October 10, 2004
BOGUS POLLS: MEANINGLESS FARCE
OR LOOMING TRAGEDY? - Arianna Huffington
Congress moves to close SUV-friendly
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
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
George W. Bush & the "Mandate
Shooting the Messenger Doesn't
Discredit the Message - Greg Palast
Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented
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
WE THE PLANET FEST 2004 - HENRY J KAISER AUDITORIUM
Grand Finale: Bruce Springsteen
Wants You Next Monday! - Vote for Change tour
The Sweet Music of Activism -
Two held in French anti-nuclear
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
Informed Dissent | Is it just
me, or is it getting warmer?
Kerry Keeps Hope Alive - The
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
GEORGE W. BUSH AIN'T NO COWBOY
Bush is History's Top Terrorist
Backtracking on bullet train route
WANTED: Program Director, Brower
Robert Redford Criticizes Bush
Environmental Record - t r u t h o u t
POWER - A spotlight on young
2004 Brower Youth Awards Honor
Outstanding Student Environmental Leaders
The 2003 Brower Youth Award Winners
The Next Agenda
Julia Butterfly's Calendar - CIRCLE
Butterfly Gardener: Events Calendar
& Action Alerts
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 12:25:19 -0700
Subject: Bogus Polls: Meaningless Farce Or Looming Tragedy?
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
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
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
LIKE A CAMEL THROUGH THE EYE OF THE TAX CODE
Congress moves to close SUV-friendly tax loophole
It looks like Congress may soon close one of the U.S. tax
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
business expense -- if it was used "primarily" for
of course, wink, wink. The American International Automobile
Dealers, an industry group, claimed the tax break stimulated
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
subsidizing the purchase of polluting vehicles at all. In a
tax bill likely to be approved by the House and Senate by the
the week, lawmakers reduced the deduction to $25,000. And rejected
provision that would have given tax breaks to buyers of hybrid
other clean cars. But hey: baby steps.
straight to the source: The Detroit News, Jeff Plungis, 07
straight to the source: Detroit Free Press, Associated Press,
Dee-Ann Durbin, 07 Oct 2004
The Nation Magazine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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!)
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.
To: Robert brower <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2004 2:55 AM
Subject: Kenyan Environmentalist Wangari Maathai Wins
Nobel Peace Prize
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
AMY GOODMAN: Terry Tempest Williams, she is the first
environmentalist to be awarded the prize, the first African woman.
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.
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
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
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
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 councillor responsible for traffic, Mario Di Carlo, said
he intended making owners of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) pay
€1,000 (about £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
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 €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 <firstname.lastname@example.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
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
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
Valley for the benefit of San Francisco. The response from
civic leaders in the city that built the dam was immediate, indignant
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
© Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
From: The Nation Magazine
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
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.
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!)
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 <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2004 4:51 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Stop Thinking and See What You're
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
It was the usually dour John Adams, who in their correspondence,
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,
Bush has lost
the "Mandate" of most
of the rest of the world, outside of a few client states and
President's recent reception before the U.N. made that quite
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
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
William Marina is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute
in Oakland, Calif., and
Professor Emeritus in History at Florida Atlantic University.
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2004 01:49:55 -0400
Subject: Shooting the Messenger Doesn't Discredit the
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
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
Comment from Grist - 10/5/04
Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.
Lead contamination in municipal water systems systematically
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
manipulation and negligence. Water utilities across the U.S.
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
with regulations, has drastically reduced enforcement in recent
and doesn't have the staff to do the job adequately even if it
to. In 2003, the number of EPA enforcements against water utilities
was less than a tenth of the number in 1997. Despite all this,
Acting Assistant Administrator Benjamin Grumbles told Congress
July that "we have not identified a systemic problem."
should get in touch with the folks at The Washington Post. Seems
Straight to the source: The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Federal law also requires utilities to try to test the same homes
over time and prohibits dropping any merely because they have
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.
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
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
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
"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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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,
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
Dear Mike, Iraq sucks
Tuesday October 05 2004
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:
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 & 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 Â£12.99. Copyright © Michael
Moore 2004. To order a copy for Â£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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
John Nichols' book on Cheney, Dick: The Man Who Is President,
has just been released by
The New Press.
