MAY 31-23, 03 Archives

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RED ALERT BUSH NEEDS ANOTHER 9/11 May 31, 2003 By: Ed Henry No infamous weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the liberated Iraqis don't welcome us or democracy; the Taliban is reorganizing in Afghanistan; most of the people in the rest of the world think we are a bunch of empire building war mongers; people are boycotting our products; we’ve got a growing trade deficit; our economy is still in trouble; the Euro is replacing the dollar; unemployment is growing; and our national debt is on its way to the moon. After a three month hiatus that sent just about every local government in the union to the poor house, Congress has given Bush an open trillion dollar ($984 billion) line of credit to do just about anything he wants.

Former FCC chairman: Deregulation is a right-wing power grab May 31, 2003 By Eric Boehlert Reed Hundt says Monday's historic vote is "the culmination of the attack by the right on the media." The Federal Communications Commission will meet in Washington on Monday for a historic vote on the future of media ownership in the United States. By all accounts, the Republican-dominated commission will ease long-standing rules so that more and more of the nations newspapers and broadcast stations can be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

9/11: Why Weren't U.S. Fighters Scrambled? May 31, 2003 by Rdavis84 An F-15 strike eagle flies at 1850 nmps. That is Mach 2.5 . This aircraft, according to the USAF's own website, goes from "scramble order" to 29000 feet in 2.5 minutes. New York City is 71 miles from McGuire AFB in NJ . At Mach 2, this plane could travel from the ground in NJ to NYC, in under 7 minutes. "Ask yourself this: Why were no fighter jets scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base near Washington D.C. to stop a jumbo jet that was tracked on radar that had gone all the way to the Ohio border and turned around and headed back to Washington DC.....which hit the Pentagon 58 MINUTES after the first WTC tower was hit? Why were those jets not scrambled, when all our leaders were in danger? Clearly after the 2nd plane hit the Towers any thinking person knew an attack was underway, so why wouldn't the DC airspace be secured FIRST?"

Bush to Head Start backers: Shut up! May 31, 2003 By Michelle Goldberg The administration warns the popular preschool program that protesting the White House's controversial policy changes may be illegal -- but program supporters strike back. On May 8, the Bush administration sent a letter to Head Start programs nationwide warning them in chirpy, bureaucratic language to shut up about the president's policies toward the early childhood program. The letter, signed by Windy Hill, associate commissioner of the Head Start Bureau in the Department of Health and Human Services, was a response to a campaign by the private, nonprofit National Head Start Association that urged Head Start parents and employees to write or e-mail their representatives to protest what they say is the president's dismantling of the program.

'US plan for military action against Iran complete' May 30, 2003 Washington has drawn up a plan for military action against Iran, which it accuses of supporting terrorism and having a secret nuclear weapons program, a Russian newspaper reported yesterday, citing diplomats. "The military action is designed to complete a popular uprising on which the Pentagon is counting," said Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily, adding that the operation's launch date would be decided at a meeting due to be held in the White House yesterday. The action would be launched mainly from Iraq but military bases in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan would also be used, the paper said. A deal had been struck between the US administration and Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev for US troops to be deployed in the Caucasus state, it added.

Russia To Complete Iran Nuclear Plant Despite U.S. Pressure May 30, 2003 MOSCOW Russia reiterated Tuesday, May 27, its determination to complete the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant despite mounting American pressures to scrap the project. Russia "is insisting on the construction of the Bushehr plant, and is confident that the launch of its first bloc will be completed on time," said Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev.

It's Not So Funny Any More DubyaCo. May 30, 2003 By DAVID VEST Having destroyed Iraq, the United States now proposes to rebuild it with the money generated from the sale of Iraqi oil, which will be flowing again, we are told, within three weeks. Thus will Iraq's natural wealth be pumped directly into the coffers of Bechtel, Halliburton and other administration cronies. Call them DubyaCo. You will perhaps have noticed that no one is telling us that electricity, water and the rule of law will be restored throughout Iraq within three weeks. These things are not feasible. But oil will flow.

Faced with growing resistance US prepares military repression in Iraq May 30, 2003 By Bill Vann Backing off from earlier promises to quickly scale back the US military force presently occupying Iraq, the Pentagon has announced that it will instead increase the number of troops deployed in the country and indefinitely postpone the scheduled departure of key combat units. The decision was taken in the face of mounting Iraqi guerrilla attacks on US forces that have claimed the lives of as many as a dozen American soldiers over the past week and left dozens more wounded. In response, the Pentagon is preparing a military campaign aimed at suppressing resistance to the US occupation.

