JUNE 9-1, 2003 Archives

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Apocalypse Soon June 9, 2003 by Giles Fraser Evangelicals in the US believe there is a biblical basis for opposing the Middle East road map Just as new life is being breathed into the peace process, religious groups throughout the US are whipping up hostility to the road map. The aim of the Christian-Jewish "interfaith Zionist leadership summit" held in Washington last month was "to oppose rewarding murderous Palestinian terrorism with statehood". Attending the conference were some of the most influential figures of the Christian right; behind them a whole infrastructure of churches, radio stations and bible college courses teaching "middle-east history". Since the late 19th century, an increasing number of fundamentalists have come to believe that the second coming of Christ is bound up with the political geography of Israel. Forget about the pre-1967 boundaries; for them the boundaries that count are the ones shown on maps at the back of the Bible. guardian.co.uk

Expanding Role of Defense Department Spurs Concerns  June 9, 2003 by Robert Schlesinger Some say officials overstep bounds, limit other agencies. The Department of Defense's responsibilities have grown beyond anything that military commanders had imagined at the end of the Cold War, according to national security specialists; some have voiced worry that the department's expanding roles could tax the Pentagon's resources or compromise some civilian authorities. Nearly 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is no more talk about a budgetary ''peace dividend'' or trimming US forces. The US military is not only operating in more places around the world than at any other time since World War II, but it has also expanded into areas previously reserved for other government agencies: establishing a new intelligence unit, launching a homeland defense command, and exerting growing influence in foreign policy. commondreams.org

Midnight Ride of the Rabble June 8, 2003 by Thom Hartmann Let's be blunt. The real agenda of the new conservatives is nothing less than the destruction of democracy in the United States of America. And feudalism is one of their weapons. Their rallying cry is that government is the enemy, and thus must be "drowned in a bathtub." In that, they've mistaken our government for the former Soviet Union, or confused Ayn Rand's fictional and disintegrating America with the real thing. The government of the United States is us. It was designed to be a government of, by, and for We, the People. It's not an enemy to be destroyed; it's a means by which we administer and preserve the commons that we collectively own. Nonetheless, the new conservatives see our democratic government as the enemy. And if they plan to destroy democracy, they must have something in mind to replace it with. thepeoplesvoice.org

Bush Regime Faces Charges Of War Crimes June 8, 2003 by Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS (IPS) When General Tommy Franks, who coordinated the recent U.S.-led military attack on Iraq, was asked about civilian casualties, he shot back: "We don't do body counts." Less than two months after the invasion of Iraq, there are no definitive figures of the civilian casualties -- unarmed men, women and children who died in the 44-day military assault. But there are a growing number of attempts to determine that number and to hold Washington and its allies responsible. Several human rights groups are calling for the creation of either a war crimes tribunal or an international commission of justice. Additionally, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) say they will pressure Washington to pay compensation for the killings of innocent civilians -- a common practice in U.S. law courts. The Commission on Human Security (CHS), which is overseeing the 'Iraq Body Count Project' estimates between 5,000 and 7,000 civilians died in the attack, or more. informationtimes.com

Jayce Hanson's birth defects may stem from his father's Gulf War service.Study: Gulf War vets' children have higher birth defect rates June 7, 2003 (AP) Children of veterans of the first Gulf War are more likely to have three specific birth defects than those of soldiers who never served in the gulf, a government study has found. Researchers found the infants born to male veterans of the 1991 war had higher rates of two types of heart valve defects. They also found a higher rate of a genital urinary defect in boys conceived after the war to Gulf War veteran mothers. In addition, Gulf War veterans' children born after the war had a certain kidney defect that was not found in Gulf War veterans' children born before the war. usatoday.com

Democrats court liberal activists by criticizing Bush June 7, 2003 NEDRA PICKLER The Democratic presidential candidates courted liberal activists Thursday by disowning Republican-leaning policies espoused by others in their party and assailing President Bush's record on health care, the economy and terrorism. "I think the Democratic Party has made a fundamental mistake in the last few years thinking we are going to win by being like the Republicans," former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said. "The way to get elected in this country is not to be like the Republicans, it's to stand up against them and fight." nctimes.net

