this is no longer true. In this new examination, the authors cite numerous studies confirming that humanity has dangerously "overshot" our limits, expanding our demands on the planet's resources beyond what can be sustained even for the remainder of this century.

Although the past 30 years have shown some progress -- including new technologies, new institutions, and a new awareness of individual environmental problems -- the authors are far more pessimistic than they were in 1972. Humanity has squandered the opportunity to correct its current course over the last 30 years, they conclude, and much must change if the world is to mitigate the most harmful consequences of overshoot in this century.

The message that current growth trends cannot be sustained is now confirmed every year by thousands of headlines, hundreds of conferences, and dozens of new scientific studies. But these focus on specific problems like global warming, soil loss, extinction of species, and declining tropical forests.

Unfortunately, according to Limits authors Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows, all these well-intentioned efforts are destined to fail -- until they are grounded in understanding the entire complex system which governs the world's physical economy, population, materials and energy flows. Limits to Growth is so far the only book to provide that understanding.

http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/mt_archives/000148.php

ALG II Formulare veröffentlicht und Datenschutzverstöße

Auf der Tachelesseite unter

http://www.tacheles-sozialhilfe.de/formulare/Antrag_auf_Leistungen_nach_dem_SGB_II/default.html

haben wir jetzt die (voraussichtliche) Endfassung des ALG II Antrages veröffentlicht. Zudem Schulungsunterlagen der BA für ihre Mitarbeiter zum Ausfüllen der Anträge.

Wir bitten euch dies über eure Pages und Verteiler bekannt zu machen.

Wir haben hinsichtlich der Anträge zudem eine Eingabe beim Bundesdatenschutzbeauftragten gemacht. Als Kurzbewertung von uns: insgesamt halten sich datenschutzrelevante Verstöße in Grenzen, gravierend ist allerdings das Zusatzblatt 2 Einkommenserklärung/Verdienstbescheinigung: PDF Datei
<http://www.tacheles-sozialhilfe.de/formulare/Antrag_auf_Leistungen_nach_dem_SGB_II/Zusatzblatt_Einkommenserklaerung_Verdienstbescheinigung.pdf>
[PDF 101 KB]. Hier verlangt die BA von den Leistungsberechtigten das diese sich ihr Gehalt/Erwerbseinkünfte vom Arbeitgeber bescheinigen lassen. Obwohl sie ihr Einkommen problemlos über Gehaltsabrechnungen, Arbeitsvertrag und Kontoauszüge nachweisen könnten. Das Ausfüllen kann nach hiesiger Einschätzung nur verlangt werden, wenn es begründete Zweifel an der Richtigkeit der Angaben des Antragstellers gibt. Deswegen liegt hier ein schwerer Verstoß gegen den Sozialdatenschutz vor.

Der Verein Tacheles fordert mit heutigem Tage die BA per Medien und Schreiben dazu auf dieses Formular zurückzuziehen und ruft ansonsten zum Boykott des Formulars auf.

Der Bundesdatenschutzbeauftragte teilt unsere Bedenken und interveniert deswegen schon Richtung Nürnberg.

Viele Grüße

Harald Thomé / Tacheles e.V.
http://www.tacheles-sozialhilfe.de
und
http://www.harald-thome.de


Nachricht von Knut Unger
MieterInnenverein Witten u. Umg. e.V.

Wake up, America, this is your union of states

by Ed Lewis

Liberty For All

07/01/04

We are the sovereignty of this country. When the colonists fought their heroic battles to separate us from England, and to establish our union of states with 'The unanimous Declaration of Independence of the thirteen united States of America,' the power of the King of England transferred directly to be shared equally by the people of the newly found union. Therefore, the people are the sovereign -- hence, equal in law."...

http://www.libertyforall.net/2004/july4/Wake-up.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Mental State of Our Union

http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/morris/morris18.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Rights for all

by Nick Gillespie

Reason

06/30/04

[T]here seems little doubt that, overall, the recent Supreme Court rulings in three War on Terrorism cases ... and two Miranda rights cases ... are good for civil liberties. Or, more precisely, the Court has firmly restated some key American principles about due process and justice for all. Especially in the wake of revelations regarding abuse at Abu Ghraib prison and the use of torture and other disturbing forms of coercion in fighting terrorism, such principles need to be championed more than ever...

http://www.reason.com/links/links063004.shtml


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Torture and lies as policy

by Roger Normand

CounterPunch

06/30/04

Each new revelation of torture, abuse, lies and cover-up exposes the American occupation of Iraq as a criminal enterprise masquerading as liberation. There has been much speculation as to whether Washington's neoconservative rulers actually believe the nonsense about freedom and human rights or whether they are driven solely by power and profit. It makes little difference to the people of Iraq.