Tax Law Omits Child Credit in Low-Income Brackets May 30, 2003 By DAVID FIRESTONE A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure, say Congressional officials and outside groups. Most taxpayers will receive a $400-a-child check in the mail this summer as a result of the law, which raises the child tax credit, to $1,000 from $600. It had been clear from the beginning that the wealthiest families would not receive the credit, which is intended to phase out at high incomes. But after studying the bill approved on Friday, liberal and child advocacy groups discovered that a different group of families would also not benefit from the $400 increase — families who make just above the minimum wage.

Bushonomics: $44 Trillion US Treasury Bankruptcy May 30, 2003 by P. Despeignes The Bush administration has shelved a report commissioned by the Treasury that shows the US currently faces a future of chronic federal budget deficits totalling at least $44,200bn in current US dollars. The study, the most comprehensive assessment of how the US government is at risk of being overwhelmed by the "baby boom" generation's future healthcare and retirement costs, was commissioned by then-Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill.

Gold reaches 15-week high as US dollar slips May 28 2003 By Salamander Davoudi Gold revelled in the misfortune of the dollar yesterday, reaching $374.40 per troy ounce, its highest in 15 weeks. The precious metal has benefited from its inverse relationship with the US dollar, whose depreciation has sent prices up by $55 since the start of April. Some analysts believe gold is set to rise further, driven not by dollar weakness but by demand from Asia following a plan by the Chinese government to allow individuals to trade gold. "Gold has come into its own and we are going to see it going up much farther than this. When it was at $320 it was a buying opportunity but now demand is coming from Asia," said Ian Williams at Durlacher.

What Goes Around Comes Around May 30, 2003 Paul Craig Roberts The BBC reports that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is about to be charged as a war criminal by the Greek Bar Association before the International Criminal Court. Dimitris Paxinos, president of the lawyers' association, told the BBC that Blair will be charged with "crimes against humanity and war crimes." President George Bush escapes being charged, as the United States is not a signatory to the ICC. The Greeks claim that the U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq violates the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention and the International Criminal Court's statute.

US Money Funding Uzbeki Torture Chambers May 30, 2003 The Guardian Death by boiling. Independent human-rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death. The US condemned this repression for many years. But since Sept. 11 rewrote America's strategic interests in central Asia, the government of President Islam Karimov has become Washington's new best friend in the region. The US is funding those it once condemned. Last year Washington gave Uzbekistan US$500 million in aid. The police and intelligence services -- which the US Department of State's Web site says use "torture as a routine investigation technique" has received US$79 million of this sum.

BRAZIL LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO U.S. POPULATION ACTIVITIES May 30, 2003 The charge: millions sterilised to meet U.S. political objectives. A U.S.-sponsored program that resulted in the sterilisation of nearly half of Brazil's women has prompted a formal congressional inquiry, sponsored by more than 165 legislators from every political party that is represented in the Brazilian legislature. The investigation was initiated after information about a secret U.S. National Security Council memorandum on American population control objectives in developing countries was published in the Jornal de Brasilia, Hova do Povo (Rio de Janeiro), Jornal do Brasil, and other major newspapers in early May.

Death in the Congo:  May 30, 2003 By Adrian Blomfield in Bunia With bullets flying everywhere in the hail of gunfire that ensued Ruta became separated from two of her daughters, Mateso, aged 12, and Michelle, who had just turned two. After securing the rest of her family in another hiding place, Ruta crept back to the clearing to try to rescue the girls. "There were many people wounded from bullets lying on the ground," she said. "The Lendu were going about with machetes, chopping off one arm from the shoulder and then the other. Some people were screaming but most were silent. Then I saw them. Their arms had already been cut off." The militiamen calmly cooked the flesh over an open fire before throwing their victims, some of whom were still alive, into the flames. "They were both moving, although very weakly," Ruta said.

Bush Now Playing The Same Iraq 'WMD' Game With Iran May 29, 2003 By Simon Tisdall Imagine for a moment that you are a senior official in Iran's foreign ministry. It's hot outside on the dusty, congested streets of Tehran. But inside the ministry, despite the air-conditioning, it's getting stickier all the time. You have a big problem, a problem that Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, admits is "huge and serious". The problem is the Bush administration and, specifically, its insistence that Iran is running "an alarming clandestine nuclear weapons programme". You fear that this, coupled with daily US claims that Iran is aiding al-Qaida, is leading in only one direction. US news reports reaching your desk indicate that the Pentagon is now advocating "regime change" in Iran.

