21
Dez
2005

A Risk of Total Collapse

We would be foolish to take for granted the permanence of our fragile global civilization.

by Dylan Evans
//www.commondreams.org/views05/1221-22.htm //www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1671576,00.html

Is it possible that global civilization might collapse within our lifetime or that of our children? Until recently, such an idea was the preserve of lunatics and cults. In the past few years, however, an increasing number of intelligent and credible people have been warning that global collapse is a genuine possibility. And many of these are sober scientists, including Lord May, David King and Jared Diamond - people not usually given to exaggeration or drama.

The new doomsayers all point to the same collection of threats - climate change, resource depletion and population imbalances being the most important. What makes them especially afraid is that many of these dangers are interrelated, with one tending to exacerbate the others. It is necessary to tackle them all at once if we are to have any chance of avoiding global collapse, they warn.

Many societies - from the Maya in Mexico to the Polynesians of Easter Island - have collapsed in the past, often because of the very same dangers that threaten us. As Diamond explains in his recent book, Collapse, the Maya depleted one of their principal resources - trees - and this triggered a series of problems such as soil erosion, decrease of useable farmland and drought. The growing population that drove this overexploitation was thus faced with a diminishing amount of food, which led to increasing migration and bloody civil war. The collapse of the civilization on Easter Island followed a similar pattern, with deforestation leading to other ecological problems and warfare.

Unlike these dead societies, our civilization is global. On the positive side, globalization means that when one part of the world gets into trouble, it can appeal to the rest of the world for help. Neither the Maya nor the inhabitants of Easter Island had this luxury, because they were in effect isolated civilizations. On the negative side, globalization means that when one part of the world gets into trouble, the trouble can quickly be exported. If modern civilization collapses, it will do so everywhere. Everyone now stands or falls together.

Global collapse would probably still follow the same basic pattern as a local collapse but on a greater scale. With the Maya, the trouble began in one region but engulfed the whole civilization. Today, as climate change makes some areas less hospitable than others, increasing numbers of people will move to the more habitable areas. The increasing population will make them less habitable and lead to further migration in a domino effect. Huge movements of people and capital will put the international financial system under strain and may cause it to give way. In his book The Future of Money, the Belgian economist Bernard Lietaer argues that the global monetary system is already very unstable. Financial crises have certainly grown in scale and frequency over the past decade. The South-east Asian crisis of 1997 dwarfed the Mexican crisis of 1994 and was followed by the Russian crash of 1998 and the Brazilian crisis of 1999. This is another example of the way globalization can exacerbate rather than minimize the risk of total collapse.

This would not be the end of the world. The collapse of modern civilization would entail the deaths of billions of people but not the end of the human race. A few Mayans survived by abandoning their cities and retreating into the jungle, where they continue to live to this day. In the same way, some would survive the end of the industrial age by reverting to a pre-industrial lifestyle.

The enormity of such a scenario makes it hard to imagine. It is human nature to assume that the world will carry on much as it has been. But it is worth remembering that in the years preceding the collapse of their civilization, the Mayans too were convinced that their world would last forever.

Dylan Evans is a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England //www.dylan.org.uk

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005


Informant: Teresa Binstock

051221 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

//www.omega-news.info/051221_r_mobilfunk_newsletter.rtf

051220 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

//www.omega-news.info/051220_r_mobilfunk_newsletter.rtf

051219 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

//www.omega-news.info/051219_r_mobilfunk_newsletter.rtf

051217 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter

//www.omega-news.info/051217_r_mobilfunk_newsletter.rtf

Keep reindeer in Alberta

//www.omega-news.info/keep_reindeer_in_alberta.htm

Censure and Impeachment

By David Swanson,
censurebush.org

2005-12-20

Censure is not the enemy of impeachment, any more than impeaching Bush prevents impeaching Cheney. We have a tendency to jump five steps ahead of ourselves in order to find imaginary problems.

Let me explain.

Congressman John Conyers has introduced a bill to censure Bush, another to censure Cheney, and a third to create a select committee to investigate and make recommendations on grounds for possible impeachment. The reaction I'm hearing seems to be three-quarters enthusiasm and one-quarter concern that censuring Bush and Cheney will hurt the chances of impeaching them.

I don't think that concern is well placed. The purpose of each of these three bills at this point is to raise the issue, keep the Bush Administration's lies and crimes in the news, and allow the Democrats to show some spine by signing on.

Many Democrats have long whispered that they would impeach Bush if they had the majority. Activists have long pleaded with them that only by showing people what they stand for can the Democrats hope to win a majority. Now there is something new and important to stand for. By signing onto one or more of these bills (and really there's no excuse not to sign onto all three), Democrats can declare themselves an opposition party ready to work against the rightward, criminal drift of the nation. And exceptional Republicans can jump ship too, if they have the nerve.

If we succeed in censuring Bush and/or Cheney, impeachment is next. The one does not cancel the other. The public will not allow it to. Public support for impeachment is much higher than it ever was for impeaching Clinton, and so is support for removing Bush and Cheney from office. ( //www.afterdowningstreet.org/polling ) Censure will not satisfy those demands. It will, however, help move Congress and the media in the direction of listening to the public demand for accountability.

And Congress has a long, long way to go. Not a single member of the House has introduced articles of impeachment. Only one has said he would sign onto them if someone else introduced them (John Lewis, just yesterday). Asking Congress Members to sign onto censure and, more importantly, a bill to create a fact-finding committee to investigate possible impeachable offenses, helps them take a significant step toward where the public is.

In fact, this point is well argued in the Executive Summary of the report released today by Congressman Conyers. Here is the key section: //www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/5775

Let's hold the criminals accountable. Join us at:
//www.censurebush.org


Informant: John Calvert



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

Greenpeace stellt japanische Walfänger im Südpolarmeer

Walschutzgebiet: Greenpeace stellt japanische Walfänger im Südpolarmeer (21.12.05)

Die Greenpeace-Schiffe "Esperanza" und "Arctic Sunrise" haben am Mittwoch in den frühen Morgenstunden die japanische Walfangflotte im südlichen Polarmeer gestellt und zum Verlassen des Antarktischen Walschutzgebietes aufgefordert. Nach eigenen Berichten versuchten die Greenpeaceaktivisten, Wale vor japanischen Harpunen zu retten. Acht Schlauchboote seien im eisigen Wasser, um das Leben der Meeressäuger zu schützen. Die "Esperanza" hatte sich vor die Heckrampe des Wale-Verarbeitungsschiffes "Nisshin Maru" geschoben, um das Aufladen der schon getöteten Zwergwale (Minkewale) zu verhindern. Sie wurde dabei aber zweimal von dem japanischen Fangboot "Kyo Maru 1" hart bedrängt und musste aus Sicherheitsgründen die Zufahrt zur Rampe wieder räumen.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12583

Ländlicher Raum und Naturschutz sind Verlierer des EU-Gipfels

Mittelverteilung: "Ländlicher Raum und Naturschutz sind Verlierer des EU-Gipfels" (21.12.05)

Der Deutsche Verband für Landschaftspflege (DVL) und der Naturschutzbund NABU haben den jüngsten Kompromiss der EU-Staats- und Regierungschef zur Finanzierung der EU in den Jahren 2007 bis 2013 scharf kritisiert. Im Gegensatz zu den Vorschlägen der EU-Kommission seien die Mittel für die ländliche Entwicklung, die beispielsweise ökologische Leistungen der Land- und Forstwirte honorierten, von 89 Milliarden Euro auf 69 Milliarden Euro in den nächsten 7 Jahren gekürzt worden. Dies werde für Deutschland zu drastischen Einschnitten führen, die im Vergleich zur aktuellen Situation rund 40 Prozent betragen, schätzt der DVL-Vorsitzender und Bundestagsabgeordnete Josef Göppel. Die beiden Verbände fordern daher die Bundesregierung auf, bei der konkreten Mittelverteilung alle Optionen zur Umschichtung der Gelder in die ländliche Entwicklung zu nutzen.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12570

Telefonüberwachung: keine Regelungen zum Schutz des "Kernbereichs der privaten Lebensgestaltung"

"Kernbereich der privaten Lebensgestaltung": Bundesrat stimmt verlängerter Telefonüberwachung zu (21.12.05)

Die bis zum Jahresende befristeten Regelungen zur "präventiven Telekommunikations- und Postüberwachung für den Außenwirtschaftsbereich" durch das Zollkriminalamt werden um anderthalb Jahre verlängert. Am Mittwoch stimmte auch der Bundesrat einem entsprechenden Gesetzentwurf zu. Der Bundestag hatte die Verlängerung bereits am vergangenen Donnerstag beschlossen. Das Gesetz sieht keine Regelungen zum Schutz des "Kernbereichs der privaten Lebensgestaltung" vor, wie sie das Bundesverfassungsgericht im Juli gefordert hatte.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12580

Rotes Kreuz fordert von USA Zugang zu allen Terror-Verdächtigen

Geheime Gefängnisse: Rotes Kreuz fordert von USA Zugang zu allen Terror-Verdächtigen (21.12.05)

Das Komitee vom Internationalen Roten Kreuz (IKRK) hat die USA aufgefordert, ihm Zugang zu allen Häftlingen zu erlauben, die im so genannten Krieg gegen den Terror festgesetzt werden. "Alle Gefangenen haben Anspruch auf einen klaren Rechtsstatus", sagte IKRK-Präsident Jakob Kellenberger der "Süddeutschen Zeitung". Bei Gefangenen in bewaffneten Konflikten müsse das humanitäre Völkerrecht angewendet werden.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12578

Merkel will trotz Ablehnung durch Bevölkerung EU-Verfassung durchsetzen

"Sorgen zerstreuen": Merkel will trotz Ablehnung durch Bevölkerung EU-Verfassung durchsetzen (21.12.05)

