28
Dez
2005

Arctic Power lobby plots new strategy to open ANWR for drilling

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/7317798p-7229616c.html


Informant: binstock

Congress petitioned for return of Geronimo's remains

American Indians are petitioning Congress to investigate the elite Skull and Bones society at Yale University and return the remains of Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo to Apaches for reburial.

http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096412153


From Information Clearing House

The Fall of the House of Cards

In November the sales of new homes plunged by the largest amount in 12 years. The 11.5% decline from October was 4 points higher than expected by Wall Street analysts, fueling the belief that the red-hot housing market is headed for the dumpster.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11399.htm

Selling Out: $1.3 Trillion of American Companies Sold to Foreign Corps

The following staggering amount of our wealth producing companies has been sold to foreign owners in the 10 years from 1995 through 2005. Below is a partial list of the 8,600 U.S. companies sold.

http://www.economyincrisis.org/article_15.html


From Information Clearing House

The Last Stand of the American Republic

It has long been evident, that Bush and Cheney do believe their clique should by all rights rule the country -- and that anyone who opposes their unrestrained dominion is automatically "anti-American," an enemy of the state.

http://tinyurl.com/9r3ry


From Information Clearing House

In the Name of Homeland Security, Telecom Firms Are Deluged With Subpoenas

Operating under new powers to combat terrorism, law enforcement agencies are making unprecedented demands on the telecommunications industry to provide information on subscribers, company attorneys say.

http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/story1a041002.html


From Information Clearing House

By surrendering our liberties, we hand victory to terrorists

The authorization of domestic spying without warrants amounts to nothing less than a surrender of our civil liberty, the precise thing that guarantees our freedom and makes us so different from those enemies of freedom from whom the Bush administration is so determined to protect us.

http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news5/baltsun5v.htm


From Information Clearing House

Ireland: Ahern accused of 'following orders from Washington'

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is “shining the shoes” of US president George Bush by allowing Shannon Airport to be used by American war planes, it was claimed today.

http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=167199862&p=y67zxx568


From Information Clearing House

Many Iraqi soldiers see a civil war on the horizon

"I see Iraq gradually becoming three regions that will one day become independent," said Jafar Mustafir, a close adviser to Iraq's Kurdish interim president, Jalal Talabani, and the deputy head of Peshmerga for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of two major Kurdish parties. "I see us moving toward the end of Iraq."

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/world/13495252.htm


From Information Clearing House

Bush was denied wiretaps, bypassed them

By United Press International

U.S. President George Bush decided to skip seeking warrants for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at an unprecedented rate.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11396.htm

Shock, awe and Hobbes have backfired on America's neocons

By Richard Drayton

The American imperial strategists invested deeply in the belief that through spreading terror they could take power. Neoconservatives such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the recently indicted Lewis "Scooter" Libby, learned from Leo Strauss that a strong and wise minority of humans had to rule over the weak majority through deception and fear, rather than persuasion or compromise.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11398.htm

Partykiller Handy?

http://www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/21/21665/1.html

Bush Calls Republicans "Goddamned Traitors"

GOP Disillusionment With Bush Grows
http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7913.shtml

December 28, 2005

While die-hard Republicans try to present a unified front in support of President George W. Bush's evasion of the law and Constitution in ordering nonstop spying on Americans, splits are showing in the GOP ranks.

"What's wrong with it is several-fold," former GOP Congressman Bob Barr says of the domestic spying. "One, it is bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without a court order."

Barr, one of the most conservative members of Congress when he served in the House, leads an increasing group of disenchanted Republicans who have had enough of Bush's misuse of the law and encroachment of civil liberties that are supposed to be protected by the Constitution. He has joined with fellow conservative firebrand Phyllis Schlafly and the ultra-liberal American Civil Liberties Union to fight renewal of many of the rights-robbing provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

And he's not alone. Republican Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Larry Craig of Idaho and Olympia Snowe of Maine question Bush's actions along with Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I have grave doubts as to its applicability," says Specter. "The President's actions raise very fundamental questions about privacy and the Bill of Rights."

Republican strategists tell me House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist are fighting to hold GOP dissension over the President's policies in check but they may not be able to keep the anger from spilling over into public view.

Frist, hampered by questions over his insider stock sale of Hospital Corporation of America holdings, couldn't keep GOP anger from helping derail Bush's push to make the USA Patriot Act a permanent law of the land.

"The White House is particularly pissed at Frist," says one longtime GOP consultant. "They want him out as majority leader and a more hardball leader in the style of Tom DeLay in his place."

Bush is also angry with Craig, a conservative who joined with Democrats in a filibuster to defeat permanent renewal of the Patriot Act. As a meeting recently, Bush referred to Craig as "a goddamned traitor" and told the National Republican Senatorial Committee to start recruiting someone to run against the Idaho Senator in 2008.

Such anger against those who dare oppose him is typical for a President who all too often launches into obscene tirades when his policies are questioned. Bush, on many occasions, has called political opponents "traitors' and, in private, refers to Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter as a "lily-livered bastard."

Craig, however, is unfazed by all this and says the Patriot Act "doesn't do enough to protect the civil liberties of innocent Americans."

And while Criag, Hagel, Snowe and Specter are willing to speak out publicly about the illegal actions of a President who is a member of their own party, other Republicans stick to grumbling in private - not surprising given the President's reputation to waging wars on revenge against those who oppose him.

"Bush may be under siege but he is still the President," says political scientist George Harleigh, who served in the Nixon Administration. "He still has the power to reward those who back his policies and punish those who do not."

Another political scientist, the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, says Bush has problems and knows it.

"Things are bad," Sabato says of Bush's situation. "Really bad." Sabato says you can tell that Bush knows this because it is "written all over" Bush's face when he appears in public.

So he has a message for the President.

"The lesson is obvious, Mr. President: You're a lot closer to Nixon than you are to Eisenhower, Reagan, and Clinton. And that's not where you want to be. Nixon's second term ended rather badly, as you will recall."


Informant: Bigraccoon

Handys: "Erhöhtes Krebsrisiko"

(Die Presse) 29.12.2005

Ministerium fordert Einführung strahlungsarmer Kinder-Handys.

Gibt es bald strahlungsarme Handys für Kinder? | (c) Die Presse (Fabry)

Wien (awe). "Es gibt zwar keine Beweise aber zumindest Hinweise darauf, dass die elektromagnetische Strahlung von Mobiltelefonen zu einem erhöhtem Krebs-Risiko führt. Das reicht aus, um öffentlich vor übermäßiger Handynutzung zu warnen." Michael Kundi, Umwelthygiene-Experte der Universität Wien, erstellte in den vergangenen Monaten im Auftrag von Gesundheitsministerin Maria Rauch-Kallat ein Gutachten über gesundheitliche Risiken des Mobilfunks. Grundlage dafür waren auch verschiedene bereits veröffentlichte Studien.

Das Gutachten wurde am Mittwoch präsentiert und beinhaltet einen acht Punkte umfassenden Maßnahmenkatalog, in dem die Ministerin vor allem Kindern einen stark eingeschränkten Umgang mit Handys empfiehlt (siehe Kasten). "Ab sofort werden die Flugblätter in Schulen, bei Ärzten aber auch in Handyshops aufliegen", so Rauch-Kallat.

Universitätsprofessor Kundi ortet ein erhöhtes Gehirntumor-Risiko bei Viel-Telefonierern. Und: "Wegen des dünnen Schädelknochens ist dieses Risiko bei Kindern besonders hoch."

Ernst Wolner, Vorsitzender des Obersten Sanitätsrats (OSR), ging noch einen Schritt weiter. "Wenn sich die Hinweise in nächster Zeit verstärken, sollte man die Mobilfunkbetreiber dazu zwingen, spezielle Geräte für Kinder am Markt anzubieten." Solche würden sich durch besonders geringe Strahlen-Emissionen von anderen unterscheiden.

Wolner warnte jedoch vor Panikmache. "Damit Studien wissenschaftlich aussagekräftig sind, müssen sie auf statistisch signifikante Steigerungen hinweisen. Eine solche wurde bisher noch bei keiner einzigen Untersuchung festgestellt."

Einen verlässlichen Leitfaden für die verunsicherten Konsumenten stellt auch die Warnung des Ministeriums nicht dar. "Weil teure Langzeitstudien notwendig sind, wird sich dieses Rätsel erst in den nächsten Jahrzehnten auflösen", erklärt der Umweltmediziner Erik Huber im Gespräch mit der "Presse". Gemeinsam mit der Wiener Ärztekammer hatte er bereits im August vor den negativen Effekten der Handystrahlung (Unfruchtbarkeit, Krebs, Kopfschmerzen) gewarnt. Er empfiehlt für die Zukunft eine breit angelegte Untersuchung durch ein unabhängiges Institut - etwa die Akademie der Wissenschaften -, an der sich auch die Mobilfunkindustrie finanziell beteiligen sollte.

Omega was bei der Beteiligung der Mobilfunkindustrie für die Qualität der wissenschaftlichen Aussagen der Studien herauskommt erleben wir seit Jahren, nämlich gar nichts. Damit wissenschaftliche Studien aussagekräftig sein können, müssen sie von wirtschaftlichen Interessen frei sein. Wer wird den Bock zum Gärtner machen?

http://www.diepresse.com/Artikel.aspx?channel=c&ressort=w&id=528908

Omega siehe dazu auch „Ärztekammern und Mobilfunk“ unter:
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1104181/ und
http://tinyurl.com/93epp


dazu auch

Sicherer Umgang mit dem Handy

Ärztekammer Wien

Es gibt Hinweise darauf, dass ein "deutlicher Zusammenhang zwischen der Intensität der Nutzung von Handys und Symptomen" wie Kopfweh und Schlafstörungen besteht.

