Environmental News Watch:


 Old News   Cold News | Orr-Report  | From: Joseph Holmes | From: Ed Dobson



Knowledge is Power - Thomas Jefferson

October 10, 2004




Congress moves to close SUV-friendly tax loophole

Not-So-Great Debates: Part 2 - The Nation

Kenyan Environmentalist Wangari Maathai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

 Bush's Crimes Against Nature - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Rome cracks down on SUVs

Closed, For Business: Energy Bill Special-Interests Triumph - t r u t h o u t

Hetch Hetchy report deserves serious discussion

A Terror Attack, Coming Soon to a Plant Near You - Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Earth to Bush - The Nation

Wildlife Protection Standards Waived - t r u t h o u t

Bush revealed his true dependency Thursday

George W. Bush & the "Mandate of Heaven"

Shooting the Messenger Doesn't Discredit the Message - Greg Palast

Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.

Howard Dean | Environmental Policy Affects Health, Economy, Security - t r u t h o u t

Disillusioned and angry American soldiers serving in Iraq - Letters to Michael Moore

10 Questions for Dick Cheney - John Nichols


Grand Finale: Bruce Springsteen Wants You Next Monday! - Vote for Change tour

The Sweet Music of Activism - Bill Bradley

Two held in French anti-nuclear protest

It's Time for Fundamental Changes in the Way We Derive and Use Energy - Ralph Nader

As Reservoirs Recede, Fears of a Water Shortage Rise

Global Warming Is Expected to Raise Hurricane Intensity - t r u t h o u t

U.S. Can Eliminate Oil Use in a Few Decades

On a mission to save America's natural majesty

Informed Dissent | Is it just me, or is it getting warmer?

Kerry Keeps Hope Alive - The Nation

Refinery Report Release Delayed until after Election - t r u t h o u t

Navajo feel a long way from Washington

Climb every mountain -- on film

Sacramento Bee and SF Chronicle editorials on Hetch Hetchy

Old Testament Vengeance?

Americans Pay High Cost for War

Cornel West's Democracy; Top 10 Reasons to Withdraw from Iraq - AlterNet

Kerry and Bush Sharply Divided on Global Warming - t r u t h o u t


Bush is History's Top Terrorist

Backtracking on bullet train route

WANTED: Program Director, Brower Youth Awards

Robert Redford Criticizes Bush Environmental Record - t r u t h o u t

BROWER POWER - A spotlight on young enviro activists

2004 Brower Youth Awards Honor Outstanding Student Environmental Leaders

The 2003 Brower Youth Award Winners Speak Up

The Next Agenda

Julia Butterfly's Calendar - CIRCLE of LIFE

Butterfly Gardener: Events Calendar & Action Alerts





From: "Arianna Huffington" <arianna@ariannaonline.com>
Reply-To: <arianna@ariannaonline.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 12:25:19 -0700
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Subject: Bogus Polls: Meaningless Farce Or Looming Tragedy?



By Arianna Huffington

I've been wanting to weigh in for a while now on the negative - indeed, the downright dangerous - impact that public opinion polls are having on our democracy, but have held off until the numbers turned in John Kerry's favor lest I be accused of following in the footsteps of my Greek ancestors by killing the messenger.

But now that the post-debate figures have swung Kerry's way, let me jump on the chance to say: It's time to pull the plug on the media's obsession with treating polling results as if Moses had just brought them down from the mountaintop.

Over the last month, media coverage of the presidential race has been driven by wildly vacillating poll numbers. For example, Newsweek has Kerry going from 11 points down in its Sept. 4 poll to 2 points up in this week's poll, while Gallup went from Kerry trailing by 14 points on Sept. 16 to dead even on Oct. 4.

Of course, at the same time that Gallup had Bush 14 points ahead, the Pew Center poll had the race all tied up; and now that Gallup has Kerry pulling even with Bush, Pew has the president holding a 7-point advantage.

But no one in the media says, "Hey, wait a minute. What's going on here? Both of you can't be right!" They just dutifully report the latest numbers and set out to explain what they "mean" - without any attempt to account for the huge disparities.

After all, for the big swings in the Newsweek and Gallup polls to be true, close to 16 million voters would have had to change their minds. In four weeks' time. Not even J-Lo is that fickle.

Sure, Kerry was strong in the first debate and Bush was shaky - but for that many voters to switch sides that fast, Kerry would have had to deliver Osama Been Forgotten's head on a silver platter during his closing statement.

And, unless I really spaced out, that didn't happen.

The dirty little secret of the polling industry is that, all too often, its findings are based on flawed methodology and dubious assumptions.

Take that mid-September Gallup poll that found Kerry had plummeted 14 points behind Bush. It sure made it seem as if Kerry were as good as done for, right? And that's the way it was widely reported by everybody, especially Gallup's media partners, USA Today and CNN. The problem is, the poll was absurdly weighted in favor of GOP voters, assuming that on Election Day 40 percent of those casting a ballot will be Republicans and only 33 percent will be Democrats - a turnout breakdown that will only happen in Karl Rove's dreams.

Democrats have accounted for 39 percent of those voting in the last two presidential elections, while Republicans accounted for no more than 35 percent in either 1996 or 2000.

It's like they say about computers: garbage in, garbage out. With polls, it's faulty data in, faulty findings out.

Yet polls are now firmly entrenched as the lingua franca of political analysis. Dissecting the latest numbers is so much easier than actually, y'know, digging for the truth. Cable shows love turning the campaign into a horse race. And it's so much easier if you can parade fatuous numbers as hardcore facts to prove Who's Hot and Who's Not.

Trouble is, these "snapshots of the electorate" quickly harden into portraits, and, in the blink of an eye, guesstimates become the conventional wisdom.

And in politics, as in sports, everybody loves a winner. Thus, as soon as the pollsters delivered Bush his hyper-inflated post-convention bounce, many of the Democratic faithful started seeing the ghosts of Mike Dukakis and Fritz Mondale lurking around every corner. By the same light, now that Bush has supposedly hit the polling skids, the shadow of his Dad's one-and-done presidency has begun to darken the GOP base's doorstep.

These kinds of poll-induced mood swings can have a profound impact on a campaign. The sense that a candidate is tanking - or on a roll - can make the difference between a potential donor making a contribution or keeping his checkbook in his pocket. It can also tip the scales for a would-be volunteer deciding whether to give up more free time to go door-to-door registering voters or work the phones to get out the vote.

I saw firsthand the effect that manufactured momentum has as I traveled around the country speaking. Again and again last month, I was told by Kerry supporters that the gloomy poll numbers hanging over their man's campaign had made them less likely to donate their time and money.

This is how polls morph from meaningless farce into potential tragedy - self-fulfilling prophesies that end up making more likely whatever results they predict while, at the same time, undermining the democratic process.

But despite mounting evidence that poll results can't be trusted, pundits and politicians continue to treat them with a reverence ancient Romans reserved for chicken entrails, ignoring the fact that pollsters are finding it increasingly difficult to get people to talk to them. Thanks to answering machines, caller ID and telemarketers, polling response rates have plunged to 30 percent - and lower. It's pretty hard getting a good read on the public's opinion when people keep hanging up on you.

Plus, pollsters never call cell phones - of which there are now close to 170 million. And even though most cell phone users also have a hard line, a growing number don't - especially young people, an underpolled and hard-to-gauge demographic that could easily turn out to be the margin of difference in this year's race.

Most important, no pollsters, no matter how polished their crystal balls, really know who are going to be the likely voters this November and how many of the unlikely ones are going to turn out at the polls.

Our media mavens obviously know all this, but choose to ignore it. Coming clean about polls would mean taking them off the front pages and sticking them where they belong - back among the horoscopes and comic strips.

And then what would the chattering class chatter about?

© 2004 Arianna Huffington.
Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.


DAILY GRIST - 08 Oct 2004

Environmental news from GRIST MAGAZINE



Congress moves to close SUV-friendly tax loophole

It looks like Congress may soon close one of the U.S. tax code's most
egregious provisions (and that's quite a distinction!). In 2003,
lawmakers raised the business-equipment tax deduction to $100,000,
clearing the way for a massive luxury SUV to be written off as a
business expense -- if it was used "primarily" for business purposes,
of course, wink, wink. The American International Automobile
Dealers, an industry group, claimed the tax break stimulated the
economy, citing, uh, a 6 percent rise in SUV sales. Automakers,
deeply aware of the injustice of it all, advocated that all vehicles
be given the tax break. But consumer, tax-fairness, and enviro
groups suggested that perhaps the federal government shouldn't be
subsidizing the purchase of polluting vehicles at all. In a large
tax bill likely to be approved by the House and Senate by the end of
the week, lawmakers reduced the deduction to $25,000. And rejected a
provision that would have given tax breaks to buyers of hybrid and
other clean cars. But hey: baby steps.

straight to the source: The Detroit News, Jeff Plungis, 07 Oct 2004

straight to the source: Detroit Free Press, Associated Press,
Dee-Ann Durbin, 07 Oct 2004



From: The Nation Magazine <emailnation@thenation.com>
Reply-To: emailnation@thenation.com
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2004 2:13 PM

Not-So-Great Debates: Part 2

Last night's presidential debate was a true-to-form middle episode of a yet-to-be-finished trilogy. In Episode I, the newcomer bested the holder of the throne. In the sequel, the humiliated leader fought back--but at the same time the challenger kept alive the threat to the established order. This all sets up next Wednesday's debate as a potentially dramatic finale.

For more, read David Corn's Capital Games:

And don't miss Corn's new Nation magazine piece highlighting how that the cultural community in the US--and Bruce Springsteen in particular--has taken on the present Administration in unprecedented ways. http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041025&s=corn

Progressive musicians have been trying to rock the youth vote at least since John Lennon organized a 1972 concert tour designed to encourage young people to vote against Richard Nixon, as Jon Wiener explains. http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041025&s=wiener

Finally, please make sure to check http://www.thenation.com for new weblogs, the RadioNation AudioBlog, exclusive new online reports, info on nationwide activist campaigns, Nation History offerings, reader letters and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine. (This week, we're featuring new magazine articles by Katha Pollitt, Eric Alterman and William Greider!)

Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg, The Nation

P.S. If you like The Nation, please consider subscribing at our discounted rate. It's the only way to read ALL of what's in The Nation week after week--both in print and online.



From: trudyw <trudyw@sierratel.com>
To: Robert brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2004 2:55 AM
Subject: Kenyan Environmentalist Wangari Maathai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Good people,

What follows is a partial transcript of today's Democracy Now! The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Wangari Maathai is the best news I've heard in a very long time. Besides being an unquestionably deserved honor for Dr. Maathai, it is also international recognition that the peace and well being of the planet are intimately connected to environmental responsibility and human rights. For far too long, the enviro establishment, especially in the US, has isolated itself from indigenous and human rights issues; environmentalists, of all people, should understand the interconnectivity of all life on this planet. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now and pass this along.

democracynow.org - Friday, October 8th, 2004


Kenyan Environmentalist Wangari Maathai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Kenyan environmentalist and zoology professor Wangari Maathai bcame the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. We hear Wangari Maathai speaking earlier about the violence she faces in Kenya and we speak with her colleague Terry Tempest Williams. [includes rush transcript]

Today the Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee announced this year's winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ole Danbolt Mjoes, Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee speaking in Oslo, Norway on October 8, 2004.
Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee announcing Wangari Maathai as the 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is an environmentalist and zoology professor from Kenya and the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She is 63 years old.

Wangari Maathai rose to international fame for campaigns against government-backed forest clearances in Kenya in the late 1980s and 1990s.

She once said of the forest clearances "It's a matter of life and death for this country. The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem."

In 1992 riot police clubbed her and three other women unconscious in central Nairobi during a demonstration. She has been tear gassed, threatened with death by anonymous callers, and once thrown into jail overnight for leading protests.
Wangari Maathai, speaking about the violence she faces in Kenya.
Terry Tempest Williams, author, environmental activist and professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Utah. Her newest book is "The Open Space of Democracy".



This transcript is available free of charge, however donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast.

AMY GOODMAN: Today the chair of the Nobel Peace Prize committee announced this year's winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

OLE DANBOLT MJOES: The Norwegian Nobel committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004 to Wangari Maathai for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace. Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment. Maathai stands at the front of the fight to promote ecologically viable, social, economic, and cultural development in Kenya and in Africa. She has taken a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights, and women's rights in particular. She thinks globally and acts locally. Maathai stood up courageously against the former oppressive regime in Kenya. Her unique forms of action have contributed to drawing attention to political oppression, nationally and internationally. She has served as inspiration for many in the fight for democratic rights and has especially encouraged women to better their situation. Maathai combines science, social commitment, and active politics, more than simply protecting the existing environment, her strategy is to secure and strengthen the very basis for ecologically sustainable development.

JUAN GONZALEZ: That was the chair of the Nobel Prize Committee, announcing Wangari Maathai as the 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is an environmentalist, a zoology professor from Kenya, and the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She is 63 years old. Wangari Maathai rose to international fame for campaigns against government-backed forest clearances in Kenya in the late 1980's and 1990's. She once said of forest clearances, "It's a matter of life and death for this country. The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem."

AMY GOODMAN: In 1992, riot police clubbed Wangari Maathai and three other women unconscious in central Nairobi during a demonstration. She's been tear gassed, threatened with death by anonymous callers and once thrown in jail overnight for leading protests. We're going to play now an excerpt of Wangari Maathai speaking about the violence she faces in Kenya.

PROF. WANGARI MAATHAI: I do know that what I do hurts some very powerful people in their own way. And because we live in a very volatile continent and, as well, a volatile country, you just never know when something may happen and you may be at the wrong place.

AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai speaking about her own experience. As we turn now to the author Terry Tempest Williams, who is well known for her environmental writings and has known Wangari Maathai for many years. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Terry.

TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS: Hello, Amy. It's wonderful to talk to you.

AMY GOODMAN: It,s great to have you here with us. Can you talk first about Wangari Maathai, how you know her, who she is?

TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS: I met her in 1985 at the U.N. decade for women conference and the United Nations forum for women in Nairobi. She was a passionate speaker on behalf of deforestation and at that time, that was not a household word. She literally was advocating peace for the planet through the collecting of seeds--Women gathering seeds in the soles of their skirts and planting them in the soils of their community. It was extremely moving and I can tell you personally she changed my life.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And in terms of some of the work that she has done subsequently?

TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS: What she has done, literally, is plant 10 million trees and she took the seedlings that were planted by the women in the villages to the schools, the elementary schools, where the children were then able to nurture hope. So, it's been a communal process that she's been engaged in, it has been a familial process and then she took that into the community at large.

AMY GOODMAN: Terry Tempest Williams, she is the first environmentalist to be awarded the prize, the first African woman. Your response.

TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS: I think this is extremely significant. Wangari Maathai was the first of the global leaders to say the health of our communities is the health of the planet. She said that environmental responsibility is social responsibility. She was one of the first global leaders decades ago to say that there is no separation between how we treat the environment and how we treat each other. I think it's important to note, Amy and Juan, that she said so often those of us working on the margins to create this open space of justice and democracy are not those who then inhabit that space and she has always advocated that we must not only create that space, but then step inside it and I think it's significant to note that she ran for parliament in 2002, won, and was named the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

AMY GOODMAN: When you heard this morning, Terry Tempest Williams, that it was Wangari Maathai, how did you respond?

TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS: I cried. I just think this is an enormous gesture on behalf of a woman who has risked everything for the environment and who, her whole life, is a gesture of deep bows to women and children in the earth. She's been recognized as a peacemaker, and I think redefines what peace is.





 Bush's Crimes Against Nature

    By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
    Eugene Weekly

    Thursday 07 October 2004

Editor's Note: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is arguably the nation's most prominent environmental attorney. His new book is "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy." On Sept. 23, he made an impromptu appearance in Eugene, Oregon. Below is an edited transcript of his talk.

    I've written a book about Bush's environmental record, but it's not so much about the environment as it is about an excess of corporate power and the corrosive impact of that on our democracy. And it's not about a Democrat attacking a Republican. I've been disciplined for 20 years as an environmental advocate about being non-partisan and bi-partisan in my approach to these issues. I don't think there's any such thing as Republican children or Democratic children, and the worst thing that can happen to the environment is if it becomes the province of a single political party. But you can't talk honestly about the environment today in any context without speaking critically about this president. This is the worst environmental president we've had in American history.

    If you look at Natural Resource Defense Council's website, you'll see over 400 major environmental roll-backs that have been promoted by this administration during the last three and a half years, and I tell you it's part of a concerted deliberate attempt to eviscerate 30 years of environmental law.

    It's a stealth attack. They have concealed their radical agenda from the American public using Orwellian rhetoric. When they destroy the forest, they call it the Healthy Forest Law; when they destroy the air they call it the Clear Skies Bill. And most insidiously they have put polluters in charge of virtually all the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The head of the Forest Service is a timber industry lobbyist. The head of public lands is a mining industry lobbyist who believes that public lands are unconstitutional. The head of the air division at EPA is a utility lobbyist who has represented the worst air polluters in America. The second in command at EPA is a Monsanto lobbyist. The head of Superfunds, an agency critical to quality of life here in Oregon, is a lobbyist whose last job was teaching corporate polluters how to evade Superfunds.

    If you go through all the agency heads, sub-heads and secretaries in the Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department of Energy and EPA, you'll find the same thing: The polluters are running regulatory agencies that are supposed to regulate them. And these are not individuals who have entered government service for the sake of the public interest, but rather specifically to subvert the very laws that they are in charge of enforcing. This is impacting our quality of life in America in so many ways that we don't know about because the press simply isn't doing its job of informing the American public, scrutinizing these policies, connecting the dots between the corporate contributors and the dramatic decline in American quality of life that we are now experiencing.

    This year for the first time since the passage of the Clean Water Act, EPA announced that America's waterways are actually getting dirtier. The New York Times ran a story that the levels of sulfur dioxide (that causes acid rain) have grown 4 percent over the last year. I have three children who have asthma and one out of every four black children in this country in our municipalities now has asthma.

    Asthma rates have doubled among our children over the last five years. Whether it's hormones in our food or antibiotics, something is causing our children to have these kinds of haywire immune systems. We do know that asthma attacks are triggered primarily by two components of air pollution: ozone and particulates. About 60 percent of those materials in our atmosphere are coming from 1,100 coal-burning power plants that are burning coal illegally. They were supposed to have cleaned up 15 years ago. The Clinton administration was prosecuting the worst 70 of these plants for criminal violations. But this is an industry that donated $48 million to President Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 cycle and have given $58 million since. And one of the first things that President Bush did when he came into office was to order the Justice Department to drop those lawsuits against those utilities

    According to the EPA, just the criminal excedences from these 70 plants kill 5,500 Americans every year. And then the Bush administration tore the heart out of the Clean Air Act abolishing the New Source Reviews section that require these companies to clean up their pollution. That decision is killing 30,000 Americans every single year, according to EPA, including 165 people in the state of Oregon.

    Last week the federal EPA announced that in 19 states it's now unsafe to eat any freshwater fish because of mercury contamination. In 48 states it's now unsafe to eat at least some of the fish or most of the fish, and Oregon is one of those.

    We know a lot about mercury now that we didn't know 10 years ago. We know that one out of every six American women now has so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for autism, blindness, mental retardation, cognitive impairment, heart, liver and kidney disease. I have so much mercury in my body - I got levels tested recently - that I was told by Dr. David Carpenter, who's a national authority on mercury contamination, that a woman with my levels, which are three times the safe levels, would have a child with cognitive impairment. He estimated a permanent IQ loss of 5 to 7 points in her children. He said the science is very certain. Today there are 630,000 children born in this country every year who've been exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb.

    Clinton, recognizing this catastrophic national epidemic, reclassified mercury as a hazardous pollutant under the Clean Air Act, which triggered a requirement that those plants remove 90 percent of the mercury within three and a half years. It would have cost them less than 1 percent of revenues and it would have solved the problem. Well, this is the same industry that's given that $100 million to the president, and eight weeks ago President Bush announced that he was scrapping the Clinton-era regs, substituting instead regulations that the industry never has to clean up their mercury contamination.

    So we are living today in a science fiction nightmare where my children and the children of millions of other Americans who have asthma are being brought into a world where the air is too poisonous to breathe - because somebody gave money to a politician. And where my children and the children of most Americans can no longer go fishing with their father and come home and eat the fish - because somebody gave money to a politician. And the mercury in the waters here in Oregon, the fish are too dangerous, particularly for children and women. Some of that mercury is coming the power plants, most of it's coming from old mining tailings and from Superfund sites. On the Willamette River, that's where the mercury's coming from. Well, guess what? The Bush administration has allowed the Superfund to go bankrupt, which means that those sites will probably never get cleaned up.

    Superfund (money) is raised through a tax on polluting industries, and it's a very, very small tax. But they don't like it. They don't mind the tax, what they mind is that that fund is used as a leverage to force them to spend billions of dollars to clean up their mess. And this is how it works. The Superfund doesn't just clean up orphan sites, but it can also be used by EPA to clean up the sites of recalcitrant polluters. So the EPA - there's a provision in Superfund that says that if a polluter refuses to clean up its Superfund site, the EPA can go to them and say, OK, fine, we're tired of dealing with the lawyers and enriching your lawyers. What we're going to do instead is clean it up ourselves and charge you triple. It's called the Treble Damages Provision.

    At virtually every Superfund site that's been cleaned up by industry over the past 20 years, since 1981, it's been cleaned up because of the threat of the Treble Damages Provision. It's the only thing that makes them clean up. Well, guess what? That threat no longer exists. The teeth have been ripped out of EPA so that they will no longer be able to force polluters to clean up their sites. As a result of that, most of these sites along the Willamette will never get cleaned up, and if they do get cleaned up, guess who's paying for it? You and I and the American public. How ridiculous is that?