In Deutschland entschied der Bundestag über den Entwurf der EU-Verfassung, die Bevölkerung durfte nicht direkt darüber abstimmen. In Frankreich und in den Niederlanden wurde die geplante Verfassung von der Bevölkerung in Referenden abgelehnt. Da die Verfassung erst nach Ratifizierung in allen 25 EU-Staaten hätte in Kraft treten können, war sie damit an zwei Voten förmlich gescheitert. Trotz dieser demokratischen Entscheidung sprach sich die deutsche Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel dafür aus, den EU-Verfassungsvertrag nicht einfach aufzugeben. Nach der Ablehnung des Vertrags durch die Wähler in Frankreich und den Niederlanden könne man den Text zwar nicht einfach noch einmal zur Abstimmung stellen, sagte sie der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung". Doch müsse die "Reflexionsphase" genutzt werden, um "die Sorgen der Bürger" über das ungeklärte Verhältnis von Erweiterung und Vertiefung der Union "zu zerstreuen". Dazu seien Änderungen am institutionellen Gefüge notwendig. "Diese Verfassung hat so viele positive Elemente, dass sie durchgesetzt werden sollte", so Merkel. Schon im Jahr 2002 wurde den Iren der derzeit gültige, so genannte Nizza-Vertrag der EU zur nochmaligen Abstimmung vorgelegt, nachdem er zunächst in einem Referendum abgelehnt worden war.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12566

Grüne Gentechnik: Volle Kraft voraus?

Die Regierungskoalition lässt umstrittenen Gentech-Mais zu und will auch sonst den Anbau gentechnisch veränderter Pflanzen fördern.

//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/21/21629/1.html

Am liebsten geheim

Die US-Regierung hat es mit dem Lauschprogramm vorgemacht, mit dem trotz Patriot Act heimlich US-Bürger abgehört wurden, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel scheint von diesem Politikstil weiterhin angetan zu sein.

//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/21/21624/1.html

Senate Blocks ANWR Drilling

The Senate blocked oil drilling in ANWR Wednesday, rejecting a must-pass defense spending bill where the quarter-century-old environmental issue had been placed to garner broader support.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122105Y.shtml

Victory after mast protest

Dec 21 2005

By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

PROTESTERS have triumphed in a battle against a mobile phone giant.

T-Mobile sparked concern in Lindley when they attempted to put a 13ft mast on Brunswick Works, in East Street.

But Kirklees Council officers have vetoed the plan because the building is listed.

The council's planning office was deluged with objections from people living nearby and parents whose children attend schools less than 100ft away.

Many people were worried about possible health risks.

Clr Tony Brice, who led the fight against the mast, said he was delighted at the decision.

"The fact is, even though experts have said there are no health problems with these mobile phone masts, people are still worried," he said. "And I can understand that. It is not long ago asbestos was thought to be safe.

see under:
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Wissenschaft+zu+Mobilfunk/
//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Cancer+Cluster
//www.buergerwelle.de/body_science.html


"Neither officers nor councillors can stop the masts because of health fears though.

"Luckily in this case it came down to it being a listed building."

Clr Brice added he was worried because there were two other masts already near Lindley Infant and Nursery School and the neighbouring junior school.

"If this had been approved there would have been a triangle of masts with the schools in the middle," he said. "The question I wanted T-Mobile to answer was why can't they share with one of the other firms? That would surely have solved this problem.

"I am not anti-mobiles, I just think we need to be a bit more sensible about where we put the masts.

"I am sure they will be looking for alternative sites in Lindley so it is vital we keep our eyes open as to where. Hopefully it will not be on listed buildings or near the schools."

A spokesman for T-Mobile said: "There is a definite need for a mast in that area so we are disappointed at this decision.

"We are now reviewing our options with regards to Lindley and will potentially be looking at other sites."

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2005

//ichuddersfield.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/tm_objectid=16509265&method=full&siteid=50060&headline=victory-after-mast-protest-name_page.html

Bipartisan Call for Wiretapping Probe

Three Democratic and two Republican senators have sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate's Judiciary and Intelligence committees, asking for an "immediate inquiry" into President Bush's authorization of a secret wiretapping program.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122105M.shtml

Abramoff Discussing Plea Deal, May Testify against DeLay and Others

Mr. Abramoff is believed to have extensive knowledge of what prosecutors suspect is a wider pattern of corruption among lawmakers and Congressional staff members. One participant in the case who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations described him as a "unique resource."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122105L.shtml

Cheney Seeks 'Unimpaired' Presidential Powers

President Bush's decision to bypass court review and authorize domestic wiretapping by executive order was part of a concerted effort to rebuild presidential powers weakened in the 1970s as a result of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War, Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122105K.shtml

The Breaking Strain

William Rivers Pitt: If we as a nation do not impeach a sitting president for such a vast array of blatantly illegal activities - activities directed at the American people themselves - then as a nation of laws we have lost our way. We have no meaning. We are finished, and the ideals for which so many have served and fought and died are ashes. Intolerable. Impeachable.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122105I.shtml



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

Dick Cheney's specious rationale for illegal spying

//www.ufppc.org/content/view/3822/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

MOBILFUNK lebt von den Jugendlichen

//www.telekom-presse.at/

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

Handy und Gesundheit
//omega.twoday.net/stories/345980/

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

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

Mobilfunk in der Schule - Kinder und Handys
//omega.twoday.net/stories/338094/

Kulturminister will Open Source in der EU verbieten

//quintessenz.at/cgi-bin/index?id=000100003441

50 Reasons To Stop Mowing 31 Ways To Help Trees

//www.omega-news.info/stop_mowing_ways_to_help_trees.htm

States Move Forward to Address Global Warming

//baltimorechronicle.com/2005/122005MaryPIRG.shtml


Informant: NHNE

Bare Naked Truth: on the Religious Right

Well, in truth, my new book “Bare Naked Truth: on the Religious Right” has nothing to do with Christmas, or keeping Christ in Christmas. However, the fact that the book does not mention Christmas could be an act of war against it. If you follow the thinking of the Religious Right, that is.

In reality, the book just happened to come out yesterday through the publisher. It will be available in bookstores and through your favorite online bookstore in mid-January ’06.

Some people think it’s strange that Candidate for Congress would write such a scathing book about the Religious Right. I find it strange elected officials and candidates aren’t saying scathing things about the Religious Right.

The Religious Right hates our democracy and are actively trying to overthrow our government to replace it with theocracy. You would think, every elected official would be standing up and shouting down the theocrats.

Yet, here we are.

I am the only candidate who is publicly declaring that I will defend our democracy from outside AND WITHIN. To prove it, the proceeds of this book are NOT going into my own pocket, but going toward new democrat candidates. When you buy the “Bare Naked Truth: on the Religious Right” you are not just buying a book, you are securing your country from theocratic control.

And, just to show your Religious Right friends and family that you’re not at war with Christmas, send one to them saying “Marry Christmas.” They’ll love it.

Spread the word, tell everyone you know the Emperor wears no clothes with a copy of the “Bare Naked Truth: on the Religious Right.”

see: //www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=34678


Stacey Tallitsch
Democrat for Congress
Louisiana First District
//www.lafirst.org

Bush's Illegal Spying

David Cole: The message transmitted by the Bush White House is crystal clear: When the president decides existing law is insufficient to protect Americans, he'll move ahead on his own and do whatever he deems necessary in the war on terror. Bush acted as if there are no checks and balances in the American system of government. Some things changed drastically after 9/11, but we cannot allow that to be one of them.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122005E.shtml

US Vets Join Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims

Vietnamese victims of the defoliant known as Agent Orange wound up a month-long visit to the US at the invitation of veterans, Vietnamese Americans and peace activists, to press their case for reparations from the US government and the companies that made the deadly chemical.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122005G.shtml

UK Minister Lied over CIA Flights

The British Foreign Office privately accepts that CIA rendition flights did pass through its territory, a diplomatic source told United Press International.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122005C.shtml

Senate Filibuster Looms over ANWR Today

With tensions rising in the Capitol, Senate Democrats threatened on Monday to derail a $453 billion military spending bill over an Arctic oil drilling dispute, just hours after the House approved the measure in an all-night session that also included passage of a $40 billion budget-cutting bill.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122105Z.shtml

The Truman precedent for Bush's eavesdropping

Boston Globe
by Peter S. Canellos

12/20/05

On the morning of April 9, 1952, American flags flew above 88 steel mills across the country, signaling a change in management. The president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, had seized control of the mills, claiming that the intransigence of the private owners would lead to a strike that would cripple US efforts to win the Korean War. 'The president has the power to keep the country from going to hell,' Truman told his staff, according to David McCullough's 1992 biography. Truman was wrong, according to the Supreme Court, in its most extensively reasoned decision charting the limits of presidential power. The so-called 'steel seizure case' is suddenly in the news again because President Bush is now saying that his powers as president and commander-in-chief -- the justifications cited by Truman -- permit him to authorize wiretaps on US citizens...

//tinyurl.com/9dnvh


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Evasiveness about torture

Washington Times
by Nat Hentoff

12/19/05

For a time, during her closely scrutinized visit to Europe, the secretary of state had a credibility problem responding to growing concern about frequent air traffic by CIA planes over countries there. She denied that CIA 'renditions' of terrorism suspects to other countries involved torture. But a headline in the German publication Der Spiegel asked impolitely: 'Does anyone believe Condoleezza Rice?' Despite the increasing reports in the European press of CIA planes crisscrossing Europe, she repeatedly said, 'The United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture.' Moreover, she declined to comment on charges by many journalists, including this one, that the CIA on its own has a network of secret interrogation centers in Europe. Yet, on Dec. 5, Brian Ross reported on ABC News that al Qaeda suspects in two secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe had been cleared out before Miss Rice's arrival, and the suspects were moved to a new hidden CIA facility in the North African desert...

