JULY 16-8, 03 Archives

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439,000 file new claims, US unemployment lines hit 20-year peak July 16, 2003 By Jeremy Johnson More workers are living on unemployment checks in the US today than at any time in more than 20 years, the US Department of Labor reported last week. Figures released July 10 indicated that 439,000 workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending July 5, an increase of 5,000 from the week before. At the same time, the number receiving benefits jumped to 3,818,000, increasing by 87,000 in just one week, and reaching a level not seen since February 1983. These new statistics confirm the relentless destruction of jobs that is taking place in spite of widespread predictions by economists and government officials of an economic recovery just around the corner. The latest report proves that the jump in the official unemployment rate to 6.4 percent reported a week earlier was not merely an aberration, as Labor Secretary Elaine Chao had maintained. wsws.org

PUBLIC DOUBT GROWING QUICKLY AS BUSH'S WAR STORIES UNRAVEL July 16, 2003 By Bill Gallagher The lies and calculated deceptions George W. Bush used to make his case for war with Iraq are unraveling. At long last, more Americans are realizing how intelligence information was shaped and warped to support the case for an attack on Iraq to protect us from the "imminent threat" of Saddam's phantom weapons. Nearly every day now, American soldiers die and the resistance to the occupation of Iraq grows stronger and more organized. In a chilling interview with Newsday, a leader of Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen militia describes the strategy that will challenge the new American empire. niagarafallsreporter.com

President Caught In Another Lie July 16, 2003 This is just one more example of president Bush hiding one lie behind another. During a press briefing at the Whitehouse with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday, 07/14/03, our president continued to lie to the American people. This latest instance of Presidential deceit relates to the reasons for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. When questioned about his comments in the state of the union address relating to the now discredited claim that Iraq tried to buy Uranium yellowcake from Niger, the president said. "The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful." This as clearly a lie by our president,  "And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power" President Bush has rewritten history and provided a new reason as to why he ordered the  US invasion of Iraq. informationclearinghouse.info

An Age Of Lies July 16, 2003 By Michael Rivero The latest joke making the rounds on the internet is that truth has become so valuable that the government has embarked on a conservation program. Lying is something we normally take very seriously. Certainly we ourselves are exhorted by schools and clergy to always be truthful. We demand truthfulness of those around us and those we employ, and while we may wink tolerantly at the "white" lie, most of us realize that society as a whole cannot function smoothly without a certain assurance of honesty. We therefore punish children who lie. We fire employees who lie. We choose to not associate with, listen to, or trust people who lie. We are most demanding for the truth in the matter of commerce. We demand that products and services we spend our hard-earned money on function exactly as promised by the salesperson. We generally tolerate nothing less. For most Americans, government is the single largest expense in our lives. Combined taxes and fees for all levels of government devour roughly half of all that we ever earn. Most Americans spend more money on the government than on their homes. Yet for this particular "product" and these particular "salespeople", we the consumers seem strangely reluctant to demand the same honesty we expect of, for example, the people we buy our cars from. Somehow, We The People have been lured into accepting a double standard; that the government which takes so much of our money is exempt from the normal requirement for truth upon which at least in part our civilization is built. rense.com

Bush feels burn of waning popularity July 16, 2003 ALEX MASSIE IF TONY Blair, the Prime Minister, was hoping for a respite from Iraq when he arrives in Washington tomorrow, he will be sorely disappointed. London is not the only capital facing a "credibility gap". The troubles of the United States president, George Bush, are mounting, as his administration finds it increasingly difficult to shrug off claims it misled the American public over Iraq’s weapons programmes. Democrats and the media were reluctant to openly criticise the administration while the war was being fought, but this week they have driven the issue of the missing weapons of mass destruction to the top of the news agenda. thescotsman.co.uk

Bush projects record red ink July 16, 2003 By ALAN FRAM The Bush administration dramatically raised its budget deficit projections on Tuesday to $455 billion for this year and $475 billion for next, record levels fed by the limp economy, tax cuts and the battle against terrorism. The totals would easily surpass the $290 billion shortfall of 1992 that has been the red ink high water mark until now. They also mark a deterioration by more than 50 percent since February. helenair.com

Head Start officials oppose changes pushed by Bush July 16, 2003 By JENNY JOHNSON Proposed changes in national legislation has Head Start directors across Montana worried that the Bush administration aims to ultimately turn the federal preschool program over to the management - and coffers - of state government. The successful pre-kindergarten program that serves 4,500 Montana children works just fine, says Ravalli County Head Start executive director John Filz. So why monkey with it, he asks. Started 38 years ago, the federal Head Start program is reauthorized by the legislature every five years. This year, Bush proposed sweeping changes in the program that transfer a significant portion of the Head Start responsibility to state governments. ravallinews.com

Unemployed? Worried? Read On... July 16, 2003 By Carl F. Worden Now that at least 6% of you are unemployed in the United States and have more free time to read, perhaps you'd like to know why you no longer have a job, why your job-finding prospects are bleak, why our trade deficit is off the charts and even more importantly, who did this to you. In order for you to fully grasp what I'm about to write, we'll need to review what worked to make this nation the most wealthy and powerful nation ever to grace the face of this earth. First, we need to remember how wealth is created. The average high school graduate comes out thinking that if they get more of the money others have, then that's the way to create wealth. They don't have a clue about wealth creation, because in most cases, the schools don't teach it, and most of the kid's parents don't know either -- so herewith is a refresher course. rense.com

