12
Apr
2005

Big Brother - The Echelon System

The Echelon System

<excerpted>

Echelon is the term popularly used for an automated, global, quasi-total surveillance system operated by the intelligence agencies in five nations: the United States (NSA), the United Kingdom (GCHQ), Canada (CSE), Australia (DSD) and New Zealand (GCSB). Echelon intercepts huge amounts of ordinary phone calls, e-mail messages, Internet downloads, satellite transmissions, etc., gathering all of these transmissions indiscriminately and distilling the information that is most heavily desired through artificial intelligence programs. Some sources have claimed that Echelon sifts through an estimated 90 percent of all traffic that flows through the Internet. The United States government has gone to extreme lengths to keep Echelon a secret, even after the governments of Australia and New Zealand admitted to its existence. Echelon is a highly classified operation, which is conducted with little or no oversight by national parliaments or courts, so there is no way to know how the information is used, and whether that use is lawful or not. Significant privacy concerns have been raised by Congress and many other governments and institutions.

http://www.strange-loops.com/freeechelon.html

Echelon is a global surveillance network set up in Cold War days to provide the US goverment with intelligence data about Russia. One of the main contractors is Raytheon. Lockheed Martin has been involved in writing software for it. Since then it has expanded into a general listening facility, an electronic vacuum cleaner, sucking up the world's telephone conversations. Information about it's existence has been reluctantly revealed, prompted by scandals such as the recordings of Princess Diana's telephone calls by the NSA. The calls are recorded by geo-stationary spy satellites and listening stations, such as the UK's Menwith Hill, which combine satellite-intercepted calls and trunk landline intercepts and forward them on to centres, such as the US' Fort Meade, where supercomputers work on the recordings in real time.

http://www.techworld.com/storage/news/index.cfm?NewsID=2430


Informant: Skews Me

Reject John Bolton's nomination as UN Ambassador

On Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began 3 days of hearings into John Bolton's nomination as America's next Ambassador to the United Nations. And as a member of the committee, I was very disturbed by what I heard.

Other than the Secretary of State and the President himself, the UN Ambassador is our country's chief diplomat. But at a time when the United States is working to repair relationships with our allies and rebuild our image around the world, John Bolton is absolutely the wrong choice for this critical job.

Tell your Senators to reject Bolton's nomination today!
http://ga4.org/campaign/bolton/b85g574257bx7t

After all, John Bolton has shown nothing but contempt for the United Nations throughout his entire career. He has even gone so far as to state that "there is no United Nations" and "if [the UN Headquarters] lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Further, John Bolton has demonstrated a disturbing propensity to politicize the intelligence-gathering process and twist intelligence to suit his needs. In fact, recently Bolton tried to punish two intelligence analysts who disagreed with his views about Cuba's possession of biological weapons. In the aftermath of the Iraq debacle, we can't stand to promote anyone who misuses critical intelligence information.

The confirmation vote for John Bolton's nomination promises to be very close -- your individual lobbying effort could very well make the difference.

So please take 30 seconds right now to sign my petition and tell your Senators how you feel about John Bolton -- before the Foreign Relations Committee votes on Thursday.
http://ga4.org/campaign/bolton/b85g574257bx7t

Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator

Bush Nominee Bolton Accused of being "Serial Abuser"

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041205X.shtml

On to Iran?

The Magazine of Future Warfare
http://www.g2mil.com/Summer2005.htm

Senate Debates U.S. Military Spending in Iraq

Take Action:

Right now, the Senate is considering amendments to the Bush administration's $82 billion spending request for tsunami relief and U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan .

Regardless of whether you believe U.S. forces should leave today, next year, or the moment Iraq is able to provide for its own security, one p rob lem remains clear: the Bush administration is not doing enough to create a responsible way out of Iraq .

While reports of progress in equipping and training Iraq 's new security forces are encouraging, U.S. assistance has fallen short in helping Iraq build the civilian institutions that underpin democracy.

Two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq 's national ministries, directorates, and governing institutions lack the capacity to effectively direct resources or make decisions based on the needs of the Iraqi people.

Join the Education for Peace in Iraq Center ( EPIC ) in asking the Senate to amend the emergency appropriations bill. Urge them to require that the Bush administration provide a detailed plan for supporting Iraq 's transition to a fully independent and stable democracy, including a clear timetable for the reduction and full withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Click below to send a letter today:
http://dev.epic-usa.org/index.cfm?MemberID=40068&Page=Campaign&CampaignID=1&subPage=Action

Washington's Silence on DeLay Broken

Just days after we launched our call in campaign against Tom DeLay, members of the Washington establishment finally broke their silence and began to speak out.

On ABC's "This Week," Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) called on Tom DeLay "to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it." And, in a town hall meeting with his constituents, Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) said that it's time to "decide whether we are going to continue to make excuses for Tom." We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of calls made to hundreds of members of Congress late last week by people like you are starting to make a difference. The chorus of voices standing against DeLay's corruption is just beginning to rise. Together, we have the power to amplify this chorus and call out clearly for democracy...not DeLay.

Call your Representative today and get them on record answering the question, "Do you believe that Tom DeLay is ethically fit to serve as House Majority Leader?"

http://action.ourfuture.org/ctt.asp?u=1742757&l=87547

Every Washington politician must stand up to the corruption in Congress typified by Tom DeLay because it not only undermines our democracy, it hurts the American people directly. It hurts us at the gas pump when DeLay accepts tens of thousands of dollars from a polluting energy company in exchange for what company officials believed would be "a seat at the table" during Energy Bill negotiations. It costs us through higher drug prices when DeLay strong-arms colleagues to side with big drug companies and HMOs on Medicare legislation.

Many members of Congress still have not heard from us. Please call on them today to take a stand! The more calls we make, the more pressure our Representatives will feel to tell us whether they stand with DeLay or democracy. We will share your lawmaker's response to your question directly with your local media so that -- wherever your Rep. stands -- thousands of people in your community will finally know.

Help get your lawmaker on the record today. The question couldn't be more straight forward -- and we all deserve an answer. Call your Representative and tell them that you want to know, "Do you believe that Tom DeLay is ethically fit to serve as House Majority Leader?"

http://action.ourfuture.org/ctt.asp?u=1742757&l=87547

Thanks for all you do.


Sincerely,

Ellen S. Miller, Deputy Director
Campaign for America's Future

James Kennedy's Christian Crusade

TV Evangelist's ministerial and media empire claim US a 'Christian nation', don't believe in the separation of church and state, and aims to extend political reach.

http://www.mediatransparency.com/recipients/coralridge.htm


From Information Clearing House

Trade Deficit Hits All-Time High in February

The U.S. trade deficit, exacerbated by surging imports of oil andtextiles, soared to an all-time high of $61.04 billion in February.

http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBIDBM3G7E.html


From Information Clearing House

DeLay Fundraising Plied Special Interests

Tom DeLay routinely solicited donations by identifying legislative actions that prospective givers wanted, from video gambling to lawsuit limits, memos show.

http://snipurl.com/dyyx


From Information Clearing House

Mind Control and the American Media

The U.S. mainstream media are frequently accused by the right of being too liberal. But consider the following.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article8517.htm

Negroponte Used CIA Back Channels to Defy Congress

Papers illustrate Negroponte's Contra role - show intelligence nominee was active in US effort.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article8520.htm

The Armageddon Man

A comprehensive look at John Bolton's career reveals a man who champions extremism in the service of expediency.

http://alternet.org/story/21730/


From Information Clearing House

Ex-Intel Chief Blasts Bolton at Hearing

A former chief of the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research castigated John R. Bolton on Tuesday as a "kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy" who abused analysts who disagreed with his views of Cuba's weapons capabilities.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=662969


From Information Clearing House

Transcripts of tribunals detail stories of Guantanamo detainees

In one case, according to court documents, a judge blurted out: ''I don't care about international law."