Wenn am 31.12. die Zeiger gegen 0.00 Uhr wandern, werden die Handys der Österreicher wieder "heiß" laufen. Der Oberste Sanitätsrat riet nun dazu, Neujahrswünsche eher per SMS zu verschicken - dabei sei das Handy weiter weg vom Kopf. Einen gesicherten wissenschaftlichen Nachweis für gesundheitliche Schäden durch Handystrahlen gebe es zwar nicht, Experten riefen bei einer Pressekonferenz am Mittwoch in Wien jedoch zu "vernünftigem Umgang" mit der Technologie auf.

Langzeitstudien fehlen

In der Erforschung der Auswirkung von magnetischen Feldern auf Menschen fehlen Langzeitstudien. Untersuchungen mit Kinder gebe es überhaupt nicht, erklärte Michael Kundi, Umwelt- und Hygieneexperte der Universität Wien.

Omega es gibt Langzeitstudien zur Auswirkung von Mobilfunkstrahlung auf den menschlichen Organismus. Siehe z.B. „Die Naila-Mobilfunkstudie“ unter:
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/283426/ Als Ergebnis zeigt sich, dass der Anteil von neu aufgetretenen Krebsfällen bei den Patienten, die während der letzten zehn Jahre in einem Abstand bis zu 400 Meter um die seit 1993 betriebene Mobilfunkbasisstation gewohnt hatten, gegenüber weiter entfernt lebenden Patienten signifikant höher war und die Patienten waren in durchschnittlich acht Jahre jüngerem Alter erkrankt.


Die aktuellen Empfehlungen des Obersten Sanitätsrats (OSR) würden kaum von denen abweichen, die schon 2002 gegeben wurden. Innerhalb der aktuellen Grenzwerte bestehe keine Gefahr, betonte Gesundheitsministerin Maria Rauch-Kallat (V).

Omega "SPÖ sieht Verharmlosung

Für den SPÖ-Konsumentenschutzsprecher Johann Maier sind "die locker formulierten Tipps [...] eine Verharmlosung dieses Problems" unter Verweis auf eine Studie der Ärztekammer. In zwölf Leitlinien mache die Interessensvertretung der Mediziner klar, dass sehr wohl unabwägbare Gesundheitsgefährdungen bestünden.

So habe die Ärztevertretung empfohlen, dass Kinder unter 16 Jahren Handys nicht benutzen sollen und "dass Handys in der Hosentasche oder SMS unter der Schulbank versenden die Fruchtbarkeit beeinträchtigen könnte". Rauch-Kallat weise nicht auf diese Gefahren hin.“

[Futurezone / APA]

http://futurezone.orf.at/it/stories/79301/ (Auszug)


„Welchen Wert haben Grenzwerte beim Mobilfunk?“ unter:
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1005975/

Omega siehe dazu auch „Nachweis für Gesundheitsrisiko durch Mobiltelefone“ unter:
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/516185/


"Das einzig Neue: Vielleicht - wenn man lange telefoniert, das Endgerät heiß wird und an die Schläfe gehalten wird, wo bei Kinder die Schädeldecke noch dünn ist - kann es möglicherweise vermehrt zu Tumoren kommen", sagte Ernst Wolner, Präsident des OSR.

Omega leider vermittelt auch Ernst Wolner, Präsident des Obersten Sanitätsrates (OSR) in Wien, den Eindruck, dass Gesundheitsgefahren nur von den thermischen Wirkungen des Handy ausgehen. Selbst wenn klare Ursache/Wirkungs-Nachweise über die athermischen (biologischen) Wirkungen des gepulsten Mobilfunks vorhanden sind, drückt sich die Politik/Medizin/Wissenschaft wider besserer Kenntnis oft vor konstanten, reprodozierbaren Aussagen. Bei diesem Hin- und Hergeplänkel zwischen wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis und wirtschaftlichem Interesse, je nach Bedarf, ist es für den Anwender dieser Technik schwer eine klare Aussage für sich selbst zu gewinnen. Dieses Taktieren der Verantwortlichen nach politischer bzw. wirtschaftlicher Interessenlage muss im Hinblick auf die Gesundheit der Mobilfunkanwender endlich ein Ende finden.

Dass es auch anders geht und dass viele schädliche Wirkungen des gepulsten Mobilfunks schon seit Jahrzehnten bekannt sind und nicht weiter erforscht werden müssen, kann man unter „Wirkmodell für athermische Bioeffekte von EMF“ unter: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1323574/ nachlesen.

Omega siehe dazu auch „Umweltmedizin: Harmlose Handys?“ unter:
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/527820/


Keine Entwarnung

"Es gibt Hinweise für Auswirkungen beim Menschen, aber keine Beweise", erklärte Kundi. Entwarnen könne man jedoch nicht. Daher forderten die Experten zu einem vernünftigen Umgang mit dem Handy auf - vor allem Kinder und Jugendliche. Einen Zusammenhang zwischen Zigarettenkonsum und dem Anstieg von Lungenkrebs habe man beispielsweise erst 25 Jahre im Nachhinein feststellen können. Bei Tumoren dauere es bis zur Manifestation der Krankheit zwischen zehn und 30 Jahre. "Ich erwarte mir in der nächsten Zeit keinen massiven Anstieg bei Hirntumoren - das wäre ein 'Wunder'", so Kundi.

Infoblatt

Sehr wohl aber gebe es Hinweise darauf, dass ein "deutlicher Zusammenhang zwischen der Intensität der Nutzung von Handys und Symptomen" wie Kopfweh und Schlafstörungen besteht. In zwei Jahren solle man die Situation wieder evaluieren und Gutachten einholen, forderte Wolner. Ab sofort liegt bei Ärzten, in Geschäften und Schulen ein Infoblatt des Gesundheitsministeriums mit Tipps rund ums Telefonieren mit dem Handy auf.

Das Gesundheitsministerium rät:

* Festnetz dem Handy vorziehen
* Kurz fassen
* Nicht bei schlechtem Empfang telefonieren
* Möglichst wenig im Auto telefonieren
* Beim Verbindungsaufbau warten, erst danach Handy an Kopf führen
* Headsets benutzen
* Beim Schlafen das eingeschaltene Handy weder am Kopfpolster noch am Nachttisch liegen lassen.
* SMS schicken, anstatt zu telefonieren.

Artikel vom 28.12.2005 |apa |bib

http://kurier.at/multimedia/1226959.php

--------

Kinder und Mobilfunk
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/311977/

Wahnsinn Mobilfunk, Betroffene berichten
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1326240/

Ärztekammer zu Handys: Schutzmaßnahmen bisher nicht ausreichend
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1335446/

Teddy bear mobile ‘puts 4-year-olds at risk from radiation’
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1204405/

--------

Diskussion um Handystrahlung
http://openpr.de/news/73194
http://www.news4press.com/1/MeldungDetail.asp?Mitteilungs_ID=92290

ACLU Calls For Special Counsel

[please forward widely]

The ACLU ran the following advertisement in the December 22, 2005 edition of The New York Times:

View Enlarged
http://www.aclu.org/images/bushnixonwiretappingnytad.jpg

View PDF
http://www.aclu.org/pdfs/bushnixonwiretappingadvertisementinnyt.pdf

LEARN MORE

ACLU Letter Calling for Special Counsel
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/23184leg20051221.html

ACLU Requests Agency Records
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/23150prs20051220.html

FOIA Request to the National Security Agency
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/23143lgl20051220.html

FOIA Request to the Department of Justice
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/23148lgl20051220.html

FOIA Request to the Central Intelligence Agency
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/23147lgl20051220.html

Learn More About Government Spying
http://www.aclu.org/spyfiles/

TAKE ACTION

ACLU Calls for Special Counsel: Add Your Voice
https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=347&page=UserAction


Informant: root

King George W. ?

