AUGUST 9-1, 02 Archives

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Bush threatens troops in longshore dispute Aug 9, 2002 Author: Evelina Alarcon LOS ANGELES v The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) revealed this week that a secret Bush administration task force has threatened a military takeover of West Coast ports if the union decides to strike. In response, the national AFL-CIO and prominent leaders including Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) are rallying to the side of the union demanding that the Bush administration stay out of negotiations.

Bush will act alone if need be, says Perle Aug 9, 2002 By Toby Harnden By Toby Harnden A senior Pentagon adviser has delivered a blunt warning that President George W Bush would not hesitate to act unilaterally against Saddam Hussein if he had to. He added, however, that he was convinced Tony Blair would win over the doubters in Britain and support a war.

Bush Economic Forum to Exclude Critics, Officials Say August 9, 2002 By Mike Allen CRAWFORD, Tex. The economic forum President Bush is staging in Texas next week will feature several wealthy Republican donors and will exclude vocal opponents of his policies, administration officials said today. The forum, to be held at Baylor University in Waco on Tuesday, is part of an intensive White House effort to portray Bush as engaged in the nation's concerns during his month-long working vacation at his ranch here.

World Water Crisis The world's supply of fresh water is running out. Already one person in five has no access to safe drinking water. Click on the map to read about some of the world's water flashpoints. Click here for an overview. - Dawn of a thirsty century.

Suddenly it is so clear: the world is running out of fresh water. August 9, 2002 Humanity is polluting, diverting, and depleting the wellspring of life at a startling rate. With every passing day, our demand for fresh water outpaces it's availability and thousands more people are put at risk. Already, the social, political, and economic impacts of water scarcity are rapidly becoming a destabilizing force, with water-related conflicts springing up around the globe. Quite simply, unless we dramatically change our ways, between one-half and two-thirds of humanity will be living with severe fresh water shortages within the next quarter-century.

World's Rivers in Crisis Some Are Dying; Others Could Die More than one-half of the world's major rivers are being seriously depleted and polluted, degrading and poisoning the surrounding ecosystems, thus threatening the health and livelihood of people who depend upon them for irrigation, drinking and industrial water, says the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century.

IMF MARKET REFORM AND ECONOMIC CRISIS Most current Structural Adjustment and Economic Reform Programs around the world have a common international context of origin. In this site we explore some of the various dimensions of the IMF record not only in Africa but also in Asia because we observe similarities in terms of initial conditions, imposed conditionalities, ideological orientations, implicit and explicit objectives and impact on the countries hosting the IMF programs. These consequences include the following:

  1. Forced devaluation
  2. Forced privatization
  3. A free fall in the value of the domestic currency
  4. Lower purchasing power
  5. A fall in the standard of living
  6. Unemployment and retrenchment of workers
  7. Inflation and the phenomenon of rising prices
  8. Food riots and social unrest
  9. Challenges to trade unions and labor
  10. Substantial challenges to human rights organizations
  11. Increased mortality with the mandatory removal of subsidies on health
  12. Declines in school attendance along gender lines
  13. Challenges towards democratic governance
  14. The rise and/or consolidation of military dictatorships
  15. De-industrialization as the economies are inundated with cheap foreign products
  16. Reduction in the number of nationals owning industries due to privatization and an invasion of foreign capitalists
  17. Intensified unequal development amongst ethnic groups
  18. Ethnic tension
  19. Transfer of as much as 40% of the domestic budget in debt repayment to the creditors/bankers of Euro-America
  20. De facto loss of sovereignty
  21. The feminization of poverty
  22. Child Labor- reluctantly sanctioned by impoverished/"SAPPED" parents who depend on the child's meager supplement to make ends meet.
  23. The proliferation of terrorist organizations

