19
Jun
2004

Global water tax

First it was no more counties, everything "state" operated, here in Oregon starting in the 60's.... then there was all the "interstate" jurisdictions created beyond state boundaries, "regions", "zones", "areas", "districts", " 21 Century Communities", on and on....NOW THE INTERNATIONAL COURT IS BRINGING WHAT USED TO BE "COUNTRIES" BUT ARE NOW "COPORATE STATES" INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THE GLOBAL RULES .... NO CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS IN IT, TOTALLY STATUTORY...

Already they use water to steal homes, destroy lives, arbitrarily add taxes to water bills, then shut off services to the poor... who then lose their children for failure to provide basic needs.... it is all so horrendous and the poor have NO remedy in any known public assistance.... "no wrong door" they call it so that no matter who you turn to for help they are a mandatory reporter who WILL turn you in for any "rule violation"... doctors taking your drivers license now through DMV - THERE IS NO APPEAL PEOPLE.... IT IS A CUT AND DRY BUSINESS GOING ON IN THERE - YOU PAY OR YOU PAY SOME OTHER WAY.....

ON OUR WEBSITE UNDER GLOBAL AGENDA SEE THE MAP FOR THE UN BIODIOVERSITY AND WHAT THEY HAVE PLANNED FOR US... PUT KEY WORDS INTO THE SEARCH ENGINE AND REAL MORE ABOUT THIS, ALL HAPPENING NOW, AND THE REAL REASON BEHIND ALL THE OUTRAGEOUS THINGS GOING ON IN COURTS.... THE COURT IS WHERE THIS IS ENFORCED, WHERE THE TICKET YOU GET TURNS IN TO YOUR RENDERING ON THE KILLING FLOOR, SOON THE BEHEADINGS WILL BE RIGHT HERE IN OUR OWN COURTS, WITH JUDGES CREATING "TORTURE WARRANTS" AND "EXECUTIONS ON THE SPOT" WITH "THE EXTRA JUDICIAL SOLUTION", GUN SHIPS FROM HELICOPTERS BLASTING ANYTHING THE STATE TARGETS.....

IF WE DONT START SAYING NO NO AND NO TO EVERY BIT OF THIS, AND THESE AGENTS START MEETING UP WITH SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO DEFEND OURSELVES, WE WILL NOT STAND AGAINST IT AT ANY LATER TIME. THE TIME IS NOW TO ACT.

FULL DISCLOSURE NOW. TRUTH IN COURTROOMS NOW. CONSTITUTIONAL JUDICIAL DUE PROCESS... WE ARE THE AUTHORITY, ONLY IF WE ACT LIKE IT IN THAT COURTROOM AND HELP EACH OTHER...

pamela gaston
//www.avoiceforchildren.com


The Rumor Mill News Reading Room
//www.rumormillnews.com

YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET! ...CHECK THIS OUT!
Posted By: CliffMickelson
Date: Friday, 18 June 2004, 6:42 a.m.
In Response To: GOVERNMENT METERING PRIVATE WELLS (PRAVDASEEKER)

Greetings, Pravdaseeker:

The slow and methodical water grab by the government has been underway in the Western United States since the 1940s. If you thought what Mulholland and the L.A Metropolitan water district did to the Owens Valley was bad, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Do a google search on the Methow Valley, here in Washington State. You will find a naked and vicious water grab by the government bureaucracy and their allied environmental comrades that will knock you off your feet!

And....this is just ONE example among thousands of similar cases. Here in the Tampico WA area, our farmers, ranchers, and landowners in general, just recently lost their existing water rights to the State Dept. of Ecology. Some of the water rights that were taken away (stolen) have been on the books since before 1856. I have a close friend who lives about five miles down the road from me. His family settled here in 1870 and have lived here ever since. They have a small spring in their front yard. They have irrigated their garden with it for 150 years. As part of the recent water rights rip-off. They were served with an injunction by the department of Ecology and threatened with arrest if the Ecology department finds that they ever use the spring again.

Here in the Pacific northwest, you can be thrown in jail for using your private well to grow and sell anything other than fodder for sheep or horses. One must buy a special permit for a well that is any larger than 6 inches in diameter... This permit costs $1,000 dollars. You must pay for the permit first, and then wait to receive it. The current wait to receive a permit to drill a hole in the ground any larger than 6 inches in diameter is 10 years!

So, it is only a matter of time before all wells are metered and you are charged for the water you use. Of course the fact that you paid to drill the well and you paid to install the pump and the pipe and the State didn't pay squat to help you with those expenses, has no bearing on the issue. You will be metered and you WILL pay. The servants who will be our masters, have ordained it!

Now, I believe that it is not all that far fetched to consider this:… After everyone's wells are successfully metered, and everyone is paying the government for the privilege of a drink of water. What could possibly be next?

Well, I will tell you what comes next......
You and I will be metered for the amount of air we breath each day! Sound far fetched? So did meters on private wells, just a few years ago. Oxygen consumption meters will be worn someday by your children. And...They will pay! Just wait and see!


Rumor Mill News Reading Room Archive
CONTROL WATER-CONTROL PEOPLE-WORLD BANK WTR POLICY
Posted By: Rayelan
Date: Friday, 14 July 2000, 4:04 a.m.
==============RUMOR MILL NEWS AGENCY===========
Rayelan Allan, Publisher

In 1993, the World Bank published a Policy Paper, titled, "Water Resources Management." The intent of the water management laid out in the Policy Paper, is to gain control of humanity by gaining control of the water.

The following Analysis of the World Bank's Policy Paper was written by a friend of Rumor Mill News. This is the first time it has been released on the Internet. It was scanned, using an OCR program. It has been proofed many times. Hopefully, all the mistakes were caught.

This is an extremely important article -- please send it far and wide.

Rayelan


An Analysis of THE WORLD BANK* WATER POLICY
*(International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) which was originally set up to rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War II.

Why does the World Bank have its hands in everybody's business and personal life around the world?

Remember George Orwell's warning when reading any document: "You can read people's intentions by their use of the language. If the words are so long and fuzzy that we cannot understand what is being said, or if we can surmise that they are saying nothing at all . .
. . . we can be fairly sum the speaker is trying to swindle us!"

Well folks. . the international elitists are calling for what they say is a new approach to how they manage your water. In fact their plan calls for managing your water, your land, and you!

The WORLD BANK "claims" that their overall objective is to reduce poverty. Now that's very interesting. Why is the WORLD BANK involved in "social engineering"?

In fact, all of the WORLD BANK programs are involved in redistribution of land, resources and wealth! It would appear that the wonderful folks at the WORLD BANK are ignoring the truism -- "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day ... teach him how to fish and he will learn to feed himself."

Of course if their real objective is to starve all of us, they're on the right track to: Land starvation, Resources starvation, and Wealth starvation!

Who does the WORLD BANK blame for all this poverty and starvation? Why, all the current governments of course. The WORLD BANK specifically points out the total mismanagement of water by all the governments. Explaining of course that the BANK is destined to be the savior of the water. . All the water ... Everywhere!

The WORLD BANK will use "Estimated Opportunity Costs"(EOC)* to set the price for water!

*The WORLD BANK defines EOC as"the value of goods or services forgone, including goods and services, when a scarce resource is used for one purpose instead of for its next best alternative use".

How's that for a mouthful of fuzzy words? .... Heed George Orwell's warning!

