JANUARY 20-8, 03 Archives

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Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Washington DC on Saturday, January 18 to say no to war with Iraq. 20 January 2003 Speakers at the event evoked the memory of Martin Luther King in calling for a world without violence, and for a country that seeks to end hunger among all children rather than terrozing those whom the Bush administration opposes. Speakers also said that Bush was killing the American way of life in this war for oil. The event in DC was organized by the International ANSWER coaltion. The signifcance of the event became immediately apparent: for perhaps the first time in history, a massive march of people against war was on the loose in the nation's capitol, controlling the streets and showing no signs of stopping. A sea of people stretching more than one mile long and taking up four lanes of roadway marched through the nation's capitol Saturday in vocal and colorful opposition to the U.S. government's drive to war with Iraq. People had traveled to DC from many parts of the country to participate. People of diverse ages and ethnic backgrounds braved frigid weather to peacefully rally in front of Congress and march in the streets of Washignton DC, to oppose war and to demand peace and justice. Speakers at the rally included Ramsey Clark, Jessica Lange, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and many others. In the game of estimating crowd size numbers, police estimates, official and unoffical, ranged from 30,000 to 200,000 people participated while organizers put the number at 500,000. Many independent observers estimated about 250-300,000 people participing, which made it twice as large as the last anti-war rally in DC in October. Despite this, most media outlets again understated the amount of demonstrators. Further coverage includes photo galleries of the demonstrations indymedia.org

Hundreds of thousands protest US war drive vs. Iraq Demonstrations in Washington, San Francisco and cities worldwide
20 January 2003 By Kate Randall Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for demonstrations in Washington DC, San Francisco and other cities across the US and Canada on Saturday to protest the Bush administration’s impending war against Iraq. The protests, which drew substantially more people than those held last October, were the largest anti-war demonstrations in North America since the Vietnam War era, with an estimated half-million protesters participating. More than 200,000 protested in the nation’s capital, traveling by bus and car from as far away as Florida and Iowa. Simultaneous demonstrations took place in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Honolulu, Albuquerque, Des Moines, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Tampa, and many other US cities. Protesters also took to the streets in New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Sweden, Egypt and Syria. In both their size and international reach, the demonstrations were indicative of rapidly growing anti-war sentiment in the US and around the world. The protests in the US shattered the myth promoted by the media of political consensus and mass support for the Bush administration and its war policies. The large turnout occurred despite the fact that the media gave virtually no advance publicity to the protests, and has systematically suppressed reports of domestic opposition to the government’s war plans. wsws.org

US marchers take to streets in echo of 60s As opposition grows, Bush's ratings slump January 20, 2003 Matthew Engel The spirit of the 60s returned to the streets of Washington at the weekend with a massive protest aimed at stopping the war in Iraq. The rally, the centrepiece of a day of worldwide demonstrations, was the most impressive show of opposition to President George Bush's policies in the 16 months of global crisis. Mr Bush was at the presidential country retreat, Camp David, while the hordes trampled the National Mall close to the back garden of the White House. But the roars of the crowd will have reached him even there, not so much because of the numbers of the protesters, but because of a growing sense that public opinion in general may be shifting in their direction. While the rally was taking place, a new Time-CNN poll was released, showing the president's approval rating down to 53%, its lowest in any survey since September 11 2001, with barely half supporting his foreign policy and only 27% believing the economy will improve in the next 12 months. Traditionally, national pessimism dethrones presidents. guardian.co.uk

Poll shows support for peace January 20, 2003 By AP Most Americans want the United States to take more time seeking a peaceful solution in Iraq rather than moving quickly into a military confrontation, a new poll says. By 60% to 35%, people in the Newsweek poll released yesterday said they would prefer that the Bush administration allow more time to find an alternative to war. Support for a military option would be strong, 81%, if the United States were to act with full allied support and the backing of the United Nations Security Council. A majority would be opposed should this country act without the support of the UN and had no more than one or two allies. People worry about the impact of the United States' taking military action against Iraq. More than half in the poll, 54%, said they expect it would cause serious divisions with allies. And more than two-thirds thought it would cause serious problems throughout the Arab countries and would cause Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to use biological or chemical weapons against Israel. The poll of 1,002 adults was taken Jan. 16-17. canoe.ca