Despite thin intelligence reports, US plans to overthrow Iranian regime May 29, 2003
By Jason Leopold May 29, 2003—Here we go again. While postwar Iraq continues to crumble, the Bush administration is now setting its sights on a new target—Iran—in its so-called effort to reshape most of the Middle East and bring democracy to countries ruled by vicious dictators. But the Bush administration is again relying on flimsy evidence and thin intelligence information in claiming that Iran poses an immediate threat to the United States.

IMF says concerted action needed if dollar continues to decline rapidly May 29, 2003 FRANKFURT (AFP) A further rapid decline in the dollar would require concerted action from governments and central banks, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Horst Koehler said in a newspaper interview. The dollar has lost around 30 percent of its value against the euro within the past year and Koehler told the business daily Handelsblatt such a development was no surprise given the United States' huge current account deficit.

US durable goods orders tumble May 28 2003 By Peronet Despeignes in Washington Orders to US factories for durable goods fell in April at the fastest pace in seven months. The drop was broad based, but somewhat exaggerated by a drop in orders for military equipment. The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods - items built to last at least three years - fell 2.4 per cent in April after a 1.4 per cent gain in March. The drop was bigger than most economists had expected. Even after excluding a sharp drop in orders for defence gear, orders were down 1.5 per cent. Orders for general machinery and electrical equipment posted sizeable drops and orders for computers and electronics were flat.

Former attorney general says Bush should be impeached May 29, 2003 By Askia Muhammad WASHINGTON—The U.S. invasion of Iraq was the most serious act of aggression in the country’s history and it was in clear violation of the most important provisions of international law, according to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. The "crimes" committed by President George W. Bush and others in his administration warrant the severest response from an alarmed citizenry: impeachment, Mr. Clark told a luncheon audience at the National Press Club May 12. The Origins and Scope of Presidential Impeachment (Hinkley Journal of Politics) Impeachment Documents (Ralph Brown Draughon Library) Vote to Impeach President George Bush website Impeach Bush Editorials and Information (Phil Burk)

US economy on verge of collapse, warns Democrat LaRouche May 28, 2003 Fakir Chand Lyndon H LaRouche, US economist and Democratic Party candidate for the 2004 presidential elections, has warned that the beleaguered United States economy would collapse in the near future due to the irrational fiscal and monetary policies being pursued by the Bush Administration even after the Iraq war and the 9/11 attacks. LaRouche, who is in Bangalore to participate in the two-day 'International Conference on World Situation after Iraq War' told on Monday that the US dollar, which has been weakening against a basket currencies of late, was likely to erode further by another 25-50 per cent by this year-end. "The US economy is on the verge of collapse due to the parasitical and monetary policies of the war-mongering Bush government. Its foreign exchange rate and monetary system are in the grip of serious crisis that may take the economy into a terminal state if remedial measures are not taken immediately," LaRouche stated.

Euro Soars to Record High Against Dollar May 28, 2003 FRANKFURT, Germany The euro soared to a record high against the dollar Tuesday in a major boost for many U.S. exporters but deepening the pain for the continent's struggling economy and American tourists in Europe. The euro reached a high of $1.1932 in trading in Europe, breaking the old high of $1.1884 set Jan. 4, 1999, a few days after the euro began to circulate as the shared currency of 12 European countries.

The politics of plunder: Congress adopts Bush tax cut for the wealthy May 28, 2003 By Patrick Martin Meeting its self-imposed deadline of Memorial Day, the Bush administration celebrated the national holiday in the manner most fitting for a government of millionaires and former corporate CEOs. It pushed legislation through Congress giving every American millionaire a tax cut averaging $93,500, while providing little or nothing to the vast majority of working people.

Giving $100,000 to every US millionaire May 28, 2003 By Patrick Martin The Republican-controlled Congress gave final passage May 23 to legislation that will slash tax rates for corporate dividends and capital gains, providing a windfall of close to $100,000 for every American millionaire. For working people, however, the tax bill provides something less than a bonanza. Half of all American families will gain less than $100 in “tax relief,” while middle-income families, those between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, will get an average cut of $703.

