19
Jan
2006

Villagers told of ‘dangers’ posed by mast

Residents packed into a village hall near Oswestry to hear the possible health risks posed by a mobile phone mast situated near their homes. The West Felton Mast Protest Group organised the meeting in the village hall.

Guest speaker was Alan Blood, a leading campaigner for a protest group in Caersws.

Carol Corbett, a member of the group said: “The hall was full to capacity. Between 160 and 170 people attended, which was a really good turn-out.”

She said Mr Blood also explained that the mast in West Felton, which is a 3G mast for video phones, works on a stronger frequency than straight forward GSM mobile phone masts.

Mrs Corbett added: “He said you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a 3G or Tetra mast and all of a sudden people were taking note and asking questions.”

More signatures were taken for a petition last night and a further meeting was arranged for January 25, in the village hall at 7.30pm.

The full version of this article appears in the Oswestry edition of tonight’s Shropshire Star

http://www.shropshirestar.com/show_article.php?aID=41458

Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in adults

Hepworth SJ, et al, Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in adults: case-control study

BMJ Online First, 20th January 2006

Click here for early view of full paper tonight:
http://press.psprings.co.uk/bmj/january/glioma.pdf

This paper and its accompanying Press Release make the following claim without appropriate justification: “Use of a mobile phone, either in the short or medium term, is not associated with an increased risk of glioma.”

It is Powerwatch’s view that this is a highly misleading claim, either through a deliberate and politically motivated attempt to spin the information towards a set goal, or due to incompetent assessment of the results in the report.

The study does, indeed, find that result for the gliomas studied – but the sample used excluded a large majority of the high grade (fast growing) glioma cases because: “We interviewed 51% of those patients with glioma who were eligible, mainly because rapid death prevented us from approaching all of them.”

They continue: “As early death is most likely in patients with high grade tumours, it is not surprising that participation rates were higher in those with low grade tumours. A bias in these results would occur only if mobile phone use was related to severity of tumour, which was not supported by our analysis, where odds ratios for mobile phone use showed no increased risk for high or low grade tumours.” It is equally misleading here to state “which was not supported by our analysis” when they do not in fact present any analysis for mobile phone usage differences between the cases with low-grade and high-grade gliomas. Also, although they admit to not having a representative number of high-grade gliomas, they do not provide any case numbers for the two groups. Once again, this can only be due to either an ulterior motive or incompetence, as the only reasonable conclusion in this respect would be to say “due to the small number of high grade cases in our study, we cannot assess the effect of mobile phone usage on high grade gliomas”.

Simplistically, in middle-age adults, about 50% of gliomas are low grade and 50% are high grade. Most high grade gliomas are fast growing and fatal within a few years. As they only included 51% of possible cases, and admit that there was a strong bias (chi2 p=0.001) towards low grade tumours, then we are left to assume that they had, in fact, very few high grade glioma cases. In which case, this is further evidence that they have no scientific justification for commenting on either high grade gliomas or gliomas as a whole. Without research to suggest otherwise, it is perfectly plausible to suggest that mobile phone usage may have a large impact on high grade glioma cases that were in the 49% of cases omitted

It is very disappointing that these well-respected scientists can draw such badly justified conclusions from their research. Had this study limited its conclusions to the results found from the available cases, and commented that no conclusions can be drawn about the cause of approximately half of all gliomas, the study would have been fine. As it is, it presents a highly misleading overall picture, and may make it harder to get funding to look into causes of high grade gliomas, about which there is still little known. One can only hope that the conclusions are down to an incompetent misrepresentation as opposed to a more sinister motivation.

As high grade gliomas seem to be fatal within a short time of diagnosis, it is clear that a prospective study is now needed that will record details of cases as they are diagnosed.


Alasdair Philips
Director of Powerwatch
http://www.powerwatch.org.uk

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BBC have just announced the result of a study into mobile phone use - there's no problem (although they go on to say it does not show long term effects).

I have e-mailed, asking them to say who conducted and paid for the study.

Sylvia

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See first news item with links on
http://www.tetrawatch.net/main/news.php

Andy

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Cellphone use and the risk of glioma (comments from Lloyd Morgan)

A new risk of glioma from cellphone use paper has just been published. A typical headline from the media read, No link between cell phones and common tumor. Do not believe it. For the full paper see http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/onlinefirst_date.shtml

My own commentary on this paper is below.

Best regards to all, Lloyd Morgan

Commentary


Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in adults: case-control study

(Hepworth et al., BMJ 19 January 2006)

In years past, this paper would never have been published because such a low participation rate of cases and controls would have, by itself, been a cause for rejection. With only 51% of glioma victims (30% had died by the time they were contacted) and 45% of the controls (29% refused to participate) participating, combined with more affluent controls than cases, there is little reason to believe any of the reported results.[1]

The study would seem to suggest that using a cellphone would protect the cellphone use from the risk of glioma. If there is no risk of glioma from cellphone use, then there would be about the same number of odds ratios greater than one (increased risk) as there would be odds ratios less than one (reduced risk). Overall this study reports 34 odds ratios greater than one to 8 odds ratios less than one. This is equivalent to saying if I flip a coin 42 times, what is the chance that I will get 34 heads and 8 tails. Such a probability can be calculated. The probability that cellphone use protects the user from glioma is 99.997%.

There are only two possible conclusions. Either a cellphone use protects the user from glioma or the study is flawed. You, the reader, must choose between these two possibilities. There is no other choice possible.

In spite of these incredible flaws, the study did report a 60% increased risk of glioma for regular cellphone use of 10 years or more on the same side of the head as the location of the tumor. Another study has found similar results, though with much higher risk of glioma.[2]

Finally, it is important to understand that this study, as is true with every Interphone study, has received substantial funding from the cellphone industry. Though the study reports that this funding “ensures complete independence for the scientific investigators,” this is inherently not possible. Researchers careers are dependent on receiving research grants. Even with isolation of funding for a specific study from the researchers themselves, the conflict-of-interest in such funding is not resolved. Because the researchers know where the funding has come from, the old adage, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” becomes the effective psychological reality (whether conscious or unconscious).

This same conflict-of-interest issue can be seen within the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) where pharmaceutical companies pay fees for drug approval isolated from specific research projects. It is quite apparent that the FDA has come to see the pharmaceutical industry as their customer, not the American public.

Also to note: just like the pharmaceutical industry-funded studies, industry-funded cellphone studies will not release their protocols3?4so that there is limited assurance both as to the validity of their study procedures and the steps take to shield research from economic interests.

For example, the Interphone study protocol, a common protocol used by 13 participating countries, is kept “strictly confidential.” While there is a process to maintain the independence of researchers from direct cellphone industry involvement, it is unclear as to what and how the cellphone industry was involved in the Interphone study protocol design. Certainly, the Interphone definition of “regular” cellphone use is set to such a minimal standard that few could imagine a finding of risk. Regular cellphone use is defined as cellphone use for at least once a week for six months or more, a year prior to the study cutoff date.

The important question to ask is, if this were a study of the risk of lung cancer from smoking would there be a likelihood of finding a risk of lung cancer from smokers who had smoked at least once a week for 6 months or more, a year prior to the study cutoff date? And, would there be a finding of risk, if as is the case in this study for cellphone use, the lifetime years of smoking for 10 years or more included only 3.9% of the smokers in the study?

[1] Affluent participating controls are more likely to use cellphone than the non-participating controls. Such a “selection bias” would result in an underestimation of the risk of glioma from cellphone use. The sheer proportion of non-participating controls makes such selection bias highly probable.

[2] Hardell et al., Environmental Research 12 July 2005 reported for wireless phone use on the same side of the head, the risk of high-grade astrocytoma was 4.2, 3.2 and 4.0 for analog and digital cellphone and cordless phone use, respectively. The Hepworth et al. paper did not reference this study, even though it was published some 4 months prior to acceptance of the Hepworth paper.

http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=367

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(excerpt)

The Art of Spin: Abstract of the glioma study and comments

Following is the abstract of the glioma study ( see previous message by Lloyd Morgan) on the British Medical Journal web site, the link to comments about this study and comments from Alasdair Philips from Powerwatch UK.

Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in adults: case-control study Sarah J Hepworth 1, Minouk J Schoemaker 2, Kenneth R Muir 3, Anthony J Swerdlow 2, Martie J A van Tongeren 4, Patricia A McKinney 1*

Objective To investigate the risk of glioma in adults in relation to mobile phone use. Design Population based case-control study with collection of personal interview data. Setting Five areas of the United Kingdom.

Participants 966 people aged 18 to 69 years diagnosed with a glioma from 1 December 2000 to 29 February 2004 and 1716 controls randomly selected from general practitioner lists.

Main outcome measures Odds ratios for risk of glioma in relation to mobile phone use.

Results The overall odds ratio for regular phone use was 0.94 (95% confidence interval 0.78 to 1.13). There was no relation for risk of glioma and time since first use, lifetime years of use, and cumulative number of calls and hours of use. A significant excess risk for reported phone use ipsilateral to the tumour (1.24, 1.02 to 1.52) was paralleled by a significant reduction in risk (0.75, 0.61 to 0.93) for contralateral use.

Conclusions Use of a mobile phone, either in the short or medium term, is not associated with an increased risk of glioma. This is consistent with most but not all published studies. The complementary positive and negative risks associated with ipsilateral and contralateral use of the phone in relation to the side of the tumour might be due to recall bias.

COMMENTS:

For comments on this study as listed on the BMJ web site see:
http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/bmj.38720.687975.55v1#126566

http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=369

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Further on the spinning of the Interphone cellphone studies

The following on the latest German Interphone ‘glioma’ study (not to be confused with the British study, mentioned previously) again illustrates what can happen when the cell phone industry has a ‘guiding’ hand in research funding. It doesn’t necessarily mean outright fraudulent research but it does mean the Telcos have a strong influence on the researcher’s wording of the press releases that are then used by the industry PR flaks , such as Angus TeleManagement Group Inc., who spun up: “STUDY SEES NO CELLPHONE CANCER RISK: A study published in the British Medical Journal finds no link between cellphone use and increased frequency of brain tumours.”

As long as the Telcos hold the purse strings for cell phone research, researchers (and universities) know that if they want further feeding at the industry’s research $$$$ trough, they must ‘play the game’ and discount any positive findings that they may find. It’s okay to have the truth buried in the body of the published report, as the media never bothers to read all that stuff anyway, but any positive findings must be countered by dismissive wording in abstracts / press releases. By the time the limitations of the studies and actual findings are apparent, the world media has already run with the story - using the dismissive versions previously circulated to the media by the doctors of spin - effectively ‘keeping the lid’ on the issue. Note for example the dismissive statement below by the Bielefeld University which states: “mobile phone use does not increase the risk of brain tumours.” Manna from heaven for the Mobile Manufacturer’s Forum and their partners in crime!

Don Maisch

http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=373

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The effects of recall errors and of selection bias in epidemiologic studies of mobile phone use and cancer risk
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/2235304/

Phone Cancer Link Downplayed
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1444727/

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Re: Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in adults: case-control study
http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/hardell_replik_zur_interphone_teilstudie.doc


Informant: Alfred Tittmann

Chirac für Atomwaffeneinsatz

http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/47598.html

Sambler USA 19 Jan 2006

Official US agency paints dire picture of 'out-of-control' Iraq
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/45080.html

Scott Ritter: The Military Recruiter's Lament
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/45345.html

China, Russia would fight Iran oil sanctions
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/45720.html

U.S. nuclear forces, 2006
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/45912.html

U.S. envoy: be ready for Taliban violence
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/46080.html

Rome prosecutors to charge U.S. soldier with murdering Italian agent in Iraq
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/46443.html

Corruption Digest: on how America's political system is being sold to the highest bidders
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/46760.html

Newspapers Across the Country Oppose Alito Nomination
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/46892.html

Buffett: U.S. Trade Deficit Is a Threat
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/47115.html

Bush Ally Joins Authors Seeking US Wiretapping Ban
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/48478.html

White House Pushes for More Nuclear Power
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/48845.html

Residents deemed "suspicious" could be monitored
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/49067.html

Conservatives, liberals want action on Bush spy plot
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/49278.html

GOP backs new curbs on lobbyists' influence
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/49635.html

Extraordinary circumstances
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/49894.html

Iran: The Money Issue
http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/49976.html

Surface-to-Air Missile Downed U.S. Chopper in Iraq

http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/44909.html

Veteran reporter says 3,000-4,000 Iraqis killed every month

http://www.livelogcity.com/users/omega/44596.html

RADIATION DAMAGE IN NORWEGIAN CHILDREN

SATISFACTION AT LAST

The risk to be a father to a stillborn or deformed baby is four times higher for men in the Norwegian Navy serving on vessels that are involved in electronic warfare as compared to other men. This was shown in a study published last Tuesday. Out of all men serving on the torpedo boat Kvikk during the 1990s, 50 out of the 62 men that responded to a questionnaire became a parent. They got in total 114 children, of which 87 were conceived during their service on board this vessel. Among these children, 8 children were born with malformed bones and muscles or heart and brain deformations, while 6 were stillborn. This is a fourfold doubling of what occurs in a normal population. After a 15 years' long and stubborn struggle against the Norwegian Navy and authorities, the deformed childrens' parents finally proved to be right. The authorities denied all along that there was a connexion. Certain Norwegian scientists were put on the investigation of the complaints, but they concluded there was no case, because all these congenital deformations were not unusual and statistically normal for a population!