Truthful Remarks June 7, 2003 by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky "There have been too few examples of viewpoints other than those consistent with the Administration's breaking through to the public. If we are to win, it's clear we need to do more, do it louder, do it faster and do it better. And if we don't, in 2008 we will live in a country and a world far different from the one we have had and the one to which we aspire. This President is seriously undermining the rule of law, the Constitution of the United States, and precious civil liberties and doing it all in the name of patriotism. So where are the lawyers and judges? Why am I not hearing your protests, your e-mails and phone calls, your letters to the editor, your calls to talk radio, your high profile law suits? This could be a bi-partisan effort, one that stretches from left to right." truthout.org

Ashcroft Tells Congress That Expanded Powers Needed June 7, 2003 ACLU Says PATRIOT II Likely a Political Non-Starter. Responding to testimony from Attorney General John Ashcroft this morning before the House Judiciary Committee that suggested that a successor to the highly controversial USA PATRIOT surveillance bill would be forthcoming, the American Civil Liberties Union today said that such an expansion of power would be unacceptable under the Constitution and likely be politically unpopular given the Attorney General's consistent failure to adequately explain and defend the need for his current extraordinary powers. aclu.org

Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense? June 7, 2003 By JOHN W. DEAN President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a Joint Resolution authorizing the use of American military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake - acts of war against another nation. Now it is clear that many of his statements appear to be false. In the past, Bush's White House has been very good at sweeping ugly issues like this under the carpet, and out of sight. But it is not clear that they will be able to make the question of what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) go away - unless, perhaps, they start another war. findlaw.com

A Vietnam Veteran’s Advice to The Troops in Iraq June 7, 2003 By Thomas W. Chittum But not to worry – our Glorious Imperial Generals have a bold new strategy to subdue the aborigines. They have ordered their troops to get out of their armored vehicles and to patrol on foot. Furthermore, the brass have increased the number of patrols and ordered them to patrol areas they had previously avoided because of hostile receptions by the local ingrates. In effect, the brass have ordered the troops to parade aimlessly around Baghdad like ducks in some carnival shooting gallery until snipers blow their brains out. This may seem like an insane policy guaranteed to fill body bags while accomplishing nothing. However, it’s really a stroke of imperial military genius. I will explain. prisonplanet.com

I Am A Veteran! How Dare You! June 7, 2003 By Jozef Hand-Boniakowski, PhD I have in my possession an honorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States. This document, form DD214, makes me a veteran. It is, in its most respected implications, the proof that I have served my country. I have given a few years of my life, as the enlistment oath states, in defending the Constitution of the United States as a member of the U.S. military. I am proud to be a veteran. On more than one occasion, however, while expressing the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution, I have been verbally abused by self-proclaimed patriots, who have made the accusation, "You -- you are not a veteran!" How dare you! How dare you define for me the value of my service to my country? How dare you question my right as a citizen in a free society to express my patriotism through dissent, that which is Constitutionally protected? How dare you, many of you who are not veterans, dictate the terms that I, as a free human being, must adhere to in order to meet your standards for being a veteran? How dare you yell at me and tell me to "Move to Germany! Move to France!" just because I do not see things your way, nor think the way that you do? How dare you accuse me of being a traitor while you support a selected commander-in-chief who was absent without leave during the last year of his military service? rense.com

Big Boss Man - His Own Little Country June 7, 2003 By SAM HAMOD Well, GW finally has it, his own little country, completely stocked with oil wells that will make money--something he could never do down here in Texas. There you have it, the only problem is that there are these pesky Iraqis who won't go along with his plans, they keep protesting, asking for clean water, for electricity, for medicine, for security. It's obvious they are ungrateful to GW, Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks for rescuing them, for liberating them. Beside, before these three musketeers rode in, these ungrateful wretches had clean water, food, medicine, law and order and security (even though they didn't like the local sheriff); now, they have nothing--which shows how ungrateful they are. Those of us down in Texas, we don't cotton to people not appreciating what we've done for them. counterpunch.org