After 30 years of Western-sponsored domestic tyranny, they must now suffer the brutal depredations of foreign occupation. As the popular Iraqi saying goes, 'the student is gone; the master has come...

http://www.counterpunch.org/normand06302004.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Media Cover-up

Leading Journalists Expose Major Cover-ups by Media Corporations...

http://www.wanttoknow.info/mediacover-up


Informant: ECOTERRA Intl.

Futility of war set to haunt US for years

With more than 80 per cent of Iraqis now wanting the occupying forces to leave, the Bush Administration's claims to moral virtue, political decency and leadership in the struggle for democracy and human rights do not ring true to most Arabs and Muslims...

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/28/1088392603559.html?from=storylhs


From Information Clearing House

Justice Department Says It Can't Share Lobbying Data Because Computer System Will Crash

The Bush administration is offering a novel reason for denying a request seeking the Justice Department's database on foreign lobbyists: Copying the information would bring down the computer system...

http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBDP9DE2WD.html


From Information Clearing House

Inside America's secret new justice system

It took no more than a week for James Wynne, a veteran FBI investigator, to confirm the harmless truth, and now, two years later, he is ready to talk about it...

http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?file=527278.html


From Information Clearing House

Blair admits UK breached Geneva rules

Prisoner hooded during interview...

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1250472,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Archbishops condemn Iraq jail abuse

The archbishops and bishops of the Church of England have written to the prime minister, Tony Blair, protesting about the behaviour of US-led forces in Iraq, it emerged today...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1250647,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Abu Ghraib, Stonewalled

While piously declaring its determination to unearth the truth about Abu Ghraib, the Bush administration has spent nearly two months obstructing investigations by the Army and members of Congress...

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6414.htm

Project for the New American Century

The power behind the Bush throne

One of the major groups setting foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, is the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Founded by William Kristol, PNAC has become a major influence on the military policy of the U.S. government through two of its leading members, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle...

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6413.htm

The war we're losing

Patrick J. Buchanan

The war on Iraq into which his neo-conservative advisers prodded the president seems to have ignited the very "war of civilizations" between Islam and America that the president said he wanted to avoid...

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39199


From Information Clearing House

The worst election ever?

by Bob Smith

No Force, No Fraud

06/30/04

Almost 8 years ago, I wrote an essay titled 'The Worst Election ever?' Clinton had just won reelection over Bob Dole. At the time, I thought that elections couldn't get any more ridiculous. Ever optimistic, I was quite wrong in thinking that we had hit an election low...

http://babelogue.citypages.com:8080/bsmith/2004/06/30


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Flag desecration fissure

by Lawrence J. Korb

Washington Times

06/29/04

As a 23-year U.S. Navy serviceman, Vietnam War veteran, former official in the Reagan Defense Department, and lifelong Republican, I revere the flag and that 'for which it stands.' I still get a lump in my throat when I see the flag raised or lowered. Nonetheless, I unalterably oppose the constitutional amendment prohibiting its desecration that is scheduled to be sent to the Senate floor soon.

During my years of military and government service during the Cold War, I believed I was working to uphold democracy against totalitarianism. I did not believe then, nor do I believe now, that I was defending lines on a map; rather, I was defending a way of life. If this amendment becomes part of the Constitution, this way of life will be diminished. America will be less free and more like the former Soviet Union, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or Afghanistan under the Taliban."...

http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20040628-092023-5452r.htm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Bill of Rights nullification by Supreme Court

by Kristopher Barrett

The Libertarian Enterprise

06/27/04

They have nullified the first; you have to be a politician to criticise a politician on TV or radio before an election. ... The United States Supreme court has finally nullified every one of the Bill of Rights amendments through judicial fiat. The destruction of rule of law in the US is now complete...

http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle277-20040627-03.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The birth of the pseudostate

by Adam Hochschild

AlterNet

06/29/04

If the new Iraq-to-be is not a state, what is it? A half century ago
one could talk about colonies, protectorates, and spheres of
influence, but in our supposedly post-colonial world, the vocabulary
is poorer. We lack a word for a country where most real power is in
the hands of someone else, whether that be shadowy local militias,
other nations' armies, or both. Pseudostate, perhaps. From
Afghanistan to the Palestinian Authority, Bosnia to Congo, pseudostates have now spread around the globe. Some of them will even be exchanging ambassadors with Iraq."...

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/19079/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Wrong War

How the war in Iraq has fueled Al Qaeda and ignited its dream of global jihad...

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/07/07_401.html

What Did Bush Know?

The inside story of the official manual on how to torture without being prosecuted...

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0426/hentoff.php


From Information Clearing House

US Iraq detentions illegal

Amnesty: US Iraq detentions illegal

"If, as the UN resolution [1546] proclaims, occupation effectively ends with the handover, then international humanitarian law requires that all prisoners of war, detainees and internees must be released by the occupying powers."...