Fox News
by Martin Frost

12/27/05

Recently I have been trying to figure out who President Bush reminded me of. Was it Richard Nixon with his willingness to break the law to hold onto the presidency? Was it FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who bugged Martin Luther King Jr. and anyone he considered to be a political enemy? And then it struck me. President Bush most closely resembles King George III of England. You remember him -- he's the guy whose high-handed rule led to the American Revolution. I went back and re-read our Declaration of Independence. [and the Constitution and Bill of Rights] ... And there it is in black and white: the fourth amendment. Let's take a moment to look at the exact words of the fourth amendment to the Constitution adopted more than 200 years ago...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179777,00.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

A shocking contempt for the law

New York Daily News
by Errol Lewis

12/27/05

Although he likes to talk about the God-given blessings of liberty, President Bush should be judged by his actions, not his words -- and his actions show a man who has violated the civil liberties of Americans and must be checked. The shocking revelation that Bush has personally ordered secret wiretaps for years without court approval are part of a White House policy of placing the President above the law. 'The President of the United States needs to have his constitutional powers unimpaired, if you will, in terms of the conduct of national security policy,' said Vice President Cheney last week. Bush's power grab runs counter to the Constitution's elaborate system of checks and balances, which requires most significant presidential actions to be approved by Congress or the courts -- even on crucial questions of war and peace under emergency conditions. All the more reason Congress, which is considering renewal of the USA Patriot Act, should let the law expire...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/col/louis/story/377966p-321097c.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

NSA sends out spyware

Security Pro News
by John Stith

12/27/05

Scandals continue runs [sic] rampant through the nation over recent admissions by the federal government of eavesdropping. The issue has tuned into an argument over presidential powers. One aspect to this argument focuses on the Internet world. The NSA uses spyware as part of their electronic eavesdropping network...

http://tinyurl.com/bxg35


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

NSA spied on UN diplomats

AlterNet
by Norman Solomon

12/27/05

Despite all the news accounts and punditry since the New York Times published its Dec. 16 bombshell about the National Security Agency's domestic spying, the media coverage has made virtually no mention of the fact that the Bush administration used the NSA to spy on U.N. diplomats in New York before the invasion of Iraq. That spying had nothing to do with protecting the United States from a terrorist attack. The entire purpose of the NSA surveillance was to help the White House gain leverage, by whatever means possible, for a resolution in the U.N. Security Council to green light an invasion. When that surveillance was exposed nearly three years ago, the mainstream U.S. media winked at Bush's illegal use of the NSA for his Iraq invasion agenda. Back then, after news of the NSA's targeted spying at the United Nations broke in the British press, major U.S. media outlets gave it only perfunctory coverage -- or, in the case of the New York Times, no coverage at all. Now, while the NSA is in the news spotlight with plenty of retrospective facts, the NSA's spying at the U.N. goes unmentioned: buried in an Orwellian memory hole...

http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/30143/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Luttig blocks Bush's detainee dodge

Reason
by Jacob Sullum

12/28/05

On criminal justice and national security issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is widely considered the most government-friendly federal appeals court. So when a 4th Circuit panel rebukes the Bush administration for its handling of an accused terrorist, in a decision written by a judge who was on the president's Supreme Court short list, even the president's most ardent supporters have to wonder what's going on. What's going on is that President Bush's broad view of his own powers and his disregard for the other branches of government have provoked a backlash that goes well beyond the carping of partisan Democrats. Even a court that was prepared to uphold the president's authority to detain suspected terrorists as 'enemy combatants' is not prepared to let him submit his actions to judicial review only when he feels like it...

http://www.reason.com/sullum/122805.shtml


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Pentagon snooping fits state's post-9/11 pattern

San Mateo County Times

12/27/05

President Bush's authorizing warrantless wiretaps within the United States grabbed headlines last week, but a pattern of domestic snooping stretches back to California and the weeks after 9/11. Almost daily, it seems, new revelations emerge about domestic surveillance programs. U.S. News & World Report reported Friday that the government has been secretly monitoring radiation levels at mosques and other private Muslim buildings in six U.S. cities outside California. The New York Times reported Thursday that undercover city police had infiltrated political protest groups in New York City. A week earlier NBC News reported that the Pentagon had assembled a 400-page database listing 'threats' from domestic protesters, including the Quakers. The document listed 1,500 'suspicious incidents' over 10 months in 2004 and 2005. An eight-page excerpt posted on the MSNBC Web site includes six entries in California, including protests at military recruiting offices at the University of California's Berkeley and Santa Cruz campuses...

http://www.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/localnews/ci_3346887


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Downside of cleaner air: More warming

Christian Science Monitor

12/27/05

New measurements of tiny particles in Earth's atmosphere contain a sobering message: All those hard-won efforts to cut air pollution may unwittingly accelerate global warming. The result: The planet is likely to warm more and faster than current projections suggest, according to a team of British and American scientists. The group has produced the most precise estimates yet of how tiny particles, known as aerosols, could affect the world's climate. Aerosols, which include pollutants, have a cooling effect on the atmosphere, and the team's work suggests that the cooling effect is strong - nearly as strong as the top estimates of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)...

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1227/p03s01-sten.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax Set Free

Robert Scheer asks: Why is it not bigger news that those infamous Iraqi female scientists once routinely referred to in the media as "Dr. Germ" and "Mrs. Anthrax" have been quietly released from imprisonment in Iraq without any charges being brought by their US captors?

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122805L.shtml

Censuring Bush Requires Citizens' Help

John Nichols writes that as President Bush and his aides scramble to explain new revelations regarding Bush's authorization of spying on the international telephone calls and e-mails of Americans, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has begun a process that could lead to the censure, and perhaps the impeachment, of the president and vice president.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122805K.shtml



http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

Democrats: Department of Homeland Security Failing

A report released Tuesday by 13 members of the House Homeland Security Committee says that nearly three years after the cabinet department's creation, gaps still remain in federal efforts to defend the nation against terrorism - including at ports, borders and chemicals plants.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122805J.shtml

Lawyers For Terror Suspects Plan Legal Challenges Over Wiretaps

The New York Times is reporting defense lawyers for several Muslim men detained for alleged ties to Al Qaeda plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the government used illegal wiretaps against them. Two weeks ago, the Times revealed the Bush administration has authorized eavesdropping on Americans and foreign nationals within the United States without court orders.

The challenges would affect some of the biggest terrorism cases in the country. Several lawyers said they intend to press the government on whether prosecutors misled the courts about the origins of their investigations and whether the government may have withheld wiretaps that could prove their clients' innocence. Meanwhile, Justice Department prosecutors told the Times they were concerned the wiretaps could create problems for past and future terrorism cases. One prosecutor said: "If I'm a defense attorney, the first thing I'm going to say in court is, 'This was an illegal wiretap.' "

http://www.democracynow.org



December 27th, 2005 11:03 pm

Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges Over Spy Efforts

By Eric Lichtblau and James Risen / New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 - Defense lawyers in some of the country's biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.

http://michaelmoore.com/words/index.php?id=5299


Informant: John Calvert

Occupational magnetic field exposure and melatonin: Interaction with night-at-light

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega02.htm

Teen cellphone radiation risk

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega179.htm

Straide says ‘no’ to phone mast plan

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The roads in and out of the West Mayo village of Straide have been sprinkled lately with signs proclaiming “No Mast in Straide”.

The proposed construction of a Vodafone mast in the village of Oughtagh, Straide has caused major concern in a number of local residents. The mast will be constructed on lands owned by a local farmer and will be in the region of ten meters in height. The construction of mobile phone relay towers has been a national issue for the past number of years, with residents groups throughout the country forming in opposition to these constructions.

An “Oughtagh Concerned Residents Group” has been formed to oppose the construction of the mast.

The group, which has 28 members vehemently, opposes the construction of the mast; they have lodged their objections with Mayo County Council, the eight member Straide community council have also lodged an objection with the council in relation to the construction.

The Western People contacted a spokesperson for the concerned residents group, who are voicing their concerns over the proposed construction.

“This has been going on for nearly two years now, the first application that was made was turned down by the council, but they have reapplied again and we are waiting on the decision which is due in early January. We have had an engineering report carried out on the mast and the location. We had the engineer lodge an objection on our behalf. “There are a number of reasons why we are objecting to the development.

“According to the council’s own development plan there should be no residential homes within 500m of the mast, yet their will be eight homes within that radius. The development will also be an eyesore in the area as it is a pretty open space, these sort of masts are supposed to be located near forestry area’s to disguise their location, but this is an fairly open area and clearly discernible to the eye.” The spokesperson explained. The planning authority requested further information on the proposal in early June of this year and one of the requests that made was that a poll be placed in site view, to show the impact that the development may have on the locality, this poll was erected recently those meet those criteria.

Local tensions have also been raised as confirmed by the group’s spokesperson. “It is a tight nit community, but obviously tensions in the locality have been raised by this issue. But we are willing to go to An Bord Pleaneala if the County Council grants permission”.

© Western People, 2005.

http://www.westernpeople.ie/news/story.asp?j=28721

Nuking Iran With the UN's Blessing

Only the American people can stop it.
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/hirsch.php?articleid=8312


Informant: Kev Hall

Die Gefahren elektromagnetischer Strahlen scheinen immer mehr Deutschen bewusst zu werden

Kommunikation vs. Elektrosmog

Die Gefahren elektromagnetischer Strahlen scheinen immer mehr Deutschen bewußt zu werden. Für das Jahr 2006 wird in der Branche mit einem Umsatzverlust bei den Providern von rund 2 Mrd. Euro gerechnet. Dies hat die Frankfurter Dependance der Schweizer IT-Marktforscher Soreon Research http://www.soreon.de erhoben: Demnach würde, so sich der Verdacht ernstzunehmender Gesundheitsgefährdung durch Handys erhärtet, die überwiegende Mehrheit das Mobiltelefonieren erheblich einschränken.

Schon jetzt hat über 1/3 der Handynutzer Bedenken bezüglich der Gesundheitsgefahren des Mobiltelefonierens. Angst haben die Menschen vor Mobilfunk-Sendemasten wie auch vor der Strahlung der Endgeräte selber.