Bush tars drug takers with aiding terrorists August 8, 2002 Duncan Campbell - Mandatory jail makes a drugs Gulag - The US government is stepping up its attempt to link the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. Its office of national drug control policy is running advertisements which tell Americans that by buying drugs they may be financing terrorists. Campaigners for changes in the drug laws fear that it is the latest attempt to gather support for an increasingly unpopular war on drugs. The number in jail for drug offences - about 500,000 - is greater than the entire jail population of western Europe. Even minor marijuana offences carry mandatory minimum sentences. Imprisonment disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of voters whose absence from the polls was seen as one of the factors responsible for George Bush's election in 2000. "We have denounced China as a Gulag state, but we have incarcerated many more," said Sanho Tree, director of the drug policy project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. There were 734,498 marijuana-related arrests in 2000, 646,042 of them for simple possession, and 1,579,566 drugs arrests of all kind, the highest ever recorded by the FBI. Last year the US spent $40bn fighting drugs, a 40-fold increase since 1980.

USA's Future Economic Collapse August 8, 2002 -  Revelation 18 describes an economic earthquake that will hit America with such force it will make the Great Depression seem like child's play. It will be utter destruction in which she will never rise again. A judgment from the hand of God because of a nation that is seeped in adultery and rebellion. A nation that began as a Light on a Hill became a corrupting stench rising up to the altar of the Living God. The moral fabric that would allow America back on its feet from the Great Depression will not be present in this massive economic earthquake. The Beast she rides will devour her flesh so he may rise to absolute world power, filling the vacuum created by America's fall. The only warning will be the prophetic voices of the faithful saints of God who will be hated and despised by the world. For the Harlot will be drunk on the blood of the saints. In her intoxication, her mind will be numb to her impending doom. A head–on collision with a wrathful God. If you have built your life on the sands of the kingdom of this world, your hopes, your dreams, your energies and aspirations will mingle with the smoke that will rise up from the utter destruction of Babylon.

U.S. / Indonesia: Bush Backtracks on Corporate Responsibility August 8, 2002) New York, The U.S. State Department has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the Exxon Mobil Corporation for its alleged complicity in human rights violations in Indonesia, raising questions about the Bush administration's commitment to corporate responsibility, Human Rights Watch said today. The civil suit, filed on June 11, 2001 in the District of Columbia, alleges that the Indonesian military provided "security services" for Exxon Mobil's joint venture in Indonesia's conflict-ridden Aceh province, and that the Indonesian military committed "genocide, murder, torture, crimes against humanity, sexual violence and kidnapping" while providing security for the company from 1999 to 2001. The plaintiff's claim that Exxon Mobil was aware of widespread abuses committed by the military but had failed to take any action to prevent them. "It is the height of hypocrisy for the State Department to publicly promote human rights principles for the oil and gas industry and then tell a judge that scrutiny of an oil company's human rights record runs counter to foreign policy." Kenneth Roth Executive Director

The Forces Making For An Economic Collapse - Why a depression could happen August 8, 2002 by Thomas I. Palley ECONOMISTS are hardly renowned for their ability to predict the economic future. In 1929 Irving Fisher, perhaps the greatest of all American economists, confidently predicted that the stock market would go on to new highs and that the expansion of economic prosperity would continue, with no end in sight. Less than two months later came the crash; the economy had already entered what was to become the Great Depression. Predictions of when the next recession will occur aside, however, there are now solid grounds for believing that the economy is again vulnerable to the sort of seismic shock that generated the Great Depression.

World: Environmentalist Predicts Economic Collapse If Trends Continue August 8, 2002 By Ahto Lobjakas In order to survive, the global economy must undergo a shift as groundbreaking as the Copernican revolution in astronomy in the 16th century, which recognized that the Earth revolves around the sun, rather than vice versa. This is the message being taken to political and business leaders all over the world by noted U.S. environmentalist Lester Brown, who says they need to recognize that the economy should be considered secondary to ecological concerns. To do the reverse -- treat the environment as of lesser importance than the economy -- spells certain disaster, warns Brown, who last week was in Brussels and spoke to RFE/RL correspondent Ahto Lobjakas. Brussels, 19 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Lester Brown says the modern world faces an imminent choice: It must either bring its economy into line with the demands of the environment or prepare for decline and eventual collapse. The rate at which the world's economy grows and its population expands will simply soon exhaust most of the natural resources on which they vitally depend.

