JANUARY 25-21, 03 Archives

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HOW MANY BODY BAGS DID THE BUSH WAR PARTY ORDER? 25 January 2003 By GemstoneFileHistory We hear a lot about the 250,000 men who are being dragged away from their lives to "give their all" for the multi-billionaire hell-hound Multinational Corporations. (From the media, and on a more personal level, from their wives, husbands, parents and grandparents who don't seem to be at all pleased.) And we hear about the huge Hospital ship, "COMFORT," now floating around somewhere between the Indian Sea and Oman, like a big white Chiclet in a turquoise sea--(the perfect target for a missile from any number of surrounding countries who would like it to go home), with its many beds and up-to-date operating rooms for the wounded. And we know there are countless attack planes, bombers, monstrous helicopters, armed drones, smart and dumb and moronic (but all deadly) bombs, with even more nuclear waste packed in for devastating good measure; humvees, microwave weapons with adjustable muzzles that can instantaneously fry anything from a squirrel to a building leaving a smear of burnt flesh or oil, or a pile of rubble; and guns, guns, guns, small and large, and no doubt today's equivalent of napalm, plus numberless "secret weapons" to be tried out on living flesh declared to be the enemies of the United States (and all this crap done in our name!) But I would like to know how many Body Bags the Bush/Rumsfeld "Republican" War Party has ordered, to be filled from the ranks of the "soldiers," most of whom have never experienced real combat and who now are being sent to engage with an armed and experienced army desperate to protect themselves and their country from a foreign invasion. rumormillnews.com

When will we resist? January 25, 2003 Edward Said: The US is preparing to attack the Arab world, while the Arabs whimper in submission. One opens the New York Times on a daily basis to read the most recent article about the preparations for war that are taking place in the United States. Another battalion, one more set of aircraft carriers and cruisers, an ever-increasing number of aircraft, new contingents of officers are being moved to the Persian Gulf area. An enormous, deliberately intimidating force is being built up by America overseas, while inside the country, economic and social bad news multiply with a joint relentlessness. The huge capitalist machine seems to be faltering, even as it grinds down the vast majority of citizens. None the less, George Bush proposes another large tax cut for the 1% of the population that is comparatively rich. The public education system is in crisis and health insurance for 50 million Americans simply does not exist. Israel asks for $15bn in additional loan guarantees and military aid. And the unemployment rates in the US mount inexorably, as more jobs are lost every day. Nevertheless, preparations for an unimaginably costly war continue without either public approval guardian.co.uk

Dollar Plumbs to New 3-Year Low Vs. Euro January 15, 2003 By Burton Frierson LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar dredged a new three-year low against the euro and a four-month low against the yen on Tuesday as investors fretted over U.S. retail sales data due at 8:30 a.m. EST. The market has conditioned itself to disappointment after Friday's shock fall in U.S. payrolls data, which darkened the outlook for the economy and punished a dollar already weakened by tensions with Iraq and North Korea. washingtonpost.com

For Love Of Country 01/25/03 By: Rebecca Knight What makes them do it? What is their motivation? Why would average hard-working American citizens turn to activism, devote hours upon hours of their time pursuing causes for change in government, travel hundreds of miles, expose themselves to the elements, make signs of protest, and walk miles with thousands of others? There can be only one answer. They do it for love of country! Love of country is currently on display in immeasurable ways. Hundreds of thousands protested for peace and against the Bush administration push for war with Iraq last Saturday throughout the nation. Internet activism is raging throughout the land. People are coming together in unprecedented numbers and by unprecedented means to oppose what they consider to be a gradual destruction of American values and an erosion of American civil liberties by the Bush administration. Blessed are those Americans who take a stand and say enough is enough! enter.net