Unser Tipp: Wir von "Flensburg online" haben schon seit längeren unsere 2 Handys abgemeldet und in die Schublade gelegt. Telefonate über's Festnetz. Völlig ausreichend. Außerdem genießen wir ohne Handy die neue Freiheit: Nicht ständig überall für jeden Dödel erreichar sein… Klasse. Ein Stück strahlungsfreie Lebensqualität. [Juni 2003]

Elektrosmog

GUCK an. Weil 4 Krebsfälle auftraten, haben spanische Behörden eine Schule im nördlichen Spanien in Valladolid geschlossen. Neben der Schule befindet sich ein Gebäude mit zahlreichen Mobilfunk-Antennen. Zufall? [Anfang 2002]

http://valladolid.abc.es/


Sendeanlagen

ELTERN gegen Sendeanlage. Weil auf dem Dach des Gymnasiums der Ulrich-von-Hutten Oberschule in Berlin Mobilfunk-Antennen installiert werden sollten, protestierten besorgte Eltern gegen das Vorhaben: Der Elektro-Smog könne die Gesundheit der Schüler gefährden: "Zu Lasten der Gesundheit der Kinder soll Geld in die Bezirkskassen gespült werden", so die Eltern, denn es sollen 100.000 Mark für die Mobilfunk-Antennenanlage bezahlt werden. [Juni 2001]

http://www.uvh-online.de/


Quelle:
http://www.flensburg-online.de/diverses/handys-und-mobilfunk.html
(Auszug)

Verstrahlte Zukunft

Gesundheitsgefahren durch kabellose Laptops

von Siegfried Schwarzmüller, GEW Hessen

Unter dem Primat der "Effizienzsteigerung" geschehen derzeit in den Schulen fast unbeachtet und unreflektiert Dinge, die früher zu regen Diskussionen und Aktionen geführt hätten. Oft ohne hinreichende Information und Beteiligung der Beschäftigten werden z. B. in Hessen an rund 100 Schulen unter dem Deckmantel von "Medienkompetenz", einer "neuen Lernkultur" und eines "besseren Unterrichts" Schülerinnen und Schüler mit Laptops ausgestattet. Der Einsatz dieser mobilen Computer hat vordergründig sicher einige Vorteile wie Raumersparnis und Flexibilität bei der Handhabung.

Bessere Bildung durch WLAN?

Gleichzeitig mit der Einrichtung der Schülerarbeitsplätze wird von der Landesregierung und den Schulträgern jedoch eine neue Technik eingeführt, gegen die aus gesundheitlicher Sicht starke Bedenken bestehen. Nach Auffassung der Initiative Schule@Zukunft , in der Landesregierung, Schulträger und hessische Unternehmerverbände zusammenarbeiten, kommt als Laptop "nur ein WLAN in Frage". Bei dem derzeit forcierten Verfahren der WLAN-Technik (Wireless-Local-Area-Network) steht im Klassenraum oder im Schulhaus ein Sender, über den die Lernenden kabellos untereinander kommunizieren oder mit den Peripheriegeräten und dem Internet verbunden sind. Ihre Laptops sind dabei selbst Sender und Empfänger. Bei diesen Aktivitäten entstehen an jedem Schülerarbeitsplatz hochfrequente pulsierende elektromagnetische Felder, deren gesundheitsschädliche Auswirkungen inzwischen allgemein bekannt und anerkannt sind. Schon 2001 kam die unabhängige Arbeitsstelle für Umweltfragen der Evangelischen Kirche Hessen-Nassau zu dem Schluss, eine große Zahl von Experimenten lasse "den Schluss zu, dass Lebewesen auf diese Strahlung reagieren." Vorsorgender Gesundheitsschutz ist hier dringend angeraten, vor allem auch vor dem Hintergrund der Erfahrungen aus der Vergangenheit, wo der sorglose Umgang mit als harmlos geltenden Substanzen wie Holzschutzmittel, Asbest, FCKW auch an Schulen zu verheerenden gesundheitlichen Gefährdungen und finanziellen Folgen geführt hat.

Hochfrequente Strahlungen

Bei einer Raumvernetzung ist es noch weitgehend eine individuelle Entscheidung, ob die Schülerinnen und Schüler über Kabel oder Sender untereinander kommunizieren und mit dem Netz verbunden sind. Bei einer Schulvernetzung gibt es für die Beschäftigten jedoch keine Entscheidungsmöglichkeit mehr, ob sie sich der zusätzlichen Strahlung aussetzen möchten oder nicht. Ähnlich wie in Wartehallen der Flughäfen und in großen Bahnhöfen sind sie während des Arbeitstages ständig den elektromagnetischen Feldern der WLAN-Sendeanlagen ausgesetzt. Je nach Arbeitsplatz sind dabei unterschiedliche Belastungen möglich. Durch Überlagerungen und Spiegelungen können hier unbemerkt auch extrem hohe Strahlungswerte erreicht werden. An einem Arbeitsplatz in der juristischen Bibliothek in Göttingen hat die Zeitschrift Öko-Test bei der Flussdichte, der Maßeinheit für hochfrequente Strahlungen, einen Spitzenwert von 23 000 mikroW/qm gemessen. Der amtliche Grenzwert in der Bundesrepublik liegt derzeit bei 10 W/qm.

Ohne Kabelverbindung muss die WLAN-Anlage auch nachts eingeschaltet und über Funk mit dem Netz verbunden sein, da in dieser Zeit die Fernwartung des Schulsenders mit den in den "Dockingstations" zugeschalteten Laptops durchgeführt wird.

Im November 2002 hat die Zeitschrift Öko-Test bei einer umfangreichen Untersuchung festgestellt, dass besonders von den sendenden Laptops mit ihren WLAN-Karten eine beträchtliche Strahlendosis ausgeht. Sie liegt oft erheblich über den empfohlenen Vorsorgewerten und an Brennpunkten auch über den amtlichen Grenzwerten. Auch das nova-Institut hatte zuvor schon bei seiner Untersuchung zur WLAN-Anlage der Universität Bremen festgestellt, dass man hier bei einer Arbeit an den Notebooks "mit einer Überschreitung der Vorsorgewerte rechnen" muss. Zu der in unserem Kulturkreis ohnehin schon vorhandenen massiven Beeinträchtigung durch unnatürliche elektromagnetische Felder (zum Beispiel Handy, DECT-Telefon, Mikrowelle, Bildschirme) werden in der Schule Kinder, Jugendliche und Lehrerkräfte damit zusätzlichen Gesundheitsgefahren ausgesetzt, die ohne großen Aufwand vermeidbar wären. Ohne jegliche quantitative und qualitative Einschränkung ist es auch mit einem handlichen Laptop möglich, wie bisher über Kabel im Internet zu arbeiten und so die zusätzliche Strahlenbelastung durch die WLAN-Sendeanlage zu vermeiden. Es ist dafür nur ein Kabel zu legen und mit dem Netz zu verbinden. Auch Peripheriegeräte wie ein zentraler Drucker lassen sich weiterhin über Steckkontakt oder mittels Diskette bedienen.

Fast alles spricht gegen WLAN

Neben der Vorsorge käme eine solche Ausstattung der Schulen die Städte und Kreise sogar finanziell günstiger, weil die Komponenten für den Funkbetrieb entfallen würden. Gegen die WLAN-Technik sprechen auch die von außen beeinflussbare Datenübertragung, die gegenüber Kabelverbindungen reduzierte Arbeitsgeschwindigkeit und Belastbarkeit der Anlagen, die begrenzte Eignung für die Durchführung von Prüfungen und die Störungen im alltäglichen Gebrauch. Fremde Vorgaben und Interessen der Industrie scheinen allerdings schwerer zu wiegen als alle gesundheitlichen, technischen, finanziellen und pädagogischen Einwände. Gegenpositionen und Bedenken werden wohl auch deshalb verschwiegen, um eine neue, Gewinn bringende Technik in einem Großversuch rasch umsetzen und ausprobieren zu können. In einigen Schulbezirken wird die Technik sogar an Grundschulen "erprobt". Kinder werden dabei zu Versuchsobjekten.

Rechtlich Einspruchsmöglichkeiten gibt es kaum: Bei der WLAN-Einrichtung in den Schulen liege "alles unterhalb der gesetzlichen Grenzwerte", lautet wieder einmal die Rechtfertigung. Die 1996 (!) in der Verordnung über elektromagnetische Felder festgelegten Grenzwerte, die als Rechtsgrundlage angeführt werden, berücksichtigen nur die Temperaturauswirkungen dieser Strahlungen. Bei den pulsierenden hochfrequenten Feldern gibt es jedoch bereits bei geringer Leistungsflussdichte von der Temperatur unabhängige Wirkungen. Sie verursachen bei Menschen Beschwerden wie Kopfschmerz, Bluthochdruck, Konzentrationsstörungen und können auch zu bleibenden gesundheitlichen Schädigungen führen. Das ECOLOG-Institut in Hannover hat inzwischen eine Vielzahl von Studien über die gesundheitliche Belastung durch elektromagnetische Felder ausgewertet und konnte dies wissenschaftlich begründet bestätigen.

