Archive for May, 2007

Thursday May 31, 2007 – “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” – Plutarch

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Some See Troubling Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam

“If we quit Vietnam,” President Lyndon Johnson warned, “tomorrow we’ll be fighting in Hawaii, and next week we’ll have to fight in San Francisco.”

–Ron Hutcheson, “Some See Troubling Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam” (Common Dreams, September 18, 2003)

“We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today,” Bush said in his televised speech Sept. 7 [2003], “so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.”

–same source as above

                          ==========

#11 of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007

#11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
Sources:

Independent/UK, May 22, 2005

Title: Revealed: “Health Fears Over Secret Study in GM Food”
Author: Geoffrey Lean

Organic Consumers Association website, June 2,2005
Title: “Monsanto’s GE Corn Experiments on Rats Continue to Generate Global Controversy”
Authors: GM Free Cymru

Independent/UK, January 8, 2006
Title: GM: New Study Shows Unborn Babies Could Be Harmed”
Author: Geoffrey Lean

Le Monde and Truthout, February 9, 2006
Title: “New Suspicions About GMOs”
Author: Herve Kempf

Faculty Evaluator: Michael Ezra
Student Researchers: Destiny Stone and Lani Ready

Several recent studies confirm fears that genetically modified (GM) foods damage human health. These studies were released as the World Trade Organization (WTO) moved toward upholding the ruling that the European Union has violated international trade rules by stopping importation of GM foods.

Research by the Russian Academy of Sciences released in December 2005 found that more than half of the offspring of rats fed GM soy died within the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those born to mothers fed on non-modified soy. Six times as many offspring fed GM soy were also severely underweight.

In November 2005, a private research institute in Australia, CSIRO Plant Industry, put a halt to further development of a GM pea cultivator when it was found to cause an immune response in laboratory mice.1
In the summer of 2005, an Italian research team led by a cellular biologist at the University of Urbino published confirmation that absorption of GM soy by mice causes development of misshapen liver cells, as well as other cellular anomalies.

In May of 2005 the review of a highly confidential and controversial Monsanto report on test results of corn modified with Monsanto MON863 was published in The Independent/UK.

Dr. Arpad Pusztai (see Censored 2001, Story #7), one of the few genuinely independent scientists specializing in plant genetics and animal feeding studies, was asked by the German authorities in the autumn of 2004 to examine Monsanto’s 1,139-page report on the feeding of MON863 to laboratory rats over a ninety-day period.

The study found “statistically significant” differences in kidney weights and certain blood parameters in the rats fed the GM corn as compared with the control groups. A number of scientists across Europe who saw the study (and heavily-censored summaries of it) expressed concerns about the health and safety implications if MON863 should ever enter the food chain. There was particular concern in France, where Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen has been trying (without success) for almost eighteen months to obtain full disclosure of all documents relating to the MON863 study.

Complete article at:

http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/

                          ==========

Bay Buchanan provided an “extreme makeover” of Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s 9-11 accounts

On CNN’s Situation Room, Bay Buchanan falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton said “her daughter [was] out jogging” on September 11, 2001, “and stopped near the [World Trade Center] towers.” Buchanan asserted that Clinton “fabricated” this story. However, Clinton did not say that her daughter jogged near the World Trade Center that day.

Read more

http://mediamatters.org/items/dailyemail/200705290006?src=other

                          ==========

‘On this day, let us hold our government accountable.’ Decorated war hero compares war in Iraq with Vietnam

28 May 2007

(Bristol, CT) U. S. Army Capt. Paul W. Bucha, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, delivered an impassioned speech to the attendees of the Memorial Day Armed Forces Tribute on Memorial Boulevard Sunday, comparing the current war in Iraq with the Vietnam conflict.

At:

http://www.bristolpress.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18394397

                          ==========

‘Maybe the smartest thing to do is to pull it.’ Lucky Larry makes another killing on Bush bin Laden’s terrorist attacks: Insurers Agree to Pay Billions at Ground Zero

24 May 2007

The Spitzer administration announced the settlement of all insurance claims at ground zero yesterday, ensuring that $4.55 billion will be available for rebuilding the World Trade Center site. The agreement, which the insurers described as the largest single insurance settlement ever undertaken by the industry, ended a protracted legal battle with insurers over payouts related to the terrorist attack.

At:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/nyregion/24insure.html

                          ==========

war funding bill fiasco masks collusion between Bush and Democrats Expansion of Middle East oil war is a bipartisan imperative

by Larry Chin
 

Global Research, May 26, 2007
GlobalResearch.ca 

On May 22, 2007, Washington’s Democrats obediently capitulated to the Bush administration, handing Bush a war spending bill completely stripped of conditions that would, in any way, slow the administration’s relentless Middle East conflagration. In fact, the new bill is an even more egregious blank check for a massive “surge” of Bush administration violence throughout the region, opening the door for a war with Iran. New Iraq “benchmarks” pushed by the Democrats themselves will result in new atrocities and more bloodshed, funded by the Democrats themselves.

In refusing to definitively corner a scandalized Bush administration, the Democratic Party leadership has earned itself a tidal wave of rage, vitriol and disgust from Americans who harbor any illusions that the Democrats have any intention of ending the war, or “bringing the troops home”.(see Entire US government failed us on Iraq by Keith Olbermann, and Funding Iraq occupation without deadlines or time lines is a travesty)

The Democrats’ open betrayal of their own constituents, their resounding slap in the face to the vast majority of the American people (70% of whom oppose the war) lays bare the true nature of the Democratic Party, and the US government itself. Dick Cheney stated with smug confidence weeks ago that the Democrats would surrender. Now, the Democrats have not only tossed away their own credibility, and their dreams of future political gain. They have fully revitalized Bush-Cheney and the Republicans.

Bipartisan criminal consensus confirmed

The US political and economic system, ruled by consensus, is deeply criminalized. It thrives on war and oppression. It is an elite racket, sustained by resource conquest, collusion, fraud, lies, cover-up, and the indoctrination and manipulation of minds. “The people”, whose votes never count, are viewed with contempt.

The Republicans and Democrats are factions of the same criminal New World Order, funded by the same criminal interests, beholden to the same think tanks, foundations, corporations and military-intelligence-industrial interests, following the same geopolitical script, written by bipartisan consensus.

Given this reality, it is no surprise that the Democratic leadership has kept its promise to keep the impeachment of Bush and Cheney “off the table” and reach “across the aisle”. Consensus interests are at stake.

Complete article at:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHI20070526&articleId=5780

From: www.GlobalResearch.ca

                          ==========

WHY THE US IS NOT LEAVING IRAQ

ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH*
Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Neither the Iraq Study Group nor other establishment critics of the Iraq war are calling for the withdrawal of US troops from that country. To the extent that the Study Group or the new Congress purport to inject some “realism” into the Iraq policy, such projected modifications do not seem to amount to more than changing the drivers of the US war machine without changing its destination, or objectives: control of Iraq’s political and economic policies.