First it was the Koreans and now the Norwegians that were to found to be too inventive in their research. In EMF research we have lived a long time with this type of research. When is somebody ever going to expose these "scientists"? It should not be very hard, because it is all so transparent.


Sianette Kwee
Sensommervej 16
DK-8600 Silkeborg
Denmark

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(excerpt)

"When is somebody ever going to expose these "scientists"? It should not be very hard, because it is all so transparent."

We're working on it... the problem is that the brain wash has been so massive for years...so it is very hard to break it. Here is an example: Until I convinced a student to enter into the radiation issue and gave her an idea to study a cancer cluster (42 cases) near cellular and radio antennas in Yassif, an arab village in Israel, she was excited about it but eventually the study was killed before it even started:

1) her tutor told her that it is "impossible" to do a thesis about it, maximum a project (=no scientific article) and that anyway the cancer is probably from marriage inside the family...and he pushed her to change the subject.

2) the head of Epidemiology department told her that it is very hard to do and that she would have to choose one type of cancer (because non-ionizing radiation "cannot" possibly cause several types....only cigarettes, chemicals and ionizing radiation have this priviledge...) Study killed. She gave up.

Iris Atzmon.

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Hi Sianette: In response to this Norwegian report you've sent along:

"RADIATION DAMAGE IN NORWEGIAN CHILDREN – SATISFACTION AT LAST The risk to be a father to a stillborn or deformed baby is four times higher for men in the Norwegian Navy serving on vessels that are involved in electronic surveillance as compared to other men. This was shown in a study published last Tuesday. Out of all men serving on the torpedo boat Kvikk during the
1990s, 50 out of the 62 men that responded to a questionnaire became a parent. They got in total 114 children, of which 87 were conceived during their service on board this vessel. Among these children, 8 children were born with malformed bones and muscles or heart and lung deformations, while 6 were stillborn. This is a fourfold doubling of what occurs in a normal population. After a 15 years' long and stubborn struggle against the Norwegian Navy and authorities, the deformed childrens' parents finally proved to be right. The authorities denied all along that there was a connexion. Certain Norwegian scientists were put on the investigation of the complaints, but they concluded there was no case, because all these congenital deformations were not unusual and statistically normal for a population!"


Here is more on the same theme, that is arrogance and cheating in science. I've sent it on to Klaus for general release. Imelda


Hi Klaus: Without a hint of irony at the blatant hypocricies and contradictions exposed by doing so, today's THE IRISH TIMES juxtaposes the following:

A lengthy rebut by its weekly science correspondent, Professor William Reville, of those who proclaim the radiation fallout from the nuclear accident at Chernobyl caused devastating and longterm health effects to the local population;

An editorial strongly supporting the Irish Government's efforts to get England's nuclear Sellafield plant closed down due mainly to the possible health dangers it poses to Irish citizens!

Both are pasted in both.

In "CHERNOBYL THE GOOD NEWS" Professor Reville robustly defends the integrity of his fellow scientists who drafted "Chernobyl's Legacy - Health, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts". He appears aghast that Adi Roche (Executive Director, Chernobyl Children's Project, Cork and co-producer of the award-winning film CHERNOBYL HEART. See her December
28, 05 letter to THE IRISH TIMES below) would insinuate "that the Chernobyl Report data was presented selectively in order to downplay the gravity of the situation" as "This would amount to falsification - a mortal sin in science. Why would hundreds of scientists conspire to do this? Indeed, how could they do this, since the true story would certainly leak out? The idea is preposterous and such charges reflect badly on those who make them."

Ah, so, we non-scientists, flawed mortals that we are, must be sternly reminded that ALL scientists, being more gods than mortals, never stoop to gain!

A few paragraphs later, he returns to this theme of the absolute, indeed non-veniality, of science: ". . . If these groups are right, the integrity of science has been destroyed. But I can assure you that the integrity of science is intact. Few harmful agents are as well understood scientifically as radiation."

That last sentence, "Few harmful agents are as well understood scientifically as radiation", penned by Professor William Reville, public awareness of science officer at UCC, is not a mirage!

So, one might naively ask, if scientists already know everything they need to know about all aspects of radiation (and that includes of course knowledge of all adverse health effects of ionising and non-ionising radiation, plus the health effects of new technologies that people have not previously been exposed to) why is the WHO conducting ongoing research into the possible ill-effects of RF/MWs and other technologies?; why is COST's ("European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research") main objective this: ". . . to obtain a better understanding of possible health impacts of emerging technologies, especially related to communication and information technologies that may result in exposure to electromagnetic fields"?; why are so many environmental doctors and other environmental specialists deeply concerned at the ever-increasing number of people who are becoming EHS (electrohypersensitive)?

Even COST, in its role as a Pan European scientific body,appears a tad humbler toward claiming omniscience in this field (radiation-effects) than Professor Reville. It lists among its secondary objectives: "providing of a scientific evaluation of the available data for use by various decision makers involved in risk management of electromagnetic a basis for risk communication efforts related to emerging technologies, electromagnetic fields and possible health risks and data on electromagnetic field exposures related to emerging technologies on a European level."

And what is the Irish Government's Sellafield fuss about (see editorial below) when the radiation fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident has been scientifically decreed to be no big deal?

Let's return once more to a statement that jumps off the page (at least for me) in Professor Reville's article: "... falsification - a mortal sin in science. Why would hundreds of scientists conspire to do this?"

Why indeed!

Apart from this CHERNOBYL report, why have scientists been blacklisted--and in many cases, their careers derailed--when their research results threaten powerful industries?

And the murky role of industry lobbyists in manipulating the direction of scientific research within the EU was revealed in another article in THE IRISH TIMES, last Monday: "WATERING DOWN OF EU REGULATIONS ON CHEMICALS PROVES POWER OF LOBBYISTS." I have pasted this in below the radiation-related articles.

One might wonder what Professor Reville thought of these going-ons among his esteemed scientific confreres at ACC (American Chemistry Council).

Your earlier postings on Chernobyl can be accessed at:


(31.12.05) Chernobyl, WHO and Utteridge's mice: Is there a connetion?

http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1293003/

AND

(10.12.05) PLAYING DOWN THE EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL

http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1253880/


Best,

Imelda, Cork, Ireland


THE IRISH TIMES, THU, JAN 19, 06

"CHERNOBYL--THE GOOD NEWS

A recent column by Prof William Reville on the Chernobyl Report provoked an angry response. He answers his critics

My column of December 1st 2005 summarised the report Chernobyl's Legacy - Health, Environmental and Socio- Economic Impacts, which was released by the Chernobyl Forum in September 2005. The report detailed the assessment by hundreds of scientists, health experts and economists of the impact of the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl. The experts who compiled the report were drawn from eight specialised agencies of the United Nations, as well as the governments of Belarus, Russian Federation and the Ukraine. There was considerable public reaction to my article.

The report declares that up to 4,000 people may eventually die because of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl accident, but, as of mid-2005, fewer than 60 deaths can be directly attributed to Chernobyl radiation, and most of these were rescue workers who were highly exposed to radiation shortly after the explosion and who died within months of the accident. Approximately 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer, mostly in children and adolescents, are attributed to radiation exposure. At least nine children died of thyroid cancer, but 99 per cent of cases were successfully treated. Otherwise, the experts found no evidence of increased incidence of cancers among affected residents.

The report is also reassuring about environmental impact. A 30-kilometre area surrounding the reactor is heavily contaminated and remains closed, and some forests and lakes have also been closed off, but otherwise radiation levels have returned to acceptable levels. Although five million people live in areas classified as contaminated, the majority received only very low doses of radiation, comparable to natural background radiation in many parts of the world. There is no evidence of decreased fertility or an increase in congenital malformations that can be attributed to radiation.

The report highlights a distressing level of "paralysing fatalism" among residents of affected areas. The people have a grossly exaggerated perception of the effects of the radiation to which they have been exposed and now attribute all ill-health to the radiation. The fatalism leads to drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex and unemployment.

The report recommends that, for these millions, still classified as victims, the first priority should be to encourage self-reliance in order to normalise their lives as soon as possible. They should be educated to understand the minimal risks they are facing and to shed their fatalistic outlook.

However, up to 200,000 people remain severely affected by the accident - poor people who live in the few severely contaminated areas, people who were resettled but never settled down in the new environment or found a job, and the thyroid cancer sufferers. These people need substantial help to rebuild their lives.

In a letter to The Irish Times (December 8th, 2005) Patrick Crowley MB accused me of playing down the medical impact of Chernobyl. He said he witnessed very many congenital birth deformities when he visited the area in 1994 and points to the 21,000 liquidators who have died since 1986. In a subsequent letter to The Irish Times (December 28th, 2005) Adi Roche points out that it was clear to her on a recent visit to Chernobyl that "cancers and genetic related diseases" are greatly increased. In the meantime a couple of letters welcoming the Chernobyl Report have also been published.

Personal impressions of the incidence of disease on a national scale are unreliable. Only scientifically based surveys can produce reliable data. Such data was carefully analysed by the experts on The Chernobyl Forum. When they conflict, the personal impressions of a few should carry little or no weight compared with the results of careful surveys.

Roche hints that the Chernobyl Report data was presented selectively in order to downplay the gravity of the situation. This would amount to falsification - a mortal sin in science. Why would hundreds of scientists conspire to do this? Indeed, how could they do this, since the true story would certainly leak out? The idea is preposterous and such charges reflect badly on those who make them.

And as for the 21,000 deaths among the liquidators since 1986, this is just about the number that would have died from natural causes in this group of 200,000 people anyway had the Chernobyl accident never happened.

I have spoken to people, with varied backgrounds, who read my article on the Chernobyl Report - accountants, civil engineers, bankers, technicians and scientists familiar with radiation. With the exception of the latter group, nobody believed the Chernobyl Report. People assume that radiation from Chernobyl has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and interpret the report as a "whitewash" on behalf of the nuclear industry. It is not unlikely that my personal poll would be replicated in a nationwide survey of public opinion.

It is alarming that amateur opinion in the specialised area of health and radiation would take such strong precedence in the public mind over the considered study of hundreds of scientists. If these groups are right, the integrity of science has been destroyed.

But I can assure you that the integrity of science is intact. Few harmful agents are as well understood scientifically as radiation. The Chernobyl Report authoritatively confirms that the health effects of Chernobyl are far less than originally feared. Is this not good news? Should this not encourage the people of Chernobyl to face the future with hope and optimism? Who does it serve to encourage people to believe they are seriously radiation-damaged, when in fact they are not?

Economic and social help to the people of Chernobyl is of limited use when so many believe their health is irreparably damaged. Telling the truth would lift this awful gloom.

• William Reville is associate professor of biochemistry and public awareness of science officer at UCC - http://understandingscience.ucc.ie


© The Irish Times


THE IRISH TIMES, THU, JAN 19, 06

EDITORIAL

"There is no doubt that the legal opinion delivered yesterday by the European Union's Advocate General amounts to a significant setback for the Government's campaign to have Britain's Sellafield nuclear reprocessing complex closed.

The Advocate General, whose opinions almost invariably presage rulings by the European Court of Justice, has found that the appropriate legal forum for pursuing this issue of dispute between Ireland and Britain is the court, and not via the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, the option pursued by the Government.

If the Advocate General's opinion is indeed upheld by the court, then the Government will have been put in its place. After all, as it well knows, the issue of nuclear safety is clearly within the EU's remit. Indeed, this may explain why former environment minister Martin Cullen took such a highly publicised case over Sellafield to the independent Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2002.

It did not get very far in The Hague either. The first case, taken under the Ospar Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment, produced a verdict that Ireland's demand for the release of commercially sensitive information on the Mox plant at Sellafield did not fall within the scope of the convention. The outcome of the second case, taken under the Law of the Sea Convention, was even more discouraging. In its preliminary ruling, the Hague tribunal rejected Ireland's demand for an end to radioactive discharges from the Mox plant because the Government had not established that they were of sufficient magnitude to cause "an urgent and serious risk of irreparable harm" to the marine environment of the Irish Sea.

But whatever about the relatively minor impact on the Irish Sea, it is unquestionable that the reprocessing - even the storage - of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield poses a continuing threat to Ireland. This arises not just because of the danger of accidents (of which there have been far too many), but also because the plant itself is a potential terrorist target. However, although it is clearly in our national interest that it should be closed, it is not within our competence to achieve this. Closure is even less likely now, given that the British government's latest energy review will probably recommend more nuclear power stations - ostensibly because they would help to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions blamed for causing climate change; indeed, this argument has become the principal argument of the nuclear lobby.

Yesterday, Fine Gael TD and MEP Gay Mitchell called for an end to the legal "posturing" over Sellafield and suggested that Ireland and Britain "behave like good neighbours" and seek to establish a bilateral agency to oversee environmental and nuclear safety issues. After all, it is not as if the Government comes to this issue with clean hands: the raft of legal actions by the European Commission speaks volumes about Ireland's failure to implement adequate measures to protect its own environment.


© The Irish Times


THE IRISH TIMES, DEC 28, 05

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

"EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL, 20 YEARS ON

Madam, - With increasing fuel prices the debate has reopened on the safety of nuclear power, relevant in light of the approaching 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Misinformation and deliberate distortion of the facts have caused much confusion to the debate. While the September 2005 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Chernobyl says few have died, it has done nothing to enhance our learning and knowledge about the scale of the tragedy as it adds further confusion by trying to find logical and finite answers while missing the whole human and environmental trauma.