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article8515.htm

Torture Air, Incorporated

It appears that Dick Cheney himself gave the greenlight for the kidnapping and torture scenario.

http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair04092005.html


From Information Clearing House

Report criticizes Halliburton's work

Serious cost overruns and a "poor performance" have plagued Halliburton's continuing $1.2 billion contract to repair Iraq's vital southern oil fields, a new U.S. State Department report says.

http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2005/04/12/news/halliburton.html
http://snipurl.com/dyy7


From Information Clearing House

Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq

War Crimes:

A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal.

http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-preface.htm


From Information Clearing House

US appears to have fought war for oil and lost it

by Ian Rutledge

According to the former head of ExxonMobil's Gulf operations, "Iraqi exiles approached us saying, you can have our oil if we can get back in there", the Bush administration decided to use its overwhelming military might to create a pliant - and dependable - oil protectorate in the Middle East and achieve that essential "opening" of the Gulf oilfields.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article8522.htm

Help Stop the Creation of a National Database of Personal Information

The rise in identity theft has impacted many of our lives. Just today, for example, data broker LexisNexis reported that personal information on 310,000 U.S. citizens may have been stolen.

Now, several Members of Congress are pushing legislation that would compile your most personal information, such as your name, address, social security number and perhaps even your DNA, into a national database. This giant network would then be accessible by numerous government officials and shared with Mexican and Canadian bureaucracies, dramatically increasing the risk of your personal information being stolen and abused.

Take Action! Urge Congress to oppose legislation that would result in a national ID and imperil your personal privacy.
http://www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=17982&c=39

This proposed legislation would create a national system to store your personal contact information and personal biometric information, which could include your fingerprints, DNA or retinal scans. It would drastically alter who has access to your personal information. Thousands of government employees across North America would have access to these personal details, and hackers, thieves, terrorists and organized criminals would have a single one-shop destination for identity theft.

Based on the outcry by concerned activists like you, the legislation’s supporters know they cannot get it to pass as an independent bill in the Senate so they are trying to attach it to an unrelated appropriations bill.

A vote is expected later this week and we need you to contact your Senators and urge them to oppose adding this ill-conceived legislation to the supplemental appropriations bill.

Click here for more information and to contact your Senators:

http://www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=17982&c=39

Matt Howes, National Internet Organizer, ACLU

Let Them Eat Bombs

by Terry Jones, The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1457436,00.html

A Monty Python public service announcement from the "Department of Making Things Better for Children in the Middle East By Military Force."

http://www.tompaine.com

Bush's Social Security Playbook

by Paul Waldman, TomPaine.com

The Republicans are constantly moving the goalposts on the Social Security debate -- but the American public isn't fooled.

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/bushs_social_security_playbook.php?dateid=20050412

Montana House Condemns USA Patriot Act

We thank Bill Richer for this information about the Montana Legislature's actions on the USA Patriot Act.

Provisions of the USA Patriot Act are up for review in Congress. The United States Attorney General is pressing for the retention of all current provisions and many new ones. This act should not be renewed or expanded but should be rescinded. The Independent American Party has submitted a Bill to Congress to rescind the USA Patriot Act. It can be accessed at:
http://www.usiap.org/ActionItems/PatriotBill/PatriotBillText.html

The USA Patriot Act should be rescinded for the following reasons:

1. The Representatives and Senators who voted for it had not read nor understood it before voting.

2. Provisions in the USA Patriot Act trample on the right of American citizens to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Since this God-given right is guaranteed by the Constitution and abrogated by the USA Patriot Act, the USA Patriot Act is in itself unconstitutional.

3. The USA Patriot Act increases the power of the Executive branch far beyond the limits envisioned and enumerated by the Founding Fathers.

Montana is the fifth state to pass a resolution against the USA Patriot Act. Montana's resolution is also the strongest. There are 373 states, counties and municipalities who have passed resolutions against the USA Patriot Act. There is a groundswell of public opinion against this act. We ask you to join the groundswell by taking the following actions.

1. Print or copy the Patriot Act Recision Bill at:
http://www.usiap.org/ActionItems/PatriotBill/PatriotBillText.html
and send it to both of your Senators and your Representative asking them to sponsor this bill.

2. Contact your state legislators and have them sponsor a resolution patterned after the resolution in Montana.
http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/2005/billhtml/SJ0019.htm

3. Write a letter to the Editor urging Congress to rescind this Act and urging your state legislature to pass a resolution urging Congress to rescind this Act.

4. Study information on the USA Patriot Act at:
http://www.bordc.org/index.html

5. Study your Constitutional rights at:
http://stores.ebay.com/Independent-American-Books_W0QQsspagenameZMEQ3aFQ3aSTQQtZkm

For Freedom,

Will Christensen
National Vice Chair
Independent American Party
http://www.usiap.org/


The Independent American Party will hold a convention the 15th & 16th of April in Salt Lake City. Details are at:

http://www.usiap.org/Events/EventsIndex.html

Those who are interested in retrieving our government from the Insiders are invited to attend.

Be a pipeline not a bucket - Please pass this along


Montana House Condemns Patriot Act
http://www.rense.com/general163/mont.htm
by Jennifer McKee
Billings Gazette State Bureau
4-3-5

Helena - Montana lawmakers overwhelmingly passed what its sponsor called the nation's most strongly worded criticism of the federal Patriot Act on Friday, uniting politicians of all stripes.

The resolution, which already galloped through the Senate and passed the House 88-12 Friday, must survive a final vote before it officially passes.

Senate Joint Resolution 19, sponsored by Sen. Jim Elliott, D-Trout Creek, says that while the 2005 Legislature supports the federal government's fight against terrorism, the so-called Patriot Act of 2001 granted authorities sweeping powers that violate citizens' rights enshrined in both the U.S. and Montanan constitutions.

The resolution, which does not carry the weight of a law but expresses the Legislature's opinion, encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights. It requests all libraries in the state to post a sign warning citizens that under the Patriot Act, federal agents may force librarians to turn over a record of books a person has checked out and never inform that citizen of the request.

The resolution asks Montana's attorney general to review any state intelligence information and destroy it if is not tied directly to suspected criminals. It also asks the attorney general to find out how many Montanans have been arrested under the Patriot Act and how many people have been subject to so-called "sneak and peaks," or government searches of a person's property without the person's knowledge.

Elliott, a Democrat and rancher from northwestern Montana, sponsored the resolution, but it garnered support from Republicans on the far right of the political spectrum.