In light of the fact that by now almost all of the factions of the ruling circles, including the White House and the neoconservative war-mongers, acknowledge the failure of the Iraq war, why, then, do they balk at the idea of pulling the troops out of that country?

Perhaps the shortest path to a relatively satisfactory answer would be to follow the money.

Complete article at:

http://wwwdocs.fce.unsw.edu.au/economics/SHE/WorkingPapers/2007-03.pdf

Ismael Hossein-zadeh is a professor of economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

He is the author of the newly published book, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism.
His Web page is http://www.cbpa.drake.edu/hosseinzadeh

                          ==========

Is Bush Addressing the Root Causes of Terrorism — or Aggravating Them?

CHALMERS JOHNSON, chaljohnson@mindspring.com,

http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=194902

Johnson is the author of the new book “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.” He is also author of the widely-noted “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire.” His most recent article is “Evil Empire: Is Imperial Liquidation Possible for America?”

Johnson said today: “Bush claimed in his news conference today, as he often does, that he is addressing the root causes of terrorism through the war in Iraq. In fact, much of what he has done is the exact opposite — it is aggravating the root causes of Al-Qaeda terrorism. He did this first and foremost by treating 9/11 as a war instead of an emergency action. … We helped spawn Al-Qaeda with the largest single clandestine operation, our backing the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The three factors which Bin Ladin himself cites as causes of 9/11 were U.S. troops on the Arabian peninsula, the sanctions against Iraq which caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and our backing of Zionist colonization. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with that, but we need to look at the actual root causes if we’re going to solve this problem.”

From: Institute for Public Accuracy

                          ==========

BUSH’S IMAGINARY MILITARY RECORD

By Evelyn Pringle

When evaluating Bush’s performance as the Commander-in-Chief leading the Iraq war, it might be helpful to take another look at his years of service in military, or lack thereof.

Complete article at:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/52514/

                          ==========

Borowitz Report – Hillary Gift Shocker

Hillary Sends Gore Basket of Calorie-rich Treats

Attempt to Thwart Potential ’08 Run, Observers Believe

In a move that raised eyebrows among observers of the 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) today sent former Vice President Al Gore a gift basket laden with high-calorie treats.

While the basket, chocked full of such sumptuous snacks as chocolate croissants and pecan buns, was ostensibly a gift to congratulate Mr. Gore on the publication of his new book, “The Assault on Reason,” some members of the former vice president’s staff saw more sinister motives in Sen. Clinton’s choice of present.

With Mr. Gore battling his waistline in recent years, any potential run for the White House in 2008 would presumably require a period of dieting and slimming down – processes that the basket of lip-smacking temptations seemed calculated to thwart.

At a press conference in Washington this morning, Carol Foyler, a senior member of Mr. Gore’s staff, told reporters that the basket of sugary delicacies had been “immediately identified as a threat to the vice president” and disposed of.

“At first we considered hiding the basket,” Ms. Foyler said. “Then we determined that it would be better to move the basket to an undisclosed location, where it was destroyed.”

Responding to the furor over the gift, Sen. Clinton called a press conference asking for forgiveness, claiming that she “meant no harm” in giving Mr. Gore the carbohydrate-rich basket.

“I value my friendship with with Al Gore,” Sen. Clinton said. “And, as a peace offering, I hope he will accept this case of Twinkies.”

Elsewhere, Dick Cheney welcomed his sixth grandchild into the world, meaning he now has more grandchildren than draft deferments.

Andy Rocks with Dave Barry, Steven King and Amy Tan – Friday Night!

Andy joins the 15th Anniversary Tour of the Rockbottom Remainders, an all-star author rock band featuring Dave Barry, Steven King, Amy Tan and special guest stars Frank McCourt, Roger McGuinn and more! This Friday night, June 1st, 9 PM at Webster Hall in NYC. For info go to http://www.rockbottomremainders.com/pages/band.html .

http://www.borowitzreport.com/

                          ==========

three thousand words

Jack Ohman: there is no deadline… pass it on…

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/tmjoh/2007/tmjoh070524.gif

This Modern World: Campaign season on planet Glox!

http://www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/WFC/TMW052907.jpg

John Deering: severe identity crisis

http://img.slate.com/media/77/070529_ed.gif

Wednesday May 30, 2007 – There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. — General Smedley D. Butler

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

It’s an ice life in Antarctica

Where do penguins go to dance? What is it really like in Antarctica?

How do animals and humans survive down south?
In January this year, Tanya Patrick, editor of CSIRO’s kids’ science magazine Scientriffic, travelled to Antarctica to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Read more at:

http://www.csiro.au/news/TanyaPatrickVisitingAntarctica.html”>http://www.csiro.au/news/TanyaPatrickVisitingAntarctica.html>

                          ==========

Media flacks for McCain’s false “flak” attack on Obama’s spelling

Radio host Rush Limbaugh, Politico senior political writer Jonathan Martin, and other media figures uncritically repeated Sen. John. McCain’s (R-AZ) attack on Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) spelling of “flack jacket” with a “c” in “flack,” without noting — as MSNBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira did — that “flack” is an “alternative to the spelling of ‘flak.’ ” Indeed, the phrase “flack jacket” with a “c” appears on dozens of military websites.

Read more

http://mediamatters.org/items/dailyemail/200705260002?src=otherhttp://mediamatters.org/items/dailyemail/200705260002?src=other”>http://mediamatters.org/items/dailyemail/200705260002?src=other>

                          ==========

Group: Terrorism not focus of Homeland Security

27 May 2007
Claims of terrorism represented less than 0.01 percent of charges filed in recent years in immigration courts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a report issued Sunday by an independent research group. This comes despite the fact the Bush regime has repeatedly asserted that fighting terrorism is the central mission of DHS. The Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse said it analyzed millions of previously undisclosed records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act.

At:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/27/homeland.security.record/index.html”>http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/27/homeland.security.record/index.html>

                          ==========

Military chiefs give US six months to win Iraq war –Violence expected to rise after UK withdrawal –Troop numbers too low –Coalition is ‘disintegrating’

28 May 2007
An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq – or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.

At:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2023541,00.html”>http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2023541,00.html>

                          ==========

National Security Archive Update, May 25, 2007 – THE DIARY OF ANATOLY CHERNYAEV

Archive Publishes Second Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser’s Journal
For more information contact:

Svetlana Savranskaya – 202/994-7000
http://www.nsarchive.org/”>http://www.nsarchive.org/>
Washington DC, May 25, 2007 – Today the National Security Archive publishes the second installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era–Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English for the first time on the Archive’s Web site.
The second installment covers the year 1986, when the author becomes Mikhail Gorbachev’s foreign policy adviser. The beginning of the year is marked by radical personnel changes as Gorbachev moves old Brezhnevite elements away from the central party organs and replaces them with people who share his ideas for change.
The diary reflects the admiration Chernyaev felt for Gorbachev and the spectacular plans for change, both internally and in foreign policy, which he brought with him. Chernyaev initially compares Gorbachev to Lenin, but also notes how ideology was losing its weight in the style and substance of real policy under the new General Secretary.
1986 is also a year of a most significant breakthrough in foreign policy, which determined further progress in arms control and in Soviet-American relations. On January 15, Gorbachev issues his Program for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons by the year 2000. Reflecting on this, Chernyaev notes in his diary that the statement exemplified Gorbachev’s realization that “nobody is going to attack us even if we disarm totally.”
It is also the year of Reykjavik, where Gorbachev and Reagan came close to agreeing to eliminate all nuclear weapons. Even though both of them were unable to grasp that historic opportunity, the sparks of shared thinking on the immoral nature of nuclear weapons helped the two leaders work together productively on arms control and many other pressing issues of world politics, winding the Cold War down.