This report has further added unwitting support for the governments of the affected region's policy declaring the Chernobyl disaster officially over. The IAEA report adds legitimacy to the governments' policies of repopulation of previously evacuated areas and re-cultivation of lands within radioactive zones. The IAEA reinvention report on the consequences of the disaster will be used to support the building of a nuclear power station 25 miles from the exploded reactor on the territory of Belarus.

The IAEA report should also be greeted with some suspicion when you consider an agreement, signed in
1959, between the WHO and the IAEA, which hinders the WHO in its freedom to produce material regarding the consequences of Chernobyl without the agreement of the IAEA. The primary objective of the IAEA is the promotion of nuclear power plants in the world. Article III of the agreement states: "The IAEA and the WHO recognise that they may find it necessary to apply certain limitations for the safeguarding of confidential information furnished to them."

Personally having spent much of October and November
2005 in Ukraine and Belarus there is conclusive observable evidence within communities, old and young, of increases in cancer and genetic related illnesses since the Chernobyl disaster.

Listening and observing filmmakers and journalists ask the same questions time after time I am convinced that they are asking the wrong questions. They ask: "How many people died? How many will die? Is this or that cancer or illness definitely caused by radiation? What is Chernobyl? How much radiation were you exposed to? Why do you all look so healthy? Show me the evidence." These are questions with often non-specific answers or answers that do not satisfy the required neat logic.

We seek absolutes in a situation where there can be no absolutes, no definitive answers, for we ask the wrong questions. People expect to see something grotesque and distorted and are almost disappointed when people and things appear normal - the media are perplexed. But such expectations distract from the true effects, with no realisation that any dose of radiation is an overdose.

If we continue to seek only logical, rational answers we will constantly be diverted from the true picture - a picture of human and ecological fragility, a picture showing us how delicately balanced the relationship between man and nature is. I now believe that as long as we try and place Chernobyl within our existing understanding of catastrophes, understanding it will continue to allude us. Our experiences from other disasters are clearly inadequate because we are facing a realm of the unknown not previously experienced, requiring a new understanding, a new bravery, and a new kind of courage. - Yours, etc,

ADI ROCHE, Executive Director, Chernobyl Children's Project, Cork.


THE IRISH TIMES, MON, JAN 16, 06

AGENDA

"WATERING DOWN OF EU REGULATIONS ON CHEMICALS PROVES POWER OF LOBBYISTS

Special interest group lobbyists are an increasing - and effective - force behind the scenes in Brussels. Samuel Loewenberg examines their (not always benign) role.

Lobbyists are an accepted part of the landscape in many political cultures, notably the United States. But the work they do at the heart of the European Union, and the extent of it, has so far escaped the sort of attention and scrutiny that regularly erupts in Washington.

This unelected group and the largely unaccountable way in which it operates has now become a substantial force in Brussels. The number of lobbyists in the city tops 15,000, according to estimates from government watchdogs.

More and more, the Brussels "influence trade" is adopting the strategies and tactics learnt from US colleagues. By the end of last year, EU lobbying achieved its most dramatic success to date: scaling back a major piece of environmental legislation that was expected to have saved thousands of lives.

The European lobby has not only adopted Washington tactics, it has magnified them, developing a form of lobbying that spans all 25 member states of the European Union. One key factor in this new form of political pressure has been the might of American companies. In at least one case, the Bush administration, working in concert with American manufacturers, became intimately involved in the lobbying campaign.

The Irish Government has also been an important target for industry lobbyists.

There is no better example of the growing power of the Brussels lobby than its success in fighting the European Union's plans to regulate the chemical industry. When proposed regulations first began being drafted in 2001 by officials inside the Commission, the only body in the EU that can initiate legislation, the suggestions appeared to be among the most comprehensive and far-reaching rules ever to be imposed on an industry in Europe. The proposals far surpassed anything in the US or elsewhere across the world.

The legislative proposals, known as Reach, (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals), were designed to rein in an industry that for decades had placed chemicals on the market often, in the eyes of its critics, with little oversight.

Ninety-nine per cent of the most commonly used chemicals had little or no publicly available safety and environmental information, according to environmental groups and EU officials, who cite concerns of increased incidences of cancer, allergies, birth defects, and reduced fertility in recent decades.

If given legal force by being approved by both MEPs and the EU supreme ruling body, the European Council of heads of government, and then ratified in each member state, the regulations would for the first time mandate testing on a range of chemicals found in common consumer goods, from childrens' pyjamas to computers, televisions to household cleaners.

In its first incarnation, the Reach proposal required manufacturers to conduct extensive safety tests on 30,000 of its most commonly produced chemicals, most of which had been around for decades. Of those, at least 1,500 were expected to be severely restricted or even banned. The EU estimated the costs to industry would be €3.6 billion over a decade. The chemical industry initially said its costs would be more than double that. As the debate became more heated, the industry cost estimates multiplied.

The benefits of the legislation were expected to be dramatic, according to its proponents. According to European Commission estimates, Reach was expected to prevent more than 4,300 occupational cancer cases per year, and would bring savings in health benefits of €50 billion over a 30-year period.

"At present we are unwittingly testing chemicals on both living humans and animals," said then-European environment commissioner Margot Wallström to a conference of chemical company executives in Brussels in 2003. "It is high time to place the responsibility where it belongs - with industry."

Since then the European Union's stance has changed dramatically. In what some European commissioners have said is the largest lobbying effort in the modern history of the EU, European and US chemical manufacturers orchestrated a multi-levelled and multi-pronged pressure campaign that encompassed all the original 15 EU member states plus the 10 new ones, as well as countries outside the continent like Japan, Mexico, China, and the US.

In the last two months of 2005, the testing requirements have been cut back by about two thirds. Of the original 30,000 chemicals that would have undergone rigorous testing, since last November only about 12,000 are now covered. This means that thousands of potentially dangerous chemicals will now slip through the testing procedures, according to environmental groups like World Wildlife Fund and the European Environmental Bureau. The environmental groups expect further loopholes to be opened as the legislation is debated in the coming months.

THE AMERICAN CONNECTION has proved to be among the most significant in the lobby battle.

In the early days of Reach, US companies had not taken the EU particularly seriously. "People thought the proposal came out of nowhere. They were not accustomed to having events in Europe have such a great potential impact on their businesses," said Fred McEldowney, a former top lobbyist for US chemical companies, when he was interviewed for a US magazine in 2003.

How multinational chemical companies based in the US worked with the Bush administration to fight the EU chemicals regulations is a story that has not been fully told.

By its nature, lobbying is done behind closed doors. And in matters of influence and political pressure, it is almost impossible to say why a politician acted in a certain manner or why a piece of legislation changed. That's especially true in the EU, with its triple-layered decision making process, with each mandate having to go through the European Commission, parliament, and council. The chemicals legislation, which began five years ago, is still being modified and is not expected to be finished until the end of this year.

But occasionally the efforts of the lobby do come to light, as they did in a little-noticed report by a US Congressional subcommittee that was published in 2004. Drawing on secret diplomatic communiques and internal governmental memos, the report by the staff of US congressman Henry Waxman, the senior Democrat on Congressional investigations and the environment panels, revealed the multifaceted tactics and intricate strategies used by US chemical manufacturers like Dow and Dupont and the Bush administration to push its agenda across Europe.

At least four US federal agencies became involved in the lobbying effort, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of the US Trade Representative, and the departments of State and Commerce. The Waxman report cites a document from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American manufacturers lobbying group, which said that "ACC rallied opposition to the draft proposal, including a major intervention by the US government . . . These efforts . . . brought about significant concessions in the draft."

The ACC declined or did not respond to numerous requests for a comment for this article. But there is no denying the chemical industry's clout with Republican officials. Since 2000, the chemical industry gave over €17.3 million ($21 million) in campaign contributions to elected officials, with nearly 80 per cent of the money going to Republicans. Nobody received more industry money than President Bush: €741,000 ($900,000) since 1999, according to the Waxman report.

The chemical industry first sought the Bush administration's aid in February 2001, one month after it had taken office. A US Department of Commerce document unearthed by the Waxman report said that US Commerce and Trade officials "have been actively meeting with the US chemicals industry to solicit their views and concerns . . . [ the US Department of] Commerce and USTR [ the US trade representative] have met with representatives from the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Plastics Council, ISAC 3, DuPont, and Dow to identify industry concerns. Officials from the US mission in Brussels have also met with a number of European and US chemical companies based in Europe to solicit their views on the strategy and its impact on their industry".

In the wake of this initiative, American lobbyists met American officials across Europe to figure out how to defeat the proposed EU regulations. According to the Waxman report, the US ambassador in Greece, Thomas J Miller, met Dow Chemical executives "to discuss how to engage the Greek government". According to an internal State Department cable, the embassy "advised them that they should activate their European industry colleagues" and "identified appropriate Greek government officials for industry contact and explained how best to approach them based on their political and philosophical orientation".

Another internal e-mail offered a strategy on how to take on powerful EU Commission members, like then-environment commissioner Wallström. "The only thing that will get the EU to stop is having the EU heavyweights come in and say that the Commission can't take this forward until a real cost-benefit analysis is done. But who will take on Wallström - the answer is only other ministers or heads of state. The USG [ US government] plans to send in our ambassadors to member states and Commission to make our case."

A key part of the strategy was to apply pressure not only within the EU, but worldwide with the result that the EU received opposition to the proposal not only from the US, which had threatened a trade war over Reach, but from Japan, Mexico, and a plethora of other key trading partners.

On April 4th, 2003, the US trade agency sent an e-mail to chemical lobbyists regarding EU member states that they needed "to get to . . . and neutralise". In particular, countries to be targeted were Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Ireland. All have significant chemical and manufacturing industries.

The effects of the campaign were soon felt. In the autumn of 2003, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jaques Chirac, and German Chancellor Gerard Schröder wrote to the European Commission expressing their concerns that Reach would hobble European industry.

American chemical companies told The Irish Times they did not want to discuss their lobbying effort. "It's not the kind of information that we share openly," said Peter Paul Van de Wijs, Dow Chemical Company spokesman in its Swiss headquarters.

IRELAND ALSO PLAYED an important role in the scaling back of the proposed legislation. The fact that the arguments to cut back Reach came from American companies was not a factor, said one lobbyist who spoke to The Irish Times on condition of anonymity.

"Ireland is always very receptive to listening to industry and how its competitiveness will be affected by regulation. It doesn't matter where the company comes from, you won't get any nationalist protectionism," said the lobbyist, who works on behalf of an American chemical and manufacturing company.

Ireland, as well as EU member states like Poland and Spain, continues to be a key target of lobbying efforts by US companies like Dupont, Dow, Honeywell, and GE, according to the lobbyist. The standard argument is that too many new regulations will hurt the country's competitiveness. The chemical industry is one of Ireland's largest, and US investment in the Irish chemical industry is $10 billion.

One of the key changes in the lobbying battle occurred after the legislation was put under the jurisdiction of the EU's Competitiveness Council in 2004, which was then headed by Tánaiste Mary Harney, who at the time was minister for enterprise trade and employment.

This was particularly significant, says Éamonn Bates, an Irish-born lobbyist for the US chemical industry who is based in Brussels, because it reflected the increased mobilisation of the broader European manufacturing industry to get involved in the chemical legislation. "Bit by bit people started to realise this affected not just the chemical industry but them as well," he said. "The industry lobbying has coincided with a broader malaise in Europe."

Environmental groups like Greenpeace say that the broad industrial opposition to the Reach legislation was due to scaremongering. They argue that costs to industry were wildly inflated, pointing to internal industry studies that suggest the testing requirements would not materially affect large chemical enterprises.

The most effective lobbying, nearly everybody agrees, has occurred in Germany where the new centre left/right grand coalition government has agreed to make Reach more industry friendly. This demonstrates the exceptional power of German industry, according to Maria Tydecks, a lobbyist who was involved in the debate.

"It's extraordinary in the sense that the German government will use its influence and its power to change the EU directive," said Tydecks, who heads the Berlin office of Apco, a Washington based lobbying firm. The German chemical industry is one of the most influential industries in the country, she says. "They have access to both parties [ in the government]," she says, the result of "long term networking."

Yet for all of the insider connections upon which lobbyists depend, it seems that, ironically, it is the greater democratisation of the Brussels process that has been particularly helpful to corporations.

The chemicals legislation was at its strongest when it was being drafted by the bureaucrats in the EU Commission. It was when the legislation reached the parliament, which has recently gained much more power, that the lobbyists made some of their greatest gains.

Further complicating matters were the 10 new members states, all of which now had a say in the legislation. Many of these countries depend on heavy industry, Poland is a case in point, and it is believed they were especially receptive to competitiveness arguments.

Environmentalists say that many of the health concerns that gave rise to the original, more robust proposals from the Commission, had become lost in the babble.

Throughout the parliament, key legislators reported being contacted by one or more lobbyists every day. For many of them, with only one or two staff members to support them, this was a deluge of information.

"Most of the EU and German parliamentarians I talked to told me it was the first time they got such massive lobbying," said Dr Andrea Paetz, a lobbyist for German chemical manufacturer Bayer, AG.

And on this occasion, it seems that the lobbying worked. Good for the lobbyists; less good perhaps for the consumers of Europe.

FREE FOR ALL: Lobbyists operate without oversight or restriction

Despite its reputation for wanting to regulate almost everything, the EU seems to have forgotten about lobbyists. Other than a requirement to write down one's name in order to gain access to EU buildings, lobbyists in Brussels operate without oversight or restriction.