"Sometimes we just take liberty for granted in the country," said Rep. Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman, who keeps a plant called "the Liberty Tree" on his legislative desk.

Koopman said his Liberty Tree was "blooming for this bill."

"Frankly, what it says to me is that civil liberties are a bipartisan issue in Montana," said Rep. Rick Maejde, R-Trout Creek, who led the House debate for the resolution.

Elliott said he was "very, very pleased" the resolution had such support.

"Montana isn't the first state that passed a resolution, but this resolution is the strongest statement against the constitutional violations of the Patriot Act of any state and almost every city or county," he said.

12.04.05

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/12_04_05_pfarrer_engelbrecht.pdf

"Brutale Enteignung der Arbeitnehmer": Lafontaine will offenbar den Sozialdemokraten den Rücken kehren

12.04.05

Der langjährige Hoffnungsträger und Vorsitzende der SPD, Oskar Lafontaine, will offenbar die Partei verlassen. Nach dem tiefgreifenden Zerwürfnis mit der Berliner SPD-Spitze sieht er nach Informationen der "Saarbrücker Zeitung" für sich keine Zukunft mehr in der SPD. Es werde damit gerechnet, dass Lafontaine nach der Landtagswahl in Nordrhein-Westfalen in die neue Linkspartei "Wahlalternative Arbeit & soziale Gerechtigkeit" eintreten werde, schrieb das Blatt.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

http://www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=10855

Manipulierte Demokratien: Verbraucher-Initiative warnt vor dem "gläsernen Wähler"

12.04.05

Nach Angaben der Verbraucher-Initiative werden im gegenwärtig stattfindenden englischen Wahlkampf immer mehr Verbraucherdaten dazu benutzt, um die Beeinflussung der Wähler zu optimieren. Sowohl die Labour-Party als auch die Konservativen nutzten entsprechende Datenbanken, um ein möglichst genaues Bild des einzelnen Wählers zu erhalten und ihn gezielt ansprechen zu können. "Im englischen Wahlkampf spielen Daten über die Konsumgewohnheiten eine entscheidende Rolle", so Volkmar Lübke von der Verbraucher-Initiative. Die entsprechenden Methoden stammten von Unternehmen, die bereits George W. Bush im amerikanischen Wahlkampf geholfen haben. Die Verbraucherschützer raten vor diesem Hintergrund zur Vorsicht bei der Weitergabe persönlicher Daten.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

http://www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=10857

Bush Administration Using NEPA to Benefit Industry, But Hamper Native Americans

http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/mt_archives/000256.php

US Workers Hit by 'Perfect Storm' of Economic Forces

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041105Z.shtml

Putting Indian Realities in Context for the Media

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041105O.shtml

In the Partisan Power Struggle, a New Underdog Tries Old Tricks

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041105M.shtml

US Nuclear Warhead Plan under Fire

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041105J.shtml

Two GOP Leaders Turn on DeLay

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041105G.shtml

In Theocracy They Trust

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041105F.shtml

Democratic Occupation

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0411-22.htm

More US Troops Questioning Iraq Duty

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0411-28.htm

Could the election be won by fraud?

The postal voting system makes Britain look like a banana republic, says a judge. Yet Labour favours it and has ignored warnings of fraud.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1562417,00.html


UK: Labour activists had 'vote-rigging factory' to hijack postal votes:

Beneath the veneer of an apparently democratic local election campaign the battle to control areas of Birmingham involved allegations of death threats, intimidation and bribery.

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/04/05/nvote105.xml


From Information Clearing House

Why was there really a war?

Operation Iraqi Liberation, which can be spelled OIL, has been said by many to be mainly about oil. That is one popular reason, but this is not the main reason.

http://news.modernwriters.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1494


From Information Clearing House

Photographs From Iraq: March 28 - April 10, 2005

Endless killing, strange propaganda, more oil sabotage, and links to new videos.

Warning - Graphic Images
http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20050410213702171


From Information Clearing House

IMF says that surging demand and falling supply could spark 'permanent oil shock'

The worldfaces "a permanent oil shock" and will have toadjust to sustained high prices in the next two decades, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday in the starkest official warning yet about the long-term outlook for energy supplies.

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/afe1b4f8-a7ca-11d9-9744-00000e2511c8.html


From Information Clearing House

War’s Toll on U.S. Military Gear May Be $8B a Year

The war in Iraq is burning through U.S. military equipment at five to 10 times the peacetime training rate, and the services will have to spend $13 billion to $18 billion to replace it, congressional budget experts say.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=772587&C=america


From Information Clearing House

Interview with Gore Vidal

"I would say that, in the long run, the world will be saved American despotism by the coming bankruptcy of the country. Now, that will have awful fallout for everybody. I don't even want to look into that crystal ball." -

Real Video and Windows Media.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article8512.htm

US accused of seizing Iraqi women to force fugitive relatives to give up

US soldiers seized a mother and daughter from their home in Baghdad two weeks ago and allegedly left a note on the gate: "Be a man Muhammad Mukhlif and give yourself up and then we will release your sisters. Otherwise they will spend a long time in detention."

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article8507.htm

Kürzung ALG-II-Mittel: Rot-Grün spart weiter auf Kosten der Arbeitslosen

URL:
http://sozialisten.de/presse/presseerklaerungen/view_html?zid=26802
Datum: 08.04.2005
© www.sozialisten.de


Kürzung ALG-II-Mittel: Rot-Grün spart weiter auf Kosten der
Arbeitslosen

Die Bundesregierung hat verfügt, dass die Mittel für die Eingliederung von Langzeitarbeitlosen bei 75% eingefroren werden (Eingliederungstitel II). Sollten die Arbeitsgemeinschaften mehr Geld benötigen, dann können sie dies bis zur Höhe der ursprünglichen Summe beantragen.

Hierzu erklärt die arbeitsmarktpolitische Sprecherin des PDS-Parteivorstands Elke Breitenbach:

Mit diesem Schritt stellt die Bundesregierung ihre eigenen Ziele in Frage. Dies verdeutlicht, dass durch das Hartz IV Gesetz keine sinnvollen arbeitsmarktpolitischen Maßnahmen, die auf die Integration in den 1. Arbeitsmarkt zielen, geschaffen werden. Statt dessen wird der Druck weiter erhöht, die im Gesetz festgelegte Aktivierungsquote von 26% der Arbeitslosengeld II- Empfangenden in erster Linie über 1-Euro-Jobs umzusetzen. Dies lässt sich in einzelnen Bundesländern, wie z.B. Brandenburg beobachten. Dort wurde vom SPD Fraktionschef gefordert, das Schwergewicht von der Förderung von Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen auf 1-Euro-Jobs zu verlagern.

Durch die faktische Kürzung des Eingliederungstitels II wird die angekündigte Verbesserung der Betreuung und Beratung der Erwerbslosen kaum realisiert werden können. Hartz IV wird endgültig zur bloßen Beschäftigungstherapie.

Die PDS fordert die Bundesregierung auf endlich einen Richtungswechsel in der Arbeits- und Beschäftigungspolitik einzuleiten und die notwendigen Korrekturen bei Hartz IV durchzuführen. Dazu gehört in erster Linie die Förderung von sozialversicherungspflichtigen Beschäftigungsverhältnissen. Entsprechende Vorschläge der PDS hierzu liegen vor.