For more information, and to read the diary, see today’s posting on the Archive’s Web site:

http://www.nsarchive.org/”>http://www.nsarchive.org/>

                          ==========

Global Oil to 2030

A Quantitative Assessment in the Context of International Affairs – Global Oil to 2030 Author(s): Tom W. O’Donnell

Publisher(s): International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Zurich, Switzerland

Date of publication: 2 May 2007

Format: PDF

Pages: 15

URL: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/”>http://www.isn.ethz.ch/ />
Series: ISN Case Studies

Description: This paper discusses the importance of oil to the global economy and the geo-strategic implications for the future. The author assesses data drawn from energy forecasting agencies and projections for the oil sector to 2030 and also examines the impact of economic growth, the structure of demand for oil from the transportation and industrial sectors, and the expansion of investment in existing oil fields to open untapped reserves. The paper concludes that because oil demand has become highly inelastic to price pressures and given the progressive depletion of the aging oil fields in the Northern-Hemisphere, global dependence will continue to concentrate on Persian Gulf oil.

General note: © 2007 International Relations and Security Network (ISN)

Bibliographic note: This publication includes graphs on oil reserves, demand, production and investment; appendices on proven reserves and conventional versus non-conventional oil; and endnotes.

Download:  English – Download the full-text document (4.0 MB)

http://se1.isn.ch/serviceengine/FileContent?serviceID=PublishingHouse&fileid=92E70DAE-5014-F6EE-EC00-EF8B7D12616E&lng=enhttp://se1.isn.ch/serviceengine/FileContent?serviceID=PublishingHouse&fileid=92E70DAE-5014-F6EE-EC00-EF8B7D12616E&lng=en”>http://se1.isn.ch/serviceengine/FileContent?serviceID=PublishingHouse&fileid=92E70DAE-5014-F6EE-EC00-EF8B7D12616E&lng=en>

                          ==========

Govs ask Congress to probe gas prices

By Eric Kelderman, Stateline.org Staff Writer
A bipartisan group of 21 governors called for a congressional investigation into record-high gasoline prices as the upcoming Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer driving season. High fuel prices lead two states to consider suspending gasoline taxes to relieve sticker shock at the pump.

Read More

http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=210368http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=210368″>http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=210368>

                          ==========

“Prices at the Pump: Market Failure and the Oil Industry.”

Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee

http://judiciary.house.gov/media/pdfs/Wilson070516.pdf”>http://judiciary.house.gov/media/pdfs/Wilson070516.pdf>

                          ==========

The WasteBasket: A Bulletin on Wasteful Government Spending – PIMP MY BUDGET

by Taxpayers for Common Sense

http://www.taxpayer.net/”>http://www.taxpayer.net/>
PIMP MY BUDGET

Volume XII No. 9 – May 25, 2007
What does Congress do when there just aren’t enough taxpayer dollars available to feed all of the special interests in Washington? They “pimp out” the federal budget with $80 billion worth of the budgetary equivalent of fake air scoops and a vroom box. And when they’re done, they brag to their lobbyist peeps that they have a responsible budget that includes funding for everyone’s pet programs.
Reserve funds, as they are known, are pots of money that have been called “a clever gimmick to help balance the books, a shell game.” These funds, though not real money, are used to pay for any number of Congress’s wish-list items. The 23 reserve funds in this year’s budget far exceed the previous record high of 13 in 1995 (pdf). These funny-money pork pots are supposed to be offset by spending cuts or tax

increases, but don’t kid yourself. This is deficit spending, plain and simple.
And even if Congress does “pay” for some fraction of these add-ons with cuts from somewhere else, history shows that 1 minus 1 in Congressional math doesn’t always equal zero.
Take the 2002 Budget, for example, when Congress tapped projected surpluses in the Medical Hospital Insurance Trust fund to pay for eight reserve funds. The surpluses disappeared almost as soon as the 2002 budget was passed, so fake surpluses were used to “offset” real taxpayer costs.
In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act but didn’t include a way to cover the significant costs of the new drug benefit. Its prescription was a $400 billion reserve fund in the 2004 budget (they didn’t even pretend to pay for this one). The drug benefit is now estimated to cost more than $700 billion over the next ten years (pdf).
http://capwiz.com/taxpayer/utr/1/AGKNHEYPCM/FILCHEYRSX/1217497926″>http://capwiz.com/taxpayer/utr/1/AGKNHEYPCM/FILCHEYRSX/1217497926>
And once these expensive wish list items become law, the long term costs don’t matter in terms of Congress’s budgetary rules, so long as the initial cost estimates comply. And guess who pays for any cost overruns or revenue shortfalls? It’s the taxpayer – always.
In this year’s budget, the reserve fund for the Farm Bill alone is $20 billion, to pay for more subsidies to fat cat farmers, giveaways to the ethanol industry, or expanded conservation programs. Larry Combest, former Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and currently a rice industry lobbyist, recently said that the 2002 farm bill has saved about $17 billion, the result of higher than expected commodities prices. That may be true, but the $98 billion farm bill was paid for in part by $26 billion from—you guessed it—a reserve fund. Forgive us if we aren’t congratulating Congress for not spending $17 billion that never really existed anyway.
Using phony reserve funds to trick-out the federal budget may be a good way to impress your friends, but they are definitely not a free ride.
Going on at Taxpayer.net This Week
House Armed Services Committee releases Defense Authorization Earmarks

http://capwiz.com/taxpayer/utr/1/AGKNHEYPCM/KHLDHEYRSP/1217497926″>http://capwiz.com/taxpayer/utr/1/AGKNHEYPCM/KHLDHEYRSP/1217497926>
Ethics Ruling Guts New Earmark Rules

http://capwiz.com/taxpayer/utr/1/AGKNHEYPCM/FEXJHEYRSQ/1217497926″>http://capwiz.com/taxpayer/utr/1/AGKNHEYPCM/FEXJHEYRSQ/1217497926>
TCS in the News
A losing battle (High Country News)

House FY 2008 Defense Budget Earmarks: Excerpts (Defense Industry Daily, Maryland)

Congress even more ethically challenged (Adrian Daily Telegram, Michigan)