By comparison, the US Congress requires lobbyists to file twice-a-year reports that list their clients, how much they are being paid, and what issues they are lobbying on.

No such regulations exist in Brussels. While the industry has a voluntary code of conduct, there are no mandatory regulations and self regulation does not seem to impress even the Commission. Vice president Siim Kallas has said the code is not comprehensive and does not provide much information on specific interests represented, nor how they are financed.

The organisation that represents EU lobbyists, the Society of European Public Affairs Professionals, is against mandatory disclosures, on the grounds that the voluntary code of conduct is sufficient. But the code offers plenty of leeway, such as the society's rule on "financial inducements". It states a lobbyist should "not offer to give, either directly or indirectly, any financial inducement to any official, member of staff or members of the EU institutions, except for normal business hospitality".

By that standard, much of the scandal that is now rocking Washington, including golfing vacations, free restaurant meals and box seats at sporting events, are all fine in Brussels.

One of Washington lobbyists' favourite tricks has made its debut in Brussels, and is already quite popular. It's the practice of front groups, by which a corporation faced with regulation, such as banning a toxic product, hires a public relations or lobbying firm to produce seemingly rational scientific arguments against the new rules.

Hence the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum and the Alliance for Consumer Fire Safety in Europe, organisations which tout their concern with science and the public interest. In fact, both are the creations of the international public relations firm Burson Martstellar, working on behalf of a consortium of manufactures of the chemical bromine. For years, the EU has been trying to limit the substance severely or ban it altogether as a flame retardant in household appliances because of its toxicity.

Another Washington favourite now evident in Brussels is the revolving door, the process by which lobbyists for an industry and members of government overseeing that industry, simply trade places. As well as having inside information, former officials also have established relationships with the people they will lobby.

The chemical industry lobby, known as the European Chemical Industry Council, embroiled in battles on the Reach chemical regulations, has taken advantage of this dynamic. Its director for Reach policy is Lena Perenius, who spent six years in the chemicals unit of the EU Commission's enterprise and industry division. Meanwhile, Uta Jensen Korte, a lobbyist for the chemical council, has now gone to work for the Commission.

Also taking advantage of the revolving door was Microsoft. After getting smacked in numerous regulatory tussles with the EU, the software giant hired Detlef Eckert, the former head of policy planning for the European directorate of information technology.

Multinational companies are also targeting member states. One US investment bank executive said his company had well-connected former high-level officials on retainer in almost every European country. "We can get access to anybody we want to," he said. "

© The Irish Times



Hi Klaus: Dr Patrick Crowley of the Irish Association of General Practitioners, in a letter published last Thursday (THE IRISH TIMES, Dec 08, 05), challenging the arguments of those recent correspondents who claimed that Chernobyl did not have devastating health consequences for the local population, states:

"As a practising doctor who writes death certificates regularly I am fully aware that the cause of death will not be written down as radiation. Instead a physical classification will appear: leukaemia, hydrocephalus, cardiac valve deformity, etc. So Prof Reville's source statistics are meaningless.What about the estimated 25,000 liquidators who have died since
1986 of various causes linked to radiation exposure, but again are not recorded as such."

And this is also what is happening in our situation.

I have included the complete text of Dr.Crowley's published letter below plus that of the earlier letters and article ("MENTAL ILL-HEALTH BECOMES CHERNOBLY'S BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM")which have led to his rebuttal.

You have also archived at http://omega.twoday.net/stories/358598/ earlier information I've sent you on this topic.


Best, Imelda, Cork



THE IRISH TIMES, THURS, DEC 08, 2005

PLAYING DOWN THE EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL

Madam, - Prof William Reville's piece on Chernobyl
(Science Today, December 1st) is disturbing on a number of fronts. Firstly, it plays down the medical impact, classifying Chernobyl as a serious accident rather than a disaster, and having the UN's Chernobyl Forum go guarantor to these alleged scientific truths/facts.

Prof Reville writes that, as of mid-2005, fewer than
60 deaths can be directly attributed to radiation. What bunkum! In 1995 I travelled as a doctor to Minsk and Gomel, visited hospitals, orphanages, clinics, talked to physicians, surgeons, paediatricians, saw things with my own eyes and was filmed in what I called the "death wards". These are places in orphanages and clinics where children with congenital birth deformities are left barely attended, with no therapy, to the inevitable outcome -death. I probably saw 60 of those types of cases in that week alone.

As a practising doctor who writes death certificates regularly I am fully aware that the cause of death will not be written down as radiation. Instead a physical classification will appear: leukaemia, hydrocephalus, cardiac valve deformity, etc. So Prof Reville's source statistics are meaningless.What about the estimated 25,000 liquidators who have died since 1986 of various causes linked to radiation exposure, but again are not recorded as such.

If Chernobyl is presented as so much less important than a natural disaster such as the Asian tsunami or the Kashmir earthquake, one must ask who gains by playing it down. One answer is that governments do. In the age of 9/11, terrorists may attack nuclear plants and future Chernobyl-type disasters don't bear thinking about.

Honourable scientists know the reality. Albert Einstein knew that "the splitting of the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking, and thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe". - Yours, etc, PATRICK CROWLEY MB, Kilmoganny Health Centre, Kilmoganny, Co Kilkenny"

[Association of General Practitioners c/o Dr Pat Crowley, Kilmoganny, Co Kilkenny Tel: 051 648 007 Email: info@agp.ie Web: http://www.agp.ie ]


THE IRISH TIMES, THU, DEC 01, 05

"MENTAL ILL-HEALTH BECOMES CHERNOBLY'S BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE "MENTAL ILL-HEALTH BECOMES CHERNOBLY'S BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
[by] Prof William Reville

The greatest accident in the history of nuclear power occurred on April 26th, 1986, at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. A massive explosion released a large inventory of radioactivity to the atmosphere to be carried widely over Europe and deposited as fallout.

Nearly 20 years later an international team of more than 100 scientists has issued a report entitled Chernobyl's Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts (September, 2005). The group, called The Chernobyl Forum, is made up of eight specialised UN agencies including the International Atomic Energy Agency, World Health Organisation, UN Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation, UN Environment Programme, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation, and the World Bank. The governments of Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine, the three most affected countries, were also involved.

The report concludes that although 4,000 people could eventually die as a result of exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl accident, as of mid-2005 fewer than 60 deaths can be directly attributed to radiation from

Democrats Poised Against Alito

Most Democrats seem set to oppose Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court. "I'm not a fan of Alito," the chamber's Democratic leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, said Wednesday. He deflected a follow-up question on the possibility of a filibuster: "No decision has been made on that."

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011906Y.shtml

060119 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

http://www.omega-news.info/060119_r_mobilfunk_newsletter.rtf

060117 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

http://www.omega-news.info/060117_r_mobilfunk_newsletter.rtf

The stealth business

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega290.htm

L'Escala sentence and retired antennas

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega290.htm

MINERAL DEFICIENCY AND EMR CONNECTION

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega289.htm

Important forthcoming paper on EMF and Schizophrenia: Remote Behavioral Influence Technology Evidence

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega289.htm

Fudging The Numbers

by Miriam Pemberton, TomPaine.com

The Bush administration uses fuzzy math to calculate the ongoing costs of our misadventure in Iraq.

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20060119/fudging_the_numbers.php

Sidelining Human Rights

by Jim Lobe, TomPaine.com

A new report chastises the United States not only for its detention policies -- but also its tolerance of abusive allies in the "war on terror."

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20060119/sidelining_human_rights.php

Brain Speed and the Body Electric

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega288.htm

Comments from Ross Adey and Henry Lai on French/Blood study

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega288.htm

Rat Brain Damage After ONE Cell Phone Exposure

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/grn/omega288.htm

Rachels News #838

http://www.omega-news.info/rachels_news_838.htm

Israel: vorbildliches Gesetz für nichtionisierende Strahlung erlassen

HLV INFO 9/AT
19-01-2006

Dr. Claus Scheingraber 19-01-06

Aus Israel gibt es eine Sensation zu berichten !!

Bei Herrn Hartenstein fand ich eine interessante Nachricht aus Israel. Die haben ein Gesetz für nichtionisierende Strahlung erlassen, das aus meiner Sicht vorbildlich ist! Es werden 3 wesentliche Punkte im Gesetz geregelt:

1.) Die Informationspflicht die Öffentlichkeit über neue Antennenstandorte zu unterrichten und das Recht der Bürger Widerstand zu leisten.

2.) Von den Mobilfunk-Gesellschaften müssen Entschädigungen an die örtlichen Gebietsbesitzer gezahlt werden, um gerichtliche festgestellte Wertverluste auszugleichen, die durch benachbarte Antennenanlagen entstanden sind.

3.) Festschreibung von Entfernungsabständen von sensiblen Einrichtungen.

Ich bitte die unvollständige Übersetzung zu entschuldigen, aber durch meine berufliche Belastung kann ich zur Zeit nicht mehr Übersetzungsarbeit leisten.

Herzliche Grüße

Claus Scheingraber


A new antennas law has passed in Israel
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1320902/

The mass extinction of frogs and freedoms

Common Dreams
by Stephen Laffoley

01/18/06

Consider the extinction of the following amendments to the United States' Constitution: Amendment I - freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition; Amendment IV - freedom from illegal search and seizure; Amendment V - the right to due process; Amendment VI - the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him, and the right to have the assistance of counsel for defense; and Amendment VIII - the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Under President George W. Bush, all these once vibrant, foundational laws of American society have withered and died, killed off by the neo-conservative, fundamentalist fungus...

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0118-30.htm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

UK: Cops look into face-recognition tech

CNet

01/17/06

The U.K.'s police force is investigating how to incorporate facial-recognition software into a new national mugshot database so it can track down criminals faster. The Police Information Technology Organization is already working on a Facial Images National Database (FIND) project to deliver a national mugshot database for law enforcement agencies in England, Scotland and Wales. It aims to create a database of stills and videos of facial images, marks, scars and tattoos that'll be linked to criminals' details on the Police National Computer. The first FIND pilot is planned for the first quarter of this year, with police forces in the north of England. Now the IT agency wants to look at the business case for the national introduction of face-recognition technology by police forces...

http://tinyurl.com/a7lt8


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Republicans Gone Wild

Sidney Blumenthal writes that historians in the future will examine the implications and nuances of the Abramoff affair, the K Street Project and the trajectory of the Republican Congress from the dawn of its "revolution" to its Thermidorian dusk. For now, however, the matter is in the hands of the prosecutors.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011906Z.shtml

Psychiatrische Zwangsbehandlung nach dem Betreuungsrecht ist nicht genehmigungsfähig

Gute Nachrichten:

Das Urteil des OLG Celle v. 10.8.2005:
http://www.die-bpe.de/urteil_zwangsspritze.htm in dem festgestellt wird, dass psychiatrische Zwangsbehandlung nach dem Betreuungsrecht nicht genehmigungsfähig ist, weil es keine gesetzliche Grundlage für diese schweren Grund- und Menschenrechtsverletzungen gibt, wurde inzwischen auch in der Zeitschrift PflegeRecht (1/2006, 39 ff.) mit dem Zusatz "verdient volle Zustimmung" (vom schriftleitenden Rechtsanwalt Roßbruch, München) veröffentlicht.

Werner-Fuß-Zentrum
Scharnweberstr. 29
10247 Berlin
http://www.psychiatrie-erfahrene.de

LATEST ON CHERNOBYL CONTROVERSY RE. RADIATION BIOEFFECTS

http://www.omega-news.info/latest_on_chernobyl_controversy.htm

Airwave: proof of the pudding in Norfolk?

See first item in http://www.tetrawatch.net/main/news.php

Did the O2 Airwave Vice-President tell the truth when bidding for Firelink, when he claimed Airwave had 100% geographical coverage, was better than any of the mobile networks for coverage and that "even the remote barn in Wales" was covered?

The max ten more TETRA masts he predicted a year ago -- to fulfil all future needs for all users -- has gone by. Repeaters and leaky feeders are going in all over to fill in the gaps. Not sure I like the idea of TETRA leaky feeders in enclosed shopping malls...

Andy
Tetrawatch

Orange, SFR et Bouygues: amende record de 534 millions d'euros

- Téléphonie Mobile: Tous les Chiffres, le FRR, . . .
- Amende record de 534 millions d'euro = Amende symbolique !

http://www.next-up.org/main.php?param=nouvellesdumonde13

The West's sure-lose approach to Iran

http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/3968/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

THE WORST CRIME OF THE 20TH CENTURY

http://www.newswithviews.com/Dean/carolyn29.htm

MPs set to debate private Bill on mobile phone mast safeguards

Simon McGee
Political Editor

EXTRA safeguards for schools, homes, and hospitals near mobile telephone masts, proposed in a Yorkshire backbencher's private Bill, are finally set to be discussed.

Skipton and Ripon MP David Curry has confirmed his Telecommunication Masts Bill, which he hopes will put renewed pressure on the Government to give the public additional protection, will have its second reading in the Commons in March,

It calls for mobile phone companies to carry out full health checks on every new mast and make the potential harm from electromagnetic radiation a key feature in the consideration of planning applications.
Campaigners and residents' groups are hoping it will be third time lucky for Mr Curry's Bill, which was put before the Commons as Private Members' Bills twice before but was unable to even get debated on the floor of the House.