    It's always been illegal to pollute the Willamette - the 1888 Rivers and Harbors Act said you can't pollute any waterway in the U.S. Even before that it was illegal to pollute. They were able to get away with it. They thought they could make more money by polluting. Now we've got an administration that rather than telling polluters they have to clean up their mess, they're saying that the public instead is going to foot the bill.

    All of these issues, and there are many, many others, examples of how corporations are controlling our government and plundering the common, stealing what belongs to the American people, our air and water, the commonwealth, the shared resources, the public land, the wandering animals - the things that give us a sense of community, the source of our values, our virtues, our character as a people. And we're plundering those. And if you ask people at the White House, why are you doing this? What they'll say when they're not lying to conceal this radical agenda and mask it from the American people, they'll say well, we have to choose between economic prosperity and environmental protection. And that is a false choice.

    In 100 percent of the situations, good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy - if we want to measure the economy based upon how it produces jobs and the dignity of jobs over the generations, over the long term, and how it preserves the value of the assets of our community. If on the other hand, we want to do what they've been urging us to do with this White House, which is to treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation, convert our natural resources to cash as quickly as possible, have a few years of pollution-based prosperity, we can generate an instantaneous cash flow and the illusion of a prosperous economy, but our children are going to pay for our joy ride. And they will pay for it with denuded landscapes, poorer health and huge clean up costs that will be amplified over time, and that they'll never be able to pay.

    Environmental injury is deficit spending. It's a way of loading the costs of our generation's prosperity onto the backs of our children. There is no stronger advocate for free-market capitalism than myself. I believe that the free market is the most efficient and democratic way to distribute the goods of the land. It's also the best thing that can happen to the environment because a true free market encourages efficiency and the elimination of waste, and waste is pollution.

    So free market capitalism does not pollute our environment. It's always the suspension of free market rule. In a true free market economy, you can't make yourself rich without making your neighbors rich, without enriching your community. So what polluters do is make themselves rich by making everybody else poor. They raise standards of living for themselves by lowering quality of life for everybody else, and they do that by escaping the discipline of the free market, by forcing the public to pay their production costs. You show me a polluter and I'll show you a subsidy. I'll show you a fat cat who's using political clout to escape the discipline of the free market.

    When those coal companies and utilities put their acid rain into the air and sterilize the lakes of the Adirondacks and destroy the forests from Georgia to Quebec, they put the mercury in the air which poisons our children, makes them mentally retarded, gives them cognitive impairment and terrible diseases, and it makes it so I can no longer go fishing and come home and eat the fish. They have stolen that from me, and as they are discharging the ozone and particulates that give our children asthma and make our workers miss work - all of those impacts impose costs on the rest of us that should, in a true free market economy be reflected in the price of the companies' products in the market. But what polluters do is they use political clout to escape the discipline of the free market and pawn their costs off on the public.

    Corporations are externalizing machines. They are always looking for ways to get the public to pay their production costs, and what all the federal environmental laws are meant to do is to restore free market capitalism in our country, by forcing actors in the marketplace to pay the true costs of bringing their product to market. What we do as an environmental advocates is to go out into the marketplace - I don't even consider myself an environmentalist any more, I'm a free marketeer. I go out and catch the cheaters, the people who are polluting, and I say to them we are going to force you to internalize your costs the same way you internalize your profits, because when somebody cheats the free market, it distorts the whole marketplace and none of us gets the benefits of the efficiencies and the democracy of our country.

    Americans have to understand that there is a huge difference between free market capitalism which democratizes our country which makes us more efficient, more democratic, and the kind of corporate crony capitalism which has been embraced by this administration and which is as antithetical to democracy in America as it is in Nigeria.

    This is an administration that's about plundering our air and our water, plundering our national treasure, shifting our wealth, plundering the great relationships we had with people all over the world, and shifting the wealth of those assets to large corporations who are its donors, who are the lowest bottom feeders who profiteer on the American people.



To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to


Rome cracks down on SUVs

John Hooper in Rome
Friday October 08 2004
The Guardian

The councillor responsible for traffic, Mario Di Carlo, said he intended making owners of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) pay &euro;1,000 (about &#163;690) each year - more than triple the normal rate for a permit to enter the historic centre.

His announcement was the latest move in a growing Europe-wide backlash against four-wheel drives.

Governments in Sweden and France are considering punitive taxes on SUV purchases. The Paris city council is hoping to ban them from the centre and protected areas. And, in May, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, called 4x4s "bad for London", and their owners "complete idiots".

Four-wheel drives can be a nightmare in the narrow, winding streets of old Rome, where pollution is damaging historic buildings. Yet the city now has almost 10,000 registered SUVs.

Measures to curb them are also being drawn up by the authorities in Florence. Three Italian ministries are considering a plea from a centre-left MP for discriminatory tax measures in the 2005 budget.

As in other parts of Europe, demand for SUVs is soaring. The latest figures show that 5.5% of new Italian plates are put on 4x4s, compared with less than half that figure six years ago.

According to an Italian environmental group, Legambiente, the 10 top-selling SUVs generate on average 70% more pollution in towns than the 10 most popular saloon cars.

But Wanni Zarpellon, of one group supporting SUV owners, the Italian Off-road Federation, said: "If we really want to find a culprit for the pollution of city centres, let's take a look at the scooters - many of which are two-stroke with emissions that are so far unchecked."

Fabrizio Pallocci, a representative of the federation's branch in Lazio, the region surrounding Rome, called the proposed measures "an injustice that above all limits personal freedom. People should be entirely free to buy the car they want."

The centre of Rome is already limited to traffic. Car owners who want to bring their vehicles in have to find &euro;316 for an annual permit or risk a fine. Mr Di Carlo said he planned to triple this for four-wheel drives. But he acknowledged that the council could face a civil liberties challenge in court.

The measure is expected to figure in a comprehensive anti-pollution plan to be unveiled by the council at the end of October. Similar plans are being drawn up in several other parts of Italy.

In France, critics of the crackdown on SUVs say the curbs are driven by the growing success of a type of vehicle not made in France. This is no longer the case in Italy. Fiat now manufacturers a Panda 4x4.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited



From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Thursday, October 7, 2004 4:50 PM
Subject: The New York Times | The Verdict Is In


t r u t h o u t | 10.08

Closed, For Business: Energy Bill Special-Interests Triumph


The New York Times | The Verdict Is In

Take Them Out, Dude: Pilots Toast Hit on Iraqi 'Civilians'

At the U.N., Debate Rages over Taking More - or Less - Risk

Sidney Blumenthal | The Day Dick Cheney Was Silenced

Jonathan Alford | Looking for Votes, Finding America

Newsweek | Rewriting History

Jacques Julliard | The Two Americas

White House to Retract Pentagon Nomination

Saul Landau | Facts and Lies; Slogans and Truth

DeLay Again Faulted by House Ethics Panel

NOW with Bill Moyers | 3rd Party Candidates Speak Out

Chief Arms Inspector: "Bush in Denial" over Iraq WMD

U.S. 'Green Zone' in Iraq Hit by Rocket Fire

L.A. Times | Is Bush a Dope?

U.S. 'Almost All Wrong' on WMD

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Sanctions Worked. Weapons Inspectors Worked. That is the Bottom Line.'




Ventura County Star -10/7/04


Comment: Dam study is a good start

Hetch Hetchy report deserves serious discussion

Ventura County Star
By John Krist, staff columnist

One of the nation's leading environmental advocacy groups issued a report last week describing how to replace the water and power supplied by the only major dam ever built in a national park, the 312-foot wall of concrete that flooded Yosemite's scenic Hetch Hetchy Valley for the benefit of San Francisco. The response from civic leaders in the city that built the dam was immediate, indignant and thoughtless.

"These people are obviously looking for water in the sand because that's where their heads are," Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, told the Sacramento Bee. "Our organization is not willing to look at any study that involves removing the O'Shaughnessy Dam."

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, was equally dismissive.

"I am firmly opposed to the destruction of one of the largest sources of clean drinking water in California," she said in a press release issued quickly by her office. "In a state that has faced repeated droughts and is desperate for water sources, I believe this would be a terrible mistake."

What's remarkable about those statements is the contempt they display for fact-based discourse. Not only had both speakers already made up their minds about whether it's feasible to remove the dam blocking the Tuolumne River -- a decision they made without reference to any reliable data, there having been no thorough study of the proposal until now -- they clearly do not even want to think about it.

The public deserves better from its leaders, Feinstein in particular. Unlike most politicians, she has taken a serious interest in California water issues. She has been a stalwart supporter, for example, of the state-federal process known as CALFED, which is intended to resolve ecological, supply and reliability problems associated with the San Francisco Bay-Delta, the linchpin of the state water system. (Less than two weeks before release of the Hetch Hetchy study, Feinstein announced she had helped secure Senate approval of $395 million to fund the federal government's share of CALFED projects.)

Feinstein's work to advance CALFED, a thankless task that involves trying to balance the interests of every combatant in the state's long series of skirmishes over water, should have made clear to her the value of creative, cooperative and bold thinking. Yet, when it comes to the Hetch Hetchy proposal, she apparently is clinging to a model of water supply and delivery that's nearly a century old. Defending an outdated status quo may pay short-term political dividends, but it cannot be characterized as leadership.

Notwithstanding the glib characterization offered by Wunderman, who leads a business lobbying group, the report released Sept. 27 by Environmental Defense is not the work of impractical dreamers. It is based on a technical study of water and hydropower operations by Schlumberger Water Services, a company known for its international expertise; analysis of the legal and regulatory framework by the Sacramento law firm Somach, Simmons & Dunn, which has long experience in California water-rights litigation; and a review of water-quality issues by Oakland-based EOA Inc., a consulting firm that counts numerous public agencies among its clients (the report is available at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/hetchhetchy/).

As might be expected, the issues associated with possible removal of a major water and hydropower project are complex. Contrary to Sen. Feinstein's assertion, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is not "one of the state's largest sources of clean drinking water," but it is significant to San Francisco, providing a quarter of the city's water storage capacity and playing a key role in a network of dams and aqueducts operated by several urban and agricultural water agencies.

The new report makes it clear that replacing the lost water and power will not be easy if O'Shaughnessy Dam is removed. But neither will it be impossible or prohibitively expensive. And the potential benefit is significant: restoration of a long-submerged component of California's signature national park, a twin to beloved but congested Yosemite Valley.

Is that gain sufficient to justify removing the dam? Surely that's a suitable subject for public debate, and now is a good time to start: Not only does the Environmental Defense report offer a thoughtful starting point, but San Francisco and its suburban utility customers are beginning a $3.6 billion upgrade of their aging water system.

That debate cannot begin, however, unless civic leaders are willing to let facts inform their opinions. Sadly, that may be the biggest hurdle advocates of Hetch Hetchy restoration must overcome.

John Krist is a senior reporter and Opinion page columnist for The Star.




San Joaquin Record - 10/7/04


Letter to Editor: Hetch Hetchy can be saved

By Spreck Rosekrans
Environmental Defense, Oakland

Thanks for acknowledging that Hetch Hetchy Valley was once a pristine and majestic part of Yosemite National Park ("No going back to paradise," The Record, Sept. 30).

We agree restoration might seem idealistic but contend it's possible.

We've crunched the numbers to show it's feasible to store the same Tuolumne River water now held in Hetch Hetchy in existing reservoirs farther downstream, outside the national park.

We've identified ways to continue the water and power supply to the Bay Area, even during shortages in critically dry years.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, demonstrated the type of environmental leadership needed for Hetch Hetchy restoration when they created the Sierra Nevada Conservancy in September.

Like Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Valley, Hetch Hetchy was once a crown jewel in the Sierra Nevada. It can be again.

People can learn more about Hetch Hetchy and its potential restoration from our report, available at www.discoverhetchhetchy.org



Published on Thursday, October 7, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times


A Terror Attack, Coming Soon to a Plant Near You

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

George W. Bush likes to boast of his record on homeland security, but the truth is that
corporate and political favoritism by the White House has badly compromised our capacity to
defend ourselves against a terrorist attack.

For example, even as we searched, apparently fruitlessly, for weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq, thousands of potential WMD - our nation's chemical and nuclear energy facilities -
have been left unguarded to please the president's corporate friends and funders.

Of the nation's 15,000 chemical plants, the Environmental Protection Agency has identified
123 where toxic gases released by a terrorist assault could kill or injure more than 1 million
people, and 700 others where deaths and injuries would exceed 100,000. Yet a series of
recent investigations by news organizations has found that most of these plants are
effectively unguarded, even though the risks are beyond dispute and Al Qaeda's interest in
these targets is generously documented.

Seven weeks after 9/11, a GOP-controlled Senate committee unanimously passed a bill to
require chemical plants to take steps to protect the public from terrorist attacks. But the White
House, at the chemical industry's behest, derailed the bill and then removed the EPA's
existing regulatory authority to require improvements in chemical plant security. Why would
the Bush administration do this? All we know for sure is that President Bush and his party
have accepted more than $22 million from the chemical industry since 1998.

The nuclear power industry, which gave $15 million to Bush and the GOP, also falls under
the White House umbrella. A 2003 General Accounting Office report faulted the
administration for failing to bolster nuclear plant defenses and found faulty security the rule
at nuclear plants nationwide, despite myriad evidence that U.S. commercial nuclear reactors
are high-priority terrorist targets. Astonishingly, federal law absolves nuclear power operators
from protecting themselves against attack by enemies of the United States.

In order to be licensed, operators are required to protect their facilities from vandals. But both
the GAO and industry reports acknowledge that the industry's private security guards are
undertrained, underequipped and demoralized. When the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
stages mock assaults, the attackers are able to penetrate plant defenses in half their
attempts and trigger simulated catastrophic radiation releases - even though the defenders
have advance notice of the exact time of the exercise and reinforce their defenses in
anticipation. According to the GAO, the federal government deliberately stages "softball"
mock attacks to give the impression of plant security and routinely shields the industry by
burying significant security breaches.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's top aide, Al Martinez-Fonts, a former executive of
JPMorgan Chase, recently explained why his department was reluctant to force the industry
to adopt security reforms beyond voluntary programs, which Ridge himself admits don't work.

"I was in the private sector all my life," explained Martinez-Fonts. "Did I like it when the
government came in and stepped in and told [us] to do certain things? The answer's no. I
think we're trying to avoid that."

Applying this philosophy broadly, the White House, at the behest of the airline industry and
air cargo carriers, has opposed a bill by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) to require that all
commercial cargo placed on passenger planes be physically screened, just like luggage.
Only about 5% of air cargo is now screened. Airline passengers are often sitting only inches
above cargo that has not been checked, despite a Transportation Security Administration
estimate in 2002 that there is a 35% to 65% chance that terrorists are planning to place a
bomb in the cargo of a U.S. passenger plane.

The administration's record on port security is equally dismal. Only 1% of the 10 million cargo
containers entering American ports each year are ever checked, yet the administration has
opposed bipartisan legislation creating a cargo-container profiling plan that focuses on
inspections of high-risk cargo.

Tiptoeing around other big contributors, the White House has done nothing to secure
railroad and transit networks or protect oil and gas pipelines. Two billion dollars in annual
federal anti-terror grants to the states has been distributed more on the basis of pork than on

Martinez-Font's idea that industry will step up to the plate on its own is pure folly. In July
2003, the Conference Board, a business research group, found that American corporations
had hiked security expenditures less than 4% on average since the Sept. 11 attacks.

While asking sacrifice of young soldiers and future generations who will pay his giant deficits,
Bush has been reluctant to curtail corporate profits or prerogatives or to ask sacrifice of
political pals or the large donors who helped put him in office.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the author of "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and
His Corporate Pals Are Plundering Our Country and Hijacking Our Democracy"
(HarperCollins, 2004).

© Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times



From: The Nation Magazine <emailnation@thenation.com>
Reply-To: emailnation@thenation.com
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, October 7, 2004 1:56 PM

Earth to Bush

This afternoon, President Bush reiterated his view that he had been right to invade Iraq in the face of a new US report, which found that Saddam Hussein did not have the banned weapons cited as the main reason for the war and thus was a not a threat--immediate or otherwise--to the United States.

For more on the new report, read David Corn's new Capital Games. http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1887

As Corn argues, on Planet Bush, facts don't matter. They are weightless. And Election Day will determine whether he really can defy the gravitational pull of the truth.

Ralph Nader has not been helping the anti-Bush cause. And, as Ari Berman details in today's Daily Outrage, Nader is now taking money from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

One of the worst consequences of a second Bush term will be his potential Supreme Court nominees. As Katha Pollitt warns in her new Nation magazine column: Be afraid. Very afraid.

And check out ActNow, The Nation's activist weblog, for info on how you can help out with voter registration and education in the next few, crucial weeks. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/actnow?pid=1859


Election 1920, pitting Governor James Cox of Ohio against Senator Harding, was another heated contest. Read The Nation's advice that year to voters in our new Nation History section. http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=19201027&s=vote

Finally, please make sure to check http://www.thenation.com for coverage of tomorrow night's presidential debate, new weblogs, exclusive new online reports, info on nationwide activist campaigns, Nation History offerings, reader letters and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine. (This week, we're featuring new magazine articles by Katha Pollitt, Eric Alterman, William Greider and Ana Louise Bardach!)

Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg, The Nation

P.S. If you like The Nation, please consider subscribing at our discounted rate. It's the only way to read ALL of what's in The Nation week after week--both in print and online.



From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2004 4:51 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Stop Thinking and See What You're Told


t r u t h o u t | 10.07

Wildlife Protection Standards Waived


Steve Weissman | Stop Thinking, and See What You're Told

Misleading Assertions Cover Iraq War and Voting Records

Bremer Critique on Iraq Raises Political Furor

C.I.A. Report Casts Doubt on Terrorist's Iraqi Ties

Probe into Iraq's Oil-for-Food Program to Reach White House

NATO Expects Rush of Taliban Attacks in Afghanistan

Under OSCE's Eye to Conjure Away 2000 "Nightmare"

Michael Schwartz | The Opiate of the Electorate

Iraq Chief Gives a Sobering View about Security

U.S. Vetoes Resolution for Israel to Halt Gaza Operations

U.S. Airstrikes Build Iraqi Support for al-Zarqawi

Nicholas D. Kristof | Beaten Afghan Brides

Report to Say Iraq Posed Little Immediate Threat

Cheney v. Edwards: The Full Debate Transcript

Edwards Shoots And Scores

William Rivers Pitt: Cheney's Avalanche of Lies

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'How Do We Score a War on Terror?'




gadflyer.com - 10.05.04


Drunken Rage

Bush revealed his true dependency Thursday

by Thomas F. Schaller, Executive Editor

We saw The Scowl, The Fidget, The Eye-Roll and The Grimace. We heard the ten repetitions that fighting
terrorists and securing America's homeland is "hard work." We heard another seven repetitions of "wrong war,
wrong place, wrong time" ­ which only reinforced the notion that Iraq was a mistake more than they debunked it.
And then, in a transparent attempt to pretend that the President Bush wasn't incoherent, unsure and ill-prepared,
we heard conservatives desperately try to score last Thursday's presidential debate a "tie."

The President revealed something far darker during those ninety minutes in Miami. He proved that a man is never
totally cured of his addictions, and that his alcohol dependency has transmuted into a public drunkenness with
his own power. Without the enabling of staffers at work and the adoring audiences on the campaign trail who
shield and worship him, Bush stammered and stumbled through a sobering debate in Coral Gables.

For all his talk about how humbling the awesome responsibilities of the presidency are, beware anyone who
comes between Bush and the powerful tonic of his office. When John Kerry dared to do so last week, the
President morphed into an angry, irascible drunk ­ a man not in full, but half-cocked with rage and seething

Bottled up

Last Thursday the President's endemic character flaws were exposed plainly, for all to see. Absent his handlers
and note cards and teleprompters, we saw into his very core. At least four truths about the President's
personality ­ many of them long-suspected ­ were confirmed by his on-stage behavior in Miami:

He was too lazy and selfish to bother preparing. Bush was a mediocre student at Andover who
nevertheless got into Yale; a mediocre Yalie who nevertheless got into Harvard Business School; and,
despite scoring in the bottom quartile on the Air National Guard exam, he got a coveted billet ahead of
hundreds above him on the list to fly in Texas rather than grab a rifle and helmet to fight for his country in
Southeast Asia. Given how far he's gone without really trying, why would we expect him to prepare for a

Bush's nonchalance disrespected all of those who donated money to his campaign or volunteered to hand
out palm cards and register voters; the staffers who have worked 80-hour weeks on his behalf; and, heck,
even those "unaffiliated" Swift Boaters who engaged in "uncoordinated" efforts to help get him re-elected.
Their collective investments in Bush during the past year or two were erased in less than ninety minutes
because their president was too lazy to validate all their hard work by doing a little homework of his own.

He is a pathological name-dropper. The single thread woven throughout the entirety of Bush's life is
the access and invidious influence his family name has provided him. A dropped name has often delivered
to Bush what others must work to achieve. And the names ­ from Ben Barnes back in his draft-dodging
days to James Baker during the Florida recount ­ are too numerous to list.

So when Bush began to stagger in Miami, he reached out for the vicarious legitimacy that others have
always provided him: Betcha didn't know I talk with Director Mueller ­ every day, in fact. Tony Blair is a
strong ally of mine, and so is Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski. Prime Minister Allawi told me
things are progressing in Iraq, and don't you dare denigrate Mr. Allawi. And Vladurmur, Dear Vladurmur ­
he knows me, he can vouch for my soul like I did his.

He is a terrible listener. Countless conservative commentators on television, radio, or on websites
lamented that Bush repeatedly fumbled easy opportunities to point out contradictions in Kerry's
statements, or to rebut the Senator's statements with ready examples or tip-of-the-finger facts. Belligerent
and scowling, the teetering president let himself be distracted from doing what a good debater does,
namely, listen carefully to his opponent's answers, and prepare the most relevant and proportional
response. Instead he swung wildly, missing his punches, leaving himself open.