Foe pursues Murtha reprimand (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Today’s Special: Pork. And Tomorrow’s. (Washington Post)

Murtha’s technology show is showcase for contractors (The Hill)

Laying waste to the rain forest (Chicago Tribune)

Con Ed plugs into Homeland Security (Marketplace)

Water bill is flooded with earmarks (Los Angeles Times)

Pork-barrel spending alive and well (United Press International)

Silting of Cross Lake threatens Shreveport’s water supply (Shreveport Times, Louisiana)

Water bill is flooded with earmarks (Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Clyburn sticks by bridge plan (McClatchy Newspapers)

An offer that won’t easily translate (Newark Star Ledger)

Should money flow for river locks? (Chicago Sun-Times)

‘All up in arms’ (The State, South Carolina)
Notable Quote
“I think earmarking has gone too far because it has come to so dominate the legislative consideration of appropriations bills, with too many members focusing on their earmarks rather than program content, performance and funding levels. But, I’m far more worried about the use of earmarks to blackmail Members into voting for legislation that, on the merits, they would prefer to vote against. The real problem with the appropriations process is not the occasional inappropriate earmark that slips through, as embarrassing as that might be. The real problem is that the rules of the House of Representatives — rules based on procedures recommended by Thomas Jefferson that have developed and matured through precedents established over the last 200 years — have been bent and broken in order to enable powerful people in this institution to ram through legislation in an arbitrary and often anonymous fashion.”
Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) before the House Committee on Rules, March 30, 2006.

                          ==========

#10 of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007

#10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
Sources:
The New Yorker, December 2005

Title: “Up in the Air”

Author: Seymour M. Hersh
Tomdispatch, December 2005

Title: “An Increasingly Aerial Occupation”

Author: Dahr Jamail
Community Evaluator: Robert Manning

Student Researcher: Brian Fuchs
There is widespread speculation that President Bush, confronted by diminishing approval ratings and dissent within his own party as well as within the military itself, will begin pulling American troops out of Iraq in 2006. A key element of the drawdown plans not mentioned in the President’s public statements, or in mainstream media for that matter, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower.
“We’re not planning to diminish the war,” Seymour Hersh quotes Patrick Clawson, the deputy director of the Washington Institute, whose views often mirror those of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. “We just want to change the mix of the forces doing the fighting—Iraqi infantry with American support and greater use of airpower.”
While battle fatigue increases among U.S. troops, the prospect of using airpower as a substitute for American troops on the ground has caused great unease within the military. Air Force commanders, in particular, have deep-seated objections to the possibility that Iraqis will eventually be responsible for target selection. Hersh quotes a senior military planner now on assignment in the Pentagon, “Will the Iraqis call in air strikes in order to snuff rivals, or other warlords, or to snuff members of their own sect and blame someone else? Will some Iraqis be targeting on behalf of al-Qaeda, or the insurgency, or the Iranians?”
Dahr Jamail reports that the statistics gleaned from U.S. Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF) indicate a massive rise in the number of U.S. air missions—996 sorties—in Iraq in the month of November 2005.

The size of this figure naturally begs the question, where are such missions being flown and what is their size and nature? It’s important to note as well that “air war” does not simply mean U.S. Air Force. Carrier-based Navy and Marine aircraft flew over 21,000 hours of missions and dropped over twenty-six tons of ordnance in Fallujah alone during the November 2004 siege of that city.

Complete article at:

http://www.projectcensored.org/”>http://www.projectcensored.org/>

                          ==========

three thousand words

Bendib Cartoon: under-a-cloud weather report

http://www.bendib.com/newones/2007/may/small/5-19-Under-A-Cloud–.jpg”>http://www.bendib.com/newones/2007/may/small/5-19-Under-A-Cloud–.jpg>

Sandy Huffaker: we can leave when …

http://editorialcartoonist.com/cartoons/HuffaS/2007/HuffaS20070529_low.jpg”>http://editorialcartoonist.com/cartoons/HuffaS/2007/HuffaS20070529_low.jpg>

Mike Keefe: Rich White Guy

http://www.intoon.com/toons/2007/KeefeM20070526.jpg”>http://www.intoon.com/toons/2007/KeefeM20070526.jpg>

Tuesday May 29, 2007 – “People want to kill people, and they want biblical permission to do so.” – Wilma Ann Bailey

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

The latest from NASA’s Earth Observatory (22 May 2007)

New Reference:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/

* Global Warming

 http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/GlobalWarmingUpdate/

Global warming is happening now, and scientists are very confident that greenhouse gases are responsible. This article explains what global warming is, how scientists know it’s happening, and how they predict future climate.

In the News:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/

* Latest Images:

Leaf Area Index, South America
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17653

Dust Plume off the Coast of Egypt
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17652

Springtime Comes to the Niagara River
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17651

Nevado del Huila, Columbia
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17650

Driving Ban Lowers Beijing Pollution
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17649

Smog Yellows Taj Mahal
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17648

Changes to the Saemangeum Estuary, South Korea
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17647

Ireland
 

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17646

* NASA News

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/

- NASA Finds Vast Regions of West Antarctica Melted in Recent Past

* Media Alerts

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/

- Southern Ocean Carbon Sink Weakened
- Colorado River Streamflow History Reveals Megadrought Before 1490
- New Technique Provides 3-D View of Approaching Hurricanes
- Permanent Ice Fields are Resisting Global Warming
- Brazil Demonstrating that Reducing Tropical Deforestation is Key Win-Win Global Warming Solution
- Researchers Analyze Air Quality and Weather Changes By 2050

* Headlines from the press, radio, and television:

 http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/Headlines/

- Mudflow Warning for Volatile Philippines Volcano
- Polar Bears at Risk as Warming Thaws Icy Home
- Report: Warming Imperils State Flowers
- Corps: Close Channel Blamed for Flooding
- Residents Flee After Waves Batter Indonesian Coastline
- Antarctic Lake Cleared for Study
- Small Parks Could Cool Big Cities
- Global Warming Cuts Salmon Habitat
- Study: Southern Ocean Saturated with Carbon Dioxide
- Small Particles’ Big Impact on Climate
- Volcanic Bulge Could Pinpoint Next Eruption
- Big Areas of Antarctica Melted in 2005
- Marine Species Suggest Antarctic ‘Cradle of Life’
- Asian Dust Plume May Sway U.S. Climate: Scientists
- Ocean Around Japan Warming Up Fast: Report
- Scientists Urge Half of Canada Forest Be Protected
- Panel: Climate Change Will Hurt Africa

* New Research Highlights

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/Research/

                          ==========

Fineman “can’t blame” McCain for angry outbursts because “his courage forever is being tested by his bad luck”

In his May 23 online column, “The Upside of Anger,” Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman wrote that he “can’t blame” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his propensity toward angry outbursts because “his courage forever is being tested by his bad luck.” Fineman lauded the 24-year Capitol Hill veteran as an “outsider” and furthered the baseless media narrative that McCain is a different type of candidate, writing that McCain “seems uncomfortable” pandering or “overcompensates by being too enthusiastic.”