From: WE THE PLANET
Date: Monday, October 4, 2004 5:21 PM
Subject: We The Planet '04 Announced! Special Alumni Ticket
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:
WE THE PLANET FEST 2004
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:
THE ROOTS, THIRD EYE BLIND, THE COUP, MICHELLE SHOCKED, and MICKEY
Co-Hosted by Julia Butterfly Hill
Aya de Leon
SPECIAL ALUMNI PRICE JUST $20 TILL OCTOBER 10TH!
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:
From: Eli Pariser, MoveOn
To: Robert Brower <email@example.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
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. Even
Gallup's new poll shows the candidates tied.
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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
To see this story with its related
links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:
Two held in French anti-nuclear protest
Monday October 04 2004
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
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/
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
its waters replaced by the chalky white of canyon walls submerged
Five years of record-breaking drought in the Colorado River
drained Lake Powell of more than 60% of its water. Flows on the
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
half full. At Mead's northern end, the foundations of St. Thomas,
town demolished in the 1930s to make way for the reservoir, have
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
the seven states that rely on the Colorado are confronting the
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
municipalities or farmers or jeopardizing recreation values,
these are very
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
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
states of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah taking the first hits. California,
which gets about 14% of its statewide water supply from the river,
of the most senior rights on the Colorado and is in a comparatively
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
director for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the
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
[Interior] secretary will be forced to take action within three
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,
stunningly blue desert lake, loathed by conservationists for
majestic canyon in the mid-1960s, is disinterring its past. Glen
reemerging, caked with white mineral salts left by the backed-up
At Warm Creek Bay, one of Powell's many arms, the lake's decline
measured by the height of the advancing green forests of salt
invasive shrub that is quickly staking its claim to the emerging
bottom. The exposed mud has puckered into salt-crusted chunks,
puzzle of fudge-like pieces.
The last time it was full, in 1999, the Powell reservoir extended
miles upriver. It is now 145 miles long. The lake level has dropped
130 feet. If it continues its downward creep, there may not be
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
reservoir couldn't be made until nature provided more water.
nature delivered half the normal inflow. In 2002, one of the
ever recorded on the Colorado, it was a quarter of the norm.
As the reservoir's levels plunge, so does hydropower production.
Mead, Hoover Dam's generating capacity is down 17%. At Glen Canyon
has dropped 30%. The Western Area Power Administration, which
electricity from the dams, is cutting deliveries and expects
to spend more
than $30 million this year buying power to replace the lost Glen
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
"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
Powell and Mead to refill. And even if the Colorado's flows return
normal, that wouldn't match what the states were experiencing
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
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
"They divided a very large pie, and we may have a smaller
pie," said Jeanine
Jones, the Colorado River chief for the California Department
Even without the drought, population growth has been pushing
closer to the limits of what the river can give. In that sense,
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,
Colorado River issues for the Metropolitan Water District of
Doing something is not easy on the river, which in times of
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
than their neighbors to the south. Low irrigation flows on the
tributaries of the Colorado have resulted in millions of dollars'
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,
obligated to deliver a certain amount of water to Arizona, California
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
interests are expected to argue that if total water deliveries
over the last
decade are taken into account, they have more than met their
the lower basin.
The big grower-controlled irrigation districts that pump enormous
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,
the Imperial Irrigation District in southeastern California,
single biggest user.
In the lower basin, Nevada and Arizona would be the most vulnerable
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
has some of the most junior rights on the river. Nevada also
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
pulling water out of the ground. But the point is, we're not
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
than its share to keep pace with its exploding population.
The region's water agencies are proposing a mammoth project
groundwater from rural parts of the state, spending millions
homeowners to tear out their lawns to reduce consumption and
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
"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
"This drought is real. It's difficult," she said.
"But I'm going to be
optimistic that there is enough flexibility and enough possibility
From: t r u t h o u t <firstname.lastname@example.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
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
* 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
* 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
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
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."
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
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
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
Ted Fry: email@example.com
Copyright (c) 2004 The Seattle Times Company
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 20:14:47 GMT
To: "" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Informed Dissent | Is it just me, or is it getting warmer?
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-/>
R E A D M O R E I N M O T H E R J O N E S
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/>
L E A R N M O R E
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.
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:
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:
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
Join MoveOn.org in petitioning Congress and the Bush administration
to pass this important legislation:
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
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
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
For more on last night's debate, read Capital Games and The
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
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.
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!)