IBEW Strikes Dominion Power in Virginia and North Carolina August 8, 2002 On Friday, August 2, about 3500 workers from Dominion Power went out on strike for the first time in 38 years. This strike involves workers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 50 from North Carolina and Virginia, and targets Dominion Power, one of the main beneficiaries from the energy deregulation of the 1990s. This strike came one day after the final passage of 'fast track', which was opposed by the IBEW. The IBEW is walking the picket line in 100-degree heat to defend their retirement and health benefits from the corporate ax. Dominion management provoked the strike last Thursday when they walked away from the table after an insulting final offer, which included upping the workers' health care costs and covering only generic drugs.

Detailed war plan handed to Bush August 7, 2002 Duncan Campbell - UN critic says attack decision has been made - General Tommy Franks, who would lead a US military action in Iraq, has presented President George Bush with refinements of a plan for attack. Gen Franks, who led the US military operation in Afghanistan, presented the latest version and its potential consequences to the White House on Monday. "This is deadly serious stuff," the former UN chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, an outspoken critic of the war plans, said yesterday. "He is not briefing about a cricket match. He is briefing about war options." Mr Ritter, a marine corps veteran and Republican, said he was in no doubt that the Bush administration was committed to military action. "I keep hearing from people that they are bluffing. They are not bluffing. The Bush administration is going to go to war come hell or high water. The decision has been made." - UN critic says attack decision has been made - General Tommy Franks, who would lead a US military action in Iraq, has presented President George Bush with refinements of a plan for attack. Gen Franks, who led the US military operation in Afghanistan, presented the latest version and its potential consequences to the White House on Monday. "This is deadly serious stuff," the former UN chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, an outspoken critic of the war plans, said yesterday. "He is not briefing about a cricket match. He is briefing about war options." Mr Ritter, a marine corps veteran and Republican, said he was in no doubt that the Bush administration was committed to military action. "I keep hearing from people that they are bluffing. They are not bluffing. The Bush administration is going to go to war come hell or high water. The decision has been made."

Economic Depression and the New World Order August 7, 2002 The onslaught of America's war is occurring at the height of a global economic depression marked by the downfall of State institutions, mounting unemployment, the collapse in living standards in all major regions of the World, including Western Europe and North America and the outbreak of famines over large areas. This depression is far more serious than that of the 1930s. Moreover, the war has not only unleashed a massive shift out of civilian economic activities into the military-industrial complex, it has also accelerated the demise of the Welfare State in most Western countries. War and globalisation are intimately related processes. The global economic crisis (which preceded the events of September 11)  has its roots in the New World Order "free market" reforms. Since the 1997 "Asian crisis", financial markets have plummeted, national economies have collapsed one after the other, entire countries (e.g. Argentina and Turkey) have been taken over by their international creditors precipitating millions of people into abysmal poverty.

In Surreal Development, Bush Administration Routes TIPS Calls to TV Show "America's Most Wanted"
August 7, 2002 WASHINGTON - In a development bordering on what the American Civil Liberties Union called "surreal," the on-line magazine today revealed that the Department of Justice is forwarding incoming Operation TIPS calls to the Fox-owned "America's Most Wanted" television series. "This is like retaining Arthur Andersen to do all of the SEC's accounting," said Rachel King, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "It's a completely inappropriate and frightening intermingling of government power and the private sector. What's next - the government hires Candid Camera to do its video surveillance?" "If it continues to cooperate with the government on Operation TIPS, America's Most Wanted should move networks and rename itself 'Big Brother,'" King said.

Obsession: Not just a cologne, but a way of governing August 7, 2002 PRESIDENT BUSH still favors partially privatizing Social Security. Would you believe it? Can you imagine the hysteria that would sweep through the land if people's Social Security savings had been invested in Wall Street stock, while it's been plummeting? Yet our chief executive - who is consistent if nothing else - is standing by the cockamamie idea. Another example of government by obsession, this administration's modus operandi.