A Big Letdown Soldiers Learn They’ll Be in Baghdad Longer Than Expected July 16, 2003 By Jeffrey Kofman F A L L U J A H, Iraq The sergeant at the 2nd Battle Combat Team Headquarters pulled me aside in the corridor. "I've got my own 'Most Wanted' list," he told me. He was referring to the deck of cards the U.S. government published, featuring Saddam Hussein, his sons and other wanted members of the former Iraqi regime. "The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz," he said. He was referring to the four men who are running U.S. policy here in Iraq — the four men who are ultimately responsible for the fate of U.S. troops here. "If Donald Rumsfeld were sitting here in front of us, what would you say to him?" I asked a group of soldiers who gathered around a table, eager to talk to a visiting reporter. "If he was here," said Pfc. Jason Punyahotra, "I would ask him why we're still here, why we've been told so many times and it's changed." In the back of the group, Spc. Clinton Deitz put up his hand. "If Donald Rumsfeld was here," he said, "I'd ask him for his resignation." abcnews.go.com

Rumsfeld's personal spy ring July 16, 2003 By Eric Boehlert The defense secretary couldn't count on the CIA or the State Department to provide a pretext for war in Iraq. So he created a new agency that would tell him what he wanted to hear. During last fall's feverish ramp up to war with Iraq, the Pentagon created an unusual in-house shop to monitor Saddam Hussein's links with terrorists and his allegedly sprawling arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. With direct access to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's office and the White House, the influential group helped lay out, both to administration officials and to the press, an array of chilling, almost too-good-to-be-true examples of why Saddam posed an immediate threat to America. Six months later, with controversy mounting over the administration's handling of war intelligence, the small, secretive cell inside the Pentagon is drawing closer scrutiny and may soon be the subject of a congressional inquiry to determine whether it manipulated and politicized key intelligence and botched planning for post-war Iraq. salon.com

A ‘free ride’ for Bush-Cheney? July 16, 2003 Pat Murphy Republicans are frantically brandishing their long knives and checkbooks in hopes of booting California Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, out of office. The GOP charges? California’s $38 billion deficit. What’s going on here? Republicans who’re willing to oust Gov. Davis for a deficit are also the same Republicans who’re ecstatic about the debt-and-deficit economics of President Bush, who has drained the Treasury of the $256 billion surplus he inherited, in addition to spending the nation into a $455 billion-plus deficit this year and a long term deficit of trillions of dollars for our great-grandchildren. mtexpress.com

The bush Family July 16, 2003 We have put together some links that can give you the background on many Bush Family affairs. We have no idea why Americans believe this family has moral values even close to any average American Family. If they do represent the average American Family, we should all be disgusted. New Documentary done by Greg Palast of the BBC. This documentary deals with the Bush's family fortunes. thelawparty.com

Trickle Down Lying; The Gamble Failed and it's Time for the Bush Regime to Pay, Starting with Cheney's Impeachment July 15, 2003 Rob Kall opednews.com Wasington Post writer Howard Kurtz says, "But in the bluest of blue-state precincts, it's hard to tell which emotion is stronger: disgust with Dubya or anger at the American public for failing to share their outrage." I am outraged. I know, because I hear from my readers that there are many more people who are outraged with the lying in the Whitehouse. It's a full-fledged, sloppy, incompetent cover-up and it's only a matter of time before the liars get their due comeuppance. One thing we know is that the CIA told the White house not to use the Nigerian Uranium claims of nuclear threat months before the State of the Union address. Condoleeza Rice already knew. You don't blame someone for not telling you twice. opednews.com

House rejects requirement on labeling origin of meats July 15, 2003 WASHINGTON The House squared off Monday over a controversial law to require labeling so that consumers know the country of origin for the beef and pork they buy in grocery stores. Lawmakers who want labeling lost the debate with a 193-208 vote on an amendment that would have pushed through funding so the Agriculture Department can continue to devise rules for a country-of-origin labeling program. In Arizona's delegation, Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva voted for the amendment. Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor and Republican Reps. Jeff Flake, Trent Franks, J.D. Hayworth, Jim Kolbe, Rick Renzi and John Shadegg voted against it. azcentral.com

A New Hard-Liner at the DEA July 15, 2003 by Jason Vest Though the Republican Party prides itself on being a champion of state sovereignty, one need only mention phrases like "medical marijuana" or "drug law reform" to see how quickly the Administration of George W. Bush becomes hostile to the notion of the autonomy of states. The latest--and perhaps most egregious--example of this enmity is about to become manifest via a new appointment: that of veteran Justice Department official Karen Tandy, soon to be new chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to drug-reform activists, the nomination of Tandy--a career Justice Department prosecutor and administrator whose most recent assignments have including busting mail-order bong sellers and those involved in Oregon and California's state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs--is a clear signal from the Administration that it will give no quarter on any aspect of marijuana policy. thenation.com