The WORLD BANK "claims" that all the current. governments have the following faults:
1 . Mis-allocate and waste water. [page 9]
2. Permit damage to the environment due to weak and distorted policies.
3. Neglect financial accountability. [page27]
4. Neglect user participation.
5. Charge too low a price for water. (They aren't charging for "Estimated Opportunity Costs.")
6. Ineffective delivery of water to users, especially the poor.
[page 12]
7. Operate under centralized structure.

The WORLD BANK then makes the following proclamations:
1 . Water is essential for life. (Now here's a bold statement of the obvious!)
2. Water has an Economic Value and is recognized as an Economic Good. (p. 24]
3. Water is a scarce natural resource. [page 21] (I believe the old saying is: "Figures don't lie but LIARS figure." i.e. using half truths.)

Get ready for all kind of "fees" regarding water ...Especially since the WORLD BANK will be certain to charge a "high enough proper" price for water. (And you thought Perrier was expensive!).

1. SOCIAL FEES: Those who have worked hard to better themselves will have to come up with subsidies for the poor. [pages 15, 72]
2 BENEFIT TAXES: If you receive any benefit whatsoever from your land, you will be taxed on that "benefit." [page 85]
3. POLLUTION CHARGES: You will be charged a pollution tax for any pollution on your land. [page 16] [The poop left by your pet on your land is going to cost you big time!]

The WORLD BANK wants to terminate, (with extreme prejudice), the federal structure in all countries. The WORLD BANK will not permit sovereign states within a "Federal Structure" to have any authority over the water. The WORLD BANK plans to do this by replacing all country and state political boundaries with geographical RIVER BASINS BOUNDARIES. [page 28,71]

The WORLD BANK plan calls for the transfer by contract of all water jurisdiction by governments to Private Corporations and "User Associations" These corporations and user associations will of course be mandated to meet all WORLD BANK regulations and prohibitions. [page 11]

[These "Private" entities will operate at the River Basin level. States will NOT have any control. Please note that a "river basin" includes all surface and underground water flowing into a common area. They simply march from the wetlands, up the river, up the streams, to the headwaters which are typically runoff or springs.

This includes any water in the ground along the way, and any land which would allow water to run into the river basin "area". By the way, the WORLD BANK requires an environmental impact and assessment of the entire river basin system. The "river basin" organizations will be assisted by the Global Environmental Facility in collaboration with UNDP, the United Nations Development Program.] [page 14,19]

These WORLD BANK contracts will comply with each country's national objectives which are of course the objectives of the WORLD BANK. The WORLD BANK "objectives" are stipulated in the water project loan agreements for country. The WORLD BANK water projects loans clearly spell out that--"In acceptance of the monies of the WORLD BANK, the countries MUST participate in the international initiatives": i.e. United Nation's Conventions, Treaties, Agreements, and they MUST implement the WORLD BANK Policies on WATER and LAND USE!!!!!! [page 13]

The WORLD BANK Water Resources Management Program is structured similar to a Medieval Feudal system. The WORLD BANK is at the top of the pyramid as the Lord and Master dictating how the water will be used through "Demand Management."

Demand Management consists of:
1. Price-based incentives to enforce low water usage. (How's that for a fancy way to say raise the price to whatever level it takes to achieve the WORLD BANK goals.)
2. Water Rationing.
3. Water restrictions on specific usage. (Determined by the WORLD BANK of course).

Beijing, China is given as an example:
1. Quotas on water consumption
2. Fines on excessive water use
As outrageous as the following may sound, it is a quote by David Rockefeller: "Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high moral and community of purpose. The SOCIAL EXPERIMENT in China under Chairman Mao's leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history." [Quote after visiting Mao Tse-Tung. . . ."From a China Traveler," New York Times August 10, 1973]. Please read David Rockefeller's quote once more just to get a glimpse into the distorted mind of a true elitist. One wonders how the dead or jailed victims of Tiananmen Square would evaluate Chairman Mao's Social Experiment?

The Framework for the WORLD BANK Water Resource Management is consistent with two documents.
1. The 1992 Dublin, Ireland statement from the International Conference on Water and the Environment (UN). [page 10]
This insidious but "friendly sounding" document has four guiding
principles:
A. The Holistic approach tying social and economic development with Protection of Natural Ecosystems including Land and Water LINKAGES across catchment areas or groundwater aquifers.
B. Use of a "participatory approach" with users, planners, and policy-makers input. (Please be aware that they are talking about the "consensus" method where the final decision has already been decided by the "facilitator" and the participants only function is to be led by the facilitator to say yes to the pre-determined "decision")
C. The women in each community are to be given the "responsibility" for providing, managing, and safeguarding the water according to the WORLD BANK policy. [page 16]
[The WORLD BANK is using the "empowerment of women" as their carrot on a stick to entice the women of the world to go along with the WORLD BANK scheme. The WORLD BANK is using the standard Sun Tzu tactic of "divide and conquer." This can be seen in many areas where a wedge is being driven between men and women]
D. Water has an economic value and is an economic good. [How much water would you use at $ 1.00 per gallon?] .... and if that's not high enough to reduce your total water usage, the WORLD BANK will raise the price to what ever it takes to reduce your water usage to their preset level of 40 liters/person/day. That's 10.57 gallons/person/day for ALL water usage. (from Agenda 21, "Fresh Water") "Full cost recovery" is mandated by the WORLD BANK to properly compensate the "Water Agencies"
2. AGENDA 21 from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit 11) is using the guiding principle of Demand Management to control the use and distribution of water by: The use of Price, Volume Restrictions, and (Invasive) Regulations.

The WORLD BANK supports land use policies that restore and "protect" the quality of ground water, E.D.I., the Economic Development Institute division of the WORLD BANK, will train and supply the planners, managers, technicians, and country policy analysis. This of course means that "Resettlement of People" will be required. [page 17] [Although the WORLD BANK tries to soft peddle this feature of their plan, it is occurring around the globe.]

The WORLD BANK works with the following U.N. Organizations (page 22] UNDP The UN Development Program.


RE: Water Resource Management
FAO Thee Food & Agricultural Organization.
RE: Sustainable Agriculture
WHO The World Health Organization
RE: Quality of Water
UNICF The UN International Children's Fund.
RE: Rural Communities
WMO The World Meteorological Organization.
RE: Hydro Assessment
UNESCO The UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Org
RE: Protected Land
UNEP The UN Environmental Program
RE: Protected Ecosystems
UNDESD The UN Dept. of Economic & Social Development
RE: Its Science, Technology, Energy,
Environment, and Natural Resources Division formulates policies
and projects including RURAL WATER SUPPLY, RIVER
BASINS, POLLUTION CONTROL, and hosts the Intersecretariat
Group for water resources.
The largest users of water ----
Agriculture 69% (Worldwide) [page 26]
Agriculture 80% (Third World Countries)
Industry 23%
Household 8%

The WORLD BANK states that Agriculture uses too much water. They also claim that cattle (in fact all gazing animals), are the leading cause of desertification. i.e. turning the land into a desert! [Now this is the largest load of cow pie I've heard in a long time. The "cubicle freaks" who live in the dark bowels of the WORLD BANK and come up with nonsense like this have obviously never been past the city limits. Cow manure is fertilizer. The land grows better with fertilizer. People in the city are more than happy to bring home several bags of this "fertilizer" for their home lawns, flower & vegetable gardens.]