Again, the parallels here are obvious, and voluminous: Bush didn't want to hear critics' warnings about
post-war complications in Iraq; he didn't want to hear the recommendations about troop size; etc. On
most days, others pay the price for his petulance. On Thursday, his tin ear and dulled senses cost him

He is impatient to a fault. Bush could hardly wait for the red-yellow-green light system to offer his
replies, and urged moderator Jim Lehrer to extend the discussion another 30 seconds for each candidate.
(Once, Bush so lost his cool that he started to interject even though he was entitled to an automatic,
90-second rebuttal.) Champing at the bit prevented Bush from thinking carefully about how to deliver
appropriate replies. And so he blurted out dumb answers, like his most embarrassing line of the night: "I
know Osama bin Laden attacked us ­ I know that."

This was the most ironic of Bush's flaws on display, for he was demonstrating impatience at the very
moment Kerry was criticizing him for it, such as in the hasty re-allocation of troops from Afghanistan to

Deep Bloat

Bush has grown into the presidency, but there is an ugly side to his comfort level in office which rises to the surface
when his authority is challenged. Despite his constant refrains about how humbled he is by the awesome responsibility
of the job, Bush has developed a bloated sense of himself. To substitute for the lifelong vice he gave up when he turned
forty, the President now intoxicates himself with power.

He blurted, blundered and blameshifted, even pointing the finger at the Republican Congress for those record-setting
deficits. Is it any wonder that, when pressed to cite a single mistake at his last press conference, he couldn't think of

Kerry was a one-man political intervention in Miami. When the Senator challenged the President's facts, assertions and
decisions, Bush showed what kind of president ­ and person ­ he really is: insular, immodest, irascible and intoxicated
with the idea of his own imperial presidency. He showed that he is twelve steps away from reforming his presidency.
The American people will have to decide whether they can enable him any more.

Copyright © 2004 New Progressive Institute Inc. All rights reserved.



Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 by CommonDreams.org


George W. Bush & the "Mandate of Heaven"

by William Marina

Since at least the epic of Job described in the Bible, humans have tried to understand why
their God has inflicted cruelties upon believers. Many years ago, I recall my daughter of
almost four, after we had been in an auto accident which injured my year-and-a-half-old son,
asking my mother what had he done wrong to deserve such punishment from God?

Empires, such as that here in America, exalted by the neoconservative faithful such as
William Kristol, are especially in need of rationalizations to explain the awful things happening
abroad such as global "terrorism," as well as the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan. Add to
that the most unusual hurricane season in decades, where such entities as "Ivan" don't
easily die, but are reborn and circle back, and some may ask what has America's
fundamentalist leadership under George W. Bush done to make God so angry at this

The Chinese Empire, even as its elite outgrew primitive religion millennia earlier, was still
faced with answering this same question. Since they had no intention of doing away with the
institutions of empire, their only answer was to regularly replace specific emperors. Thus was
developed the concept of the "Mandate of Heaven," which linked nicely with the dominant
neo-Confucianism of the Empire.

The Chinese believed that good things happened to the people and their Empire when the
leaders lived lives of "truth" and "virtue." When they did not, they had lost the "Mandate of
Heaven" and needed to be replaced. Whether or not George W. Bush ever had such a
"Mandate of Heaven," even if he believes that he has-perhaps it was "bestowed" upon him
by the Supreme Court certifying his election in 2000-he certainly seems to have lost it since

Now blathering on by Bush in speeches about virtue, or writing about it by the
sanctimonious, compulsive gambler, William Bennett, or praying about it (or is it preying?) as
do other U.S. leaders, is not a substitute for virtuous behavior.

These Chinese ideas, having filtered back to Europe in the 18th century Enlightenment,
played a role in the discussions by American leaders in the founding of the republic. Thomas
Jefferson was especially taken with them, talking about a "natural aristocracy of talent and
virtue," and an educational system of government schools which as the sinologist H.G. Creel
noted, was clearly borrowed from China.

As the great economist Lord Bauer once mentioned to me, Alexis de Tocqueville, that
insightful observer of America, when he saw these developments in early 19th century
France, called it, "le system chinois (the Chinese system)," and the Japanese, in the late 19th
century, searching for Western models, adopted the French educational system. What irony,
Confucianism by way of France! Nations may "clash," but civilizations tend to borrow from
each other.

It was the usually dour John Adams, who in their correspondence, questioned Jefferson's
verbal constructs. He noted that there were all kinds of talents, not just the
intellectual/academic ones favored by Jefferson, even a king's mistress displayed certain
talents, but most importantly, "how do you teach virtue?"

There is only one answer to Adams, as Confucius understood. Virtue is taught, or not taught,
by the young emulating the behavior of their parents and elders, and by the people
observing the actions of their leaders.

In this regard, has the U.S. reached new depths of degradation in pursuing an unprovoked
war in Iraq and the declaration of perpetual war globally? Certainly, George Bush has lost
the "Mandate" of most of the rest of the world, outside of a few client states and toadies; the
President's recent reception before the U.N. made that quite evident.

At home Bush piles on more and more "bread and circuses", combining huge farm,
education, Medicare and other pork and corporate welfare schemes with tax breaks mostly
for the wealthier (but even a smidgen for the middle classes, as did the Caesars of old) with a
paper money inflationary system (also borrowed from China). If one counts Off-Budget
Expenditures (OBE) the U.S. government now owes over $72 trillion to its own people and
the world, which the government will probably attempt to inflate away in the future if the
system itself doesn't collapse in the short run.

Just as with those empires of old, which sought what the historian Carroll Quigley (Bill
Clinton's guru at Georgetown University) called "Universal Empire," that is, not just imperial
centralization, but hegemony over their existing "Core and Periphery," which today literally
means the entire world, I believe that the U.S. has not only failed, but is in decline.

The Chinese understood that imperial states come and go. The great centralized,
bureaucratic empires of Rome, China, Spain, Britain, and Russia have broken apart or

Whether in Quigley's terminology our social, political and economic institutions can once
again be made into viable "instruments of expansion," is the real systemic question facing us.
George Bush did not create these tendencies that go well back into our history, but he has
greatly accelerated and exacerbated them. In short, he has clearly lost the "Mandate of

But, who will tell him that he has no clothes? He rejected his father's advice on Iraq.
Perhaps, others in his family, which protected and elevated a mediocrity, his mother or his
wife, will tell him he has lost the "Mandate"; even if, in a so-called Democracy, the voice of the
electorate is considered the "Voice of God"!

But, perhaps it is really the American people themselves who have lost the "Mandate of
Heaven," since, after all, it is they who elect U.S. government leaders. Whether the American
nation can be perhaps the first in history to eschew empire and return to a decentralized
republic will be the great question facing us in the 21st century. Can Americans find leaders
with virtue and vision who can restore the "Mandate of Heaven"?

William Marina is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif., and
Professor Emeritus in History at Florida Atlantic University.



From: palast@gregpalast.com
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2004 01:49:55 -0400
To: browerpower@wildnesswithin.com
Subject: Shooting the Messenger Doesn't Discredit the Message

Shooting the Messenger Doesn't Discredit the Message

The Real Lt. Col. Burkett - in His Own Words to BBC Television

by Greg Palast

Tuesday October 5, 2004

When Dan Rather went down for airing a document he couldn't source, he did the courageous thing: blamed someone else.

In this case, Rather and CBS loaded their corporate guilt on a guy you've probably never heard of before, rancher Bill Burkett of Abilene, a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Texas Air National Guard.

CBS did a no-no -- used a document on air without fully checking out its source. No excuses. Shouldn't have done it. They got the document from Burkett.

Once CBS hung out its source and painted a target on him, Rove-ing gangs of media hit men finished him off. Burkett's an evidence "fabricator," "Bush-hater," and even, suggests William Safire in the New York Times as he fantasizes a dark left-wing conspiracy, a felon ready for hard time.

Let me tell you about this Burkett "criminal." I met him while filming for BBC's Television documentary, "Bush Family Fortunes." Better than that, I'm posting a transcript of our hour-and-a-half interview.

Burkett a 'Bush-hater'? "George W. Bush was an excellent pilot," Burkett told me, "He had the right leadership skills, he had the 'Top Gun' approach."

But I didn't go interview Burkett to chat about our President's days when he flew high. He has an important story to tell which has not one damn thing to do with a memo by some Lt. Col. Killian. It has to do with a phone call and a shredder.

Burkett, a top advisor to Major General Daniel James at the Air Guard, was working at Camp Mabry with Major General James when a call came in from Joe Allbaugh, the Chief of Staff to then-Governor George W. Bush. Bush was about to get a political polishing up for his White House run, with a ghost-written autobiography, which would include his heroic years during the war in Vietnam. Allbaugh, according to Burkett, stated that Bush political operatives Karen Hughes and Dan Bartlett would be dropping by the Air Guard offices to look at the war record and wanted to, "make sure there's nothing in there that'll embarrass the Governor."

According to Burkett, the General and his minions who work for the Governor, not the US Air Force, took this as an unsubtle hint from the boss to purge the record. Lt. Col. Burkett, both curious and disturbed by the call, wondered how his fellow comrades-in-arms would respond. His answer was in the trash-to-be-shredded bin: George Bush's military pay records. "I saw what are called LES (Leave and Earnings Statements) which are pay documents. I saw Retirement Points documents and other administrative information."

He did not see their content, only Bush's name, and therefore cannot answer the 64 million dollar question: Did those records, now "missing," indicate that our President went AWOL while others ended up on the Black Wall?

That's Burkett's story and it's in the BBC film. Watch the film, read the transcript, and judge for yourself. I think you'll find in Burkett a straight shooter, telling a piece of the larger draft-dodge story which mounting evidence corroborates.

So what about that "Killian" document? We don't have it in the BBC film - we couldn't source it so we wouldn't use it. Burkett passed it on from a third party, obviously someone still in the Guard or fearful of Bush Family retribution. Now why would they imagine that?

Under pressure, Burkett gave CBS a false name to cover for the whistleblower. Burkett should not have done that. It is inexcusable. Period. Yet, that does not tell us the document was fabricated. It was the job of CBS to follow up -- they are the journalists.

And it is also the President's job. Safire in the Times, in charging that Burkett faked the document, demanded the military open a criminal investigation. Darn right they should. They haven't. Why not? Maybe they don't want to check into this 'fake' document because maybe it's not fake.

An investigation should begin with questions for the President. After all, he can clear up the matter lickety-split.

"Mr. President, did you or did you not ask your commander Lt. Col. Killian how you could shirk your duty to show up?"

"Mr. President, did you or did you not refuse a direct order to take a medical exam and pee into a jar?" (The record is solid on the evidence of refusing that order, Mr. Top Gun -- you were stripped of your flight wings.)

"Mr. President, did Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes make any calls to get you out of 'Nam and into the Air Guard? Yes or no?"

See Dan, that's how it should be done. It wasn't Burkett's job to verify the evidence, it was the job of Dan and the President.

It is for the President, not Bill Burkett, to answer the question, "Did your daddy the congressman vote to send other men's sons to Vietnam while pulling the strings to keep you cozy and safe? Yes or no, Mr. President, yes or no?"

For a clip from the BBC Television investigative reports on George Bush's military career, go to

Greg Palast's interview with Col. Burkett for BBC can be read at



Comment from Grist - 10/5/04

Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.


Lead contamination in municipal water systems systematically underreported

If you live in the U.S., the water you drink may contain unsafe
levels of lead, thanks to a water-safety enforcement system rife with
manipulation and negligence. Water utilities across the U.S. are
discarding unfavorable test results and ignoring safety regulations.
State regulators rarely enforce standards and in many cases assist
utilities in avoiding penalties. The U.S. EPA, charged with
overseeing state efforts and penalizing utilities that fail to comply
with regulations, has drastically reduced enforcement in recent years
and doesn't have the staff to do the job adequately even if it wanted
to. In 2003, the number of EPA enforcements against water utilities
was less than a tenth of the number in 1997. Despite all this, EPA
Acting Assistant Administrator Benjamin Grumbles told Congress in
July that "we have not identified a systemic problem." Perhaps he
should get in touch with the folks at The Washington Post. Seems
they have.

Straight to the source: The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Jo
Becker, and David Nakamura, 05 Oct 2004


Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.

By Carol D. Leonnig, Jo Becker and David Nakamura

Cities across the country are manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of Americans at risk of drinking more of the contaminant than their suppliers are reporting.

Some cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, have thrown out tests that show high readings or have avoided testing homes most likely to have lead, records show. In New York City, the nation's largest water provider has for the past three years assured its 9.3 million customers that its water was safe because the lead content fell below federal limits. But the city has withheld from regulators hundreds of test results that would have raised lead levels above the safety standard in two of those years, according to records.

The result is that communities large and small may have a false sense of security about the quality of their water and that utilities can avoid spending money to correct the problem.

In some cases, state regulators have helped the utilities avoid costly fixes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is supposed to ensure that states are monitoring utilities, has also let communities ignore requirements to reduce lead. In 2003, records show, the EPA ordered utilities to remedy violations in just 14 cases, less than one-tenth of the number ordered in 1997.

Taken together, the records point to a national problem just months after disclosures that lead levels in the District's water are among the highest in the country, a problem the city's utility concealed for months. Documents from other cities show that many have made similar efforts to hide high lead readings, taking advantage of lax national and state oversight and regulations riddled with loopholes.

The Washington Post examined 65 large water systems whose reported lead levels have hovered near or exceeded federal standards. Federal, state and utility records show that dozens of utilities obscured the extent of lead contamination, ignored requirements to correct problems and failed to turn over data to regulators.

Jim Elder, who headed the EPA's drinking water program from 1991 to 1995, said he fears that utilities are engaging in "widespread fraud and manipulation."

"It's time to reconsider whether water utilities can be trusted with this crucial responsibility of protecting the public. I fear for the safety of our nation's drinking water," said Elder, now a water consultant. "Apparently, it's a real crapshoot as to what's going to come out of the tap and whether it will be healthy or not."

Recent attention to the dangers of the District's drinking water has prompted scientists and some members of Congress to call for revamping the lead rules in the 30-year-old Safe Drinking Water Act, which was aimed at limiting dangerous contaminants flowing out of the tap. EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt declined to be interviewed for this article, but his agency has said that a major overhaul to its regulations is unnecessary.

"We have not identified a systemic problem," EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Benjamin H. Grumbles told Congress in July. In an interview, Grumbles said, "We are going full throttle" to pinpoint lead levels across the country. "So far," he said, "we have not seen anything that closely resembles the District in the data we've received."

EPA data analyzed by The Post identified 274 utilities, which together serve 11.5 million people, that have reported unsafe lead levels since 2000. Those numbers do not include cities where testing methods concealed true lead levels.

Utility officials defend their testing methods, saying that they are not designed to deceive the government and that state regulators approved their practices. Others argue that they should not have to spend millions to remove lead that often leaches from their customers' own fixtures.

Some suppliers have worked hard to avoid lead problems. The utility in Kansas City, Mo., tested its water more frequently and treated it more aggressively than the law required. And after the District's problem surfaced, several other jurisdictions in the Washington region voluntarily tested their water and found less contamination than in the city.

Lynn Stovall, a Greenville, S.C., utility manager and member of the American Water Works Association, said many utilities are "hard-pressed" and need more public funding to comply with mounting regulations and improve aging plants.

"The drinking water community faces a complex array of expensive new federal requirements and new standards," Stovall told Congress at this summer's hearing on lead.

Lead exposure can cause serious health problems, including lower IQs in children and brain and kidney damage in adults. Although health experts agree that no amount of lead in drinking water is considered safe, there is some dispute about how much tainted water has to be consumed to cause permanent damage. Because the effect is cumulative, lead in water is particularly problematic in older, urban areas where children are more likely to also be exposed to lead paint, which utilities note is a more prevalent threat.

Despite the health risk caused by lead in water, efforts to eliminate it have run up against other realities, including the high cost of replacing underground pipes that contain lead. Recognizing that states lacked the resources to carefully monitor more than 90 contaminants covered by federal law, the EPA issued lists of priorities starting in 1996. In both cases, its top concern was microbes, which can sicken large populations overnight. Lead did not make the list, and this year, the EPA dropped drinking water altogether from its enforcement priority list, records show.

Competing interests were also in play in 1991 when the EPA wrote new rules on lead. The compromise that emerged requires that, when lead levels exceed 15 parts per billion, utilities must inform the public, treat the water to make it less corrosive or, in some cases, replace pipes.

Because of the cost, many utilities are reluctant to act. In the District, where the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority is under an order to replace service lines, water customers are expected to pay for most of the $350 million project over the rest of the decade.
Withholding Results
Water suppliers are required by law to test for lead regularly -- the largest utilities must check the water in at least 50 homes once every three years. They must follow a strict regimen, trying consistently to test the same "high risk" homes most likely to have lead problems. High-risk homes are defined as those with lead service lines or built in the 1980s, before lead solder in plumbing was banned.

Because so few homes are tested, the results of just one or two can mean the difference between passing and failing. Utilities are required to report to regulators all their test results -- good and bad.

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority knew in the summer of 2001 that its water contained unsafe lead levels, but it withheld six high test results and said the water was fine, records show. When it tested over the next two years, records show, WASA dropped half of the homes that had previously tested high for lead and avoided high-risk homes.

The EPA, which cited WASA for violations in June, called the utility's practices unprecedented and a "serious breach" of the law.

Documents show that water systems across the country have used similar practices.

In such cities as Boston and Detroit, records indicate that utilities have failed to test the high-risk homes they were required to check. State regulators and the EPA discovered in the spring that at least one-fourth of the locations tested in the Boston area were not high risk and ordered the utility to revamp its program, records show.

After several years of above-the-limit test results, New York water officials reported that tests in 2000 showed lead had fallen to safe levels. But the city had not reported all of its results.

Records obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request revealed more than 300 withheld test results that, if reported, would have given New York water a failing grade for safety in 2001 and 2002. That would have required the city to alert the public to the problem and take expensive steps to fix it.

Christopher O. Ward, commissioner of New York's Department of Environmental Protection, said his agency is "highly confident" the city's water is safe. He said extra tests were taken to ensure that the city had a sufficient number to report to regulators, though he said the agency did not formally notify state and city regulators of this practice or seek their approval. Ward said that he believed this complied with the rules and that it was unfair now to count irrelevant results.

"In light of the issues that have recently been raised, DEP is in the process of reviewing our lead and copper monitoring to ensure that all requirements in the regulations are being met," Ward said.

In a similar situation, when WASA said the six test results it withheld were replacement or backup samples, the EPA cited the utility and said it was a violation of the law.

In Philadelphia, state and utility officials said they could produce none of the required documentation for their decision to toss out a high test result in 2002. The federal law does not allow utilities to discard high tests except under very limited circumstances, and the utilities must carefully document their reason.

Utility director Gary Burlingame said in an interview that the high test result "didn't jibe" with past tests and that the utility decided it should be discarded after learning the house had undergone plumbing work. Had that test been counted, records show, it would have put Philadelphia over the federal safety limit and required corrective steps.

The law prohibits throwing out tests for the reasons given in Lansing, Mich., in 2001 -- that homeowners did not follow directions in collecting them. Four discarded tests would have put the water over the federal lead limit, documents show. In one case, the homeowner disputed the reason the utility gave for tossing her sample -- that the occupants had been away overnight.

"That's a big, fat lie," said Jennie Horiszny, an 85-year-old Lansing resident. She said she had not gone out of town and had carefully followed the utility's instructions not to run the water overnight. She remembers pouring glasses of water before going to bed in case she or her husband became thirsty -- and taking the sample first thing in the morning. "That's what the directions said to do, and that's what I did," she said. "It was a clean sample."

John Strickler, a spokesman for the Lansing water system, said, "I find it hard to believe that any of our employees would have made that up." He said the city has voluntarily embarked on an aggressive plan to replace lead service lines, in part because "we started seeing news stories" about the District's problem.

Federal law also requires utilities to try to test the same homes over time and prohibits dropping any merely because they have tested high.

After exceeding the acceptable limits in 2000, the Ridgewood, N.J., water system dumped "hot" houses that had tested high, records show. Frank Moritz Sr., director of operations for Ridgewood's water department, said that was not done by design. "Each year, we take out the previous year's list and ask if they want to participate," he said.

But five residents whose homes showed high lead readings said in interviews that the utility never informed them of the results or asked them to test again.

"It would have been nice if someone had looked out for us," said Matthew Criscenzo, whose son was 4 at the time. "Obviously, this news is causing some alarm."

Bradley M. Campbell, New Jersey's commissioner of environmental protection and an EPA official in the Clinton administration, said that his agency is "actively investigating" testing irregularities uncovered by The Post in Ridgewood and other communities in northern New Jersey and that it could take action against some utilities. "The public has a paramount right to know" the true lead levels in those communities, he said.

Just as dropping tests can lower the official lead figures, so can adding tests.

The utility in Providence, R.I., exceeded safe lead levels in 2002. Instead of informing the public, as required, records show that the utility waited and, the next summer, sampled 30 more homes, most of which showed very low lead and brought levels below the federal standard. Utility officials said they believed that their actions complied with the law. June Swallow, the Rhode Island official charged with overseeing utilities, said Providence did not comply and that the state will in the future ensure that utilities test within the requisite four-month period.
Frequent Irregularities
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, states must oversee utilities to ensure that they follow the law and the EPA is required to step in when states fail to correct problems.

For the most part, states take the word of utilities, doing little to check whether they are testing properly. The EPA's most recent audits point out that testing irregularities are common. Also, states frequently miss the violations or fail to force utilities to take required steps to reduce lead, according to the audits.

The latest EPA audit of Hawaii's program, for instance, found in 2001 that regulators there "put an emphasis on 'helping' " utilities "rather than enforcing the law."

Records show that regulators rarely force communities to replace lead service lines, even in such cases as Yonkers, N.Y., where the law required it because repeated tests showed excessive lead levels.