Read more

http://mediamatters.org/items/dailyemail/200705250005?src=other

                          ==========

Pharma-terrorists given license to kill by Bush regime: Medical experiments to be done without patients’ consent

27 May 2007

The federal government is undertaking the most ambitious set of studies ever mounted under a controversial arrangement that allows researchers to conduct medical experiments without first getting patients’ permission. The $50 million, five-year ‘project,’ which will involve more than 20,000 patients in 11 sites in the United States and Canada, is designed to improve treatment [the profit margin for the corpora-terrorists] after car accidents, shootings, cardiac arrest and other emergencies… George J. Annas, a Boston University bioethicist, said “I don’t think we should use people like this.” Annas was particularly disturbed that children as young as 15 might be included in the research. [Bush's mentors, the Nazis, carried out such experiments on prisoners in concentration camps! Notice that this news tidbit broke in the middle of a holiday weekend, when no one is paying attention! Please forward this news item to your media lists.]

Read more

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/26/AR2007052600982.html

                          ==========

A Letter from Michael Moore: ‘Sicko’ is Socko in Cannes!

23 May 2007

At the press screening for “Sicko,” the Wall Street Journal reported that hardened reporters and critics wept. Even those who have been harsh to me in the past, or who have not agreed with my politics, were moved… The New York Post reported Sunday that the Bush administration, in addition to going after me for filming scenes in or near Cuba, may now go after the 9/11 rescue workers I took with me to get the medical care they were denied by our own government… We’ve also received word that the HMO and pharmaceutical industries are gearing up to fight “Sicko.”

Read more

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=210

                          ==========

I DON’T WANT MY PHARMA TV

http://www.prwatch.org/node/6076

“Amid strenuous lobbying across Europe” to end restrictions on direct-to-consumer drug advertising, four pharmaceutical companies are considering launching their own television station. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis and Procter & Gamble envision “Pharma TV” as “a dedicated interactive digital channel funded by the industry with health news and features,” reports Sarah Boseley. The companies are calling it the “European Patient Information Channel,” and say its “on demand” drug information would “enable patients and citizens to make better decisions.” The pharmaceutical industry wants “direct access” to European patients, and is backed “by a number of influential patient groups that are themselves heavily funded by drug companies.” Independent groups under the International Society of Drug Bulletins warn that industry messages tend to focus on “relatively few top sellers, exaggerating effects and concealing
risks, confusing patients and putting pressure on doctors to prescribe drugs they would not use otherwise.”

SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), May 21, 2007

                          ==========

CBS News Investigates How Individual Health Insurance Providers Can Deny Big Claims

“I certainly figured that a heart attack was a catastrophic event. So I figured I was covered,” Smith said.

A two-month CBS News investigation of the individual insurance market found that Smith’s experience was far from unique. Because it was expensive, his claim was investigated for fraud by Assurant Health, his insurance company.

After examining his medical records, the company refused to pay basedon a 3-year old-reference to an “angina episode.” Assurant said those words proved his condition was pre-existing, despite the fact that follow-up tests in the same file diagnose his “episode” as a case of acid reflux and ruled out a heart condition.

“The claim about these pre-existing conditions was absolutely preposterous,” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.

Complete article at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/24/cbsnews_investigates/main2850054.shtml

                          ==========

War Funding

ANTONIA JUHASZ, antoniajuhasz@gmail.com
http://www.bushagenda.net/article.php?id=369, http://priceofoil.org

Juhasz is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. She will be at a news conference in D.C. on Thursday with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, at noon in the Cannon Terrace. She said today: “A major
‘benchmark’ is for the Iraqi parliament to pass a new oil law. This is a major goal of Big Oil as it helps privatize Iraq’s oil. The proposed Iraqi oil law would actually destabilize Iraq and lengthen the war.”

Juhasz is author of the book “The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.”

From: Institute for Public Accuracy

                          ==========

#9 of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007

#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall

Sources:

Left Turn Issue #18
Title: “Cementing Israeli Apartheid: The Role of World Bank”
Author: Jamal Juma’

Al-Jazeerah, March 9, 2005
Title: “US Free Trade Agreements Split Arab Opinion”
Author: Linda Heard

Community Evaluator: April Hurley, MD
Student Researchers: Bailey Malone and Lisa Dobias

Despite the 2004 International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision that called for tearing down the Wall and compensating affected communities, construction of the Wall has accelerated. The route of the barrier runs deep into Palestinian territory, aiding the annexation of Israeli settlements and the breaking of Palestinian territorial continuity. The World Bank’s vision of “economic development,” however, evades any discussion of the Wall’s illegality. The World Bank has meanwhile outlined the framework for a Palestinian Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) policy in their most recent report on Palestine published in December of 2004, “Stagnation or Revival: Israeli Disengagement and Palestinian Economic Prospects.” Central to World Bank proposals are the construction of massive industrial zones to be financed by the World Bank and other donors and controlled by the Israeli Occupation. Built on Palestinian land around the Wall, these industrial zones are envisaged as forming the basis of export-orientated economic development. Palestinians imprisoned by the Wall and dispossessed of land can be put to work for low wages. The post-Wall MEFTA vision includes complete control over Palestinian movement. The report proposes high-tech military gates and checkpoints along the Wall, through which Palestinians and exports can be conveniently transported and controlled. A supplemental “transfer system” of walled roads and tunnels will allow Palestinian workers to be funneled to their jobs, while being simultaneously denied access to their land. Sweatshops will be one of very few possibilities of earning a living for Palestinians confined to disparate ghettos throughout the West Bank. The World Bank states:

“In an improved operating environment, Palestinian entrepreneurs and foreign investors will look for well-serviced industrial land and supporting infrastructure. They will also seek a regulatory regime with a minimum of ‘red tape’ and with clear procedures for conducting business. Industrial Estates (IEs), particularly those on the border between Palestinian and Israeli territory, can fulfill this need and thereby play an important role in supporting export based growth.”

Complete article at:

www.projectcensored.org

                          ==========

The March to War: Syria Preparing for US-Israeli Attacks

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
 

Global Research, May 25, 2007
GlobalResearch.ca – 2007-05-24

“To the east there is the Resistance in Iraq, to the west there is the Resistance in Lebanon and to the south there is the Resistance of the Palestinian people. We, in Syria, are at the heart of all these events!”

  -Basher Al-Assad, 10th President of Syria (April 30, 2007)

Syria was in the sights of the White House and Pentagon since the advent of the “Global War on Terror.” Attacks on Lebanon and Syria have long been expected as a phase in the American-led war march unfolding in the Middle East and Central Asia in the wake of  the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

The U.S. government itself has clarified that it was considering invading Syria after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. [1] The U.S. Congress in 2003 also started to re-evaluate strengthening the Syrian Accountability Act. The Guardian, a major British newspaper, reported during the initial days of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in April of 2003 that Syria was a potential military target:

In the past few weeks, the U.S. defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, ordered contingency plans for a war on Syria to be reviewed following the fall of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, his undersecretary for policy, Doug Feith, and William Luti, the head of the Pentagon’s office of special plans, were asked to put together a briefing paper on the case for war against Syria, outlining its role in supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein, its links with Middle East terrorist groups and its allegedly advanced chemical weapons programme. Mr. Feith and Mr. Luti were both instrumental in persuading the White House to go to war in Iraq.