//www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051218-100758-7583r.htm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Their own Patriot Act

Washington Post
by E. J. Dionne Jr.

12/20/05

It's not too much to say that liberty and democracy were triumphant last week. Remarkably, the willingness of four senators to cross party lines was the key to this victory. The good news came when the Senate voted to stall the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, which granted extraordinary powers to law enforcement after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Forty-six senators, including those four Republicans, refused to shut off debate on the bill because they believe that some of its provisions go too far in impinging upon civil liberties. The rebels are not opposed to all of the Patriot Act's provisions; they acknowledge that the rise of terrorism requires new approaches to law enforcement. But they insist on preserving traditional American protections for individual rights. They think judges should be able to review the actions of the authorities, they want to avoid police fishing expeditions, and they want to protect privacy...

//tinyurl.com/ay2b5


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The extra-legal executive

The American Prospect
by Matthew Yglesias

12/20/05

Friday's three big news stories -- the elections in Iraq, the president's flip-flop on John McCain's anti-torture amendment, and the revelation that the administration ordered the National Security Agency to conduct domestic surveillance without warrants -- brought home in an unusually poignant manner one of the paradoxes at the heart of the past several years: The same group of people who've decided they're on a historic mission to spread democracy and liberal values around the world seem, based on their conduct at home, to have a very weak grasp of what those values entail. The surveillance matter is disturbing not only, or even especially, for the casual disregard for civil liberty and Anglo-American tradition it entails. Rather, the main point here is about the law. It was universally understood on September 10, 2001, that, wisely or unwisely, intelligence agencies could not conduct this sort of operation without first gaining approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Nothing happened the following day to change that reality...

//www.prospect.org/web/view-web.ww?id=10767


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Is US becoming a police state?

Cape Cod Times
by Sean Gonsalves

12/20/05

Because of the New York Times investigative report published last week, President Bush was forced to admit that he had 'reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks' -- something he intends 'to do as our nation faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida.' And this is why language is so important. People were calling Martin Luther King -- whose federalized birthday the nation will recognize next month -- a 'communist traitor' in a Cold War political context. The most celebrated dove in American history was spied on because he was considered a threat by his own government. That means none of us is safe. It also means anything can be justified under the banner of 'security,' which is why those willing to give up their liberty in exchange for security deserve neither. Remember when President Bush joked that things would be easier if he were a dictator. I guess he wasn't joking...

//www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/edits/seang.htm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The "trust me" president

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
by staff

12/20/05

The 'humbler' new version of President George W. Bush unveiled last week made yet another appearance Monday morning, this time asserting vast powers to do what he wanted, when he wanted, to protect the nation from its enemies. If this is humility, what would arrogance look like?

//tinyurl.com/98mh5


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Can the government spy on citizens without a warrant?

Christian Science Monitor
by Warren Richey

12/21/05

President Bush's decision to allow the super-secret National Security Agency to spy on Americans without court warrants has touched off stormy debate about his aggressive approach to the war on terror. This clash -- between civil libertarians and the administration's expansive view of presidential power -- is a recurring theme in the Bush White House. It lies at the center of ongoing debates over the government's use of coercive interrogation techniques and the open-ended detention of alleged enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in military prisons in the United States...

//www.csmonitor.com/2005/1221/p02s02-uspo.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Editor in chief

Los Angeles Times
by staff

12/20/05

One of the perks of being commander in chief is that you get to edit the Constitution, even the Bill of Rights, from time to time. That is in essence the legal justification offered by the Bush administration for its authorization of a secret program to wiretap, without any court order, international communications of individuals within the United States suspected of ties to terrorist groups. ... 'The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy,' Bush testily said at his Monday news conference. He then made much of the fact that the monitoring program, which bypasses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's requirement that investigators seek secret court warrants in national security cases, only applies to international communications, where one caller or e-mail correspondent is out of the country. 'So in other words,' Bush explained, 'this is not a -- if you're calling from Houston to L.A., that call is not monitored. And if there was ever any need to monitor, there would be a process to do that.' This distinction between international and domestic calls is perplexing. Americans in their own country do not waive their 4th Amendment right to privacy when they dial 011. Moreover, the distinction doesn't even make sense on the administration's own terms...

//tinyurl.com/8g8p4


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Your federal file

Unknown News
by Don Nash

12/20/05

We know how many weapons you have and where you keep them and we know that you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with those aforementioned weapons, if the barn were directly in front of you. You see, you have all been acquired into our uniform database. It was a pressing necessity. This is the 'war on terror' after all. Good lord, what did you think that we do with all of the money that Congress throws in our direction. We use it and we use it to our advantage. We can't be caught with our pants down so to speak. Rest assured that we know what we are doing. You'll just have to trust us. You'll just have to trust President George W. Bush. You have no other choice. Resistance is futile. I love that line, I really do...

//www.unknownnews.org/051221arr.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Patriot debate

National Review
by US Senator John Sununu (R-NH)

12/20/05

Letter to the editor: "I do not believe that it is unreasonable to require a standard for obtaining 215 orders or NSLs that discourages unwarranted access to business, medical, and financial information. I do not believe that a meaningful judicial review of gag orders threatens the ability of law enforcement to pursue terrorism investigations. Finally, I think it is unwise to single out the recipients of these orders who choose to consult an attorney. These are issues that could have been effectively addressed months ago. Unfortunately, the administration chose to believe that anything with the word 'Patriot' on it would fly through Congress. They were wrong...

//www.nationalreview.com/letters/sununu200512201118.asp


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Bush's bogus analogy

Slate
by Daniel Benjamin

12/20/05

What is new is not that this kind of surveillance is done but that Bush has ordered signals-intelligence collection without obtaining the warrants that everyone, including virtually the entire United States Congress, thought were necessary in the case of surveillance of communications taking place at least partially in America. This is not about novel sources and methods -- the same collection would have occurred if the administration obtained warrants -- it is a matter of legality and legitimacy. There appears to be no way in which loose lips about these intercepts will sink ships. They may, however, put a large hole in the administration's hull...

//www.slate.com/id/2132922


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

King George

Reason
by Jacob Sullum

12/20/05

If FISA somehow prevents timely monitoring of terrorists, the appropriate response is to fix the law. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters, 'We have had discussions with ... certain members of Congress as to whether or not FISA could be amended to allow us to adequately deal with this kind of threat, and we were advised that that would be difficult, if not impossible.' Since the president thought Congress was not willing to change the law, he simply ignored it, although he was polite enough to let some legislators know he was ignoring it. The details of these briefings are a matter of dispute, but secretly telling a few members of Congress about a policy that cannot be publicly discussed clearly is not the same as seeking congressional authorization...

//www.reason.com/sullum/122105.shtml


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Do Quakers dream of electric sheep?

The Free Liberal
by Jonathan David Morris

12/21/05

On Wednesday, an NBC report revealed that the Pentagon has been actively spying on 'suspicious' anti-war groups -- among them, apparently, a group of Floridian Quakers (also known as the more sinister-sounding 'Society of Friends'). Two days later, the New York Times unleashed a report of its own, which revealed that the National Security Agency has been monitoring the international emails and phone calls of hundreds, even thousands of Americans at any given time -- the result of a secret order signed off by President Bush in 2002. Finally, in the midst of all this, the House of Representatives crawled out of its hole, got scared of its shadow, and crawled back in for several more years of unconstitutional searches and seizures (which is my long, drawn-out way of saying the House voted to renew the Patriot Act; the Senate, however, has yet to do so). Basically, if you ever sat around thinking, 'You know what I could use right now? One solid week of government encroachments,' last week was the week you've been waiting for...

//www.freeliberal.com/archives/001739.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world

... and to all a good fight

Free Market News Network
by Thomas L. Knapp

12/20/05

'Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world,' said Benjamin Franklin, referring to the alphabet as printing press type (the quote, with varying numbers of "soldiers" depending on the alphabet in use, has also been attributed to Marx and Gutenberg). As succinct a summation as any, I think, of the correct notion that it is ideas which ultimately determine the disposition of people and things. Bad ideas produce bad results -- before Lenin and Stalin came Marx. Good ideas produce good results -- it took Paine and Jefferson to spur a country to 'fight for liberty' by decidedly more physical means. Every day, I see a dozen Paines, a dozen Jeffersons to the left and right of me, taking aim at the enemy and firing well-placed volleys (and me with my popgun, trying to measure up). Sometimes the effect is immediately visible. Sometimes it's delayed. But it's there, and it is felt...

//www.fmnn.com/Analysis/118/3236/2005-12-20.asp?nid=3236&wid=118

Bush's wartime dictatorship

AntiWar.Com
by Justin Raimondo

12/21/05

"Lew Rockwell has posited the rise of what he calls 'red-state fascism,' as have I, and we can see, from recent events, that this phenomenon is quickly congealing from a fluid potentiality into a hard reality. All the elements of a new American fascism are in place: a regime that recognizes no restraints on its power, either moral or constitutional; the rise of a leader cult surrounding the president; and a foreign policy of relentless aggression. And make no mistake: it is this latter that makes all the rest of it possible. Without the pretext of a wartime emergency, the neoconservative ideologues who seek to reconcile constitutional 'originalism' with a legal and political doctrine of presidential hegemony that would have horrified the Founders would be relegated to the margins and considered harmless crackpots. Today, however, the crackpots are not only in power, they are going on the offensive -- with much success...