The Bush Family and Nazis June 7, 2003 Newsweek The Bush family reaped the benefits of slave labor in the Auschwitz concentration camp.  Prescott Sheldon Bush, grandfather of President George W Bush, during the time of World War II had financial ties with Hitler's regime which helped build his fortune as a banker.  Prescott Bush was the head of United Banking Corp. which financed the Nazis, the Fritza Thyssena firm - "Consolidated Silesian Steel Corp.".  Consolidated Silesian used slave labor from Auschwitz.  In 1942 there was an investigation of United Banking Corp.  On the 20th of October (of that year) authorities froze assets of UBC (United Banking Corp.) on suspicion of doing business with the enemy. independent-media

No honor among thieves

Duped and Betrayed June 7, 2003 By PAUL KRUGMAN According to The New Republic, Senator Zell Miller — one of a dwindling band of Democrats who still think they can make deals with the Bush administration and its allies — got shafted in the recent tax bill. He supported the bill in part because it contained his personal contribution: a measure requiring chief executives to take personal responsibility for corporate tax declarations. But when the bill emerged from conference, his measure had been stripped out. Will "moderates" — the people formerly known as "conservatives" — ever learn? Today's "conservatives" — the people formerly known as the "radical right" — don't think of a deal as a deal; they think of it as an opportunity to pull yet another bait and switch. nytimes.com

Missing the good old 9-to-5 job? June 6, 2003 More than 2.5 million jobs have disappeared since President Bush took office. Most workers' real wages have stagnated or declined. Families' retirement savings have shrunk with the stock-market indexes. Deflation lurks. Consumer confidence teeters. Even a quick victory in Iraq has not changed the fact that we are in an orange-coded, pink-slipped era of insecurity for the nation's middle-class families. Many workers try to avoid sinking into the economic mire by putting in longer hours on the job. But instead of rewarding hard work, Bush and the GOP congressional leadership are taking steps that would only compound workers' economic insecurity. In March, the White House proposed new Labor Department regulations that would, according to the most conservative estimates, exclude 650,000 middle-class workers from receiving premium pay for overtime hours worked. miami.com

Jobless claims surge June 6, 2003 (CNN/Money) New weekly claims for unemployment benefits in surprise rise, as labor market struggles continue. New jobless claims in the United States rose last week, the government said Thursday, continuing to reflect a labor market struggling to recover. The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to 442,000 in the week ended May 31 from a revised 426,000 the prior week. Economists, on average, expected 420,000 new claims, according to a Reuters poll. U.S. stocks opened lower after the news. money.cnn.com

Big drop in factory orders April decline is largest in 17 months June 6, 2003 (Reuters) Led by machinery, transportation and electrical equipment. New orders for U.S. factory goods posted their largest drop in 17 months in April, the government said Thursday in a report showing declines in many sectors and painting a far worse than expected picture of manufacturing. Orders sank 2.9 percent in April, the biggest fall since November 2001, the Commerce Department said, after rising 2.1 percent in March. Analysts were expecting a drop of just 1.5 percent. The report showed sharp falls in demand for machinery, transportation and electrical equipment. money.cnn.com

FCC Approves Further Consolidation of Corporate Media June 6, 2003 In a further blow to the already stifled diversity of voices and opinions expressed in the mainstream media, the three Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission outvoted the two Democrats in approving new Broadcast Ownership Rules which will allow greater concentration of media ownership. Reminiscent of the disgraceful deregulation of radio which allowed the "clear-channelization" of the radio airwaves, now the same corporation could control two television stations in the same market, and three in markets that already have a number of channels. The FCC also overturned the decades-old prohibition on a corporation owning both a newspaper and a television or radio station. Watch This Video RealVideo, 12:31 Despite overwhelming public opposition, including public comments which overwhelmed the FCC's voicemail and email systems, the three Republican commissioners cleared the way for even greater homogenization of the media environment. http://indymedia.org/