Mr. Feith and other conservatives now playing important roles in the Bush administration, advised the Israeli government in 1996 that it could “shape its strategic environment… by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria.” [2]

The 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon was also initiated for strategic reasons, which included the subjugation of Syria, as a continuation of the Pentagon’s plans to strike Syria. This has been acknowledged by Israeli and U.S. government officials and there are numerous international press reports to validate this. In fact on October 8, 2003, months after the fall of Baghdad to U.S. tanks and soldiers, Israeli fighter jets made air raids inside Syrian territory. The Syrians restrained themselves refusing to be baited into a war. The Syrian President gave a rare public response to the Israeli air strike in Syria accusing Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government of trying to drag Syria and the entire region into a “new war.” [3]

Complete article at:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20070525&articleId=5748

From:  www.GlobalResearch.ca

                          ==========

three thousand words

R.J. Matson: stop right there! you’re messing with the constitution

http://cagle.com/working/070524/matson.jpg

Mr. Fish (Dwayne Booth): excuse me sweetheart, I have to hang this up

http://www.cagle.com/working/070527/booth.jpg

Steve Benson: the eagle

http://azcentral.com/sshow/News/Benson/4776_84268.jpg

Monday May 28, 2007 – Memorial Day – Wars are not acts of God. They are caused by man, by man-made institutions, by the way in which man has organized his society. What man has made, man can change. – Frederick Moore Vinson

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Read an excerpt adapted from Michael Sledge’s book SOLDIER DEAD: HOW WE RECOVER, IDENTIFY, BURY, AND HONOR OUR MILITARY FALLEN (Columbia University Press, 2005):

Burying military dead with honors is not a recent practice. Thucydides’ account of the funerary rites of warriors who died in the Peloponnesian War reads as though it could have appeared in The New York Times:

“In the same winter the Athenians gave a funeral at the public cost to those who had fallen in this war. It was a custom of their ancestors, and the manner of it is as follows. Three days before the ceremony, the bones of the dead are laid out in a tent which has been erected; and their friends bring to their relatives such offerings as they please. In the funeral procession cypress coffins are borne in cars, one for each tribe, the bones of the deceased being placed in the coffin of their tribe. Among these is carried an empty bier decked for the missing, that is, for those whose bodies could not be recovered. Any citizen or stranger who pleases joins in the procession, and the female relatives are there to wail at the burial. The dead are laid in the public sepulcher in the most beautiful suburb of the city, in which those who fall in war are always buried; with the exception of those slain at Marathon, who for their singular and extraordinary valor were interred on the spot where they fell. After the bodies have been laid in the earth, a man chosen by the state…pronounces over them an appropriate panegyric…Pericles, son of Xanthippus, was chosen to pronounce their eulogium.”

Apparently, the Greeks had less trepidation about seeing the bones of their slain warriors than we do today; it would be hard to imagine the bones of unidentified Soldier Dead “laid out in a tent” for all to honor. Of course, the Greeks did what their technology allowed them to do; our level of advancement provides us with different choices.

The public is called to honor the fallen. Theodore Roosevelt, in a 1907 Arlington National Cemetery dedication to the dead of his regiment, said “a few had the ‘supreme good fortune of dying honorably on a well-fought field for their country’s flag.’” During World War I and World War II, two of Roosevelt’s own sons had this “good fortune” and another, Kermit, killed himself while stationed at a military base. Ultimately, the final resting place for fallen military is but a marker of our debt to them and their families. No ceremony can do much to assuage the loss borne by the living.

Complete article at:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week1039/commentary.html

                          ==========

three thousand words

Tom Toles: whew! no deadlines

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/uc/20070524/ltt070524.gif

Paul Combs: thank you for your service and sacrifice son …

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/tmcmb/2007/tmcmb070523.gif

Zippy the Pinhead: a brief history of the war

http://pst.rbma.com/content/Zippy_the_Pinhead?date=20070526&size=hires

Sunday May 27, 2007 – We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart – H. L.Mencken

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Kansas’s Modified Periodic Table, “Kansas: As Dumb as You Think” 

At:

http://www.re-discovery.org/per_table.gif

                          ==========

THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT’S FEAR OF PLEASURE IS OUR GREATEST THREAT TO CHOICE

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The war against abortion has nothing to do with the protection of life. It is a war against an open society — a cover for assaults against sexual pleasure and personal choice.

At:

 http://www.alternet.org/rights/51674/

                          ==========

An Online Archive Collects Charles Darwin’s Letters

Whether they’re studying his groundbreaking research, his correspondence with pigeon breeders, or even his personal-hygiene habits, scholars interested in Charles Darwin will find plenty of grist in a new online archive.

At:

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/

The Darwin Correspondence Project, run by archivists at the University of Cambridge, makes almost 5,000 of Darwin’s personal letters available online. And the site provides summaries of an additional 9,000 missives — including some that Darwin wrote when he was just 12 years old. Cambridge actually started the correspondence project in 1974, and the university has already published 15 books’ worth of the scientist’s letters, according to BBC News. But now that the database is going digital, archivists say they will put heretofore unpublished letters up on the Web site four years before they include the material in books. –Brock Read

                          ==========

Another Christian Science Fair embarrasses itself

Category: Creationism
May 23, 2007

by PZ Myers

It’s becoming a trend: Evangelical Christian institutions that try to do science inevitable demonstrate breathtaking inanity of their own. The latest victim is the Pawleys Island Christian Academy. Take a gander at the first place winner in biology.

At:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/another_christian_science_fair.php

                          ==========

DIARY OF A CHRISTIAN TERRORIST

By Max Blumenthal

Inside the mind of the Liberty University student who planned to kill protestors at Jerry Falwell’s
funeral.

At:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/52317/

                          ==========

Diocese Found Guilty In Minister Sex Abuse Case … and more

AHN – USA

Testimony from the victims included tales of how the minister seduced and had sex with the victims. A female victim won a $5.5 million judgment and a male …

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7007393786

New York Catholic diocese ordered to pay $11M damages in sex abuse …

By Michael Sung(Bernard Hibbitts)

[JURIST] The New York Long Island Diocese of Rockville Centre [diocesan website] was found negligent by a jury Friday in the hiring and retention of a youth minister who repeatedly molested two victims between 1999 and 2002, …

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/05/new-york-catholic-diocese-ordered-to.php

WA appeals court refuses to dismiss clergy sex abuse cases

Bellingham Herald – Bellingham,WA,USA

A Catholic religious order that trained former priest Patrick O’Donnell can be sued by dozens of sexual abuse victims who contend the group knew O’Donnell …

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/northwest/story/85078.html

Former Youth Minister Charged With Assaults

KDKA – Pittsburg,PA,USA

David Baird, who lives in West Deer, was charged yesterday with statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviant intercourse, sexual assault, two counts of …

http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_139124928.html

                          ==========

In just three days, the religious right will launch one of the most outrageous campaigns to date in their war on science: the $27 million “Creation Museum” in Petersburg, Kentucky.