Stating the Obvious May 28, 2003 By PAUL KRUGMAN The lunatics are now in charge of the asylum." So wrote the normally staid Financial Times, traditionally the voice of solid British business opinion, when surveying last week's tax bill. Indeed, the legislation is doubly absurd: the gimmicks used to make an $800-billion-plus tax cut carry an official price tag of only $320 billion are a joke, yet the cost without the gimmicks is so large that the nation can't possibly afford it while keeping its other promises. But then maybe that's the point. The Financial Times suggests that "more extreme Republicans" actually want a fiscal train wreck: "Proposing to slash federal spending, particularly on social programs, is a tricky electoral proposition, but a fiscal crisis offers the tantalizing prospect of forcing such cuts through the back door."

Bush goes boldy in wrong direction May 28, 2003 BY JESSE JACKSON They got their war in Iraq. They succeeded in keeping the UN and the allies out of the reconstruction. They got their tax cuts, even more skewed to the wealthy than the original plan. They are getting the vast majority of their judicial nominees, even as they howl about obstruction. They are enforcing their rollback of environmental regulations, women's rights and civil rights. Be careful what you wish for. With remarkable message discipline out of the White House and party discipline in the Congress, the activists of the right have proved they are in control. And they are responsible--and that is the canker. Bush likes to say he didn't cause the recession, or the stock market collapse or Sept. 11, or the corporate crime wave. And to a large extent, that is right. But the question isn't how we got into this hole, the question is how we get out. And increasingly it seems like Bush's policies are digging us in deeper rather than lifting us out.

NO MORE CLEAR CHANNELS! STOP THE FCC MEDIA GIVEAWAY May 28th, 2003 Protest Clear Channel Radio and the Media Monopoly on Thursday, May 29 WHAT: National day of protest to stop the media monopoly WHEN: May 29, the Thursday before the FCC votes to dramatically deregulate the media WHERE: A Clear Channel radio station in your communityThe FCC is poised to approve the most dramatic changes to media ownership regulations in decades. Leading the charge is FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Colin Powell’s son, who essentially declared war on diversity in media at the same time that his father was spearheading the war against Iraq. We have already seen the effects of the 1996 media deregulation: five television companies--General Electric (MSNBC and NBC), News Corp (Fox), Disney (ABC), AOL-Time Warner (CNN), and Viacom (CBS)--have a stranglehold on what information the public gets to know, and corporate radio behemoths like Clear Channel Communications devour local radio stations and replace them with McRadio. If Powell has his way, the situation will get even worse; there will be nothing standing in the way of media companies’ drive for profits at the expense of our democracy.

Executive Order #11000: Authorizes the splitting up of family units


FEMA: The Plan to Kill America May 27, 2003 by Jim Kirwan Since that day our bumbling boy wonder stole the office of president, some have wondered about the ulterior purposes behind this administration and its nefarious doings. They have not been alone in this mini-quest. Part of the dilemma for anyone who truly wants to understand these actions and re-actions is that 'nothing they do' within the circles of power and greed seems to make any logical sense. Ordinary criminal schemes are usually easy to decipher. Money trails can be found, and their telltale tracks followed to whatever may have been the point of such an effort. But this 'super-plan' for domination includes the complete destruction of most (or all) that matters - and none of it makes sense to the civilized world. The litanies of the theft of everything constitutional have been well documented. The voracious greed of the warlords, while perhaps less clearly delineated, are finally taking shape: At least as to which countries are now being targeted, even when it remains unclear as to why those countries might find themselves in that position. In addition to the above we also have the destruction of the entire system of social programs, the welfare of the states, the counties and the cities of the United States - as well as the total isolation of all the citizens of this country - inside a massive shroud of secrecy and fear.

Censoring the Report About 9-11? May 27, 2003 By Michael Isikoff Bush officials are refusing to permit the release of matters already in the public domain—including the existence of intelligence documents referred to on the CIA Web site. Why is the Bush administration blocking the release of an 800-page congressional report about 9-11? The bipartisan report deals with law-enforcement and intelligence failures that preceded the attacks. For months, congressional leaders and administration officials have battled over declassifying the document, preventing a public release once slated for this week. NEWSWEEK has learned new details about the dispute. AMONG THE PORTIONS of the report the administration refuses to declassify, sources say, are chapters dealing with two politically and diplomatically sensitive issues: the details of daily intelligence briefings given to Bush in the summer of 2001 and evidence pointing to Saudi government ties to Al Qaeda. Bush officials have taken such a hard line, sources say, that they’re refusing to permit the release of matters already in the public domain—including the existence of intelligence documents referred to on the CIA Web site.