Europe's declaration of independence Jan. 25, 2003 By Noah Sudarsky | PARIS -- Frustrated with the warmongering and arrogance of the Bush White House, Germany and France are making a historic break with the U.S. Relations may never be the same. As American and British forces continue to flock to the Persian Gulf, a stunning global rift is reaching historic proportions. Not since the end of WWII has Germany, one of America's staunchest allies, refused to support the U.S. on a major foreign policy issue. And now, France, which was instrumental in defining the terms of United Nations Resolution 1441, has opted to join the ranks of the "refusal camp," as it is being called here. Both countries in recent days reiterated that they would block the U.S. request for military and logistical support from NATO to prepare for a war with Iraq. Unthinkable a decade ago, such a move could be a sign that old alliances are in for a profound change. salon.com

US interrogators turn to 'torture lite' January 25, 2003 Duncan Campbell The second half of our investigation finds America bending the rules in the wake of September 11. The United States is condoning the torture and illegal interrogation of prisoners held in the wake of September 11, in defiance of international law and its own constitution, according to lawyers, former US intelligence officers and human rights groups. They claim prisoners have been beaten, hooded and had painkillers withheld. Some prisoners inside American penal institutions and detention camps have been subjected to interrogation techniques which do not leave injuries, but which lawyers consider to be abusive. Others have been sent to countries where electric shocks and more conventional forms of torture have been used, according to the claims. guardian.co.uk

World War Has Begun' January 25, 2003 by Paul Taylor Malaysia's Mahathir Assails U.S. at Davos Opening.  DAVOS, Switzerland - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told the United States on Thursday that "out-terrorising the terrorists will not work" and forecast a long period of war driven by hatred, revenge and greed. His warning jolted the opening session of the annual World Economic Forum of business and political leaders in Davos, at which Switzerland's president urged Washington not to launch a war against Iraq without United Nations authorisation.The mood at this year's gathering of the global economic and political elite was subdued by the triple shadow of economic uncertainty, corporate scandals and fear of a looming war. commondreams.org

The message from the Bush camp: 'It's war within weeks' January 24, 2003 · Washington now concentrating on timing · State of union address to 'turn up the heat' · Blair faces nightmare scenario over war decision Julian Borger in Washington, Ewen MacAskill and Simon Tisdall President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London. The US president is "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address on Tuesday."The pressure comes from President Bush and it is felt all the way down," a European official said. "They're talking about weeks, not months. Months is a banned word now." guardian.co.uk

Attack on Iraq not justified now, Canada says Jan 24, 2003 By David Ljunggren OTTAWA,  (Reuters) - The United States would have no justification for attacking Iraq now because U.N. inspectors have not had enough time to probe for weapons of mass destruction, Canada said on Thursday. Foreign Minister Bill Graham told CBC television he sided with France and Germany, which have both irritated Washington by insisting war must be the last option on the table. "I agree with the French and German analysis that at this particular time, we couldn't justify a war," he said. alertnet.org

U.S. Dismisses Growing Opposition to Iraq War January 24, 2003 By Steve Holland and Hassan Hafidh WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Washington shrugged off growing vocal opposition to a possible war on Iraq on Thursday as China and Russia joined key U.S. allies France, Germany and Canada in opposing any rush to war. They urged the United States to allow U.N. inspectors more time, while France said there was "a real chance" that Iraq could be disarmed by peaceful means. Washington dismissed the objections of its allies, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying Washington would find other supporters if it decided to go to war. asia.reuters.com

9-11 : The Shine Is Off The Right Wing Rose
January 24, 2003 R. B. Ham In hindsight, a year and so after the events on that Black Tuesday, that simple statement has borne out to be true. The far right has benefited enormously from 9-11. Every argument they use to condone their actions, whether it be the stifling of civil rights and the implementation of a police surveillance state, promoting racial profiling, increasing tax breaks for the rich at the expense of much needed public services, pushing for an aggressive"first strike" military doctrine, or any other right wing pet projects, always end up with 9-11 as being the basis for their justification. members.shaw.ca