Ending Secret Detentions August 7, 2002 One of the most disturbing elements of the Bush administration's post-Sept.-11 policies has been its detention of hundreds of people whose identities have not been revealed. Judge Gladys Kessler of Federal District Court in Washington was right to declare last week that such secret arrests are "odious to a democratic society," and to order the government to release the names of those it has detained since the terrorist attacks.

The logic of empire
August 7, 2002 George Monbiot The US is now a threat to the rest of the world. The sensible response is non-cooperation. There is something almost comical about the prospect of George Bush waging war on another nation because that nation has defied international law. Since Bush came to office, the United States government has torn up more international treaties and disregarded more UN conventions than the rest of the world has in 20 years. It has scuppered the biological weapons convention while experimenting, illegally, with biological weapons of its own. It has refused to grant chemical weapons inspectors full access to its laboratories, and has destroyed attempts to launch chemical inspections in Iraq. It has ripped up the anti-ballistic missile treaty, and appears to be ready to violate the nuclear test ban treaty. It has permitted CIA hit squads to recommence covert operations of the kind that included, in the past, the assassination of foreign heads of state. It has sabotaged the small arms treaty, undermined the international criminal court, refused to sign the climate change protocol and, last month, sought to immobilise the UN convention against torture so that it could keep foreign observers out of its prison camp in Guantanamo Bay. Even its preparedness to go to war with Iraq without a mandate from the UN security council is a defiance of international law far graver than Saddam Hussein's non-compliance with UN weapons inspectors.

Have The Big U.S. Derivatives Banks Exploded? August 7, 2002 Indications are growing that the top three U.S. derivatives banks--J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America--have been pushed to, if not over, the brink of "technical" bankruptcy by problems in the derivatives markets. We say "technical" because the top U.S. banks have long counted hundreds of billions of dollars of fictitious assets on their books, making them bankrupt in reality, and solvent only by perception. Both Morgan Chase and Citigroup have shown up with uncanny frequency as the top lenders to the current crop of exploding corporations and are clearly facing huge losses on their loan portfolios. With corporations and individuals going bankrupt at record rates and defaults soaring, the loan problems at Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America go far beyond what has publicly surfaced, but their loan problems pale in comparison to the dangers lurking in their derivatives portfolio. J.P. Morgan Chase, the world's largest derivatives bank, is a prime example; a loss equivalent to less than 0.2% of its $24 trillion derivatives portfolio would be enough to wipe out every last penny of the bank's equity capital. EIR believes that Morgan Chase actually collapsed in mid-2001, and is being secretly run by the Federal Reserve, similar to the way the Fed took over Citicorp in 1989.

Top Execs Slide Away From Mess August 7, 2002 James Ridgeway Meanwhile, the full story of the rape and pillage of America is still unfolding. Last week the Financial Times ran the results of a survey revealing that top execs in the 25 biggest recent corporate collapses had built up fortunes from 1999 through 2001 totaling $3.3 billion. Richest of the rich: Ken Lay of Enron with $247 million and Gary Winnick of Global Crossing with $512 million. Lay˜along with his buds in the executive suite˜famously ran Enron into the ground. He ripped off tens of thousands of electricity consumers in California, lying to them, manipulating the so-called free market while hiding the true nature of the corporate business from its stockholders and the government. In cold blood, he ruined the livelihood of thousands of its employees, screwing them out of any sort of "retirement." Surely Lay and the other chieftains at Enron ought to be charged with criminal malfeasance of some sort˜fraud, conspiracy under the racketeering laws, obstruction of justice, or perjury, just for starters. Lay happens to be a major Bush family supporter, having financed both presidents' political conquests and acted as the frat brat's confidant on energy policy. Natch, he doesn't get charged with anything.