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/23F47D6F-2EC2-43DD-8467-665F17329B7A.htm

5,600 Retired And Discharged Soldiers To Be Recalled

The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan, Army officials said Tuesday...

http://www.komotv.com/stories/31947.htm


From Information Clearing House

War takes big toll on reserves

The Iraq war is taking a growing toll on soldiers of the National Guard and Reserve, which have suffered more deaths since April 1 than in the previous seven months combined...

http://www.azdailysun.com/non_sec/nav_includes/story.cfm?storyID=89743


From Information Clearing House

Humiliation and Sexual Abuse of Iraqi Families in U.S. Raids

Embedded Filmmaker Who Shot "Fahrenheit 9/11" Iraq Footage Describes Humiliation and Sexual Abuse of Iraqi Families in U.S. Raids

Swedish-Iraqi filmmaker Urban Hamid, who was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq for two and a half months, describes Iraqis being bound, hooded, humiliated and sexually abused by U.S. troops in neighborhood raids. The rarely-seen footage is broadcast on Democracy Now!

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/29/1420223


From Information Clearing House

Iraqis have lived this lie before

The British transfer of sovereignty in the 20s was equally meaningless...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1249508,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Republican Senator Rips Bush on Iraq Strategy

Published on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle

Republican Senator Rips Bush on Iraq Strategy
Hagel says war hurt U.S. in terror battle

by James Sterngold

LOS ANGELES -- Sen. Chuck Hagel, an influential moderate Republican from Nebraska, sharply criticized the Bush administration in an interview here Tuesday, saying that the war in Iraq appears to have hurt America in its battle against terrorism.

Hagel, a politician sometimes mentioned as a future presidential contender, also said the United States is going to have to consider restarting the draft to maintain its many military commitments abroad.

In a sharp critique of the leader of his own party, Hagel said he believes the occupation of Iraq by the American military was poorly planned and has spread terrorist cells more widely around the world.

"This put in motion a new geographic dispersion" of the terrorists, said Hagel, 58, in an interview before delivering a speech to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles. "It's harder to deal with them because they're not as contained. Iraq has become a training ground."

He added that although it is too soon to judge how the war in Iraq will ultimately influence the war on terror, in the short term it has created more terrorists and given them more targets -- American soldiers.

Hagel, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, said he agrees with President Bush that the duration of the war on terror might be measured in generations and that to sustain the badly overstretched military for the struggle, a new draft may be needed.

"We are seeing huge cracks developing in our force structure," he said. "The fact is, if we're going to continue with this, we're going to have to be honest with the American people."

Hagel is clearly trying to carve out a role for himself as a leading moderate voice within the Republican Party, particularly in foreign policy. He has given a string of speeches over the past year advocating a cooperative approach in foreign policy, and he wrote an essay in the current issue of "Foreign Affairs," a policy journal, in which he spells out his principles for a more internationalist and pragmatic Republican foreign policy.

A two-term senator, Hagel is regarded as a pragmatist who is ideologically out of line with the conservatives in the Bush administration. There were even reports recently that he had been courted by Sen. John Kerry, the likely Democratic nominee for president, as a vice presidential candidate.

Asked if he had been approached or if he would consider the offer, Hagel said he is a diehard Republican "and I'll stay in the Republican Party."

But after finding his moderate views largely ignored by the president, Hagel said he feels that Bush, who has taken a strong unilateral approach to foreign policy, is now being forced to embrace positions much closer to those Hagel and other moderates have advocated.

Hagel has pushed for the United States to work much more closely with the United Nations, NATO and America's principal allies in Europe. The president has been in Europe this week offering a more conciliatory face to the allies, and Hagel said the harsh reality of the war in Iraq has forced his hand.

"It's a whole different administration approach,'' Hagel said. "There is a newfound humility, a newfound realism" in the Bush administration.

In another area in which Hagel's views differ sharply from the president's, he suggested that the best way to ultimately win the war on terror is to earn the trust and respect of foreigners, especially younger people in the Arab world and other parts of the globe. The best way to do that, he said, is to make the United States more accessible to them and more open to immigration.

"We are pushing away our friends, our allies, the next generation around the world," Hagel said.

© Copyright 2004 San Francisco Chronicle


Informant: plion

Great news for the Arctic Refuge and the Tongass

The House of Representatives has rejected yet another attempt to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to massive oil development. In the face of opposition from his colleagues, House Resources Committee chair Pombo (R-CA) withdrew H.R. 4529, a bill that would have authorized drilling in the refuge. This great victory is due in no small part to pressure applied by nearly 50,000 BioGems Defenders who sent electronic messages urging their representatives to oppose the bill.

The fight to protect the Arctic Refuge is far from over, however. The Bush administration is determined to let oil and gas companies drill in this unspoiled sanctuary, and the leadership of both houses of Congress has vowed to keep trying. We will undoubtedly be calling on you to take action yet again in defense of this irreplaceable natural treasure.