In Seattle, the city missed a 1997 deadline to reduce lead by making its water less corrosive. The state of Washington gave it six extra years to correct the problem, allowing high lead to persist until last year. Denise Clifford, director of the state's office of drinking water, said the delay gave Seattle time to build treatment facilities that will reduce lead and other more serious contaminants.

"I know this doesn't look like a good decision to a lot of people," she said, but "there are more acute public health risks than lead."

In the interim, more than 43,000 Seattle residents -- including Nimi Sandhu -- gave birth, according to vital records statistics. Sandhu used unfiltered tap water to make her babies' formula, unaware of the lead levels.

"It's outrageous -- the state is supposed to be protecting us," said Sandhu, whose children are 5, 4 and 10 months old. "I don't know how they can live with themselves knowing that they were possibly endangering children."

State officials say they are forced to engage in a form of triage.

"It's tough, given all the other priorities out there for drinking water, to oversee this rule at that level of detail," said Barker G. Hamill, chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Safe Drinking Water.

If states fail to enforce the law, the EPA is the last line of defense. But the agency devotes four times the staff to enforcing the laws that govern sewage released into rivers and lakes as it does to safeguarding the nation's drinking water supply, records show. The agency has 72 enforcement employees to oversee the nation's drinking water laws -- one employee for every 2,238 water systems.

"We can't afford to do these kind of checks everywhere, and neither can the states," said Jon M. Capacasa, water administrator in the EPA's mid-Atlantic office.

Officials at EPA headquarters say the need for intervention has declined over the years, because more utilities understand and comply with the law. But sometimes the EPA is without the information it needs to act.

A March report by the agency's inspector general found that the data the EPA uses to assess water quality are "flawed and incomplete" because states are not reporting violations, despite legal requirements.

But even when it is aware of a problem, the agency does not always enforce the law, records show.

It didn't do so in Portland, Ore., for instance, where excessive lead persisted through much of the past decade. The state approved the city's decision to launch a public education campaign on lead dangers rather than build an expensive treatment plant to comply with the law.

Lead levels climbed, and in 2002 the EPA stepped in, but not to discipline the city. Instead, the agency suggested testing more homes in the suburbs. The utility dropped more than half the homes with lead higher than the federal limit, replacing them with suburban homes that had, on average, significantly lower levels, records show.

"That change in the sampling population helped" the city slip back under the federal limit, said Mark Knudson, the Portland Water Bureau's director of operations. EPA officials said that that was not their goal and that they had recommended the changes to get a fuller picture across the area.

Although top EPA officials have contended that the law does a good job of catching most problems, those charged with enforcing it do not always agree. EPA regulators who met in the spring in Newport, R.I., noted in a three-page memo a series of loopholes that weaken the law. Among them: Nothing requires utilities to notify individual homeowners that their water has high lead, and the regulation does not allow the same stiff sanctions for high lead that it does for other contaminants such as bacteria.

At headquarters, the EPA's Grumbles has said in recent weeks that he will push to ensure that cities are complying with the law when they test and that he will consider changes early next year, such as stricter rules for notifying the public. But critics fear that, without much tougher laws and enforcement, unsafe water in other communities may not come to light.

"The problems we know about are just the tip of the iceberg," said Erik D. Olson of the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council, "because utilities are gaming the system, states have often been willing to ignore long-standing violations and the EPA sits on the sidelines and refuses to crack down."

Database editor Sarah Cohen and staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company



From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Monday, October 4, 2004 4:45 PM
Subject: Scott Galindez | Kerry Can Win Allies Bush Lost

t r u t h o u t | 10.05

Howard Dean | Environmental Policy Affects Health, Economy, Security


EPA Is Lax on Coal Power Rule, Report Says

Francois-Xavier Gomez | Oil War Threatens Nigeria

Scott Galindez | Kerry Can Win Allies Bush Lost

Edwards-Cheney Debate Looks Crucial

Appointment in Samarra: An Eyewitness Account

The Draft Card: The Option Nobody's Pushing. Yet.

The New York Times | More Troubles for Diebold

Bob Herbert | Bush and Reality

As Afghan Vote Nears, Taliban Isn't Only Worry

Lou Dubose | The Decay of DeLay

Pat Robertson Warns GOP: 'Don't Touch Jerusalem'

As Deadlines Hit, Rolls of Voters Show Big Surge

Kerry Accuses GOP of Suppressing Voting

26 Dead as Car Bombs Rock Baghdad

Marc Ash | Edwards v. Halliburton

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Debate Round II: Cheney v. Edwards'




To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:


Disillusioned and angry American soldiers serving in Iraq

Dear Mike, Iraq sucks

Michael Moore
Tuesday October 05 2004
The Guardian

Civilian contractors are fleecing taxpayers; US troops don't have proper equipment; and supposedly liberated Iraqis hate them. After the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore received a flood of letters and emails from disillusioned and angry American soldiers serving in Iraq. Here, in an exclusive extract from his new book, we print a selection:

From: RH
To: mike@michaelmoore.com
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2003 4:57 PM
Subject: Iraqi freedom veteran supports you

Dear Mr Moore,

I went to Iraq with thoughts of killing people who I thought were horrible. I was like, "Fuck Iraq, fuck these people, I hope we kill thousands." I believed my president. He was taking care of business and wasn't going to let al Qaeda push us around. I was with the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia. My unit was one of the first to Baghdad. I was so scared. Didn't know what to think. Seeing dead bodies for the first time. People blown in half. Little kids with no legs. It was overwhelming, the sights, sounds, fear. I was over there from Jan'03 to Aug'03. I hated every minute. It was a daily battle to keep my spirits up. I hate the army and my job. I am supposed to get out next February but will now be unable to because the asshole in the White House decided that now would be a great time to put a stop-loss in effect for the army. So I get to do a second tour in Iraq and be away from those I love again because some guy has the audaci!
ty to put others' lives on the line for his personal war. I thought we were the good guys.

From: Michael W
Sent: Tuesday July 13 2004 12.28pm
Subject: Dude, Iraq sucks

My name is Michael W and I am a 30-year-old National Guard infantryman serving in southeast Baghdad. I have been in Iraq since March of 04 and will continue to serve here until March of 05.

In the few short months my unit has been in Iraq, we have already lost one man and have had many injured (including me) in combat operations. And for what? At the very least, the government could have made sure that each of our vehicles had the proper armament to protect us soldiers.

In the early morning hours of May 10, one month to the day from my 30th birthday, I and 12 other men were attacked in a well-executed roadside ambush in south-east Baghdad. We were attacked with small-arms fire, a rocket-propelled grenade, and two well-placed roadside bombs. These roadside bombs nearly destroyed one of our Hummers and riddled my friends with shrapnel, almost killing them. They would not have had a scratch if they had the "Up Armour" kits on them. So where was George W. Bush on that one?

It's just so ridiculous, which leads me to my next point. A Blackwater contractor makes $15,000 a month for doing the same job as my pals and me. I make about $4,000 a month over here. What's up with that?

Beyond that, the government is calling up more and more troops from the reserves. For what? Man, there is a huge fucking scam going on here! There are civilian contractors crawling all over this country. Blackwater, Kellogg Brown &amp; Root, Halliburton, on and on. These contractors are doing everything you can think of from security to catering lunch!

We are spending money out the ass for this shit, and very few of the projects are going to the Iraqi people. Someone's back is getting scratched here, and it ain't the Iraqis'!

My life is left to chance at this point. I just hope I come home alive.

From: Specialist Willy
Sent: Tuesday March 9 2004 1.23pm
Subject: Thank you

Mike, I'd like to thank you for all of the support you're showing for the soldiers here in Iraq. I am in Baghdad right now, and it's such a relief to know that people still care about the lemmings who are forced to fight in this conflict.

It's hard listening to my platoon sergeant saying, "If you decide you want to kill a civilian that looks threatening, shoot him. I'd rather fill out paperwork than get one of my soldiers killed by some raghead." We are taught that if someone even looks threatening we should do something before they do something to us. I wasn't brought up in fear like that, and it's going to take some getting used to.

It's also very hard talking to people here about this war. They don't like to hear that the reason they are being torn away from their families is bullshit, or that their "president" doesn't care about them. A few people here have become quite upset with me, and at one point I was going to be discharged for constantly inciting arguments and disrespect to my commander-in-chief (Dubya). It's very hard to be silenced about this when I see the same 150 people every day just going through the motions, not sure why they are doing it.

Willy sent an update in early August:

People's perceptions of this war have done a complete 180 since we got here. We had someone die in a mortar attack the first week, and ever since then, things have changed completely. Soldiers are calling their families urging them to support John Kerry. If this is happening elsewhere, it looks as if the overseas military vote that Bush is used to won't be there this time around.

From: Kyle Waldman
Sent: Friday February 27 2004 2.35am
Subject: None

As we can all obviously see, Iraq was not and is not an imminent threat to the United States or the rest of the world. My time in Iraq has taught me a little about the Iraqi people and the state of this war-torn, poverty-stricken country.

The illiteracy rate in this country is phenomenal. There were some farmers who didn't even know there was an Operation Iraqi Freedom. This was when I realised that this war was initiated by the few who would profit from it and not for its people. We, as the coalition forces, did not liberate these people; we drove them even deeper into poverty. I don't foresee any economic relief coming soon to these people by the way Bush has already diverted its oil revenues to make sure there will be enough oil for our SUVs.

We are here trying to keep peace when all we have been trained for is to destroy. How are 200,000 soldiers supposed to take control of this country? Why didn't we have an effective plan to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure? Why aren't the American people more aware of these atrocities?

My fiancee and I have seriously looked into moving to Canada as political refugees.

From: Anonymous
Sent: Thursday April 15 2004 12.41am
Subject: From KBR truck driver now in Iraq

Mike, I am a truck driver right now in Iraq. Let me give you this one small fact because I am right here at the heart of it: since I started this job several months ago, 100% (that's right, not 99%) of the workers I am aware of are inflating the hours they claim on their time sheets. There is so much more I could tell you. But the fact is that MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars are being raped from both the American taxpayers and the Iraqi people because of the unbelievable amount of greed and abuse over here. And yes, my conscience does bother me because I am participating in this rip-off.

From: Andrew Balthazor
Sent: Friday August 27 2004 1.53pm
Subject: Iraqi war vet - makes me sound so old

Mr Moore, I am an ex-military intelligence officer who served 10 months in Baghdad; I was the senior intelligence officer for the area of Baghdad that included the UN HQ and Sadr City.

Since Bush exposed my person and my friends, peers, and subordinates to unnecessary danger in a war apparently designed to generate income for a select few in the upper echelon of America, I have become wholeheartedly anti-Bush, to the chagrin of much of my pro-Republican family.

As a "foot soldier" in the "war on terror" I can personally testify that Bush's administration has failed to effectively fight terrorists or the root causes of terror. The White House and the DoD failed to plan for reconstruction of Iraq. Contracts weren't tendered until Feb-Mar of 2003, and the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (the original CPA) didn't even come into existence until January 2003. This failure to plan for the "peace" is a direct cause for the insecurity of Iraq today.

Immediately after the "war" portion of the fighting (which really ended around April 9 2003), we should have been prepared to send in a massive reconstruction effort. Right away we needed engineers to diagnose problems, we needed contractors repairing problems, we needed immediate food, water, shelter, and fuel for the Iraqi people, and we needed more security for all of this to work - which we did not have because we did not have enough troops on the ground, and CPA decided to disband the Iraqi army. The former Iraqi police were engaged far too late; a plan should have existed to bring them into the fold right away.

I've left the military. If there is anything I can do to help get Bush out of office, let me know.

From: Anthony Pietsch
Sent: Thursday August 5 2004 6.13pm
Subject: Soldier for sale

Dear Mr Moore, my name is Tony Pietsch, and I am a National Guardsman who has been stationed in Kuwait and Iraq for the past 15 months. Along with so many other guard and reserve units, my unit was put on convoy escorts. We were on gun trucks running from the bottom of Iraq to about two hours above Baghdad.

The Iraqi resistance was insanity. I spent many nights lying awake after mortar rounds had just struck areas nearby, some coming close enough to throw rocks against my tent. I've seen roadside bombs go off all over, Iraqis trying to ram the side of our vehicle. Small children giving us the finger and throwing rocks at the soldiers in the turrets. We were once lost in Baghdad and received nothing but dirty looks and angry gestures for hours.

I have personally been afraid for my life more days than I can count. We lost our first man only a few weeks before our tour was over, but it seems that all is for nothing because all we see is hostility and anger over our being there. They are angry over the abuse scandal and the collateral damages that are always occurring.

I don't know how the rest of my life will turn out, but I truly regret being a 16-year-old kid looking for some extra pocket money and a way to college.

From: Sean Huze
Sent: Sunday March 28 2004 7.56pm
Subject: "Dude, Where's My Country?"

I am an LCPL in the US Marine Corps and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mr Moore, please keep pounding away at Bush. I'm not some pussy when it comes to war. However, the position we were put in - fighting an enemy that used women, children, and other civilians as shields; forcing us to choose between firing at "area targets" (nice way of saying firing into crowds) or being killed by the bastards using the crowds for cover - is indescribably horrible.

I saw more than a few dead children littering the streets in Nasiriyah, along with countless other civilians. And through all this, I held on to the belief that it had to be for some greater good.

Months have passed since I've been back home and the unfortunate conclusion I've come to is that Bush is a lying, manipulative motherfucker who cares nothing for the lives of those of us who serve in uniform. Hell, other than playing dress-up on aircraft carriers, what would he know about serving this nation in uniform?

His silence and refusal to speak under oath to the 9/11 Commission further mocks our country. The Patriot Act violates every principle we fight and die for. And all of this has been during his first term. Can you imagine his policies when he doesn't have to worry about re-election? We can't allow that to happen, and there are so many like me in the military who feel this way. We were lied to and used. And there aren't words to describe the sense of betrayal I feel as a result.

From: Joseph Cherwinski
Sent: Saturday July 3 2004 8.33pm
Subject: "Fahrenheit 9/11"

I am a soldier in the United States army. I was in Iraq with the Fourth Infantry Division.

I was guarding some Iraqi workers one day. Their task was to fill sandbags for our base. The temperature was at least 120. I had to sit there with full gear on and monitor them. I was sitting and drinking water, and I could barely tolerate the heat, so I directed the workers to go to the shade and sit and drink water. I let them rest for about 20 minutes. Then a staff sergeant told me that they didn't need a break, and that they were to fill sandbags until the cows come home. He told the Iraqis to go back to work.

After 30 minutes, I let them have a break again, thus disobeying orders. If these were soldiers working, in this heat, those soldiers would be bound to a 10-minute work, 50-minute rest cycle, to prevent heat casualties. Again the staff sergeant came and sent the Iraqis back to work and told me I could sit in the shade. I told him no, I had to be out there with them so that when I started to need water, then they would definitely need water. He told me that wasn't necessary, and that they live here, and that they are used to it.

After he left, I put the Iraqis back into the shade. I could tell that some were very dehydrated; most of them were thin enough to be on an international food aid commercial. I would not treat my fellow soldiers in this manner, so I did not treat the Iraqi workers this way either.

This went on for eight months while I was in Iraq, and going through it told me that we were not there for their freedom, we were not there for WMD. We had no idea what we were fighting for anymore.

Will They Ever Trust Us Again? Letters from the Warzone to Michael Moore by Michael Moore, to be published by Allen Lane on October 7 at £12.99. Copyright © Michael Moore 2004. To order a copy for £12.34 with free UK p&p, call the Guardian Book Service on 0870 836 0875, or go to www.guardian.co.uk/bookshop.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited



Published on Monday, October 4, 2004 by The Nation


10 Questions for Dick Cheney

By John Nichols

Dick Cheney, who spent most of his administration's first term in a secure undisclosed
location, has been campaigning this fall in the Potemkin Villages of Republican reaction. As
such, has not faced much in the way of serious questioning from his audiences of party
apparatchiks. Nor has he been grilled by the White House-approved journalistic commissars
who travel with the vice president to take stenography when Cheney makes his daily
prediction of the apocalypse that would befall America should he be removed from power.

On Tuesday night, however, Cheney will briefly expose himself in an unmanaged setting ­ to
the extent that the set of a vice presidential debate can be so identified. In preparation for
this rare opportunity to pin down the man former White House counsel John Dean refers to
as "the de factor president," here is a list of ten questions that ought to be directed to Dick

1.) When you appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq,
you announced that, "We will be greeted as liberators." In light of the fact that more than
1,000 young Americans have been killed, while more than 20,000 have been wounded, in
the fighting in Iraq, do you think you might have been a bit too optimistic?

2.) Why were maps of Iraqi oil fields and pipelines included in the documents reviewed by the
administration's energy task force, the National Energy Policy Development Group, which you
headed during the first months of 2001? Did discussions about regime change in Iraq figure
in the deliberations of the energy task force?

3.) When the administration was asking in 2002 for Congressional approval of a resolution
authorizing the use of force against Iraq, you told the national convention of the Veterans of
Foreign Wars that Saddam Hussein had "resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons."
You then claimed that, "Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror, and seated atop
10 percent of the world's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek
domination of the entire Middle East, take control of the world's energy supplies, directly
threaten American friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other
nation to nuclear blackmail." Several months later, when you appeared on "Meet the Press"
just prior to the invasion of Iraq, you said of Saddam Hussein, "We know he has
reconstituted these (chemical weapons) programs. We know he's out trying once again to
produce nuclear weapons, and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with
various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization." As it turned out, you were
wrong on virtually every count. How did you misread the signs so completely? And why was it
that so many other world leaders, who looked at the same intelligence you had access to,
were able to assess the situation so much more accurately?

4.) Considering the fact that your predictions about the ease of the Iraq invasion and
occupation turned out to be so dramatically off the mark, and the fact that you were in
charge of the White House task force on terrorism that failed, despite repeated and explicit
warnings, to anticipate the terrorist threats on the World Trade Center, what is it about your
analytical skills that should lead Americans to believe your claims that America will be more
vulnerable to attack if John Kerry and John Edwards are elected?

5.) Speaking of intelligence, were you or any members of your staff involved in any way in
revealing the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative who was working on weapons of
mass destruction issues, after her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, angered the
administration by revealing that the president made claims about Iraqi WMD programs that he
and his aides had been told were unreliable?

6.) During your tenure as Secretary of Defense, you and your staff asked a subsidiary of
Halliburton, Brown & Root Services, to study whether private firms could take over logistical
support programs for U.S. military operations around the world. They came to the conclusion
that this was a good idea, and you began what would turn into a massive privatization
initiative that would eventually direct billions of U.S. tax dollars to Halliburton and its
subsidiary. Barely two years after you finished your service as Secretary of Defense, you
became the CEO of Halliburton. Yet, when you were asked about the money you received
from Halliburton -- $44 million for five year's work -- you said, "I tell you that the government
had absolutely nothing to do with it." How do you define the words "absolutely nothing"?

7.) No corporation has been more closely associated with the invasion of Iraq than
Halliburton. The company, which you served as CEO before joining the administration,
moved from No.19 on the U.S. Army's list of top contractors before the Iraq war began to No.
1 in 2003. Last year, alone, the company pocketed $4.2 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. You
said when asked about Halliburton during a September 2003 appearance on "Meet the
Press" that you had "severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial
interest." Yet, you continue to hold unexercised options for 233,000 shares of Halliburton
stock, and since becoming vice president you have on an annual basis collected deferred
compensation payments ranging from $162,392 to $205,298 from Halliburton. A recent
review by the Congressional Research Service describes deferred salary and stock options of
the sort that you hold as "among those benefits described by the Office of Government
Ethics as 'retained ties' or 'linkages' to one's former employer." In the interest of ending the
debate about whether Halliburton has received special treatment from the administration,
would you be willing to immediately surrender any claims to those stock options and to future
deferred compensation in order to make real your claim that you have "severed all my ties
with the company."

8.) You have been particularly aggressive in attacking the qualifications of John Kerry, a
decorated Vietnam veteran, to serve as commander-in-chief. Yet, you received five draft
deferments during the 1960s, which allowed you to avoid serving in Vietnam. In 1989, when
you were nominated to serve as Secretary of Defense, you were asked why you did not
serve in Vietnam and you told the Senate that you "would have obviously been happy to
serve had I been called." Yet, in an interview that same year, you told the Washington Post
that, "I had other priorities in the sixties than military service." Which was it -- "proud to serve"
or "other priorities"?

9.) Nelson Mandela says he worries about you serving in the vice presidency because, "He
opposed the decision to release me from prison." As a member of Congress you did vote
against a resolution expressing the sense of the House that then President Ronald Reagan
should demand that South Africa's apartheid government grant the immediate and
unconditional release of Mandela and other political prisoners. You have said you voted the
way you did in the late 1980s because "the ANC was then viewed as a terrorist
organization." Do you still believe that Mandela and others who fought for an end to
apartheid were terrorists? If so, are you proud to have cast votes that helped to prolong
Mandela's imprisonment and the apartheid system of racial segregation and discrimination?

10.) Mandela has said that, to his view, you are "the real president of the United States."
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said of the first years of the Bush presidency that,
"Cheney and a handful of others had become 'a Praetorian guard' that encircled the
President." O'Neill has also argued that the White House operates the way it does "because
this is the way that Dick likes it." Why do you think that so many people, including veterans of
this administration, seem to think that it is you, rather than George W. Bush, who is running
the country?

John Nichols' book on Cheney, Dick: The Man Who Is President, has just been released by
The New Press.



To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Monday, October 4, 2004 5:21 PM
Subject: We The Planet '04 Announced! Special Alumni Ticket Price Enclosed

Dear We the Planet Alumni............... We the Planet 2004 is on its way and we wanted you to be the first to know about it. Come and join us for a fabulous day and night of inspiring speakers, workshops, and best of all, awesome music!