American public left in dark on US war aims in Iraq
August 6, 2002 By Patrick Martin The discussion that has broken out in official Washington over when and how to go to war with Iraq is in no sense a genuine public debate. Representatives of various factions of the ruling elite—Bush administration officials, congressional leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties, the military-intelligence establishment—are weighing in. But the American people are excluded. There is no genuine democratic content in these discussions, which include, among other topics, intensive consideration of how to manipulate public opinion. The very terms of the debate at Senate hearings held July 31-August 1 revealed the cynical and sinister character of the congressional proceedings. Speaker after speaker agreed that Saddam Hussein should be removed as Iraqi ruler and that the United States government had the right to carry out a policy of “regime change” in a country on the other side of the world. The only differences expressed were over the best methods for accomplishing this goal—and the best means for “selling” such a war to the American people.

One nation, divisible by spies August 6, 2002 Nat Hentoff House Majority Leader Dick Armey, acting against the plans of the president and Attorney General John Ashcroft, has tried to stop the Operation TIPS program that would send millions of meter readers, delivery workers, utility repair people, truckers, and other service personnel among us to report on "suspicious" signs pf terrorist-connected activity. Mr. Armey removed from the Homeland Security Department bill this plan, characterized by constitutional lawyer John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, as "essentially turning the average citizen into an extension of the thought police." This army of untrained informants, without any definition of "suspicious" or "terrorist" activity, would, as conservative Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr said, be involved in what "smacks of the very type of fascist or communist government we fought so hard to eradicate in other countries in decades past."

ACLU Files Largest-Ever Voting Rights Lawsuit On Behalf of Native Americans in South Dakota August 6, 2002 RAPID CITY, SD--Saying that state officials have for nearly 30 years ignored a federal law meant to protect minorities from voting discrimination, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Native Americans against state and local officials for failing to obtain Justice Department approval of more than 600 statutes and regulations that affect voting and elections in the state. “The sheer volume of election-related laws at issue in this case make this the largest voting rights lawsuit ever filed,” said Bryan Sells, a staff attorney with the ACLU's Voting Rights Project and lead counsel in the case.

Court Strikes Down Fla. Voucher Law; Judge: State Constitution's Prohibition on Public Aid to Religious Schools 'Clear, Unambiguous' WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 -- State Circuit Court Judge Kevin Davey today ruled that Florida's 1999 "A-plus" voucher law violates the state's constitution, which prohibits the use of public funds to support religious schools. The decision, which is likely to be appealed by the state, was hailed by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). PFAWF, which has offices in both Miami and Tallahassee, is co-counsel in the case to the parties who have challenged the voucher law. Although a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June that a Cleveland school voucher law does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Cleveland decision does not bar states, like Florida, from prohibiting the use of their own monies to fund religious institutions. In today's ruling, Judge Davey recognized that the court had no authority to abandon the "clear mandate of the people as enunciated in the Constitution."

US seeks to block enforcement of anti-torture treaty August 5, 2002 By Patrick Martin Torture should be added to the list of evils that the Bush administration is defending, in accordance with a foreign policy based on unilateral American domination of the globe. On July 24, the American delegation to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESOC) tried and failed to table an anti-torture protocol, losing the vote 29-15. The protocol was then approved by a 35-8 vote and goes to the fall session of the UN General Assembly for ratification. Since it is not a Security Council resolution, the measure is not subject to US veto.

Bush held up plan to hit Bin Laden August 5, 2002 Julian Borger The Bush administration sat on a Clinton-era plan to attack al-Qaida in Afghanistan for eight months because of political hostility to the outgoing president and competing priorities, it was reported yesterday. The plan, under which special forces troops would have been sent after Osama bin Laden, was drawn up in the last days of the Clinton administration but a decision was left to the incoming Bush team.