I also wanted to let you know about another BioGems victory -- also in the House of Representatives -- for Alaska's Tongass National Forest. On June 16th, by a vote of 222-205, the House passed an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would prohibit the Forest Service from spending money to build logging roads in the Tongass for the next year. The proposed roads are a crucial first step in opening up pristine rainforest valleys to industrial-scale clearcutting.

Though it passed in the House, the amendment still faces an uphill climb: to become law, it must pass the Senate and be signed by President Bush. Logging companies are determined to clearcut the Tongass, and the Bush administration is doing everything possible to assist them. By sending more than 300,000 messages to defend the Tongass, you and other BioGems Defenders have played a crucial role in protecting this vast and thriving temperate rainforest.

On behalf of all of us at NRDC, thank you for taking action to save our hemisphere's wildest places. With your continued help, we will keep fighting in defense of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Tongass National Forest and all of our other BioGems.

Sincerely,

John H. Adams
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council
http://www.savebiogems.org

Kampf um Recht auf Wohnen im Zuge der HARTZ IV. Umsetzung

Erste Überlegungen nach Vermittelungsausschuss

Nach der Einigung des Vermittlungsausschusses ist die „Vertagung“ erst mal vom Tisch. Hartz IV wird umgesetzt. In dieser Situation kommt es darauf an, Protest und Interessenwahrnehmung zu vertiefen, zu konkretisieren, zu verbreitern und besser zu vernetzen. Dabei ist ein wichtiger Punkt, die ab 1.1. unmittelbar Betroffenen gezielt aufzuklären, einzubeziehen und die Bedingungen der Interessenwahrnehmung schnell zu verbessern. Diese Arbeit sollte entlang der nächsten Umsetzungsschritte von Hartz IV erfolgen

Ziel ist es immer,
- die individuelle Rechtslage und Interessenposition der ALG-BezieherInnen zu stärken und die Leistungen sicher zu stellen
- die Selbstorganisation zu stärken, zu unterstützen und anzuregen
- kollektiv Zugeständnisse – wo möglich auch lokal – zu erreichen
- diese Interessenwahrnehmung in den politischen Kontext zu stellen und die Folgen von Hartz IV in der Öffentlichkeit plastisch zu machen
- dadurch die Forderung nach Rückabwicklung der „Reform“ noch anschaulicher zu machen
- auf unweigerliche Missstände und Fehler mit maximaler Öffentlichkeitswirkung hinzuweisen
- wo eine Rückabwicklung nicht möglich erscheint, für konkrete Veränderungen an den rechtlichen Regelungen zu wirken
- die unterschiedlichen Ebene der sozialen Kämpfe gegen den Sozialstaatsabbau und die neoliberale Offensive konkret unter Mitnahme der Menschen zu vermitteln
- verbesserte Grundlagen für die kollektive Interessenwahrnehmung, Beratung, Rechtsvertretung zu schaffen...

In diesem Sinne gibt es mehrere vordringliche Anknüpfungspunkte, ich konzentrire mich hier auf Anregungen zur Wohnkostenfrage:

Schwerpunkt hier:: Recht auf Wohnen

- Nach SGB II werden für alle LeistungsbezieherInnen auf Dauer nur „angemessene“ Unterkunftskosten übernommen

- Das Arbeitsministerium verzichtet darauf, die Angemessenheit per Rechtsverordnung zu definieren und überlässt es den Kommunen, Festsetzungen zu treffen.

- Dass das Ministerium im Schreiben an uns meint, die bisherige BSHG-Praxis lasse sich übertragen, ist rechtlich zunächst nicht maßgeblich. Interessanter ist die Bezugnahme auf Mietspiegel und örtliche Wohnungsmärkte im SGB XII. Diese Regelungen wurden nicht im SGB II übernommen, was nicht heißt dass man sich auf die vernünftigeren SGB XII Aussagen nicht argumentativ berufen kann.

- Es gibt z.Zt. noch keine Klarheit darüber, ob, trotz des Verzichts auf die Verordnungen, Obergrenzen für Wohnkosten/Fall im Rahmen der Revisionsklausel-Regelung getroffen werden, bzw. wie hoch der Eigenanteil der Kommunen an den Wohnkosten liegt.

- Das eröffnet zusätzliche Spielräume, von den Kommunen einen Verzicht auf die bisherige BSHG Praxis zu fordern, da sie im Zuge der Revision die Mehrkosten erstattet bekommen könnten.

- Das ist der Anlass für möglichen kommunale Vorstöße, die bereits im Vorfeld (d.h. z.B. im Kommunalwahlkampf NRW) dafür sorgen, dass es am 1.1. keine Aufforderungen zu Kostensenkung gibt.