Zum Hintergrund: Vorgestern wurde bekannt, dass die Bundesregierung den Eingliederungstitel II auf 75 % einfrieren will. Gestern ist sie zurückgerudert und hat erklärt, dass die Arbeitsgemeinschaften, sofern nötig, weitere Gelder bis zur Höhe der ursprünglichen Summe beantragen können. Die finanziellen Mittel in diesem Eingliederungstitel fielen von Anfang an zu gering aus, nicht zuletzt deshalb, weil die Anzahl der Arbeitslosengeld II-Berechtigten höher war als von der Bundesregierung prognostiziert. Nach dem Protest der Länder und Kommunen wurden die Gelder Anfang des Jahres aufgestockt. So wurde beispielsweise Berlin statt ursprünglich 624 Mio. Gelder in Höhe von 640 Mio. zugesagt, jetzt erhält das Land nur noch 505 Mio. Euro. NRW sollte ursprünglich rund 1,3 MRD. bekommen, jetzt bleibt es bei etwa 940 Mio. Die nun vorgesehene Kürzung wird zu einem größeren organisatorischen und bürokratischen Aufwand in den Arbeitsgemeinschaften führen. Dies wird zu Lasten der Betroffen gehen.

The Earth is Dying: World Ruination Is at Hand

Earth Meanders

The Earth is Dying: World Ruination Is at Hand

Ecological Sustainability Matter of Life and Death - Are you Ready?

April 11, 2005

by Dr. Glen Barry, http://earthmeanders.blogspot.com/

The Earth is dying, and most of her species, including humans, are heading towards extinction. Species dying. Biological life arrayed in complex ecological splendor that set the conditions for life is threatened as never before. Forever gone. World ruination is at hand.

So what you may say, everything dies - right? I would argue that the most basic instinct of any species is self-preservation of its kind, and humans are failing in this regard, taking the Earth and all her inhabitants down with their crazed procreation and endless desire for more.

Sizzling climate, mutilated forests, toxic waters, dead oceans - crass, violent, short-sighted and shocking ecological behavior and resultant change. Living as if the Earth has no value is the norm.

The Earth is being slaughtered by surging population and consumption. Threatened. As resource extraction outstrips the natural regenerative powers of natural ecosystems, the basic conditions of life can no longer be assured for much of humanity. Suffering. Soon it will be all of us. Whole species dead.

Just because the Earth's prognosis is full of doom and gloom does not mean it is wrong or should be disregarded. For once put aside the God thing and try to view you and the Earth. Truth can be hard to accept - especially if brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh and other reactionary idiots.

I have hinted in earlier writings about elements of global ecological collapse, which is pending and inevitable given continuation of current trends. But now let us get specific with examples. Our whole way of feeding, housing, transporting and employing ourselves is dependent upon oil.

Peak oil is expected in no less than thirty years. Despite our best intentions, we are running out of cheap energy. In an energy starved, searing and polluted Planet, with inadequate water, unproductive lands and military resource grabs; something must and will give.

First to go will be civilization as we know it. Much of the bloated population is going to be unable to subsist and there will be large-scale movement of ecological refugees; as we see massive panic, looting, starvation, chaos, and pandemics. Would you like some ebola with those tropical timbers?

Now let us examine the ecology of emergent diseases. Bird flu, Ebola, Lyme disease, West Nile and other until recently mostly unknown diseases are indicative of a ravaged, collapsing global ecosystem trying to throw off the human sickness.

Such diseases are a direct manifestation of ecosystem destruction. Entering a previously relatively untouched natural habitat and destroying it releases disease organisms onto landscapes that because of their fragmentation and ecological damage are prone to spread.

To be alive in the 21st century - particularly if one is blessed with an ecological eye - is to suffer. Neurosis, depression, addiction and abuse are endemic and directly caused by distance from nature, shock at the carnage, toxics, over-crowding, etc.

We are electronically connected in unimaginable ways but ultimately are alone and isolated as ever. Does your brain hurt? It should from the savagery that has become modern life.

Our current global trajectory of mass mayhem like universal development of natural ecosystems will continue to lead to intensifying and non-discriminatory suffering and death. Still the college kids party obliviously, when they should be the acolytes of Gaia. Hard to blame them.

The superstitious kooky fascist right including our fearless emperor insist they are for a "culture of life". In practice this appears to mostly be limited to white, faithful, rich business folks. If you are poor, not American - or god forbid another species - you need not apply.

The culture of life is perilously circumspect. Forget about the slaughter of large natural wildernesses behind the curtain, today is the age of Disney's cartoon nature. Patriotism? How about a calling to a higher truth like global interdependence and unity; and the need for equity, justice and sustainability for all?

"Modern" governments and industries, and their leaders, have totally lost track of the fact that we are utterly dependent upon natural ecosystems for our needs. What are we doing to our children's future? Ravaging it.

The global growth machine's ecological violence - leaving a world bereft of potable water, dependable climate and fertile lands - is tantamount to slaughtering our children. Might as well load up school buses and bury them.

The status quo political and business systems careen wildly towards the unknown future of resource scarcity, environmental change and catastrophically collapsing ecosystems and societies. The growth machine controls everything, a few tenths of a point of economic growth are traded for forests daily, and there is a bounty on free green or any other kind of thinkers. The rich think they are immune - they are not.

Just as we speak of individual human death and the extinction of other species, we can speak of the Earth dying. Gaia - the sum of all Earthly ecosystems - can reach a point where it dies. Just as a heart fails, nutrient cycling and climate maintenance within a narrow range can stop. This is happening now.

Are you going to do anything about it and your complicity in the affair?

What are the options? Resist, defy, simplify and disobey. Organize, organize, organize. Seek personal, social and Earth redemption. Become a cog in the new world order stinking growth machine.

My best heartfelt advice - head for the hills! If you do not have land, tools and seed from which to subsist, you are living on the bubble economy of the Earth's rape. What goes up is gonna come down. There is going to be hell to pay when the eco-bubble bursts. Back to the Land. Quick!

Clean your own mind and atone for your sins against others and the Earth. Love and live with a piece of land. Revel at sunrises and sunsets, and other natural passings. Stop to smell, feel and see the Earth. Raise your children to value life - all life, every species, every toad, and every bug. Love it all because cumulatively it makes us able to live. And because it is their Earth too.

Band together with like minded folks into anarchistic green self-sufficient communities - for self defense, a rousing social life and green production. Teach your children to connect deeply with the Earth and her webs, not sanctimonious egoistic exhibitionism.

What is so wrong with growing up to be both a global and bioregional citizen, nurturing parent, lover of the land and part of Earth's creation? Live lightly on the land and watch the sky, Earth and water for guidance. Pray to your gods but do not foist them upon others.

The demise of the environmental movement has been greatly exaggerated. Strength. Our movement is a matter of life and death, and we can not afford to fail. Unity. Despite recent assertions to the contrary, environmentalism is not dead. Greenery. If it is, so are we and our Earthly habitat. Life. A bright green vision is your and the Earth's best bet right now. Truth.