Mr Curry, a former Tory Local Government Minister, himself admitted that without the support of Ministers – which it does not have – the Bill will not get enough Parliamentary time to stand a chance of becoming law, but he insisted it was still worth raising.
It has gained support from protest groups and some members, including Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Phil Willis.

"The Government is clearly not in support of this bill," Mr Curry said. "But that doesn't mean it's wasted. What we're really trying to do is put the issue on the table again and try to coax the Government into a sensible discussion.

"No one is out to demolish the mobile phone industry, we just want some safeguards."

Masts campaigning group Planning Sanity's director Chris Maile said: "This bill will do much to even the playing field in order that local residents forced to live with the consequences of telecoms developments will have a better say in the permission process. That can only be for the general good of the country."

On the announcement of a day being named for the second reading, he added: "This is important because we now know with certainty that the bill does have a place in the parliamentary agenda."

A spokesman for Mast Sanity, a branch of the Planning Sanity group, added: "It has long been our view that a marked imbalance exists in planning law between the commercial interests of the mobile phone operators and the public's genuinely held fear of health risks associated with emissions from masts situated close to residential properties, schools, nurseries and the like."

19 January 2006
http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=55&ArticleID=1318914

Darf man im Krankenhaus sein Handy nutzen?

Wer ins Krankenhaus muss, möchte mit seinen Lieben zu Hause in Kontakt bleiben. Die meisten Kliniken bieten dafür Telefone an, die zu überteuerten Gebühren von den Patienten gemietet werden können. Handybenutzung ist meist verboten. Was steckt dahinter? Medizinische Geräte sind, wie alle elektrischen Gerätschaften, empfindlich gegen elektromagnetische Felder, wie sie besonders in kurzer Distanz befindliche Handys erzeugen. Das kann ihre Funktionstüchtigkeit beeinträchtigen. Deshalb hat das Ministerium für Gesundheit schon 1995 empfohlen, Mobiltelefone in Krankenhäusern zu untersagen. Dieser Empfehlung hat sich die Deutsche Krankenhausgesellschaft angeschlossen. Die Praxis in den Kliniken ist sehr unterschiedlich. Die meisten bleiben bei dem strikten Handy-Verbot, andere führen hingegen Handy-Zonen ein. Da jedes Krankenhaus auf seinem Gelände das Hausrecht hat, sind Patienten und Besucher an die dort geltenden Vorschriften gebunden.

Erstellt /zuletzt aktualisiert: 19.01.2006

http://www.guter-rat.de/ratgeber/beantwortet/artikel_47262.html


Nachricht von der BI Bad Dürkheim

Irankrieg: Spiegel und BND legen Zündstoff nach

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,396086,00.html

(SPON) Die Kriegsvorbereitungsmaschinerie läuft nun auf vollen Touren: nach Informationen von Insidern sollen Militäroperationen gegen den Iran spätestens im März beginnen. Für diesen möglicherweise bevorstehenden Irankrieg legen der Spiegel und der BND nun Zündstoff nach und behaupten, die Iraner seien in der Lage kurzfristig eine Atombombe zu bauen.

Das durch den Spiegel verstärkte Manöver des BND erinnert an die Erklärungen der amerikanischen und der englischen Regierung, Saddam Hussein sei in der Lage, die westlichen Staaten zu bedrohen und versuche Atomwaffen zu bauen. Beides erwies sich anschließend als frei erfunden.


G.Wendebourg / metainfo hamburg

Link zum Beitrag / Hintergrundinfo oder Pressehinweis:
http://www.hh-online.com?lid=23402 und
http://links.net-hh.de?lid=23402

Infopool / metainfo hamburg http://www.hh-online.com

George Bush would be in severe political trouble if there were an opposition political party in the country

Democrats and Other False Friends:
http://www.counterpunch.org/damato01182006.html


From Information Clearing House

Lawmakers pressured Interior while getting large donations from Abramoff tribes

Nearly three dozen members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, pressed the government to reject a Louisiana Indian casino while they collected large donations from rival tribes and their lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20051117-0028-tribes-letters&dollars-abridged.html


From Information Clearing House

Abramoff Met With Bush In May 2001

The Texas Observer reports that Abramoff met with Bush on May 9, 2001, with his clients, the Coushatta tribe. (The chairman of the Coushatta tribe initially denied the meeting occured, but subsequently admitted that it did.) Abramoff charged his client 25,000 to arrange the meeting.

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/01/07/abramoff-bush-2001/


From Information Clearing House

India, Iran and the nuclear challenge

Siding again with the U.S. and its allies in their illegal pressure on Iran will weaken India's hand on the civil nuclear cooperation and energy fronts.

http://svaradarajan.blogspot.com/2006/01/india-iran-and-nuclear-challenge.html


From Information Clearing House

Avoiding a War with Iran

The toppling of Iran’s theocratic regime would consolidate dwindling resources under the stars and stripes and guarantee continued supremacy of US financial institutions, American energy giants, and the faltering greenback. Additionally, it would defang a potential rival to an emergent Israel, which sees itself as the prevailing power in the region.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11607.htm

Colin Powell, talks about Iran, rendition, the decisions that took the US and Britain to war

By BBC

Jeremy Paxman, has been speaking to Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell - about Iran, rendition, the decisions that took the US and Britain to war, and that notorious presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons programme.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11606.htm

US Franchised Torture Refuses To Go Away

By Gajendra Singh

It is not the divine right of Christian West to subjugate and rule the Middle East, Africa or Asia through the power of its guns. The Iraqi resistance to U.S.-led occupation from the very beginning has made it clear that the era of colonization is over.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11601.htm

Restore the Rule of Law: Get Special Prosecutor to Impeach Bush

MoveOn.org Petition-Get Special Prosecutor to Impeach Bush

MoveOn.org Political Action: Restore the Rule of Law
http://www.moveonpac.org/ruleoflaw/?id=6669-2820939-nN1I9TM24MXk_4AoOOyL3Q&t=1


Informant: ranger116



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

Tell the truth about torture, Mr. President

http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7134788710612138222839565

Two weeks left until the STATE OF THE UNION JAN 31 2006

The White House has dodged the truth about torture for too long. With reports of American acts of torture in the news every day, it is imperative that the President and his administration end the secrecy and end the torture.

You and I have a critical opportunity right now to demand that President Bush tell the truth and to call for accountability through an independent investigation. Click here to ask President Bush for the truth during his State of the Union address and demand that torture in our names is never committed again.

http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7134340110612138222839565

With your help, Amnesty International can continue our unwavering pursuit of truth and justice by urging the United States to defend human rights principles. Secret prisons and the outsourcing of torture to countries including Syria and Egypt are unacceptable and undermine human rights.

Together we can tell the Bush administration that torture is not a part of our American values. We can urge Congress to stop the President from allowing any future acts of torture and inhumane treatment. And we can join together as Americans who will not allow our government to hide the facts about torture any longer.

We only have two weeks until President Bush addresses our nation. Join us and demand the truth about torture and justice for acts that have already been committed. Click here and call for the end of torture.

http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7134340210612138222839565


Sincerely,

Bill Schulz
Executive Director

P.S. After you sign the petition, spread the truth. Pass the petition along to friends and make sure the President comes clean about American acts of torture.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: U.S. nuclear forces, 2006

By Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen
January/February 2006 pp. 68-71 (vol. 62, no. 1)
© 2005 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, the United States continues to spend billions of dollars annually to maintain and upgrade its nuclear forces. It is deploying a larger and more accurate preemptive nuclear strike capability in the Asia-Pacific region, and shifting its doctrine toward targeting U.S. strategic nuclear forces against "weapons of mass destruction" complexes and command centers.

As of January 2006, the U.S. stockpile contains almost 10,000 nuclear warheads. This includes 5,735 active or operational warheads: 5,235 strategic and 500 nonstrategic warheads. Approximately 4,225 additional warheads are held in the reserve or inactive stockpiles, some of which will be dismantled. Under plans announced by the Energy Department in June 2004 (and possibly revised in spring 2005), some 4,365 warheads are scheduled to be retired for dismantlement by 2012 (see Nuclear Notebook, September/October 2004). This would leave approximately 5,945 warheads in the operational and reserve stockpiles in 2012, including the 1,700-2,200 "operationally deployed" strategic warheads specified in the 2002 Moscow Treaty or Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT).

To understand the composition of the U.S. stockpile, it is helpful to examine the terms used to describe the different categories of warheads. Active warheads are maintained in a ready-for-use status, with tritium and other limited life components installed, and may be either deployed or stored. The active warhead inventory is broken down into deployed warheads, responsive force warheads, and spares. Deployed warheads consist of operationally deployed warheads (for example, warheads on fielded strategic forces), warheads associated with weapon systems in overhaul, and fielded nonstrategic weapons. Responsive force warheads consist of active warheads not on deployed systems. These are kept in secure storage but are available to be returned to the operationally deployed force. Depending on the particular weapon system, this task may take days, weeks, or months. Spare warheads are part of the active but not operational inventory, and support routine maintenance and operations. Inactive warheads do not have limited life components installed or maintained, and may not have the latest warhead modifications.

New war plans. The Defense Department is upgrading its nuclear strike plans to reflect new presidential guidance and a transition in war planning from the top-heavy Single Integrated Operational Plan of the Cold War to a family of smaller and more flexible strike plans designed to defeat today's adversaries. The new central strategic war plan is known as OPLAN (Operations Plan) 8044. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Meyers described some of the planning changes in April 2005 Senate testimony: "[U.S. Strategic Command] has revised our strategic deterrence and response plan that became effective in the fall of 2004. This revised, detailed plan provides more flexible options to assure allies, and dissuade, deter, and if necessary, defeat adversaries in a wider range of contingencies."

One member of the new family is CONPLAN 8022, a concept plan for the quick use of nuclear, conventional, or information warfare capabilities to destroy--preemptively, if necessary--"time-urgent targets" anywhere in the world. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issued an Alert Order in early 2004 that directed the military to put CONPLAN 8022 into effect. As a result, the Bush administration's preemption policy is now operational on long-range bombers, strategic submarines on deterrent patrol, and presumably intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

ICBMs. In 2005, the Pentagon completed the retirement of the MX Peacekeeper ICBM, after almost 20 years of service. The missile's long and controversial history stretches back to the 1970s, when officials proposed many elaborate basing schemes to try and prevent a supposed "window of vulnerability" from increasing numbers of accurate Soviet ICBMs. By 1979 the program called for the deployment of 200 missiles, hidden among 4,600 shelters (one missile in each cluster of 23 shelters), in a kind of mobile shell-game spread over approximately 40,000 square miles of Utah and Nevada. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan canceled that basing scheme and cut the number of missiles to 100, to be placed in Minuteman missile silos, tacitly conceding that the vulnerability problem could not be solved or never existed in the first place. Two years later, Congress limited deployment to 50 missiles. The first 10 missiles, located at Warren Air Force Base (AFB), Wyoming, were declared operational on December 22, 1986, with the full force of 50 on alert two years later. The Pentagon phased out the MX over a three-year period beginning in October 2002; it deactivated the last missile on September 19, 2005. In the end, billions of dollars were expended to rectify an imaginary strategic vulnerability.

The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) calls for MX silos to be retained, rather than destroyed as was required in the now-abandoned Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II. The United States will keep MX missiles for possible use as space-launch vehicles, as target vehicles, or for redeployment. The missiles' 550 W87 warheads will be temporarily stored, and a portion will eventually replace W62 warheads on Minuteman III ICBMs under the Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle (SERV) program beginning this year. All W62s are scheduled to be retired in 2009. A Minuteman missile can carry one or two SERVs with W87 warheads, but apparently not three. In total, we estimate that 200 W87 warheads will be used to complement the W78 warheads assigned to Minuteman IIIs, with the balance placed in the responsive force of reserve warheads. Full operational capability of the SERV is scheduled for autumn 2010.

The 500-strong Minuteman III force remains basically unchanged from last year. Under START I, the air force downloaded the 150 missiles located at Warren AFB to single-warhead configuration in 2001. With START II's ban on multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) now a dead letter, U.S. officials revised earlier plans to download all Minuteman missiles to a single-warhead configuration. Although the air force plans to reduce the operational warhead loading on Minuteman IIIs to 500, it is considering keeping as many as 800 warheads for the Minuteman force.

Minuteman modernization continues under an ambitious $7 billion-$8 billion, six-part program intended to improve the missile's accuracy and reliability and extend its service life beyond 2020. The United States test-launched four Minuteman IIIs from Vandenberg AFB, California, between July 14 and September 14, 2005. Three tests flew a single unarmed reentry vehicle, while the fourth missile carried two vehicles. An August 25 test used a Minuteman III from the 564th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, with a single vehicle. The air force stated that the test aimed to "demonstrate the ability to integrate a safety enhanced reentry vehicle" for W87 warheads onto the Minuteman III weapons system. Military officials executed the September 14 launch through the 20th Air Force's airborne launch control system using a U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury (TACAMO) aircraft.

The air force issued a Mission Need Statement in 2002 for a new ICBM to be introduced in 2018. The air force has earmarked more than $10 million for 2006-2007 for studies to define the required capabilities and set milestones for missile development. Some defense strategists have suggested equipping a portion of the ICBM force with conventional warheads. There are rumors that the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review may recommend converting 50 of the 500 Minuteman missiles to conventional missions.