- Da das BSHG als Rechtgrundlage entfällt, ist mit einer neuen Rechtsprechung zu rechnen Man könne dafür sorgen, sie voran zu treiben durch die Unterstützung von Widersprüchen und Vorbereitung von Pilotklagen.

- Alle diese Elemente könnten in eine „Kampagne“ eingebettet werden, um zu verdeutlichen dass es um politische Grundsatzfragen geht und um unsere Praxis zu verbreitern, bzw. zu Allianzen zu kommen.

Elemente/SCHRITTE

Schritt/Element 1 BESTANDSAUFNAHME
Schnelle Bestandsaufnahme über derzeitige BSHG-Regelungen und wahrscheinliche Folgen bei Übernahme ins SGB II/XII in möglichst vielen Städten Dokumentation.

Schritt/Element 2 FORDERUNG AN STADTRÄTE
Vorsorgliche Aussetzung/Abänderung der kommunalen Regelungen zur Übernahme der Unterkunftskosten Wir richten umgehend Forderungen an die Räte und Kreistage, z.B. folgenden Inhalts (Teufel im Detail, möglichst genau oder lieber möglichst wenig?)

A.
Die bestehenden Regelungen zur Übernahme der Unterkunftskosten nach BSHG werden zum Stichtag der Rechtswirksamkeit von SGB II (voraussichtlich 1.1.2005) aufgehoben.

B.
Es wird folgende Regelung zur Umsetzung von § 22 SGB II und § 29 SGB XII beschlossen.

1. Bei bestehenden Wohnverhältnissen sind die bisherigen Wohnkosten, einschließlich Heiz- und Nebenkosten und belegter Nachforderungen, unter Berücksichtigung der örtlichen Gegebenheiten des Wohnungsmarktes und des Mietspiegels immer angemessen, soweit nicht ein individuell von der Stadt zu belegender Fall außerordentlich hoher Wohnkosten (Luxus) oder einer Mietüberhöhung im Sinne des WiStG vorliegt.

Auf Aufforderungen zur Wohnkostensenkung und Kürzungen der Wohnkostenübernahme wird insoweit verzichtet. Der Aufwand würde in keinem Verhältnis zu den rechtskonform erzielbaren Einsparungen stehen.

2. Grenzen für die Neuanmietung einer Wohnung können nur auf der Grundlage wissenschaftlicher statistischer Erhebungen über die tatsächlich auf dem Markt angebotenen Wohnungen (Neuvertragsmieten) festgesetzt werden. Die Zahl der angebotenen Wohnungen muss dabei in ein ausgewogenes Verhältnis gesetzt werden zur Zahl der voraussichtlich Wohnungssuchenden mit ALG II-Bezug um die mindestens erforderliche Angemessenheitsgrenze festzusetzen. Dabei muss durch die Entwicklung geeigneter lokaler Kriterien mit den Sozialverbänden und den Betroffenenvertretungen auch gewährleistet sein, dass alle Wohnungsmarktsegment, die von breiten Schichten der Bevölkerung genutzt werden, für die ALG II-BezieherInnen zugänglich sind, und dass es nicht zu Abdrängungen in bestimmte, beschränkte Stadtteile, Quartiere oder Wohnungstypen kommt.

So lange derartige Untersuchungen nicht vorliegen ist die zulässige Kaltmiete für die neue Wohnung in der Regel der Oberwert der jeweiligen Mietspiegelspanne für die gewünschte Wohnung pro Quadratmeter x Wohnfläche, die dem Haushalt nach Wohnungsbindungsgesetz plus einem Regelaufschlag auf die Wohnfläche, der sich nach der durchschnittlich vom jeweiligen Haushaltstyp benutzten Wohnfläche bemisst. Abweichungen nach oben sind aus persönlichen Gründen möglich.

3. Zusätzlich werden die Neben- und Heizkosten in tatsächlich anfallender Höhe übernommen.

4. Im Falle dass der Job-Agentur/der Stadt die Miete bzw. die Heiz- und Nebenkosten überhöht erscheinen, tritt sie an den Vermieter heran, um mit ihm über die Möglichkeiten einer Mietsenkung zu verhandeln. Dies schließt auch Tipps zur Senkung der Betriebs- und Heizkosten mittels Investitionen ein.

5. Zur Klärung rechtlicher Fragen durch den/die Leistungsbezieher/in soll die Jobagentur die Mitgliedsbeträge in einer Mieter- oder Sozialberatungsorganisation übernehmen.

6. Im Falle des Verdachts einer strafbar überhöhten Miete wird die Stadt vom Amts wegen gem. Wirtschaftsstrafgesetz gegen den Vermieter tätig und erwirkt eine Senkung der Miete auf den zulässigen Wert. Von dem Mieter/Leistungsempfänger wird lediglich Unterstützung bei der Durchführung des Verfahrens erwartet.