US Court Lifts Ban On Human Tests Of Pesticides June 6, 2003 (Reuters)  A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a U.S. ban that prohibited testing pesticides on humans, opening the door for renewed debate on the practice. The D.C. District Court of Appeals said that a directive by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in December 2001 constituted a binding regulation because it was issued without notice or the opportunity for public comment and therefore should be overruled. rense.com

World Marks Environment Day 'Dying for Water' June 6, 2003 by Alister Doyle, OSLO Seeking to ease a water crisis threatening a third of humanity, the United Nations marked world environment day on Thursday with calls for governments to double aid to poor countries and for ordinary people to fix leaky taps. Under the slogan "Water -- two billion people are dying for it!," projects ranged from draining ponds where mosquitoes breed in Kenya to water tastings in Brussels.
"Water-related diseases kill a child every eight seconds," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement for the annual day set aside since 1972 to take stock of the state of the planet. "One person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water. Over twice that number -- 2.4 billion -- lack access to adequate sanitation," he said. commondreams.org

Weapons of mass deception June 6, 2003
By Jake Tapper The Bush administration goes into full spin mode and Tony Blair battles to save his political life, as charges mount that they lied their way into war. At the Senate Republicans' weekly policy lunch on Tuesday, Vice President Dick Cheney reassured the assembled lawmakers that the administration had credible evidence, in the months leading up to the war, to assert that Iraq did indeed harbor weapons of mass destruction. salon.com

Guru of ganja jailed for one day June 6, 2003 Duncan Campbell, Los Angeles The man described as the "guru of ganja" walked free from court in San Francisco yesterday after being given a one-day sentence for growing marijuana for medical use.
The sentence will be seen as a judicial slap in the face for the US attorney general, John Ashcroft, who has encouraged the FBI to pursue some growers. The prosecution had sought a five-year jail term. Ed Rosenthal, 58, was also fined $1000 (£650) by the judge, Charles Breyer. As he had already spent a day in custody, he was able to leave the court, to be greeted outside by about 200 supporters. guardian.co.uk

Five bulls in Montana linked to infected Canadian cow June 6, 2003 FROM CANADIAN PRESS The mad cow investigation has crossed into the United States, where officials traced five bulls, since slaughtered, that spent time with a sick Alberta cow. Where their carcasses went is unclear. But U.S. officials say they have reason to believe the breeding bulls, born on one of the possible birth farms of the infected cow, are not infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the brain-wasting `mad cow' disease. thestar.ca



The Silent Genocide from America June 5, 2003 Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD When Bush jr. said, "we will smoke them out…" he lived up to his promise, making life an unattainable reality for the unborn and unsustainable reality for the living sentencing the Afghan people and their future generations to a predetermined death sentence. "After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silence death from which I know we will not escape." (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003) rense.com

Prescott Bush helped Hitler


A presidential visit to Auschwitz - The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune June 5, 2003 By Bill Vann “History is a reminder of what’s possible.” These were the words spoken by President George Bush as he emerged from a guided tour of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. The former Nazi death camp in Poland was one of the first stops on his seven-day tour of Europe and the Middle East. What precisely the US president meant by this banal comment is not clear. However, given Bush’s political record—assembly-line executions in Texas, Guantanamo’s Camp X-Ray, the indefinite imprisonment of US citizens without charges, two preemptive wars—it could be open to the most sinister of interpretations. wsws.org

Justices Reject Veterans' Suit Over Promises by Recruiters June 5, 2003 By DAVID STOUT The Supreme Court declined today to hear a case that sought the free lifetime medical care that was promised to some veterans of World War II and the Korean War. Without comment, the justices refused to review a November ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. That court held that promises of lifetime health care made decades ago by recruiters to entice people to serve in the military for at least 20 years were not valid. nytimes.com

Snow Job June 5, 2003 by Bill Bonner In America, in the springtime of the third year of George W. Bush's rule, we conclude, bankruptcy has become as popular as weight-loss. The sign is not merely an invitation, but a reproach. Bankruptcy rates are hitting records despite the best efforts of those who manage the economy. In his Congressional testimony last week, Alan Greenspan sailed through his customary delusions – that additional mortgage debt is good for consumers...that technology has brought a New Era to the economy...and that modest productivity increases have some exceptional quality as yet unnamed. lewrockwell.com