We must will sustainability into being, a new way of living with the Earth, that is sane and logical, while being sacred, gentle and lovely. Know, love, study and worship the Earth - logically, spiritually and scientifically or any other way you know how. As goes the Earth shall go mankind (and women, golden retrievers and other species too).

Networked by Dr. Glen Barry, gbarry@forests.org

Action Still Needed for Arctic Refuge

As Congress shakes its sleepy head and returns to work following spring break, the females of the Porcupine Caribou Herd -- many of them on the verge of giving birth -- are making their way on a perilous journey over flooding rivers and thawing tundra to the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge. Scientists say they have been making this journey for at least 10,000 years.

Why this place? Why do millions of birds -- from eider ducks to snow geese and piping plovers -- also return to the Coastal Plain, year after year, to nest and raise their young?

Scientists explain that this is the best environment for these animals. But I think there's another reason, the same reason that giant sea turtles and salmon return to the places where they were hatched to lay their own eggs; the same reason many of us find a way to attend family reunions large and small no matter the season. It is simply home.

We've created a slideshow of the Arctic Refuge -- a short overview of what you might see now and in coming days on the Coastal Plain. Have a look and then be sure to take action once more:
http://www.wilderness.org/slideshow/arcticrefuge.html

Because no matter what the Oil Industry and its allies in Congress think, there should be no oil rigs in this treasured place. Despite underhanded attempts to sneak this controversial provision into the budget process, we're optimistic that Congress will listen to the American people who overwhelmingly favor protection for this unparalleled place.

Next Up: Politics

The House has not yet selected its delegates to the budget conference committee, although the Senate has appointed its conferees (Click here for a list):
http://ga1.org/campaign/ArctBudgetConf2/explanation

Nevertheless, preliminary meetings are taking place, so this is an ideal time for all conservation-minded Congressmen and Senators to let their leaders know that Arctic drilling has no place in the budget resolution.

Soon the conference committee will thrash over the different versions of the Budget Resolution and then bring their negotiated final to both floors for a vote. That could happen as early as this week.

Even if you've taken action many times before on this issue, we need you to raise your voice again. Please take action now:
http://ga1.org/campaign/ArctBudgetConf2/wd8ks5x4p7w6m6b

Make no mistake. A vote for a budget resolution that includes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is a vote for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. No exceptions, no excuses.

Members of Congress who have voted to protect the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in the past are under tremendous pressure from the White House and others to vote to pass the final budget resolution. However, they should bear in mind that voting for any resolution that includes Arctic drilling would be seen by their constituents -- you -- as fundamentally reversing their stance on drilling in the Arctic Refuge. You can deliver that message to them, right now, from
http://ga1.org/campaign/ArctBudgetConf2/wd8ks5x4p7w6m6b

Most of us will never get to visit the Arctic Refuge and see the amazing wildlife spectacle that takes place there in the spring and summer. I hope that, for you, it's enough to know it's there and will continue on its grand cycle of birth, life and death for eons more, because of your efforts.

Thank you for all you do as a part of the WildAlert community.

Most sincerely,

Kathy Kilmer
The Wilderness Society

Ghost of Past Oil Crises Haunts World Economy

http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/30334/story.htm

Comments to NASA regarding Pluto Horizons nuclear space mission

My letter that I hope is not too late.


Mission and Systems Management Division
Science Mission Directorate
NASA HQ
Washington DC
osspluto@hq.nasa.gov

Dear Mr. Lindstrom;

Hopefully my comments on the New Horizon mission will be accepted. I am writing to you at April 11, 7pm PST.

For quite some time I have been concerned about NASA's missions to various plants. I received the New Horizons pluto mission DEIS booklet from you and read that each radioisotopic thermal generator contains 133,000 curies. As one who lives in a county with nuclear reactor, I know that area citizens that host any facility containing nuclear materials must constantly be watchful of that facility. The arrogance of DOE and NASA in viewing this project as safe is disappointing. People around Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida will no doubt take on watchdog roles to insure public safety from rocket accidents. No nuclear material and operations in this world are as safe as the New Horizons plutonmission booklet claims.

Additionally, the RTG process is cyclical in that the beginning of the production starts somewhere else. Organizations such as Snake River Alliance in Idaho are prepared for the problems that RTG production will bring to the Idaho Fall's facility INEEL.

Space vessel launches create additional pollution in the form of hydrazine and perchlorate. In California alone, two major rivers, the American and the Colorado, have been contaminated by rocket chemical materials, and vegetable fields as well as cow's milk have become contaminated with rocket chemical byproducts. The issue therefore, is not just radioactive toxic materials, but other chemical toxic materials as well. Every area hosting rocket and missile launches endure toxic problems, and Florida's Cape Canaveral is no exception.

Finally, the space missions rob Earth planetary citizens of basic needs. The vast majority of Earth's citizens are so poor that even clean water and food are out of reach. The homeless population of our planet are increasing due to wars and theft of resources by NASA, DOE, DOD and aerospace corporations. The transfer of Earth's money to space is grossly unfair.

Please drop this project.

Thank you and sincerely,
Sheila Baker

Guantanamo detainees' stories released in court papers

Pete Yost and Matt Kelley, Associated Press

April 9, 2005

Startribune.com

WASHINGTON — In a development the Bush administration had hoped to avoid, the stories of about 60 detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base have spilled out in court papers.

A U.S. college-educated detainee asks plaintively in one: "Is it possible to see the evidence in order to refute it?''

In another transcript, the unidentified president of a U.S. military tribunal bursts out: "I don't care about international law. I don't want to hear the words 'international law' again. We are not concerned with international law.'' [...] Read the rest at:
http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/5339113.html This link came from the http://mparent7777.blog-city.com blog which keeps track of and posts breaking stories.


© Virginia Metze

The Real Threat From John Bolton

http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski68.html

Blood, Oil, and Iran

http://www.lewrockwell.com/engelhardt/engelhardt66.html

Bush's Nuclear Addiction

http://www.lewrockwell.com/wittner/wittner10.html

Theology, Not Politics

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul244.html

Napoleonic Overreach in Iraq

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/schembrie1.html

Churches and Government

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north360.html

My Battle With the Thought Police

http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe15.html

Why Genomics Won’t Deliver

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/WGWD.php

Uranium Weapons Coverup

http://tinyurl.com/4og8b

Fallujah sees limited progress toward rebuilding

The Iraqi and U.S. governments have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild this war-ravaged city in a bid to persuade Sunni Muslim Arabs to support the country's emerging democracy. But progress in paying reparations in the notorious Sunni city has been slow. U.S. military officials warn that failure to win over Fallujah's embittered population could endanger efforts to get the rest of the Sunni Triangle — the heart of the country's insurgency — to participate in building a new Iraq.

http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/?Page=Article&ID=3053

Senate Begins Debate on War Supplemental

Take Action

This morning, the Senate begins deliberations on the Iraq War supplemental appropriations bill. You can make a big different in making sure that this bill holds the administration accountable for bringing an end to the war.

http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/?Page=Article&ID=3048

Interessiert sich sogar ein Detektiv für Cinram?