7. Ein im Vergleich zu bisherigen Schätzungen sich ergebender Mehraufwand wird im Rahmen der Revisionsklausel geltend gemacht. Den eventuellen Kosten der Zwischenfinanzierung stehen erhebliche Minderausgaben im Bereich der Wohnkostensenkung, der Widerspruchs- und Klageabwicklung sowie aufgrund der Vermeidung von Verdrängung und Obdachlosigkeit gegenüber.

Ein derartiger Vorschlag könnte schell und möglichst zeitnah in mehreren Städten verbreitet werden (angepasst auf jeweilige Bedingungen) und entsprechend kommuniziert werden.

SCHRITT 3 Durchsetzungsversuche
Diese Position bekannt machen.

Versuchen Durchsetzung durch Verhandlung.
Ratsanfragen zum verfügbaren Wohnraum usw.
Prüfstein im Kommunalwahlkampf.
Einwohnerantrag usw.

SCHRITT 4 Bürgerbegehren
Wenn möglich + erforderlich ein Bürgerbegehren zu der o.g. Frage, wenn absehbar ist, dass eine Kostendeckung z.B. über Revision möglich ist.

SCHRITT 5 Betroffenen-Vertretung/ Hilfen und Aktionen
Beratungsmaterial und Argumentationshilfen.

Lokale Komitees

Aufruf zu (wenn nötig) massenhaften Widersprüchen gegen Kostensenkungsaufforderungen, rechtwirksame Musterschreiben.

Formblätter/Hinweise zum Nachweis der Kostensenkungsbemühungen vor, sprechen mit Wohnungsunternehmen eventuell vereinfachte Verfahren ab.

Wir schalten „Wohnungssuch-Anzeigen“ „5000 Dauerarbeitslose suchen Wohnungen für x“
Wir bereiten Musterklagen vor. (mit Partnern)

Email: unger@mvwit.de
MieterInnenverein Witten u. Umg. e.V. / Habitat-Netz. e.V.
Postfach 1928, 58409 Witten
Bahnhofstr. 46, 58452 Witten
Geschäftsstelle Tel. 02302-51793
Direkt/ Habitat-Netz: 02302-276171
Fax. 02302-27320

Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)

Broadband over Powerlines (BPL) video available

Currently in Australia as well as the US, trials are underway to start up what is called Broadband over Powerlines (BPL). In Australia it is being tested in Hobart, Tasmania (By Aurora Energy) and in Sydney by Main.Net in conjunction with Savant Corp.
http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/savantcorp/media.html.

Basically BPL is pumping RF at 1 to 80 megahertz into the power lines which broadband subscribers can then hook up to.

In the US the proponents who are pushing for BPL have as their paid spokesperson - good old GW Bush, who will speak for anything as long as the donation to his re-election campaign is high enough - God knows he will need all he can get. In another profession its called prostitution.

So is BPL the way of the future, or just another hairbrained quick-make-a-buck scheme? Are these the same guys who seriously proposed heating your home with microwaves????

The following information does not deal with any possible health issues but does pumping more RF into your house wiring sound like a really good thing?

Don Maisch


Broadband over Power Line video available
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/06/18/8/

See Video at:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/06/18/8/BPL-and-HF-web.mpg


Broadband Fool's Gold
http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/41546

Iraqi Scandal

http://g0lem.net/PhpWiki/index.php/IraqiScandal


Informant: CHAI

Nearly 100 million in United States are breathing particulates, says EPA

Almost 100 million people in 21 U.S. states breathe unhealthy levels of tiny particles spewed by coal-burning power plants, cars, and factories, the Environmental Protection Agency said this week...

http://www.enn.com/news/2004-07-01/s_25446.asp

War on Civil Liberties

http://g0lem.net/PhpWiki/index.php/WarOnCivilLib


Informant: SHIN

Supreme Court Ends Term With Reaffirmation of Rule of Law During Times of National Crisis

"The Supreme Court Term that ended today will long be remembered for its emphatic repudiation of the Bush Administration’s claim that it can conduct the war on terrorism as it sees fit with virtually no opportunity for meaningful judicial review," the American Civil Liberties Union said today.

Insisting that a system of checks and balances is essential to safeguarding both liberty and security, the Court ruled that foreign citizens detained at Guantánamo Bay and American citizens detained in military brigs are both entitled to their day in court.

“These are truly historic decisions,” said Steven R. Shapiro, the ACLU’s national legal director. “The administration has treated the rule of law as an inconvenience in the war against terrorism. In response, the Supreme Court has sent a powerful message that the end does not justify the means, and that it will not sit on the sidelines while the rule of law is ignored.”