Submarines. The navy decommissioned the Trident I C4 missile, after 26 years of service, in late October 2005, when the Alabama off-loaded the last 24 operational C4 missiles. The entire force of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) is now comprised of Trident II D5 missiles. When missile conversion is completed in 2008, the United States will have 336 Trident II D5 SLBMs on 14 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), which is the force level decided on in the 1994 NPR; the missiles will be armed with approximately 2,000 warheads. The navy has extended the service life of the subs from 30 to 44 years. The oldest sub is scheduled to retire in 2029, when a new SSBN class will be introduced.

The navy completed the first phase of downloading the warheads from all Trident II missiles in 2005 to keep pace with SORT goals. The navy has opted for a gradual decrease in the number of warheads on its SLBMs over several years, rather than a sudden drop just before the end of 2012, the treaty deadline. Under START, each Trident II D5 missile is counted as carrying eight warheads, though the actual number varies depending upon mission. We estimate that each missile now carries an average of six warheads. They will be further downloaded as 2012 approaches.

During the past few years, the navy has significantly changed the homeporting of SSBNs to meet new planning requirements. It transferred two SSBNs from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean in 2002 and another in 2003. On August 17, 2005, the Louisiana left Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, on patrol. Rather than roaming the Atlantic during its 58-day patrol, the sub sailed around Cape Horn and ended up at its new homeport, Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Washington. On September 27, 2005, the Maine left Kings Bay on a similar journey, bringing to nine the number of SSBNs in the Pacific. Five subs remain in the Atlantic.

The primary goal of the shift is to increase coverage of targets in China, according to navy officials. (Pacific-based SSBNs also target Russia and North Korea.) The buildup of the more capable Trident II D5s in the Pacific additionally "enhances system accuracy, payload, and hard-target capability, thus improving [U.S.] available responses to existing and emerging Pacific theater threats," Rear Adm. Charles B. Young, director of the navy's Strategic Systems Program, said in an August 2002 speech at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific.

The four oldest Ohio-class SSBNs have been removed from the nuclear mission and are being converted into cruise missile submarines (SSGN) at a cost of $4.1 billion. Electric Boat Corporation, a division of General Dynamics, is the main contractor and built the original submarines. Work on the Ohio and Michigan is being done at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington, after which the subs will be homeported at Bangor. Work on the Florida and Georgia is being done at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, after which they will be homeported at Kings Bay. We estimate that the Defense Department transferred the nearly 1,000 W76 warheads from these four older SSBNs to inactive/responsive status and will eventually send them to the Pantex Plant in Texas for dismantlement.

At least four important upgrades are under way involving the Trident II D5. The first is a life-extension program (LEP) for the W76 warhead that will significantly enhance the weapon's capability. Outfitting the W76/Mk-4 reentry vehicle with a new arming and fuzing subsystem (MC4700) will give the 100-kiloton W76 a ground-burst capability for the first time and will increase the types of targets that it can destroy. The modified W76 warhead, which may have its yield reduced by about 40 percent to 60 kilotons, according to a July report in Sante Fe's New Mexican newspaper, is designated the W76 Mod 1 (or W76-1), and the reentry vehicle is known as Mk-4A.

The navy is working on a second warhead upgrade to equip the reentry vehicles with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers for increased accuracy. In 2004, Congress refused to fund the Enhanced Effectiveness (E2) Reentry Body program, which would have provided this capability, because of a concern that equipping SLBM reentry vehicles with GPS accuracy could lead to mini-nukes on the submarines.

Using other funds, the navy supports programs to improve the missile's accuracy. One program aims to equip reentry vehicles with a three-axis flap system that steers the reentry vehicle during its descent toward its target, essentially creating a maneuverable reentry vehicle. In March 2005, the Tennessee launched a Trident II D5 missile equipped with an unarmed reentry vehicle fitted with the three-axis flap system and GPS. One navy admiral who participated in the test told us: "I had GPS signal all the way down and could steer it." The test was also significant because the D5's 2,200-kilometer (1,367-mile) trajectory was the shortest ever flown by a U.S. SLBM, according to the admiral, with the warhead impacting just 12-13 minutes after launch.

The third modernization program involves upgrading the current Mk-6 guidance system and extending its service life. The Mk-6LE (life extension) is scheduled to be operational in 2013 and would last through 2042. The fourth upgrade involves refurbishing the solid propulsion motors of the Trident II D5. Defense awarded a $71.5 million contract to Alliant Techsystems for production of new solid propulsion systems for all three stages of the D5 through 2007.

The navy continues to buy Trident II D5 missiles. It has bought 408 so far and requested an additional five missiles in 2005. Officials extended D5 production through 2013 and increased the total number to be procured from 453 to 561, at an additional cost of $12.2 billion. The total cost of the program is now $37 billion, or $66 million per missile. To make the D5 operational through 2042 (to the end of the extended service life of the Ohio-class SSBN), the navy will upgrade existing missiles to a new variant, the D5LE. In 2003, Congress budgeted $416 million to modernize the D5. At any given time, 336 Trident II D5s will arm the 14 U.S. SSBNs (including two sets for two SSBNs that will be in overhaul), 58 D5s will be allocated to Britain for their SSBNs, and the balance will be available for flight tests.

The navy appears to have dropped plans to equip its new submarine-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile (SLIRBM) with dual nuclear-conventional capability in favor of developing only conventional warheads for the weapon. Defense awarded a $9.2 million, 16-month contract to Lockheed Martin in July 2005 to demonstrate and validate solid rocket motor technologies for a two-stage SLIRBM design. The program envisions fitting multiple SLIRBMs inside each missile tube on SSGNs, adding a second conventional strike weapon to the boats' Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missiles. The SLIRBM is intended to precisely deliver a conventional payload at ranges in excess of 1,770 kilometers (1,099 miles) within 10-15 minutes of launch.

After a more than 11-year hiatus, the navy has resumed SLBM flight-testing in the Pacific. In November 2004, the Nevada launched two Trident II D5s down the Pacific Missile Range. In March 2005, the Tennessee test-fired a missile in the Atlantic, and in October the Royal Navy's Vanguard test-fired a D5 missile, also in the Atlantic. In anticipation of flight-testing in both oceans, the navy, with the help of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, converted two 8-foot by 40-foot containers into vans for data processing and analysis during test-launches.

Bombers and bomber weapons. The United States has two types of long-range bombers for nuclear missions: the B-2A Spirit and the B-52H Stratofortress. The B-52Hs are based at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, and at Minot AFB, North Dakota; the B-2As are based at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.

The B-52s can deliver cruise missiles, gravity bombs, or a combination of both; B-2s carry only bombs. Both have conventional missions as well.

Neither bomber is maintained on day-to-day alert as during the Cold War, yet the alert level has increased with the recent tasking of bomber wings in Global Strike missions. In October 2004, for example, the air force launched 13 B-52s near-simultaneously from Barksdale AFB in a minimum--interval takeoff, with each bomber taking off within a minute or less of one another. The commander of the 8th Air Force at Barksdale AFB told the Times of Shreveport in October 2005 that the 8th Air Force is now "essentially on alert . . . to plan and execute global strikes" on behalf of Strategic Command.

A five-year modernization effort completed in 2003 enables the B-2 to carry a mix of B61 and B83 nuclear bombs as well as various conventional weapons. B-2s are already capable of making some targeting changes en route, but the air force is replacing the onboard UHF and VHF radios, and satellite communications systems, with a new system that will allow crews to receive beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) voice and data communications, and review full mission plans en route to their targets. An extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communication will be added to ensure the bombers have secure BLOS communications in their nuclear mission. The air force is also equipping all B-2s with a new external coating known as alternate high-frequency material, which will increase the bomber's stealthiness and ease its maintenance. The program will be completed by 2011.

The air force began installing the Avionics Midlife Improvement (AMI) on the B-52H in 2005, to improve the aircraft's navigation and nuclear weapons delivery. Installation on all bombers will be completed by September 2008. Technicians will also replace the bomber's existing satellite communication system with an EHF radio to improve connectivity in nuclear-strike scenarios.

The weapons deployed on U.S. strategic bombers have a variety of capabilities. B61-7 bombs have multiple yield options, sometimes referred to as "dial-a-yield," ranging from 10 to 350 kilotons. The bomb, which is almost 12 feet long and weighs approximately 760 pounds, has five fuzing options: free-fall airburst, parachute-retarded airburst, free-fall contact burst, parachute--retarded contact burst, and parachute--retarded lay down delayed-surface burst (with 31-second and 81-second delays available). The B61-11 "bunker buster" is a B61-7 with a one-piece hardened--steel center case and a new nosepiece and rear subassembly, which provide for ground penetration and add approximately 450 pounds of weight. The 400-kiloton weapon is also equipped with a special ground-impact time-delay feature to allow it to penetrate 3-6 meters (10-20 feet) underground before detonation. The Pentagon and Los Alamos National Laboratory developed the Mod 11 to replace the 9-megaton B53 bomb, whose purpose was to hold selected deeply buried targets at risk.

The B83 is a high-yield strategic bomb with variable yield options up to 1.2 megatons. It is designed for high-speed external carriage and low-altitude delivery against hard targets. The weapon is built for relatively hard impacts on irregular, reinforced concrete surfaces, such as ICBM silos. The bomb weighs 2,400 pounds and has four sections behind its hollow shock-absorbing nose. The first compartment houses the warhead; the mid-case contains the firing set and fuzing controls; the aft-case contains the arming system and thermal batteries; and the last compartment holds the parachute system, which contains a 46-foot Kevlar-nylon ribbon parachute that is held by 60 Kevlar suspension lines and deployed by three 4-foot diameter pilot chutes. The 180-pound parachute system can reduce the bomb's velocity from about 700 miles per hour to 44 miles per hour within a few seconds.

The advanced cruise missile (ACM) and air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) carried on the B-52H are undergoing service life-extension programs to prolong their lifetimes through 2030. The ACM's forward-swept wings and tailplanes, flush air-intake, and flat, shielded jet exhaust make it difficult for radar to observe the missile. The ACM has a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) and for guidance uses an inertial navigation system, together with a terrain contour matching (TERCOM) system to provide accuracies of 100-300 feet circular error probable. TERCOM uses a downward-pointing radar altimeter to determine the missile's altitude as it flies toward a target and compares the ground elevation profiles with maps stored in memory to determine if it is on course. The ALCM has the same navigation and guidance system but has a slightly shorter range of approximately 2,400 kilometers (1,491 miles). Both missiles are equipped with a W80-1 warhead, which has variable yield options up to 150 kilotons. The air force moved all remaining reserve ALCMs at Fairchild AFB, Washington, to Barksdale AFB in November 2005.

The air force is studying options for a next-generation nuclear cruise missile. One possibility is a joint enhanced cruise missile with a nuclear payload and longer range to support Global Strike missions against "targets deep within future high-threat anti-access environments," according to air force documents. The new missile could be delivered by bombers or from various ground or sea platforms.

Nuclear Surety Inspections. Air Combat Command's inspector general periodically conducts Nuclear Surety Inspections (NSI) to assess if rules, regulations, and procedures are being maintained to the highest standards. The inspections evaluate many areas, including weapon loading and mating procedures; storage, maintenance, and security practices; accident ("Broken Arrow") response; exercises to recapture and recover a nuclear weapon; processing and relaying emergency action messages; and permissive action link/use control operations that ensure that authorization orders are authentic.

Inspectors conducted an NSI of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB from December 12 to 19, 2004 and rated the base satisfactory. An NSI conducted from July 9 to 16, 2005 of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB was rated unsatisfactory. Inspectors visited Whiteman AFB in December 2003 for an NSI, and a follow-up was expected in mid-2005. >From February 18 to 24, 2004, inspectors conducted an NSI of the 896th Munitions Squadron (MUNS) at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The 896th MUNS receives, ships, stores, and maintains a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons. The Weapon Storage Area consists of 790 acres, crisscrossed by 36 miles of roadway, and houses 75 specialized storage igloos. The inspectors graded 18 areas, and the MUNS received 17 excellent or satisfactory ratings and one outstanding.

Nonstrategic nuclear weapons. The United States retains approximately 500 nonstrategic operational nuclear weapons and keeps another 790 in reserve. These include the B61-3,-4, and-10 gravity bombs and the W80-0 warhead for the nuclear Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile (TLAM/N). The B61-10 is no longer in the active stockpile, according to Energy documents. The 2001 NPR did not address nonstrategic nuclear weapons.

The United States deploys B61 nonstrategic nuclear bombs at eight bases in six European countries for delivery by various U.S. and NATO aircraft. Additional tactical bombs are in reserve status stored at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, and Nellis AFB. The air force deploys approximately 50 bombs with the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. The 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, no longer has a nuclear mission, and the base is expected to be phased out under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.

U.S. delivery aircraft include the F-16C/D Fighting Falcon and F-15E Strike Eagle. NATO aircraft assigned nuclear missions include U.S.-supplied F-16s and German and Italian Tornado bombers. Under current air force planning, a portion of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) force will have nuclear capability starting in 2012. The JSF program completed an initial nuclear certification requirements plan in 2004, and more detailed procedures to make it nuclear capable began in 2005.

Selected Los Angeles-class, improved Los Angeles-class, and some Virginia-class attack submarines can deploy with TLAM/Ns. The navy plans to refurbish the missiles, and Energy their W80-0 warheads, to extend their service life to around 2040. An estimated 320 TLAM/Ns are currently stored at the Strategic Weapons Facilities at Bangor, Washington, and King's Bay, Georgia, alongside strategic weapons for the SSBNs.