Welcome to the Muscle Beach Party
January 24, 2003 A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL In the end the Bush Cartel is banking on making the kind of impression on the world that a thug makes with a baseball bat on a car. It's all about image and firepower. It's how the playground bully establishes himself. Pick the weakest guy in the school -- the one nobody likes much anyway -- and beat the living daylights out of him. Keep all the kids nervous and on edge. Let them think that you are a little bit mad and might just beat up on them for the fun of it. Tell them that you will protect them from the gang that lives in the next neighborhood in return for their loyalty. Make an example of anyone who challenges your leadership by denouncing them and bloodying them up. Establish a system of stool pigeons. Rummage through lockers, at your will, for any signs of betrayal. Issue warnings from time-to-time about how you have information that the other gang has plans to rape your mothers and sisters, and lay waste to your homes buzzflash.com

The INS runaround Jan. 24, 2003 By Laura McClure The immigration service's new registration plan is supposed to help fight terrorism. It's also locking people up without explanation. When the office computer at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) crashed during Mohsen Hashemi's interview on the afternoon of Dec. 16, 2002 -- two days after he'd first heard of a new program that, he thought, required him to register with the agency -- he was annoyed but unconcerned. He'd been a taxpaying Texan for the past 10 years, and he was not afraid to register. He was here legally, on "humanitarian parole" from Iran, and contributing to his community. The Italian restaurant he owned in Round Rock was small but surviving, and his daughters, 2 1/2 and 5, had been learning to speak Southern from birth. His wife, a Russian immigrant, had started studying for the U.S. citizenship exam that year. It was a good life, he thought, and he was grateful to the government who had allowed him to escape harm in Iran. So when the INS told him it had grown close to closing time that day and he would have to come back on Dec. 19, he didn't mind. He minded a little more when the computer connection to D.C. went down on that second visit too and he was again told to make the hour-and-a-half drive to return. For a routine process, this was taking a long time, he thought, but he willingly complied. And although on his third visit the computer did not crash, everything else in his world did. On Dec. 23, the San Antonio INS office revoked his humanitarian parole visa without explanation and led him away in handcuffs. That was the last his family heard of him for three days. He's been shuffled between INS-rented Texan jails ever since, though no one will tell him or his family why. salon.com

ACLU Blasts New Bush Policy Allowing Construction Of Religious Buildings With Taxpayer Dollars January 24, 2003 WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today criticized a federal policy change proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that will allow religious groups to use taxpayer dollars -- previously set aside to house single parents, the homeless and people with AIDS -- to finance the construction and renovation of their houses of worship. "This is probably the most clearly unconstitutional aspect of the White House's faith-based initiative that we've seen up to this point," said Christopher E. Anders, Legislative Counsel for the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. "What this does is take federal money that is serving the neediest of the needy in our society and diverts it to the bricks-and-mortar construction of churches and sanctuaries and other places of worship." aclu.org

Commutation of death sentences in Illinois deals blow to capital punishment
24 January 2003 By Kate Randall The decision by outgoing Illinois Governor George Ryan to void the death sentences of all of the state’s condemned prisoners has focused attention on the systemic injustice of capital punishment. On January 11, Ryan exercised his power under state law to carry out the largest commutation of death row prisoners in US history. The sentences of 163 men and 4 women were reduced to life in prison, except for three who received terms of 40 years imprisonment. The previous day, the governor granted full pardons to four other death row prisoners, based on overwhelming evidence that Chicago police had coerced false confessions from them through the use of physical torture. wsws.org

Beating the drums for justice: Calls for Bush's impeachment for 9–11 January 24, 2003 By Joyce Lynn Online Journal Contributing Writer The "I" word in connection with 9–11 has come out of the closet as activists and citizens call for impeachment of the Bush administration. A delegation of about 30 people on January 15 visited the office of Palo Alto Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Ca) urging her to introduce articles of impeachment against George W. Bush for his "crimes of 9–11." "The administration is lying to the American people and trying to cover-up the truth about 9–11," said organizer Carol Brouillet, a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. With local television cameras rolling, a staffer to Rep. Eshoo said she would relay the group's concerns. onlinejournal.com