The WORLD BANK claims that farmers & ranchers do not pay enough for water. The most water intensive crops are alfalfa, rice, sugarcane, and corn for silage (livestock feed). [page 301]

The WORLD BANK feels that farmers & ranchers should be charged 300% to 500% more! In addition, the WORLD BANK states that when water is diverted upstream for irrigation and other uses, downstream areas that support "sensitive water dependent ecosystems, including wetlands, become less able to fulfill these valuable biodiversity functions. [page 34]
[That's right folks, all you humans are in the way of the grand plan of the WORLD BANK]

The WORLD BANK calls for the DE-CENTRALIZATION of water management. They claim that the problem is that each different water use is managed by a separate department i.e. irrigation, municipal, power & transportation. Then, in classic "fuzzy" worded language, they call for ecological, social, and economic water system policy & regulations to be dictated by the WORLD BANK. [page 27] [Gee, that sure sounds like centralized management to me!]

The WORLD BANK claims that it is difficult to solve water problems when state or local governments have authority over the water. [page 28] [Those darn constitutional folks are always getting in the way of a tyrant on the march.]

The WORLD BANK feels it would be a lot easier to achieve its goals if a national water agency following the WORLD BANK plan were to run the water policy through lower levels of government, community organizations, private sector units and NGO's. [page 28,30]

I know its hard to wade through the fuzzy language but here we go again.... [page 42]

Per the WORLD BANK; within a decentralized central system, adequate charges ($) would endow the WORLD BANK water entities with operational and financial ($) independence. [It's real easy folks, we pay the water entity for whatever water they will sell us at whatever price they choose. They operate in collaboration with the IUCN with complete impunity.... On January 18, 1996, by Executive Order # 12986, President Clinton gave diplomatic immunity to IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and its umbrella land & water organizations..... CAN YOU SPELL TYRANNY ?]

The WORLD BANK wants Institutional Reform. [page 14, 44] They want to ensure that their rules and regulations are coordinated and ENFORCED! They state that historical private and local water rights need to be brought into compliance. [In other words, the WORLD BANK doesn't believe that you know how to use your water properly].

The WORLD BANK states that the rights to water need to be clearly defined, with due concern shown for the interests of indigenous people, the poor, and other disadvantaged groups. [Now that's more fuzzy, snake-tongue talk. Our wonderful Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbett tried to buy the water rights of the Ute Indian Nation for $272 Million! Fortunately the Indians learned their lesson after the beads-for-land-deal. The Ute Indians just said NO!]

The WORLD BANK then goes on to say that they need to be in charge of the water because otherwise, bad people might try to form a water monopoly! [And exactly what would you call what the WORLD BANK is trying to do .... ?] Then the WORLD BANK goes on to repeat that the "River Basin Organizations" need to have "dictatorial" water policy power!

The WORLD BANK points to the French Water System which has been in place for 25 years. There are 6 river basin financial agencies which collect fees, implement policy, and make grants and loans. The 1st fee is based on the amount of water use . The 2nd fee is based on the level of pollution at each point source. The regulation & enforcement is done by National Ministries. [page 46] [This is supposed to be an example of de-centralization???]

Water is rated according to its "usage value". [Page 31, 48] Highest Value Water Usage: Wetlands, Ecosystems, River Fisheries, Deltas [page34] High Value Water Usage: Domestic, Industrial [page 48] Low Value Water Usage: Agriculture [page 31]

Of course the WORLD BANK determines what is high or low value water usage. In order to save water for the wetlands, the WORLD BANK suggests that people, [just us common folks of course], drink processed toilet & sewer water. The WORLD BANK euphemistically refers to this activity as "water reuse in various economic activities." [page73]

The WORLD BANK states that they have increased their focus on issues such as poverty alleviation, resettlement, and women's roles in development. [page 131] [This sure is a massive departure from their initial stated role as rebuilder of war damaged Europe. Again, their actual name is INTERNATIONAL BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT]

The WORLD BANK, using their standard "smoke & mirrors" technique, is promoting women's traditional role in securing water, and their potential role in "educational training" and informed participation in planning development projects. [page 62] [Remember the "retraining" camps in Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, and China.]

On page 121 of the WORLD BANK water policy manual they state that their policy is to be open about its activities. [This is totally inconsistent with their actual policy. One is faced with the no admittance statement "FORBIDDEN" when trying to retrieve the WORLD BANK water policy manual on their internet site. After reading their water policy manual I understand why!]

In order to create the illusion that the local or federal government is in charge of the water, the WORLD BANK Water Policy has a section entitled: "The Case for Government Involvement in Water Management" [Page 28] In regards to River Basins, the WORLD BANK states that 7 "The uses of H2O within a river basin or aquifer are interdependent. Pollution by one user affects others in the basin, especially located downstream. All users of H2O are to agree to the 'rules of the game' (i.e. User Associations). " [At first glance this sounds like it makes sense. i.e. everybody working together to have clean water etc. However, remember that, the WORLD BANK creates the rules. And like the satirical version of the "Golden Rule" motto "He who has the gold, makes the rules."

In this case, "He who has the water makes the rules", and rules your life ... That is unless you've discovered a way to get along without water!]

"If the land owners will not join a User Association, then the government WILL impose REGULATIONS, TAXES, or BOTH. This would improve the social value of H20 resources". In other words, The WORLD BANK will use the government as its POLICE FORCE! (Once again, remember George Orwell's warning)

The following is a quote by Carl Bloice, a close friend of Mikhail Gorbachev, and a leading U.S. Communist. He was the Associate Editor and Moscow correspondent for the People's Daily World. "The Environmental Movement promises to bring greater numbers into our orbit than the 'Peace Movement' ever did."

To obtain a copy of the insidious World Bank Water Policy: The World Bank"Water Policy Paper" 1993 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development /THE WORLD BANK, 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20433 U.S.A. , First printing September 1993 Third printing August 1995, Library of Congress, Cataloging-in-Publication Data ISBN 0-8213-2636-8ISSN 1014-8124


Informant: Allan

CHURCH & STATE

//www.thestranger.com/2004-06-10/feature2.html


Informant: Two Braids

Detention, treatment and trial of alleged terrorists

06/12/04

The photographs of torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison have shocked the world. They shocked you as well, as you clearly expressed by saying, 'Such practices do not reflect our values.' I agree. Such practices appear to be more widespread than one prison in Iraq, however. Prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay have also told stories of torture, deprivation, and humiliation to which no human being should ever be subjected, certainly not at the hands of the United States, the world's moral leader. And more horrific accounts surface every day...

//www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle275-20040613-08.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Forgive me, I was wrong on Iraq

Bishop Tom Frame supported the invasion. Now he seeks God's forgiveness...

//www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/06/17/1087245036392.html?from=storyrhs


From Information Clearing House

Breaking The Silence

A hard hitting special report into the "war on terror"

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/pilger_breaking_the_silence_35mb.htm

Creeping fascism

It is just one lie after another, one cover-up after another, one egregious tromping of our Constitution after another, and yet almost half the population supports the Bush Regime...

//www.onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/061804Wolf/061804wolf.html


From Information Clearing House

Hypocrisy

The biggest single problem the federal government has is its hypocrisy. It talks one way and acts another. It talks of spreading democracy while supporting dictators; it blathers about human rights while violating them; and it claims to promote the rule of law while scoffing at laws it considers inconvenient...