Here are the details:


HENRY J KAISER AUDITORIUM 10 Tenth St., Oakland, CA (Close to the Lake Merritt BART)
SATURDAY NOV 13th - Doors open at 6pm; Music at 7pm A musical lineup featuring the sweet tunes of:

Co-Hosted by Julia Butterfly Hill Aya de Leon


Normal price: $22 in advance; $30 at the door. Also! We the Planet is hosting PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES FOR A NEW WORLD, an extraordinary conversation and interaction with today's leading activists thinkers. These interactions are FREE with a concert ticket and start at 2pm at a nearby venue TBA

Topics include: Music Arts Activism; Independent Media; Beyond Voting; Civil Disobedience.

For details go to www.wetheplanet.org.

*** SPECIAL OFFER FOR WE THE PLANET ALUMNI ONLY**** Super pre-sale: This is a sell-out show! Get your general admission tickets for the special alumni price of only $20 from now until October 10th!! Go to http://www1.inhousetickets.com/evinfo.php?refnug=inhouse==5788 to buy your ticket now.

((Also - VIP Tix are also available which includes a parking pass, reserved seating section, and other great stuff for $100; and only $90 for We the Planet Alumni if you purchase them by October 10th. Call Wini at 510-601-9790 x6 to reserve your VIP tickets. Sorry, VIP tickets are not available on the In House Tickets web site - you must call)) Thank you for your support at year one's event, and we hope to see you for year two!

CONSCIOUSNESS IS COOL.... To buy special $20 Alumni tickets: http://www1.inhousetickets.com/evinfo.php?refnug=inhouse==5788



From: Eli Pariser, MoveOn PAC <moveon-help@list.moveon.org>
To: Robert Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Monday, October 4, 2004 3:49 PM

Grand Finale: Bruce Wants You Next Monday!

Next Monday evening, the Vote for Change tour will culminate in one of the great moments of this election -- a grand finale, televised live on the Sundance Channel, featuring Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, the Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, and many other special guests. We're holding watch parties nationwide to celebrate and mobilize. Can you host?

If you don't get Sundance, you can listen on the radio or over the Internet. As soon as we have the details, we'll post them on our website.

To get a taste of what to expect, check out Bruce Springsteen's message <> at one of the kick-off shows in Philadelphia.

Voters got a clear look at the candidates side by side in last week's debate, and they're ready to vote for change. The latest Newsweek poll -- which showed Bush with an 11 point lead after the Republican convention -- now shows Kerry-Edwards leading with 47 percent to Bush-Cheney's 45 percent.[1] Even Gallup's new poll shows the candidates tied.[2]

Starting last Friday, an incredible collection of musicians are adding to Kerry's momentum with the Vote for Change concert tour across 12 swing states. Next Monday, the artists will meet in Washington, D.C. for a historic finale show, televised live on the Sundance Channel. More than a dozen talented artists will share the stage, speaking to our national aspirations as only songwriters can.

This is going to be one of the great moments of this election, and we want to share it with you. Please host a watch party next Monday evening, Columbus Day. We'll join a special MoveOn PAC online conference featuring messages from Bruce Springsteen and many of the other artists. Then we'll tune into the concert on the Sundance Channel, the radio, or over the Internet.

To host a party, go to:


Hosting a party is fun and easy. We'll walk you through it step by step. You can host a private party just for your friends or a public party for MoveOn members in your neighborhood. All you need to participate is the Sundance Channel and a computer with speakers and high-speed Internet access or a speakerphone.

The concert will be inspiring and powerful. And we'll also get some important work done. During the concert, we'll all handwrite letters to voters in swing states who are undecided or unsure they'll make it to the polls. This is our chance to share why this election is so important and why we need to vote for change. We'll help you get you started and tell you where to send the letters.

The Vote for Change tour was born when a group of America's most respected musicians realized they couldn't sit this election out. At the Philadelphia concert, Bruce Springsteen shared what he feels is at stake in this election. His clear and genuine comments speak to the power of the Vote for Change tour, the power of musicians to help us see ourselves honestly, and the power of people to make a change.

You can hear Bruce Springsteen and sign up to host a watch party, at: http://action.moveonpac.org/vfc/

By attending or hosting a party for this powerful event, you can recharge your batteries and recall the historic significance of our work together. As always, thanks for all you do!


--Adam, Eli, Hannah, James, Laura, and the whole MoveOn PAC Team
Monday, October 4th, 2004

P.S. Once enough parties are created, we'll ask folks to sign up to attend. Look for our invitation later this week!

[1] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6159637/site/newsweek/
[2] http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/03/gallup.poll/

PAID FOR BY MOVEON PAC www.moveonpac.org <http://www.moveonpac.org/>
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.



Published on Monday, October 4, 2004 by USA Today


The Sweet Music of Activism

By Bill Bradley

Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Dave Matthews and others this
weekend embarked on a Vote for Change tour, a 10-day series of shows featuring multiple
concerts in multiple venues in the same state on the same night.

For the first time, Springsteen is encouraging members of his vast audience to cast their
votes for a particular candidate (in this case, John Kerry) on Nov. 2. The tour is emblematic of
what may turn out to be the lasting legacy of the 2004 campaign: the year American activists
returned to participatory democracy.

For many voters, and particularly the young, there has been a fundamental distinction
between "activism" and "politics."

Activism is being demonstrated by what may be one of the most engaged generations ever.
Volunteerism by college students is at an all-time high. Young citizens, with the help of the
Internet's ability to inform and network, are full participants in controversies surrounding
environmental policies, global trade, media consolidation and other international, national
and local issues.

Politics, on the other hand, is viewed by many as a spectator sport - and a distasteful one.
For many, political campaigns mean sitting at home passively while being manipulated by
attack ads and half-truths. Dominated by big money, critical issues are ignored. Not
surprisingly, politics has been viewed with skepticism by many, especially the young.

This year, however, is different. In fact, President Bush may turn out to be the great uniter
after all.

Remember Dean's efforts?

From the early Meetup.com days of the Howard Dean campaign to new approaches for
raising huge sums of money via small donor networks on the Internet to a blogosphere
representing a welcome redefinition of the Fourth Estate, activism and politics have become
one. Look at what is happening in the music community.

During the past year, grassroots groups such as the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network,
PunkVoter and Music for America have emerged to facilitate political dialogue between music
creators and their audience.

Transition complete

The Vote for Change tour completes this transition. These artists represent a cross-section of
the best popular music that our culture has to offer. Many write passionately in their songs
about their vision for a better world. These musicians are taking a leap of faith beyond
activism and embracing electoral politics.

What's at stake for them? Is it too much to suggest that they are endangering their careers?
The Dixie Chicks were temporarily banned from Cumulus Radio's country music playlists after
Natalie Maines made a remark critical of the president during a concert in London. The
"shut-up-and-sing" crowd suggests that in a 50-50 political world, these artists, due to
backlash, could lose a sizeable part of their fan base.

I have a different perspective.

The 50-50 split is not between Democrats and Republicans, but those who vote and those
who don't. That's right: nearly 50% of eligible voters chose not to vote in 2000. The
underlying challenge of our democracy is to change this non-participation and to ensure that
the core values of citizenship and active participation in the electoral process overshadow
the domination of big money and corporate power.

Why shouldn't these artists speak out? If artists don't use their skills to build the kind of
country they believe in, we are all poorer for it. They shouldn't be marginalized or demonized;
they should be celebrated for being engaged. And if Bush's campaign strategist, Karl Rove,
can organize a "Vote for Status Quo" tour, those artists should be praised, too.

While corporate America throws dollars after votes, my guess is the inspiration generated by
these entertainers will spark a turnout of music fans who will be voting to take their country
back on Nov. 2.

Bill Bradley is a former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate.



To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:


Two held in French anti-nuclear protest

Owen Bowcott
Monday October 04 2004
The Guardian

A round-the-world yachting champion and a veteran Greenpeace activist were seized by police yesterday as they sailed into a military exclusion zone to protest at transatlantic shipments of decommissioned nuclear warheads.

The demonstration by a flotilla of dinghies in Cherbourg harbour came the day before the expected docking of two vessels laden with 125kg (275lb) of weapons-grade plutonium.

The material is being moved under a post-cold war agreement between the United States and Russia to recycle excess warheads into nuclear fuel. Greenpeace and other environmental groups have criticised the security precautions as inadequate and the transportation as unnecessary.

The two men arrested were Eugene Riguidel, a famous French yachtsman who won the 1980 Whitbread round the world race, and John Castle, from Guernsey. They were intercepted and detained by teams of gendarmes on inflatable dinghies.

"They were arrested in the military arsenal," a Greenpeace nuclear campaigner, Shaun Burnie, said yesterday. "Their boat's sails were cut down with knives. We have a flotilla of 50 to 70 boats in the Channel and on along the French coast ready to join our protests."

The plutonium, sent by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), left the port of Charleston, South Carolina, on September 20. Its voyage is expected to take two weeks.

After being unloaded in Cherbourg, the plutonium will be driven more than 660 miles to a processing plant in south-east France operated by the state-owned nuclear company, Areva.

While the material is on the British-registered vessels, the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal, its security is the responsibility of the UK government. The Department of Trade and Industry yesterday confirmed that a detachment of armed officers from the UK Atomic Energy Authority constabulary was on board. The Ministry of Defence denied any of its units were involved.

Greenpeace alleges that the material will be vulnerable while crossing France. "French nuclear transports of plutonium are usually made in light banana trucks," Mr Burnie said. "The bigger issue is that Areva is hoping to expand plutonium use in Russia and the US. Efforts to control proliferation are being hijacked."

An NNSA spokesman said the material was being sent to the French plant because no such facility was available in the US. If the process was successful, a plant could be built in the US and no more plutonium sent overseas. Once converted into fuel rods, the plutonium could not be used in a nuclear weapon.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited



Published on Saturday, October 2, 2004 by CommonDreams.org


It's Time for Fundamental Changes in the Way We Derive and Use Energy

by Ralph Nader

During a stretch of years in the late 1960s and 1970s, the young environmental movement, rippling with
exuberant grassroots power and loaded with powerful arguments, pushed through a series of bedrock federal
laws: the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air and Clean Water Act amendments, the Environmental
Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act,
and the Automobile Fuel Efficiency and Conservation Act. The sensitivities and perceptions of millions of
Americans toward their environment shifted to demanding action. Reflecting on these accomplishments
inspires pride but also disappointment. Our society is still coasting on those advances and, with some
exceptions, now has a twenty-five-year record of failure.

Considering what we knew then about energy production, air and water contamination, and dwindling forests,
how is it that so many solutions remain unused? In many cases, we are failing to advance - turning the
Texas-Mexico border into a toxic sewer in the name of trade, wantonly allowing our national forests to be cut,
allowing fuel efficiency improvements to stall, destroying precious habitat, letting people drink contaminated
water and breathe polluted air. Today, even more than in the 1970s, we know what our environment needs
and we know how to meet those needs. We know how to provide cleaner, more efficient energy, how to clean
the air and water, and how to protect crucial habitat that allows us to survive.

Our government's approach to global warming illustrates how decades of inaction compound environmental
problems. We've known for some time that human beings have the capacity to slowly but surely chew our way
toward the creation of significant holes in the planet's biosphere, its forests and oceans, and associated
creatures. But there are two potential impacts that we know humans will have on life that involve so many
feedback consequences-of which we have a still primitive understanding-that we cannot predict their
directions, implications or precise magnitudes with much precision at all. The first is human-caused global
warming; the second, the widespread release of genetically modified organisms into the environment.

In June 2001, The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded that: "Greenhouse gases are
accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and
subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures, are, in fact, rising." Furthermore, the NAS wrote,
"national policy decisions made now and in the longer-term future will influence the extent of any damage
suffered by vulnerable human populations and ecosystems later in this century."

What is much more difficult to predict is how this warming, even if we manage to stabilize levels of greenhouse
gases, will interact with the extremely complex forces that cause weather patterns. For some, including
President Bush, this uncertainty surrounding the exact effects of global warming is reason to dally, to avoid
making even the modest changes that the Kyoto agreement stipulates. But there are many clear arguments
for these changes besides global warming mitigation.

Even a modest increase in average fuel efficiency could dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil,
our ground-level air pollution, and greenhouse gases. The temporary cost of raising CAFE (Corporate
Average Fuel Efficiency) standards to forty miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and light trucks would be more than
offset by the savings in fuel cost in the first 50,000 miles driven. The forty miles per gallon standard carries a
projected savings of more than ninety billion gallons of gasoline by 2010. That standard, however, currently
looms as a mirage. General Motors, followed by the rest of the world's automakers, has exploited the loophole
exempting light trucks from fuel efficiency standards to generate an explosion of gas-guzzling Sport Utility
Vehicles over the past dozen years. Thus, true average fuel efficiency dropped back to 1980 levels during
the Clinton administration, costing many times more oil than is held in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and
adding significantly to global warming. Many engineers can demonstrate as well how SUV fuel efficiency can
be raised to 35 miles per gallon with simple and inexpensive modifications, apart from hybrid technology.

Minimizing carbon emissions can be shown to produce healthy ripple effects throughout the economy. Thus,
arguments for fundamental changes in the way we derive and use energy should be made on all fronts to
build the support needed to confront human-caused global warming.

The Union of Concerned Scientists calculates that achieving a 20 percent reliance on renewable energy
sources (up from 6 percent now) by 2020 would save a total of 20.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or nearly
50,000 coal-bed methane wells producing strong for ten years -- a huge carbon emissions savings. A recent
study by researchers at Stanford University showed that in 24 percent of locations where wind was measured,
wind speed in the United States is fast enough to provide power at the same current cost of coal and natural
gas generators. According to the World Watch Institute in 2002, Denmark, Germany, and Spain together
installed 78 percent of the wind-power added worldwide, leaving the United States lagging far behind.
Though the U.S. Department of Energy's renewable energy program cites "real potential of cutting solar
prices by half," the United States continues to progress very slowly on solar development compared to
Europe and Japan. What we've known about the potentials of wind, solar efficiency, and other non-fossil fuel
energy for thirty years is being applied on a schedule far too slow, given the urgency of global warming and
the danger of resource wars.

Ralph Nader is the author of: The Good Fight : Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap
(Harper Collins Books). http://www.ralphnadersgoodfight.com/



From: David Orr <glencanyon@comcast.net>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2004 2:23 AM
Subject: LA Times: Drought drains Lake Powell, Lake Mead


As Reservoirs Recede, Fears of a Water Shortage Rise

The seven states that rely on the Colorado River
confront the possibility of inadequate supplies

By Bettina Boxall, Times Staff Writer
Oct. 3, 2004

PAGE, Ariz. - Behind Glen Canyon Dam spreads a vista reincarnated. One of
the West's mightiest reservoirs is in steady retreat, the deep turquoise of
its waters replaced by the chalky white of canyon walls submerged four
decades ago.

Five years of record-breaking drought in the Colorado River basin have
drained Lake Powell of more than 60% of its water. Flows on the Colorado are
among the lowest in 500 years.

Downriver, Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir in North America and supplier of
water to Southern California, Arizona and Las Vegas, is little more than
half full. At Mead's northern end, the foundations of St. Thomas, a little
town demolished in the 1930s to make way for the reservoir, have reemerged.

The 1,450-mile-long river that greens 3.5 million acres of farm and range
land and helps feed the faucets of 25 million people may within a few years
lack the water to quench the West's great thirst. For the first time ever,
the seven states that rely on the Colorado are confronting the possibility
of a shortage.

"They've never had to face a shortage of this consequence," said Pat Mulroy,
head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority that supplies Las Vegas, one of
the most river-dependent cities in the Colorado basin. "When you're right up
against it and facing the possibility of inadequate supplies to
municipalities or farmers or jeopardizing recreation values, these are very
tough choices."

The states are meeting now to try to figure out how they will deal with a
shortage if the drought continues. As with everything else on the heavily
regulated Colorado, the answers will be found in a complex tangle of law and

If the law of the river was strictly followed, cuts would be made according
to a hierarchy of water rights, with Arizona, Nevada and the upper basin
states of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah taking the first hits. California,
which gets about 14% of its statewide water supply from the river, has some
of the most senior rights on the Colorado and is in a comparatively good

But the states may try to avoid triggering cuts. One approach would be for
utilities to buy water from farmers and growers - who use 80% of the river's
water - and send it to cities.

"With voluntary transfers you can easily take care of the big urban needs in
the lower basin with compensation to farmers, and you don't have to dry up
agriculture to do that," said Robert Johnson, the lower Colorado regional
director for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dams and
reservoirs that make up the river's vast plumbing system.

"I don't want to downplay the importance of the drought," he said. "But my
own opinion is we'll figure out how to deal with it."

If the states don't come up with a plan, the federal government will. "The
[Interior] secretary will be forced to take action within three years, and
potentially within two, if the states haven't solved the problems
themselves," Bennett Raley, assistant secretary for water and science for
the U.S. Department of the Interior, warned last spring.

Nowhere is the drought as dramatically evident as at Powell, one of the last
major reservoirs constructed in the West. As the water recedes, the
stunningly blue desert lake, loathed by conservationists for drowning a
majestic canyon in the mid-1960s, is disinterring its past. Glen Canyon is
reemerging, caked with white mineral salts left by the backed-up waters of
the Colorado.

At Warm Creek Bay, one of Powell's many arms, the lake's decline can be
measured by the height of the advancing green forests of salt cedar, an
invasive shrub that is quickly staking its claim to the emerging lake
bottom. The exposed mud has puckered into salt-crusted chunks, a loose
puzzle of fudge-like pieces.

The last time it was full, in 1999, the Powell reservoir extended for 186
miles upriver. It is now 145 miles long. The lake level has dropped nearly
130 feet. If it continues its downward creep, there may not be enough water
to generate hydropower in two years.

By 2007 or 2008, Powell could sink below the dam's intake tubes. At that
point, the lake would be more than three-quarters empty. Releases from the
reservoir couldn't be made until nature provided more water. This year,
nature delivered half the normal inflow. In 2002, one of the driest years
ever recorded on the Colorado, it was a quarter of the norm.

As the reservoir's levels plunge, so does hydropower production. At Lake
Mead, Hoover Dam's generating capacity is down 17%. At Glen Canyon Dam, it
has dropped 30%. The Western Area Power Administration, which distributes
electricity from the dams, is cutting deliveries and expects to spend more
than $30 million this year buying power to replace the lost Glen Canyon

Meanwhile, the National Park Service is spending millions of dollars chasing
the retreating waters at Mead and Powell, moving stranded recreation
facilities and extending boat ramps that now end in cracked mud.

It could get worse. The drought is the most severe to hit the river since
record-keeping began in 1906 and among the worst in 500 years.

Ancient tree rings tell of dry periods that persisted along the Colorado for
decades. In the late 1500s, two major droughts gripped the region back to

"It seems like it's reasonable to assume it could happen again," said David
Meko, an associate research professor at the University of Arizona's
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. "We could have a few years off and dive
into another one of these."

Even if bountiful snowfall and rainfall return, it will take years for
Powell and Mead to refill. And even if the Colorado's flows return to
normal, that wouldn't match what the states were experiencing when they
divvied up the river's water in the early 1900s.

The early part of the last century was unusually wet. The annual flow on the
Colorado was then estimated at 18 million acre-feet (one acre-foot is enough
to supply two average households for a year). But the average since then has
been closer to 15 million acre-feet. Tree-ring studies suggest that over the
last 1,500 years, the average has been even less, between 13 million and 14
million acre-feet.

"They divided a very large pie, and we may have a smaller pie," said Jeanine
Jones, the Colorado River chief for the California Department of Water

Even without the drought, population growth has been pushing use levels
closer to the limits of what the river can give. In that sense, the drought
may be an early warning.

"The worst thing that could happen now is if the drought goes away and we
don't do anything. Shame on us," said Dennis Underwood, who oversees
Colorado River issues for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern

Doing something is not easy on the river, which in times of abundance has
been marked by court fights over who gets what.

"What concerns me about the current situation," said Scott Balcomb, a water
attorney who represents Colorado in the state drought talks, "is it's a
competitive environment. Each of us is guarding their allocation, and as a
result there seems to be some inertia."

Because they lack the huge downriver reservoirs that supply the lower basin,
Colorado and the other upper basin states feel they've already suffered more
than their neighbors to the south. Low irrigation flows on the upper
tributaries of the Colorado have resulted in millions of dollars' worth of
lost crops and livestock sell-offs.

"In the upper basin there's been pain going on for some time, and that's of
concern to people," said Don Ostler, executive director of the Upper
Colorado River Commission.

But the upper basin, where the river fills with snowmelt, is legally
obligated to deliver a certain amount of water to Arizona, California and
Nevada. If it didn't, the lower basin could make a "call on the river," and
the upper basin could be forced to reduce deliveries to farms and cities in
order to send water south.

That would be a politically difficult move. To avoid it, upper basin
interests are expected to argue that if total water deliveries over the last
decade are taken into account, they have more than met their obligation to
the lower basin.

The big grower-controlled irrigation districts that pump enormous quantities
of water from the river are also likely to feel the squeeze to sell some of
their crop water to urban areas.

"If the drought gets worse, you're going to get a lot of pressure on those
communities to fallow land," said water attorney Bill Swan, who represents
the Imperial Irrigation District in southeastern California, the river's
single biggest user.

In the lower basin, Nevada and Arizona would be the most vulnerable if a
shortage was declared. The huge project that Arizona built in the 1970s to
ship Colorado water to the state's interior farms and to Phoenix and Tucson
has some of the most junior rights on the river. Nevada also developed many
of its rights after California.

"We will take the hits first," said Sid Wilson, general manager of the
Central Arizona Project. "Agriculture in Arizona will be hurt. We will not
be able to continue storing water underground, and we'll have to start
pulling water out of the ground. But the point is, we're not going under
because of this drought."

The most worried of all is fast-growing southern Nevada, which gets most of
its water from Lake Mead. Even before the drought, the region needed more
than its share to keep pace with its exploding population.