Poll shows U.S. isolation: In war's wake, hostility and mistrust June 5, 2003 Meg Bortin PARIS The war in Iraq has widened the rift between the United States and the rest of the world, with a steep plunge in Americans' views of their traditional allies and a further surge of anti-Americanism in Muslim countries, a global opinion survey shows. The poll of more than 15,000 people in 20 countries and the Palestinian Authority, conducted in May by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, also showed a significant loss of faith in two major international institutions created out of the ashes of World War II - the United Nations and NATO. iht.com

US raid on Palestinian embassy in Baghdad: an act of political gangsterism June 5, 2003 By Jean Shaoul US troops raided and ransacked the Palestinian embassy in Baghdad at the end of May. They arrested 11 members of its staff, including its top diplomat, and nothing has been heard of the Palestinians since then. The raid is an act of political gangsterism carried out by US armed forces that have occupied Iraq on the basis of an illegal war. It was instigated at the direct request of Israel’s finance secretary and former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. wsws.org

Thursday June 6, 1968 The Day The United States Died June 5, 2003 by Mark Elsis "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy - Right after delivering a rousing speech to an overflowing ballroom of exuberant campaign supporters thanking them for helping him win the big prize of the California Democratic primary for President, the junior Senator from New York State, Robert Francis Kennedy was shot at by an assassin four times within a couple of inches. He was wounded by three of the bullets with the fourth bullet going through his jacket. The exact time was 12:15am Wednesday morning June 5, 1968. The location was the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. I was only a 10 year old boy back then, but I somehow knew the day Bobby Kennedy died, the next day, Thursday June 6, 1968, was the day the United States died. If this assassination of Bobby Kennedy didn't happen, he would have been the Democratic presidential nominee in 1968. He then would have faced the Republican presidential nominee, Richard Milhouse Nixon, in the November election. Bobby most likely would have won and been the next President of the United States. Since Bobby was opposed to the Viet Nam War ( police action ), this would have put an end to it in 1969 instead of 1975. robertfkennedy.net

Bush trying to hide 9/11 information, Graham says June 4, 2003 U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, looking for traction in a crowded Democratic presidential field, accused the Bush administration Sunday of overzealous editing of the public version of a report on the causes of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Citing proposed changes in several sections of the report -- which was based on the congressional investigation he helped oversee as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee -- the Florida senator said on CNN's Late Edition that the administration was trying to hide information submitted in open session and, in some cases, reported in the media. ''That's not being done for any legitimate national security reasons,'' Graham told CNN. ``It's being done because they don't want the American people to see a coherent narrative of what happened.'' miami.com

Photos indicate torture and sexual abuse by British troops in Iraq June 4, 2003 By Paul Mitchell Staff in a British photo-processing shop have handed-over photographs to the police that indicate British troops tortured and sexually abused Iraqi prisoners of war. One picture taken in a warehouse shows a man stripped to the waist, while suspended from a rope attached to a forklift truck. A soldier driving the truck is apparently laughing at the man’s plight. Another picture seems to show an Iraqi man being forced to perform oral sex on a (white) man. A third picture shows two Iraqis apparently being forced to perform anal sex. A fourth picture shows two naked Iraqis cowering on the ground. Amnesty International spokeswoman Lesley Warner said if the photos “are true then this is clearly a violation of the Geneva Convention, which absolutely prohibits any torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” wsws.org

Your Bill of Rights Repealed June 4, 2003 by John David Rose Think About It. In the Stalin era of the Soviet Union, Americans arrested for spying disappeared into the gulag without an opportunity for legal assistance or even to contact their families. My high school social science teacher illustrated how different America was from Russia by explaining to us the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law." We were proud to be citizens of a country where peoples' rights were guaranteed, protected against even the government. We foolishly believed those rights would last as long as the United States. Today, through presidential fiat, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is no longer in force. The government can take liberty from American citizens without a trial. Attorney General John Ashcroft asserts that President Bush has the power to hold any American citizen incommunicado, in solitary confinement for a month, a year, even life if Bush designates that citizen an "enemy combatant." The accused may not have access to a lawyer or visits by a member of the family or even a priest. sianews.com