//reese.king-online.com/Reese_20040618/index.php


From Information Clearing House

Blood of Victory

George W. Bush has accomplished exactly what he set out to do in launching his aggression: the installation -- of a client state in Iraq, led by a strongman who will facilitate the Bush Regime's long-term (and long-declared) strategic goal of establishing a permanent military "footprint" in the key oil state, while also guaranteeing the short-term goal of opening the country to exploitation by Bush cronies and favored foreign interests...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6336.htm

The big lie

What jumped out at me was that the war had little to do with weapons of mass destruction and almost nothing to do with al-Qaeda. We were on the cusp of waging an unjustified war on the basis of a preposterous lie. Blair and Howard knowingly recycled the US's case for invading Iraq so as to stay in step with Bush. They understood the broader US agenda and were sympathetic to much of it...

//www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/18/1087245110240.html?oneclick=true


From Information Clearing House

Cheney, Still Without Proof Of A Saddam-Al Qaeda Connection, Blames The Media

He goes further and reintroduces the red herring that it was possible that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. And he did this last night, like a drunk who can’t quit the bottle...

//www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/002078.html


From Information Clearing House

Pressure at Iraqi prison detailed

The officer who oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad testified that he was under intense "pressure" from the White House, Pentagon and CIA last fall to get better information from detainees, pressure that he said included a visit to the prison by an aide to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6338.htm

George Orwell... meet Franz Kafka

His classic novel of totalitarianism, George Orwell created "Room 101," an interrogation room where a prisoner's deepest fears were to be realized and applied. Tier 1 in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, as the now-infamous photos indicate, was the Bush administration's Room 101 for the "Arab mind"...

//www.nationinstitute.org/tomdispatch/index.mhtml?pid=1494


From Information Clearing House

So Torture Is Legal?

To understand the magnitude of what may have gone on in America's secret prisons, you don't need special security clearance or inside information. Anyone who wants to connect the dots can do it. To see what I mean, review the content of a few items now easily found on the Internet...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6331.htm

Legal scholars say condoning abuse could be impeachable offense

More than 400 legal scholars from across the country urged Congress Wednesday to consider impeaching President Bush and any high-level administration officials who approved the Iraqi prisoner abuses...

//www.projo.com/ap/ne/1087423808.htm


From Information Clearing House

Torture Policy

SLOWLY, AND IN spite of systematic stonewalling by the Bush administration, it is becoming clearer why a group of military guards at Abu Ghraib prison tortured Iraqis in the ways depicted in those infamous photographs. President Bush and his spokesmen shamefully cling to the myth that the guards were rogues acting on their own...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6333.htm

Report savages Bush's claim on terror links

The Bush Administration's credibility was dealt a devastating blow yesterday when the commission investigating the attacks of September 11, 2001, said there was no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had assisted al Qaeda...

//www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3573289&thesection=news&thesubsection=world


From Information Clearing House

The strange, sad death of the American way

Would Americans ordinarily tolerate a president who lies and exaggerates? A leader who uses fear to manipulate his people to his own ends? A president whose staff blow the deep cover of a CIA agent as political payback? A president whose Administration channels billions of dollars to crony corporations on false pretexts? A president who deems torture acceptable?...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6335.htm


From Information Clearing House

US TROOPS ADMIT SHOOTING IRAQI CIVILIANS

US Troops Admit Shooting Iraqi Civilians: American troops today admitted they routinely gun down Iraqi civilians - some of whom are entirely innocent. As distrust of the invading forces increases amongst the local population US soldiers said they have killed civilians without hesitation, shot injured opponents and abandoned them to die in agony...

//tinyurl.com/er7l


From Information Clearing House

Declarations of Independence

Since the reign of King George III, resistance has been our legacy—and to this day still is...

//villagevoice.com/issues/0424/hentoff.php


From Information Clearing House

Spying in America: How the Pentagon is Overcoming Privacy Laws to Spy At Home

A new provision buried in an intelligence appropriations bill moving through Congress would exempt Pentagon agencies from the Privacy Act, vastly expanding their ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants...

//www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/15/1410250


From Information Clearing House

This won't hurt much

Mr Rumsfeld's memo goes on: "a defendant is guilty of torture only if he acts with the express purpose of inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person within his control". Couldn't be clearer. If your intention is to extract information, you cannot be accused of torture...

//www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1239824,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Interrogator Instructed Prison Guards

A civilian interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison last fall admitted in a signed statement that he told Army reserve guards what to do, and he outlined intelligence-gathering protocols that may have violated Army regulations...

//www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/signal/iraq/sg061604a.htm


From Information Clearing House

Auditor describes waste, cost overruns in Iraq contracts

The Halliburton subsidiary KBR has so far received $4.5 billion for activities in Iraq and Kuwait. The company, based in Houston, has received more than $3 billion more to import fuel and repair oil fields. "We saw very little concern for cost considerations," Walker said...

//seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/177986_rebuild16.html


From Information Clearing House

The Truth About Cheney

Vice President Cheney's wild and wacky misadventures with the truth continue, much to the consternation of everyone who values transparency and accountability in government. What will it take for him to come clean?...

//www.americanfamilyvoices.org/projects/DailyRealityCheck.asp?ID=164


From Information Clearing House

Critics take aim at secret court

With legislation now pending in both houses of Congress to give the court more authority, some lawmakers and civil rights groups also want more accountability, openness and congressional oversight of the surveillance authorizations, considered a basic tool of national security...

//www.sltrib.com/2004/Jun/06132004/utah/175008.asp


From Information Clearing House

Crossing the threshold

While we’re all fretting over the Patriot Act, John Ashcroft’s Justice Department is after much bigger game...

//www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/03650087.asp


From Information Clearing House

Two decades after 1984, Big Brother finally is watching

WHILE YOU were watching President Ronald W. Reagan’s caisson wend its way up Constitution Avenue to the Capitol Rotunda on your television screen, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson was watching you on his screen...

//www.theunionleader.com/articles_showfast.html?article=39195


From Information Clearing House

Cheney's Multi-Million Dollar Revolving Door

As Bush Sr.'s secretary of defense, Dick Cheney steered millions of dollars in government business to a private military contractor -- whose parent company just happened to give him a high-paying job after he left the government...

//www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2000/08/cheney.html


From Information Clearing House

Congress inquiry links Cheney aide to Halliburton deal

Fresh concern has been raised that the American vice-president, Dick Cheney, may have played a role in the decision to award his former company Halliburton a $7bn contract for work in postwar Iraq...

//www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1239065,00.html


From Information Clearing House

A Temporary Coup

Author Thomas Powers says the White House's corruption of intelligence has caused the greatest foreign policy catastrophe in modern U.S. history - and sparked a civil war with the nation's intel agencies...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6326.htm

Torture, War, and Presidential Powers

War has been used by presidents to excuse the imprisonment of American citizens of Japanese descent, to silence speech, to suspend habeas corpus, and even to control entire private industries...

//www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2004/tst061404.htm


From Information Clearing House

Abu Ghraib General Says She's Scapegoat

The American general who was in charge of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison said she was being made a scapegoat for the abuse of detainees and claimed her counterpart at Guantanamo Bay once told her that prisoners were ``like dogs.''...

//www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4206137,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Tout Torture, Get Promoted

Defending cruelty can be a career booster in Bush's administration.