The region's water agencies are proposing a mammoth project to pump
groundwater from rural parts of the state, spending millions paying
homeowners to tear out their lawns to reduce consumption and praying that
the states will work out a deal. "I'd like to avoid if at all possible a
call on the river," said Mulroy of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
"That makes no sense. To me, that's a declaration of war. We're going to
wind up in the courts, and going to court isn't going to solve the problem.

"This drought is real. It's difficult," she said. "But I'm going to be
optimistic that there is enough flexibility and enough possibility to avoid
extraordinary pain."



From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2004 4:47 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | Kerry Hits Nail on Head

t r u t h o u t | 10.04

Global Warming Is Expected to Raise Hurricane Intensity


Marjorie Cohn | Kerry Hits Nail on Head

U.S. Policies Stir More Fear Than Confidence

Iraqi Rebel Al-Sadr Turns Political, Allies with Chalabi

Iraq's 'Nuclear Mastermind' Tells Tale of Ambition, Deceit

Greenpeace Protest Exposes Threat of Nuclear Terror

New York Times | Kerry vs. Bush on Health Care

Jean-Pierre Perrin | Al-Qaeda: Few Leads and Few Clues

Aid Workers: U.S. 'Hyping' Darfur Genocide Fears

Guantanamo 'Failed to Prevent Terror Attacks'

Intifada's Legacy at Year 4: A Morass of Faded Hopes

Frank Rich | Now on DVD: The Passion of the Bush

How Cheney's Halliburton Bribed Nigerians

Goss Chevron/Texaco Appointee Accused of Shoplifting

Army to Call Up 5,000 More Ex-Soldiers

Debate Propels Kerry to Lead






    Rocky Mountain Institute

    Monday 20 September 2004

U.S. Can Eliminate Oil Use in a Few Decades

RMI's "Winning the Oil Endgame" shows businesses how to mobilize and profit

    Snowmass, Colo. - Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) today released Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security, a Pentagon-cofunded blueprint for making the United States oil-free. The plan outlines how American industry can restore competitiveness and boost profits by mobilizing modern technologies and smart business strategies to displace oil more cheaply than buying it.

    Winning the Oil Endgame proves that at an average cost of $12 per barrel (in 2000 dollars), the United States can save half its oil usage through efficiency, then substitute competitive biofuels and saved natural gas for the rest - all this without taxation or new federal regulation.

    "Unlike previous proposals to force oil savings through government policy, our proposed transition beyond oil is led by business for profit," said RMI CEO Amory Lovins. "Our recommendations are market-based, innovation-driven without mandates, and designed to support, not distort, business logic. They're self-financing and would cause the federal deficit to go down, not up."

    Winning the Oil Endgame shows that by 2015, the United States can save more oil than it gets from the Persian Gulf; by 2025, use less oil than in 1970; by 2040, import no oil; and by 2050, use no oil at all.

    "Because saving and substituting oil costs less than buying it, our study finds a net savings of $70 billion a year," Lovins said. "That acts like a giant tax cut for the nation. It simply makes sense and makes money for all."

    The RMI study focuses on cars and light trucks (SUVs, pickups, and vans). These vehicles account for nearly half of projected 2025 oil use. The report demonstrates that ultralight, ultrastrong materials like carbon-fiber can halve vehicles' weight, increase safety, and boost efficiency to about 85 mpg for a midsize car or 66 mpg for a midsize SUV.

    "BMW has confirmed that carbon-fiber autobodies weigh only half as much as steel and have exceptional crash performance," said Lovins. "The resulting fuel savings can be like buying gasoline for 56 cents a gallon."

    Winning the Oil Endgame also predicts that to fight better and save money, the Pentagon - the world's largest oil buyer - will accelerate the market emergence of superefficient land, sea, and air platforms. A more efficient and effective military can protect American citizens instead of foreign oil, while moving to eliminate oil as a source of conflict.

    "A fuel-efficient military could save tens of billions of dollars a year," said Lovins, who served on a Pentagon task force studying this issue. "As our nation stops needing oil, think of the possibilities of being able to treat oil-rich countries the same as nations that don't own a drop. Imagine too our moral clarity if other countries no longer assume everything the United States does is about oil."

    The RMI report says that by 2015, more efficient vehicles, buildings, and factories will turn oil companies into broad-based energy companies that embrace biofuels as a new product line. Winning the Oil Endgame demonstrates how cellulosic biofuels (wood-based rather than from starchy or sugary plants like corn) can replace one-fifth of current oil use, more than triple farm income, and create 750,000 agriculture jobs.

    "Europe produces 17 times more biodiesel than we do," Lovins said. "The EU has shifted farmers from subsidies to durable revenues, and now oil companies compete to sell their petroleum-free fuel."

    Winning the Oil Endgame demonstrates half of U.S. natural gas can be saved at less than a fifth of its current price. Two-thirds of that figure comes from saving electricity, especially at peak times when it's inefficiently produced from natural gas. This step alone could return natural gas to abundance within a few years, cutting gas and power bills by $55 billion per year.

    Recommended policy innovations include:

* Revenue-neutral feebates - rebates for buyers of efficient cars, paid for by fees on inefficient ones;
* Low-income access to affordable mobility - a new nationwide initiative to buy efficient cars in bulk and lease or sell them to low-income drivers at terms they can afford;
* R&D investment incentives and temporary loan guarantees to help financially weakened U.S. automakers retrain and retool faster; and
* Temporary federal loans guarantees to U.S. airlines for buying very efficient new airplanes, provided that for every plane thus financed, an inefficient one is scrapped.

    "For the first time, our report adds up the new ways to provide all the services now obtained from oil, but without using oil - which will save us $70 billion a year," concluded Lovins. "Forging the tools to get our nation off oil forever is the key to revitalizing industry and farming."

    About RMI and Winning the Oil Endgame

    Rocky Mountain Institute, located in Old Snowmass, Colorado, is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization engaged in research and consulting. RMI fosters the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous, and life-sustaining. For more information, please visit RMI.org, or go to our Media Materials section.

    This peer-reviewed RMI study is based on its five coauthors' 70 years of combined energy experience, mainly in the private sector, and on extensive industry input.

    The Pentagon and diverse foundations and private donors funded the research. RMI's thoroughly documented 329-page report is introduced in forewords by former Secretary of State, Treasury, and Labor George P. Shultz (an ex-Marine who also chaired the Bechtel Corporation) and by oil geologist and former Shell Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. The report, its executive summary, and its technical backup can be downloaded free from Oil Endgame.



The Seattle Times


On a mission to save America's natural majesty

By Ted Fry
Special to The Seattle Times

It'll probably never happen, but if Rush Limbaugh and his clear-cut-crazy dittoheads could see this hauntingly beautiful documentary, even they might start choking on one of his favorite epithets, "environmental wacko."

"Monumental" relies almost entirely on exquisite archival footage reproduced in vivid color that spans vistas and close-ups of some of America's most valuable Western wilderness landscapes from the 1930s to the early '60s. Flecked with contemporary interviews, saturated with terrific music and assembled with understated stylistic flourish by director Kelly Duane, most of the film was shot by its biographic subject, David Brower, the first executive director of the Sierra Club and a hero to modern environmental conservation.

As an avid outdoorsman, Brower was largely responsible for transforming the Sierra Club from a weekend hiking club into a powerful political organization that saved many of the National Park System treasures we couldn't imagine living without today. Specifically, he was instrumental in defending Utah's Dinosaur National Monument and preserving large portions of the Grand Canyon from potentially devastating dam projects. His savvy use of filmmaking, media images and public-awareness campaigns that were blatantly propagandist gave environmentalism a popular cachet when it could easily have been swept away by a complacent public and lethargic government bureaucracy.

Some of the most evocative images are scenes Brower shot shortly before Glen Canyon, Ariz., was flooded to make the dam that formed Lake Powell in 1956. Anyone who has been to that part of the Southwest can only dream of the awesome spectacle that was destroyed in the name of progress.

Brower was nearly single-handed in the establishment of the North Cascades, Redwood and Point Reyes National Parks. His charisma and fighting spirit was a constant force against opponents in government (and sometime on his own Sierra Club board), many of whom he converted to the belief of having to earn what you experience in the spiritual beauty of wilderness, what author Wallace Stegner called "the geography of hope."

Ted Fry: tedfry@earthlink.net
Copyright (c) 2004 The Seattle Times Company



From: "Informed_Dissent" <do_not_reply@motherjones.com>
Reply-To: notice-reply-3666e840jmem87@ga3.org
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 20:14:47 GMT
To: "" <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>

Informed Dissent | Is it just me, or is it getting warmer?


When "even the weather seems to be telling the politicians that it is time to start paying attention," as The New York Times editorialized last week, "one wonders what it will take to bestir the Bush administration on the subject of global warming." You'd think four Florida hurricanes would do the trick. But: maybe it's up to us, after all.

In the July/August 2004 issue of Mother Jones, Daniel Duane reported on Professor John Harte's 14-year research into global warming in the high alpine meadows above Colorado's Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. In 1990, Harte strung an array of infrared lamps from heavy steel cables, flipped the switch, and watched what happened. The result: a "harmful feedback loop" that adds to the production of greenhouse gases and causes the earth to warm faster and faster. "The drying up of our high mountain retreats, and the fading away of other places equally lovely," reports Duane, "is the way that global warming will forever alter what Wallace Stegner called 'the geography of hope.'" According to EPA findings, "by 2100 the average global temperature will have risen five degrees Fahrenheit, the same magnitude of warming as seen in the last 1,500 years." You can find Duane's story and a companion map showing other "global warming hotspots" at: <http://ga3.org/ct/E7aifys11QC-/>


To learn more about how the Bush administration has systematically chipped away at environmental regulations as it seeks to further protect corporate interests, see MotherJones.com's Special Report, "The UnGreening of America."

Read Ian Frazier's humorous take on the Bush administration's casual response to global warming in his commentary, "As the World Burns:"<http://ga3.org/ct/Edaifys11QCF/>


To see the effects that global warming is currently having on climates and ecosystems around the world, log onto the Climate Hot Map. You can also order posters of the map on this site.
www.climatehotmap.org <http://ga3.org/ct/U1aifys11QCD/>

To better understand your personal impact on the environment, calculate your environmental footprint to see how much your lifestyle is influencing the global climate change:
www.earthday.net <http://ga3.org/ct/Udaifys11QCK/>

To learn how to reduce your impact on the environment, check out the Union of Concerned Scientists' suggestions for changes you can make in your home and community:
www.ucsusa.org <http://ga3.org/ct/8paifys1qaKx/>
www.ucsusa.org <http://ga3.org/ct/i1aifys1qaK3/>

T A K E A C T I O N.

In January 2003, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) introduced the Climate Stewardship Act (CSA), S. 139. This historic bill took the first steps toward limiting heat-trapping gas emissions that are contributing to global warming. The initial vote in October 2003 demonstrated strong bipartisan support from 43 senators -- a great first step. Senators McCain and Lieberman are pushing for a second vote this fall. To find out more about the CSA, read the Union of Concerned Scientists' overview of the bill:
www.ucsusa.org <http://ga3.org/ct/87aifys1qaKs/>

Join MoveOn.org in petitioning Congress and the Bush administration to pass this important legislation:
www.moveon.org <http://ga3.org/ct/81aifys1qaK2/>

You can also sign up for the Union of Concerned Scientists Action Network to find out about environmental legislation and the Greentips Newsletter for other strategies on minimizing your environmental impact:
www.ucsaction.org <http://ga3.org/ct/8daifys1qaKw/>

Tell a friend about Informed Dissent <http://ga3.org/Informed_Dissent/join-forward.html?domain=Informed_Dissent&r=M1aifys1kaRu> .

© 2003 The Foundation for National Progress



From: The Nation Magazine <emailnation@thenation.com>
Reply-To: emailnation@thenation.com
To: <rbrowerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Friday, October 1, 2004 6:28 AM

Kerry Keeps Hope Alive

It appears that George W. Bush is tired of being president. His weariness and frustration with the job was evident throughout last night's first presidential debate of the 2004 campaign.

There were no breakout moments for either candidate, as David Corn writes from Florida. Kerry did not dramatically distinguish his plan for Iraq from Bush's plan for Iraq but he did manage to level a series of substantial policy-based charges at Bush.

And, as John Nichols notes, Kerry was especially effective in arguing that the invasion and occupation of Iraq had diverted troops and resources from the fundamental fights of the war on terror.

For more on last night's debate, read Capital Games and The Online Beat.

Kerry Keeps Hope Alive by David Corn

The Whiner-In-Chief by John Nichols

Numerous groups are mounting furious voter registration and education drives over the next few weeks. Check out ActNow, The Nation's activist weblog, for info on how you can help out. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/actnow?pid=1859

Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., the Dixie Chciks and many other musicians are also getting involved in voter education in the run-up to November 2, as Katrina vanden Heuvel explains in Editor's Cut. http://www.thenation.com/edcut/index.mhtml?bid=7

Election 2004 appears destined to go down as one of the closest races in US political history. In the latest RadioNation Audioblog posting, Jon Wiener talks to Howard Zinn about Bush, Kerry and why voting does and does not matter. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/audioblog?bid=8

Election 1920, pitting Governor James Cox of Ohio against Senator Harding, was another heated contest. Read The Nation's advice that year to voters in our new Nation History. selection. http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=19201027&s=vote

Finally, please make sure to check http://www.thenation.com every day for new weblogs, special online reports info on nationwide activist campaigns, Nation History offerings, reader letters and special weekly selections from The Nation magaine. (This week, we're featuring new magazine articles by Naomi Klein, Eric Alterman, Jon Wiener and Tom Hayden and Lori Wallach!)

Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg, The Nation

P.S. If you like The Nation, please consider subscribing at our discounted rate. It's the only way to read ALL of what's in The Nation week after week--both in print and online.



From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Thursday, September 30, 2004 4:58 PM
Subject: Bush/Cheney Flip-Flops Cost America in Blood


t r u t h o u t | 10.01

Refinery Report Release Delayed until after Election


U.S. Marine Declares War on Bush

Marc Ash | May the Best Man Win

Bush-Cheney Flip-Flops Cost America in Blood

Defense Board: U.S. Military Is Stretched Too Thin

Senate Blocks Bid to Boost Intelligence Czar's Power

Federal Judge Blocks U.S. from Secret Searches

Families of Iraq War Dead Target Bush in Ads

Jane Lampman | Is Anyone Ever Truly Prepared to Kill?

George Bush's Success with Jewish Voters Seems Limited

J. Sri Raman | India Scraps Its 'Patriot Act,' Incenses Far Right

New York Times | Playing with the Election Rules

Kidnappings Are Driving Turkish Truckers Away

NOW with Bill Moyers | Debating the Reality of Iraq

"Bush Lied, My Son Died"

Dozens Killed as Violence Escalates in Iraq

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Dick Cheney, Against Occupation'




Guardian Unlimited


Navajo feel a long way from Washington

Historically remote from federal politics, Indian nations are being wooed this year

Dan Glaister in Window Rock
Friday October 01 2004
The Guardian

Doris Clark was driving through the reservation listening to the radio when she heard the news about the hurricane battering the coast hundreds of miles away. "There was a state of emergency declared in Florida and President Bush said he'd give $2m to help people with no water and no electricity. And I thought, OK, we have that on the reservation. There are places where we have no running water and no electricity, no phone. Why doesn't anybody say there's a state of emergency at the reservation?"

This is the Navajo Nation, an area the size of France in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. More than half its population live below the poverty level. With an average annual income of $6,000, (&#163;3,470) the Navajo constitute not only a nation within a nation, but a developing nation within a developed country.

It is a state of affairs the federal establishment has been reluctant to acknowledge, which may explain why the Navajo have never been much interested in national politics. But in a presidential election in which every vote is cherished, the candidates have been trying to change that, paying more attention than ever before to Native Americans.

George Bush held a private meeting with the vice-president of the Navajo Nation, Frank Dayish Jnr, before a campaign event in New Mexico in August. And John Kerry became the first presidential candidate to campaign on Native American land when he appeared at a meeting of Navajo and Zuni Indians in Gallup, New Mexico, 20 miles from Window Rock, Arizona.

Although American Indians make up only 1.5% of the US population, many of them live in swing states. Their reservations contain the bulk of America's casinos and the income from gambling has turned the tribes into potential donors: they have given $36,000 (&#163;20,809) to the Bush campaign and $17,000 to Kerry's.

And as with any poor ethnic minority in the US, the war in Iraq is a potent issue: proportionately more American Indians are serving in Iraq than any other ethnic group. When the Navajo do vote in federal elections they tend to be overwhelmingly Democrat.

"It's kind of comical," said Edison Wauneka, executive director of the Navajo election administration, who says that 95% of registered Navajo voters are Democrats. "The Navajo people say we're more familiar with a donkey [the Democratic party's symbol], we're not familiar with an elephant (the Republican symbol). But really our culture is more similar to the Republicans. It is more in our culture to be self sufficient."

Poverty is probably the greatest factor in shaping the political attitudes of the Navajo: 56% of the 180,000 people living as part of the Navajo nation are below the official poverty level.

But apathy has been a core reason why the Navajo, who vote in numbers for their own internal government, have been luke-warm at best towards presidential campaigns. That might change if they felt they had more clout. Although they were granted sovereign nation status by the federal government in 1868 in exchange for giving up land rights, the Navajo vote in the three states that contain the reservation, reducing their impact.

Some Navajo leaders would prefer it if they could have their own electoral college voting en bloc.

There are 2.5m Native Americans in the US, and the Navajo is the largest tribe. "When we vote for the president of the United States I wish we could vote as a nation," Mr Wauneka said. "We say we're a sovereign nation but we don't own our lands. The Indian nations don't even have a voting bloc. If they were to come together they would become strong and make a difference."

But Robert Black Jnr, another election authority official, believes the Navajo can be more influential voting in their respective states, particularly in potential swing states where their votes can have a disproportionate influence.

"We have the possibility of swinging electoral votes in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. It could be less effective if it was a Navajo nation with its own electoral college," he said.

The priority this November is to get the Navajo to vote, and so officials have moved the Navajo's own government elections to coincide with the presidential election.

The apathy is not helped by language and tradition. The Navajo language is dying out, but many of the older generations do not speak English and have previously relied on picture cards and translators to help them vote.

"We're very proud of our picture ballots," said Mr Wauneka, holding up a yellow sample ballot card, with mugshots of the candidates alongside name and party allegiance listings. "A lot of states have problems with language barriers and we think picture ballots can help."

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited



SFGate - Thursday, September 30, 2004 (SF Chronicle)


Climb every mountain -- on film

Paul McHugh, Chronicle Outdoors Writer

And a grizzled mountaineer shall lead them ... especially, toward
environmental solutions. That's a theme of two recent productions from Bay
Area filmmakers being screened this weekend.

Kristi Denton Cohen of Mill Valley produced and directed "Vertical
Frontier," a sumptuous recounting of heady advances in climbing achieved
in Yosemite through the 1970s. It shows on the Cowell Theatre's big screen
at San Francisco's Fort Mason at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets available at
Berkeley, Corte Madera, San Carlos and San Francisco REI stores, as well
as at the door. Price: $18 (general) or $15 (with REI member discount). A
prescreening reception at the Cowell costs $50, and includes a DVD of the
film. (DVDs are also available at www.pelotonproductions.com, (415)699-0697.)

Kelly Duane of San Francisco made "Monumental," a poetic documentary on
the life and times of mountaineer and environmental crusader David Brower,
which lights the screen at the Smith Rafael Film Center (1118 Fourth St.,
San Rafael) at 6:45 p.m. Friday for a six-day run. Weekend matinees are at
2:30 p. m. Tickets: $9 (general), $5.75 (youth and seniors), $6 (matinee).
(DVDs should be available by Christmas; see www.loteriafilms.org.)

There are amazing parallels between the works, not the least of which is
that the filmmakers are cousins. In addition, both make extensive use of
excellent archival footage (about 70 percent of the films) and both jobs
were completed with fiscal assistance from environmental organizations.

"Vertical Frontier" won a grant from Sierra Club Productions; "Monumental"
earned its boost from Patagonia's environmental initiatives program, which
saw it as a good fit for a new "Vote the Environment" campaign.

Duane offered insight on why certain climbers have left a legacy of
leadership on matters green, as well as on the steeps.

"Not all climbers are great leaders," Duane said. "But many are the sort
of people who can see an epic challenge -- like going up El Capitan or
solving a tangled environmental problem -- and not feel intimidated.
Instead, they systematically figure out how to approach it and get it

Copyright 2004 SF Chronicle



From: Ron Good <ron@hetchhetchy.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 3:42 PM

Sacramento Bee and SF Chronicle editorials on Hetch Hetchy

Sacramento Bee Editorial - Published Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Left-wing conspiracy?

Restoring Yosemite is not a water scheme

Try having a conversation with someone who's hyperventilating. It's not easy.

Take the San Francisco Bay Area leaders. They are having a hard time swallowing how some legitimate questions arise from a water plan they crafted. One question, underscored Monday by an Environmental Defense study, is whether they need to keep a spectacular valley, Hetch Hetchy, under water in Yosemite National Park.

When the gasping subsides, a little patience is in order. And a little history.

San Francisco built a dam that submerged Hetch Hetchy in 1923 to supply water and electricity to the Bay Area. While millions of tourists annually crowd into Yosemite Valley, few visit the waterfalls and granite cliffs of its twin, Hetch Hetchy Valley, because of the dam.

Are there new alternatives that would allow Yosemite to get its valley back? San Francisco's water plan raises one possibility.

San Francisco is studying whether to build a reservoir even larger than Hetch Hetchy much closer to the Bay Area in the Calaveras hills. It would store more than a year's supply of water and could very well render the Hetch Hetchy dam expendable.

That is the conclusion of Environmental Defense, a conservation group that hired some of the state's top water experts to examine the issue. On Monday, the group unveiled 275 pages of data and findings, hoping to start a serious dialogue about Hetch Hetchy.

Two Bay Area leaders had their minds made up and press releases at the ready.

"This is no time to destroy an important source of water," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as if the supply itself is somehow at risk. It is not.