Bush's Shame August 4, 2002 By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN  - Watching the pathetic, mealy-mouthed response of President Bush and his State Department to Egypt's decision to sentence the leading Egyptian democracy advocate to seven years in prison leaves one wondering whether the whole Bush foreign policy team isn't just a big bunch of phonies. Shame on all of them. Since Sept. 11 all we've heard out of this Bush team is how illegitimate violence is as a tool of diplomacy or politics, and how critical it is to oust Saddam Hussein in order to bring democracy to the Arab world. Yet last week, when a kangaroo court in Egypt, apparently acting on orders from President Hosni Mubarak, sentenced an ill, 63-year-old Saad Eddin Ibrahim to seven years at "hard labor" for promoting democracy ˜ for promoting the peaceful alternative to fundamentalist violence ˜ the Bush-Cheney team sat on its hands.

Bush ready to declare war August 4, 2002 Peter Beaumont, Gaby Hinsliff and Paul Beaver Split opens between Britain and US as White House targets dictator. President George W. Bush will announce within weeks that he intends to depose Iraq's ruler, Saddam Hussein, by force, setting the stage for a war in the Gulf this winter. Amid signs of active preparations for a war within six months, senior officials on both sides of the Atlantic have said that war against Iraq is now inevitable. 'The expectation is that President Bush will make a final decision on the timing of a war over the course of August. The disclosure came as US Secretary of State Colin Powell dismissed an offer by Iraq to talk to the chief weapons inspector of the United Nations.

Broken Promises and Political Deception August 4, 2002 By AL GORE NASHVILLE -- There has always been a debate over the destiny of this nation between those who believed they were entitled to govern because of their station in life, and those who believed that the people were sovereign. That distinction remains as strong as ever today. In every race this November, the question voters must answer is, How do we make sure that political power is used for the benefit of the many, rather than the few?

Leahy Reaction To U.S. District Court Decision Directing Department of Justice To Comply with the Freedom of Information Act WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the reaction of Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia directing the Department of Justice to comply with the Freedom of Information Act to release information on detainees: "This decision puts the rule of law over the Justice  Department's unilateralism. The judge properly observes that   secret arrests are a concept odious to a democratic society and are 'profoundly antithetical to the bedrock values that characterize a free and open one such as ours.'

Judge Warns White House that Specific Reasons Needed
3, August 2002 Washington-AP -- A federal judge is warning the Bush administration it can't simply fall back on presidential privileges. He says he'll reject any White House effort to block the release of records on Vice President Cheney's energy task force -- unless government lawyers provide specific reasons. The judge says simply citing executive privilege or the Constitution won't be enough.

Nephi warned us that Satan would pacify many, lulling "them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth...." (2 Ne. 28:21.)

Bush Says He Remains Optimistic About US Economy
August 3, 2002 Paula Wolfson President Bush says he remains optimistic about the U.S. economy, despite new figures that show economic growth slowed in the second quarter of the year. The topic dominated a meeting Wednesday between the president and his cabinet.

The Pennsylvania mine rescue and the human cost of coal 3, August 2002 By Paul Sherman and Bill Vann The rescue last week of nine coal miners trapped underground for 77 hours in a flooded mine shaft brought cheers of joy from people not only in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, but throughout the US. Millions had anxiously followed the successful race to reach the miners. This tireless effort to save human life struck a deep chord nationwide. The display of solidarity and cooperation among the rescuers, the trapped Quecreek miners and the Somerset community—in a common social effort driven by human concerns rather than the drive for private profit—contrasted sharply with the prevailing news of the day, dominated by revelations of criminality and greed within the US corporate elite.

FBI asks Congress to take lie tests
August 3, 2002 The FBI has asked members of the House of Representatives' and the Senate intelligence committees whether they will take lie-detector tests to help its investigation of leaked secret information, government sources have said. Members of Congress have generally taken the view that they should not submit to FBI lie-detector tests because that would breach the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government. "The general consensus is that nobody is going to take them," a congressional source said. "I don't think anybody wants to start that precedent."