Nothing Conservative About It January 20, 2003 J.G. Schwam One of the hallmarks of the GOP is their position as so called fiscal conservatives. White House budget director Mitch Daniels released a statement that indicated the federal budget deficit would likely balloon to $300 billion by next year. This unprecedented level of deficit spending is a backhanded slap in the face of every conservative voter that voted for Bush based on his stand as a fiscal conservative. The Bush White House is demonstrating daily its inability or unwillingness to act responsibly with the public coffers. fp.enter.net

January 19, 2003 On January 18, 2003 the world saw the American people stand up and make their voices heard. For the first time on this earth all of the nations were united in one idea, to stop this mad Bush war.
   In spite of the corporate media blackout of the true size and importance of the world wide protests and the manufactured poll data claiming 87% support for Bush's war, the fact is that this anti-war protest broke all records. The protest in DC had over a half a million, the San Francisco protest a quarter million, and there were hundreds of lesser protests that will go unmentioned.
   Now the world knows that the US government no longer speaks for the American people. Bush and his chicken hawks have lost what ever remained of the illusion of public support they once enjoyed.
   Where were the 87% who support the war? Pro-war 'Free Republic' managed to scrape up 400 people to protest in favor of the war in DC. 400 amounts to less than 1% of 500,000, proving resoundingly that media poll data is crap.
   On the fateful day that Bush drags the world kicking and screaming into this terrible war, we turn our backs on all that made us great, all that we stood for, our democratic principals. We can no longer say that we hold any value in freedom or have any respect for the rule of law. We will be as rogue a state as has ever existed on the earth.
   Other nations which have attempted to dominate the world militarily have failed and their peoples and their countries were decimated, never again to achieve their former greatness.
   Our Government, against the will of the American people and the world, is choosing to enter another nation completely unprovoked and take what is theirs, their oil. This will be seen as criminal aggression. In the middle eastern world it will be seen as a direct and unprovoked attack. This violent act of greed and power by one man and his regime will serve to unite some five hundred million Muslims in their hatred of America. Editor

LIES TO OUR MILITARY January 19, 2003 by Dan Dvorak When Bush told the troops that they would have to make a sacrifice, he wasn't just whistling Dixie Now it comes out that from Gulf I there are over 100,000 casualties of some strange sickness that totally incapacitates you, FOREVER. It takes six months to see a VA doctor, and new cuts in the budget are going to make VA services not available to anyone who can afford to pay for medical help. There is set in place a maximum wage the veterans can earn before they qualify to wait 6 months to see a doctor about something the government says doesn't exist. thepeoplesvoice.org

Nation rallies for peace Tens of thousands in S.F. demand Bush abandon war plans January 19, 2003 From San Francisco to Washington, D.C., from Paris to Tokyo, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the world's streets Saturday to protest potential military action against Iraq by the Bush administration and its allies. In Washington, where temperatures hovered in the mid-20s, as many as 500,000 protesters rallied outside the Capitol, while in San Francisco tens of thousands of peace activists marched up Market Street from the Ferry Building to City Hall. With the Pentagon stepping up military preparations, including ordering more aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf, thousands of demonstrators in cities from Moscow to London to Cairo called on the Bush administration to find a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis. The rallies drew people of all ages, races, religious denominations and political persuasions -- many of them saying that this was their first protest. sfgate.com

White House Cutting $10 Billion in Appropriations for Poverty and Other Programs While Promoting a $670 Billion Tax Cut January 18, 2003 By U.S. Newswire WASHINGTON, Following is a statement by Robert Greenstein and Richard Kogan of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP): Cutting $10 Billion in Appropriations for Poverty and Other Programs While Promoting a $670 Billion Tax Cut: Does This Represent Fiscal Discipline and Balanced Policy? The omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2003 that the Senate is now considering contains a series of cuts that would adversely affect workers hard hit by the economic downturn, low-income elderly and disabled individuals and low-income children, and states, which are facing their worst fiscal crisis in 50 years. thepeoplesvoice.org