Zum Schutze der Gesundheit ist daher heute nicht mehr von den alten, unzureichenden Grenzwerten auszugehen, sondern von einem alle bislang bekannten Einflüsse berücksichtigenden Vorsorgewert, den es dann bei der Beurteilung von Strahlenbelastungen unbedingt einzuhalten gilt. Die Schweiz hat dies bereits umgesetzt. Hier gelten für die Leistungsflussdichte offiziell 0,1 W/qm als Vorsorgegrenzwert. Dies ist 1/100 des in der Bundesrepublik geltenden Grenzwertes. Das ECOLOG-Institut empfiehlt auf Grund seiner Untersuchungen 0,01 W/qm als Vorsorgewert. Bereits bei diesem Wert wurden in Studien negative Einflüsse auf die Gehirnfunktionen - Gehirnströme, Reaktionsvermögen, Blut-Hirn-Schranke - festgestellt. Bei Untersuchungen hat Öko-Test an einzelnen Laptops Werte ermittelt, die höher liegen als diese Vorsorgewerte.

Fast schon Körperverletzung

Bei der unkritisch betriebenen Medienausstattung der Schulen mit Sendern und strahlenden Laptops wird auch nicht berücksichtigt, dass es sich ja um Kinder und Jugendliche handelt, die an ihnen oft stundenlang tätig sind. Im Jahr 2000 kam in England eine von der Regierung beauftragte unabhängige Expertengruppe zu dem Ergebnis, dass Kinder - wegen des sich noch entwickelnden Nervensystems und einer um etwa 60 Prozent höheren Aufnahmefähigkeit für energetische Strahlungen - weit verwundbarer sind als Erwachsene. Für sie müssten daher noch strengere Maßstäbe bei den Vorsorgewerten gelten. Kinder bewusst solchen Gefahren auszusetzen, grenzt an Körperverletzung.

Nicht bedacht wird auch bei der Argumentation, dass in den Räumen der Schule häufig nicht nur ein Gerät die pulsierenden, hochfrequenten elektromagnetischen Strahlen erzeugt, sondern dass es 20 oder mehr Schülerinnen und Schüler sind, die im Unterricht mit diesen Geräten arbeiten. Nicht selten geschieht dies an Orten, an denen es bereits andere unnatürliche Strahlungsquellen gibt (Leuchtstoffröhre, Halogenlampe, Handy, Trafo). Es ist daher vorab nicht auszuschließen, dass durch eine Überschneidung der Felder die Vorsorgewerte für die elektromagnetische Belastung an den einzelnen Arbeitsplätzen weit überschritten werden. Sicher liegt die elektromagnetische Strahlung des einzelnen Laptops unter der eines Handys, doch erhöht er die Intensität der Belastung mit Elektrosmog. Auch die Nutzungsdauer spielt eine Rolle, die bei Informatik-Fachlehrkräften und Fachschülerinnen und Fachschülern mehrere Stunden pro Tag betragen kann.

Besonders geschützt werden müssen elektrosensible Personen, die wie Allergiker auf elektromagnetische Strahlungen reagieren. Dies sind drei bis fünf Prozent der Bevölkerung.

Keine Sender in Schulen!

Schon die hier kurz dargestellten Fakten und Argumente sind ausreichend, um zu dem WLAN-Projekt der Landesregierung und der Schulträger begründet "Nein!" zu sagen: "Keine Sender in Schulen und anderen öffentlichen Einrichtungen!" Dazu zählen neben der WLAN-Technik auch die kabellosen Bluetooth-Einrichtungen, DECT-Telefone und Handys. Über Kabel lassen sich die gleichen, bei der Arbeit mit Computern in der Übertragungsgeschwindigkeit sogar noch bessere Ergebnisse erzielen. Schutz und Vorsorge gegen gesundheitliche Beeinträchtigungen sollten wichtiger sein als das etwas bequemere Hantieren mit kabellosen Geräten.

Die GEW und die Personalräte im Land, in den Städten und Kreisen und in den Schulen müssen darauf Einfluss nehmen, dass Entscheidungen zur Medienausstattung der Schulen in diesem Sinne revidiert und Kinder und Lehrkräfte in den Schulen nicht bewusst zusätzlichen Gesundheitsgefahren durch elektromagnetische Strahlungen ausgesetzt werden.

Bei der Bewertung der Risiken gibt es sicher noch Unklarheiten, doch sollte die Vorsorge um die Gesundheit der Menschen ausschlaggebend sein. Weitere Hinweise sind von der REFLEX-Studie zu erwarten, die derzeit im Auftrag der Europäischen Union von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern aus verschiedenen europäischen Ländern durchgeführt wird. Sie untersuchen unter anderem die Auswirkungen elektromagnetischer Felder auf Gewebeteile. Auch aus der INTERPHONE-Studie der Weltgesundheitsorganisation zur Handy-Strahlung können sich weiterführende Erkenntnisse ergeben. Zumindest bis zu den Abschlussberichten dieser offiziellen Untersuchungen (voraussichtlich 2007) sollte die Entscheidung zu WLAN an den Schulen zurückgestellt werden.

Quelle: http://www.gew-berlin.de/blz/3073.htm

Omega: weitere Infos von Dr. Siegfried Schwarzmüller unter
http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/wlan_info.doc

--------

Gesundheitsgefahren durch kabellose Laptops
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/191214/

Gesundheitsgefahren durch kabellose Laptops an Hessens Schulen
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1335988/

Mit dem Laptop in den Unterricht - Fortschritt, aber ohne Risiken
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1054537/

Mobilfunk in der Schule
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/338094/

Schule und Mobilfunk
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/403986/

Elektrosmog im Klassenzimmer
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1870495/

Ärzte-Appelle gegen Mobilfunk
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1064751/

Ärztekammern und Mobilfunk
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1104181/


http://tinyurl.com/88sg2

EARTHQUAKE that caused the world to wobble on its axis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake

Vaccinations and the Bush Family

http://www.lotusbirth.com/doc/FEB2003Lotusbirth-536.htm


Informant: beefree

Pentagon Stalls on Banning Contractors from Using Forced Labor

A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away.

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12976


From Information Clearing House

Consumption and The Affect on Our Societies

The 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe accounts for 60 percent of private consumption spending, while the one-third living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only around 3 percent.

http://www.canadianshield.org/Kaan/consumption.htm


From Information Clearing House

What I heard about Iraq in 2005

I heard that the US was planning an embassy in Baghdad that would cost $1.5 billion, as expensive as the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero, the proposed tallest building in the world. I saw a headline in the Los Angeles Times that read: ‘After Levelling City, US Tries to Build Trust.’

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11389.htm

It's good to be King George

As I was saying to a fellow peasant just the other day, it is ironic that this country should rebel against one King George only to bow down before another monarch of the same name more than 200 years later.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05361/628256.stm


From Information Clearing House

It's my party and I'll spy if I want to

For all of you who still claim this president doesn't lie, this must come as a shock. For the rest of us it just comes as another "we told you. so."

http://www.lahontanvalleynews.com/article/20051226/Opinion/112260005


From Information Clearing House

UK: Men persecuted by the authorities demand justice

Four men -- three Algerians and one stateless Palestinian -- and their families have been effectively persecuted by the United Kingdom (UK) authorities for nearly four years. They are among the 10 foreign nationals who on 8 December 2005 won an appeal before the Law Lords who ruled unanimously that information obtained through torture cannot be admissible as "evidence" in UK courts.

http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGEUR450582005


From Information Clearing House

Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb

A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.

http://www.skyhen.org/Focus/iran/iran_is_judged_10_years_from_nuclear_bomb.php


From Information Clearing House

A maiming of the soul

Dr Rice, was trapped, cornered and hunted by the lies of the Bush administration about its treatment of 'unlawful combatants' or 'battlefield detainees' hidden and tortured in dozens of black holes round the world.

http://tinyurl.com/b8jk9


From Information Clearing House

Bush's counsel on spying now under close scrutiny

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Bush's legal advisers have cleared the way for him to hold enemy combatants without trials; eavesdrop on overseas telephone calls and e-mails; place ever-greater numbers of government documents under a veil of secrecy; imprison a US citizen indefinitely on the suspicion of terrorist links; and, according to The Washington Post, operate a secret CIA prison in an Eastern European country.

http://tinyurl.com/98v4f


From Information Clearing House

Maher Arar was deported to Syria, even though he was carrying a Canadian passport

Maher Arar: Timeline:

On a stopover in New York as he was returning to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia in September 2002, U.S. officials detained Arar, claiming he has links to al-Qaeda, and deported him to Syria, even though he was carrying a Canadian passport.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/arar/


From Information Clearing House

Secret court modified wiretap requests

Intervention may have led Bush to bypass panel.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/253334_nsaspying24.html


From Information Clearing House

Gov. Bill Richardson fears calls monitored

Gov. Bill Richardson is concerned that some of his phone calls were monitored by a U.S. spy agency and transcripts of them were given to the president's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.

http://tinyurl.com/akv2h


From Information Clearing House

U.S Detainees Disappeared into Secret Prisons

Illegal under Domestic and International Law: The United States is holding an unknown number of terrorism suspects in secret overseas locations, and refusing either to acknowledge the detentions or to give information on the fate or the whereabouts of these detainees. These detainees have been held incommunicado, without trial, some for as many as four years. Some of the detainees are reported to have been tortured in custody.

http://hrw.org/backgrounder/usa/us1205/index.htm


From Information Clearing House

U.S. Operated Secret ‘Dark Prison’ in Kabul

Accounts from detainees at Guantánamo reveal that the United States as recently as last year operated a secret prison in Afghanistan where detainees were subjected to torture and other mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said.