Behind Bush's wars is his attack on environment "When you look closely, you find so many things going wrong with the environment; you are forced to reassess the hypothesis of intelligent life on Earth." - Carl Sagan On June 25, columnist Charlie Rose interviewed Hans Blix on PBS. For the better part of an hour this quiet septuagenarian, the former chief U.N. inspector in Iraq, confirmed the obvious, that President Bush and his administration lied to us and to the world. Blix was asked whether he thought Bush's actions had made the world a safer or a more dangerous place. Blix replied, in essence, that this war, like most wars currently scattered around the globe, would probably have little lasting effect one way or the other. What truly frightened him, however, were Bush's actions in withdrawing America from the rest of the world's attempts to stop the destruction of the environment. For that there was no cure, and the damage may well be permanent and irreversible. theunion.com

Bush administration expected to predict deficit of over $400 billion July15,2003 Washington-AP The Bush administration budget forecast due out today is expected to project the largest deficit in history -- and Democrats say even that figure is underestimated. Republican congressional aides say the report will predict a deficit of 400 to 450 (b) billion dollars for the rest of this fiscal year and again for next year. Democrats say the figure is misleading because it does not include the future cost of occupying Iraq and keeping the peace in Afghanistan -- now running at nearly five (b) billion dollars a month. kesq.com

Bush’s tour and US imperialism’s designs on Africa July 15, 2003 By Chris Talbot US President Bush’s African tour was something of a public relations debacle. Though he went from one carefully staged media event to the next and was kept well away from both protesters and the mass of the population, he spent most of his time answering embarrassing questions about the failure to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the false claims used to justify war. His attempt to project a compassionate image was, to put mildly, less than convincing. wsws.org

Bush hangs Blair out to dry over Iraqi nuclear claims, Prominent MPs call for Blair to resign July 15, 2003 By Chris Marsden In admitting US doubts over British intelligence reports concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the Bush administration has deepened the political crisis of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In particular, Blair has been hit by recent statements from Washington distancing Bush from British reports, exposed months ago as having been based on forged documents, of Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium from Niger. Proving the old saw that there is no honour amongst thieves. wsws.org

For George from Tony; not a million dollar oil painting, just a toilet bag July 15, 2003 Julian Borger The Saudis presented President George Bush with a million-dollar oil painting. From the Italians he got an exquisite alabaster sculpture depicting the Allegory of the Triumph. Tony Blair gave him a toilet bag. It's not entirely clear what the bag of toiletries from Mr Blair represented. guardian.co.uk

Release David Hicks and all Guantanamo Bay detainees July 15, 2003 By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) The Socialist Equality Party unequivocally condemns the Australian government’s support for the Bush administration’s plan to put six Guantanamo Bay prisoners, including 27-year-old Australian citizen David Hicks, before a military tribunal, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. The trial of the six, like their prolonged detention, is in flagrant contravention of the Geneva Conventions on prisoners of war and constitutes a fundamental attack on democratic rights. wsws.org

US justice department defies court on al-Qaida July 15, 2003 Duncan Campbell The US justice department, in a remarkable move that could have profound judicial ramifications, yesterday defied a judge's order to allow a potential witness to be questioned by an al-Qaida suspect, Zacarias Moussaoui. The move could technically lead to the case against Mr Moussaoui being thrown out. guardian.co

Missile Defense Strategy Not Feasible Against Potential Threats, Shows American Physical Society Study July 15, 2003 U.S. Newswire Intercepting missiles while their rockets are still burning would not be an effective approach for defending the U.S. against attacks by an important type of enemy missile. This conclusion comes from an independent study by the American Physical Society into the scientific and technical feasibility of boost-phase defense, focusing on potential missile threats from North Korea and Iran. Boost-phase defense (disabling ballistic missiles while they are still under power) has recently received much attention as one possible element of a National Missile Defense system. However, the report shows that issues of timing severely limit the feasibility of this approach. The short time window available for disabling an enemy missile means that interceptor rockets would have to be based close to enemy territory to have a chance of intercepting the missile in time, if it is possible at all. usnewswire.com

Laws of Empire By David Moberg In 1996 Burmese peasant villagers filed a lawsuit against Unocal. They charged the U.S. oil company with knowingly collaborating with the country’s repressive military government to forcibly relocate peasants living in the path of Unocal’s oil pipeline project. The military used these peasants as slave labor to clear a path for the pipeline and build service roads. The suit claimed that those who refused to work were often killed, beaten, tortured, or raped. Documents filed in the case indicate that Unocal had been well-informed by its advisors of how the military operated, and knew of its history of using slave labor. The villagers, who had fled to Thailand, had no legal recourse under the Burmese military dictatorship, but they did have an opportunity to seek justice in the United States, where they filed suit under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) with the help of the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF). inthesetimes.com