Peace activists ready worldwide rallies to protest Bush war plans
2003-01-18 Associated Press Fearing war could start in weeks, protesters are massing in Washington, San Francisco and several other cities around the world to press for a peaceful resolution to the crisis with Iraq and an end to U.S.' own weapons of mass destruction. The weekend demonstrations coincide with America's military buildup in the Gulf region and a time of remembrance for the nonviolent struggle embodied by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday Monday is a U.S. national holiday. As U.S. military personnel ship out, protesters are packing Washington-bound buses and organizing local marches and vigils from Tampa, Florida, to San Francisco. "We are attacking a poor country that has enough problems," said Al Svitesic, a retired pile driver and World War II veteran who will be rallying in Pittsburgh next week. "It is unjust." Anti-war rallies are also planned in Toronto, Brussels and Tokyo. In Germany, activists have called protests today in Hamburg, Cologne and in front of U.S. Army Europe headquarters in Heidelberg. etaiwannews.com

Bush assails medical lawsuits January 17, 2003 The issue polarizes two of the nation's largest and best-funded lobbies -- physicians, with whom the White House has aligned, and trial lawyers, whom Bush repeatedly has demonized. One trial lawyer who wants Bush's job challenged his diagnosis. "The truth is the insurance industry has done poorly in the market and is simply passing those costs on to doctors and patients," said Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., He accused Bush of "once again standing with his insider friends in the insurance industry and standing against seriously injured children and families." Last fall, legislation proposing a $250,000 cap on damages for pain and suffering in malpractice cases passed the House of Representatives but died in the Democrat-led Senate. The president praised that legislation Thursday, calling on Congress to take up the issue again. This time, Bush has a key ally in Senate Republican leader Bill Frist, himself a physician, and a GOP majority in the Senate. thestate.com

Bush to let states limit Medicaid Critics of reversal say it would 'undermine access to essential emergency services' for children, elderly and disabled January 17, 2003 NEW YORK TIMES The Bush administration, in a reversal, has ruled that managed care organizations can limit and restrict coverage of emergency services for poor people on Medicaid. The new policy, disclosed in a recent letter to state Medicaid directors, appears to roll back standards established in a 1997 law and in rules issued by the Clinton administration, in January 2001, and by the Bush administration itself, in June 2002. Under the 1997 law, states can require Medicaid recipients to enroll in health maintenance organizations or other types of managed care. But certain safeguards for patients were built into that law. Congress, for example, stipulated that managed care organizations had to provide coverage for Medicaid patients in any situation that a "prudent layperson" would regard as an emergency. But now the Bush administration has decided that states can place limits on coverage of such emergency services. bayarea.com

US blocks cheap drugs for undeveloped world 17 January 2003 By Barry Mason World Trade Organization (WTO) talks on the provision of generic drugs to underdeveloped countries broke down as the United States, on behalf of the major pharmaceutical companies, blocked agreement at the last minute. The deadline for an accord was supposed to be December 21, 2002—one year after the WTO Ministerial Conference meeting at Doha, Qatar had issued its “Declaration on Trade-Related Intellectual Property (TRIPS) and Public Health”. wsws.org

Bush cuts into green laws by stealth Regulation changes favor party's industrial backers January 17, 2003 Julian Borger The White House is quickly but quietly undermining environmental protection laws with dozens of small administrative changes in favour of landowners and corporations, according to a report yesterday. While the US rejection of the Kyoto treaty on global warming focused world attention on President Bush's environmental policies, many of the administrative changes have gone almost unnoticed, although they may have just as much impact. Last week, the environmental protection agency (EPA) announced it would review how many US streams and marshes it would continue to protect. Small isolated streams and ponds which dry up in hot weather - up to 60% of the formerly protected habitat - might be excluded. guardian.co.uk

Different kind of 'bias' benefited president January 17, 2003 BY DEBRA PICKETT I've been counting and, so far, have come up with exactly one thing I have in common with President Bush: We both went to Ivy League schools, the same ones our fathers did. Which makes us beneficiaries of one of the coziest little affirmative action programs this fine country has to offer. Bush stopped short of actually uttering the words "affirmative action" when he got us all talking about this Wednesday. Instead, he kept to the specifics of the University of Michigan admissions formulas that are the subject of a case now before the Supreme Court, calling them "divisive, unfair and impossible to square with the Constitution." He didn't mention anything about the whole deal with Ivy League alumni kids. Bush was a C student. His SAT score, 1206 out of a possible 1600, while above the national average, was well below average for Yale's class of 1968. He got in primarily because he was a "legacy," the son of an alumnus. This might sound divisive and unfair, especially if you are, let's say, a very smart kid whose parents didn't go to Yale, but it does square with the Constitution, because Yale, like the University of Pennsylvania, where I went to school, is a private institution. suntimes.com