//www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=8284


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Fedgov finances still tied in knots

Arizona Republic

12/20/05

The federal government isn't sure what it owns, where to find it, what it cost or how much it's still worth, whether it was acquired properly, how much is owed on it or, perhaps most important, how to pay for it. Says who? Says the federal government itself, or at least its comptroller general, who is required by law to conduct an annual audit of the behemoth. For the ninth consecutive year, auditors reported last week that major parts of the nation's financial picture in fiscal 2005 remained so muddled that they were unable even to say whether anyone could rely on their findings. In a scathing assessment of rising expenditures and ballooning debt, the report said, 'It seems clear that the nation's current fiscal path is unsustainable and that tough choices by the president and the Congress are necessary (to avert a financial meltdown)'...

//tinyurl.com/dy9gm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Indicted lobbyist's web extends to the Pacific

MSNBC

12/20/05

Indicted former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff was secretly hired by Guam to fight a proposal in Congress to reorganize the Pacific island's judicial system, according to an audit just released by Guam's public auditor. Abramoff received payments of nearly $325,000 for his lobbying efforts. The disclosures about the payments to Abramoff came in an audit of the Guam Superior Court's Judicial Building Fund. The court's building fund was the source of the money that was channeled to Abramoff...

//msnbc.msn.com/id/10547524/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

FEMA changes could be radical

USA Today

12/20/05

The government may have to radically change FEMA, the agency that proved unprepared to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Tuesday. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which battered Gulf Coast states over an eight-week period, stretched the agency 'beyond the breaking point,' Chertoff said in a public review of his department's 2005 performance... [editor's note: What's "radical" about throwing more money and power at a bureaucracy? That's what happens every time the bureaucrats screw up - TLK]

//tinyurl.com/c3wvf


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

ANWR: Senate vote too close to call

Macon Area Online

12/21/05

Both sides in a U.S. Senate debate over opening an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling expected a close vote on Wednesday over the latest attempt by Senate Republicans to pass the measure, this time by adding it to a big military-spending bill. ... Furious Democrats threatened to block the measure with a filibuster, saying the ANWR measure has no connection to military spending and violates Senate rules. With Congress moving to wrap up its work for the year, both Democrats and Republicans said the situation was fluid with some senators still undecided on whether to support a filibuster that would effectively talk the bill to death...

//www.maconareaonline.com/news.asp?id=12886


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Analoges C-Netz wird digitales Breitband

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Michael Meyer
michael_meyer@aon.at
Risiko Mobilfunk Österreich
Plattform Sozialstaat Österreich - Netzwerk Zivilcourage
A - 5165 Berndorf, Stadl 4
Tel/Fax 0043 - 6217 - 8576

//futurezone.orf.at/futurezone.orf?read=detail&id=278859

Analoges C-Netz wird digitales Breitband

Die Regulierungsbehörde RTR wird die alten Lizenzen aus dem längst abgeschalteten C-Netz wieder versteigern. Statt analoger Mobiltelefonie wird der Bereich um 450 MHz nun der großflächigen Funk-Internet-Versorgung auf dem Land dienen.

Dienstag, 20.12.05

Die österreichische Telekom-Regulierungsbehörde RTR hat die alten C-Netz-Lizenzen aus den Anfängen des Mobilfunks neu ausgeschrieben.

Die früheren Handylizenzen im 450-MHz-Bereich sollen in Zukunft für die Funk-Internet-Versorgung auf dem Land verwendet werden.

Durch die neuen Frequenzen solle es "zur Verbesserung der Breitbandversorgung in dünn besiedelten Regionen, den so genannten weißen Flecken, kommen", erklärte RTR-Geschäftsführer Georg Serentschy am Dienstag in einer Mitteilung der Behörde.

Die RTR hat dafür eine Liste von relevanten Gemeinden erstellt, von denen der künftige Lizenzinhaber bis Mitte 2007 mindestens 310 Gemeinden und bis Anfang 2009 mindestens 465 Gemeinden über die Funkfrequenz mit Breitbandinternet versorgen muss.

"Große Interessentenschar"

Ziel sei ein weiterer "Abbau des digital divide", so Serentschy. Zuletzt rechnete er mit einer "großem Interessentenschar" aus dem Mobilfunk- und Internetbereich.

Mehr Informationen zur 450-Mhz-Vergabe

Reichweite bis zu 80 Kilometern

Für die Versorgung dünn besiedelter Gebiete sind die niedrigen Frequenzbereiche gut geeignet, weil die Reichweite weit höher ist als bei den neuen Handytechnologien für GSM oder UMTS. Je nach Technologie kann von einer Sendestation aus ein Radius von 30 bis 80 Kilometern versorgt werden.

Die Übertragungsraten sollen im Endausbau mehrere Megabit pro Sekunde erreichen können.

Insgesamt schreibt die Behörde drei Frequenz-Pakete jeweils für ganz Österreich aus.

Die Vergabe erfolgt in einem zweistufigen Verfahren. Die Einnahmen aus dem Frequenzverkauf - für alle drei Pakete liegt das Mindestgebot in Summe bei 350.000 Euro - fließen der Republik zu.

Nutzung bis 2021

Die Angebotsfrist läuft bis 27. Februar nächsten Jahres, die Vergabe soll Ende März erfolgen. Die Frequenznutzung ist bis Ende 2021 vorgesehen.

Regulator entscheidet über Entbündelung
//futurezone.orf.at/futurezone.orf?read=detail&id=277828

Flickering Dreams of Peace All you have to do is wake up

Department of Peace in the news...

* CBS TV in San Francisco Bay Area airs piece on Department fob Peace: Watch online

* Nationally syndicated columnist writes op-ed.

There have been a couple of substantial media items on the Department of Peace legislation over the last couple of weeks we wanted you to be aware of.

This past Sunday evening, the Department of Peace legislation and our campaign were featured on a new show called "30 Minutes Bay Area" in the San Francisco area. It included new interviews with Walter Cronkite, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, our own Judy Kimmell, and others.

This show was significant not only because the SF bay area is the 5th largest market in the nation, but also because this is a pilot program that is first being tested in the bay area as a possible option for major markets to produce and air just before "60 Minutes" each Sunday night. CBS national is keeping a close eye on this program's ratings as are most of the other major markets in the nation. We hope this will encourage more stories on the Department of Peace around the country. You can watch the segment online at:

//cbs5.com/30minutes/local_story_350231908.html

If you like to segment, please contact the station with your positive feedback at //cbs5.com/contact. Mention that you saw the streaming video on their website. Even more important, call the CBS national comments line in New York City at (212) 975-3247 and mention that you were notified about the website for streaming and appreciated the positive information about the Department of Peace and what is being done "nationally" to move this concept forward. Encourage them to do similar pieces in other major media markets throughout the country and on their national news programs.

Also, on December 8th, nationally syndicated columnist Robert C. Koehler wrote a very supportive column about the Department of Peace entitled: "Flickering Dreams of Peace: All you have to do is wake up ..." It ran in papers around the country. You can read it below.

The Peace Alliance
//www.ThePeaceAlliance.org


Flickering Dreams of Peace All you have to do is wake up...

By ROBERT C. KOEHLER Tribune Media Services

December 8 , 2005

Ever try to shift a paradigm? I salute the brave souls scattered around the continent — some of them are in Congress — who are doing just that, who are daring, right now, to challenge the conventional wisdom of war and peace at the highest levels at which the game of geopolitics is played, and are calling for the establishment of a Cabinet-level Department of Peace.

When long-time correspondent Bill Bhaneja, a senior research fellow at the University of Ottawa and retired Canadian diplomat, recently e-mailed me the proposal he co-authored with Saul Arbess for such an addition to Canada’s government — inspired by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s H.R. 3760 — I confess to a queasy skepticism that such a project was just too darn idealistic.

Then I thought about bird flu — and George Bush’s wild musings two months ago about combating it with National Guard troops, that is, by implementing martial law to enforce quarantines. This from the man who has “degraded” (in the words of one high-level health official) the nation’s public health system and underfunded and politicized every branch of government created to deal with national emergencies.

And it hit me with a jolt: The level of public awareness is deteriorating. We’re now whelping leaders who haven’t got a clue how to deal with complex social issues except to start shooting at them. And there’s no adequate challenge to this in the media or from the opposition party, and apparently no public context big enough even to allow for debate.

For instance, there was Hillary Clinton the other day telling potential supporters of her run for the presidency, who I’d wager are against the war by a large margin, that the United States must “finish what it started” in Iraq, as though there’s a consensus what, exactly, we started and what “finishing” it would mean, and how many more dead Iraqis and U.S. servicemen we might expect before we attain our unarticulated goal.

It was sheer politician-speak, in other words, betraying no courageous intelligence, no insight that our brutal occupation might be fueling the insurgency and creating the terrorists we’re obliged to keeping fighting. But the media have already pegged Hillary a frontrunner, which means they’re condemning America’s anti-war majority, once again, to a campaign season without a presidential candidate who represents their ardent hopes.

This is intolerable. This is why I support and heartily endorse what is, in fact, a global movement to raise awareness by challenging the blood-myths of the nation-state and the inevitability of war, and the geopolitical canard extraordinaire that high-tech, high-kill, earth-poisoning modern wars have any chance of achieving controllable ends and do not spew incalculable suffering and future wars in their wake.

“What we seek,” write Bhaneja and Arbess, “is a world in which peaceful relations between states are a systematically pursued norm and that the numerous non-aggression pacts between states become treaties of mutual support and collaboration. We envision a world in which a positive peace prevails as projected most recently in the U.N. International Decade for a Culture of Peace (2001-2010) Programme of Action.”

The establishment of a peace academy, the training of peace workers, the promotion of nonviolent conflict resolution at every level of human interaction — there’s no reason why such projects should be nothing more than the flickering dreams of protestors at candlelight vigils. There’s no reason why they should not be the business of government. I have no doubt whatsoever that the public is ready to move beyond the barbarism history has bequeathed us, and would do so in an eye blink if enough respected voices said, “Now is the time.”