FORT HOOD REPORT On this gigantic military base in Texas, something is boiling under the surface. January 24, 2003 Soldiers are refusing their vaccines. They are not being jailed ot forcibly inoculated. Some soldiers who did take their vaccines are sick. Two weeks before 9/11, all 60 gates at the facility were blocked with concrete barriers and barbed wire. Guard patrols were stepped up. stratiawire.com

A Traitor to Her Race Condoleezza Rice: the Devil's Handmaiden Jan. 24, 2003 by THE BLACK COMMENTATOR Noah thought he had it bad. For 41 days and 41 nights, the Republican Party rained down racial obscenity upon Black America, beginning with Trent Lott's December 5 birthday greeting to Strom Thurmond and climaxing on Martin Luther King's birthday, January 15, when George Bush declared the University of Michigan law school's affirmative action program unconstitutional. Bush capped off the holiday weekend with a visit to a Black church, where he tempted the congregation with faith-based favors. The Queen of the show, Condoleezza Rice, blew kisses to the crowd--an image that should be etched in memory, raising as it does the most profound challenge to historical Black political behavior. If we cannot be moved to revulsion by brazen acts of treason, then we cannot hope to exercise the power of a coherent political force. Condoleezza Rice is the purest expression of the race traitor. No polite description is possible. counterpunch.org

US: New attacks on Medicare and Medicaid 23 January 2003 By Peter Daniels In advance of President George Bush’s January 28 State of the Union address, the White House has leaked several proposals for the “reform” of the Medicare system of health care coverage for the elderly. These plans amount to the introduction of for-profit medicine into the Medicare system. As the New York Times acknowledged in its report on the plans, the changes “could eventually make Medicare look more like private insurance.” Medicare beneficiaries have never been covered for the cost of prescription drugs since the inauguration of the federal social insurance program in 1965. These costs have skyrocketed in recent years, forcing millions of retirees subsisting on meager Social Security benefits to choose between food and medicine. Now, facing growing calls for the inclusion of prescription drug coverage in Medicare, the White House is insisting that the price for even limited drug benefits must be major steps towards the dismantling of the present system. One of the proposals, for instance, would hold out the possibility that Medicare beneficiaries could get cash rebates if they enroll in private health plans instead of the current Medicare system wsws.org

Senate Rejects Bill for Research on Air Pollution; Approves Administration Measure That Will Increase Pollution
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 U.S. Newswire The newly elected Senate, in its first major environmental vote, today narrowly rejected an amendment to the omnibus appropriations bill that would have delayed implementation of a Bush administration rollback of Clean Air Act regulations that threatens to increase air pollution in national parks and surrounding communities. "This administration weakening the Clean Air Act, which in turn worsens air quality in our beleaguered national parks," said Thomas Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). "In this way, the administration is dismantling our strongest protections against the environmental and health risks of air pollution." usnewswire.com

American support for Bush and war starts to slide in poll January 23, 2003 Julian Borger US public support for the Bush presidency and war in Iraq is waning rapidly, according to a poll published yesterday. The poll, commissioned by the Washington Post and ABC News, found that nearly seven out of 10 Americans are in favour of giving inspectors months more to search Iraq before considering military action, in contrast to the Bush administration which says it is running out of patience. Only half of those questioned favoured Mr Bush's handling of the Iraqi crisis, down eight points in the space of a month, with 58% wanting to see more evidence that President Saddam was developing banned weapons, and 71% saying the US should make public its own evidence if the UN was unable to find any. guardian.co.uk

