AUGUST 11-1, 03 Archives

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Katherine Harris booed at Bradenton town hall meeting August 11, 2003 U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, who gained the national spotlight as Florida secretary of state during the 2000 presidential recount, was booed several times at a town hall meeting about the Medicaid prescription drug plan being considered by Congress. Hundreds of people showed up with detailed questions for Harris at the Bradenton Kiwanis Hall Thursday night. The Sarasota Republican spoke for nearly half of the allotted hour, and then didn't answer the crowd's questions until all had been asked, the Bradenton Herald reported in Friday's edition. The lines at the microphones were long. The boos were loud.

NEW REVELATION SURFACES ABOUT GULF WAR II “MYSTERY ILLNESS” August 10, 2003 The American Gulf War Veterans Association (AGWVA), an independent Gulf War Veterans’ support organization, has long searched for answers to explain why nearly half of the 697,000 Gulf War I Veterans are now ill and why over 200,000 of those servicemen/women have requested disability, but have received no adequate diagnosis or treatment, from either the Department of Defense (DOD), or Veteran’s Affairs. Though there have been over 125 studies done by the government at the cost of over $300,000,000 to the taxpayer, we still have no answers as to what caused so many of our soldiers to become ill.  Meanwhile, the suffering veterans are receiving little, if any, medical treatment for this illness.  It seems that whenever veterans become ill, the term “mystery illness” seems to be the first and often the only diagnosis that is ever made.  Veterans are then left to fend for themselves, sick and unable to work, with little hope of a normal life again.

RecommendedCIA and DoD Attempted To Plant WMDs in Iraq — and Failed August 10, 2003 Pentagon Whistleblower Reveals CIA/DoD Fiascos According to a stunning report posted by a retired Navy Lt. Commander and 28-year veteran of the Defense Department, the Bush administration's assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a CIA plan to "plant" WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by "friendly fire."

Military Families, Veterans Demand End to Occupation of Iraq, Immediate Return of All U.S. Troops to Home Duty Stations August 10, 2003 Galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless "Bring 'em on" challenge to armed Iraqi's resisting occupation, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace and other organizations based in the military community will launch Bring Them Home Now, a campaign aimed at ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq and returning troops to their home bases at a press conference on August 13 in Washington, D.C. U.S. military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media. The other underreported cost of the war for US soldiers is the number of American wounded-827, officially, since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. (Unofficial figures are in the thousands.) About half have been injured since Bush's triumphant claim on board the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln at the beginning of May that major combat was over.

N. Korea next to hear U.S. war drum August 10, 2003 By GEOFFREY YORK A senior Pentagon adviser has given details of a war strategy for invading North Korea and toppling its regime within 30 to 60 days, adding muscle to a lobbying campaign by U.S. hawks urging a pre-emptive military strike against Pyongyang's nuclear facilities. Less than four months after the end of the Iraq war, the war drums in Washington have begun pounding again. A growing number of influential U.S. leaders are talking openly of military action against North Korea to destroy its nuclear-weapons program, and even those who prefer negotiations are warning of the mounting danger of war.

Family shot dead by panicking US troops August 10, 2003 By Justin Huggler in Baghdad Firing blindly during a power cut, soldiers kill a father and three children in their car. The abd al-Kerim family didn't have a chance. American soldiers opened fire on their car with no warning and at close quarters. They killed the father and three of the children, one of them only eight years old. Now only the mother, Anwar, and a 13-year-old daughter are alive to tell how the bullets tore through the windscreen and how they screamed for the Americans to stop.

Bush tells bureau to open land August 10, 2003 ASSOCIATED PRESS The Bush administration has directed federal land managers to remove obstacles to oil and gas development in parts of five Rocky Mountain states. Policy directives issued to Bureau of Land Management state directors give the officials tools to implement the administration's long-standing goal of opening the Rocky Mountain West to increased exploitation of oil and gas resources.

Flight 93 Families Dispute FBI's Theory August 9, 2003 By TED BRIDIS Associated Press Writer Families of passengers who rebelled against hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 said Friday the FBI theory that the terrorists deliberately crashed the plane into a Pennsylvania field was based on ``limited and questionable interpretations'' of the cockpit recording. The theory - described by FBI Director Robert Mueller and disclosed deep within a congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks - suggests insurgent passengers may not have successfully fought their way into the cockpit and grappled to seize the plane's controls, as has been popularly perceived.