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/19/afghan12319.htm


From Information Clearing House

Top Ten Myths about Iraq in 2005

Here are what I think are the top ten myths about Iraq, that one sees in print or on television in the United States.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11394.htm

The next wave of part-time soldiers

This formula, which is being used to reach those who the Guard thinks are most likely to join, is helping reverse a precipitous decline in the ranks.

http://tinyurl.com/e3gt5


From Information Clearing House

Coalition partners pull out from Iraq

The US coalition in Iraq saw its size dwindle today as Ukraine and Bulgaria said all of their troops had left the country while Poland said it would remain, but reduce its number of troops by 600 next year.

http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=167241516&p=y67z4zzzz


From Information Clearing House

U.S. Exit Strategy in Iraq: Hand Quagmire to Iran

The U.S. exit strategy is similar to the one used by the French to drag the Americans into Vietnam before they left. In this way Shiite Iran will become a "partner in the occupation of Iraq" and inevitably find itself head-to-head with the Sunni-led national Iraqi resistance.

http://tinyurl.com/9tu6p


From Information Clearing House

The administration’s real intention: to remove the final impediment to the supreme authority of the executive

What everyone should know about Jose Padilla

By Mike Whitney

The constitution is the last flimsy obstacle between Bush and absolute power. That is why the administration has persisted for nearly 4 years in its case against Jose Padilla. The Padilla case has nothing to do with Al Qaida, “dirty bombers” or terrorism. These are simply the empty diversions that conceal the administration’s real intention; to remove the final impediment to the supreme authority of the executive.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11393.htm

UK: Cross-party support for war probe

By BBC

More than 100 MPs from across the Commons have backed a call for an inquiry by senior MPs into the handling of the Iraq war and its aftermath. The MPs include 49 Lib Dems, 26 Conservatives and 20 from Labour.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11384.htm

The Neocons, The Libby Affair and the Internal War

By James Petras

Who were the fabricators of war propaganda, who was Libby protecting? And not only the "fabricators of war", but the strategic planners, speech-makers and architects of war who acted hand in hand with the propagandists and the journalists who disseminated the propaganda? What is the link between all these high- level functionaries, propagandists and journalists?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11385.htm

Property Rights Advocate Embraces Conservation Plan

"Cooperative conservation" is a new approach to conserving wildlife habitat that relies on voluntary financial incentives rather than "command and control" regulation. The approach is showing some success, yet environmentalists are concerned that without regulatory backup, it will fail to preserve endangered species.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/122705EB.shtml

Environmental Security in a Post-Tsunami World

Chris Haila makes the point that, as devastating as the Asian tsunami was last year, at least there was an intact environment and social infrastructure available to take in the refugees. If we allow the global climate to deteriorate by failing to check greenhouse gas emissions, we risk losing the safe harbor of our fragile planet.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/122705EA.shtml

Telling It Like It Isn't

I first realized the enormous pressures on American journalists in the Middle East when I went some years ago to say goodbye to a colleague from the Boston Globe. I expressed my sorrow that he was leaving a region where he had obviously enjoyed reporting. I could save my sorrows for someone else, he said. One of the joys of leaving was that he would no longer have to alter the truth to suit his paper's more vociferous readers.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705S.shtml

Impeachment Buzz

What sense does it make that some of the same Washington media and political leaders who countenanced the Clinton impeachment, somberly intoning about the "rule of law," consider impeaching Bush beyond the pale? No sense at all, according to Ruth Connif of the Progressive.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705Q.shtml



http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

Barron's editorial calls for Congress to consider impeachment

[please forward widely]

John Calvert


"Putting the president above the Congress is an invitation to tyranny. The president has no powers except those specified in the Constitution and those enacted by law. ... Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later."

Barron's editorial calls for Congress to consider impeachment
12/24/2005 @ 3:49 pm
Filed by RAW STORY

Barron's editorial page editor Thomas G. Donlan penned a column for Monday's edition entitled "Unwarranted Executive Power" which calls on members of the House Judiciary Committee to investigate if the Bush Administration violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and to either change the law or consider impeachment, RAW STORY has learned.

Barron's Magazine is a weekly publication for investors published by the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpts from the subscriber only editorial:
#

...Putting the president above the Congress is an invitation to tyranny. The president has no powers except those specified in the Constitution and those enacted by law. President Bush is stretching the power of commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy by indicating that he can order the military and its agencies, such as the National Security Agency, to do whatever furthers the defense of the country from terrorists, regardless of whether actual force is involved.

Surely the "strict constructionists" on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law.#

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Barrons_editorial_calls_for_Congress_to_1224.html


http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

Keeping the Faith

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1227-23.htm

President Goes Too Far When He Bypasses Wiretap Court

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1227-31.htm

The I-Word is Gaining Ground

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1227-28.htm



http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

US-Shiite Struggle Could Spin Out of Control

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1227-08.htm

US Stalls on Human Trafficking Policy

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1227-09.htm

US Embassy Close to Admitting Syria Rendition Flight

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1227-04.htm

A Guide to Impeaching President George W. Bush

http://tinyurl.com/88keh



http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

The Ticking Bomb Myth

Ted Rall on torture.
http://www.uexpress.com/tedrall/?uc_full_date=20051220


Informant: Lew Rockwell

Absolute Executive Power - The law is king

Sydney Blumenthal on an un-American notion.
http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/blumenthal-lawking.html


Informant: Lew Rockwell

The Definition of 'Top Secret'

Embarrassing to the government. Article by Charley Reese.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese250.html

The Usurpers of Our Freedoms

The Presidency Uber Alles

Lawrence R. Velvel on the real threat to our civil liberties.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/velvel1.html

America’s Catastrophic Dilemma

Imperialist Blowback

Jack D. Douglas on the horrific results of our 50-year war against Muslims.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/douglas7.html

The Dictatorship

Anthony Gregory on Bush's secret surveillance state.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory103.html

Support Free Speech

http://www.lewrockwell.com/peters/peters10.html

Global Cooling: Fear the Ice

What To Do About Global Warming

Though global cooling is far more likely, and far more disastrous. Article by Bill Walker.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/walker/walker17.html

War Remembrance

http://www.lewrockwell.com/katz/katz10.html

SEC. RUMSFELD: "Mr. Congressman, we can't account for some $2.6 trillion in transactions that exist, if that's believable"

$2.6 TRILLION Still Missing From Department Of Defense

12-28-5

Testimony before the House Appropriations Committee: Fiscal Year 2002 Defense Budget Request As Given by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton, and Comptroller Dov Zakheim, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, Monday, July 16, 2001.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Congressman, thank you very much. Your question is, of course, right at the heart of an enormously important issue for the Department of Defense. We have a panel in the Quadrennial Defense Review on this subject. We have met with it twice in the last two weeks. We're obviously going to have to meet with it again. It is a big, broad, complicated subject.

As you know, the Department of Defense really is not in charge of its civilian workforce, in a certain sense. It's the OPM, or Office of Personnel management, I guess. There are all kinds of long- standing rules and regulations about what you can do and what you can't do. I know Dr. Zakheim's been trying to hire CPAs because the financial systems of the department are so snarled up that we can't account for some $2.6 trillion in transactions that exist, if that's believable. And yet we're told that we can't hire CPAs to help untangle it in many respects.

To see the full testimony
http://www.dod.gov/speeches/2001/s20010716-secdef2.html


Informant: beefree

BUSH'S WAR OF TERROR, WND's

http://www.newswithviews.com/Spingola/deanna27.htm

Our Money System

http://www.newswithviews.com/Yates/steven12.htm

OVERVIEW OF SECRET SOCIETIES

http://www.newswithviews.com/Hayes/gianni8.htm

On globalization's 'hyperbourgeois' and their defenders

http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/3846/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Big Brother is watching

http://tinyurl.com/b5n5n

Send to:

Oakland Tribune, 401 13th St., Oakland CA 94612
Doors are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Big Brother is watching

Alameda Times Star | December 23 2005

IT took 21 years longer than expected, but the future has finally arrived. And we don't like it. Not one bit.

We are fighting a war with no end to create a peace with no defined victory.

We occupy a foreign land that doesn't want us, while at home our civil liberties are discounted.

We are told that it's better not to know what our government is doing in our name, for security purposes. Meanwhile, our government is becoming omnipresent, spying on us whenever it deems it necessary.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

George Orwell was right after all.

In 1949, Orwell penned "1984," a dark, futuristic satire in which the totalitarian government used indoctrination, propaganda and fear to enforce order and conformity. His "Big Brother" — the face of this all-knowing regime — was never wrong, and to make sure of it, history was constantly being rewritten.

Orwell wrote his book as a cautionary tale to underscore the insidious danger of slowly eroded individual liberties. His Thought Police may not yet be on the march, but it's not hyperbole to point out the eerie parallels with today's America.

In America today, Big Brother is watching.

He's watching because President Bush told him to. Shortly after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens making or receiving international calls and e-mails.

When it comes to fighting terror, Bush is totalitarian — remember, you're either with us or against us. Trust me to get it right, he says. Debate on the law is not only not needed, it's evil.

"An open debate about the law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.'" Bush said recently. "The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."

Then there's the Patriot Act, also created in the days immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. The Senate and House of Representatives voted Thursday to extend the law by a month. President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales insist it's an indispensable tool in the war on terror and want it extended permanently.

"I'm as concerned about the privacy of American citizens as anyone, but we cannot allow libraries and use of libraries to become safe havens for terrorists," Gonzales said in July, defending one of the act's most controversial provisions.