And respected voices are saying this, if only we could hear them.

“What is quite clear — and would become clear as you go along with this campaign — is that you are trying, and I consider myself with you on this in every way . . . (to create) not only a massive but a basic change in our culture, in our entire approach to our relationships with other human beings. . . . It’s not a matter of simply getting another department of government. You’re speaking of an entire philosophical revolution.”

This is Walter Cronkite, in conversation with Kucinich last September at a Department of Peace conference in Washington, D.C. Kucinich, the hero of this movement, first introduced Department of Peace legislation in 2001. The bill now has some 60 sponsors in the House and, in September, was introduced in the Senate (S. 1756) by Mark Dayton of Minnesota.

The architects of the war on terror have minds stuck in old paradigms of domination and conquest. Their enemy is always the same: Evil Incarnate. Today’s jihadist was yesterday’s Communist, playing the same game of dominos.

This war is doomed to create nothing but losers, and more and more people — including many who are in or close to the military, such as Jack Murtha — are grasping this. As they wake up, the Department of Peace will be waiting for them.

"Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing the power to make great decisions for good and evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe." — Albert Einstein

//commonwonders.com/

UMTS MAHNWACHE Für Mobilfunkfreie Schulen, Salzburg, vor dem Schloss Mirabell

Ich möchte mich an dieser Stelle bei allen Eltern und den Vertretern der Initiativen bedanken, die trotz der extremen Wetterverhältnisse, an der Laternendemo letzte Woche teilgenommen haben. Wer Bilder möchte, bitte melden; die Fotos vor dem Dom sehen wirklich eindrucksvoll aus.

Ich möchte jetzt aber alle Unermüdlichen, alle Kurzentschlossenen und alle die, die einfach kommen können und wollen, zu einer letzten vorweihnachtlichen Aktion einladen. Wir würden uns freuen diese 6. Adventmahnwache in Folge gemeinsam mit Ihnen / Euch abhalten zu können.

Frau Geiblinger vom Orf hat ihr Kommen zugesagt und auch alle anderen Medien sind wieder eingeladen.

Medieninformation

Wir möchten Sie zur 6. und letzten heurigen Adventmahnwache in Folge, einladen.

Do 22. 12. 2005 Salzburg, vor dem Schloss Mirabell von 10 - 11Uhr

Wir fordern nach wie vor den bedingungslosen Einhalt des aktuellen Salzburger Vorsorgewertes für Mobilfunkbasisstationen von derzeit 1µWatt/m² im Innenbereich. Vor allem in Schulen und Kindergärten muss dieser Vorsorgewert umgehend umgesetzt werden. Die offizielle Warnung der österreichischen Ärztekammer vom August 05 und die Ärzteresolution: "Mobilfunkanwendungen und Gesundheit" St. Pölten 19.11.05 - erarbeitet von den Referaten für Umweltmedizin der Landesärztekammern und der Österreichischen Ärztekammer- empfehlen einen sorgsamen Umgang mit dieser Technik.

Omega siehe "Ärzteresolution Mobilfunkanwendungen und Gesundheit" unter: //omega.twoday.net/stories/1309886/

Mit der kürzlich in den Medien publizierten Aussage der Möglichkeit von Sammelklagen beim Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte hat sich jetzt auch noch das Österreichische Institut für Menschenrechte in die Diskussion eingebracht.

Omega siehe: "Mobilfunk und Menschenrechte" unter: //omega.twoday.net/stories/1238278/


Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Michael Meyer michael_meyer@aon.at

Risiko Mobilfunk Österreich Plattform Sozialstaat Österreich - Netzwerk Zivilcourage, A - 5165 Berndorf, Stadl 4, Tel/Fax 0043 - 6217 - 8576

Ärzteresolution Mobilfunkanwendungen und Gesundheit

//tinyurl.com/aeqdm
//www.aerztekammer.at/pdf/Mobilfunk2005.pdf
//www.borg-aussee.asn-graz.ac.at/schule/wlan/aerzteresolution2005.htm

--------

Ärzte und Mobilfunk
//omega.twoday.net/stories/408385/

Ärzteappelle gegen Mobilfunk
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1064751/

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

Pombo Deemed "Most Anti-Conservation" Member of Congress

//www.bushgreenwatch.org/mt_archives/000300.php

Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest: Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel

Posted by Phil Geiger
UBRON

Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest

Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel

By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer

Washington Post Staff Writers

Wednesday, December 21, 2005; A01

A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John D. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation.

Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.

Robertson, who was appointed to the federal bench in Washington by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and was later selected by then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the FISA court, declined to comment when reached at his office late yesterday.

Word of Robertson's resignation came as two Senate Republicans yesterday joined the call for congressional investigations into the National Security Agency's warrantless interception of telephone calls and e-mails to overseas locations by U.S. citizens suspected of links to terrorist groups. They questioned the legality of the operation and the extent to which the White House kept Congress informed.

Sens. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) echoed concerns raised by Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has promised hearings in the new year.

"There's going to be a great national debate on this subject," Specter told reporters yesterday, while emphasizing concerns over the White House's legal arguments in support of the program.

The hearings, possibly in several committees, would take place at the beginning of a midterm election year during which the prosecution of the Iraq war is also likely to figure prominently in key House and Senate races.

Hagel and Snowe joined three Democratic colleagues -- Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) -- in calling for a joint investigation by the Senate's Judiciary and Intelligence panels into the classified program.

Not all Republicans agreed with the need for hearings and backed White House assertions that the program is a vital tool in the war against al Qaeda.

"I am personally comfortable with everything I know about it, and I'll be watching it as this debate goes on over the next few weeks," Acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a phone interview.

The White House continued to insist yesterday that the classified surveillance program is legal and that key congressional leaders have been informed of the NSA activities since they began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan suggested that the secrecy around the program may prohibit White House cooperation with any congressional investigation. "This is still a highly classified program, and there are details that it's important not be disclosed," McClellan said.

"We've already briefed the leadership and the leaders of the relevant committees," McClellan said, "and the attorney general's going back talking to additional members about this so that they do have a better understanding of this authorization and what it's designed to do and how it is narrowly tailored and limited in how it's used."

Since the program was made public last week by the New York Times, the White House has sparred publicly with key Democrats over whether Congress was fully informed and allowed to conduct oversight of the operation.

The news also spurred considerable debate among federal judges, including some who serve on the secret FISA court. For more than a quarter-century, that court had been seen as the only body that could legally authorize secret surveillance of espionage and terrorism suspects, and only when the Justice Department could show probable cause that its targets were foreign governments or their agents.

Robertson indicated privately to colleagues in recent conversations that he was concerned that information gained from warrantless NSA surveillance could have then been used to obtain FISA warrants. FISA court Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who had been briefed on the spying program by the administration, raised the same concern in 2004, and insisted that the Justice Department certify in writing that it was not occurring.

"They just don't know if the product of wiretaps were used for FISA warrants -- to kind of cleanse the information," said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the FISA warrants. "What I've heard some of the judges say is they feel they've participated in a Potemkin court."

Robertson is considered a liberal judge who has often ruled against the Bush administration's assertions of broad powers in the terrorism fight, most notably in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld . Robertson held in that case that the Pentagon's military commissions for prosecuting terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were illegal and stacked against the detainees.

Some FISA judges reached yesterday said they were saddened by the news of Robertson's resignation and wanted to hear more about the president's program.

"I love Jim Robertson and think he's a wonderful guy," said Judge George P. Kazen, another FISA judge. "I guess that's a decision he's made and I respect him. But it's just too quick for me to say I've got it all figured out."

Bush said Monday that the White House briefed Congress more than a dozen times. But those briefings were conducted with only a handful of lawmakers who were sworn to secrecy and prevented from discussing the matter with anyone or seeking outside legal opinions.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) revealed Monday that he had written to Vice President Cheney the day he was first briefed on the program in July 2003, raising serious concerns about the surveillance effort. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she also expressed concerns in a letter to Cheney, which she did not make public.

Yesterday, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), issued a public rebuke of Rockefeller for making his letter public. Roberts's statement did not say whether he would support a joint inquiry with Specter's committee.

In response to a question about the letter, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested Rockefeller should have done more if he was seriously concerned. "If I thought someone was breaking the law, I don't care if it was classified or unclassified, I would stand up and say 'the law's being broken here.' "

But Rockefeller said the secrecy surrounding the briefings left him with no other choice and disputed Roberts's claims that he kept his concerns to himself. "I made my concerns known to the vice president and to others who were briefed. The White House never addressed my concerns," Rockefeller said. He also called for bipartisan hearings.

The Democratic leadership wrote separately to Bush asking him to provide Congress with additional information on the program.

-Staff writers Jonathan Weisman and Charles Babington and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

//www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/20/AR2005122000685_pf.html

Phil Geiger
UBRON


Informant: Martin Greenhut

A Quarter Century of U.S. Support for Occupation

East Timor Truth Commission report uses declassified U.S. documents to call for reparations from U.S. for its support of Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 until U.N. sponsored vote in 1999.

//www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB174/press.htm


From Information Clearing House

Did the Bush Administration Lie to Congress and the 9/11 Commission?

9/11: Missing Black Boxes in World Trade Center Attacks Found by Firefighters, Analyzed by NTSB, Concealed by FBI.

//www.counterpunch.com/lindorff12202005.html


From Information Clearing House

Bolivia's Morales blasts U.S. policies on drug trafficking

Mr. Morales, who vows to end a U.S. campaign against coca growing, stepped up his criticism of U.S. anti-drug policies yesterday, accusing Washington of using drug-fighting efforts to militarize the region.