RUSSIA DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF ISRAELI NUCLEAR WEAPONS June 4, 2003 By: Rosalinda The Russian representative, speaking at the meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, held in May in Pusan, South Korea, presented a report on the nuclear weapons in Israel's possession, and demanded that this matter be addressed. This demand was made while the U.S. was demanding an end to nuclear cooperation between Russia and Iran. The Russian representative declared that Israel represents a greater threat to the Middle East than Iran. rumormillnews.com

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! June 3, 2003  by Dan Dvorak When is it going to finally be time to tell Bush that enough is enough? Now he’s going after Iran. Iraq didn’t have WMD so Iran must have these illusive little critters. Then Syria, then Jordan then who knows, maybe even Saudi Arabia. When is the nation of Islam going to finally rise up and tell Bush, forgetaboutit! You have had your fun, you have exported your death, you have contaminated everything and everywhere you go, you have your goddamn oil, you have your regime change, enough is enough. “We will not allow you to systematically pick off our countries one at a time” thepeoplesvoice.org

Unease grows of war under false pretext June 3, 2003 By Nicholas Watt Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, made the first visit to postwar Iraq by a Western leader amid mounting questions in the United States and Britain about the alleged weapons arsenal that was the stated reason for war against Saddam Hussein. As Mr Blair made a quick stop in Basra, British ministers were accused of distorting the findings of the chief United Nations weapons inspector to support their claims about Saddam's weapons program. And in the US, Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat, said intelligence information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was either wrong or altered by the Bush Administration. smh.com.au

Supreme Court pares Miranda rights Authorities can force the unwilling to speak June 3, 2003 Bee News Services The Supreme Court narrowed the historic right against self-incrimination Tuesday, ruling that police and government investigators can force an unwilling person to talk, as long as those admissions are not used to prosecute them. The 6-3 opinion undercuts the well-known "Miranda warnings," in which officers tell suspects of their right to remain silent. It appears to allow more aggressive police questioning of reluctant witnesses in the hope of obtaining evidence. fresnobee.com

Protests ignored as US relaxes ownership rules June 3, 2003 David Teather In US officials yesterday loosened decades-old media ownership rules amid protests that deregulation would lead to too much power in too few hands. As anticipated, the federal communications committee voted to make it easier for media companies to buy up more television and radio stations. Most controversially, it has made it possible for a single company to own the biggest broadcaster and newspaper in all but the smallest markets. The issue has caused a schism in the FCC and the vote was split down party lines with three Republicans in favour and two Democrats against. guardian.co.uk

Bush administration steps up war on environment June 3, 2003 By David Walsh “Excessive regulations undermine our democratic institutions, the health of our economy, and the very property rights on which our nation was founded”—Republican Congressman Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader, to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner, May 21, 2003 The Bush administration is pushing ahead with its agenda of gutting environmental protection at the behest of corporate interests and right-wing ideologues. This is a wide-ranging attack, which includes blatant efforts to roll back environmental protections, deliberate neglect and sabotage of existing regulations, and so-called “reform” measures aimed at obtaining big business goals through the back door. Recent news accounts indicate that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts against polluters have been significantly cut back in the two years since Bush came to power. wsws.org

BUSH TAX POLICY FAVORS ROBBER BARONS June 3, 2003 By Bill Gallagher The presidency of George W. Bush is a domestic and international disaster and it's bound to get worse. The swaggering Texan's poll numbers remain in the stratosphere as the American people buy the string of lies, distortions and deceptions that buttress the administration's agenda at home and around the world. The Bush economic plan is the greediest, most reckless and rapacious raid on the public treasury in American history. The corporate robber barons and monopolists of the 19th century stole from and exploited the poor while the government looked the other way. This band of thieves uses government to rob from the poor to reward the rich, and sends the bill to the children and grandchildren of the middle class. niagarafallsreporter.com