Iraq: the human toll Ed Vulliamy As news reporters tracked troops on the road to Baghdad, much of the suffering and loss of ordinary Iraqi civilians was left untold. Until now. It was Rahad's turn to hide. The nine-year-old girl found a good place to conceal herself from her playmates, the game of hide and seek having lasted some two hours along a quiet residential street in the town of Fallujah, on the banks of the Euphrates. But while Rahad crouched behind the wall of a neighbour's house, someone else - not playing the game - had spotted her, and her friends; someone above. The pilot of an American A-10 'tank-buster' aircraft, hovering in a figure of eight. He was flying an airborne weapon equipped with some of the most advanced and accurate equipment for 'precision target recognition' in the Pentagon's arsenal. And at 5.30pm on 29 March, he launched his weapon at the street scene below. The 'daisy-cutter' bounced and exploded a few feet above ground, blasting red-hot shrapnel into the walls not of a tank but of houses. Rahad Septi and 10 other children lost their lives; another 12 were injured. Three adults were also killed. observer.guardian.co / part two of 'Iraq: the human toll' here

Examples of lies by Bush Last month a writer to The Union requested specifics on lies told by President Bush. Unfortunately, I had already submitted my one letter for that month and could not reply immediately. The following are a few examples: "Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tube and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." Bush, Oct. 7, 2002, in Cincinnati. "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Bush, Jan. 28, 2003, in the State of the Union address theunion.com

Bush White House in crisis over Iraq war lies By Patrick Martin The admission by the White House July 7 that Bush’s State of the Union speech contained false allegations about Iraqi nuclear weapons programs has touched off a major political crisis for the Bush administration. CIA Director George Tenet is rumored to be on his way out, and there are indications that the damage will not stop there. By week’s end, Tenet had been compelled to issue an extraordinary statement taking full responsibility for the falsification, in what was widely understood to be an effort to protect National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Cheney and Bush himself. wsws.org

The New White House Slogan "Case Closed. Just Move On." By DAVID LINDORFF So President Bush considers the issue of his lying to the American people about Iraq's possessing or trying to possess nuclear weapons to be "closed." Now that CIA Director George Tenet has admitted he "should have" noticed this whopper and complained about its inclusion in Bush's speech explaining his reason for attacking Iraq, the president says we can just stop bugging him about it. So what if Iraq is now a huge mess requiring the indefinite stationing of 145,000-150,000 or more soldiers for years to come at a cost of $4 billion a month. So what if over 200 GIs and thousands of Iraqis, including women and children, have died? So what if one or two U.S. soldiers are being killed and more wounded every day there? Our president has "moved on." counterpunch.org

What would Bush say to Blair if we were holding US citizens prisoner on the Isle of Wight? Menzies CampbellMinisters' discomfort has been palpable. Chris Mullin newly returned to government, the usually imperturbable Baroness Symons and the Prime Minister have all in the past few days stood embarrassed at the dispatch box unable to defend the indefensible. What is proposed for British citizens incarcerated without charge at Guantanamo Bay - a special US military commission that could ultimately lead to their execution - cannot be defended. Even those accused of the most heinous crimes are entitled to due process. A secret military tribunal without choice of counsel and no right to cross-examine witnesses is not due process. John Walker Lindh, the only American citizen detained in Afghanistan, was never sent to Guantanamo and faced legal proceedings in the US system with all the protections and privileges which that entails. Why should British citizens be in any worse position? independent.co.uk

Private Lynch, symbol of a fictitious war July 14 2003 Malcolm Knox The rescue of Jessica Lynch defined the Iraq war - and now defines what it was not. Private Jessica Lynch has amnesia. The soldier, now reportedly in hospital, can bear witness neither to what happened nor what didn't. Lynch remains the governing metaphor for the war, which, like her, is less a substance than an absence, a portrait drawn in silhouette. Just as Lynch is coloured around by what did not happen to her on April Fool's Day, what is not happening in Iraq is growing clearer by the day. On April 4 The Washington Post reported that Lynch was rescued from the Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah by "navy special operations forces, or Seals, extract[ing] Private Lynch while under fire". In fact, there were no Iraqi soldiers in or near the hospital. It was reported on April 6 that after being ambushed, Lynch "fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition despite having sustained multiple gunshot wounds". smh.com.au

Oh Really O'Reilly COSMOS LEFT believes FOX talk show host Bill O'Reilly has emerged as one of the most dangerous individuals in this country. There are other bourgeois pundits more personally obnoxious than O'Reilly--Hannity, Colter, Limbaugh--but none of these cretins pretends to be working class heroes. O'Reilly does claim to speak for workers, as fascist demagogues usually do. COSMOS LEFT will expose this liar as a deadly enemy of working people; a demagogic windbag railing against the weak and bankrupt liberal elites who refuse to discipline unruly Black kids in public schools, and won't militarize the borders to keep out those damned illegal Mexicans. The overriding theme of OH REALLY O'REILLY is that behind O'Reilly's politics of resentment with a smile lies the face of American fascism. cosmosleft.com

Our President is a Criminal July 13, 2003 By Daniel Patrick Welch It's well past time to say it. Despite the weaseling and finger-pointing--in fact, because of it--the Forged Niger letter is indeed the smoking gun, and the chips have yet to stop falling. Who wrote the damn thing, and on whose orders? Who cares whether Tenet, his job on the line, acquiesced to including a literal truth that actually amounts to one of the great frauds of the century? The sheer audacity and cynicism of this coterie of hacks and hustlers is simply astounding. As a teacher, I won't let six-year-olds get away with such transparent sophistry. The bottom line is that Bush knew the information was bogus, and used it anyway to convince millions to go along with his phony war. For that alone, for the memory of the thousands of dead Iraqis and Americans, he deserves the il Duce treatment... thepeoplesvoice.org