National Sanctity of Life Day January 17, 2003 By John Chuckman (YellowTimes.org) – President Bush has declared National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I should be forgiven for greeting the news with cynicism, but at least they included the word "national" in the title. The list of examples demonstrating how life is regarded by Americans with considerably less than sanctity outside their national borders is painfully long. There is eloquent testimony in the flesh of tens of thousands of innocent peasants ripped by metal shards of American landmines and cluster bombs in a dozen far-off lands. There is America's wanton disregard of Israel's brutal rule over the Palestinians; its years of wanton disregard of South Africa's brutal apartheid government; and its years of wanton disregard of official murder and torture in Chile, in Iran, and in a dozen other lands with governments bestowed by America's hysterical, witch-hunting interventions. yellowtimes.com

Bush Is Racking Up “Frequent Liar Miles” 01/17/03 Dennis Hans  Lyndon Johnson is remembered for lying about Vietnam, Richard Nixon for lying about Watergate, Bill Clinton for lying about adultery. George W. Bush is known as a “straight shooter.” What’s wrong with that picture? Bush has, after all, racked up more “frequent liar miles” than any other politician in recent memory. Not familiar with “frequent liar miles”? I coined the expression to pay tribute to the staying power of Bush’s lies. After all, a lie is of no use to the teller if it is promptly branded a lie and the teller a liar. Not only does he not benefit from the lie, his now-tarnished image makes it more difficult to get anyone to believe subsequent lies. fp.enter.net

The United States of America has gone mad January 17, 2003 Last Friday a friend of mine in California drove to his local supermarket with a sticker on his car saying: “Peace is also Patriotic”. It was gone by the time he’d finished shopping. timesonline.co.uk

The Fight for the Future of Music January 17, 2003 America stands on the cusp of a sweeping set of shifts in federal media ownership rules that could dramatically alter the nature of what we see, hear and read, warns Federal Commications Commission member Jonathan S. Adelstein. Dialogue and debate about these proposed changes must be ramped up quickly if the public interest is to be protected. thenation.com

HUNDRED YEAR WAR January 17, 2003 We're beginning what could be a hundred-years war if we don't change our policy. I don't think a lot of people, particularly in Washington, particularly in places in the White House, fully understand the dangers of going to a full-scale war. workingforchange.com

Yes, Gore DID Win! January 17, 2003 Scads and scads of information detailing the Gore victory and the Bush coup! legitgov.org

Big Oil and James Baker target Western Sahara January 17, 2003 In the midst of America's international campaign against terrorism, the Bush administration is permitting Big Oil to legitimize the illegal occupation of an invaded country–Western Sahara. onlinejournal.com

Security, secrecy and a Bush brother January 17, 2003 A company that provided security at the World Trade Center, Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport and United Airlines between 1995 and 2001 was backed by a private Kuwaiti-American investment firm, whose records were not open to full public disclosure, with ties to the Bush family. onlinejournal.com

Tech Stocks Continue to Slide in Early-Afternoon Trade Dow Jones January 17, 2003 NEW YORK -- Technology shares fell sharply Friday amid disappointment in earnings reports from industry titans Microsoft and International Business Machines. quicken.com

Couple held in terror plot on word of witness seen as unreliable January 16, 2003 Sheila MacVicar HEIDELBERG, Germany (CNN) -- An American woman and her fiance arrested this past September on suspicion of plotting to blow up a U.S. Army base in Germany are still being held in prison, largely on the word of a witness discredited by others who knew her. Astrid Eyzaguirre, a U.S. citizen, and her German-born Turkish fiance, Osman Pekmezci, were arrested September 5, 2002 after the witness, herself a young American woman, told authorities the two were making explosives in their suburban apartment and planning an attack on the military base -- headquarters for the U.S. Army in Europe -- on the anniversary of September 11. No charges have been brought against either Eyzaguirre or Pekmezci, but are expected soon. The prosecution has indicated the two will be charged with terrorist-related offenses. At the time of the police raid of the couple's apartment, German officials announced that five pipe bombs, and chemicals to make explosives had been found. But police documents obtained by CNN, detailing the search, show no pipe bombs were found. And a forensic analysis of chemicals found in the apartment carried out by the German prosecution and seen by CNN states that construction of a bomb would not have been possible. The forensic analysis of the chemicals shows the fertilizer found was not suitable for use in bomb-making. cnn.com