To read the ACLU summary of the term, please click here
http://www.aclu.org/court/court.cfm?orgid=n&ID=16029&c=261&MX=1352&H=1

Army Plans Involuntary Call-Up of Thousands

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=5536115


Informant: m macleod

The defiance of science

More than 4,000 scientists have signed a petition accusing George Bush of twisting their work to further his political agenda. Andrew Buncombe investigates the war between the White House and the men in white coats.

29 June 2004

For Michael Greene, there was little hesitation. The Harvard professor has spent much of his life working in the field of reproductive health, and when - in his capacity as a member of a federal advisory committee - he was asked his opinion about a new emergency contraception, he had few doubts about recommending that it be licensed.

And neither did the overwhelming majority of his colleagues on the committee, formed by the US federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Indeed, the distinguished panel voted 23-4 in favour of selling the "morning after" pill Plan B without prescription. The FDA almost always follows its experts' recommendations.

But not this time. Despite the wealth of expert opinion, the FDA rejected the committee's view, claiming that there was insufficient data. Committee members were incensed. E-mails flew back and forth, talking of resignation and political interference in the scientific process. "People are very angry," says Greene. "The issue here is much larger than just Plan B. The decision is blatantly contrary to the science and the facts, and so blatantly politicised."
But critics say that this is just one modest example among dozens of the way in which the administration of President George Bush is manipulating and twisting science for its own extreme ideological ends. On issues from global warming to lead in drinking water and the alleged link between breast cancer and abortions, this administration, like no other before it, is turning science into a political battleground.

Suddenly, science is responding in what is almost certainly an unprecedented revolt against the government. Earlier this year, the non-profit group, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), put together a petition that has so far been signed by more than 4,000 scientists, among them 20 Nobel prize-winners, demanding that the Bush administration change its behaviour. It also published a 38-page report detailing the government's scientific distortions.
"Successful application of science has played a large part in the policies that have made the United States the world's most powerful nation, and its citizens increasingly prosperous and healthy," the report says. "Although scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should always be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective to avoid perilous consequences. Indeed, this principle has long been adhered to by presidents and administrations of both parties in forming and implementing policies. The administration of George Bush has, however, disregarded this principle."

The result of this politicisation, say disgruntled scientists, has resulted not only in flawed policies but the very undermining of American scientific ideals - and even perhaps the nation's founding principles. What has transpired, Lewis Lapam noted recently in Harper's Magazine, which he edits, has been "the systematic substitution of ideological certainty for reasonable doubt across the entire spectrum of issues bearing on the public health and welfare... [a] rejection of the scientific method in favour of the conviction that if the science doesn't prove what it's been told to prove, then the science has been tampered with by Satan or the Democratic Party".

There are few issues where the evidence of scientific distortion is more apparent than that of reproductive health. On 22 January 2001, four days after his inauguration, Bush reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, which denies federal funds to family- planning groups that provide abortion counselling or services overseas.
Since then, led by its born-again evangelical leader, the government has waged war on anything that might be considered a "liberal approach" towards reproductive health. Condoms have been condemned as ineffective, and the administration has adopted "abstinence only" as the official approach towards sex education. Over the last three years, Congress has given more than $100m in grants to organisations that promote abstinence-only education.
A report published last year by the House of Representatives committee on government reform noted that this had only been achieved by manipulating the facts. "The Bush administration has consistently distorted the scientific evidence about what works in sex education," it said. "Administration officials have never acknowledged that abstinence-only programmes have not been proven to reduce sexual activity, teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. Instead, [it] has changed performance measures for abstinence-only education to make the programmes appear successful, censored information on effective sex education programmes, and appointed to a key panel an abstinence-only proponent with dubious credentials."

If the administration can use science to turn common sense on its head - does anyone really believe that simply telling teenagers not to have sex will prevent pregnancies? - there is little wonder that it is prepared to manipulate the facts in more obviously "scientific" areas where ordinary people may be less equipped to decide for themselves. In one incident, the administration altered the National Cancer Institute's website to suggest that there was a link between abortion and breast cancer. The federally funded institute was forced to change the site after an outcry from scientists insisting that there was no such link.

It was in this environment that Barr Laboratories, the makers of Plan B, sought federal approval for their new emergency contraception. Though Greene's panel, along with the Non-Prescription Drugs Advisory Panel, voted last December to license the product, it was only this month that the FDA's acting director, Steven Galson, announced that he was overruling his experts. Galson denied that anyone outside the FDA had influenced his decision. "As is the case with a lot of these difficult decisions, there may not be agreement among people who are experts in data analysis," he said. He failed to mention, however, that 44 members of Congress had written to those on the committee urging them to reject the contraception.

James Trussell, a professor at Princeton University's Office of Population Research and a panel member, said that he believed that Plan B will only get approved if there is a change of government. "It is being done to reflect the philosophy of the administration. It is a very sad day," he said. "But this is not just limited to the FDA and just one decision. It's not an isolated thing. Bad policy is being made."