"Environmental groups and Southern California are conspiring to pry away the Bay Area's hold on its water supply," said the Bay Area Council's Jim Wunderman. "Today's study release ... is just one small step in this quiet, plodding effort."

Why would respected leaders brush off Environmental Defense, when the merits of an impressive study are worth discussing? The Hetch Hetchy dam is upstream on the Tuolumne River from a reservoir nearly six times as large. That reservoir is New Don Pedro, and it rests over existing pipelines to the Bay Area. Environmental Defense experts studied how to maximize the use of New Don Pedro, and the proposed new reservoir in Calaveras.

The findings boil down to this: Storing and drawing water from these two reservoirs - New Don Pedro and Calaveras - could solve 97 percent of the Bay Area's future water challenge. Sound far-fetched, particularly using New Don Pedro for storage? Consider that San Francisco has been storing water in New Don Pedro through a complex water exchange arrangement with its owners, the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts, for 33 years.

The Environmental Defense findings echo those of a previous computer analysis by the University of California, Davis. They both point to the conclusion that the Bay Area needs this Yosemite supply. They both question, however, the future need of storing the water in the national park.

The political hyperventilating could be eased with a steady flow of dispassionate facts. The only respected, independent source is the state. That is why two Northern California legislators with a special interest in water -Assemblyman Joseph Canciamilla of Pittsburg and Lois Wolk of Davis -reiterated their call for a state study on Monday. They await a response from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his water leader, Lester Snow.

Nobody is asking the Bay Area to give up any water. Nothing horrible is about to happen. Something magnificent might happen that would restore a valley in a national park. A serious conversation is appropriate for the future of a national public asset.



EDITORIAL The Hetch Hetchy fantasy - Wednesday, September 29, 2004


BUILDING A DAM in Yosemite Park would never happen today. But more than 80 years ago, San Francisco filled the Hetch Hetchy Valley to create a water-and-power system that now serves 2.4 million people in the Bay Area.

Does it make sense to tear down O'Shaughnessy Dam today? Only if dozens of questions over water purity, water rights, drought years, electricity, politics and a monumental bill can be answered.

The conservation group Environmental Defense wants to take out the dam and restore a spectacular, granite-faced Sierra valley. It's an inspiring goal, advocated by no less than John Muir, who fought the dam in the 1920s.

But an entire region has grown up on the extra-pure mountain water. Hetch Hetchy's hydropower contributes to the state's frayed power system. Water supplies will be even scarcer as California's population grows from 36 million to an estimated 50 million by 2020.

The timing of the study is no accident. San Francisco is in the opening stages of a $3.6 billion upgrade of its Sierra aqueduct, a bill that will be mostly paid by Peninsula and East Bay customers who make up two-thirds of the users. Environmentalists, who have gotten nowhere in past years with dam- demolition talk, believe this rebuild project is an opportunity to push their idea. They openly appeal to San Francisco's greener-than-thou self-image.

But life -- and water rights -- are more complicated than that. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein dismissed the dam demolition. "This is no time to destroy an important source of water," she said, noting the state's vulnerability to drought and reluctance to build new dams.

It's easy to look back and declare O'Shaughnessy Dam a mistake. It's impossible to look forward, however, and not recognize that tearing it down could be an even greater error.



Ron Good
Executive Director
P.O. Box 3538
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 533 - HHV 1 [4481]
(415) 987-9944 cell
www.hetchhetchy.org <http://www.hetchhetchy.org>

Imagine the opportunity we have to allow Nature to re-create another place like Yosemite Valley.
There is no other opportunity like this anywhere else on Earth.



From: ebaamy@earthlink.net
To: browerpower@wildnesswithin.com
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 7:29 AM

Old Testament Vengeance?

Sunday School Lesson 02
September 26, 2004
From a Garden in Eden

Today the fourth hurricane struck Florida this season. Four has
never happened since records started being kept in 1851.
It's causing some concern among fundamentalist Christians.

These are people who very devoutly reject scientific explanations
for evolution, and believe in Creationism as the only
explanation for how God created the Earth. They believe in
Divine Intervention, and in a God who watches over them
daily. So it's not surprising how they easily reject
Meteorologists scientific explanation that this is just a normal
cycle of more frequent hurricane activity.

Floods, water events and weather -- when seen from a Biblical
perspective -- all have meaning as events expressing the
judgment and punishment of God. From Noah's Flood to the parting
of the Red Sea to allow the faithful to pass and others
to be punished by drowning are seen as direct interventions
expressing the very real Old Testament Wrath of God.

So is it any wonder that the unprecedented number of very large
and powerful hurricanes this Election Year is beginning to
be seen as the possible judgment of a most displeased Deity by
those who believe in the prophesy and inerrancy of the
Bible? Wind and rains take aim largely at hoarded material
wealth. God moves in mysterious ways His miracles to perform.

Only parts of this evolving belief can be seen by those of us
outside the inner-sanctum of fundamentalist believers, but it
seems to go something like this:

Perhaps God was unhappy with what the people of Florida allowed
to happen in their name in the last Presidential election
four years ago in 2000. God had a very much better Master Plan
for the new 21st Century for all mankind, one of peace and
brotherhood as He taught us in the New Testament. But God's
anger was assuaged somewhat when President Bush launched
the nation into a Holy War against Osama bin Laden. By bringing
the evil doers of al-Qaida to justice, it appeared that
redemption for their original sins of manipulation and dishonesty
(even in the highest court of the land) was possible.

However, instead of pursuing the Holy War to conclusion, smiting
infidels within the Muslim religion, the greedy and
covetous in the Sin City of Washington took control, and turned
the war away from it's Holy Purpose. Misdirecting war
into Iraq, the Cradle of Western Civilization, lies and
deceptions of the purest invention were told to justify the
pursuit of boundless wealth through profits from oil. Greed was
driving the engine of imperial Rome once again, while democracy and
civil rights were being ground to a paste under the false banner
of providing mock security for God's favored and blessed nation.

The truth about this fraudulent diversion, its murders of
innocents and tortures, has been placed before the American people
again and again, to no avail. The guilty are never held
accountable; no one is punished; no one, even though exposed, is removed
or fired. Lies are compounded by more lies, and buried under
bushels of misdirection and deception. Fortunes are spent
spinning lies to confound the faithful, twisting their minds,
making them believe that black is white, evil is good, and
that evil doers should be rewarded by their re-election to power.

Who in the Universe is so scurrilous and untrustworthy? How does
Satan classically disguise himself to lure the distracted,
unsuspecting faithful into defending the indefensible, supporting
the insupportable, covering over crimes of monumental
proportions? Does omnipotent God foresee this path of these
deceivers misleading His miracle of America to its own

Free Will for humans has been enjoyed for centuries. Is God now
so angered by human failure, by lies and lying, by the
murders of innocents, and by profit seeking at the expense of all
that is Holy that He grows impatient with human
failure? Is God sending His condemnation and warning in the form
of weather and water punishment, choosing a Biblical
form so that the faithful shall know that it is His Will that is
being proclaimed?

If those who understand His judgment do not act to correct the
error of their ways, how many more signs shall be sent
to convince them? One or two warnings can be misunderstood. The
third raised the question. The fourth should have
confirmed the issue. How about five? or six?

It appears the season is not yet over . . . until November 2nd.





In April, 2003 an intergenerational team of Niko Matsakis of Boston, MA and Elias Vlanton of Takoma Park, MD created costofwar.com. After maintaining it on their own for the first year, they gave it to the National Priorities Project to contribute to their ongoing educational efforts.

NPP's Latest Publication: <>

Americans Pay High Cost for War

State-by-state data on the number of soldiers killed and wounded, the dollar cost, and the number of reservists and National Guard troops on active duty are presented in the context of worsening conditions in Iraq as well as expert opinions on national security policy.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

War affects everyone, not just those directly involved in the fighting. This webpage is a simple attempt to demonstrate one of the more quantifiable effects of war: the financial burden it places on our tax dollars.

To the right you will find a running total of the amount of money spent by the US Government to finance the war in Iraq. This total is based on estimates from Congressional appropriations <http://costofwar.com/numbers.html> . Below the total are a number of different ways that we could have chosen to use the money. Try clicking on them; you might be surprised to learn what a difference we could have made.



From: AlterNet Headlines <alternetheadlines@topica.email-publisher.com>
Reply-To: <info@alternet.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 3:00 AM

Cornel West's Democracy; Top 10 Reasons to Withdraw from Iraq

Top Stories from AlterNet for September 29, 2004

Purple Hearts: Back From Iraq
No issue involving the Iraq war has been more disturbing or
under-covered than the stories and photographs of the thousands
of returning wounded soldiers. Nina Berman's book 'Purple Hearts:
Back From Iraq' is an extraordinary accomplishment. She says of her
subjects, "These soldiers -- all volunteer warriors -- have
returned home to heal their wounds and consider life, forever
scarred and changed." Her photographs can be seen at Redux Gallery,
116 E. 16th Street in New York City from 10-6 M-F ( 212.253.0399)
through October 8th, and at her website, where the book
can also be ordered:


Terrence McNally, AlterNet
Cornel West discusses what it is we need to confront in order to
realize democracy, as well as our need for 'justice, justice, justice.'

Erik Leaver, The Nation
A list of compelling reasons why immediate withdrawal is the
only available course of action that can restore hope to
both Americans and Iraqis.

Matt Kelemen, AlterNet
'Going Upriver,' George Butler's documentary about John
Kerry, tells the story of Kerry's two wars
Vietnam and the peace movement.

David Morris, AlterNet
A look at the voting record of the Democratic Party on
Capitol Hill shows that, in fact, the majority of the party
has stood up for progressive values.

Rebecca Solnit, tomdispatch.com
Rights are like muscles, they disappear if you don't use

Christy Harvey, Judd Legum, Jonathan Baskin, Center for American Progress
Each of George Bush's claims about Iraq is in direct
contradiction to the assessments of his own intelligence

Sean Gonsalves, AlterNet
An analysis of who appears on the new Forbes 400 list says
something directly relevant to the race for the White
More Columnists: http://www.alternet.org/columnists/

Paul Armentano, AlterNet
Not familiar with clinical research about marijuana's
potential anti-cancer properties? You're not alone.
More DrugReporter: http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/



From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 4:57 PM
Subject: Iraqi City on Edge of Chaos


t r u t h o u t | 09.29

Kerry and Bush Sharply Divided on Global Warming


Daniel Ellsberg | Truths Worth Telling

Bruce Springsteen: Press Has "Let the Country Down"

Paul Krugman | Swagger vs. Substance

Iraqi City on Edge of Chaos

Ted Kennedy: 'World More Dangerous Under Bush'

Congresswoman Seeks Probe of Coercive Re-Enlistment

Reporters Put Under Scrutiny in C.I.A. Leak

Iraqi Judge Closes Case Against Ahmad Chalabi

Rebel Strongholds Pose Danger to U.S. Forces

Jacques Julliard | United States: The Wages of Fear

John W. Dean | Next President Could Name Three Supreme Court Justices

Paul Rogat Loeb | Hope for the Home Stretch

Ohio Secretary of State Blocks New Voter Registrations

Jeffrey Rosen | Bush V. Gore, Round 2

Edwards: 'Bush Campaign Will Lie about Anything'

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Quit or We'll Kill You'







By Erik Baard

He plays up the image, big time, with cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and his 1,600-acre ranch. He guns his rhetoric with frontier lingo. But in truth, Dubya just doesn't measure up to the Cowboy Code.



Published on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 by the Free Press (Columbus, Ohio)


Bush is History's Top Terrorist

by Harvey Wasserman

As the fourth global-warmed hurricane in two months rips through Florida, we are reminded that George W.
Bush is history's top terrorist.

We know, of course, that Bush has slaughtered thousands of Iraqis, imprisoned hundreds without trial or
charges, and presided over the torture and sexual abuse of many of them. He is the world's leading recruiter
for hate-America terrorists the world over.

Bush's preemptive militarism has paved the way for countless crusades for oil and fundamentalism in the
decades to come. He overthrew the elected government of Haiti, resulting in hundreds of deaths. He tried to
do the same in Venezuela. Other target nations are sure to follow.

Bush is also determined to turn AIDS into a profit center for the drug companies that help fund him. His
attacks on sex education, birth control and reproductive choice will kill girls and women for the decades to
come, especially if he re-criminalizes abortion in a second term.

As Texas's Governor Bush executed a record 150-plus people. He publically mocked at least one, Karla Faye
Tucker, who had asked him to spare her. His escalated war on drugs has helped stuff 2.2 million Americans
into the largest gulag in world history. Many suffer regular physical and sexual abuse. Many are also
conveniently deprived of their right to vote.

Bush's catastrophic "No Child Left Behind" program is decimating America's once-proud educational system,
vastly escalating illiteracy and ignorance. He is barring thousands of students who have traditionally come
here from overseas. Their disappearance will further cripple American education, as well as America's historic
role in spreading democratic values to young people around the world.

Bush has also decimated the Bill of Rights and basic freedoms embodied in the US Constitution, paving the
way for a potential dictatorship should he get a second term.

In short, he has done to America things no foreign terrorist could ever imagine.

But it all pales before Bush's all-out attack on the natural environment, which will ultimately kill hundreds of
millions of people.

Bush's eco-terror crusade has two primary roots: corporate greed and fundamental religious extremism.

On the corporate side, Bush's entire environmental policy can be summarized in a simple sentence: Any
polluter favored by the Bush regime can pillage and destroy any sector of the American ecology, regardless
of the consequences, with full official sanction, including huge taxpayer handouts.

Bush's signature flip flop has been on global warming. The scientific and insurance community is now virtually
unanimous that rising carbon dioxide levels are wrecking utter havoc with global weather patterns, including
this latest parade of Caribbean hurricanes. The only dissenters are oil company flacks, flat earth think tanks
and fundamentalist fanatics.

Bush promised in 2000 that if elected he would endorse the Kyoto Accords to cut CO2 emissions. But then
he joined Joseph Stalin in demanding that science fit his bizarre ideology. At the behest of his petro-backers,
including Dick Cheney's Halliburton, Bush has scorned a global consensus that includes his primary ally in
Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Two of the world's biggest insurance companies, Swiss Re: and Munich
Re:, have issued strong warnings about the skyrocketing costs of climate catastrophes. Even British
Petroleum has voiced concern, at the same time making massive investments in solar power.

Bush's fossil-nuke energy plan gives huge tax credits for gas guzzling HumVees, but has cynically stalemated
long-standing green energy tax easements, crippling the once-booming US wind power industry.

Three years after Bush allowed 9/11, America's 103 atomic power reactors remain vulnerable to attacks from
the air. The first plane that flew into the World Trade Center could instead have turned the Indian Point
reactors north of New York City into radioactive infernos. Such an apocalyptic attack could still happen, killing
millions and costing trillions, dwarfing Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. By doing nothing significant to make
US reactors safer, Bush has painted them with a big terror bullseye.

Bush is also reviving nuke weapons production and testing, escalating the likelihood of nuclear war and
production disasters.

After 9/11, Bush lied to the people of New York about the toxic fallout from the WTC collapses. His cover-up
caused countless avoidable deaths. His assaults on the air, water, food and other regulatory responsibilities
daily poison millions worldwide. They feed the on-going plague of cancers, lung and heart disease, childhood
afflictions and too much more to catalog here.

Acid rain and ozone destruction add to the horrors of global warming, as do Bush's attacks on America's
national parks and public lands.

As history's most environmentally destructive human, Bush's hate-nature crusade has been blessed by
fanatic fundamentalists who believe destruction of the planet will hasten the Messiah. James Watt, Ronald
Reagan's Interior Secretary, scorned attempts to preserve the Earth by announcing that Jesus was coming
soon anyway.

Bush spinmeister Karl Rove bans such blunt talk. But his all-out attacks on environmental protection, fuel
efficiency, renewable energy and much more have already guaranteed an avoidable death toll unparalleled in
human history. The evil winds of climate chaos now blasting through the Caribbean may soon seem like mild
breezes compared to the ultimate eco-curse of George W. Bush.

Attila the Hun. Genghis Khan. The Kaiser. Hitler. Stalin. Saddam. Bin Laden. None have killed more than
those dying and destined to die at Bush's anti-green hands. His terror attacks have driven Mother Earth to
the very brink.

Four more years and he just might finish her off---and all of us with her.

(http://www.harveywasserman.com) . He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information &
Resource Service.

© 1970-2004 The Columbus Free Press



From: James Newhoff <jnewhoff@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: jnewhoff@member.kiwanis.org
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Sunday, September 26, 2004 5:24 PM
Subject: Oakland Trib article on HSR meeting in LA Sep. 22, 2004

Follows a copy of Oakland Trib. article quoting AP news service about the LA meeting of the High Speed Rail Authority last week. Thanks for your attention; Jim Newhoff, TIE

Oakland Tribune Sept. 23, 2004

Backtracking on bullet train route

Controversial path through Henry Coe State Park may be scrapped

By Sean Holstege

Thursday, September 23, 2004 - The agency planning a $37 billion high-speed rail network to link downtown San Francisco and Los Angeles is rethinking how those trains should enter the Bay Area.

A day after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill requiring detailed study of tracks over the Altamont Pass, the California High Speed Rail Authority tacitly endorsed Wednesday a recommendation to drop a controversial route through Henry Coe State Park. Meeting in Los Angeles, the appointed state rail authority also leaned toward erasing a station in wind-swept Los Banos from planning maps.

The rail board informally endorsed the recommendations three weeks after collecting public comments on a 2,300-page environmental study, released in January. A final study is expected in the fall, and final vote on the route changes is scheduled for Nov. 10.

For years, California has been planning a 700-mile system to whisk people from north to south and through the Central Valley on European- or Japanese-style "bullet trains." Such trains reach top speeds of 225 mph elsewhere in the world. California would become the first U.S. state to build such a system, but only after voters weigh a $10 billion bond measure, now slated for a 2006 ballot.

Wednesday's action marks a reverse course on the Bay Area alignment. For years the Rail Authority has described an Altamont route as unworkable because it would require an inefficient three-fingered split to get trains to Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. In the last two years, the agency added other objections, such as the need for a multibillion dollar Bay crossing through wetlands.

The route into the Bay Area has been the thorniest controversy in the entire plan.

"It's amazing how something that was so unacceptable as Altamont has suddenly found a voice in the choir," said Ken Gosting, executive director of Transportation Involves Everybody, which has pushed for deeper study of an Altamont track.

"We want to shift this from a politically motivated plan to one based on facts. And if that means that in the end Altamont is dropped, so be it," Gosting said, calling for independent oversight of future studies.

Action in Sacramento forced the Rail Authority's hand. Schwarzenegger signed, without comment, legislation Tuesday that includes $2.5 million for the Rail Authority and the Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission to study the Altamont route. That provision was included in a larger transportation bill carried by Senate Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland.

Schwarzenegger's office declined comment Wednesday, but the governor has been critical of the Rail Authority's work since taking office, and has warned the agency to produce studies that could hold up to outside scrutiny.
On Wednesday, the Rail Authority appeared to be supporting tracks through the high desert to Palmdale and dropping plans for direct service to Los Angeles International Airport.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact Sean Holstege at sholstege@angnews-papers.com.



From: John A. Knox <johnknox@earthisland.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>"
Date: Monday, September 27, 2004 6:53 PM

WANTED: Program Director, Brower Youth Awards

Dear Friends,

Many of you will be joining us this Thursday for the Brower Youth Awards ceremony in Berkeley. You'll see first hand what great energy there is in celebrating youthful hope, imagination, and innovation for a sustainable future <http://www.earthisland.org/bya>.

We are seeking a new leader for this program, effective immediately, due to some staff changes. Please pass the word to anyone who might be a good candidate the this exciting work and have them get back to Dave Phillips as soon as possible (davep@earthisland.org). The job announcement is attached below.





Earth Island Institute
Program Director, Brower Youth Awards

Deadline: September 30, 2004

Supervisor: Executive Director for Program

Status: Salaried, Full-time

Location: 300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA
Phone (415) 788-3666
FAX (415) 788-7324

How to Apply:

Please send resume, salary requirements and a cover letter
expressing your interest in this position to:

Executive Director - Program
David Phillips

No phone calls please

Salary: Mid 40's, depending on experience, with excellent health insurance and other benefits


Position Description:

The Program Director for Earth Island Institute's Brower Youth Awards will lead the management of an innovative national program to recognize young environmental leaders.

The Director of the Brower Youth Awards program reports to the Executive Director for Program in the San Francisco Headquarters Office.

Six recipients, between ages 13-22, are chosen based on showing leadership and producing results in environmental conservation, preservation, and/or restoration.

Winners are awarded a cash prize, participate in a public awards ceremony, join in a three-day wilderness encounter in Yosemite National Park, and become part of an ongoing leadership development and mentoring program.

Organizational Description:

Since 1982 Earth Island Institute has developed environmental leaders by (1) incubating more than 95 projects working for the conservation, preservation and restoration of the natural world; (2) keeping the public informed through the Earth Island Journal; and (3) celebrating the accomplishments of remarkable emerging leaders through the Brower Youth Awards.

Earth Island Institute was founded by David Brower, a bold, inspiring leader whose pioneering accomplishments include preservation of the Grand Canyon, passage of the Wilderness Act, use of media to raise environmental awareness and promotion of environmental justice. Though David Brower died in 2000 at age 88, Earth Island Institute continues to embody his legacy by mentoring a new generation of environmental leaders.

Responsibilties and Priorities of the Position Include:

o Managing a national recruitment effort of diverse and qualified applicants;
o Managing the application screening, evaluation, and selection process;
o Representing the BYA program to the general public and press;
o Overseeing design of website, print, and video press outreach efforts;
o Assisting in foundation, corporate, and donor fundraising for the program;
o Managing the annual public awards ceremony and other related events;
o Designing the mentoring program for ongoing leadership development;
o Maintaining involvement in the national youth environmental scene; and
o Bringing innovative new ideas to this growing program.