//tinyurl.com/94zl9


From Information Clearing House

Polish Intelligence Official Confirms CIA Use of Polish Facility

According to this article from Germany's Stern magazine, a 'high-ranking Polish official' told of an area of the Polish Intelligence Services building run by 'the Americans,' many of whom lived on the premises 'for months on end during the past five or six years.'

//www.watchingamerica.com/stern000003.shtml


From Information Clearing House

War pimp alert: CIA's Goss Reportedly Warned Ankara Of Iranian Threat

During his recent visit to Ankara, CIA Director Porter Goss reportedly brought three dossiers on Iran to Ankara. Goss also asked Ankara to be ready for a possible US air operation against Iran and Syria.

//www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=89033


From Information Clearing House

War pimp alert: Exiles say Iran uses tunnels to hide atomic work

An Iranian exile group on Tuesday called on the U.N.'s atomic watchdog to inspect an extensive network of tunnels which it says the Islamic Republic has built to conceal a clandestine nuclear weapons programme.

//tinyurl.com/byxqn


From Information Clearing House

Muslim conspiracy to rule world just nonsense

The chances of a caliphate coming are zero. But raising its spectre helps keep Americans scared. Never mind that, just as the reasons given for the Iraq war proved false, the explanations offered for terrorism have not met the test of time either.

//tinyurl.com/aucer


From Information Clearing House

United States has problems with democracy

America has been habitually exploiting, for its own purposes, the language of freedom and equality since the times of Alexis-Charles-Henri Clerel de Tocqueville. United States has problems with democracy.

//en.rian.ru/analysis/20051216/42528298.html


From Information Clearing House

Bush accuses leak instigators of helping enemy

Bush said: "It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this important program in a time of war." He added: "The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."

//tinyurl.com/dwjm7


From Information Clearing House

Letter from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to Vice President Cheney regarding NSA domestic wiretapping

July 17th 2003
//talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/rock-cheney1.html


From Information Clearing House

U.S. Representative John Lewis Calls For Bush Impeachment

U.S. Representative John Lewis said in a radio interview on Monday that President Bush should be impeached if he broke the law in authorizing spying on Americans.

//www.11alive.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=73503


From Information Clearing House



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

Bush defends right to spy on Americans

George W. Bush offered his most aggressive defence of a domestic spying program yesterday, saying he was protecting U.S. civil liberties and would not stop the program while America was at war.

//tinyurl.com/cpffq


From Information Clearing House

Marketing War, Selling Occupation

The mainstream news behaves as if the American mission in Iraq, as in other parts of the world, is based upon humanitarian principles of good will. They would have us believe that America is not motivated by empire but by just causes.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11347.htm

US hopes of secular Iraqi state fade away

With more than 60 per cent of votes tallied, Washington's hopes that the former prime minister Iyad Allawi might pull enough support to build a secular administration have faded dramatically.

//tinyurl.com/a42hs


From Information Clearing House

Bush’s Snoopgate

By Jonathan Alter

The president was so desperate to kill The New York Times’ eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper’s editor and publisher to the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national security.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11343.htm

An insidious culture of surveillance

Government that is not checked, balanced, and watched like a hawk can gradually become oppressive.

By Thomas Oliphant, Globe Columnist

In a basically free society, abuses of civil and human rights often initially make sense, which appears to have been the case when President Bush took his baby steps toward a system of warrant-free, electronic surveillance of persons inside the United States -- some citizens, some not.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11345.htm

Quaker Organization Calls for End to Government Spying

//www.commondreams.org/news2005/1220-05.htm

Dover Ruling Is a Resounding Victory for the Constitution

//www.commondreams.org/news2005/1220-04.htm

How Bush Abolished the Constitution

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1220-33.htm

Here I am, George, come and get me

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1220-32.htm

Bush Must Be Held Accountable: George Bush Cannot Protect Democracy by Destroying It

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1220-35.htm

Public Data Show Chemicals in Tap Water

//www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1220-05.htm

--------

Cross posting - Anna

//www.ewg.org/tapwater/findings.php

A National Assessment of Tap Water Quality

More than 140 contaminants with no enforceable safety limits found in the nation's drinking water

Utilities need more money to monitor for contaminants and protect source waters

Environmental Working Group December 20, 2005

Executive Summary

Tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards, according to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG's) two-and-a-half year investigation of water suppliers' tests of the treated tap water served to communities across the country.

In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public. One hundred forty-one (141) of these detected chemicals — more than half — are unregulated; public health officials have not set safety standards for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.

Sunni Arabs Call Baghdad Election Results Fraudulent, Demand Redress

//www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1220-07.htm

Olympian blasts Bush, demands accountability, raises specter of impeachment

//www.ufppc.org/content/view/3817/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Die Koalitionsvorhaben sind unsozial, antiliberal und ökonomisch widersinnig

Wir fordern ein Grundeinkommen - Gegen Arbeitszwang und Existenzangst!

Politische Erklärung des SprecherInnenkreises des Netzwerkes Grundeinkommen gegenüber den Parteien, Fraktionen und Mitgliedern im Deutschen Bundestag und gegenüber den sozialen Bewegungen in Deutschland vom 16.12. 2005 (pdf)
//www.labournet.de/diskussion/arbeit/existenz/polit_ng.pdf


Vom Einkommen zum Auskommen

Die Forderung nach dem Grundeinkommen hatte schon einmal Konjunktur. Das war Mitte der Achtziger des vorigen Jahrhunderts. Nun steht es abermals auf der Agenda. Artikel von Franz Schandl in junge Welt vom 21.12.2005
//www.jungewelt.de/2005/12-21/003.php


Die Idee eines Grundeinkommens gefällt auch Marktliberalen

Der Chef der DM-Kette Werner stößt mit seinem 1500-Euro-Vorschlag auf ein geteiltes Echo / Gewerkschaftsnahe Forscher warnen vor Finanzierungsproblemen. Artikel von Hermannus Pfeiffer in Frankfurter Rundschau vom 20.12.05
//www.fr-aktuell.de/ressorts/wirtschaft_und_boerse/wirtschaft/?cnt=773330


Aus: LabourNet, 21. Dezember 2005

Zuweisung von Langzeitarbeitslosen in 1-€ Jobs ohne individuell passendes Eingliederungskonzept rechtswidrig

„…Die Praxis der ARGE, Langzeitarbeitslosen Eingliederungsmaßnahmen ohne ein konkretes, individuell auf sie bezogenes Eingliederungskonzept zuzuweisen, ist nach Auffassung des Vorsitzenden der Kammer 53 rechtlich nicht haltbar.“ Pressemeldung des Sozialgericht Hamburg vom 30.11.2005
//www.peng-ev.de/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1157


1 Euro-Jobs / Pflichtarbeit. Rechtliche Grundlagen, Möglichkeiten der Gegenwehr

Sonderseite bei BAG-SHI //www.alg-2.info/hilfe/pflichtarbeit


Stellungnahme des Rhein-Main-Bündnisses gegen Sozialabbau und Billiglöhne zur Höhe des Regelsatzes für Alg-II-BezieherInnen

Die überarbeitete und verabschiedete Stellungnahme des Bündnisses vom 10.12.05 (pdf)
//www.labournet.de/diskussion/arbeit/realpolitik/hilfe/regelsatz.pdf

Aus dem Text: „…Wir fordern eine sofortige Erhöhung des Regelsatzes auf mindestens 500 Euro, um die Lebensverhältnisse von Erwerbslosen zu verbessern und den Druck auf das Lohnniveau abzumildern und halten es für notwendig, diese Sofortforderung in den Frankfurter Appell gegen Sozial- und Lohnabbau aufzunehmen…“

Arbeitslosengeld II: Hartz-IV-Empfänger vor Gericht. Auto, Wohnung, Extra-Ausgaben: Wie die Sozialgerichte Hartz IV auslegen. Eine Auswahl von Fragen, die bereits von Sozial- und Landessozialgerichten entschieden wurden von Wolfgang Büser in SZ vom 1.12.05
//www.sueddeutsche.de/jobkarriere/erfolggeld/artikel/439/65374/


Aus: LabourNet, 21. Dezember 2005

Tipps und Infos zur "Zwangsvereinbarung

Achtung! Eingliederungsvereinbarung

„Tipps und Infos zur "Zwangsvereinbarung" - Wer hier seine Rechte und Aushandlungsspielräume ausschöpfen will, muss sich vorbereiten.“ Sonderseite bei BAG-SHI
//www.alg-2.info/hilfe/eingliederungsvereinbarung/


Aus: LabourNet, 21. Dezember 2005

Nottelefonnummern gegen Zwangsumzüge - Willkürliche Bemessung der Unterkunftskosten

Nottelefonnummern gegen Zwangsumzüge
//www.die-soziale-bewegung.de/2005/zwangsumzuege/zwangsumzuege.html


Kosten der Unterkunft

„Welche Kosten für Unterkunft und Heizung sind angemessen? Hier entsteht eine Übersicht über die als "angemessenen" bezeichneten Kosten (alphabetisch sortiert). Daneben sammeln wir Fälle, die eine willkürliche Bemessung der Unterkunftskosten belegen.“ Sonderseite bei BAG-SHI //www.alg-2.info/hilfe/unterkunft


Aus: LabourNet, 21. Dezember 2005

Kabinett macht Arbeitslose zu Erntehelfern

„Die Bundesregierung hat Einschränkungen für die Beschäftigung von ausländischen Saisonarbeitern beschlossen. Sie will damit erreichen, dass mehr einheimische Arbeitslose in der Landwirtschaft und im Gastgewerbe eingestellt werden. (…) Die vom Kabinett beschlossene neue Eckpunkteregelung ebne den Weg für mehr inländische Saisonarbeitskräfte, erklärte das Ministerium. Danach darf jeder Betrieb bis zu 80 Prozent der in 2005 zugelassenen Arbeitskräfte aus Mittel- und Osteuropa ohne Einzelfallprüfung der Vermittlungsmöglichkeiten inländischer Arbeitsloser beschäftigen. (…) Ein Sprecher des Arbeitsministeriums sagte, es gebe die "klare Erwartung" der Bundesregierung gegenüber der Bundesagentur für Arbeit, die Vermittlungstätigkeit zu verbessern…“ Artikel in FDT-online vom 20.12.2005 //www.ftd.de/pw/de/35579.html


Aus: LabourNet, 21. Dezember 2005

Violence Mars Environmentalism, Activists Say

The environmental community continues to remain largely silent on the December 7 arrests of six people that federal prosecutors labeled as ecoterrorists. More than half a dozen activists, while voicing disgust with any violent acts in the name of the environmental movement, declined to be interviewed for this story, indicating that simply being mentioned in the same article could brand them as sympathizers.