9/11 inquiry alleges witness intimidation July 13, 2003 Julian Borger A US panel investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks yesterday accused the Pentagon and the justice department of obstructing the inquiry and said witnesses were being intimidated. The federal commission of inquiry was appointed eight months ago by the White House, which was under intense congressional pressure to look into allegations that the CIA, the FBI and the Pentagon could have done more to prevent the 2001 al-Qaida attacks. Among a string of apparent intelligence failures, the commission will be asking why the FBI failed to heed warnings from some of its agents that al-Qaida could be planning to hit targets with hijacked airliners. guardian.co.uk

20 Lies About the War July 13, 2003 By Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker Falsehoods ranging from exaggeration to plain untruth were used to make the case for war. More lies are being used in the aftermath.  1 Iraq was responsible for the 11 September attacks A supposed meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, leader of the 11 September hijackers, and an Iraqi intelligence official was the main basis for this claim, but Czech intelligence later conceded that the Iraqi's contact could not have been Atta. This did not stop the constant stream of assertions that Iraq was involved in 9/11, which was so successful that at one stage opinion polls showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the hand of Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks. Almost as many believed Iraqi hijackers were aboard the crashed airliners; in fact there were none. independent.co.uk

Bush's Data Dump July 13, 2003 By Russ Baker The administration is hiding bad economic news. Here's how. The Bush administration is finally facing tough questions about its selective use of intelligence in selling war with Iraq. But Americans shouldn't just be skeptical of what the president says about WMD. They should be skeptical of what he says about GDP. In economic policy even more than in war policy, the Bushies have successfully suppressed, manipulated, and withheld evidence to serve their policy purposes. Of course every administration likes to trumpet its good news and hide its bad, but what's remarkable about the Bush team is its willingness to stifle data that had been widely released and to politicize data that used to be nonpartisan. slate.msn.com

The Plight of the Middle Class Poor July 13, 2003 By Rick Munarriz Recent economic data has been disheartening. Increasingly, for the working middle class majority, nothing -- from job security to financial sustenance -- is a given. But don't panic. With today's low borrowing costs and a little sensible thinking, it's never too late to start living below your means. The U.S. economy has tended to grade on a bell curve. You have the rich. You have the poor. Then you have the vast majority of us somewhere in the middle. But if spare change isn't jingling the way it used to or if you're finding it harder to make ends meet, you're not alone. Unemployment hit a fresh nine-year high last month. While 6.4% unemployment may not seem like much on an absolute basis, it's worse than you think. New jobless claims have topped the 400,000 mark for 18 straight weeks. fool.com

Eat Frankenfood Or Go Hungry July 13, 2003 By Thomas Smith Here in America, possibly because of our Puritan heritage, we seem to feel the need to cast any rotten evil thing that we do in a guise that makes us appear as the world's benefactor. This is no less true of corporations than it is of government. Nowhere else in the world does a nation's propaganda ministry spend so much effort to appear "good while justifying the most evil things the mind of man can imagine. In America, the "cover story has been raised to an artform. Consider the willful destruction of the worlds food chain by a merger of corporate and government interests as a case in point. A conference on genetically engineered agricultural products was recently sponsored by the US department of Agriculture in Sacramento, California. Police in riot gear were sent to control the angry crowds that swarmed the streets making very clear the fact that they do not want to be forced to consume GM food. rense.com

Canadians vote Bush least-liked president July 13, 2003 By SHAWN McCARTHY Ottawa — U.S. President George W. Bush is the most unpopular American president in recent memory among Canadians, with more than 60 per cent saying they have an unfavourable opinion of him, according to a new poll by Environics Research Group Ltd. Relations between Mr. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien have been strained over the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, among other issues, but most Canadians blame the American President for the worsening climate, Environics said in a poll released exclusively to The Globe and Mail. Environics senior associate Derek Leebosh said that, while Canadians maintain a favourable attitude toward the United States, Mr. Bush is deeply unpopular here. That's in contrast to his still high, though declining, approval ratings among Americans. globeandmail.com

Homes bulldozed to clear way for Bush July 12, 2003 ABUJA Armed police backed by bulldozers tore down illegally built homes and shops in the Nigerian capital Abuja today ahead of a visit by US President George W Bush. The operation began yesterday after an order from President Olusegun Obasanjo to clean up the city ahead of his American counterpart's arrival, officials said. In one residential quarter of the city reporter saw around 60 buildings - ranging from brick-built structures to makeshift wooden shanties - ploughed down as hundreds of residents looked on in despair. "They didn't give us any warning," wailed tailor John Emeka, who saved his sewing machine but lost much of his stock when a joint taskforce of police and environmental protection agents pulled down his business. Nearby a stock of computers lay mangled in the wreckage of an electronic goods store, and the ownwer of a grilled meat stand argued with officers attempting to condemn his barbecue. The police came armed with assault rifles and tear gas, but there was no violence as the bulldozers rolled in. bday.co.za