Groups Denounce Bush Decision to Keep Media from Appearance at Hospital with Malpractice Record NEW YORK, Jan. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Consumer groups are denouncing President Bush's last-minute decision to close to the press his visit to Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Pa. on January 16, 2003. The Mercy Hospital System has recently been the subject of a notorious malpractice case at its Wilkes Barre facility, for which the CEO has publicly apologized. Bush is later expected to call for severe limits on the legal rights of children, seniors and others injured by medical malpractice. usnewswire.com

The Biggest Threat To Peace
January 16, 2003 Which country really poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003? TIME asks for readers' views. Who really poses the greatest danger to world peace?  Washington and Pyongyang are talking tough but is the biggest danger to peace closer to home? European antagonism towards Bush's robust stance is now being mirrored in the U.S., with even those he might normally consider his allies now urging caution. So TIME asks you: which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003? Click here to vote and find out the answer

Senate GOP is after Arctic oil again January 16, 2003 By H. Josef Hebert Leaders have plan to bypass chance of filibuster, which killed last bill. Senate Republicans intend to push anew to open an Arctic wildlife refuge to oil drilling, this time using a legislative procedure that would prevent Democrats from blocking their move with fewer than 50 votes. Attempts to lift the ban on oil development in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were thwarted last year when Democrats vowed a filibuster against the measure, meaning 60 votes would be needed to get the legislation through. sanmateocountytimes.com

Angelides says Bush plan will cost taxpayers billions January 16, 2003 By eliminating taxes on stock dividends, President Bush's tax relief plan would end up costing California taxpayers up to $17 billion in higher bond interest payments over 10 years, state Treasurer Phil Angelides said Wednesday. If investors didn't have to pay federal taxes on private stock earnings, Angelides said, they would find tax-free public bonds less attractive, which could drive up borrowing costs for schools, parks and transit. Angelides also said the proposed dividend earnings tax cut could reduce the state's borrowing capacity over the next 10 years by $9.3 billion -- the equivalent of building nearly 1,000 elementary schools. As he released one of the nation's first state analyses of the Bush plan, Angelides predicted that nationally across 10 years it could cost local and state governments up to $155 billion in higher borrowing costs.''There is no question we will enter an era if this plan is passed, where interest rates for municipal bonds will be driven up as we compete for investors with America's corporations,'' Angelides said. montereyherald.com

“Big Brother” is No Longer a Fiction, ACLU Warns in New Report January 16, 2003 The United States has now reached the point where a total “surveillance society” has become a realistic possibility, the American Civil Liberties Union warned in a report being released today. “Many people still do not grasp that Big Brother surveillance is no longer the stuff of books and movies,” said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program and a co-author of the report. “Given the capabilities of today’s technology, the only thing protecting us from a full-fledged surveillance society are the legal and political institutions we have inherited as Americans,” he added. “Unfortunately, the September 11 attacks have led some to embrace the fallacy that weakening the Constitution will strengthen America.” aclu.org

Observations On The Cusp Of Armageddon January 15, 2003 Tony Blair's support for George W Bush's reckless "moral" War For Oil in Iraq is not, to update an old Broadway expression, "playing in Yorkshire". In my previous article, Blair Bends Over Backwards, I related to you my disgust with his poodle-like willingness to go along with the Bush Administration's war plans. Well, since then, he's backed down a bit. Ninety seven percent of the British public think that Blair is too close to Bush and the backlash is growing. Simply put, the vast majority of Britons oppose any war in Iraq. Many people are increasingly sceptical about the propaganda being forwarded as a pretext for war. International Development Secretary Clare Short has come out against the war and has charged Blair with the duty of stopping Bush in his tracks. Politically, Mr. Blair is in trouble, and now he's suddenly scrambling to achieve a nonmilitary solution by having talks with Bush. Good luck Tony. You see, Dubya and his handlers don't give a damn what the citizens of the U.S. think, let alone "foreigners". members.shaw.ca