//www.truthout.org/issues_05/122005EB.shtml

Senators Seek Probe of Bush's Spying Orders

Rebuffing assurances from President George W. Bush, bipartisan members of the US Senate's Intelligence Committee called on Tuesday for an immediate inquiry into his authorization of spying on Americans.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122005R.shtml

Conyers Calls for Censure and Investigation of Bush and Cheney

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

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/122005Q.shtml

Conyers Introduces Bill to Censure Bush & Cheney

Progressive Democrats of America

CONYERS INTRODUCES BILL TO CREATE A SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE CRIMES AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT

Ask your Congress Member to support these efforts!

Take Action Here

Congressman John Conyers has introduced three new pieces of legislation aimed at censuring President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and at creating a fact-finding committee that could be a first step toward impeachment.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION USING THE ABOVE LINK

The Censure Bush campaign will provide a new focus for town hall meetings about Iraq that PDA activists across the country are helping to organize, approximately 60 of which are scheduled on January 7th. See: //www.afterdowningstreet.org/event

GET MORE INFORMATION: //www.CensureBush.org

That link will take you to a newly revised After Downing Street site, where you'll find at the top an extensive new report produced by the House Judiciary Committee and titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War."


Informant: Martin Greenhut

School's battle against phone mast

by by Jenni Horn

PARENTS and staff from a Kent primary school are protesting at plans to put a phone mast within 110ft of its grounds.

It is proposed to place the mast in Railway Street in Gillingham, close to St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School in nearby Greenfield Road.

Head teacher Bernadette Long said: “There is so much concern about children using mobile phones, I just can’t believe they would consider putting a mast so close to a primary school with 400 pupils. Because of where the parents park to pick up and drop off the children, they will be walking directly under it.”

The campaign is backed by Liberal Democrat councillors Tony Luckhurst and Geoffrey Juby. Cllr Luckhurst said: “I’ve been involved with the school for more than 40 years.

“My children went there and I have a grandchild still there. Nothing has been proved about the safety of phone masts and until they are proved safe, I don’t think they should be putting children’s health at risk by putting them so close to schools.”

More than 40 letters of objection have been sent to Medway council, including one from the pupils themselves.

As well as raising health concerns, they argue a mast is unnecessary as there is adequate Vodafone signal in the area and even if one were required, there are alternative sites.

MP for Gillingham Paul Clark is also supporting the school. He said: “I’m concerned about the proposed siting of the mast. Although it may seem a fairly innocuous area, there is a thriving school on the doorstep. I’m sure there is somewhere else in the vicinity that would be more suitable.”

Council officers have approved the proposal but due to the high number of objections they have reported the issue to the development control committee, which meets on Wednesday, for the final decision.

In the report, council officers said the proposal meets Government guidelines concerning the installation of phone masts near school sites and that the council is not in a position to challenge the proposal on health grounds.

Mrs Long said: “We’re worried that the meeting is during the school holidays, and that the proposal is last on the agenda so it might get rubber-stamped.”

The meeting starts at 7pm at the Municipal Buildings in Gillingham.

Copyright Kent Messenger Limited 1998 - 2005

//www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news.asp?article_id=24216

U.S. Air Power Strikes Iraq Targets Daily

//www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,83349,00.html


Informant: Kev Hall

Senator Gary Hart Challenges the Unholy Alliance of 'Faith' and Government

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
December 16, 2005

[...] This is BuzzFlash's second interview with the former senator and presidential aspirant, Gary Hart. Last time, we interviewed him about his expertise on national security issues. Now, he has written a powerful commentary on religion and democracy, entitled God And Caesar in America: An Essay on Religion and Politics.

//www.buzzflash.com/premiums/05/11/pre05168.html

As we read it, we found ourselves thinking, "This is actually quite brilliant." Hart speaks with the kind of reflective persuasion born of our Jeffersonian tradition, combining that with his own religious upbringing and pursuit of a divinity degree at Yale (where he also received a law degree). In interviewing him, we have come to find him a thoughtful, knowledgeable, eloquent advocate for American values and national security. This is not a guy who needs a staffer sitting by his side or someone to brief him in advance about issues. If Jimmy Carter is the best ex-president we have had in America, Gary Hart may be our best ex-senator and ex-presidential contender. The United States could certainly use Hart's savvy now, instead of the dingbats who are captaining Bush's ship of fools. [...] Read the whole interview at the Buzzflash web site: //tinyurl.com/9jzno


© Virginia Metze

FBI PROTECTS OSAMA BIN LADEN’S “RIGHT TO PRIVACY”

Someone sent me this Judicial Watch article, dated April 20, 2005, and apparently "riding low on the radar," as he put it:

FBI PROTECTS OSAMA BIN LADEN’S “RIGHT TO PRIVACY” IN DOCUMENT RELEASE

Judicial Watch Investigation Uncovers FBI Documents Concerning Bin Laden Family and Post-9/11 Flights

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has invoked privacy right protections on behalf of al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden. In a September 24, 2003 declassified “Secret” FBI report obtained by Judicial Watch, the FBI invoked Exemption 6 under FOIA law on behalf of bin Laden, which permits the government to withhold all information about U.S. persons in “personnel and medical files and similar files” when the disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) (2000)) [...] Read it all at //www.judicialwatch.org/printer_5286.shtml


© Virginia Metze

The Forgotten Anthrax Attacks

This reminds me that Law Professor Francis Boyle said he wrote a letter to the government telling them that the particular kind of anthrax had come from a government lab in this country. This was when the government was trying to believe it came from Iraq or Iran or somewhere. Much, much later, it was indicated that yes, the anthrax had come from a federal lab. But to my knowledge there has not been an arrest. Professor Boyle does not seem inclined to mince words much; he says that the University of Chicago is a moral cesspool, for example.

Tomgram: The Forgotten Anthrax Attacks of 2001
Tom Engelhardt
TomDispatch.com
posted December 18, 2005 at 1:25 pm

[...] skipping introductory paragraph
It Should Have Been Unforgettable
The Anthrax Attacks and the Costs of 9/11
By Tom Engelhardt

Imagine, for a moment, that someone had a finger on a pause button just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. That's not such a crazy thought. After all, most Americans watched the attacks and their aftermath on television; and, as coups de théâtre, they were clearly meant to be viewed on screen. Of course, the technology for pausing reality didn't quite exist then. But if someone in that pre-TiVo age had somehow hit pause soon after the Twin Towers came down, while the Pentagon was still smoking, when Air Force One was carrying a panicky George Bush in the wrong direction rather than towards Washington and New York to become the resolute war president of his dreams, if someone had paused everything and given us all a chance to catch our breath, what might we have noticed about the actual damage to our world? [...] fast forward over much good stuff to nearly the end:

The saddest story is this: If tomorrow, George Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts were somehow tossed out on their ears -- call it indictment, impeachment, or something else -- what they, not Osama bin Laden or the anthrax terrorists will have cost us, in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will still be incalculable. Among the greatest costs will be the way administration officials used the 9/11 attacks (and buried the anthrax ones) in order to breach so many levees of our world. [...]

And yet transit workers striking in an effort to just get better wages, are fined $1 million a day. How about figuring out a fine for all of these Neoconservatives of something like $1 trillion a day. That would at least help .... Read this long but interesting TomDispatch at //tinyurl.com/84ol4


© Virginia Metze

Good old constitutional crisis

Molly Ivins
The Free Press
December 19, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas -- Uh-oh. Excuse me. I'm so sorry, but we are having a constitutional crisis. I know the timing couldn't be worse. Right in the middle of the wrapping paper, the gingerbread and the whole shebang, a tiny honest-to-goodness constitutional crisis.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country: Damn the inconvenience, full speed ahead. On his own, without consulting the Congress, the courts or the people, the president decided to use secret branches of government to spy on the American people. He is, of course, using 9-11 to justify his actions in this, as he does for everything else -- 9-11 happened so the Constitution does not apply, 9-11 happened so there is no separation of powers, 9-11 happened so 200 years of experience curbing the executive power of government is something we can now overlook.

That the president of the United States unconstitutionally usurped power is not in dispute. He and his attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, both claim he has the right to do so on account of he is the president.

Let's try this again. The president is not above the law. I wish I thought I were being too pompous about this, but the greatest danger to our freedom always comes when we are scared or distracted -- and right now, we are both.
[...] Read the rest of what Molly has to say at //tinyurl.com/c5p8b


© Virginia Metze

Sen. Boxer and John Dean: The here and now

by proudprogressiveCA
Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 07:31:00 PM PDT
Daily Kos

Barbara Boxer and John Dean sat down today in front of an audience of about three to four hundred in Los Angeles to discuss her book ' A Time to Run'. Although part of the discussion was about the book many more issues came up in the Q and A section. Sen. Boxer has always been an outspoken liberal from the Golden state and today was no exception.