Why are these media organizations changing their headlines? July 12, 2003 By Rob Kall OpEdNews.com I think I know, and you know too. They got a call. It might have been Ari Fleischer or one of his helpers, or Karl Rove. It might have been the local congressman of the editor, or someone with an FCC connection. But someone called them and persuaded them to change the original honest headline, the headline written by the courageous journalist within the reporter who wrote it and the editor who allowed it to pass into html uploaded to the website. Buzzflash.com reports that the right wing Media Research Center (as Buzzflash describes it, "a right wing, "prove the media is liberal" organization,") which sends out an emailing to 14,000+ subscribers, sent out this announcement...opednews.com

Why does 9/11 inquiry scare Bush? The Bush administration has never wanted an inquiry into the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that led up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and it is doing its best to make sure we never get one. Even the tame commission of Washington insiders, led by men of the president's own party, is now complaining that its work is being hampered by foot-dragging from the Pentagon and Justice Department in producing documents and witnesses, in an effort to run the clock out on it before it can complete its work. berkshireeagle.com

Dems Blast GOP As House Backs Overtime Democrats and union leaders are lambasting President Bush for a proposal they say would cost at least 8 million workers their overtime pay after the House backed his drive to overhaul decades-old rules determining who qualifies for the extra money. The Republican-led chamber voted 213-210 on Thursday to defeat a Democratic effort to derail the proposed regulations, clearing the way for the administration to impose changes in overtime rules as early as the end of this year. miami.com

Boiling Mad Over Bush July 11, 2003 By Howard Kurtz The left is now up in arms about one sentence in George Bush's last State of the Union speech. The White House's belated admission that the president relied on bum information in accusing Iraq of trying to buy uranium from Africa for a nuclear-weapons program has crystallized all the doubts and resentment that has been building in the liberal psyche. Some conservatives have their own problems with the prez, as we'll see in a moment. But in the bluest of blue-state precincts, it's hard to tell which emotion is stronger: disgust with Dubya or anger at the American public for failing to share their outrage. washingtonpost.com

As plans keep failing, Bush restates 'em . . . July 11, 2003 Richard Cohen The Bush White House is run on a business model. The President is the CEO. He delegates to others. It therefore should come as no surprise that President Bush is doing what other CEOs do when they get into trouble. In his case, he's "restated" his reasons for going to war. Corporations do this all the time. If a profit of, say, $2.8 billion turns out to be a loss of a similar amount on account of unanticipated developments (corruption, greed and the demands of mistresses), the figure merely gets "restated." In the same way, the President recently restated some of the reasons for invading Iraq. nydailynews.com

The political economy of American militarism Part 2 Part 1 July 11, 2003 By Nick Beams While the collapse of the Soviet Union provided the conditions for the US to try to realise long-held strategic objectives, we cannot simply ascribe the eruption of imperialist violence to opportunistic political motivations. Great changes in international relations—in the very structure of the world capitalist order, for that is what we are dealing with here—have their origins in the economic foundations of the capitalist system, and, in the final analysis, are the expression of deep-seated contradictions within it.
This presents us with something of a challenge: how do we grasp and elucidate the relationship between the economic driving forces of the capitalist system and the historical process? wsws.org

One week in America: workplace shootings, murder-suicides, killing spree plot July 11, 2003 By Kate Randall Even by American standards, the past week has witnessed an uncommonly large number of violent incidents—including two workplace shootings, murder-suicides and multiple homicides. Three teenagers were also arrested for allegedly plotting a killing rampage.
Between July 1 and July 8, 20 individuals were killed in these incidents and another 14 wounded. Many more domestic tragedies, street shootings and other “everyday” acts of violence have undoubtedly claimed the lives of others, but have not received national news coverage. wsws.org

AUTHORITARIANS GONE WILD July 10, 2003 By Ted Rall Whether, Not Who, is the Question About the 2004 Election - He has canceled elections in Iraq. He will probably cancel them in Afghanistan. Will George W. Bush put the kibosh on elections in the United States next year? Frightened by Bush's rapidly accruing personal power and the Democrats' inability and/or unwillingness to stand up to him, panicked lefties worry that he might use the "war on terrorism" as an excuse to declare a state of emergency, suspend civil liberties and jail political opponents. People who have spoken out against Bush are talking exit strategy--not Alec Baldwin style, just to make a statement, but fleeing the U.S. in order to save their skins. "Do you or your spouse have a European-born parent?" is a query making the rounds. (If you do, you can obtain dual nationality and a European Union passport that would allow you to work in any EU member nation.) Those whose lineage is 100 percent American are hoping that nations like Canada and France will admit American political refugees in the event of a Bushite clampdown. To these people, whether or not the 2004 elections actually take place as scheduled is the ultimate test for American democracy. At Guantánamo Bay the United States is converting a concentration camp into a death camp where inmates will be executed without due process or legal representation. Never before in history has a U.S. president contemplated the denaturalization of native-born citizens-thus far even people executed for treason have died as Americans--but Bush has drafted legislation that would allow him to strip anyone he calls an "enemy combatant" of their citizenship and have them deported. By any objective standard he has already gone way too far, but for many it would take the cancellation or delay of the elections to confirm that we are trading in our wounded democracy for a fascist state. story.news.yahoo.com