The United States of America has gone mad January 15, 2003 America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press. timesonline.co.uk

RecommendedThe Weeks of Crisis Before Us January 15, 2003 by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. For a PDF Version of this Release Click Here. We have reached the point at which the institutions of the states of the Americas and Europe will either end their hysterical denials of economic reality, or those nations which have not already plunged into an already accelerating process of disintegration will begin to do so very soon.  The statistic left hanging on the drooping Christmas trees sends a simple, plain message. The world in general has now been plunged already into the greatest economic depression since 1929-1932.  Up to now, the Congress and Presidency have shown no interest in any actually competent measures for dealing with that reality. larouchein2004.net

The Bush Tax Sham January 15, 2003 by Roger Hickey On January 7 George W. Bush went to the Economic Club of Chicago to preview what he has been calling his "jobs and economic growth package," which he will formally present in his State of the Union address later this month. The Bush plan repackages old proposals to aid the wealthy (accelerate some of the tax cuts for the rich already passed) and newly fashionable ones (exclude dividend income from taxation), while throwing the rest of us only a few small sops like increasing the childcare credit and finally supporting extension of unemployment benefits to workers whose benefits recently ran out. Bush and his advisers are clearly attempting another neat bait-and-switch: providing more giveaways to the wealthy and corporations over future decades but selling the package as a quick economic stimulus that will help working Americans find jobs and economic security. The Bush economic proposals are a sham. They make the tax system more unfair, they starve the public sector of resources for needed public investment and they will not revive growth, spur corporate investment or create jobs. thenation.com

The Pentagon Mindset: Poison Them! January 15, 2003 Deep inside the sixth of eight glowing articles in its series "10 Days in September" about what wonderful crisis managers George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice are, The Washington Post on February 1 buried the following bit of information: The Pentagon was considering poisoning Afghanistan's food supply. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld prepared a briefing for Bush on September 17, Bob Woodward and Dan Balz reported. Rice, head of the National Security Council, "and Frank Miller, the senior NSC staffer for defense, went with the President to the Pentagon. "One slide about special operations in Afghanistan said: Thinking Outside the Box--Poisoning Food Supply. Miller showed it to Rice. Miller reminded her, It would effectively be a chemical or biological attack--clearly banned by treaties that the United States had signed, including the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The Secretary of Defense wanted to propose to the President that he poison Afghanistan's food supply! progressive.org

THE KING HAS NO CLOTHES: BUT SAYING SO MIGHT LAND YOU IN PRISON January 14, 2003 By: Paul Joseph Watson The hallmark of an effective dictatorship, whether that be Stalinist Russia or Hitler’s Germany, is the wholesale silencing of the opposing voice. Criticism of the government must be eliminated because the foundation of despots crumbles when their authority is questioned in a sober and educated manner. For those of us who don’t live in countries like China or Zimbabwe, a benchmark of how healthy our freedoms are is to judge how our government reacts to criticism. We should therefore be alarmed that a growing pretext is being set whereby it is either illegal or an act of political suicide to criticize President Bush. thepeoplesvoice.org

Iraq links cancers to uranium weapons U.S. likely to use arms again in war January 14, 2003 by Robert Collier Baghdad Something is killing the children in Dr. Emad Wisam's hospital ward, and filling it up again and again with more sick and dying kids. Walking a visitor through the halls of Al Mansour Children's Hospital in Baghdad last weekend, Wisam stopped briefly at his small patients' bedsides to commiserate.
After checking 5-year-old Nur Abdullah, who has a tumor in his throat, Wisam turned away with a pained look in his eyes. "He will die soon," he said. "Most of these kids will die. And there's almost nothing we can do." Iraq has experienced a dramatic increase in child cancers, leukemia and birth defects in recent years. Wisam, Iraqi medical authorities and growing numbers of American activists cast blame on the U.S. weapons containing depleted uranium that were used in the 1991 Gulf War and in the 1998 missile attacks on Baghdad and other major cities. They also assert that such munitions -- which were also used by U.S. forces in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia in far smaller quantities -- may be a cause of Gulf War diseases, elusive maladies that have affected 50,000 to 80,000 U.S. veterans of the 1991 conflict. The Pentagon says studies it has sponsored have found no evidence that depleted uranium, known as DU, causes serious illnesses. sfgate.com