Seeing these two great minds converse on the topic of the Bush Administration was truly an honor. John Dean has seen a lot in his life especially being so close to the demise of the Nixon Administration. I believe both lied to protect a false image, yet the difference in the price to the country is enormous.

proudprogressiveCA's diary :: ::
//proudprogressiveca.dailykos.com/

The hour long talk was hosted by Writers Bloc in Beverly Hills this afternoon and touched on a number of subjects but most importantly the issue of the secret wiretaps that is all over the news in the last few days.

John Dean remarked that Bush is the first President to ever willingly admit to an impeachable offense. Of course this got a huge rouse from the audience. He also made the assertion that using 9/11 as a defense for his actions is 'baloney'. Being Nixon's former counsel and one of the whistleblowers bringing the downfall of Tricky Dicky's Administration, his words are very appropriate when it comes to the Office of the President and if the President is fulfilling his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Thankfully more and more people are realizing that the current resident has acted unconstitutionally (with regard to the FISA court only) over thirty separate times. [...] Read the rest at Daily Kos site: //tinyurl.com/asocj


© Virginia Metze



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

Lawlessness and Disorder

TPM Cafe
By Ed Kilgore
Dec 19, 2005 -- 10:24:35 PM EST

The brazen we-make-the-rules-around-here attitude reflected in the Bush administration's domestic spying ukase, and its let's-punish-the-leakers reaction to its exposure, is certainly not just an executive branch phenomenon. Last night's House Republican maneuvers on budget and defense appropriations measures exhibit the same mentality, especially in the strategem that made it possible: a rules change that basically abolished all the rules.

The House's adoption, on a party-line vote, of so-called "martial law,"

//www.cbpp.org/12-18-05bud.htm

suspending, among other items, the normal requirement that Members have at least 24 hours to read major legislation before they vote on it, was authoritarian even by House GOP standards.

Thanks to martial law, the incredibly convoluted series of decisions made totally behind close doors on the budget bill, turned into a simple loyalty test for partisans. There was a grand total of 40 minutes of debate, which was probably about right since nobody had the chance to read the bill in the first place. [...] Read the rest, including comments to the article, at //tinyurl.com/9todz


© Virginia Metze

Iraq vets making a run for Congress

Democrats see hopes in GOP strongholds

By John Biemer
Tribune staff reporter
Chicago Tribune
Published December 17, 2005

In little more than a year, Tammy Duckworth has gone from a casualty in Iraq to a congressional candidate at home, her campaign a symbol of the partisan battle being waged at the highest reaches of the U.S. House.

By seeking the west suburban 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Wood Dale, Duckworth joins a host of military veterans running as Democrats for House seats in GOP-leaning districts, seizing upon war as a chief campaign issue.

Duckworth, who lost her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade blew up in the helicopter she was piloting, calls the Iraq war "a mistake."

"Nobody in Congress right now has the perspective that those of us who've served in Iraq have," Duckworth said Friday as she sought signatures for her candidacy petitions from the lunch crowd at a Streamwood restaurant.

"Only those of us who've served on the ground over there understand the dynamics that are truly going on over there right now." [...] Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune: //tinyurl.com/ap32l It is really a shame that we have two very good candidates running in the same district!


© Virginia Metze

Tankers on the Take

By PAUL KRUGMAN
The New York Times
Editorials/Op-Ed
Published: December 19, 2005

Not long ago Peter Ferrara, a senior policy adviser at the Institute for Policy Innovation, seemed on the verge of becoming a conservative icon. Before the Bush administration's sales pitch for Social Security privatization fell flat, admiring articles about the Bush plan's genesis often gave Mr. Ferrara credit for starting the privatization movement back in 1979.

Now Mr. Ferrara has become a different sort of icon. BusinessWeek Online reports that both Mr. Ferrara and Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, were paid by the ubiquitous Jack Abramoff to write "op-ed articles favorable to the positions of some of Abramoff's clients."

Now, I never had any illusions about intellectual integrity in the world of right-wing think tanks. It has been clear for a long time that so-called analysts at many of these think tanks are, in effect, paid to support selected policies and politicians. But it never occurred to me that the pay-for-play schemes were so blatant. [...] Read the rest at NY Times Select: //tinyurl.com/7rhbv I will try to find a site that has posted it. So far I don't see one.


© Virginia Metze

US uses live bird flu viruses in vaccine experiment

"Citizens for Legitimate Government" sent this alert out yesterday evening (Sunday):

From the people who brought you FEMA: US uses live bird flu viruses in vaccine experiment 18 Dec 2005 In an isolation ward of a Baltimore hospital, up to 30 'volunteers' will participate this April in a bold experiment: A vaccine made with a live version of the most notorious bird flu will be sprayed into their noses. [The Bush bioterror team is in a hurry to get the pandemic party started, in order to implement a full-blown police state. Dictator Bush needs to justify his warrantless eavesdropping and to insure re-authorization of the Patriot Act.]
//www.legitgov.org/index.html#breaking_news (scroll down)


© Virginia Metze

Pushing the Limits Of Wartime Powers

Long, very complete discussion

By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 18, 2005; A01

In his four-year campaign against al Qaeda, President Bush has turned the U.S. national security apparatus inward to secretly collect information on American citizens on a scale unmatched since the intelligence reforms of the 1970s.

The president's emphatic defense yesterday of warrantless eavesdropping on U.S. citizens and residents marked the third time in as many months that the White House has been obliged to defend a departure from previous restraints on domestic surveillance. In each case, the Bush administration concealed the program's dimensions or existence from the public and from most members of Congress.

Since October, news accounts have disclosed a burgeoning Pentagon campaign for "detecting, identifying and engaging" internal enemies that included a database with information on peace protesters. A debate has roiled over the FBI's use of national security letters to obtain secret access to the personal records of tens of thousands of Americans. And now come revelations of the National Security Agency's interception of telephone calls and e-mails from the United States -- without notice to the federal court that has held jurisdiction over domestic spying since 1978.
[...]

No president before Bush mounted a frontal challenge to Congress's authority to limit espionage against Americans. In a Sept. 25, 2002, brief signed by then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, the Justice Department asserted "the Constitution vests in the President inherent authority to conduct warrantless intelligence surveillance (electronic or otherwise) of foreign powers or their agents, and Congress cannot by statute extinguish that constitutional authority."

[...]

"There is a lot of discussion out there that we shouldn't be dividing Americans and foreigners, but terrorists and non-terrorists," said Gordon Oehler, a former chief of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center who served on last year's special commission assessing U.S. intelligence.

By law, according to University of Chicago scholar Geoffrey Stone, the differences are fundamental: Americans have constitutional protections that are enforceable in court whether their conversations are domestic or international.
[...] Read the rest at: //tinyurl.com/8c7ld


© Virginia Metze

Nonviolent Response to Terrorism

//www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?isbn=0-7864-1874-5

Impeachment Just Got A Lot Closer

CensureBush.org

Campaign Launched in Response to New House Legislation

The AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, an alliance of over 100 grassroots organizations, has launched a new campaign called CensureBush.org in order to support new legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers that would censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney and create a select committee to investigate the Administration's possible crimes and make recommendations regarding grounds for impeachment.

H.Res.635 would create a select committee - modeled after Sam Ervin's Watergate committee - to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, and retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.

H.Res.636 and H.Res.637 would censure, respectively, Bush and Cheney for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that they and others in the Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of the Administration, for failing to adequately account for certain misstatements they made regarding the war, and – in the case of President Bush – for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958.

These two efforts are complementary - H.Res.635 seeks accountability for the Bush administration's monumental crimes, while H.Res.636 and H.Res.637 seek accountability for their coverups.

Ask your Congress Member to support these efforts!
//capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=8329176

More information: //www.censurebush.org

The House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff has just released an extensive report titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." It is available at
//www.censurebush.org

The After Downing Street / Censure Bush Coalition has organized over 60 town hall forums around the country on January 7th and plans to make these new developments in Congress a focus of many of those events: //www.afterdowningstreet.org/event

IMPEACHMENT HITS THE NEWS

Time for Impeachment By Doug Ireland
//www.impeachpac.org/?q=node/87

Rep. John Lewis Calls for Impeachment
//www.impeachpac.org/?q=node/88

Se. Barbara Boxer Seeks Expert Opinions on Impeaching Bush
//www.impeachpac.org/?q=node/90

Raising the Issue of Impeachment By John Nichols, The Nation
//www.impeachpac.org/?q=node/97

Washington Post Polling Editor Is Furious Because People Want Impeachment //www.impeachpac.org/?q=node/98


FORWARD THIS INFORMATION



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

Bush: Wiretaps Require a Court Order

//tinyurl.com/aca5o



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

A Bad Year for Goliath

//www.lewrockwell.com/engelhardt/engelhardt146.html

Turning the Corner in Iraq

//www.lewrockwell.com/hadar/hadar38.html

Anybody for a Little Isolationism?

//www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese248.html

The Lyin’, the Bush, and the War Crime

//www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory102.html

Bush Plans National Despotism Party: One-Party System Will Suspend Constitution

//www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff53.html

Selling Ideas: Think-Tank Follies

//www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/selling-ideas.html

IRAQ'S ELECTION RESULT: A DIVIDED NATION

//news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article334476.ece


Informant: NHNE

Spy on The Enemy, NOT The Innocent

//www.newswithviews.com/Kincaid/cliff75.htm

California 'Hack' Test Stalled As Diebold Certification Derails

//www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/15656.html


Informant: NHNE

Iraq election marks final shipwreck of American and British hopes

//www.ufppc.org/content/view/3820/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Lawmakers raise prospect of impeaching Bush

//www.ufppc.org/content/view/3821/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news



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