"Wir bei Netzwerk IT freuen uns auf die Erschließung neuer Berufsgruppen. Wer hätte es sich gedacht? Mittlerweile hat sich ein Detektiv mit seiner eigenen Detektei bei Netzwerk IT angemeldet. Er ist auf den Bereich "Wirtschaftskriminalität" spezialisiert, so seine Website. Im Wortlaut: "Besondere Erfahrung haben wir in der Einschleusung von Mitarbeitern zur Aufdeckung von Diebstählen, Unterschlagungen, Betrügereien und anderen firmeninternen Straftaten und Verfehlungen." Vielleicht interessiert er sich für die Praktiken bei Cinram? Vielleicht meint sein Auftraggeber, daß der Austausch der festangestellten Beschäftigten durch Befristeten doch rechtlich bedenklich sei und er sucht die Schuldigen? Wer weiß?..." Meldung vom 4.4. bei Netzwerk IT

http://www.netzwerkit.de/projekte/cinram/chronik/detektei


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Arbeitskräfte sind keine Maschinen, sondern Menschen

Die schweizerische Gewerkschaft UNIA hat am 10.März 2005 zwischen 5.30 und 7.30 Uhr vor dem Verteilzentrum der Valora/Kiosk AG in Muttenz/BL mit etwa 60 Personen gegen die unmenschlichen Arbeitsbedingungen in diesem Betrieb demonstriert. Medienmitteilung zur UNIA- Aktion vom 10.3.05

http://www.dgb-bw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=10958


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Job-Center werden mit der Verfolgungsbetreuung der Arbeitslosen beginnen

Intensivseminar zum SGB II für die Betroffenen- und Protestbewegung in NRW am 21. / 22. April in Wuppertal

"Die Jobcenter und ARGEN sind immer noch überwiegend mit der Zahlbarmachung der ALG II - Leistungen und der Organisation ihrer eigenen Strukturen beschäftigt. Wenn diese Phase der Strukturierung abgeschlossen ist, werden die Job-Center mit der Verfolgungsbetreuung der Arbeitslosen beginnen. Das ist der ihnen von der Politik gesetzte und gesetzliche Auftrag. Umzugsaufforderungen, Eingliederungsvereinbarungen, repressive Arbeitspflichten, Ein-Euro-Jobs und massenweise Sanktionen werden ein Teil der Realität der Erwerbslosen in diesem Land sein.

Um dieser bedrohlichen Realität Protest und Widerstand entgegenzusetzen, bietet der Verein Tacheles in Zusammenarbeit mit Harald Thomé als Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe den Aktiven aus Erwerbslosengruppen- und Organisationen in NRW ein 2-tägiges Intensivseminar zwecks fundiertem Überblick und rechtlicher Gegenwehr zum SGB II an. Mit dem Seminar wollen wir einen Anstoß geben zur Gründung von Beratungsinitiativen vor Ort und einem Netzwerk auf NRW Ebene…."

Siehe alle Informationen und Anmeldungskontakte bei Tacheles - es sind noch Plätze frei!!!!

http://www.tacheles-sozialhilfe.de/aktuelles/2005/Intensivseminar.html


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Ein-Euro-Jobs geraten außer Kontrolle

Cui bono oder wer verdient? 1-€-Jobs sind die Lösung, so hört man landauf landab von den üblichen Verdächtigen. Fragt sich nur für wen? Die Antwort auf die Frage hat jetzt sogar die Welt am Sonntag gefunden. "Die Kommunen machen mit den Zusatzjobs gute Geschäfte. Doch viele Firmen verlieren Aufträge", so beginnt ein Artikel von Sonja Banze in der Welt am Sonntag vom 10. April 2005.

Aus dem Text: "…Billige Arbeitskräfte kommen den Kommunen und Wohlfahrtsverbänden gerade recht. Nach Berechnungen des Instituts für Urbanistik häufen Städte und Gemeinden bis 2009 einen Investitionsstau von 650 Milliarden Euro an. Seit Anfang der neunziger Jahre haben sie die Zahl ihrer Beschäftigten halbiert. Da bleibt viel Arbeit liegen und wird vieles ‚zusätzlich'(…) Bisweilen entgleist die Regelung ins Paradoxe: Im niedersächsischen Städtchen Ronnenberg machte sich ein Arbeitsloser selbständig mit einem Einkaufservice für Senioren, eine von der Arbeitsagentur geförderte Ich-AG. Er ärgert sich noch heute, daß sein Geschäft ihm ausgerechnet durch die Stadt kaputtgemacht wurde, die für denselben Service eine Ein-Euro-Kraft anstellte.

Doch Ein-Euro-Jobs lohnen sich für Kommunen und Wohlfahrtsverbände nicht nur, weil sie ihnen billige Arbeitskräfte bescheren. Im besten Fall kassieren die Städte und Gemeinden doppelt. Denn die Jobcenter, in denen sich Kommunen und Arbeitsagenturen seit Januar gemeinsam um die Langzeitarbeitslosen kümmern, zahlen jedem Träger, der einen Zusatzjobber einstellt, eine Pauschale. Bis Ende 2004 lag der Betrag bei rund 500 Euro, seit Januar kann er beliebig hoch sein und durchaus auch über 1000 Euro liegen; (…) Der geringste Teil davon ist der Lohn von 120 bis 180 Euro für den Arbeitslosen…"

http://www.wams.de/data/2005/04/10/671358.html


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Weise spricht von 6,5 Millionen Arbeitslosen

Ende Januar 2005 sagte Bundeswirtschaftsminister Clement, jetzt komme "die ganze Wahrheit über den deutschen Arbeitsmarkt ans Licht, die Zeit der Dunkelziffern vom Arbeitsmarkt ist vorbei." Na endlich, so mochte man sagen. Anfang Februar erzählte uns BA-Chef Frank-Jürgen Weise, dass die Arbeitslosigkeit nicht größer geworden sei, "sie ist lediglich umfassender abgebildet und transparenter geworden". Auch nicht schlecht. Am 1. April waren offiziell 5,176 Millionen ohne Job. 41 000 weniger als im Februar, so musste Weise vor 10 Tagen mitteilen und Clement erzählte allen, ob sie es hören mochten oder auch nicht, der "Zenit sei überschritten, der Trend dreht sich jetzt".