While most U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) were credited with some nuclear capability during the Cold War, today most SSNs do not have nuclear missions. In the Pacific Fleet, for example, less than half of the attack submarines regularly undergo nuclear certification. But if the order were given, Tomahawks could be redeployed in 30 days. We estimate that no more than 12 out of around 50 SSNs have nuclear capability. The navy has test-launched unarmed Tomahawks 92 times since 1978. Two of these were conducted in 2005, one from the Greenville and another from the Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Nuclear warheads. To ensure the reliability of nuclear weapons beyond their original design lives, most of the warheads in the "enduring" stockpile are scheduled to undergo life-extension programs over the next decade. The first of these programs began in 1999 and was for the W87; it was completed in 2001.

The B61-7/-11, W76, W78, W80, B83, and W88 warheads will also undergo life-extension programs. Some life-extension programs are substantial enough to change a warhead's modification designation. Accordingly, the W76 will become the W76-1, and the W80-0 and W80-1 will become the W80-2 and W80-3, respectively. The first production units of the W80-2 and B61-7/-11 are scheduled for delivery later this year, the W76-1 in 2007-2008, and the W80-3 around 2008. The B61-7/-11 LEP involves refurbishing the secondary.

Strong congressional opposition to the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) warhead program induced Energy to withdraw its 2006 funding request for the program, but hardened--case penetration tests applicable to RNEP will likely continue with Defense funding at Sandia National Laboratories.

After spending almost $2 billion during more than a decade, Energy is still "reestablishing" small-scale plutonium pit production at Los Alamos. Lab scientists produced two certifiable W88 pits in 2003, four more in 2004, and six in 2005. Energy plans to test these pits in support of achieving W88 pit certification (for quantity production and stockpiling in the "war reserve") in 2007. Los Alamos aims to manufacture 10 W88 pits per year from 2008 to 2014. As part of its "pit campaign," Energy also hopes to "establish manufacturing process capability for all pit types" by 2009 and to "manufacture initial pit EDUs [engineering demonstration units] for Reliable Replacement [Warhead] pits" by 2012, according to its 2006 budget request.

In total, Los Alamos could be making plutonium pits for as many as 30-40 new warheads per year after 2010, according to an October 2005 Albuquerque Journal interview with Linton Brooks, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. Energy's plans for constructing a larger Modern Pit Facility at a new site are on hold.

Nuclear Notebook is prepared by Robert S. Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists. Direct inquiries to NRDC, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C., 20005; 202-289-6868.

January/February 2006 pp. 68-71 (vol. 62, no. 1) © 2005 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


The U.S. arsenal

Type/Designation No. Year deployed Warheads x yield (kilotons) Active/Spares
ICBMs
LGM-30G Minuteman III
Mk-12 150 1970 1 W62 x 170 150
Mk-12 50 1970 3 W62 x 170 (MIRV) 150/30
Mk-12A 300 1979 2-3 W78 x 335 (MIRV) 750/35
Total 500 1,050/65
SLBMs
UGM-133A Trident II D5*
Mk-4 n/a 1992 6 W76 x 100 (MIRV) 1,632/80
Mk-5 n/a 1990 6 W88 x 455 (MIRV) 384/20
Total 336 2,016/100
Bombers
B-52H Stratofortress 94/56** 1961 ALCM/W80-1 x 5-150
ACM/W80-1 x 5-150
1,000/30
400/20
B-2A Spirit 21/16 1994 B61-7, -11, B83-1 555
Total 115/72 1,955/50***
Nonstrategic forces
Tomahawk SLCM 325 1984 1 W80-0 x 5-150 100
B61-3, -4 bombs n/a 1979 0.3-170 400
Total 325 500
Grand total ~5,521/215
ACM: advanced cruise missile; ALCM: air-launched cruise missile; ICBM: intercontinental ballistic missile; MIRV: multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle; SLCM: sea-launched cruise missile; SLBM: submarine-launched ballistic missile.

* Conversion of the Henry Jackson and the Alabama to Trident II D5 SLBMs will be completed in 2007 and 2008, respectively, bringing to 14 the number of SSBNs capable of carrying D5s.
** The first figure is the aircraft inventory, including those used for training, testing, and backup. The second figure is the primary mission aircraft inventory, the number of operational aircraft assigned for nuclear and/or conventional missions.
*** The large pool of bombs and cruise missiles allows for multiple loading possibilities, depending upon the mission.

U.S. stockpile

Type Active Inactive/
Responsive Total
W62* 330 250 580
W78** 785 20 805
W76** 1,712 1,318 3,030
W88 404 0 404
W80-1** 1,450 361 1,811
B61-7 215 224 439
B61-11 20 21 41
B83-1/-0 320 306 626
W80-0 100 194 294
B61-3** 200 186 386
B61-4** 200 204 404
B61-10 0 206 206
W84* 0 383 383
W87 0 553 553
Total 5,736 4,226 9,962
*Warhead type to be fully dismantled.
**Warhead type to be partially dismantled.


From FoE Sydney - Nuclear Campaign

Marina Projects Are a Battleground over Whales

Conservationists have filed a lawsuit to stop two new marinas on the Georgia coast that threaten the endangered right whale with boat collisions. Fewer than 300 of the whales are believed to exist. Meanwhile, two right whales were spotted in the Corpus Christi Bay yesterday, well outside their typical winter territory of Florida and Georgia.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/011806EC.shtml

Landslides Could Worsen with Global Warming

Landslides kill 800-1,000 people a year, from hillside slums in Latin America to Egypt's Valley of the Kings, and climate change may be adding to the risks, UN experts said.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/011806EB.shtml

Dems Unveil Plans to End "Culture of Corruption"

Congressional Democrats introduced plans today to overhaul rules governing lobbying, a day after House Republican leaders released their own ideas to rewrite House rules on lobbying. "Today we as Democrats are declaring our commitment to change - change to a government that is good and as honest as the people," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, criticizing what he called a "culture of corruption" that means "the lobbyists get everything."

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011806Q.shtml

FILIBUSTER ALITO, ALITO IS NOT A DONE DEAL

NOT A Done Deal, NOT A Done Deal

NEW ACTION PAGE TO FILIBUSTER ALITO: http://www.nocrony.com

CALL YOUR SENATORS RIGHT NOW at 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073.

NEWS FLASH: THE ALITO VOTE HAS BEEN DELAYED A WEEK. WE CAN WIN THIS!!!

We've noticed the most curious thing. Publically Alito's supporters state pronouncements that his confirmation is a "done" deal. And yet behind the scenes they are stilly lobbying furiously for a vote as quickly as they can get it. What do we make of this?

It's con, folks. It's a great big honking corporate media lie. There is only one way the extreme right wing can win this one, and that is by discouraging the rest of us from speaking out. We'd have to be pretty stupid to go for that one, huh? We'd have to be total chumps, huh? Why else would anyone surrender a fight when they had the numbers to win?

And we do have the numbers. We are the majority. The president is back down to 39% approval rating and dropping again. And even if the majority did NOT oppose their radical dictator president agenda, and all we need are 41 votes to filibuster. We HAVE 41 votes. We HAVE 41 votes. We HAVE 41 votes. All we need to win is to exercise the power we have, the will to win!

We'll make you a deal. For the next two weeks, we all repeat these words as a mantra

ALITO IS NOT A DONE DEAL

If you just do that, ALL of you, repeat it in your minds until it drives out the negativity, until it drives out the defeatism, until it drives out the despair, until it drives out the insidious right wing talking point which the cable TV propagandists have planted in our own minds. Just do that one thing, and we promise that we will deliver the victory for you.

If you are listening to a progressive show, and you hear someone say that it is not worth fighting anymore, IMMEDIATELY call them and chew them out. Demand that they give out one of the toll free numbers over the air, 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. And to do it not in some "ain't gonna work anyway" tone of voice, but to do it with enthusiasm and the belief that it WILL work. Demand that they make

WE CAN STOP ALITO

a recurring theme of every one of their shows for the next two weeks. If they are not giving out the toll free numbers periodically, demand to find out why. There are other good action pages besides our own but they should be giving out something. For the purpose of something to be given out over the air it should be something that is easy to say and remember like

http://www.nocrony.com

If you visit a progressive blog and you do not see the toll-free numbers and links to action pages RIGHT AT THE TOP of the page as prominently displayed as possible, email them and demand to know why. We control an enormous amount of page space on the internet and it is NOT being used effectively to advocate for policy change. EVERY home page MUST have these toll free numbers and action links FEATURED on them now without exception.

Send the emails to the bloggers, post messages. Ask them, are you activists or are you not? Why are you not helping with the fight? Why are you not using your media prominence to help save our Supreme Court? What are you not acting? Why have you not dedicated space on your site to the cause? Why are you not contributing to the mental energy of believing we can prevail? Do you want to win or not?

If we all do just that, a magical thing will take place. People will begin to believe that we can win. People will believe that we can make a difference. People will believe that democracy can work. And it will work. And we will win. We promise.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this message to everyone else you know.

Powered by The People's Email Network
Copyright 2005, Patent pending, All rights reserved

Warmer seas will wipe out plankton, source of ocean life

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article339596.ece


Informant: Teresa Binstock

Are dead dolphins the price paid for catching sea bass?

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article339322.ece


Informant: Teresa Binstock

How real is the Iran nuclear threat to the United States?

http://www.teamliberty.net/id215.html


Informant: beee freee

EX-EPA CHIEFS BLAME BUSH IN GLOBAL WARMING

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060119/ap_on_go_ot/global_warming


Informant: NHNE

Human Rights Watch World Report 2006: U.S. Policy of Abuse Undermines Rights Worldwide

http://www.commondreams.org/news2006/0118-18.htm

America's Leaders Should Not Leave Consumers Out In the Cold This Winter

http://www.commondreams.org/news2006/0118-07.htm

Consumers Want Congress to Protect Right to Access Information, Services on Internet

http://www.commondreams.org/news2006/0118-20.htm

The West Has Picked A Fight With Iran That It Cannot Win

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0118-27.htm

Terrorism's Elusive Refuge

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0118-29.htm

Pakistan Strike: No Remorse

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0118-23.htm

The Crime of Giving the Orders

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0118-25.htm

The failure of the United States to get serious about climate change is unforgivable, a human folly beyond imagining

Is It Warm in Here? We Could Be Ignoring the Biggest Story in Our History

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0118-33.htm

Pakistan: 'US Missile Strikes Will Affect War on Terror'

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0118-04.htm

US Torture Undermines Global Rights Drive

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0118-01.htm

Repealing the Magna Carta

Commentary: Wondering just how far back the Bush administration would roll our constitutional system?

By Nick Turse
January 6, 2006
Mother Jones

What might happen to an "often cruel and treacherous" national leader who "ignored and contravened the traditional" norms at home and waged "expensive wars abroad [that] were unsuccessful"?

On June 15, 1215, just such a leader arrived at Runnymede, England and --under pressure from rebellious barons angered by his ruinous foreign wars and the fact that "to finance them he had charged excessively for royal justice, sold church offices, levied heavy aids," and appointed "advisers from outside the baronial ranks"-- placed his seal on the Magna Carta. The document, which was finalized on June 19th, primarily guaranteed church rights and baronial privileges, while barring the king from exploiting feudal custom. While it may have been of limited importance to King John or his rebel nobles (as one scholar notes, "It was doomed to failure. Magna Carta lasted less than three months"), the document had a lasting impact on the rest of us, providing the very basis for the Anglo-American legal tradition. [...] Read the rest at http://tinyurl.com/9zxuz


© Virginia Metze

How Dems can reap the biggest gains from GOP scandals

Democratic Alchemy

Leading analysts -- and Rahm Emanuel -- sound off on how Dems can reap the biggest gains from GOP scandals.

By Greg Sargent
Web Exclusive: 01.12.06
The American Prospect

In recent days, as the Jack Abramoff story has detonated in slow motion across official Washington, Dems have been debating ways of converting the muck of the GOP scandal into political gold. The short-term strategy appears to be twofold: Argue in unison that the GOP is the party of corruption, while aggressively countering GOP efforts to cast the scandal as bipartisan by hammering away at Abramoff’s exclusively Republican donations and spotlighting the GOP-built K Street Project machine.

A few polls suggest this early strategy is yielding short-term results. But it nonetheless begs a big question: Can Dems really expect this argument to translate into the lasting gains they’re hoping for? Or should they be trying to formulate a strategy that goes beyond merely tarring the GOP as the corrupt party and looks for ways of weaving the mushrooming scandal into larger arguments about the Republican Party’s most conspicuous domestic failings?
[...]

Indeed, after a decade of Dem worshipping at the altar of Clintonian incrementalism, it’s tempting to think that the time is ripe for Dems to make a bigger case, to tell a bigger story, to weave the scandals into an overarching class-based argument. Consider the current political atmosphere. It’s dominated by, among other things, exploding deficits caused by tax cuts for the rich, growing economic insecurity as pension plans are put on the block by even healthy corporations, and even the Sago mining disaster, which has spotlighted Bush’s failure to police the mining industry even as Appalachian mine workers endure hardscrabble and dangerous lives. It’s tempting to imagine that such developments – taken together with the GOP’s failings on health care and energy, and its willingness to hand over to corporate lobbyists the keys to Congressional committee rooms -- might accumulate and reach a kind of tipping point, making both working- and middle-class Americans more receptive to the argument that Republicans have broadly failed them as a class in ways that consistently benefit the wealthy. [...] Read the whole thought-provoking article at the American Prospect web site: http://tinyurl.com/786f7


© Virginia Metze

Alito Confirmation Would Soon Establish Unitary Executive Theory As Law

Alito Confirmation Would Soon Establish Unitary Executive Theory (Fuehrerprinzip) As Law, Then Make Bush Dictator

We can stop this process right now, by not confirming Samuel Alito.
by Rev. Bill McGinnis
January 16, 2006

Wake up, America! It's happening right now, while you are sound asleep! If Samuel Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court, President Bush gets one more vote he needs on the Court to prevent Congress from stopping him as he disregards the anti-Torture and anti-Spying laws already passed.