Overtime pay at issue Schumer derides Bush plan to cut OT for certain workers July 10, 2003 By JOE LoTEMPLIO A federal plan to eliminate overtime pay for millions of workers will not only take cash out of workers’ pockets but will hurt the economy. So says U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who termed "a cruel joke" a plan backed by the Bush administration to overhaul federal labor laws to eliminate paying overtime to certain "white-collar" workers. "The president says he wants to be the middle-class president; well, this puts a dagger in the heart of the middle class,’’ Schumer said in a telephone news conference with upstate reporters. pressrepublican.com

Keep to the law, Blair tells Bush July 10, 2003 Nicholas Watt Tony Blair gave George Bush a strong warning yesterday that he must follow proper legal procedures in the military trial of two Britons held at Guantanamo Bay who face the prospect of a death sentence. As 163 MPs signed a motion calling for the men to be repatriated, the prime minister made his unease clear when he demanded that the US should observe the "proper canons of law". guardian.co.uk

The political economy of American militarism Part 1 July 10, 2003 By Nick Beams Three months after the US conquest of Baghdad, there is a growing realisation that the world has entered a new era. It is becoming ever clearer that the invasion of Iraq was only a phase, or an aspect, of what is a much broader strategy: the drive by the United States ruling elites, through the Bush administration, to undertake a complete reorganisation of world politics. The conquest of Iraq forms part of a strategy that aims at global domination. We are now experiencing what Trotsky once called a “truly volcanic eruption of American imperialism”. The aim of this conference is to reveal the underlying driving forces of this phenomenon, which truly opens up a new era in world history, and, on the basis of this analysis, develop a strategy and perspective for the international working class. wsws.org

Bigger Than Watergate! July 9, 2003 C.D. Sludge The story you are about to read is in this writer's view the biggest political scandal in American history, if not global history. And it is being broken today here in New Zealand. This story cuts to the bone the machinery of democracy in America today. Democracy is the only protection we have against despotic and arbitrary government, and this story is deeply disturbing. In This Edition: Bigger Than Watergate! - How To Rig An Election In The United States - Fantasy vs Reality - How We Discovered The Backdoor - Evidence Of Motive - Evidence Of Opportunity - Evidence Of Method - Evidence Of Prior Conduct - Consistent Unexplained Circumstantial Evidence... scoop.co.nz / Inside A U.S. Election Vote Counting Program

Health Care Insecurity Forever July 9, 2003 By Lin Osborn What ever comes out of Congress this session in the way of Medicare reform, you can be sure it will be confusing, discriminatory, narrowly focused and uniquely expensive. $400 billion has been designated as the target 10-year cost.  I wish that number were the result of some actuary’s dream mission to compile critical health care data and accurately forecast Medicare drug spending in the next decade or so. We should be so lucky. The total has nothing to do with reality.  The magic number was arrived at first, then Congress decided how to fashion a program. The result looks like “nothing in nature,” shifting the elderly in and out of coverage, then in again as their expenditures rise.  There is no real reasoning behind the $400 billion figure. It’s not so small as to be laughable, but not so large as to be really helpful. thepeoplesvoice.org

ACLU Demands Truth From Justice Department; New Report Details False Claims About Scope, Impact of PATRIOT Act July 9, 2003 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON The American Civil Liberties Union today said that it has found a consistent pattern of factually inaccurate assertions by the Department of Justice in statements to the media and Congress, statements that mischaracterize the scope, potential impact and likely harm of the now-notorious USA PATRIOT Act. The ACLU’s findings were released this morning in a special report that contrasts the Justice Department’s assertions about the USA PATRIOT Act with the language of the Act itself, and in some cases contrasts the Justice Department’s public statements with language from internal Justice Department memoranda that the ACLU was able to obtain through a Freedom of Information Act request.  The report – “Seeking Truth From Justice” – cites about a dozen specific instances in which Justice Department and other law enforcement officials misrepresented the scope or impact of the USA PATRIOT Act. aclu.org

Reflecting on Independence From Corporate Media Week July 9, 2003 Perhaps every week should be Independence From Corporate Media Week. As the effort in the U.S. Congress to reverse the FCC ruling on corporate media monopolies continues, media activists are turning up the heat on their senators and congressional reps. Even former president Clinton is taking a position against the ruling. However, FCC neo-cons like Michael Powell remain arrogant and continue fronting for the corporate media while harassing and shutting down micro broadcasters. At the same time, media corporados continue business as usual, consolidating their oligarchic death grip on the news, and touting the Whitehouse party line, most notably on Faux News and through the Networks. Many say it's part of the global media oligopoly. But media activists have come up with creative actions / http://indymedia.org/

The Lies Heard Round the World "Pacifist" Japan and the Occupation of Iraq July 9, 2003 By GARY LEUPP joseph C. Wilson's op-ed in the New York Times ("What I Didn't Find in Africa" will probably further damage the Bush presidency. I was wondering when the "unnamed former diplomat to an African country," sent in February 2002 to check out the Niger uranium story for the CIA, was going to speak out and complain that the neocons deliberately ignored or suppressed the info he gathered in Niger. Now he has done so, declaring that "some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." I look forward to seeing Mr. Wilson, on live television, before a Congressional committee, interrogated about this episode. counterpunch.org