Jetzt räumt BA-Chef Weise öffentlich ein, dass die tatsächliche Arbeitslosenzahl in Deutschland weitaus höher ist als offiziell ausgewiesen. "Ich hatte nicht den Mut, an dem eingeübten Ritual etwas zu ändern und 6,5 Millionen zu nennen", sagte er und fügte hinzu. "Es sind weitere Arbeitslose in Maßnahmen und weitere, die sich gar nicht mehr bei uns melden". Die Redaktion des LabourNet ist erschüttert über so viel Mut zur Ehrlichkeit und verweist auf einen Artikel und weitere Informationen von Stefan von Borstel in Die Welt vom 08.April 2004.

http://www.welt.de/data/2005/04/08/662790.html?search=weise+arbeitslosenzahl&searchHILI=1


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Beschäftigte der BA wurden überprüft

Es sieht nicht so aus, als hätte die Agentur für Arbeit großes Vertrauen in seine Mitarbeiter und erst recht nicht in seine Kunden. Letztere wurden ausgefragt, um auch noch an den letzten Pfennig Erspartes zu kommen, erstere mussten vor dem Start von Hartz IV Sicherheitserklärungen abgeben. "Die mit den Anti-Terror-Gesetzen erweiterten Eingriffsrechte der Sicherheitsbehörden sind genutzt worden, um den Start der Arbeitsmarktreform Hartz IV abzusichern." So Thomas Maron in seinem Artikel in der Frankfurter Rundschau vom 8.April 2005.

http://www.frankfurter-rundschau.de/fr_home/startseite/?sid=ea80fcc3549a45b0e73f2ce985d0eba1&cnt=658594

Aus dem Text: "Der vertrauliche Evaluierungsbericht der Bundesregierung, der der FR vorliegt, dokumentiert , dass im Wirkungsbereich des Wirtschaftsministeriums auffallend viele Beschäftigte überprüft worden sind, nämlich 1544. Der Bericht liefert zugleich die Begründung: "Die verhältnismäßig hohen Fallzahlen (...) sind auf einen hohen Überprüfungsbedarf bei der Bundesagentur für Arbeit im IT-Bereich zurückzuführen. Die sensible öffentliche Reaktion auf ‚Computer-Pannen' bei dem Start von ,Hartz IV' Anfang 2005 unterstreicht, dass die Beeinträchtigung dortiger Aufgabenwahrnehmung - die für das Funktionieren des Gemeinwesens unverzichtbar ist - erhebliche Unruhe in erheblichen Teilen der Bevölkerung entstehen lassen würde."


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Ein-Euro-Jobber müssen sich organisieren

Erwerblosenrat von ver.di in Hamburg will Interessenvertretung gründen. Auch Tarifverhandlungen werden angestrebt. Interview in junge Welt vom 09.April 2005 von Andreas Grünwald mit Klaus Hauswirth, der den Hamburger Erwerbslosenrat im Landesbezirksvorstand der Gewerkschaft verdi vertritt.


http://www.jungewelt.de/2005/04-09/020.php


Aus: LabourNet Nachrichtensammlung, Band 24, Eintrag 7

Neuseeland will Haft für Voyeurismus per Handy-Kamera

Wellington (dpa) - Neuseeland will Voyeurismus mit Hilfe von Handy-Kameras künftig mit bis zu drei Jahren Gefängnis bestrafen. Das sieht ein Gesetzentwurf vor, den Justizminister Phil Goff am Dienstag im Parlament in Wellington einbrachte.

«Unter Röcken zu filmen, Leute in der Toilette oder daheim aufzunehmen ist völlig inakzeptabel», sagte der Minister. Dies sei eine «moderne Form der Spannerei», die umso schlimmer sei, da mit Hilfe der Technik die Aufnahmen überall hin versendet werden könnten.

http://www.news.de/206/02will_Haft_fuer_Voyeurismus_per_Handy_Kamera.php


Nachricht von der BI Bad Dürkheim

Geo-Magnetic Storm Now Underway

April 11th 2005

EARTH CHANGES TV NEWSLETTER

Geo-Magnetic Storm Now Underway

by Mitch Battros - ECTV

A few hours ago (April 11th), the Kp Index has registered another spike measuring 6.2. This latest spike is slightly larger than last weeks. If my theory holds, watch for increased seismic and volcanic activity within the next 72 hours.

Did You Watch “SuperVolcano”?

I viewed it for the first time last night. I have no doubt whatsoever the producers are monitoring the ECTV site. I am trying to set up an interview with them as soon as possible. It is not well known, but rumor has it government authorities suppressed and considered denying the airing of this docu-drama movie in the name of National Security.

For those of you who have more recently begun to monitor the Earth Changes TV site, I thought it best to show you how Yellowstone Super-Volcano popped up on the radar screen. Tomorrow night I will play my investigative interview with USGS supervising employees. I will have Jim Berkland as my guest providing commentary as we both go over my recorded conversation directly with USGS headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Immediately following this first hour, I will play my 36 minute recording of my interview investigation with the lead seismologist for Yellowstone Park. Yes I know, it sounds like several scenes right out of the movie…And maybe it ! was! J

The hardest sell

04/08/05

The masses of people are happy with the way things are because the things they value are easily accomplished through coercive force: wealth, luxury, privacy, and chillingly, freedom of behavior. Coercion gives an easy way to persuade or dissuade another's behavior, including guaranteeing personal freedom. No question about it; simply pointing a gun at someone and making a demand is far easier than the compromising, haggling, and sheer doggedness required to get things done peacefully. So what the hell are we fighting for? We're fighting for the principle. Not the results. They already have results that are acceptable. We like the principle; the idea that the results are achieved in a more respectable way. One of the great cornerstones of liberty is that the ends do not justify the means. It may be easier to make a thousand dollars by sticking a gun in someone's face, but that doesn't make it right. It is the principle of coercion that we abhor and wish to see chopped down at the root...

http://www.strike-the-root.com/51/scarmig/scarmig1.html

from Strike the Root, by Scarmig


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

War as virtual reality

04/11/05

Modern war has now become a video game. We watch it on TV; middle-class kids don't have to fight; it's so heavily censored we don't see our coffins coming home or blown-apart Iraqi 12-year-old kids with no arms. For all practical purposes, the wars don't exist for most people. That's the way the military and the administration wants it. Most people won't be affected by the wars until it bothers them economically or until casualties get too high. And that day will come, quite soon. I think it's already starting. I am reminded of spectators in the Coliseum, who apparently didn't see the combatants as real people. To them, it was like TV for us today...

http://www.strike-the-root.com/51/wallace/wallace16.html

from Strike the Root, by Bob Wallace


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Democracy, birds and snails

04/07/05

The people do not rule. Nor do they have freedoms inconvenient to the government. But then, they do not want freedom. We are seeing I think that letting people govern themselves doesn't work. I don't say that it is undesirable, but merely impractical. (Letting them think they have power, however, is splendidly sensible, as it keeps them quiescent.) More succinctly, democracies aren't stable. They tend toward well-fed dictatorship. Why? Because the bright, grasping, and conscienceless inevitably rise. The people lack the intelligence to govern any entity larger than a very small town. Particularly in the United States they read little, think less, know almost nothing of history, geography, the nature and politics of the world beyond the borders. They are thus easily swayed, frightened, enraged, gulled, and led into dog-pack patriotism by those, far smarter and more aware, who understand the levers of power. They so quickly give up liberty to those who offer to protect them. They are eager to do it. Look around you...

http://www.fredoneverything.net/ItAin'tBurundi.shtml

from Fred On Everything, by Fred Reed


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US refugees: Persecution at home, rejection abroad?

04/11/05

As part of what some see as the 'War Against Dissent,' a decision by Canadian immigration officials on the political asylum application of US soldier and war-resister Jeremy Hinzman was made March 25th, his application denied. But was that decision based solely upon the merits of his claim, or rather upon what has been perceived as the current sway of so-called 'realpolitik', effectively denying Americans the right to asylum, regardless of their claim's legitimacy. And there have been legitimate cases...

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0411-27.htm

from Common Dreams, by Ritt Goldstein


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US Constitution: back in style?