Find out more about this deceptive institution and help support real science education by visiting our special “Creation Museum” website now.

http://ga3.org/ct/3dMqIIM19RGv/

The “Museum,” which was built by the religious right organization Answers in Genesis (AiG), is dedicated to the falsehood that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, claims that humans and dinosaurs coexisted a few thousand years ago, and has but one goal: to institutionalize the lie that science supports these fairytales.

DefCon advisory board member and professor of physics Dr. Lawrence Krauss has prepared a brief Parent’s Guide explaining the top 10 reasons why the “Museum” gets it wrong — very wrong. Visit our site to check out the guide.

http://ga3.org/ct/3dMqIIM19RGv/

This institution is only the most recent example of the religious right’s war on science education – whether in the form of anti-evolution stickers in textbooks or the promotion of intelligent design in the classroom.

In all of these cases the religious right has sought to create controversy where none exists. However, in the case of the “Creation Museum” they have gone one step further: instead of acknowledging their contempt for science, they are actually claiming that science supports their creationist propaganda.

While AiG has the right to spend $27 million promoting a lie, it is imperative that as concerned citizens we let America know the true dangers of their nefarious campaign.

More than 20,000 concerned citizens — including 3,600 edcucators from every state and at every level from kindergarten to graduate school — have joined our campaign to speak out against this deceptive institution.  If you haven’t already, please take a moment to add your name to the petition.

http://ga3.org/ct/3dMqIIM19RGv/

Be sure to stay tuned to the DefCon Blog  http://www.defconblog.org/   for more information.

Clark and the rest of the DefCon Team.

                          ==========

NATURAL HISTORY, BIBLE-STYLE

By Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor

A new creation “science” museum puts dinosaurs in the garden with Adam and Eve. Some 700 scientists have deplored its inaccurate exhibits, warning that students who accept them are “unlikely to succeed in science courses.”

At:

http://www.alternet.org/stories/52356/

                          ==========

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS WAR IS STILL GOING ON?

By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown

After committing troops to a war that has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions without homes, George W. Bush says he prays for safety and peace. Way to go, Georgie, shift the responsibility for your mess to God.

At:

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/52290/

                          ==========

Religion of despair

Chris Hedges

Published 29 January 2007

Disciples of evangelism in the United States are often regarded with fear and suspicion. But for many it’s seen as a route out of poverty and hopelessness

The engine that drives the radical Christian right in the United States – the most dangerous mass movement in American history – is not religiosity, but despair. It is a movement built on the growing personal and economic despair of tens of millions of Americans, who watched helplessly as their communities were plunged into poverty by the flight of manu facturing jobs, their families and neighbourhoods torn apart by neglect and indifference. They eventually lost hope that America was a place where they had a future.

This despair crosses economic boundaries, enveloping many in the middle class who live trapped in huge, soulless exurbs where, lacking any form of community rituals or centres, they also feel deeply isolated, vulnerable and lonely. Those in despair are the most easily manipulated by demagogues, who promise a fantastic utopia, whether it is a worker’s paradise, liberté-égalité-fraternité, or the second coming of Jesus Christ. Those in despair search desperately for a solution, the warm embrace of a community to replace the one they lost, a sense of purpose and meaning in life, the assurance that they are protected, loved and worthwhile.

Complete article at:

http://www.newstatesman.com/200701290030

                          ==========

three thousand words

Ann Telnaes: no it’s not a mistake rev, falwell …

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e164/bobgeiger/toons/cartoons_051907_a.jpg

dhonig: Creationism Museum to open

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a229/dhonig2/Museum400.jpg

dhonig:  Ken Ham’s New Museum

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a229/dhonig2/Anti-Gravity425.jpg

Saturday May 26, 2007 – “You cannot make authentic guacamole out of lima beans and ritz crackers” – Peggy Hill (King of the Hill)

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Prediction Markets as an Aggregation Mechanism for Collective Intelligence

Jennifer   H. Watkins (May 2007)

Abstract

Collective intelligence is the result of the proper aggregation of local information from many individuals to generate an optimal global solution to a problem. Often, these solutions are more optimal than what any individual could have provided. In this article, we focus on prediction markets as the aggregation mechanism for collective intelligence. Prediction markets, like commodity markets, channel inputs from all traders into a single dynamic stock price. Instead of determining the value of a particular good, a prediction market is used to determine the probability of a particular event occurring. We present and discuss five features of prediction markets that urge a collective toward optimal solutions. Through the combination of these features, prediction markets lend themselves to the systematic study of the promising phenomenon of collective intelligence.

At:

http://public.lanl.gov/jhw/Publications_files/HCS_PM-1.pdf

                          ==========

CNN aired Bush assertion about Iraq three times in one hour without assessing its validity

President Bush’s statement, “The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland. The enemy in Iraq does,” was aired three times in the 4 p.m. ET hour of the May 23 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room. While host Wolf Blitzer invited Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards to respond to the statement at one point, at no point did he or other CNN personalities note that, as Media Matters for America has documented, the assertion that terrorists will “strike our homeland” following a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq is widely challenged by experts.

Read more

http://mediamatters.org/items/dailyemail/200705240005?src=other

                          ==========

Big Oil buys Sacramento –Why you’re not hearing a peep from California politicians on record-high gas prices.

By Jamie Court and Judy Dugan

14 May 2007

…[A]s gasoline prices were breaking last year’s record of $3.38 a gallon, Schwarzenegger (R) collected a $100,000 check May 1 from Chevron, the West’s largest refiner. The company certainly had the cash on hand. Just three days earlier, it reported a $4.7-billion first-quarter profit, up 18% over the same period last year. The contribution brought Schwarzenegger’s take from Chevron to $665,000 (making it his 15th largest donor) since 2003, and his total political tribute from the energy industry is now $4 million.

At:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-court14may14,1,7287489.story

                          ==========

House Approves Stiff Penalties For Gas Price Gouging  23 May 2007

The House, eager to do something about record high gasoline prices in advance of the Memorial Day weekend, approved stiff penalties Wednesday for those found guilty of gasoline price gouging. The bill, approved by a vote 284-141, directs the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to go after oil companies, traders or retail operators if they take “unfair advantage” or charge “unconscionably excessive” prices for gasoline and other fuels. The White House said President [sic] Bush would be urged to veto the legislation should it pass Congress.