Bush's job approval lowest since 9/11 January 13, 2003 By Richard Benedetto and Susan President Bush's job approval rating as he nears the middle of his term has dropped below 60% for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll has found. The number reflects a rising uncertainty about a sluggish economy and the prospects of conflict with Iraq and North Korea. The dip in Bush's rating to 58% from 63% last week is within the survey's margin of error of +/-3 percentage points, but it marks a steady decline in his approval numbers. usatoday.com

UN report details humanitarian disaster expected from war vs. Iraq 13 January 2003 By Chris Talbot A United Nations report marked “Strictly Confidential” and dated December 10, 2002, spells out in harrowing detail the likely humanitarian consequences of US-led war against Iraq. Compiled by UN planners, the report makes clear that unlike the attack on Iraq in 1991, which it describes as a “relatively short, aerial bombardment of infrastructure, towns and cities”, the western powers are now planning “potentially a large scale and protracted ground offensive, supported by aerial and conventional bombardment.” Consequently, the potential devastation will be far greater than in 1991, it reports. Whereas a majority of the population of 26.5 million at that time had family members in work and access to cash and material assets, this is no longer the case. The result will be unimaginably dire in a situation where the infrastructure on which the population are so dependent for government supplies—electricity network, railway system, roads, bridges and ports—will be, in the report’s terminology, “seriously degraded”. wsws. 

Tens of Thousands Oppose Bush's Wars in LA, Twin Cities, Chicago
13 January 2003 The march and rally on Saturday, January 11 in Los Angeles was the largest anti-war demonstration in Southern California in decades. Non-LAPD crowd estimates range from 15,000 to as high as 45,000. The mid-day march stretched ten city blocks in downtown LA. In sharp contrast to Northern California, the Los Angeles area has never been known as one of the centers of American activism. While this has begun to change in recent years (e.g., the Justice for Janitors struggle in the late 1990s, and then the D2K mobilizations), SoCal still lags behind its northen neighbors. Thus Saturday's massive demo, the largest in the US since October 26, suggests the movement to stop the war on Iraq is growing exponentially. indymedia.org

Establishing the New Resistance to regain America January 12, 2003 By Bev Conover Online Journal Editor & Publisher — With the reign of terror George W. Bush has unleashed on the US, the war he is chomping at the bit to wage against Iraq and his ongoing destruction of the US economy, this is no time for deluding ourselves that the Democrats will prove to be our saviors. Only we still have it within our power to save ourselves from the corporations and their illegitimate regime in the White House, but time is running out. Our only hope is to become the New Resistance, toss away the conventional wisdom, turn a deaf ear to the propaganda that emanates from the corporate media and think outside the box. And by the New Resistance, I am not necessarily referring to organizing large, formal groups. Such groups tend to devolve into ego trips, power plays and turf wars. Let the New Resistance be a guerilla movement of individuals and small groups—friends, family, neighbors—all with the same goal of regaining the country and rebuilding it into the nation Madison, Jefferson and others envisioned: onlinejournal.como 

US: 101,000 jobs lost in December 11 January 2003 By David Walsh The US economy continued to hemorrhage jobs in December, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported January 10 that employment declined by 101,000 during the month. While the official unemployment rate remained at 6 percent, analysts had predicted a growth of 20,000 to 30,000 jobs and were surprised by the figures. US bond prices jumped on the report and the dollar sank to a three-year low against the euro. The employment loss was the largest single-month total since February 2002, when 165,000 jobs were slashed. The BLS revised its latest report to show a decline of 88,000 jobs cut in November, as opposed to the 40,000 initially reported. The US economy eliminated 185,000 jobs in 2002 as a whole. wsws.org

Senate to Repeal Law Shielding Drug Giants January 11, 2003 By Helen Dewar Frist Makes Deal With 3 GOP Moderates  Senate Republican leaders agreed yesterday to repeal controversial language approved last year to help shield pharmaceutical giants such as Eli Lilly and Co. from multibillion-dollar lawsuits in which parents allege that a vaccine preservative caused autism in their children. The agreement covers two other hotly contested proposals that had been tucked into legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. It was crafted by three GOP moderates in negotiation with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and other party leaders. www.washingtonpost.com