What a revelation to learn that the Justice Department lawyer who wrote the infamous memo in effect defending torture is now a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge. It tells you all you need to know about the sort of conservative to whom George W. Bush is turning in his attempt to pack the federal courts...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6324.htm

Accused contractor at Abu Ghraib says he told guards what to do

//tinyurl.com/37lbh

From Information Clearing House

Chemtrail-Internet-Foren - Links zum Thema Chemtrails

//ecolog.twoday.net/stories/244758/

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD CALLS FOR PROSECUTION OF PRESIDENT BUSH FOR ROLE IN TORTURE

2003 State of the Union Address Contained Implicit Admission

New York, June 18, 2004--The National Lawyers Guild calls for the prosecution of President George W. Bush with a "command responsibility" theory of liability under the War Crimes Act. Bush can be prosecuted under the War Crimes Act or the Torture Statute, if he knew or should have known about the U.S. military's use of torture and failed to stop or prevent it.

A comment in the President's January 2003 State of the Union Address contained an implicit admission by Bush that he had sanctioned the summary execution of many when he said: "All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries, and many others have met a different fate." "Let's put it this way," he continued, "they are no longer a problem for the United States and our friends and allies."

The Defense Department and the Justice Department each commissioned documents attempting to justify the use of torture under the President's war-making power, notwithstanding the Constitution's clear mandate that only Congress can make the laws.

The Defense Department memo said that as commander-in-chief, the President has a "constitutionally superior position" to Congress. This blatant disregard for the tripartite Separation of Powers doctrine is also contrary to the landmark ruling in the Korean War case, Youngstown Sheet & Tire Co. v. Sawyers, in which the Supreme Court held, "In the framework of our Constitution, the President's power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker."

The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was ratified by the United States and is thus part of the supreme law of the land. Congress implemented U.S. obligations under this treaty by enacting the Torture Statute, which provides 20 years, life in prison, or even the death penalty if death results from torture committed by a U.S. citizen abroad. The USA PATRIOT Act added the crime of conspiracy to commit torture to the Torture Statute. The Convention Against Torture prohibits the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering on a person to (a) obtain a confession, (b) punish him or (c) intimidate or coerce him based on discrimination of any kind. To violate this treaty, the pain or suffering must be inflicted "by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

The Istanbul Protocol of 9 August 1999 is the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. It sets forth international guidelines for the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Included in the Protocol's list of torture methods are rape, blunt trauma, forced positioning, asphyxiation, crush injuries, humiliations, death threats, forced engagement in practices violative of religion, and threat of attacks by dogs. The photographs and reports from prisoners in Abu Ghraib include all of these techniques. Moreover, the Defense Department analysis maintained that a torturer could get off it he acted in "good faith," not thinking his actions would result in severe mental harm. If the torturer based his conduct on the advice of these memos, he could according to this argument, have acted in good faith.

Referring to the 9/11 Commission's preliminary reports issued this week, National Lawyers Guild President Michael Avery said: "The Justice Department memorandum reads like a pre-trial brief on behalf of the Nazi defendants in the Nuremberg trial. It's rife with justification after justification for the use of torture."

Bush implicitly admitted sanctioning willful killing, torture and/or inhuman treatment in his 2003 State of the Union Address. The Constitution mandates the impeachment of a President for high crimes and misdemeanors. There is no higher crime than a war crime. Willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, which are considered war crimes under The War Crimes Act of 1996.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, comprises over 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters. Guild members provide legal support to progressive demonstrations throughout the country, and well understand the nationwide trend toward increasingly repressive measures deployed against political protesters.

Contact: Michael Avery, President, 617-573-8551
Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, 212-679-5100, ext. 11


Informant: aaron

Big Win on Tongass Amendment

June 17, 2004

Good Vote on NFMA, House Still to Vote on Yellowstone

Last night, the House of Representatives voted on the Tongass Forest Road Subsidy and the Forest Wildlife Conservation amendments to the Fiscal Year 2005 Interior Appropriations Bill. The House is still to vote on the Yellowstone amendment today. Thanks to everyone who made calls and sent faxes this week, they really paid off! Also, if you have a moment today please do make a call to your Representative at 202-224-3121 (the Capitol Switchboard) to thank them or express your disappointment in their vote on the Tongass and Forest Wildlife Conservation (NFMA) amendments and urge them to VOTE YES on the Yellowstone amendment.

The Tongass Subsidy Amendment

In a spectacular win for the Tongass National Forest, the House of Representatives voted to limit logging road subsidies on the Tongass!

The amendment passed 222 to 205. Due to the strong leadership of Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Robert Andrews (D-NJ), the House sent a strong signal to the Bush Administration Forest Service that building logging roads in America's rainforest at enormous ecological and taxpayer expense is not acceptable. In December 2003, the Bush Administration exempted the Tongass National Forest from receiving roadless area protection under the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Currently, the Forest Service is moving forward with nearly 50 logging projects in roadless areas of the Tongass that prior to December 2003 were protected from commercial logging. To find out how your Representative voted please go to:

//clerk.house.gov/evs/2004/roll253.xml

Please call your Representative and thank them if they voted to limit logging road subsidies on the Tongass National Forest and express your disappointment if they voted against.

Forest Wildlife Conservation Amendment

Yesterday, the House of Representatives also voted on Representative Tom Udall's (D-NM) Forest Wildlife Conservation (NFMA) amendment. The amendment would have limited Forest Service funds to go toward implementing the Bush administration's damaging National Forest Management Act regulations. The administration's anticipated regulations weaken wildlife protections, undermine public involvement, ignore science, and play favorites with special interests. The amendment failed 195 - 230. To find out how your Representative voted go to:

//clerk.house.gov/evs/2004/roll254.xml

Please call your Representative and thank them if they voted for the Forest and Wildlife Conservation amendment and express your disappointment if they voted against.

Yellowstone Amendment

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on an amendment offered by Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Tim Johnson (R-IL) to ensure the timely phase-out of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park.
Please call your Representative at 202-224-3121 (the Capitol Switchboard) and ask them to: Vote YES on the Shays/Rahall/Holt/Johnson YELLOWSTONE AMENDMENT to protect the health of America's first National Park, its wildlife, employees and guests, by continuing to phase-out snowmobiles use inside Yellowstone.

Talking Points:

· Americans overwhelmingly support protecting Yellowstone by replacing snowmobile use with snowcoaches. The National Park Service has received half a million comments - the greatest outpouring of public comment on a national park issue in American history. By a 4-to-1 margin, Americans have urged the Park Service to phase out snowmobile use from Yellowstone and its sister park, Grand Teton.

· Studies conducted independently by both the National Park Service and the EPA in 2000 and again last year concluded that ending snowmobile use within the park would protect Yellowstone, its employees and visitors best. Yellowstone needs congressional leadership not another study. It is time to act upon what is best for the park, not delay the decision with yet another study.

Lisa Dix
National Forest Program Director
American Lands Alliance
ldix@americanlands.org
Ph: 202-547-9105; Fax: 202-547-9213


Informant: STRIDER

The Power of People's Media

Unabashedly progressive and fiercely independent media outlets reach more people than Rupert Murdoch's Fox Network.

While Big Media are "simply in the business of selling products, the people's media reach more people than FOX does.

Democratic reformer Henry Adams, who decried the decline in democracy as the robber barons rose to power in the nineteenth century, did not mince words about the failure of the news media of his day: "The press is the hired agent of a monied system," he wrote, "and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved."