Bush tax package guts middle class May 27, 2003 By Joan Veon Using tactics of deceit and distortion, President Bush will sign a tax bill that was literally dictated by him to Congress and passed by the Senate late last week while the writers were still crafting it. What is being put into action will not only completely gut our entire tax code but will add a level of taxation that heretofore was only known by the children of Israel when pharaoh commanded them to make bricks without straw. The tax deductions have been sold to the American people as creating more jobs but the truth of the matter is that Congress feels you and I are not paying enough in taxes. What Bush has done, Clinton could not have ever gotten away with: a tax on everything we buy – otherwise known as a Value Added Tax – for you and me. If you think you pay a lot in tax now, just wait and see what the Republicans – or should I say, "neocons" have in store for us. Let me give you a glimpse. First, a Value-Added Tax system is a more "purer" form of tax because it is structured like the morning dew – it will tax everything and every process . For example, currently you are not taxed on the activity (not the gain but the activity) of buying or selling a house. Under a VAT, we will be taxed. Currently you are not taxed for the professional services of our doctor and dentist – those services will have a tax.

Supreme Sacrifice Dying for the Rights Bush and Ashcroft are Intent on Dismantling May 27, 2003 By ELAINE CASSEL Memorial Day is the day we set aside to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms of life that the Bush Administration is taking away. In that respect, this Memorial Day is most poignant. Can it be that those hundreds of thousands of sacrifices have now been in vain? because one Administration, drunk on power and ruling by fear, will dismantle the Constitution to promote the interests of wealth and privilege?

Religious Wrong God's role in the Republican assault on the environment May 27, 2003 J ubilant Republicans may imagine that the most significant harbinger for America's future was the banging of a gavel on Jan. 6, opening the 108th Congress. Finally, GOP partisans may conclude, they call the shots. But it may be that the Earth itself is in charge. In 2002, the second hottest year on record, scientists saw Arctic Ocean ice coverage shrink by more than at any time since satellite measurements were first made a quarter century ago. And, they say, continued melting could leave the Arctic nearly ice-free by summer 2050. Americans need to pay attention to the winds of change blowing in from the Arctic, then decide just how much Republican environmental policies contradict clear messages relayed by our planet.

Britain told to choose between US and Europe May 27, 2003 JASON BEATTIE  THE former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing raised the temperature in the debate over the new EU constitution yesterday by declaring Britain had to choose between a future with Europe or its special relationship with the United States. In a series of controversial statements, Mr d’Estaing, who is chairing the convention drawing up the blueprint for an enlarged EU, insisted there were two prerequisites for the constitution: a common foreign policy and a stable presidency. His remarks provided further ammunition to those calling for a referendum on the issue, fearing that the proposals put forward by the convention will mean Britain losing a swathe of sovereign powers as it becomes subsumed into a United States of Europe.

Israelis Shoot at Diplomatic Cars in Gaza May 27, 2003 By REUTERS JERUSALEM Israeli troops shot at a convoy of diplomatic vehicles at a military roadblock in the Gaza Strip on Monday, twice hitting the windshield of one of the cars but causing no injuries, diplomatic sources said. The diplomats were badly shaken by the incident as the small convoy was stopped leaving the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, close to the main Erez crossing with Israel, the sources said. They said the convoy included representatives of Switzerland, Britain, Greece, Sweden, and Austria.

US plans death camp May 26, 2003 Herald Sun THE US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber. Prisoners would be tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported yesterday. The plans were revealed by Major-General Geoffrey Miller, who is in charge of 680 suspects from 43 countries, including two Australians. The suspects have been held at Camp Delta on Cuba without charge for 18 months. General Miller said building a death row was one plan. Another was to have a permanent jail, with possibly an execution chamber. The Mail on Sunday reported the move is seen as logical by the US, which has been attacked worldwide for breaching the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war since it established the camp at a naval base to hold alleged terrorists from Afghanistan. But it has horrified human rights groups and lawyers representing detainees. They see it as the clearest indication America has no intention of falling in line with internationally recognised justice.