Role reversal: Bush wants war, Pentagon urges caution Jan 23, 2003 By DOUG THOMPSON Senior Pentagon officials are quietly urging President George W. Bush to slow down his headlong rush to war with Iraq, complaining the administration’s course of action represents too much of a shift of America’s longstanding “no first strike” policy and that the move could well result in conflicts with other Arab nations. “We have a dangerous role reversal here,” one Pentagon source tells Capitol Hill Blue. “The civilians are urging war and the uniformed officers are urging caution.” Capitol Hill Blue has learned the Joint Chiefs of Staff are split over plans to invade Iraq in the coming weeks. They have asked Secretary of State Donald Rumseld to urge Bush to back down from his hard line stance until United Nations weapons inspectors can finish their jobs and the U.S. can build a stronger coalition in the Middle East . “This is not Desert Storm,” one of the Joint Chiefs is reported to have told Rumseld. “We don’t have the backing of other Middle Eastern nations. We don’t have the backing of any of our allies except Britain and we’re advocating a policy that says we will invade another nation that is not currently attacking us or invading any of our allies.” capitolhillblue.com

Surveillance Plan Worries GOP Senator January 23, 2003 By Dan Eggen and Robert O'Harrow Jr. A senior Republican senator yesterday expressed concern that a Pentagon surveillance program could be used on U.S. citizens and may "have a chilling effect on civil liberties." In a letter to Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) alleged that the Justice Department and FBI are more extensively exploring the use of the Total Information Awareness program than they have previously acknowledged. washingtonpost.com

Israel to destroy hundreds more of Palestinian houses January 23, 2003 Al-Khalil, IRNA Flying in the face of the international law and encouraged by American silence and virtual apathy from the international community, the Zionsit regime said on Monday it would go ahead with destroying hundreds of homes and businesses in two Arab villages bordering an apartheid fence Israel is building inside the West Bank. According to Palestinian sources in the Northern West Bank town of Tulkarm, the Israeli occupation army has already notified the proprietors of more than 170 homes and businesses that the structures will be destroyed in a few days. Many of the homes and other buildings slated for destruction are at the villages of Nazlat Isa and Baqa al Gharbiaya, both located along the former armistice line between the West Bank and Israel. In addition to the homes, the Israeli army informed villagers in the area of its decision to confiscate thousands of hectares of their land ''for security reasons.'' Shocked by the Israeli decision, the villagers appealed to the international community, especially the European Union, to pressurize apartheid state to reconsider the draconian measure. One villager from Nazlat Isa, Mahmoud As'ad, opined that the wanton destruction of villagers' homes and business as well as the wild seizure of their land was only the first step of what he called ''a systematic Nazi-like campaign of ethnic cleansing.'' irna.com

TARGET: SCOTT RITTER The War Party gets ugly January 23, 2003 Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector who quit in 1998 and now says the U.S. is intent on manufacturing phony "evidence" of arms violations as a pretext for war, is the victim of what may be the sleaziest set-up job in recent history, a smearing so foul that it makes the Clinton crowd look like a bunch of amateurs. The news that he may have been arrested, in June 2001, as the result of an internet sex sting, in which an undercover cop posing as a sixteen-year-old girl lured him into "sex chat" over the internet, came to light in a very strange way. A local newspaper, the Daily Gazette, of Schenectady, New York, was first to pick up the dirt, which apparently came to light when an assistant district attorney was fired for settling the case and not informing the D.A. According to the Gazette: "Police and prosecutors have declined to discuss the case, which involved at least one class B misdemeanor, because it was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and ordered sealed by a Colonie Town Court justice. The Daily Gazette's request for access to the arrest report was denied by the Colonie town attorney's office, which ruled disclosure was barred under the state Freedom of Information Law." So the police just happened to conduct a "sex sting" operation against the one man who had exposed the lies of our war-mad rulers from the inside. On the eve of war, as hundreds of thousands protest in the streets, this staunch Republican and solid family man who has become one of the War Party's most formidable enemies is suddenly "exposed" as a child molester. antiwar.com