Remember, too, that we invaded Iraq primarily because we were told Saddam Hussein was an immediate threat with his weapons of mass destruction. Now the Bush administration acknowledges that wasn't so, but insists there were (are?) other reasons to invade. History is malleable.

Orwell wrote of war without end; we're told the war on terror will last decades at least. Orwell wrote of a dumbed-down "Newspeak," and who could argue that our national discourse hasn't slumped? Orwell's "Ministry of Love" tortured dissidents real or imagined; our government decries Iraq's secret torture prisons while arguing over whether to ban torture. Meanwhile, we maintain our own secret CIA prisons.

Bush is unapologetic. The president believes he has the legal authority to spy on American citizens without a warrant, and he plans to continue to reauthorize the program "for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens." But when the enemy is poorly defined, who determines when the threat is over? In this case, the same government that secretly taps our phones.

Turns out the truth is no stranger than fiction.

We think it's time for Congress to heed the warning of George Orwell.

To that end, we're asking for your help: Mail us or drop off your tattered copies of "1984." When we get 537 of them, we'll send them to every member of the House of Representatives and Senate and to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Feel free to inscribe the book with a note, reminding these fine people that we Americans take the threat to our liberties seriously. Remind Congress that it makes no sense to fight a war for democracy in a foreign land while allowing our democratic principles to erode at home.

Remind President Bush that ours is a country of checks and balances, not unbridled power.

Perhaps our nation's leaders can find some truth in this fiction and more carefully ponder the road we're traveling.

Bring or mail your books to the Oakland Tribune, 401 13th St., Oakland CA 94612. Doors are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/december2005/231205bigbrother.htm


Download link for "1984"
http://rapidshare.de/files/9944751/AudioBooks_GeorgeOrwell_-_1984__Full___Share_Me_.mp3.html

Go to bottom of page click "free" next page go to bottom of page...wait 30 seconds and click download link....listen mp3 format on computer or ipod.

War is Peace! Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength!

This is a 1949 radio adaptation of 1984 starring David Niven (1 hour). The acting may seem quite quaint by our standards, but the core warning rings through loud and clear.

Propaganda, the fabrication of "truth", the outlawing of dissent, the distortion of reality, endless war... and thought crime, the ability to think for ones own self... now... turn up the sound, dim the lights... and remember,

Big Brother is watching you!


Informant: beefree

--------

Big Brother is watching:

George Orwell was right after all. When it comes to fighting terror, Bush is totalitarian — remember, you're either with us or against us. Trust me to get it right, he says. Debate on the law is not only not needed, it's evil.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/oped/ci_3337465


From Information Clearing House

Something Seemingly Not Quite Right With the Sun

by Mitch Battros – ECTV

December 27th 2005

EARTH CHANGES TV NEWSLETTER

Today’s sunspot count is at 90; there coming from several (six) sunspot regions; and we are just coming out of a geomagnetic storm. However, the recent extended SOHO “bakeout”, and recent GOES (x-ray flux) satellites which read solar flares have been blank or dormant.

On the heels of what would appear to be below average solar readings, a sudden geomagnetic storm appears. Within the 48 to 72 hour window consistent with the Equation, we have a blackout in Quebec, Canada leaving some 70,000 homes and businesses without power. Hydro Quebec said the blackout hit the Monteregie agricultural region southwest of Montreal at about 6:40 a.m. Initial reports claim high winds were blamed for crippling the local hydro electrical grid, “although officials weren't able to find any broken equipment.” I’ve seen this before; This is to say when “officials can’t find a reason”, and in many cases have later been related to solar activity.

Then when have a volcanic eruption today in Guatemala, sending rivers of lava down its slopes and a huge cloud of ash and smoke into the sky. About 25,000 local residents were put on alert. Also, various "freak storms" have been reported from drought's to snow storms.

I am currently on the road (wouldn’t you know it) and unable to do a detailed report which includes direct contact with the NASA/NOAA space weather center. All I can say for now is; reports and events just don’t quite feel right. In other words….something’s up.

Solar X-Ray Flux (flat line):
http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/xray_5m.html

Kp Index (geomagnetic storm):
http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/kp_3d.html

GOES (magnetic flux):
http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/mag_3d.html

DEVELOPING……………


Solar Rain by Mitch Battros

It all started with a simple equation…

Equation:

Sunspots => Solar Flares => Magnetic Field Shift => Shifting Ocean and Jet Stream Currents => Extreme Weather and Human Disruption (mitch battros)

and led to ‘Solar Rain’

Table of Contents:
http://www.earthchangestv.net/Table_of_Contents.htm

Endorsements:
http://www.earthchangestv.net/Solar_Rain.htm

A Declaration of Interdependence

From: mail1@GoodMorningWorld.org
"Robert Muller's Ideas & Dreams For A Better World"

[GMW #849] A Declaration of Interdependence - Written In 1975

Wednesday 28 December 2005,
Editor: Easy

INTRODUCTION (Ideas 501 to 600) A Declaration of Interdependence*

*This Declaration was promulgated on 24 October 1975, United Nations Day, by the Philadelphia World Affairs Council in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, in the presence of the UN Secretary General and all heads of the UN specialized agencies.

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HISTORY the threat of extinction confronts humankind, it is necessary for the people of The United States to declare their interdependence with the people of all nations and to embrace those principles and build those institutions which will enable humankind to survive and civilization to flourish.

Two centuries ago our forefathers brought forth a new nation: now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order. On this historic occasion it is proper that the American people should reaffirm those principles on which the United States of America was founded, acknowledge the new crises which confront them, accept the new obligations which history imposes upon them, and set forth the causes which impel them to affirm before all peoples their commitment to a Declaration of Interdependence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human are created equal: that the inequalities and injustices which afflict so much of the human race are the product of history and society, not of God or nature, that people everywhere are entitled to the blessings of life and liberty, peace and security and the realization of their full potential: that they have an inescapable moral obligation to preserve those rights for posterity: and that to achieve these ends all the peoples and nations of the globe should acknowledge their interdependence and join together to dedicate their minds and their hearts to the solution of those problems which threaten their survival.

To establish a new world order of compassion, peace, justice and security, it is essential that humankind free itself from the limitations of national prejudice, and acknowledge that the forces that unite it are incomparably deeper than those that divide it – that all people are part of one global community, dependent on one body of resources, bound together by the ties of a common humanity and associated in a common adventure on the planet Earth.

*This Declaration was promulgated on 24 October 1975, United Nations Day, by the Philadelphia World Affairs Council in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, in the presence of the UN Secretary General and all heads of the UN specialized agencies.

Let us then join together to vindicate and realize this great truth that humankind is one, and as one will nobly save or irreparably lose the heritage of thousands of years of civilization. And let us set forth the principles which should animate and inspire us if our civilization is to survive.

WE AFFIRM that the resources of the globe are finite, not infinite, that they are the heritage of no one nation or generation, but of all peoples, nations and of posterity, and that our deepest obligation is to transmit to that posterity a planet richer in material bounty, in beauty and in delight than we found it. Narrow notions of national sovereignty must not be permitted to curtail that obligation.

WE AFFIRM that the exploitation of the poor by the rich, and the weak by the strong violates our common humanity and denies to large segments of society the blessings of life, liberty and happiness. We recognize a moral obligation to strive for a more prudent and more equitable sharing of the resources of the earth in order to ameliorate poverty, hunger and disease.

WE AFFIRM that the resources of nature are sufficient to nourish and sustain all the present inhabitants of the globe and that there is an obligation on every society to distribute those resources equitably, along with corollary obligation upon every society to assure that its population does not place upon Nature a burden heavier than it can bear.

WE AFFIRM our responsibility to help create conditions which will make for peace and security and to build more effective machinery for keeping peace among the nations. Because the insensate accumulation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threatens the survival of humankind we call for the immediate reduction and eventual elimination of these weapons under international supervision. We deplore the reliance on force to settle disputes between nation states and between rival groups within such states.

WE AFFIRM that the oceans are the common property of humankind whose dependence on their incomparable resources of nourishment and strength will, in the next century become crucial for human survival, and that their exploitation should be so regulated as to serve the interests of the entire globe, and of future generations.

WE AFFIRM that pollution flows with the waters and flies with the winds, that it recognizes no boundary lines and penetrates all defenses, that it works irreparable damage alike to Nature and to humankind – threatening with extinction the life of the seas, the flora and the fauna of the earth, the health of the people in cities and the countryside alike – and that it can be adequately controlled only through international cooperation.

WE AFFIRM that the exploration and utilization of outer space is a matter equally important to all the nations of the globe and that no nation can be permitted to exploit or develop the potentialities of the planetary system exclusively for its own benefit.

WE AFFIRM that the economy of all nations is a seamless web, and that no one nation can any longer effectively maintain its processes of production and monetary systems without recognizing the necessity for collaborative regulation by international authorities.

WE AFFIRM that the civilized society, the institutions of science and the arts are never at war and call upon all nations to exempt these institutions from the claims of chauvinistic nationalism and to foster that great community of learning and creativity whose benign function it is to advance civilization and the health and happiness of humankind.

WE AFFIRM that a world without law is a world without order, and we call upon all nations to strengthen and to sustain the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and other institutions of world order, and to broaden the jurisdiction of the World Court, that these may preside over a reign of law that will not only end wars but end as well that mindless violence which terrorizes our society even in times of peace.