Key GOP Senators Object to Bush Plan President Has Harder Sell on Tax Package January 11, 2003 By Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei Key Republican senators are raising objections to President Bush's $670 billion tax cut proposal, an early sign that the White House will face a tougher fight than it did on two previous rounds of tax reductions. Although the president and his aides have signaled they intend to fight fiercely, at least five GOP senators have now voiced serious doubts about Bush's plan, especially the centerpiece elimination of the dividend tax. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said yesterday, "we may not be able to sell it." washingtonpost.com

SAVE THE BILL OF RIGHTS CAMPAIGN January 10, 2003 Drafted by Daniel V. Dvorak Resolution Title: Waldo FloridaLiberty Preservation Resolution. Summary: Resolution to Oppose the USA Patriot Act, Homeland Security's Activation of NORTHCOM, the Designation of the United States as a Nation under Military Law under the NORTHCOM, and Related Unconstitutional Executive Orders and Presidential Decision Directives. WHEREAS, the City of Waldo was founded and exists according to the laws of the Florida State Constitution and the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, both of which guarantee the citizenry the protection of the unalienable rights granted them by their Creator; and WHEREAS, the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights and the Florida State Constitution guarantee all persons living in the United States these inviolate rights including - freedom of speech; freedom of religion, assembly and petition; the right of privacy under the Fourth Amendment protecting the population from unreasonable searches and seizures; due process and equal protection to all people; equity before the law and the presumption of innocence; the right to hear the charges against you and to face your accuser; access to council and judicial proceedings; and the right to a fair, speedy and public trial; thepeoplesvoice.org

Bush school law worries Quakers PRIVACY: January 10, 2003 Parents can keep names from recruiters, group says. The Associated Press Juneau -- A Quaker organization wants the Juneau School District to tell parents about their right to opt out of a portion of the No Child Left Behind Act. The group, Juneau Friends Meeting, is concerned about a portion of the sweeping law that requires schools to give out the names and contact information on students. They want the district to inform parents of their right to keep the information private. The law allows parents to opt out of the provisions and keep the information from recruiters. "The concern is that there has been a very strong military presence generally in the schools, and the School District has been required by its own policies to keep student information confidential. This new law kind of overrides that," said Amy Paige, a member of the group. No Child Left Behind was promoted by President Bush and passed into law last year. The law establishes new accountability measures that include yearly testing of students and allows students to transfer from substandard schools. The act also requires public and private high schools to turn over names, telephone numbers and addresses of all students to recruiters. With the information, recruiters can make unsolicited calls, send literature and visit homes without a parent's initial consent. adn.com

Americans may be held as 'enemy combatants,' January 9, 2003 Appeals court rules welcomes Government ruling upholding presidential power RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) -- A federal appeals court Wednesday ruled President Bush has the authority to designate U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants" and detain them in military custody if they are deemed a threat to national security. Judicial review does not disappear during wartime but the review of battlefield captures in overseas conflicts is a highly deferential one," said the opinion of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling reverses a lower court decision ordering the government to produce more information to defend its holding of Yaser Hamdi, a U.S. citizen accused of fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and dismisses the complaint of his attorneys. The appeals court ruling was immediately hailed by the government. "I applaud today's decision, which reaffirms the president's authority" said Attorney General John Ashcroft. cnn.com

Bush Cuts $300 Million to Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, But Provides Billions in Tax Breaks for the Rich January 8, 2003 Congressman urges Bush not to abandon Vermonters this winter. Burlington, VT – Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a letter sent today urged President Bush to restore the $300 million that the Bush Administration has cut from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and to immediately release an additional $300 million in available emergency LIHEAP funding. Sanders said, “Cutting heating assistance by $300 million and not releasing emergency LIHEAP funds that Congress has provided exposes once again the sham of this so-called 'compassionate' conservative agenda. Apparently, the President’s compassion does not extend to the thousands of Vermonters, including many senior citizens, who rely on LIHEAP to keep warm in the winter. In the richest country on earth, it is a disgrace that there seems to be enough money for tax breaks to billionaires, but not enough to help people with their heating bills” bernie.house.gov



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