Imagine the verbal scorching Henry would give to today's media barons, who are not merely hired agents of monied interests they have become the interests, fully corporatized, conglomerated and well-practiced in the art of journalistic lying to perpetuate the power and profits of the elites.

A handful of self-serving corporate fiefdoms now controls practically all of America's mass-market sources of news and information. GE now owns NBC, Disney owns ABC, Viacom owns CBS, News Corp. owns Fox, and Time Warner owns CNN; these five have a lock on TV news. Of the 1,500 daily newspapers, only 281 are independently owned -- three companies control 25 percent of the daily news circulated in the entire world.

These aloof giants openly assert that meeting their own profit needs is the media's reason for existence -- as opposed to meeting the larger public's need for a vigorous, democratic discourse. Lowry Mays, honcho of Clear Channel Inc. (which owns more than 1,200 radio stations -- a third of all the stations in America), opines that: "We're not in the business of providing news and information We're simply in the business of selling our customers' products."

This single-minded mercenary focus combines with general corporate arrogance to bloat the egos of media chieftains, leading them to think that they really are the infallible gods of our daily newsfeed, with no need to be accountable to the public: "We paid $3 billion for these television stations," said an executive with a Fox affiliate in Tampa; "We decide what the news is. The news is what we tell you it is."

Crude, corporate censorship of our news by these boardroom types is less common than the subtle, internal self-censorship done by general managers, top editors, and some reporters who avoid topics and dilute stories that the corporate hierarchy might find offensive or simply not comprehend. A 2000 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that a third of local reporters admit softening a news story on behalf of the interests of their media organizations. A fourth say they have been told by superiors to ignore a story because it was dull, but the reporters suspected that the real motivation was that the story could harm the media company's financial interests. And that's only the reporters who confess!

If you detect a corporate bias in your news, don't feel lonely. Two-thirds of Americans told pollsters last September that they believe special interests or a self-serving corporate-political agenda infect news coverage. We can all wring our hands and wail about this corporate, monopolistic grasp on our news sources, but here's a better idea: Let's do something about it.

A grassroots flowering

The Austin Motel is a refurbished, New Deal-era business on South Congress Avenue near my home. It has an old brightly-lit marquee out front that proudly boasts the credo of the current owners: "No additives, No preservatives, Corporate-free since 1938."

Wouldn't that make a fine slogan for a new democratic media for America?

Oh, you say, Hightower, don't toy with us. It would take billions and billions of dollars to build a broad-based media network outside the established TV, radio, and newspaper conglomerates, so that's just a pipe dream. Well, yes, it would take those impossible billions if we set out merely to duplicate the media Goliaths. But what if we wanted to develop a David ? a sprightly, nimble network of media outlets that are not capital-intensive and not burdened with either multimillion-dollar salaries or voracious conglomerate bureaucracies?

I have good news for you: This is already happening! Thousands of hardy, grassroots people have been working steadily and creatively over the years in every area of media, and the result of their combined efforts is that a new media force is now flowering coast to coast -- a force of hundreds of media outlets that is unabashedly progressive, fiercely independent, diverse, dispersed, and democratic. Some of these outlets are nationally known, others only locally known; some are brand new, others have been plugging away for decades. But the significant thing is that, collectively, they are a force to be reckoned with, celebrated, strategically deployed and deliberately expanded.

I have known and worked closely with many of these varied outlets my entire political life, but it was only last year that I realized what can happen if we learn to connect the various components and tap into the full power that they offer.

The occasion was a most modest one: The launch of my book, Thieves in High Places. In addition to being about the monied kleptocracy that has seized our people's democratic power, the heart of this book is about the deeply-encouraging rise of you grassroots Americans out there who're battling the thieves -- and often beating them. These are inspiring stories of democratic activism that the media establishment largely ignores, and I wanted as many people as possible to know about the stories, so that others might take heart and battle on.

Call me cynical, but I knew from experience that the barons of media power were not likely to rush forward to embrace and disseminate my antiestablishment message. I was right -- none of the morning TV shows ("Today," "Good Morning America," etc.) allowed me to talk about it; no evening newsmagazine show ("20/20," "Dateline," etc.) would touch it; there were no reviews in the mass-market newspapers and magazines (New York Times, Newsweek, etc.) and even NPR and public television gave it the cold shoulder. It was a case of libra non grata. Yet, a funny (and fun) thing happened: Thieves rose into the top 10 of nearly every best-seller list across the country, including the New York Times list. You could almost hear the incredulous compilers of sales data asking: "How the hell did this thing get on our list?"

It got there, quickly reaching a mass-market audience, by way of your and my very own rag-tag, patchwork media network, which most of us don't even know we have. I stumbled on the breadth and depth of this network because Sean Doles and Laura Ehrlich in my office had organized a guerrilla campaign to get the word out about the book. Working with community-radio stations, alternative newsweeklies, independent bookstores, web-active organizations, progressive (and aggressive) magazines, websites and publications of grassroots organizations, local organizing groups, some upstart television rebels -- and, of course, you scrappy Lowdowners -- we found that progressives are not voiceless in a corporate-media wasteland after all if only we recognize that we have powerful media assets of our own.

My book doesn't matter, but the concept of connecting this patchwork of assets does matter greatly. Any particular piece of this progressive media patchwork is small (and too often scoffed at by progressives themselves as "insignificant"). But add the pieces together and we have a far-flung network of outlets that -- each and every day -- is reaching tens of millions of people.

Also, the people who are tuning in to our progressive outlets are not just cumulative numbers to be sold to advertisers; mostly they're readers, listeners, online clickers, and viewers who give a damn and are looking for action. We saw an example last year of what can happen when even some of these components connect. The FCC, led by laissez-faire nutball Michael Powell, was ramming through a rules change that effectively would allow one or two media conglomerates to control the TV, radio, and newspaper outlets in every U.S. city.

Essentially, this unregulation of media ownership would lead to the full-scale monopolization of our news sources. Corporate lobbyists and government lawyers had holed up in a dark back room to whisper sweet legalese to each other, and we Joe and Joline Schmoes would have known nothing about it until after the fact, when we would've heard that wet, smoooooooching sound coming from Washington that tells us -- uh-oh -- another dirty deed has been done to us.

This time, though, was different. Several public-interest organizations picked up on the FCC's back-room move and alerted such grassroots groups as Common Cause, which sent up red flares to engage its 200,000 members. Then, like the pamphleteers of old, dozens of community radio stations plastered on-air broadsheets all across the country, translating the FCC's regulatory gobbledygook into straightforward rallying cries. They pounded the issue day after day. Next came the Web-active group MoveOn.org, which gave this growing grassroots opposition the mechanism it needed for a targeted response -- and some 170,000 emails poured into Washington.

The result was that, last July, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 400 to 21 in favor of an amendment by Rep. David Obey to stop the FCC's media-monopolization rule. The decisive 400 House votes were from Congress critters (Democrats as well as Republicans) who had taken buckets full of campaign cash from the very media barons they suddenly decided they had to vote against.

The battle is not over, but the fact that this arcane issue of media-ownership regulations could, in such a short time, ignite a prairie fire of popular rebellion is a testament to the power at our disposal.