This Time, Bush Has Gone Too Far
August 2, 2002 By Vince Coyle By Vince Coyle  Without a scintilla of evidence that Iraq is of any immediate threat to the United States, the Bush Junta is apparently preparing to make war on Iraq without consulting Congress. It will be to their everlasting shame if they do not stand up and say "no." War has never been a solution to the problems of the world except in the guise of defending one's nation from attack. It has become increasingly clear that the attacks on 9/11 very likely could have been prevented had it not been for the complacency, inaction, and incompetence of the Bush Administration. In response to those attacks Bush has announced that now the United States will begin acting preemptively by attacking nations that "might" pose some threat to this country. Isn't it enough that this unelected gaggle of corporate puppets have eviscerated the Constitutional protections that have been the envy of the world for over 200 years taking this nation down the road to a fascist theocracy? The USA Patriot Act is a blueprint for the imposition of just such a state. Isn't it enough that this administration has gang-raped environmental protections bowing to the wishes of polluters? Isn't it enough that this administration is stuffed full of the very people who have advocated the very policies that led to the current economic meltdown in the markets?

Drug Coverage Failure
August 2, 2002 One-third of the elderly in this country have no prescription drug insurance at all, and many of the rest are poorly covered. Yet despite repeated promises stretching back to the 2000 election campaign, the 100 members of the United States Senate, the leadership of the richest nation on earth, could not summon the imagination or compassion to pass even a stripped-down version of a drug bill. It would have helped millions of America's neediest citizens on a matter as fundamental as health care. The main difference all along was ideological. Republicans wanted a plan that relies on private insurers, the Democrats favored a program run by Medicare.

Bush's Army of Police August 2, 2002 By Christopher H. Pyle The Bush administration, having weakened the wall of separation between church and state, now proposes to break down that other wall that keeps soldiers out of law enforcement. As part of their war on terrorism, Bush officials are calling upon Congress to relax or repeal the Posse Comitatus Act which says, in effect, that soldiers may not arrest and try civilians. The act expresses the long-held view that law enforcement is a civilian function, and largely local in nature. Federal troops should be used to put down riots that police and state militias cannot handle. The law also reflects the founders' anger at the militarization of colonial government. That was a major grievance in the Declaration of Independence and inspired several constitutional provisions, including the Second Amendment, which secures the right to bear arms as part of a state militia, and the Third Amendment, which prohibits the quartering of troops in private homes in times of peace. Some administration officials want to involve the Army's Northern Command in law enforcement, apparently with no legal impediment to spying on, arresting, incarcerating and maybe even executing alleged terrorists. By associating these functions with the military, "war" and "intelligence," they hope to evade restrictions imposed by the Bill of Rights and the federal rules of evidence.

The Fort Bragg murders: a grim warning on the use of the military 2 August 2002 By Bill Vann The murders of four Fort Bragg soldiers’ wives in the space of six weeks has stunned the North Carolina army post and shocked the American public. Fort Bragg is the home of the elite Special Forces Command. Three of the four soldiers had recently returned from Afghanistan, where they served with Special Forces units. The string of murders began June 11, when Sergeant First Class Rigoberto Nieves, returned just two days earlier from Special Forces duty in Afghanistan, fatally shot his wife, Teresa, and then killed himself. On June 29, just weeks after returning from Afghanistan, another Special Forces soldier, Master Sergeant William Wright, strangled his wife Jennifer and buried her in a shallow grave. Sergeant Cedric Ramon Griffin, a member of an engineering battalion, stabbed his estranged wife, Marilyn, 50 times and then set her house on fire July 9. On July 19, the same day that Wright was arrested for murder, Sergeant First Class Brandon Floyd shot his wife Andrea to death and then turned the gun on himself, taking his own life. According to the Fayetteville Observer, Floyd was a member of the super-secret Delta Force, an elite unit specializing in assassination and covert hit-and-run operations, who had returned from Afghanistan in October.

Trade Bill Lets Customs Service Use Racial Profiling; Makes it Next to Impossible to Sue Agents Who Abuse Traveling Public August 2, 2002 WASHINGTON - The Senate began debate today on trade legislation that contains a provision that would make it practically impossible to sue Customs Service officials who engage in illegal activities, especially racial profiling. "The Customs Service has a notoriously bad history of racially biased law enforcement," said Rachel King, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Yet Congress, in a remarkable feat of irrationality, seems to think it wise to pass legislation that would allow Customs agents to operate illegally and engage in racial profiling with impunity. The Customs racial profiling provision violates the most American of ideas - the right to be treated fairly under a colorblind set of laws, and have access to the courts when this right is denied," she added.