When Lying Pays Off The Fabrications of the Neo-Cons June 3, 2003 by WAYNE MADSEN America's manipulative neo-conservatives, who support unending aggression against any country that does not succumb to United States political, economic, and military control and who, themselves, seized power in Washington through electoral malfeasance, are taking a page from Nazi Germany's leaders in their quest for world domination. It is no coincidence that the neo-cons are worried about comparisons between their policies and those of Hitler. Ed Gernon, the Canadian executive producer of the upcoming CBS miniseries, "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," was fired when he suggested similarities between the methods used by both Hitler and Bush to wipe away civil liberties by playing on popular fear. The Nazi-like campaign against Gernon was launched by the New York Post and TV Guide, both owned by proto-fascist Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. counterpunch.org

Pattern of Megalomania June 2, 2003 by Schuyler Ebbets The Republicans were the first to use the term "coup d'etat" to describe the events surrounding the 2000 election. As each day passed without a clearly defined presidential leader fear and apprehension increased. Many believed that the absence of tanks in the streets proved that American democracy was still in tact. A flawed reasoning based on the assumption that a "coup d'etat" is always defined as the violent overthrow of a legitimate government, accompanied by arrests, executions, and torture. In reality a violent government takeover is more characteristic of a "putsch," and coups are usually covert in nature. thepeoplesvoice.org

Bush seeks to restrict foreign nationals' suits June 2, 2003 By Dan Eggen and Charles Lane The Bush administration is pushing to limit the ability of foreign nationals to obtain judgments against despots and multinational corporations in US courts, arguing that such lawsuits have become a threat to American foreign policy and could undermine the war on terrorism. For the past 23 years, federal courts have allowed victims of torture and other abuse to file claims under an obscure 1789 statute for violations of human rights norms, commonly known as the Alien Torts Claims Act. Since a 1980 civil suit against a former Paraguayan police chief accused of torturing and killing a teenage boy, lawsuits have been filed against Ferdinand Marcos, former Philippine president; Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic; Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden; and banks and other companies alleged to have profited from Nazi war crimes. But the Justice Department, reflecting an emerging view among conservative legal scholars, argues in a 30-page brief that such lawsuits frequently have no connection to the United States and may complicate foreign policy objectives by targeting allies, including nations helping to fight terrorism. boston.com

Cities crack down on rising homeless population June 2, 2003 By V. Dion Haynes LOS ANGELES — Having been roused from sleep by security guards demanding that she vacate the sidewalk near a fish plant, Regina Whatley tossed her possessions into a shopping cart, broke down her tent and departed to find another spot on the crowded streets of skid row. "If they catch you sleeping, they tell you you could go to jail," Whatley, 46, said in a decayed section of downtown best described as a makeshift urban-refugee camp where an estimated 4,000 people live in tents and boxes. "They tell you you got to relocate. But where we going to go?" Los Angeles is embarking on a campaign to disperse the homeless and make homelessness a crime. A growing number of cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta, are criminalizing activities of the homeless, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. More than 60 cities are introducing measures to make it illegal to beg or sleep on the streets, to sit in a bus shelter for more than an hour, or to walk across a parking lot if the person doesn't have a car parked there. In Los Angeles, the objective is to clear out Tent City, where prostitution, drug dealing and even open defecation have hampered decades-old plans to draw shoppers. seattletimes.nwsource.com

FEC Report: Presidential Candidate LaRouche Has the Broadest Support June 2, 2003 What these official figures show is that the Democratic National Committee-ordered exclusion of Lyndon LaRouche from candidate forums and debates is a blatant political fix, which ignores the most objective criteria of candidate support available—the amount of money raised, and the base of contributors. LaRouche's number of individual reported contributions over $200, and his total dollar amount from smaller contributors, is the indisputably strongest measure of popular support available. The major media, led by the Washington Post, whose stated editorial policy is never to cover LaRouche except to slander him, has reported the April 15 filing by lying by omission—ignoring the story of how LaRouche, the anti-war opponent of the "empire" faction, has outraised Lieberman and five others. The information was publicly available on the FEC's website, www.fec.gov, under "press background." larouchepub.com