Red Cross denied access to PoWs Up to 3,000 Iraqis - some of them civilians - believed to be gagged, bound, hooded and beaten at US camps close to Baghdad airport May 26, 2003 Ed Vulliamy in Baghdad The United States is illegally holding thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war and other captives without access to human rights officials at compounds close to Baghdad airport, The Observer has learnt. There have also been reports of a mutiny last week by prisoners at an airport compound, in protest against conditions. The uprising was 'dealt with' by the Americans, according to a US military source. The International Committee of the Red Cross so far has been denied access to what the organisation believes could be as many as 3,000 prisoners held in searing heat. All other requests to inspect conditions under which prisoners are being held have been met with silence or been turned down.

Needless brutality May 26, 2003 "A pattern of needless and officially sanctioned brutality." This was how the treatment of prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison, California, was described by a federal court in 1995. The abuses included severe beatings during the forcible removal of prisoners from cells, the cruel use of shackles, and the unwarranted use of firearms. The judge found that the guards were rarely disciplined for excessive force and covered up abuses with false or inadequate reports. Every day in prisons and jails across the USA, the human rights of prisoners are violated. In many facilities, violence is endemic. In some cases, guards fail to stop inmates assaulting each other. In others, the guards are themselves the abusers, subjecting their victims to beatings and sexual abuse. Prisons and jails use mechanical, chemical and electro-shock methods of restraint that are cruel, degrading and sometimes life-threatening. The victims of abuse include pregnant women and the mentally ill.

San Francisco International Film Festival A growing seriousness May 26, 2003 By David Walsh Along with every other social institution or activity, filmmaking is undergoing a process of “polarization.” There is a growing awfulness at one pole (this is not by any means limited to commercial movie-making; awfulness is distributed throughout the various branches of the film world, art and independent cinema as well), where one finds work of immense stupidity and crudity, genuine imbecility in some cases. One wonders now and then about those who fork over funds, considerable funds at that, to individuals of little or no discernible talent—former directors of deodorant or shampoo commercials; film school graduates without a single important thought or experience; hacks whose servility toward those with money and power conditions everything they do; clever boys and girls who we are told have a “strong visual sense,” but lack the elementary skill or interest to create a single psychologically believable moment; and so on.

Schools and health lose out as US public services endure worst crisis since 1930s May 26, 2003 Julian Borger in Harrah, Oklahoma School was definitely over for Sally Kelly last week. The Oklahoma primary school teacher was trying to cram years of accumulated experience and memories into a few cardboard boxes and get them out of the door before the building was locked up for the holidays. Thousands of teachers across the state and the US have been doing more or less the same thing in the past few months, squeezed out by a combination of recession, tax cuts and record military spending. Oklahoma is cutting 6,000 teaching jobs in the financial year just ending and the next, and the budgetary outlook is grim. But for Ms Kelly, there is more at stake than losing her vocation. Her breast cancer is in remission but still requires monitoring and medicines. Without the health insurance that came with her job, she can afford neither.

US will 'work round' German leader May 26, 2003 Gary Younge George Bush's administration will continue to ostracise the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, because of his opposition to the war in Iraq, the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, has reportedly said. Ms Rice said the Bush administration was trying to patch up strained relations with Germany, but would continue to marginalise Mr Schröder,

Bush's War on the Poor May 25, 2003 By DAVID KRIEGER "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." These revolutionary words from the Declaration of Independence are worth reflecting upon in light of the current struggle for economic justice in America. The government of the United States, the richest and most powerful country in the world, is perpetuating economic injustice within the United States and throughout the world. While the government seems to have unlimited funds for missiles and munitions, it is failing to provide health care, housing or education for large segments of the US population. Millions of Americans, including working Americans, live below the poverty line. There are more than 40 million Americans without health insurance with little or no access to basic medical care. There are tens of millions of Americans without homes, and home ownership is becoming an impossible dream for most young Americans. The possibilities of a college education are also receding for young Americans, as the funds provided for education diminish. The truth is that we have no economic justice in this country and the situation is growing rapidly worse under the Bush administration.

Pentagon sets sights on a new Tehran regime UK and state department reject blunt approach May 25, 2003  Julian Borger in Washington and Dan De Luce in Tehran The Pentagon has proposed a policy of regime change in Iran, after reports that al-Qaida leaders are coordinating terrorist attacks from Iran. But the plan is opposed by the US state department and the British government, officials in Washington said yesterday. The Pentagon plan would involve overt means, such as anti-government broadcasts transmitted to Iran, and covert means, possibly including support for the Iraq-based armed opposition movement Mojahedin Khalq (MEK), even though it is designated a terrorist group by the state department.