Using the "signing statement" technique developed earlier by Samuel Alito, Bush has already announced that he has the power to disregard the anti-Torture and anti-Spying laws. Then when Congress goes to the Supreme Court, trying to make him stop, Alito would already be on the Court, waiting to decide the case for Bush. Bush would win, on the grounds that he has the Unitary Executive (Fuehrerprinzip) "inherent powers" in "wartime" to do anything he wants to do, to "protect Americans from harm." [...] Read the rest at the Oped News web page: http://tinyurl.com/an5do


© Virginia Metze

The imperial presidency and Samuel Alito, Jr.

The Green-Dog Democrat
January 15, 2006

Have you heard lately the term "unitary executive" relative to George Bush's imperial presidency and to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, Jr.? Do you know what the term means? Are you straight on how Bush's imperial presidency and Alito relate to the term?

If you're unsure about the answers to any of these questions, this Green Dog and that planned for January 16, 2005 might be helpful.

As Jennifer Van Bergen points out below in her FindLaw's Writ analysis of the Bush imperial presidency, the term "unitary executive" is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power. "The doctrine violates basic tenets of our system of checks and balances, quietly crossing longstanding legal and moral boundaries that are essential to a democratic society," she wrote. [...]

Read more about Alito and presidential powers in this article and two that follow:

The unitary executive: Is the doctrine behind the Bush presidency consistent with a democratic state? and
An imperial presidency based on constitutional quicksand.

Read all three articles on this important topic at http://tinyurl.com/dmu64

There is also a great edition of the Green Dog Democrat newsletter about these topics on January 16. It is at this location: http://tinyurl.com/clchd You can get to an archive of these newsletters at http://tinyurl.com/8ze6t It appears he does not have his own web site ...


© Virginia Metze

The latest Bush mega-catastrophe is now pharmaceuticals

Columns
Harvey Wasserman
January 16, 2006
The Free Press
Speaking Truth to Power
Wed Jan 18 2006 edition

No matter what you think of George W. Bush, he is staking out his claim as a bona fide Horseman of the Apocalypse.

With his Hand of Hell in Iraq already yielding countless dead, $200 billion wasted and a global war against Islam well on its way to Armageddon, Bush has definitively established his ability to wreak unparalleled disaster on a global scale with zero positive outcome.

By drowning New Orleans and turning its alleged rebuilding plan into a sinkhole of corruption and disarray, he has shown he can lay waste to an entire American city.

And now he is visiting disease and death on tens of millions of our elderly and ill with a botched Medicare/Medicaid drug plan that has plunged the nation's pharmacies into total chaos while driving the states even closer to bankruptcy. As you read this, millions of Americans are without medications that may be life-sustaining because of what Bush has done to "improve" their pharmaceutical plan. [...] Read more about the disastrous turn of events in America at
http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/7/2006/1298 or
http://tinyurl.com/b9h24 Also reprinted at TruthOut:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011706O.shtml


© Virginia Metze

Federal Courts and the Growth of Government Power

FINALLY a congressman has noted the fact that Congress can limit jurisdiction of the federal courts!

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk, a weekly column
January 16, 2006

The Senate hearings regarding the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court demonstrated that few in Washington view the Constitution as our founders did. The Constitution first and foremost is a document that limits the power of the federal government. It prevents the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court from doing all kinds of things. But judging by last week's hearings, the Constitution is an enabling document, one that authorizes the federal government to involve itself in nearly every aspect of our lives.

The only controversy, it seems, is whether the current nominee will favor the power of one branch over another, or the preferences of one political party over another. Last week's hearings were purely political, because the role of Supreme Court justices has become increasingly political.

Nearly all of the Senators, witnesses, and Judge Alito himself spoke repeatedly about the importance of respecting Supreme Court precedents. The clear implication is that we must equate Supreme Court decisions with the text of the Constitution itself, giving them equal legal weight. But what if some precedents are bad? Should the American people be forced to live with unpopular judicial "laws" forever? The Constitution itself can be amended; are we to accept that Supreme Court rulings are written in stone?

Also troubling was the apparent consensus among both the Senators and Judge Alito that Congress has no authority to limit federal court jurisdiction by forbidding it to hear certain types of cases. This is completely false: Article III Section 2 of the Constitution plainly grants Congress the authority to limit federal court jurisdiction in many kinds of cases. It is perfectly constitutional for Congress to pass court-stripping legislation to reflect public sentiment against an overreaching Supreme Court. [...] Read the rest at Ron Paul's website: http://tinyurl.com/e3llg Ron Paul is a Republican, but seems like the old time Republicans we agreed with on some issues in the past. Incidentally, there doesn't seem to be a D or R beside a congressman's name on the main list. I could have sworn there used to be.


© Virginia Metze

There is a lot of sentiment, that many Democrats do not really sufficiently oppose the Republican party

There is still a lot of sentiment, especially among progressive Democrats, that many Democrats do not really sufficiently oppose the Republican party. Here is a letter by Josh Mitteldorf (josh at mathforum.org) on the markcrispinmiller blogspot on January 16, 2006.

DINO alert

That's "Democrats In Name Only."

Here is an important email from Josh Mitteldorf, urging that we take a long hard look into the "opposition party," to find out why it's not an opposition party.

MCM

Dear Mark,

The reason our republic is in crisis is not that we have a ruthless, criminal administration in power; it is not that the press is controlled by self-serving corporations; it is not because rampant bribery has overtaken the Congressional agenda; and the massive, devious and sinister program by Repuglicans to subvert democracy is still not adequate explanation for the crisis. The reason our republic is in crisis is that we have no opposition party.

Without proof, I offer the following hypothesis as a possible explanation for softness of the Democrat opposition: the Democratic party is thoroughly infiltrated by well-paid, under-cover agents of the Right.

It is awfully convenient for the junta that controls America that mainstream Dems are not screaming, "Crisis! Crisis!" In abandoning a great mass of disaffected voters on the left to pursue a tiny sliver of swing voters at the ever-shifting right, the Dems have forsaken their majority status. With their silent acquiescence to election theft, they have helped Repuglicans hollow out the foundation on which Democracy is built.

Perhaps the Democratic surrender should not be attributed to stupidity or incompetence. Rather than puzzle about all this behavior that runs dramatically counter to the Democrats' self-interest, we should be asking, In whose interest are these policies being pursued? This line of reason leads to the hypothesis that the Democratic party has been deeply infiltrated. Many of the weak candidates that run and win in Democratic primaries are posing in this role in order to subvert the party; and trusted advisors who are whispering in the ears of top Democratic leaders are double agents, generously funded by the Right to infiltrate and subvert the Democratic strategy machine. [...] Read the rest at http://www.markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/

Incidentally, another interesting article follows this one on the MCM blog: "Say NO to Alito, damn it!"


© Virginia Metze

Cheney accused of corporate fraud

Cheney ran Halliburton oil company for five years

Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 22:22 GMT 23:22 UK

A US pressure group has filed a lawsuit against Vice-President Dick Cheney, accusing him of defrauding shareholders in a company he used to run.

Judicial Watch, based in Washington DC, says Mr Cheney artificially boosted the share price of the Halliburton energy company during the time he was chief executive in the 1990s.
The White House has dismissed the lawsuit as "without merit".

In another development, it has emerged that Mr Cheney took part in a promotional video for the disgraced accounting firm Andersen.
The lawsuit was filed at a court in Dallas, Texas, where Halliburton is based. [...] Read the rest at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2119981.stm


© Virginia Metze

Senator Reid's Not So Subtle Message to Tom DeLay

The interesting things one learns when the going gets tough ...

Posted by Tim Tagaris on January 13, 2006 at 09:31 AM
Democratic Party Web Site

This has always been one of my favorite stories about Senator Harry Reid and I never miss a chance to read more when it becomes available. So this morning, I was quite pleased to see he had an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle:

In 1977, I was appointed chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It was a difficult time for the gaming industry and Las Vegas, which were being overrun by organized crime. To that point in my life, I had served in the Nevada Assembly and even as lieutenant governor, but nothing prepared me for my fight with the mob.

Over the next few years, there would be threats on my life, bribes, FBI stings and even a car bomb placed in my family's station wagon. It was a terrifying experience, but at the end of the day, we cleaned up Las Vegas and ushered in a new era of responsibility.

My term on the gaming commission came to an end in 1981, and when it did, I thought I had seen such corruption for the last time. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. It is not quite the mafia of Las Vegas in the 1970s, but what is happening today in Washington is every bit as corrupt and the consequences for our country have been severe. [...]

If we could kick the mob out of Las Vegas in the 1970s, we can change the culture of Washington and give America a government as good and honest as the people it serves. Read the rest at
http://www.democrats.org/a/2006/01/senator_reids_n.php


© Virginia Metze

Al Gore's brave, patriotic and impassioned speech about the dangerous situation in the USA

Biggest news on Martin Luther King day was Al Gore's brave, patriotic and impassioned speech about the dangerous situation in the country.

AL GORE FINDS THE FIRE IN HIS BELLY

Gore accuses Bush of breaking the law Repeatedly and Persistently

by Allen L Roland, Ph.D
http://www.opednews.com
January 16, 2006

" Bush Broke Law Repeatedly and Persistently ~ This shameful exercise of power overturns a set of principles that our nation has observed since General Washington first enunciated them during our Revolutionary War and has been observed by every president since then - until now . I call upon Democratic and Republican members of Congress today to uphold your oath of office and defend the Constitution. Stop going along to get along. Start acting like the independent and co-equal branch of government you're supposed to be": Al Gore 1/15/06

Al Gore spoke today, on Martin Luther King's birthday, with fire in his belly to a Bi-partisan audience and not only accused Bush of breaking the law repeatedly and persistently ~ but called for a special counsel, Executive Branch whistleblower protection and comprehensive Congressional hearings to immediately investigate Constitutional crimes by the Executive Branch.

Here are excerpts from his speech ~ a speech that was virtually ignored by the major media but instantly picked up by the blogosphere ( courtesy of fellow blogger Brad Friedman http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002288.htm ) [...] See the excerpts here: http://tinyurl.com/ad5xf


© Virginia Metze

Post-Scandal Cleanup

Abramoff scandal grows and grows and grows ... and Republicans in panic try to blame Democrats. Chairman Howard Dean has made it clear that Democrats did NOT take money from him though they also took money from Indian Tribes (but independently of Abramoff).

The Democrats.org web site features an editorial by Clarence Page about the Abramoff scandal:

"Post-Scandal Cleanup"
Chicago Tribune
By Clarence Page
January 12, 2006

"It's not healthy to blow your favorite evening beverage through your nostrils. But that's how surprised I was to hear National Democratic Chairman Howard Dean deny that any Democrats took money from Jack Abramoff.

"Unless you've been on the moon for a while, you probably have heard that Abramoff is a formerly well-connected Republican who has pleaded guilty to federal charges tied to his lobbying operations. Right-wing bloggers and others pounced on Dean and flailed away, since a number of Democratic senators and congressmen already have given Abramoff-associated money to charity. How, then, could Dean say otherwise? Right?

"But I checked it out and, guess what? Dean was right." [...] Read the rest at
http://www.democrats.org/a/2006/01/must_read_a_rep.php


© Virginia Metze

Al Gore: Illegal Spying On Americans "A Threat To The Very Structure Of Our Government"

Associated Press | LARRY MARGASAK | Posted January 16, 2006 01:53 PM

Huffington Post

Former Vice President Al Gore asserted Monday that President Bush "repeatedly and persistently" broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant and called for a federal investigation of the practice.

Speaking on Martin Luther King Jr.'s national holiday, the man who lost the 2000 presidential election to Bush only after a ruling by the Supreme Court on a recount in Florida, called Bush's warrantless surveillance program "a threat to the very structure of our government." Gore charged that the program has ignored the checks and balances of the courts and Congress. [...] To read the rest, follow link at the end of http://tinyurl.com/d2egu

Among the places you can find the full text of Gore's speech is
http://tinyurl.com/akhgc


© Virginia Metze

A CHALLENGE THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED

http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/3969/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

The Real DC Scandal: it's the leviathan state

says Ron Paul.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul299.html

Does New Cyberstalking Law Criminalize Free Expression?

http://www.lewrockwell.com/mcelroy/mcelroy104.html

Evidence of a Stolen Election

Paul Craig Roberts on Fooled Again, by Mark Crispin Miller.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts140.html

On a prisoner of conscience in the military gulag

http://www.lewrockwell.com/kwiatkowski/kwiatkowski139.html

Amtrak Antics

http://www.lewrockwell.com/akers/akers27.html

CONGRESSIONAL AGENCY QUESTIONS LEGALITY OF WIRETAPS

http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/3970/

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news
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