At:

http://www.kirotv.com/news/13374809/detail.html

                          ==========

BP’S “BUDDY SYSTEM” FOR POLITICIANS

A report commissioned by BP “to investigate corrosion-related oil pipeline spills last year in Prudhoe Bay … offers a rare glimpse inside the London-based oil giant’s corporate tactics in Alaska,” writes Wesley Loy. The report, produced for BP by consultants at Booz Allen Hamilton, details BP’s “formal relationship matrix,” which matches up company executives with Alaska and federal officials. For example, BP’s Randal Buckendorf liaises with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Buckendorf is a former DEC employee with “long-standing personal friendships and professional interactions” with the state regulator, according to the report. BP Alaska’s president “is to deal with the commissioner of the [state] Department of Natural Resources.” The report warned that after last year’s pipeline leaks, “many regulatory relationships have become strained.” A BP spokesperson said the “relationship matrix” was a standard approach to maintain “good, consistent lines of communication” with regulatory agencies.

SOURCE: Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), May 18, 2007

                          ==========

Is U.S. occupation of Iraq legal?

May 23, 2007

John Repp and Mike Yarrow, guest columnists:

What is lost in the media attention to the fight between President Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress over funding the troops in Iraq is the fact that the military occupation of Iraq is illegal.

Complete article at:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/316925_legaloccup24.html

John Repp is a member of West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice. Mike Yarrow is a member of Rainier Valley Neighbors for Peace and Justice.

                          ==========

The Goods on Goodling and the Keys to the Kingdom

Special to BRADBLOG
by Greg Palast

This Monica revealed something hotter — much hotter — than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One….And the Committee members didn’t even know it.

Goodling testified that Gonzales’ Chief of Staff, Kyle Sampson, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: Sampson denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin’s “involvement in ‘caging’ voters” in 2004.

Huh?? Tim Griffin? “Caging”???

The perplexed committee members hadn’t a clue — and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found “the keys to the kingdom,” they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.

The keys: the missing emails — and missing link — that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.

Kingdom enough for ya?

But what’s ‘caging’ and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer Sampson put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin’s involvement in it? Because it’s a felony. And a big one.

Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet – except the USA – only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

Here’s how caging worked, and along with Griffin’s thoughtful emails themselves you’ll understand it all in no time.

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked “Do not forward” to voters’ homes. Letters returned (“caged”) were used as evidence to block these voters’ right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and — you got to love this — American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren’t these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation — and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

How do I know? I have the caging lists…

I have them because they are attached to the emails Rove insists can’t be found. I have the emails. 500 of them — sent to our team at BBC after the Rove-bots accidentally sent them to a web domain owned by our friend John Wooden.

Here’s what you need to know — and the Committee would have discovered, if only they’d asked:

1. ‘Caging’ voters is a crime, a go-to-jail felony.

2. Griffin wasn’t “involved” in the caging, Ms. Goodling. Griffin, Rove’s right-hand man (right-hand claw), was directing the illegal purge and challenge campaign. How do I know? It’s in the email I got. Thanks. And it’s posted below.

3. On December 7, 2006, the ragin’, cagin’ Griffin was named, on Rove’s personal demand, US Attorney for Arkansas. Perpetrator became prosecutor.

The committee was perplexed about Monica’s panicked admission and accusations about the caging list because the US press never covered it. That’s because, as Griffin wrote to Goodling in yet another email (dated February 6 of this year, and also posted below), their caging operation only made the news on BBC London: busted open, Griffin bitched, by that “British reporter,” Greg Palast.

There’s no pride in this. Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet — except the USA — only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

And now, not bothering to understand the astonishing revelation in Goodling’s confessional, they are missing the real story behind the firing of the US attorneys. It’s not about removing prosecutors disloyal to Bush, it’s about replacing those who refused to aid the theft of the vote in 2004 with those prepared to burgle it again in 2008.

Now that they have the keys, let’s see if they can put them in the right door. The clock is ticking ladies and gents…

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse: from Baghdad to New Orleans – Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone WILD. For more info, or to hear Brad Friedman, Ed Asner and other troublemakers read from Armed Madhouse, go to www.GregPalast.com

                          ==========

Immigration Proposal: Who Benefits?

DEEPA FERNANDES, dfernandes@wbai.org

http://www.sevenstories.com/Book/?GCOI=58322100771320

Fernandes is author of the book “Targeted: National Security and the Business of Immigration” and has closely followed the existing guest worker program that began after Katrina. She said today: “The so-called ‘guest worker’ provisions of the bill serve only to benefit big business. Witness the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, an unambiguous example of exactly how this H2B guest worker program is legalizing the outright exploitation of immigrant labor. Immigrants lose and U.S. workers lose.”

From: Institute for Public Accuracy

                          ==========

“HAIRCUTGATE” AND OTHER SILLY-SEASON NONSENSE: WE’RE IN FOR A LONG YEAR OF RIGHT-WING SMEARS

By Paul Rogat Loeb, TomPaine.com

Brace yourself as the Right continues its legacy of dumbing down American political discourse for the next 20 months.

At:

http://www.alternet.org/stories/52332/

                          ==========

#8 of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007

#8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act

Sources:

New Standard, May 6, 2005

Title: “Pentagon Seeks Greater Immunity from Freedom of Information”
Author: Michelle Chen

Newspaper Association of America website, posted December 2005
Title: “FOIA Exemption Granted to Federal Agency”

Community Evaluator: Tim Ogburn
Student Researcher: Rachelle Cooper and Brian Murphy

The Department of Defense has been granted exemption from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In December 2005, Congress passed the 2006 Defense Authorization Act which renders Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) “operational files” fully immune to FOIA requests, the main mechanism by which watchdog groups, journalists and individuals can access federal documents. Of particular concern to critics of the Defense Authorization Act is the DIA’s new right to thwart access to files that may reveal human rights violations tied to ongoing “counterterrorism” efforts. The rule could, for instance, frustrate the work of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations that have relied on FOIA to uncover more than 30,000 documents on the U.S. military’s involvement in the torture and mistreatment of foreign detainees in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and Iraq—including the Abu Ghraib scandal.

Several key documents that have surfaced in the advocacy organization’s expansive research originate from DIA files, including a 2004 memorandum containing evidence that U.S. military interrogators brutalized detainees in Baghdad, as well as a report describing the abuse of Iraqi detainees as violations of international human rights law.

According to Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU attorney involved in the ongoing torture investigations, “If the Defense Intelligence Agency can rely on exception or exemption from the FOIA, then documents such as those that we obtained this last time around will not become public at all.” The end result of such an exemption, he told The New Standard, is that “abuse is much more likely to take place, because there’s not public oversight of Defense Intelligence Agency activity.”

Complete article at:

www.projectcensored.org

                          ==========

three thousand words

Steve Sack: start czarin’

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/tmssa/2007/tmssa070523.gif

Mike Keefe: Worker Bee

http://www.intoon.com/toons/2007/KeefeM20070525.jpg

Jack Ohman: mitt romney in the mirror

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/tmjoh/2007/tmjoh070522.gif