WE can no longer afford to make little plans, allow ourselves to be the captives of events and forces over which we have no control, consult our fears rather than our hopes. We call upon the American people, on the threshold of the third century of their national existence, to display once again that boldness, enterprise, magnanimity and vision which enabled the founders of our Republic to bring forth a new nation and inaugurate a new era in human history. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Throughout the globe, hearts and hopes wait upon us. We summon all humankind to untie to meet the great challenge.

– Henry Steele Commanger
24 October 1975


Informant: Martin Greenhut


http://www.robertmuller.org/

--------

DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE: A DECLARATION FOR HUMAN SURVIVAL

http://omega.twoday.net/stories/990236/

Onion experiment shines light on GM food

Posted on another group - Anna

Onion experiment shines light on GM food
By Roger Highfield
(Filed: 27/12/2005)

An onion has been genetically altered with jellyfish genes to make it glow green and help children understand GM food.

Tom Ogden, Tashi Chadwick and Jack Ogden with one of the genetically altered onions

The experiment, a part of the Royal Institution Christmas lectures that started on Channel 5 yesterday, will be seen on Friday and is aimed at informing youngsters that GM crops could help feed the world. Prof Sir John Krebs, who has locked horns with ministers, farmers, green activists, major companies and environmentalists, will be shown conducting experiments that should prove politically explosive.

Sir John, the former Food Standards Agency chairman, said: "Whether we use GM food or not isn't up to the scientists, but up to the children. We have a huge mountain to climb to keep up with population growth and we should not throw any tools out of the toolbox."

See Photo:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/12/27/ngm27.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/12/27/ixhome.html

Also posted on another group....Anna

Sir John Krebs

Sir John Krebs, the head of the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA), is the son of Hans Krebs, the German biochemist who described the uptake and release of energy in cells (the Krebs cycle).

Sir John is a leading Fellow of the Royal Society and since 1988 has held a Royal Society Research Professorship in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University. His specialty is bird behaviour.

Between 1994 and 1999, Sir John was Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council. He became the first Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency in January 2000.

Sir John is also a co-founder and non-executive Chairman of Oxford Risk Research and Analysis Ltd (ORRA). ORRA's work includes research and advice on risk and decision making for the oil and pharmaceutical industries, as well as a wide range of other businesses. According to Krebs, 'History is littered with examples of companies that were too risk averse or saw risk as a threat rather than an opportunity.'

Before Sir John's appointment as head of the FSA, he had no direct involvement with food safety or farming issues. However, he had, at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries (MAFF), designed the so-called 'Krebs experiments' to investigate whether badgers are responsible for the increasing incidence of TB in cattle. Krebs' approach - one which ignored the important role of cattle husbandry in the disease - was one already favoured by the vets within MAFF, leading some to see the experiments as symptomatic of Krebs' willingness to toe the MAFF line. The experiments are alleged to have lead to the slaughter of 20,000 badgers. In November 2003 the government decided to end a badger cull after it was found that cases of bovine TB in the trial area had actually increased by 27 per cent against a control area where badgers were not slaughtered.

If the experiments had made Krebs controversial even prior to his appointment, things have got worse since. On the day it was announced that he was becoming the first head of the FSA, Krebs publicly endorsed GM food in a radio interview, saying all GM products approved for sale in the UK 'were as safe as their non-GM counterparts'.

But while Krebs was not prepared to reconsider the issue of approved GM foods, despite the high level of public concern, he quickly showed a willingness to tackle the issue of organic food which enjoyed a considerable degree of public confidence. Appearing on BBC TV in August 2000, Krebs announced that consumers who were buying organic food were 'not getting value for money, in my opinion and in the opinion of the FSA, if they think they are buying extra nutritional quality or extra nutritional safety, because we don't have the evidence.'

The Times reported his comments as dismissing organic food as 'an image-led fad' (The Times, September 2, 2000, 'Organic produce attacked by food agency'). A month later Dr Patrick Wall, the chief executive of the Irish counterpart agency, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, dismissed Kreb's views as extreme and reminded people to buy organic food because it was more 'environmentally friendly, more wholesome, and better produced'.

In March 2002, Krebs was again criticized on the organic issue. This time by John Paterson, a biochemist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, for having attacked organic agriculture 'on the basis of very little information'. That autumn it was revealed that Krebs had been refusing to back the government's drive to promote organic food and farming, prompting the Environment Secretary to write to him to clarify his views. Sir John also admitted that comments he made that manure caused more air and water pollution than chemical fertilisers had been designed to undermine claims that organic farming is more environmentally friendly than conventional agriculture.

While Krebs brought a strongly sceptical, not to say combative, tone to the FSA's treatment of organic food, his attitude to GM contrasted markedly. Even prior to his appointment, he was on record as saying that criticisms of GM food were 'shrill, often ill-informed and dogma-driven'. Some speculate that this historic support for GM may have been a factor in his being offered the top job at the FSA.

Certainly, under Sir John's leadership the FSA, which claims representation of the interests of the consumer as one of its key roles, has backed the position of the US government and the biotechnology industry in opposing strict EU labelling and traceability rules on GM foods and animal feed. Its position has been condemned by the Consumers' Association who 'remain bitterly disappointed at the anti-consumer stance' taken by the FSA.

In March 2000 Sir John's chairing of the OECD conference on the Scientific and Health Aspects of Genetically Modified Foods also proved controversial. The event was described by Dr Arpad Pusztai, the only critical food scientist invited, as not so much a conference more 'a propaganda forum for airing the views and promoting the interests of the biotech industry.'

Shortly after joining the FSA, Krebs also aligned himself with the Oxford-based SIRC, Social Issues Research Centre, which has set itself up as an arbiter of what is good and bad in the media's reporting of health and science stories. Krebs, the SIRC, the Royal Institution, the Royal Society and others developed a set of 'Guidelines on Science and Health Communication'. Krebs' involvement was particularly controversial as the SIRC, as well as maintaining a pro-GM position, gets part of its funding from large food companies (eg Bestfoods, the giant ($8b) US food group later taken over by Unilever) as well as front organizations for the drinks and pharmaceutical industries. 'How seriously', asked the British Medical Journal of the SIRC's intiative, 'should journalists take an attack from an organization that is so closely linked to the drinks industry?' SIRC is also supported by its 'sister organisation, MCM Research Ltd' which is a commercial venture catering for a similar range of corporate clients.

When the science correspondent for Channel 4 News contacted Sir John to query the appropriacy of his involvement with an organisation with such links, Sir John denied any knowledge of the SIRC's links but refused to make any comment to camera. The SIRC's director stated that Sir John was aware of the organisation's funding background.

Sir John is also on the Science Advisory Panel of the Science Media Centre (SMC), an 'independent organisation', whose funders include BP Conoco, DuPont, Tesco, and Astra Zeneca, amongst others. The scientists whose views are promoted by the SMC are almost invariably pro-GM. It has also been accused of 'orchestrating a secret campaign aimed at discrediting' a TV drama highlighting the dangers of GM.

During the UK's Public Debate on GM in 2003, Sir John's role again proved controversial. 'Attack on food safety chief for GM crop "bias" ' ran a headline in The Daily Telgraph, reporting that the chairman of the Food Standards Agency had been accused of 'manipulating the Government's public debate on genetically modified foods and failing to be objective in his role as independent scientific adviser on GM crops.' Nine organisations, including the National Federation of Women's Institutes and Unison, the UK's biggest trade union, had written to Sir John, accusing him of bias and of misrepresenting the views of the public. In the letter they said, 'There is a strong consensus amongst consumer and environment organisations that the published views and statements of the FSA and its Chair are indistinguishable from those of the pro-GM lobby and do not properly represent public health and consumer interests.'

In a letter to The Guardian the Policy Director of the Soil Association, Peter Melchett, wrote, 'Sir John's anti-organic prejudice is matched by his love of GMOs. The FSA's own consumer committee has described the FSA's GM literature as "biased" in favour of GM, and the FSA has been caught out deliberately suppressing a verdict of its own "citizens' jury" opposing commercial growing of GM crops in the UK. Sir John says the FSA only represents consumers' interests - in which case it seems a little careless to have lost the confidence of both the Consumers' Association and the National Consumers' Council over his pro-GM campaigns.'

http://www.gmwatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=73

China Faces Barriers in RFID Adoption

I found a lot of interesting "facts" in this article. It's actually quite mind-boggling considering the amount of product that WalMart is importing from China. Also, I find it interesting that the BIGGEST benefit to American companies for adopting RFID technology to track goods is reducing labor costs. And what does reducing labor costs mean? JOB ELIMINATION. LOL - but China already has such low labor costs - it's not interested in implementing RFID!

http://www.physorg.com/news9312.html


Peace - Anna


"What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen."
-- Henry David Thoreau

ACLU Investigates Spying on Local Group

Following a report showing the Pentagon was spying on a local anti-war group, the American Civil Liberties Union is looking into the possibility that San Diego law enforcement could have been involved.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705G.shtml

A Veteran's Iraq Message Upsets Army Recruiters

"Remember the Fallen Heroes," the sign reads, and then it ticks off numbers - the number of American troops killed in Iraq, the number wounded, the number of days gone by since this war began. The sign, put up by a former soldier, has stirred intense debate in this city along the edge of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122705E.shtml
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