Now dissent is 'immoral' June 2, 2003 Gary Younge Just about the only person criticising Bush in the US media is Sean Penn - and he paid $125,000 for the privilege Some of you, many of you, are not going to like what you hear tonight," said Ted Koppel, the senior American news anchor as he introduced Arundhati Roy, the Indian novelist, activist and critic of US foreign policy, to his show shortly after September 11. "You don't have to listen. But if you do, you should know that dissent sometimes comes in strange packages..." The introduction, such as it was, told us less about Roy than it did about both Koppel and the mindset that has dominated the American media since the collapse of the twin towers. It reflects at best a reluctance, and at worst a downright refusal, to engage with views and voices opposed to George Bush's foreign policy. It illustrates a tendency to dismiss rather than discuss, and deride rather than debate - to circle the wagons around nationhood, leaving questions about what is being done in the nation's name and why, on the outside. guardian.co.uk

Choking a grandmother

Wake Up, America Or Is It Already Too Late? June 1, 2003 by ELAINE CASSEL I teach law and psychology, and also do a good deal of public speaking, mostly to lawyers, educators, and social workers. Since September 11, 2001, I have been watching closely what the Bush dictatorship is doing at home and abroad. I continue to be disgusted and dismayed by how little presumably well-education Americans know about what is going on at home in Bush's "other war," the war against you and me, and the American way of life. counterpunch.org

Is There Anything Left That Matters? June 1, 2003 by Joan Chittister This is what I don't understand: All of a sudden nothing seems to matter. First, they said they wanted Bin Laden "dead or alive." But they didn't get him. So now they tell us that it doesn't matter. Our mission is greater than one man. Then they said they wanted Saddam Hussein, "dead or alive." He's apparently alive but we haven't got him yet, either. However, President Bush told reporters recently, "It doesn't matter. Our mission is greater than one man." Finally, they told us that we were invading Iraq to destroy their weapons of mass destruction. Now they say those weapons probably don't exist. Maybe never existed. Apparently that doesn't matter either. Except that it does matter. I know we're not supposed to say that. I know it's called "unpatriotic." But it's also called honesty. And dishonesty matters. commondreams.org

Russian Central Bank Switches Currency Reserves to Euro June 1, 2003 Russia's central bank has decided to hold part of its foreign currency reserves in euros. This was announced today by President Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Strelna, near St. Petersburg. Putin said that when he became president the country's currency reserves were worth USD 11 billion, but over the last three years they had grown to USD 61 billion. The Russian President also said that the EU is Russia's most important trade and economic partner. rosbaltnews.com

Europe Unites Against USA June 1, 2003 What do NATO, Iraq and the Holocaust have in common? Having dealt with Germany and France, the anti-Iraqi coalition has turned its attention to another European state that took an anti-war stance - Belgium. As is well known, 13 Iraqi citizens filed a lawsuit in a Belgian court in the beginning of May. The Iraqis accused US commander Tommy Franks of war crimes. However, the suit was dismissed after American officials said that Belgium might have big problems (NATO headquarters is located in Brussels). The trial threatens Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon too: he has been accused of genocide. english.pravda.ru

Crisis in health care: 41 million have none June 1, 2003 By ARTHUR JONES The United States has two health care crises -- plus the finest medicine in the world for those who can afford it. The first crisis haunts the 41 million Americans who have no medical coverage at all. This, in the words of the Robert Wood Johnston Foundation’s Stuart Schear, is a five-part crisis. During a recent Cover the Uninsured Week conference, Schear described the crisis as “a health issue, an issue of economics, a political issue -- but also a moral issue and ethical issue.” The second U.S. health care crisis threatens those who do have coverage. It has two parts. Those Americans covered by Medicaid and Medicare are in publicly funded systems threatened by a political ideology that would drastically alter the current system in favor of privatization. In the other major covered group are Americans with private health care insurance. They, and their employers, are reeling from rapidly rising premiums. natcath.org



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