The New World Order Reality One World Government under the financial Elite January 23, 2003 This is not a recession, but a permanent systemic collapse of the global financial system -- and of the global physical economy -- which has been purposely imposed by private financiers -- through destruction of government owned and controlled banks by which governments could control credit and thus control their countries. The consequent imposing of unpayable debts by private bankers on governments, corporations, businesses and the average person via British policies of deregulation, free trade and speculation, have run up unpayable debts which are used for justification for looting the wealth from such countries via debt reparation. Utilized particularly is comparatively cheap labor in developing countries and countries with lower currency values; values which have been manipulated downwards for the purposeful collapse of such countries which can then be looted and pillaged of their wealth by being bought out cheaply for debt reparation under the elite financiers. Thus private financiers, chiefly under the Crown in Britain which represents the elite of not only Britain, and many who have called for -- and now have imposed the agenda of a worldwide conservative revolution for the return to feudalism; (that is where the top 5 per cent -- the elite -- control the remaining 95%) -- and who intend wiping out sovereign nation states and controlling their governments, have gained great power over nations, businesses and the ordinary person. All this as it now accelerates, it will unavoidably usher in a New New Dark age, as food production, agriculture, industry, transport, health care, education, emergency services, retirement benefits and all else on which human survival depends, inevitably evaporates...nex.net.au

Worst-case scenarios The economy is crumbling, the planet is heating up, war with Iraq looms Jan. 22, 2003 What if something REALLY goes wrong? Six nightmares for George Bush -- and everyone else. Two years into his presidency, on the eve of his second State of the Union address, almost exactly a year before the 2004 presidential primary season begins with the Iowa caucus, President Bush faces trouble everywhere he turns. War with Iraq seems inevitable even as crises in Venezuela and North Korea simmer, and al-Qaida remains menacing and elusive. On the domestic front, unemployment is still rising, the stock market continues to slump, budget deficits are climbing again -- and the president's only answer is a massive tax cut for the rich, while states and cities slash funds for public safety, healthcare and education. A broad spectrum of scientists agree that global warming is getting worse, but the administration insists the issue needs more study. salon.comf

The fiscal crisis Jan. 22, 2003 By Joan Walsh While Bush cuts taxes for the rich, states are cutting prosthetics for the poor. More than a million Americans will lose publicly funded healthcare. Crime-wracked Oakland, Calif., where the number of murders nearly doubled last year, is cutting millions from its police budget. Massachusetts won't pay for dentures, eyeglasses or prosthetics for low-income residents anymore. Oregon public schoolchildren will likely attend 15 fewer days of classes. Ohio and Kentucky are closing prisons. Illinois is slashing child-care funds for welfare families by half. The Fire Department of New York, formerly the heroes of 9/11 but now just another costly line item in the city's shrinking budget, is set to cut eight engine companies and reduce staffing on the remaining units from five firefighters to four. salon.com

Growing Income Disparity and the Middle Class Squeeze Our economy is marked by a very uneven distribution of wealth and income. Jan. 22, 2003 For example, it is estimated that 28% of the total net wealth is held by the richest 2% of families in the U.S. The top 10% holds 57% of the net wealth. If homes and other real estate are excluded, the concentration of ownership of financial wealth is even more glaring. In 1983, 54% of the total net financial assets were held by 2% of all families, those whose annual income is over $125,000. Eighty-six percent of these assets were held by the top 10% of all families (US Bishops Economic Justice 183, quoting 1983 Federal Reserve Board figures). justpeace.org

Poll suggests public growing increasingly cautious about Iraq as Bush administration pushes toward war January 22, 2003 The Associated Press A majority of Americans, 54 percent, say they fear the Bush administration will move too quickly to take military action against Iraq, according to a poll taken at a time administration officials are giving strong signals that war will be necessary to disarm Iraq. Nearly four in 10, 39 percent, said they are concerned the Bush administration will not move quickly enough, the poll by ABC News and The Washington Post found. Half said they are willing to give United Nations weapons inspectors at least a few more months to do their work. nj.com