General Qualifications Include:

o Commitment to EII's campaigns and overall mission;
o Ability to prioritize work and to perform effectively under pressure of multiple deadlines;
o Outstanding written and oral and electronic communications skills;
o Ability to supervise consultants and staff as a member of a team;
o Foundation fundraising experience;
o Demonstrated interested in environmental concerns;
o A bachelor's degree or equivalent skills/life experiences.

Earth Island Institute is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, and other members of under-represented groups who will contribute to the diversity of its staff.


Executive Director
Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133 USA

Voice (work): 415-788-3666, Ext. 108
Fax (work): 415-788-7324
Voice (home): 415-282-1071
Fax to e-mail: 928-438-4172
E-mail: johnknox@earthisland.org
EII home page: http://www.earthisland.org

Earth Island Institute welcomes your interest
and your involvement. Contributions from
individuals continue to be our most
important source of support. Earth Island
Institute members receive the quarterly
Earth Island Journal.

We invite you to join us:

Earth Island Institute -
Growing Leadership for Conservation,
Preservation, and Restoration




From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, September 27, 2004 4:54 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | A Proper Debate


t r u t h o u t | 09.28

Robert Redford Criticizes Bush Environmental Record


William Rivers Pitt | A Proper Debate

Bush Paid Little Attention to Guard Duties

Key Bush Assertions about Iraq in Dispute

Heady U.S. Goals for Iraq Fall by Wayside

New York Times | A Leak Probe Gone Awry

Bush: Would Give 'Mission Accomplished' Speech Again

Charles Lambroschini | Bush's Maneuver

Nation's Social Safety Net in Tatters

Europe to Bush: Go Away

They're Burned, or Blinded, or Sparring with Death

A History of the Iraq War, Told Entirely in Lies

Jimmy Carter | Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote

Ron Reagan to Bush: 'Stop Hijacking My Father's Reputation'

Michael Moore | Slackers of the World, Unite!

Kerry Rips Bush on 'Mission Accomplished' Remark

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Demand the Best They Have to Offer'




Grist Magazine


Brower Power - A spotlight on young enviro activists

by Michelle Nijhuis

David Brower, a pioneer of the U.S. environmental movement, once said that his generation depended on young people "to shape us up before it's too late."

Though Brower -- former executive director of the Sierra Club, founder of Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island Institute -- passed away in 2000, his legacy lives on: He established the Brower Fund, which cultivates new environmental leaders through the annual Brower Youth Awards. Award winners -- aged 13 to 22 -- are chosen by a panel of activists organized by the Earth Island Institute. They get a $3,000 prize, and ongoing advice and mentoring from top environmental activists.

This year's six winners are diverse in their activities; they're defending old-growth forests, promoting clean energy, helping get environmental protection back onto the national agenda -- and, of course, doing all they can to shape up their elders.

Shadia Wood
When Shadia Wood was 2 years old, her hometown of Newport, N.Y., was targeted for a landfill. Just before a local protest against the project, her mother cut eyeholes and armholes in a paper bag, added the slogan "Don't Dump on Me," and declared her daughter ready for some political theater. "That was my first action," says Wood, who at age 17 is now an experienced environmental activist.

She's served as the national youth spokesperson for the group Kids Against Pollution. She also spent nearly five years lobbying for the refinancing of the New York State Superfund, a program intended to clean up the state's worst contaminated sites. Wood takes a strong stand against toxic waste: "It will affect me one day, and it will affect our children. I don't want the world to be more contaminated than it was when I came into it." Wood made repeated trips to the statehouse, lobbying in support of the Superfund bill. And in an ingenious bit of activism, her group held bake sales and ran lemonade stands to earn toxic-waste cleanup dollars. "We'd send the money we raised to the governor and tell him it was for the Superfund," she says. Dedication paid off, and the Superfund bill became law in 2003. "I never really thought it would pass," says Wood. "When it did, I was so amazed, and then I thought, 'OK, what's the next bill?'"

As Wood enters her senior year of high school, she's joined a campaign to beef up New York's bottle bill.

Hannah McHardy
When Hannah McHardy learned that the ancient temperate rainforests near her Seattle home were among the most endangered forests on the planet, she decided to make activism part of her education. With the help of one of her Nova High School teachers, David Goldman ("a huge inspiration and motivator," she says), she started a student group called Eco-Justice. The group joined a Rainforest Action Network campaign to convince Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser Co. to stop cutting old-growth trees. Group members also researched paper use at Nova High School, then located a company that was willing to supply the school with affordable recycled paper.

When the students presented their study results to administrators and fellow students, the school promptly adopted a new paper policy: Nova now uses only 100 percent post-consumer waste, non-chlorine bleached paper.

McHardy, 18, hasn't slowed down since then. She's spending this summer on the Arctic Sunrise, a Greenpeace boat campaigning against logging in the Tongass National Forest. "I've learned so much, mostly by being around the incredible international crew," she wrote in an email to Grist. "Some of them have been activists longer than I've been alive, and they have mad stories, great advice, and the patience to teach me new things."

After she returns to Seattle later this month, she plans to spend a year as a full-time activist, probably continuing her work with the Rainforest Action Network's Weyerhaeuser campaign. Then she'll head off to college, where she hopes to study environmental education.

Billy Parish
You might say that Billy Parish is majoring in activism: Since his first year at Yale University, he's been deeply involved with the student environmental movement. By the time he became co-chair of the Yale environmental group, he'd developed a particular interest in clean energy and energy-policy reform, and he started thinking big. "I realized there were a lot of great groups working on energy issues throughout the region, but the work wasn't being coordinated," he says. So in 2003, he founded the Climate Campaign, an umbrella group of 10 student organizations representing about 125 college campuses throughout the Northeast. Though these groups may disagree about strategy and philosophy, they've settled on a common goal: greater use of wind power and other clean-energy sources on their home campuses.

"Climate change is a gigantic global issue, and sometimes it's hard for people to see how they can have an impact," says Parish. "But if we take it from the global to the local, someone can say, 'I don't know what I can do in a large sense, but if I can get my campus to use clean energy, that's important.'" Three colleges in Maine already use 100 percent clean energy, and members of the Climate Campaign hope their network will increase the momentum of the green-campus movement. A February 2004 Northeast Climate Conference at Harvard University attracted more than 400 students from throughout the region.

Parish, now 22, has taken time off from school to work full-time for the campaign. "I feel like this is work that needs doing now, and I love it," he says.

Lily Duong
Sixteen-year-old Lily Duong lives in South Pasadena, Calif., where nature can sometimes seem very far away. But that feeling changes when Duong visits Arroyo Seco, a canyon that holds some of the last undeveloped habitat within the city. "When I go down there, I can feel peace," she says. "It doesn't have all the pretense and noise of the city -- nature is really accepting."
Duong first visited the canyon in seventh grade, about a year after she and her family first arrived in the U.S. from China.

As part of the Arroyo Field Science Team, she and her schoolmates documented the arroyo's elderberries, sycamores, live oaks, and other plants and animals. A year later, when the program faltered from lack of interest, she persevered; she was the only student to help the group's advisor continue his scientific work in the canyon. As a first-year high school student, Duong restarted the club, eventually boosting membership to 20 students. The revitalized group recently helped convince the South Pasadena City Council to protect a four-acre area as the Arroyo Seco Woodland and Wildlife Park, slated to open to the public this September. Duong and her group plan to stay involved with the study and restoration of the area. And Duong hopes to continue her adventures in nature.

"I'm really interested in environmental work -- I want to be an ecologist," she says. She also wants to explore some of the West's big wilderness areas, but first, she says, she'll have to get her driver's license.

Christina Wong
In his 2004 State of the Union address, President Bush made only a single passing reference to conservation issues. The day after the speech, University of California-Berkeley junior Christina Wong responded with an announcement to her environmental politics class: She was the campus recruiter for the national League of Conservation Voters, and she was looking for help. "People were pretty riled up" by the president's failure to address environmental issues, she remembers, and five of her classmates agreed to pitch in. The small group set up tables on campus, buttonholed students throughout the spring, and asked them to volunteer for the LCV's summer campaign in the swing states of Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin. By the end of the semester, Wong and her crew had signed up 20 students for a total of 63 weeks of swing-state canvassing.

President Bush's record came to Wong's aid on the campaign trail as well: "Most people don't know that Bush got an 'F'" from the LCV, she says. "It immediately opens their eyes when they hear it. They say, 'Wow, what is the President doing to earn an 'F'?"

Wong, who has interned at the state capitol in Sacramento and with the Natural Resources Defense Council, says she will continue her environmental work after graduation next year -- even though grassroots organizing has its tough moments. "You get ignored 80 percent of the time," she says. "It bugs you to get rejected, but it makes up for it when you get someone who's really interested."

Eugene Pearson
University of Colorado student politician Eugene Pearson knows how to drive a hard bargain. When the school's administration proposed a hefty student fee increase to pay for the construction of a new university law school and three other campus buildings, Pearson defended both his constituents and the environment. The student government -- which is required to approve all student fee hikes -- agreed to pay the bill, but not without concessions.

"We said, 'Let's do this on the students' terms,'" says Pearson, a Wisconsin native who was then vice president of the student union legislative council. "We wanted [the building project] done green, and we wanted it to be conscious of labor issues." Negotiations led to the administration's agreement to make all four new buildings meet the "silver" standard of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building rating system, with 1 percent of building costs going toward meeting the even higher LEED gold standard. The university also agreed to pay project workers a living wage, and to earmark 20 percent of the new fee for student financial aid. Though the student body didn't vote on the fee increase and green-building plans, several thousand students testified during a public comment period, with supporters outnumbering opponents by 4-to-1.

Pearson, 21, is now president of the student union legislative council, and will graduate with a molecular biology degree in the fall of 2005. Ultimately, he says, he'd like to help bridge the worlds of science and politics, perhaps as a policy adviser on Capitol Hill.



From Earth Island Institute


2004 Brower Youth Awards Honor Outstanding Student Environmental Leaders


Susan Ives, 415 381-4250, 415 987-6764
Mikhail Davis 415 788-3666 ext 112


National Award Honors Outstanding Student Leaders

Earth Island Institute today named six student leaders to receive the Brower Youth Award, the nation's most prestigious award for young environmental activists. The award, in its fifth year, is named for David Brower, the firebrand environmentalist who inspired a growing conservation movement from the 1950s until his death in 2000 at age 88. Brower founded the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute in 1982 to incubate new projects and leaders in environmental advocacy.

The Brower Youth Awards carry a $3,000 prize. The six awardees will travel to California, where they will be honored at a public ceremony in Berkeley, California on September 30. Environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, founder of Circle of Life, and youth advocate Van Jones, founder and director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will host the ceremony, with a performance by activist and hip-hop musician Michael Franti.

"This year's winners represent a new generation of leadership," said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute. "At a time when our top elected leaders have shirked their responsibility to protect the environment, these young people are saying 'bring it on.'"

The 2004 Brower Youth Award winners:

Lily Dong
, 16, South Pasadena, California

As a seventh grader, Lily began what became a 4-year campaign to protect the last remaining undeveloped area in her city, which will open this fall as the Arroyo Seco Woodland and Wildlife Park.

Hannah McHardy, 18, Seattle, Washington

Hannah led demonstrations protesting timber giant Weyerhaeuser Corporation's destruction of old growth forests and hand delivered 2,000 letters to Weyerhaeuser's CEO at the company's headquarters. She successfully lobbied the state to reform logging practices on state-owned lands. She and her classmates also convinced their high school to switch from using virgin fiber paper to 100 percent recycled.

Billy Parish, 22, New York, New York

As a student at Yale, Billy started The Climate Campaign to take aim at global warming. He mobilized students on more than 130 campuses to take action to change their state governments' and schools' energy policies to reduce global warming emissions and bring alternative energy technologies into the main stream.

Eugene Pearson, 21, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Eugene and his colleagues on the student council turned the tables on rising college fees by requiring that their money be spent to "green" the University of Colorado. Under the agreement, all new buildings must run on 100 percent renewable energy, making CU-Boulder's green building standards the strongest of any university in the country.

Shadia Wood, 17, Newport, New York

At age seven, Shadia attended a kids' conference on toxic waste where she learned that New York's Superfund, established to clean up the state's worst toxic sites, was going bankrupt. She became a leader in Kids Against Pollution and spent the next nine years lobbying to restore Superfund. She even opened a lemonade stand on the steps of the Capitol to raise money for the fund. Last year, Governor George Pataki signed the bill to refinance Superfund, with Shadia and her fellow lobbyists looking on.

Christina Wong, 21, Sacramento, California

A student at University of California at Berkeley, Christina founded a local chapter of the League of Conservation Voters and helped re-engage students in politics on this historically active campus.
Christina also recruited student interns to dedicate a month of their summer vacation to registering voters in "swing states" as part a national campaign aimed at electing environmentally friendly candidates to office.

Brower Youth Award winners are available for interviews. For more information on the 2004 Brower Youth Awards winners, including photographs please visit www.earthisland.org/bya

About Brower Youth Awards

Now in its fifth year, The Brower Youth Awards were conceived by Earth Island Institute to recognize and celebrate a new generation of leaders following in the footsteps of David Brower, the legendary environmental activist who died in 2000 at age 88. Environmental leaders ages 13-22 who live in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are eligible to apply. An independent selection committee reviews the applications, selecting six winners annually. Earth Island staff provide support and resources to all winners of the Brower Youth Awards to encourage their ongoing development as leaders. Information about the program and the application process can be found at www.earthisland.org/bya

About Earth Island Institute

Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 to incubate new leaders and campaigns that address urgent and emerging environmental issues. Today Earth Island's network includes more than 30 projects in more than 25 countries. Since its creation, Earth Island has spawned a number of leading environmental organizations, including the Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers Network, the International Marine Mammal Project, Bluewater Network, and Urban Habitat Program. To learn more about Earth Island Institute and its unique organizational structure, please visit www.earthisland.org

About David Brower

David Ross Brower was born in Berkeley and lived there throughout his life. An avid mountaineer, Brower made more than 70 first ascents and served in the Tenth Mountain Division during World War II. His love of wilderness climbing led him in 1952 to become the first executive director of the Sierra Club, a post he held until 1969. Brower went on to found Friends of the Earth, the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute, the Brower Fund, and the Fate and Hope of the Earth Conferences. He was three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and received numerous international awards for conservation.

Books by and about David Brower include:

Encounters with the Archdruid, by John McPhee; For Earth's Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower, by David Brower; Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Those Who Would Save the Earth, by David Brower and Steve Chapple.

David Brower is subject of the new documentary from Loteria Films,
"Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America," to be released
fall 2004. www.loteriafilms.org

For more information, contact:
Brower Youth Awards

an initiative of
Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
Web site:



Date: Monday, January 5, 2004

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Wisdom Beyond Their Years


In September, the Earth Island Institute presented the 2003 Brower Youth Awards, named for the group's founder. The young people honored offered a moving and inspiring portrait of a new generation of environmental leaders. The following is adapted from the young winners' acceptance speeches, presented at an event in Berkeley, Calif.

Whitney Cushing, 16, Homer, Alaska, founded the first environmental youth group on the Kenai Peninsula, which created the first recycling program in the region, lobbied to stop offshore oil and gas development, and helped impose limits on local chain-store development.

After we have faded, after our specie's time is over, there will be certain beautiful truths and realizations of humanity that cannot fade. We have summitted so many mountains of achievement; we have created art, music, technology, masterpieces and monuments of architecture, learned to govern ourselves by compassion and intellect. We have recognized our own love. We can knowingly appreciate the gods' work. We have put faces on god, the great unknown, marvel and try to understand the infinite. We can compare ourselves to the infinity of the universe, decide if we have a meaning, a soul, an afterlife, whether we are immortal or we are just one tick of a great clock. We have learned to appreciate all of god's creation and we have learned to appreciate our selves.

But perhaps the one aspect that may define our civilization and is ironically seen as a luxury issue, is simply the relationship with which we treat the planet and those that inhabit it with us. Whether we can truly realize the gift of biodiversity and develop a civilization at peace with the planet rather than at war. Perhaps God granted us this one Earth, this one treasure, knowing full well that we would begin a process of destroying it, build a corrupt empire, exploiting and manipulating resources and ourselves, with a disregard for beauty and what sustains us over time.


Rachel Ackoff, 18, Claremont, Calif., directed a Fair Trade Campaign for the Sierra Student Coalition, organizing a series of trainings around the country for local activists, giving them the tools to work for a global trade system in which the needs of the environment and workers are protected.

In the fall of my sophomore year of high school, I received a brochure announcing a Youth Summit on Globalization sponsored by the Sierra Club and Amnesty International. The summit promised to transform participants into effective grassroots organizers and give them the skills necessary to address the threats corporate globalization poses to human rights and the environment. I convinced my parents to let me travel to Washington, D.C., to find the knowledge and skills I thirsted for.

At the summit, I was introduced to the issue that has become my passion: free trade and its effect on the environment. As momentum in the fair trade movement builds, a new generation of student activists will have the ability to redirect the course of global trade towards a greener, more sustainable future. We can eliminate the right of foreign corporations to sue governments over environmental protections. We can defend our government's right to protect endangered species, threatened ecosystems, and human health. Together, we can craft a system of global trade that supports, rather than undermines, the health of the planet.


Thomas Nichols, 14, Corrales, N.M., conceived and implemented a program to preserve the fragile Rio Grande ecosystem by wrapping threatened cottonwood trees in chicken wire to protect them from beavers. The program replaced a policy of killing the animals to save the trees.

"You will find mountains of books in the mountains." John Muir said that you will not get the best education on the environment from a book but from first-hand experience. There is more to learn from the trees and the mountains than you could ever find in a book. Kids and teenagers can have the biggest impact and effect on their community and environment. We are the coming generation and we have a very important voice. You can use this voice to congregate community and achieve what is most important to you.

The best way to take action and be involved is to be experiencing your surroundings, confront challenging issues, and challenge yourself. Take opportunities to learn about your community that interest you and fit your personality best. You may doubt the importance of your involvement and participation in opportunities, but it will lead to greater and better things. The most important thing is that you have fun with who you are, what you are doing, and you do not underestimate what you can achieve.

We should not wait until there is a problem before we take action. We should evaluate ourselves and our actions and try to improve the extent of our impacts.


Andrew Hunt, 22, Bethesda, Md., established a statewide network of student environmental activists to lobby for better environmental policy in the state of Maryland. The group successfully worked to save Chapman Forest and prioritize public transit in the state's request for federal transportation funds.

I graduated from college this past spring, and started my first year of grad school. I'm the oldest of the Award winners this year, so I'm kind of moving on from this "student environmentalist" to a real one. Sincerely, student environmentalists do at least as much as "real environmentalists." I came to a realization on this: You don't have to be a walking encyclopedia to be an organizer. You don't need to be this activist at the dinner table who's rattling off things about how terrible this plate is, and what went into this microphone, and the strange chemicals in this carpet.

And even if I'm trying to get all the chemicals out of this carpet, which would be a really great thing, I don't need to know all the statistics in my head everyday, because that's not going to persuade people. Knowing people, getting to talk to them, and then showing them how you care, and telling all these other people, everyone you know, and who they know, and friends' friends and friends' friends' friends that "Look we care and we all share this feeling that something is important, let's go do something."

It's not that hard. Any fool can sign up to testify on a bill, at least in Maryland, and I think in many states. You should see some of these people! So you have well educated, informed students coming in, whether its some cute middle schooler, or some college student, or an old fart like me, you have people coming in, and it changes the whole dynamic in the room. Being able to do that, and being able to get everyone involved, that's the most important thing.


Illai Kenney, 14, Jonesboro, Ga., co-founded Georgia Kids Against Pollution in response to the growing number of local children with asthma. The group organizes protests and makes speeches to educate and encourage citizens to work for clean air and water, and to help curb global warming.

David Brower said, there's a lot to be learned from climbing mountains. Tough mountains build bold leaders, many of whom, in the early days, came down from the mountains to save them. The world now needs these leaders as it has never needed them before.

As I visited the mountains where David Brower walked, I was reminded of another mountaintop leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Today it is Mother Nature that is crying out for justice.

We live in the Land of the Free. Free for what? Free to cut the last tree? Free to change pristine to polluted? Free to become consumer slaves?

I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double-price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption abroad. I speak as a citizen of the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation And I appeal to my generation to rise up, to stand to show everyone out here the people who want to change this planet and change the world, I dare y'all to rise up and show these people who you are! Be bold! Be brave! And stand up!


Andrew Azman
21, Owings Mills, Md., founded CU Biodiesel at the University of Colorado, organizing alternative fuels education, developing and building biodiesel processors, and fueling University buses with biodiesel.

In looking for solutions to help with our current environmental problems we often look to new cutting edge technology. The fact is that the solutions exist now! It's crazy to think that over 100 years ago Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. He saw a future where family farms supplied cleaner energy for the world. It is time for us to revive his vision and build on it. Its time for us to rekindle our relationship with earth. We must look towards nature for guidance.

If the political leaders of today don't recognize our intimate connection to nature we must look to the youth. People say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow but as you have seen tonight the youth are the leaders of today.

We all need to recognize our contribution to life. Either you part of the solution or your part of the pollution. As the late Edward Abbey once said, "Passion without action is the death of the soul."

This story was printed from News, located at http://www.greenbiz.com/news/

GreenBiz.com: The Resource Center for Business, the
Environment and the Bottom Line (http://www.greenbiz.com)




From: "Robert Brower" <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 8, 2001, 3:23 PM
Subject: The Next Agenda

"The accidental presidency of George W. Bush presents progressives with a
dual task: fighting against a new reaction while putting forth a clear
vision and bold agenda for progressive reform."

"George Bush may be in the White House, but he did not win the election. The
total vote for Vice President Al Gore and Green Party nominee Ralph Nader
was 52%, the largest center left vote since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. . . . "

FROM: a national conference on THE NEXT AGENDA





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