Indeed, the report drawn up by the committee on government reform lists 20 different topics, ranging from agricultural policy to ecological problems in the Yellowstone National Park, in which science had been twisted. The report concluded: "The Bush administration, however, has repeatedly suppressed, distorted or obstructed science to suit political and ideological goals. These actions go far beyond the traditional influence that Presidents are permitted to wield at federal agencies, and compromise the integrity of scientific policy-making."

Critics say that the administration has adopted three strategies to twist facts. The first is to manipulate the membership of advisory committees, stacking them with people who share its views. Elizabeth Blackburn, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, found out in February that she and a colleague were not to be reappointed to the panel after speaking out in support of research on human stem cells. They were replaced by three new members who opposed such research. "Not one of the newly appointed members is a biomedical scientist," she said.
In other cases, people with links to the industries that the panels are supposed to be monitoring have been appointed. Elsewhere, people have been asked about their views on abortion and the death penalty and their voting record. The Bush administration is even prepared to block the appointment to international bodies of American scientists. In April 2002, it ensured that Robert Watson - a critic of America's energy policy - was voted out of his job as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after being lobbied by the ExxonMobil oil company.

The second strategy is simply to misrepresent the truth. In August 2001, Bush banned federal funding of research on new stem-cell lines, saying that there were already 60 such lines available. He was not telling the whole truth. In May 2003, the director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed that there were just 11 such lines available to researchers.

The final strategy, outlined by Martin McKee and Thomas Novotny in an article in the European Journal of Public Health, is to block funding for controversial issues. A federal analysis on air pollution that might have come up with information uncomfortable to the administration was blocked, while researchers applying to the NIH for funds on HIV research have been told to avoid using phrases such as "sex worker", "gay" and "anal sex" in their applications.
The administration dismisses charges of distortion. In April, Dr John Marburger, the President's chief science adviser, issued a report rebutting many of the accusations levelled by the UCS and others. (The UCS, in turn, issued an equally detailed rebuttal of his rebuttals.) "The accusations in the document are inaccurate, and certainly do not justify the sweeping conclusions of either the document or the accompanying statement," Marburger told Congress. "I believe the document has methodological flaws that undermine its own conclusions, not the least of which is the failure to consider publicly available information, or to seek and reflect responses or explanations from responsible government officials."
In a telephone interview, Marburger did not deny that there may be individual cases where scientists dispute the view of the White House. But he said: "What I am denying is that there is a systematic practice of undermining science, or manipulating or distorting it." He also said that as science pushed at the boundaries it was bound to come into contact with contentious issues. He regretted that science had become politicised, but blamed groups such as the UCS for that.

Marburger's office sent me information claiming that the Bush administration has raised the funding of research and development to levels not seen since 1968 and the Apollo programme. It also said that the National Academies' National Research Council had come out in favour of Bush's strategic plan for global warming, which it had earlier criticised. The academy actually said that the plan was "much improved" compared with an earlier draft, but that commitments to fund many of the newly proposed activities were lacking.

Despite Marburger's assertions, what appears beyond question is that an unprecedented number of American scientists believe that science is being manipulated as never before. Their anger is now seeping from the pages of medical journals and reaching the mainstream.

Kurt Gottfried, professor of physics at Cornell and the UCS chairman, said his organisation, as well as collecting the signatures of 4,000 scientists, had had many messages of support from people working for the government who were unable to make their concerns public. "In the first Bush administration, there were no problems. This whole issue is unprecedented."

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=535644


Deborah Elaine Barrie
4 Catherine Street
Smiths Falls, On
Canada
K7A 3Z8
(613)284-8259
deborahbarrie@hotmail.com
http://www.noccawood.ca

Reorganize the World

(excerpt)

SITUATION

There are greedy people of all political persuasions everywhere on earth who use the power of governments to coerce, control and manipulate the masses of people for their own personal, corporate or otherwise collective benefit. Such governmental "initiatory physical force" has manifested wars, genocide, weapons of mass destruction, massive secrecy, corruption, abuse of power, unfair treatment of many, favoritism for a few, monetary fraud, indebtedness, taxation without representation, and denial of individual human rights, among many other life-threatening, anti-social, disempowering and destructive behaviors.

SOLUTION

Systemic evolution is required for universal "equal protection" of both Individual and Collective Rights grounded in a body of unchanging natural law for a sustainable future. Accordingly, the proposed CONSTITUTION of UNITED DIVERSITY (The New Earth Cooperative) creates an "umbrella form" of global order under which a full spectrum of voluntary political, social, health/wellness, cultural, religious, monetary, agricultural and other people-driven systems and initiatives are empowered to function in an environmentally-sound harmonious peace!

Aloha,
Triaka


Informant: Martin Greenhut
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