Radio

As I've learned from the past dozen years of on-air experience, radio can be a very democratic little box, in part because it's ubiquitous (in our bedrooms, cars, showers, etc.), and also because people tend to hear what's said on radio, as opposed to TV, where they get an image but don't much follow the story being told. The bad news is that the radio dial is fast being bought up by Clear Channel and a couple of other conglomerates. The good news, however, is that we still have hundreds of extremely important stations in our hands, beaming out a steady progressive message to millions every day.

Since 1993, my own two-minute radio commentaries ("little pops of populism," we call them) have aired every weekday, and are now being heard on a mix of 130 commercial and community stations coast to coast, plus Alaska, Hawaii, and -- get this -- Armed Forces Radio, as well as on the web (www.jimhightower.com). But I'm the least of it. From Amy Goodman's sassy Democracy Now to Working Assets Radio with Laura Flanders, from New Dimensions to Latino USA, from Counterspin to RadioNation, from ACORN Radio to Alternative Radio with David Barsamian, from Media Matters with Bob McChesney to The World -- there's a wealth of national and local broadcasters putting forth progressive issues and insights every day.

Because of the corporate bias of its owners, commercial radio is the hardest nut to crack, but we have such voices as Enid Goldstein at KNRC in Denver, Sly Sylvester on WTDY in Madison, and Mitch Albom on WJR in Detroit. And now, Air America is making a bold play to bring 17 hours a day of progressive talk radio through its burgeoning network, broadcasting such live-wire hosts as Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Randi Rhodes, Chuck D, and Rachel Maddow. This brand-new upstart is already in 15 cities, and is drawing millions more listeners each day on the web (www.airamericaradio.com).

Then there are our community owned stations. Many people assume that these are little one-watt nothings, but that's nonsense. Indeed, some are powerhouse blasters in big cities, such as the Pacifica Network's five flagship stations in Berkeley, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Houston. Pacifica's KPFK in LA, for example, is 110,000 watts, reaching from San Diego to Santa Barbara and stretching inland to San Bernardino. Likewise, the independent community station WMNF in Tampa is a 70,000- watt treasure that reaches from Sarasota on the Gulf Coast almost to Orlando in the middle of the state.

Even the small-town community broadcasters pack a punch. WERU in Blue Hill, Maine (pop. 700), for example, reaches clear to the state capital in Augusta and is a beloved rallying point for the whole Penobscot Bay area ("We-are-you" is how the station pronounces its call letters). The same with KAOS in Olympia, KBOO in Portland, KGNU in Boulder, and so many more�€�people don't just tune in, they count on these stations, trust them in a way no one would trust Clear Channel, and are willing to act on the information they receive.

The web

A democratic tool that Jefferson, Madison, and the other Bill of Righters could not have imagined, but would gleefully embrace today, is the world wide web. This computerized architecture of interconnected hubs and spokes allows us to link our thoughts and actions instantly in virtual space and produce tangible political results that would have taken months before.

Every progressive group (even Luddites like me) now has lively, interactive web sites through which we can share a gold mine of information, forge coalitions, hold "meetings," and mobilize mass actions (from local to global).

The growth of the net is explosive -- 68 billion emails per day, for example, and 10 million daily blogs by everyone from the kid next-door to famous pundits to me! MoveOn.org, TrueMajority.org, and the Howard Dean campaign have shown the phenomenal potential of the web, not only for fund-raising and blitzing Congress with citizen opinion, but especially for organizing people for action (a breakthrough that you'll hear more about as the Lowdown itself develops a web-active program to link all of us Lowdowners into more grassroots civil action).

The web gives us the means to bypass the corporate media, creating our own low-cost, decentralized network of news that, say, The New York Times does not consider "fit to print."

In addition to hundreds of specialized news sites, there are "aggregators" that amount to news services for progressive content -- credible outfits like Alternet.org, TomPaine.com, Buzzflash.com, and CommonDreams.org.

Some are creating their own virtual newspapers. Check out iBrattleboro.com. For more than a year now, this Vermont website lets the readers be the reporters on what's really going on in town. Anyone can contribute, and anyone can comment on the contributions. In a town of 12,000, the virtual pages of iBrattleboro are getting 260,000 viewers a year.

Alternatives galore

If reading the daily press depresses you, get a lift by going beyond your "Daily Blather" newspaper to such spunky journals as The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive, In These Times, American Prospect, Ms., Harper's, and The Progressive Populist. Also, Utne rounds up articles every month from more than 2,000 alternative media sources. And two groups, the Independent Press Association (indypress.org) and the Alternative Press Center (altpress.org), give you access to magazines, newsletters, and 'zines that cover every political and cultural issue imaginable.

Chances are your own town has one or more independent weekly newspapers offering detailed coverage of progressive issues and events that the monopoly dailies miss or avoid. The Association of Alternative Weeklies (aan.org) plugs you into 120 of these local voices that, collectively, reach 17 million readers a week. Even television, the feeblest member of our democracy's media mob, is perking up a bit. PBS's Now with Bill Moyers has been a blast of fresh air (though its direction is uncertain now that he has announced his retirement), and C-SPAN continues to do a great public service by simply clicking on its cameras and letting us see events without edits or editorializing. And you can forget the network news and go directly to The Daily Show for Jon Stewart's irreverent, on-target satires, broadcast on Comedy Central.

Especially encouraging in TV-land are the insurgents of the air, including Free Speech TV and WorldLink TV, reaching a combined 20 million homes. Grassroots rebels are also making their own TV, thanks to Cable Access Television, available on some 600 public-access channels, as well as a feisty group of Independent Media Centers (indymedia.org) that are particularly good at streaming raw footage of protests and other actions, with their media activists taking their web-driven videocams right into the center of things, bringing you news as it happens.

Finally, don't discount the power of face-to-face networks. On any given day, thousands of people are gathered in various-sized groupings to listen, learn, discuss, interact, strategize, and organize. These forums include the nation's 2,200 independent bookstores, which are not merely book peddlers, but also community meeting places and informal bulletin boards (go to booksense.com to find ones near you). Public libraries, progressive speakers' series, pot-luck suppers, conversation cafes and progressive festivals (Greenfest, Bioneers, Rolling Thunder, etc.) are also part of this vibrant, high-touch outreach that goes on daily in practically every city and neighborhood.

Years ago, my momma taught me that two wrongs don't make a right -- but I soon figured out that three left turns do. We must apply that same kind of street savvy if we're ever to find our way around the media blockages that the corporate interests have put in place to shut out our voices.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush," from Viking Press. For more information, visit jimhightower.com

//www.alternet.org/mediaculture/18966/


Informant: Laurel

Offener Brief verurteilt Gentechnik-Report

Gen-Food

18.06.04

Ein offener Brief von mehreren hundert nichtstaatlichen Organisationen (NGOs) weltweit verurteilt einen erst kürzlich veröffentlichten Report der Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) als "schändliches Public-Relations-Werkzeug" für die Gen-Industrie. Der FAO-Bericht war am 17. Mai 2004 öffentlich präsentiert worden. Innerhalb weniger Wochen antworteten über 650 Organisationen und 800 Einzelpersonen aus 120 Ländern durch die Unterstützung eines offenen Briefes, der die negative Tendenz des Berichts gegenüber Armut, Umwelt und Nahrungsproduktion im Allgemeinen stark kritisiert. Der FAO-Report bemühe sich nach Angaben der Organisationen um eine neutrale Erscheinung, sei aber in starkem Maße voreingenommen und ignoriere Beweise für nachteilige Einflüsse von genetisch manipulierter Saat auf Ökologie, Ökonomie und Gesundheit, so die Vorwürfe.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php4?Nr=8700

US has secret prisons : US accused of worldwide network of secret prisons

Rights group

//www.rnw.nl/news/news.html#4049195
US accused of worldwide network of secret prisons
Radio Netherlands
Hilversum, Friday 18 June 2004 03:45 UTC

Human Rights Watch says the United States has a worldwide network of at least 30 prisons in which it detains suspects of terrorism. Nearly all 30 prisons are said to be located abroad, and the existence of around half of them is kept secret by the US government. The human rights organization says Washington does not have to account for these secret centres, and that this inevitably leads to the ill-treatment of detainees.