Bubble Capitalism August 2, 2002 By Richard Falk One bubble burst, then another and another. Enron, Global Crossing, WorldCom. The rectitude of auditors--pop. Faith in corporate CEOs and stock market analysts--pop, pop. The self-righteous prestige of Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase--pop and pop again. The largest bubble is the stock market's, and it may not yet be fully deflated. These dizzying events are not an occasion for champagne music because the bursting bubbles have cast millions of Americans into deep personal losses, destroyed trillions of dollars in capital, especially retirement savings, and littered the economic landscape with corporate wreckage. Ex-drinker George W. Bush explained that a "binge" is always followed by the inevitable "hangover." What he did not say is that the "binge" that has just ended with so much pain for the country was the conservative binge.

Nation: Homicide on the rise in U.S. cities By KIM CURTIS August 2, 2002 OAKLAND, Calif. - One year after watching someone gun down her father, 7-year-old Jaunnicia Milton huddled in the back seat of a car as her mother was shot to death over the weekend. The little girl was left an orphan as Oakland struggles through one of its bloodiest summers in years. The city is on pace to record more than 100 homicides this year, something it hasn't done since 1995. Oakland is not alone. Los Angeles, Boston and other cities across the country are seeing a bounce in homicides that experts attribute to a slower economy and an accompanying lack of jobs.

Blair is jumping the gun in backing Bush's war on logic
August 1, 2002 Hugo YoungThe body of opposition to a campaign against Iraq is too great to ignore If President George W Bush goes to war against Iraq, the ensuing conflict will be without a close modern precedent. Each of the main western wars of the last 20 years, however controversial, was perceivable as a response to manifest aggression. The Falklands war in 1982 was one such case, the 1991 Gulf war another. The military actions in Bosnia and Kosovo were conducted for the defence of ethnic groups facing aggression at the heart of Europe. Each had a measure of international approval. A war to unseat Saddam Hussein would proceed on a different basis, encompassed in the seductive word "pre-emptive".

Corporate Whitewash Continues as Public Anger Mounts
August 1, 2002 Goerge W. Bush signed the so-called Corporate Crime Bill into law in the U.S. on Tuesday, July 30, but does it really go far enough in protecting people from corrupt corporations? Some critics don't think so. The bill does not address critical issues such as stock options, corporate charter revocation, and other forms of oversight and operations. The issue of corporate charters and their revocation has as long a history as that of the robber barons whose criminal actions brought hardship and ruin to countless families in the past. There is a growing movement to ensure that constitutional rights are applied to human beings before corporations, but few charters have been challenged or revoked as of yet.

Judge Rules Florida Election Violations Suit Will Go To Trial on August 26 August 1, 2002 WASHINGTON, /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by People For the American Way: -- Suit Against Florida Secretary of State Harris, Elections Division Director Roberts and Florida Counties Will Focus on Three Key Areas. District Judge Alan S. Gold cleared the way today for an August 26th trial in the case of NAACP vs. Harris et al. The suit has been brought by People For the American Way Foundation and other civil rights organizations on behalf of the NAACP and African American voters denied the right to vote in Florida in the 2000 general election.

Critics say Bush action weakens crackdown on corporate fraud August 1, 2002 WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers criticized White House action on a brand-new law cracking down on corporate fraud, saying President Bush appeared to be weakening the measure mere hours after signing it. Bush turned the legislation into the law of the land in a grand East Room ceremony Tuesday, with tough talk against boardroom crooks and promises that his administration would pursue them as aggressively as it has hunted terrorists. Eight hours later, the White House quietly issued a statement outlining how it was interpreting several provisions, including one that grants federal protection to corporate whistle-blowers who present Congress with information that books had been cooked or investors misled.

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