America is a harsher place July  9, 2003 Will Hutton Hillary Clinton makes a compelling case for why Britain shouldn't treat with American conservatism The British are gradually being educated about America. President Bush's decision to try six suspected al-Qaeda terrorists, including two Britons, in a secret military tribunal that could lead to their execution is so obviously self-defeating that both Right and Left are united in their criticism. Surely the US realises that it must be on the side of law even against terrorism; surely it must see that if convictions and executions follow from a process in which the military is judge, prosecution and jury, every mad criticism of it will seem justified. Even the doe-eyed innocents of the Government are beginning to realise what they're up against. guardian.co.uk

Wrestling for the Truth of 9/11 July 9, 2003 The Bush administration, long allergic to the idea of investigating the government's failure to prevent the Sept. 11 terror attacks, is now doing its best to bury the national commission that was created to review Washington's conduct. That was made plain yesterday in a muted way by Thomas Kean, the former New Jersey governor, and Lee Hamilton, the former congressman, who are directing the inquiry. When these seasoned, mild-mannered men start complaining that the administration is trying to intimidate the commission, the country had better take notice. nytimes.com

Amid official predictions of recovery US jobless rate soared in June July 08, 2003 By Bill Vann The unexpectedly steep climb in the US unemployment rate announced by the Labor Department last week sent Wall Street into a tailspin and opened up a fresh crisis for the Bush administration, which has been predicting an economic upturn fueled by its policy of tax cuts for the rich. The official jobless rate climbed by 0.3 percentage points to hit 6.4 percent for the month of June. The increase was three times as severe as the one predicted by most analysts, who expected a moderate rise from 6.1 to 6.2 percent. The increase was the worst since the one posted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. wsws.org

Treasury plan could slash pension payouts July 8, 2003 By Christine Dugas USA TODAY Workers could receive significantly smaller lump sum pension payments under a Treasury Department proposal unveiled this week. The proposal also includes relief for underfunded corporate pension plans, which have been battered by bear market losses and low interest rates. Companies have pressed hard for funding relief. But worker advocates say they shouldn't get pension help at the expense of retiree benefits. "We think this is a big deal," says David Certner, AARP's director of federal affairs. "They're proposing to slash worker benefits in order to give employers funding relief." usatoday.com

Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism July 8, 2003 Bernard Weiner If my email is any indication, a goodly number of folks wonder if they're living in America in 2003 or Germany in 1933. All this emphasis on nationalism, the militarization of society, identifying The Leader as the nation, a constant state of fear and anxiety heightened by the authorities, repressive laws that shred constitutional guarantees of due process, wars of aggression launched on weaker nations, the desire to assume global hegemony, the merging of corporate and governmental interests, vast mass-media propaganda campaigns, a populace that tends to believe the slogans and lies it's fed without asking too many questions, a timid opposition that barely contests the administration's reckless adventurism abroad and police-state policies at home, etc. etc. The parallels are not exact, of course; America in 2003 and Germany seventy years earlier are not the same, and Bush certainly is not Adolf Hitler. But there are enough disquieting similarities in the two periods at least to see what we can learn — cautionary tales, as it were — and then figure out what to do with our knowledge. sumeria.net

Canada: Hippie Nation? July 8, 2003 by Naomi Klein Canadians can't quite believe it: Suddenly, we're interesting. After months of making the news only with our various communicable diseases--SARS, mad cow and West Nile--we're now getting world famous for our cutting-edge laws on gay marriage and legalized drugs. The Bush conservatives are repulsed by our depravity. My friends in New York and San Francisco have been quietly inquiring about applying for citizenship. And Canadians have been eating it up, filling the newspapers with giddy articles about our independence. "You're not the boss of us, George," Jim Coyle wrote in the Toronto Star. thenation.com

The Effect of Sexual Deprivation on Women July 8, 2003 Henry Makow Ph.D. We live in a culture that doesn't admit that women need sex every bit as much as men, if not more. Conservatives like to put women on a romantic pedestal. They are virginal and sexless. Feminists deny women need men for anything. "Women are made to feel guilty for needing men," my wife said. "We're told we're weak, co-dependent or lacking in self-esteem." My 15-year-old son has also inculcated this message from TV: "Women don't need sex," he said. "They're just doing men a favor." Sex and love have become horribly confused. When religion held sway, they were inseparable (i.e. marriage.) But today "sexual liberation" has freed sex from love. It has taken its place. Millions of men and women behave like addicts. They use sex to assuage a desperate craving for love that only it can satisfy. thetruthseeker.co.uk

Some Fear Ruin for Head Start See disaster in bill to raise states' role July 08, 2003 By Lily Hindy Washington - New York Head Start officials fear that a bill pending in the House to transfer control of Head Start funds from communities to the states will destroy the program, particularly in New York. Advocates of the program say the Republican proposal would allow cash-starved states to merge Head Start funds with funding for existing state programs and would loosen current federal monitoring requirements. Regional Head Start president Ruth Neale said last week that the bill may "destroy Head Start programs across the United States, but particularly here in New York," where Gov. George Pataki has tried to cut funding for pre-kindergarten programs. Head Start provides education, medical services, meals and other assistance to low-income children under 5 with the goal of making them ready to compete with more affluent children when they enter school. It serves more than 1 million pre-schoolers, including 49,000 in New York State. newsday.com



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