04/11/05

All Sen. Robert Byrd wanted to do was to encourage public schools to teach 'something' about the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17 -- the day when the historic document was signed in 1787. Byrd successfully added language to the appropriations bill requiring schools that receive federal money to recognize Sept. 17 by focusing attention on the U.S. Constitution, in any way the school chooses. Immediately, David Salisbury of the Cato Institute criticized Byrd and the Senate for trying to dictate to the states what schools must teach. Salisbury was not alone; many people believe that education is a state function in which the feds should not interfere. The problem of federal interference in state and local education is far more serious than Sen. Byrd's desire to recognize the U.S. Constitution...

http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=9635

from Federal Observer, by Henry Lamb -- Hat Tip to Sierra Times


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Oil, geopolitics and the coming war with Iran

04/11/05

As the United States gears up for an attack on Iran, one thing is certain: the Bush administration will never mention oil as a reason for going to war. As in the case of Iraq, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be cited as the principal justification for an American assault. 'We will not tolerate the construction of a nuclear weapon [by Iran],' is the way President Bush put it in a much-quoted 2003 statement. But just as the failure to discover illicit weapons in Iraq undermined the administration's use of WMD as the paramount reason for its invasion, so its claim that an attack on Iran would be justified because of its alleged nuclear potential should invite widespread skepticism. More important, any serious assessment of Iran's strategic importance to the United States should focus on its role in the global energy equation...

http://www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2005/04/blood_oil_iran.html

from Mother Jones, by Michael T. Klare


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

"Whimpering Tom" Delay

04/09/05

'Poor ol' Tom DeLay. Well, he's not really poor, but Tom is feeling poorly these days. DeLay is an enormously powerful politico -- he's the de facto boss of Congress, controls tens of millions of dollars to advance his far-right-wing poltical agenda, directs hordes of corporate lobbyists, and is the legislative point man for the rich leaders of the Christian extremist movement. Yet, powerful as he is, Tom says that he's really a martyr, a victim of a vast liberal conspiracy that's out to get him because he's a Christian visionary sent by God to set America right...

http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/21719/

from AlterNet, by Jim Hightower


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The dream deferred?

04/12/05

Is it really the Republican Party's goal to reduce the wealth of its core constituency, which is middle-class homeowners? Moreover, is it really the mission of the GOP to have fewer folks own their own homes in the future? Most profoundly, is it really the purpose of the leadership of the 109th Congress to reverse the nation's two-century commitment toward widening the circle of ownership -- a commitment that has saved this country from lefty proletarianization and destructive class warfare? It's been a while since anybody called the Republicans 'the stupid party.' And that's too harsh a judgment, at least for now. So for the time being, let's just say that many leading Republicans are acting ahistorically...

http://www.techcentralstation.com/041205E.html

from TechCentralStation, by James Pinkerton


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Soldiers shouldn't be guinea pigs

04/12/05

[T]he only American deaths that have occurred from any anthrax attack have been five civilians in the USA during the fall of 2001 from exposure to a strain of anthrax widely believed to have been domestically produced. But while zero service personnel have been killed in action from Saddam Hussein's alleged stockpile of anthrax and other Iraqi WMD that have mysteriously gone walkabout -- or anthrax from any other source -- six Americans have died after receiving DOD's anthrax vaccine!

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43747

from WorldNetDaily, by Col. David Hackworth (USA, Ret.)


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Trouble south of the border

04/11/05

The blatant hypocrisy of the U.S. government when it comes to its campaign to export 'democracy' is hard for even the most 'pro-American' forces in a country like Venezuela -- or Mexico -- to swallow, and in the former, the opposition is quick to deny that their strings are being pulled from Washington. Far from exporting 'democracy,' the U.S. government is building an Empire on which the sun never sets: a network of bases, U.S. government-financed NGOs, and compliant client regimes that will provide launching pads for further expansion. Yes, the economic policies of Chavez and the Mexican PRD will impoverish their respective countries and lead to the consolidation of a new elite based on some form of state socialism: but the U.S. is only discrediting free-market policies by seeking to impose them, either at gunpoint or via a U.S.-financed -- and directed -- fifth column...

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5516

from AntiWar.Com, by Justin Raimondo


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Big business and government

04/12/05

Big business does not control us. Nay, we in fact control them! Without our patronage, huge bloated companies, with all their political clout and influence, shrink and deflate like a fully-expanded child's balloon released to fly free until all its captured air has been expelled. I will assure you that I am neither naive about individual political clout nor do I misunderstand how the system works. I am not so delusional as to believe that isolated citizens refusing to buy products, or access services, will make a great impact on corporate America. However, collectively the American people still possess the greatest amount of political clout (i.e., their votes) in this country, not to mention their collective economic impact on corporations and conglomerates...

http://www.libertyforall.net/2005/april17/Business.html

from Liberty For All, by R. Lee Wrights


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

An anniversary worth remembering

04/09/05

While the TV networks remind us that today is an anniversary of sorts, we should remind ourselves that the entire war has been a fraud -- from the supposed threats that George Bush kept waving in our faces -- to the staging of the statue toppling -- to the honoring of Jessica Lynch's 'heroic deeds' and her supposed rescue -- to the constant claims that the Iraqi people are free -- to the celebrating of every small step as proof that killing all those people has produced something wonderful...

http://www.harrybrowne.org/Articles/HusseinStatue.htm

from HarryBrowne.Org, by Harry Browne


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US, Iraq lock up record number of suspects

04/10/05

US and Iraqi forces are holding a record 17,000 men and women -- most without being formally charged -- and those in Iraqi-controlled jails live often in deplorable conditions. About two-thirds are locked up as 'security detainees' without any formal charges in US-run facilities, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill, the US military spokesman for Iraqi detention operations, told AFP. The rest are incarcerated in Iraqi-run jails in conditions that fall well below any international standard and are in dire need of reform, said Bakhtiar Amin, Iraq's outgoing human rights minister...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/iraqusprisoners

from Yahoo! News


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Big Brother is watching as you struggle to stay tuned

04/12/05

The whirlwind advance of seamless communications technology could allow individuals to be monitored constantly within the next 15 years, according to a study conducted by the Australian Communications Authority. People will increasingly have to provide personal information to use services, phone numbers would be less relevant and some will take 'information holidays' in a society of 'ubiquitous communications' that could develop by 2020, according to the report -- Vision 20/20: Future Scenarios for the Communications Industry. The study suggests a range of possible scenarios, starting from a positive vision of a consumer society continually connected to vast layers of information, able to dip in almost at will. But it also considers a darker future, in which some feel threatened by an explosion in the ability to keep large databases of personal information and where computer networks are poorly integrated, raising difficulties in making electronic payments...

http://tinyurl.com/487nl

from Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Senate panel grills Bolton over record

04/11/05

His Senate approval to be U.N. ambassador still in question, John R. Bolton told skeptical Democrats on Monday that the world body had 'gone off track' at times but that he was committed to its mission. Democrats at Bolton's Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing recited his past undiplomatic remarks about the United Nations and wondered aloud why he would even want the job. They also challenged him over alleged bullying of government intelligence officials who disagreed with him on issues including Cuba's weapons capabilities...

http://tinyurl.com/4oksj

from Las Vegas Review-Journal


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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