Germany rules out Iraq war support Jan. 22, 2003 Germany has declared that it will not back war against Iraq, adding its concerns to the mounting reservations about military action within the United Nations Security Council. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder made his remarks at a public meeting of his SPD party, shortly after US President George Bush told Iraq that time was running out. news.bbc.co.uk

France hints it will block war on Iraq Jan. 22, 2003 Resistance in U.N. is big setback to U.S. Washington Post United Nations - France suggested Monday that it would wage a major diplomatic fight, perhaps including use of its veto power, to prevent the U.N. Security Council from passing a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. The opposition to war, which French Foreign Minister Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin emphatically delivered here, is a major blow for the Bush administration, which has begun pouring tens of thousands of troops into the Persian Gulf in preparation for a military conflict this spring. jsonline.com

Turkey warns against Iraq war Jan. 22, 2003 There is stiff Turkish resistance to hosting US troops Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of Turkey's governing party, has called for moderation in the US-led "war on terror" and for a peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis. Mr Erdogan's remarks came as Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis confirmed that Ankara would host a high-level regional meeting on Thursday to try to press for a peaceful conclusion to the brewing conflict on its border. bbc.co.uk

Kennedy Assails Bush Policies Democrats Are Urged to 'Stand Up and Speak Out' January 22, 2003 By Helen Dewar Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) yesterday lambasted the Bush administration's domestic and foreign policies as dangerously divisive, and warned Democrats that they will rebound at the polls only if they "stand up and speak out" for their core principles. washingtonpost.com

Mexico challenges US use of death penalty UN court to rule on fate of 51 Mexicans on Death Row
January 22, 2003 Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles  The use of the death penalty in the United States is to be challenged by a case brought by the Mexican government on behalf of 51 Mexicans awaiting execution in jails across the border. The case highlights the international unease about the US justice system that has intensified since the retiring governor of Illinois, George Ryan, commuted the sentences of nearly 170 Death Row inmates earlier this month. At the core of the case brought by Mexico this week in the international court of justice in the Hague is a claim that 51 Mexicans on Death Row in the US were not given the consular advice to which a foreigner arrested on a serious offence is entitled. The right, guaranteed by the 1963 Vienna convention on consular relations, protects foreign citizens unfamiliar with the legal system of the country where they have been arrested. guardian.co.uk

Our Biggest Campaign Ever (Yes, Ever) Jan. 22, 2003 The ACLU is mobilizing members and supporters nationwide to keep America "Safe and Free." The campaign includes a first for the organization -- paid TV advertising -- in an effort to safeguard the freedoms that Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Bush Administration have targeted since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. aclu.org

Blueprint for a US colonial regime in Baghdad
21 January 2003 By Peter Symonds As US troops pour into the Middle East for an imminent invasion of Iraq, Washington’s preparations for setting up a colonial-style regime in Baghdad have reached an equally advanced stage. The plans themselves are secret, but progress reports have been periodically leaked to the American media, partly because of sharp feuding within the Bush administration. A detailed account appeared in the Washington Post last Friday. While Bush has yet to give his final approval, “blueprints for Iraq’s future” have been drawn up which “outline a broad and protracted American role in managing the reconstruction of the country”. As the article indicated, behind the façade of a civilian government, Washington is preparing for a lengthy US military occupation. wsws.org

Stocks down; oil, gold get a boost
Most major equity markets lose ground as Iraq tensions remain; January 21, 2003 dollar dips to a new low vs. euro. : NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Japan led world stock markets lower in generally quiet trading Monday, while oil and gold prices inched higher on fresh concerns about a possible war with Iraq and the general strike in Venezuela. Volume was light in many countries as U.S. financial markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. money.cnn.com