In addition to the officially recognized prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, for instance, there are secret detention centres in Afghanistan, Jordan, Pakistan and on board two US ships.
//www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200406/s1134549.htm


US has secret prisons: rights group
Last Update: Friday, June 18, 2004. 7:16am (AEST)

Human Rights First says alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib prison must not be seen in isolation.
//www.abc.net.au/reslib/200404/r19544_48199.jpg

(AFP)

The United States is holding terrorism suspects in more than two dozen detention centres worldwide, about half of which operate in total secrecy, according to a new human rights report.

Human Rights First said in a report that secrecy surrounding the facilities made "inappropriate detention and abuse not only likely but inevitable".

The director of the group's US law and security program, Deborah Pearlstein, potential abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad and the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba "cannot be addressed in isolation".

"This is all about secrecy, accountability and the law," Ms Pearlstein told a news conference.

The report coincided with news that Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered military officials to hold a suspect in a prison near Baghdad without telling the Red Cross.

Mr Pearlstein says that would be a violation of the Geneva Conventions and Defence Department directives.

She says the United States is holding thousands of security detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as locations elsewhere which the military refused to disclose.

"The US Government is holding prisoners in a secret system of off-shore prisons beyond the reach of adequate supervision, accountability of law," the report said.

Pakistan, Diego Garcia, Jordan

Ms Pearlstein says multiple sources report US detention centres in, among other places, Kohat in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia and at Al Jafr prison in Jordan, where the group said the CIA had an interrogation facility.

Prisoners are also being held at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, and others were suspected of being held on US warships.

A Defence Department spokesman told Reuters he would comment when he had more information about the report.

Ms Pearlstein called for US authorities to end "secret detentions", provide a list of prisoners, investigate abuses and allow the International Committee of the Red Cross unfettered access to detainees.

US treatment of detainees came under the spotlight after disturbing photos were leaked to the media showing US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

The United States is conducting several investigations into the abuses but Ms Pearlstein says they are not enough and a full court of inquiry should be ordered.

Families of suspects detained by US authorities have complained strongly about the lack of information about detainees.

Pakistani Farhat Paracha said via a telephone link-up at the news conference that she tried for weeks to find her husband, Saifullah Paracha, who disappeared last June when he took a business trip from Pakistan to Thailand.

Ms Paracha said she asked the US and Pakistani governments to track him down and only learned about his whereabouts when the Red Cross contacted her six weeks later to say her husband was being held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.

"I feel disgusted. It makes my heart sink. I feel so powerless and so helpless," Ms Paracha said.

Human Rights First was formerly known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

-- Reuters


Informant: Michael Johnson

911 - In Plane Site

Spread the word - far and wide!
Get this message out to every news group and email list.

"911 - In Plane Site"
New documentary to be released on July 1, 2004
TEST AUDIENCES who have seen this documentary have been totally shocked and angered.

No doubts now! The conspiracy theory has just become conspiracy fact...

Video trailer and photos available for viewing at
//www.PoliceState21.com

EVIDENCE:
Video & Photographic Evidence of the
Largest Cover-up In Modern Day History:

Bombs & multiple explosions in the WTC?
Missiles used in the WTC attack?
Missile used at the Pentagon?
Shocking video and eyewitness accounts
Mainstream news media suppression of information
ALL SUPPORTED WITH VIDEO EVIDENCE


WATCH THE 911 THEATRICAL TRAILER:
//www.policestate21.com/911.ram


Informant: William Lewis

Stop RFID in its tracks before we're all bugged

Opinion

Posted on Fri, Jun. 18, 2004

LENORE SKENAZY

'I see London, I see France. I can get a bead on the exact location of your underpants and where you bought them and how often you've taken them to the laundermat, if ever — thanks to RFID."

Now, maybe that chant is not going to be popular anytime soon, but RFID is. And what is RFID? Some kind of universal surveillance system? Well, yes. Potentially.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification — tiny chips that can be embedded or even sewn into a product and programmed to emit a radio signal. That signal can be read by anyone with an RFID receiver, from across the room — or across the street. It can be read through clothing and even wallets. Think of it as a bar code on steroids, broadcasting heaps of info:

"I am a pair of Hanes bikini briefs, size 8, shipped to the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Wal-Mart on Sept. 9, and purchased the day before Halloween by Lenore (last name deleted), who also bought a whopping mountain of fun-size Snickers that day. Waaaay more than she needed for the kids in her building at (address deleted). Let's see how long she fits in these briefs!"

Well, it's not quite as snippy as that. But all that info could well be there. And Wal-Mart is planning to implement RFID throughout its stores by 2005.

At first, the tiny transmitters will be placed only on pallets of goods, not individual items. This will be a godsend to managers wondering, "Where is that load of digital cameras Sony claims it shipped last Tuesday from Denver?" Because that particular pallet of cameras will beep, "Here I am!" As it moves into the store, the pallet will also beep: "Time to order more!"

So RFID is efficient. It keeps shelves stocked and losses low. But what happens when companies start putting RFID chips on individual items?

If the chip is not turned off at the checkout counter, it will keep transmitting. So if, say, a robber is standing on your street wondering, "Any brand-new cameras around here?" The one in your living room beeps to his receiver, "Here I am!"

And what if instead of a robber, it's a private detective checking to see if you were cheating on your spouse last Sunday? You say you were home all day. But when the detective waves his RFID wand, the camera beeps, "I was purchased Sunday at Wal-Mart." Calling Raoul Felder!

What happens when RFID tags are placed on everything from your razor (as Gillette is already doing) to your tires (Michelin is experimenting with this) to your shirt (as Benetton planned, until swayed by consumer protest)? You will walk around virtually bugged.

And if you paid with an RFID credit card — as someday you will — your personal info may be there, too: This is who she is, what she bought, when and where.

Is there any way to stop this tracking in its tracks? Maybe. Consumers must insist that RFID tags be easily visible, removable and turned off at checkout.

Otherwise, it won't be only our underpants Big Brother can see. It will be everything about us.

And that stinks.

//www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/editorial/8948818.htm?1c

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Omega-News Collection 19. June 2004

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Informant: Ed Jones

Human Rights Watch kritisiert US-Haftpolitik in Irak

New York - Humans Rights Watch hat die Ankündigung der US-Regierung kritisiert, nach dem Machtwechsel in Irak weiter irakische Gefangene ohne Anklage festhalten zu wollen. Die USA riskierten eine Fortsetzung der anarchischen Zustände in Irak, falls dort Gefangene gegen die Genfer Konventionen inhaftiert blieben, sagte der Leiter der in New York ansässigen Menschenrechtsorganisation, Kenneth Roth, am Freitag. (AFP)

19.06.04, 10:16 Uhr

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