The Philosopher Kings Leo Strauss and the Neocons May 25, 2003 By GARY LEUPP For the neocon cabal running the country, recent news hasn't been entirely good. The successful invasion of Iraq has met with unexpected opposition (from a people with a dignified capacity to resist occupation that the aggressors, in their arrogance, didn't quite anticipate). Paul Wolfowitz, deputy Secretary of "Defense," has stated frankly to Congress that the situation will get "messier as Iraqis sort out their political process" (as though the Iraqis, milling about gun-toting and order-barking foreigners, were free to have their own political process).

A Tax Rate of Zero May 24, 2003 The Wall Street Journal reports that once Congress gets through with Bush's tax cuts, "some rich investors may be able to avoid paying almost any taxes." It seems there are as-yet unappreciated synergies in all the various giveaways, synergies that can be mined by clever accountants -- The Journal walks you through it all -- so their well-heeled clients will never have to pay taxes again. So that's O.K. then. And surely you've heard the news that the "compromise" deal uses Enronesque gimmicks to hide the fact that it's actually far bigger than the President's initial demand, far more tilted to the rich than even the President asked, and will create monstrous deficits we'll all be paying monstrous interest on for many, many, many years. Well, we won't all be paying that interest. Only those of us who pay taxes.

NGOs Decry 'Bribes' and 'Threats' Behind U.N. Vote May 24, 2003 Thalif Deen, UNITED NATIONS  A coalition of over 150 peace groups and global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is lashing out at the U.N. Security Council for adopting a resolution that virtually legitimises the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and endorses the foreign occupation of a U.N. member state. ''The United States was successful in bulldozing its way because it offered too many bribes and held out too many threats,'' says Rob Wheeler, a spokesman for the Uniting for Peace Coalition. The ''threats,'' he said, were against developing nations in the 15-member Security Council, and the ''bribes'' were the promises made to more powerful nations, which caved in to U.S. pressure.

Bush 'is on brink of catastrophe' May 24, 2003 The most senior Republican authority on foreign relations in Congress has warned President Bush that the United States is on the brink of catastrophe in Iraq.Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Washington was in danger of creating “an incubator for terrorist cells and activity” unless it increased the scope and cost of its reconstruction efforts. He said that more troops, billions more dollars and a longer commitment were needed if the US were not to throw away the peace. Mr Lugar’s warning came as it emerged that the CIA has launched a review of its pre-war intelligence on Iraq to check if the US exaggerated the threats posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The review is intended to determine if the Pentagon manipulated the assessment of intelligence material for political ends.

Book Publishing and the Struggle for the American Mind May 24, 2003 By Norman D. Livergood In 1983, 50 corporations controlled 90% of all U.S. news media. Conservatives dismissed Ben Bagdikian's book, Media Monopoly, as "alarmist" for predicting that this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. By the sixth edition of Bagdikian's book in 2000, the number had fallen to exactly six. The United States is touted as a capitalist "democracy." The media (news, publishing, advertising, entertainment) reflect the dominant class ideology in everything they do. As a cover, the media--especially the "news" media--claim that they are free and independent, capable of balanced coverage and objective commentary. To put the lie to this malarkey one need only spend a few moments viewing the TV "news" to see the blatant rabid-right slant put on every "story" they run.

US lawmakers pass $400.5 billion defense bill May 23, 2003 ByVicki Allen WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $400.5 billion defense bill that ends a decade-long ban on research and development of small nuclear weapons, a step critics said may heighten risks of nuclear war. The Senate voted 98-1 for its bill authorizing next year's defense programs that repeals the ban on study and development of "mini-nukes," which Congress imposed in 1993 to stem their spread to other nations.

Byrd points his finger at President Bush May 23, 2003 By Brandon Rudat U.S. Senator Robert Byrd is once again pointing his finger at President Bush, saying the administration appeared to deceive the American people into launching an illegal, unprovoked attack on Saddam Hussein's government. His remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday made for some of the toughest criticism from Congress concerning the war. He said, "If the situation in Iraq is the result of liberation, we may have set the cause of freedom back 200 years." He also went on to say evidence shows that manipulation was involved in switching public focus since the terror attacks on 9/11 from Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida to Saddam Hussein.

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