Trade deficit up, as US economy turns down 21 January 2003 By Nick Beams A series of statistics released last week show a worsening in the international financial position of the US economy and underscore growing fears that it may be entering a new economic downturn. wsws.org

Bush plan gives huge tax break to buyers of big SUVs January 21, 2003 By David Kiley Buying big, luxurious sport-utility vehicles could cost a lot less under the Bush administration's economic stimulus proposal, even though a Bush appointee blasted SUVs last week as dangerous fuel hogs. Small businesses and the self-employed could deduct the entire cost, up to $75,000, from business income the year of the purchase. Normally it would be written off over several years, using a depreciation schedule. Deducting the entire cost in one year considerably reduces that year's taxable income, and income taxes. In some cases, it could result in paying no federal income tax. A similar deduction in the current tax code is limited to $25,000. Tripling that creates a much more alluring incentive at a time when SUVs are under fire for fuel consumption and safety concerns. usatoday.com

Telecom lobbyists fete Bush official
January 21,2003 10 days later, she urges policy change to benefit industry Jan. 21 WASHINGTON, The Bush administration’s point person for telecommunications policy allowed wireless phone company lobbyists to help pay for a private reception at her home and then 10 days later urged a policy change that benefited their industry, according to documents and interviews. msnbc.com

Message to America from the Racist Republican Regime January 21, 2003  Jackson Thoreau I’m a blond-haired, blue-eyed, middle-class, middle-aged white guy who has lived most of my life in Dallas, Tx., probably the country’s bastion of old-school racism. Because of my whitebread appearance, many white Republicans have felt comfortable enough around me during various times in my adult life to let their guard down and express their true feelings on matters of race. Big mistake. This column is part of my payback for having to endure all those sickening comments. It’s part of my payback for Republicans refusing to heed my responses that I don’t appreciate their racist comments and them acting like there’s something wrong with me because I don’t play along. I know from experience that Trent Lott is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to racism in the Republican Party...enter.net

January 21, 2003 Everyone likes to say, "Hitler did this", and, "Hitler did that". But the truth is Hitler did very little. He was a world class tyrant, but the evil actually done by the Third Reich, from the death camps to WW2 was all done by German citizens who were afraid to question if what they were told by their government was the truth or not, and who because they did not want to admit to themselves that they were afraid to question the government, refused to see the truth behind the Reichstag Fire, refused to see the invasion by Poland was a staged fake, and followed Hitler into national disaster. The German people of the late 1930s imagined themselves to be brave. They saw themselves as the heroic Germans depicted by the Wagnerian Operas, the descendants of the fierce Germanic warriors who had hunted wild boar with nothing but spears and who had defeated three of Rome's mightiest legions in the Tuetenberg Forest. But in truth, by the 1930s, the German people had become civilized and tamed, culturally obsessed with fine details in both science and society. Their self-image of bravery was both salve and slavery. Germans were required to behave as if they were brave, even when they were not. whatreallyhappened.com

Housewives had more sex
January 21, 2003 TELEVISION was a luxury, housework needed serious muscle and post-war rationing meant a shortage of almost everything at the shops. But for the housewives of the 1950s, one thing was always in plentiful supply. They apparently enjoyed much more active sex lives than the women of today. The Kinsey Institute, which did pioneering sexual studies in the 1950s, has found modern married couples don't measure up in the bedroom. Combining busy careers with child care and leisure activities leaves them with less time – and energy – to make love. While the '50s housewife ended her day with eager preparations for her husband's return from the office, today's woman is lucky to pass him in the hall as she fits in work, gym, children's after-school activities, shopping and her favourite television programs. "People don't have as much sex as they used to," said Dr John Bancroft, director of the Indiana-based institute. "Couples are often weighed down by double careers and child care. We live in an age where there is little unfilled time. Sex used to fill that gap." news.com.au



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