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 <email@example.com>
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
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'
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
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,
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, (£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
(£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
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,"
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,
environmental solutions. That's a theme of two recent productions
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
in Yosemite through the 1970s. It shows on the Cowell Theatre's
at San Francisco's Fort Mason at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets
Berkeley, Corte Madera, San Carlos and San Francisco REI stores,
as at the door. Price: $18 (general) or $15 (with REI member
prescreening reception at the Cowell costs $50, and includes
a DVD of the
film. (DVDs are also available at www.pelotonproductions.com,
Kelly Duane of San Francisco made "Monumental,"
a poetic documentary on
the life and times of mountaineer and environmental crusader
which lights the screen at the Smith Rafael Film Center (1118
San Rafael) at 6:45 p.m. Friday for a six-day run. Weekend matinees
2:30 p. m. Tickets: $9 (general), $5.75 (youth and seniors),
(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
excellent archival footage (about 70 percent of the films) and
were completed with fiscal assistance from environmental organizations.
"Vertical Frontier" won a grant from Sierra Club Productions;
earned its boost from Patagonia's environmental initiatives program,
saw it as a good fit for a new "Vote the Environment"
Duane offered insight on why certain climbers have left a legacy
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
Copyright 2004 SF Chronicle
From: Ron Good <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 3:42 PM
Sacramento Bee and SF Chronicle editorials on Hetch
Sacramento Bee Editorial - Published Wednesday,
September 29, 2004
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
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
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
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.
RESTORE HETCH HETCHY
P.O. Box 3538
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 533 - HHV 1 
(415) 987-9944 cell
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
so angered by human failure, by lies and lying, by the
murders of innocents, and by profit seeking at the expense of
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
If those who understand His judgment do not act to correct
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
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
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
. 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
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 3:00 AM
Cornel West's Democracy; Top 10 Reasons to Withdraw
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
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
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:
MATTERS OF JUSTICE
Terrence McNally, AlterNet
Cornel West discusses what it is we need to confront in order
realize democracy, as well as our need for 'justice, justice,
TOP 10 REASONS TO GET OUT OF IRAQ
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.
IN LEAGUE WITH EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
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.
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
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.
REIMAGINING THE LANDSCAPE OF FEAR
Rebecca Solnit, tomdispatch.com
Rights are like muscles, they disappear if you don't use
Christy Harvey, Judd Legum, Jonathan Baskin, Center for American
Each of George Bush's claims about Iraq is in direct
contradiction to the assessments of his own intelligence
A 'GOOD RUN' OR 'BAD STAND'?
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/
POT TAKES LEAD IN RACE FOR THE CURE
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 <email@example.com>
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
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'
GEORGE W. BUSH AIN'T NO COWBOY
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
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
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
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
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
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.
HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is available
. He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information
© 1970-2004 The Columbus Free Press
From: James Newhoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sunday, September 26, 2004 5:24 PM
Subject: Oakland Trib article on HSR meeting in LA Sep.
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
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.
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 email@example.com.
From: John A. Knox <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, September 27, 2004 6:53 PM
WANTED: Program Director, Brower Youth Awards
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 (email@example.com).
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
No phone calls please
Salary: Mid 40's, depending on experience, with excellent
health insurance and other benefits
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
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.
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
o Managing the application screening, evaluation, and selection
o Representing the BYA program to the general public and press;
o Overseeing design of website, print, and video press outreach
o Assisting in foundation, corporate, and donor fundraising for
o Managing the annual public awards ceremony and other related
o Designing the mentoring program for ongoing leadership development;
o Maintaining involvement in the national youth environmental
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
o Ability to supervise consultants and staff as a member of a
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.
JOHN A. KNOX
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
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 <firstname.lastname@example.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
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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.
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
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
As Wood enters her senior year of high school, she's joined a
campaign to beef up New York's bottle bill.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
"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.
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
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
Susan Ives, 415 381-4250, 415 987-6764
Mikhail Davis 415 788-3666 ext 112
ENVIRONMENTAL ROLLBACKS FIRE UP YOUNG ACTIVISTS
National Award Honors Outstanding Student Leaders
Earth Island Institute today named six student leaders to receive
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
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
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
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
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
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
Date: Monday, January 5,
GreenBiz.com: Source The Green Business Letter
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
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
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
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
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
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"
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
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
was 52%, the largest center left vote since Lyndon Johnson in
1964. . . . "
FROM: a national conference
on THE NEXT AGENDA
SEE NORTON PLAN!