Americans pay price for speaking out, Dissenters face job loss, arrest, threats August 9, 2003 KATHLEEN KENNA But activists not stopped by backlash He's a Vietnam War hero from a proud lineage of warriors who served the United States, so he never expected to be called a traitor. After 39 years in the Marines, including commands in Somalia and Iraq, Gen. Anthony Zinni never imagined he would be tagged "turncoat." The epithets are not from the uniforms but the suits — "senior officers at the Pentagon," the now-retired general says from his home in Williamsburg, Va. "They want to question my patriotism?" he demands testily. To question the Iraq war in the U.S. — and individuals from Main St. merchants to Hollywood stars do — is to be branded un-American. Dissent, once an ideal cherished in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, now invites media attacks, hate Web sites, threats and job loss.

Father of dead soldier claims Army coverup August 9, 2003 By Mark Benjamin The father of a soldier who died of pneumonia this spring said Thursday the Army has excluded her death from its investigation of deadly pneumonia because it wants to cover up vaccine side effects. "The government is covering this up and it is a dog-gone shame," said Moses Lacy, whose daughter, Army Spc. Rachael Lacy, died April 4 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., after getting pneumonia. Lacy said his daughter "was a healthy young woman" but got ill within days of getting anthrax and smallpox vaccinations on March 2 in preparation for deployment to the Persian Gulf. She was too ill to ever be deployed.

Did EPA mislead public on water? August 9, 2003 By Guy Gugliotta Agency audits suggest reports overstated utilities’ record The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is investigating whether the agency is deliberately misleading the public by overstating the purity of the nation’s drinking water, according to EPA officials and agency documents. THE INQUIRY was launched June 18, five days before then-EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman released the “Draft Report on the Environment,” which stated that “94 percent of the population served by community water systems were served by systems that met all health-based standards.” Internal agency documents, however, show that EPA audits for at least five years have suggested that the percentage of the population with safe drinking water is much lower...

Fuel Prices Move Higher, and Trend Is Expected to Persist August 9, 2003 By NEELA BANERJEE Notice that recent rise in prices at the gas pump? Fuel prices have risen over the last two weeks, and analysts warn that the increase may be an early signal that prices of gasoline and heating oil could stay higher than usual through the end of the year, in large part because of chronically low stockpiles of crude oil and petroleum products in the United States. The average retail price of regular gasoline is about $1.54 a gallon, about 2 cents higher than a week ago and 14 cents more than a year ago, according to the Energy Information Administration, the analytical arm of the Energy Department.

Adding Indifference to Injury At Least 20,000 Civilians Injured in Iraq War August 8, 2003 By Hamit Dardagan, John Sloboda and Kay Williams Iraq Body Count Project Extraction of media-reported civilian injuries from the Iraq Body Count database and archive of war reports provides evidence of at least 20,000 civilian injuries on top of the maximum reported 7798 deaths. 8,000 of these injuries were in the Baghdad area alone, suggesting that the full, countrywide picture, as with deaths, is yet to emerge.

US occupation forces attack Iraqi journalist August 8, 2003 By Jeremy Johnson August 2003 US occupation authorities shut down an Iraqi newspaper last month and have stepped up the detention of journalists for reporting on the ongoing resistance. These actions, along with many other repressive measures, indicate the true character of the “democracy” and “freedom” the American occupiers are bringing to the Iraqi people.

Bomb in Jakarta Hotel Was American/Israeli Someone in Washington has a lot of explaining to do! August 8, 2003 Joe Vialls By now we have all been saturated with the standard “War on Terror” blurb about the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Jakarta on 5 August 2003. Speaking with a single corporate voice, the western media stated surprisingly quickly that the bomb was the work of a lone suicide bomber working for the “feared terrorist organization ” Jemaah Islamiah, which allegedly and very brazenly drove a Toyota van up to the front of the hotel, where the Toyota obligingly and predictably exploded with a loud and unmistakable bang. Warming to this incredibly inaccurate and deceitful theme, the corporate media then ran thousands of feet of video footage showing smoke billowing out of the hotel, people running around in circles, “experts” from three different continents saying how evil these Muslim Jemaah Islamiah folk really are, and so on and so on.  Then in less than 48 hours we were told that the guilty bomber was called “Asmal”, who was unfortunately killed in the blast, making embarrassing trials like those in Bali completely unnecessary in the future.

16 Words + 28 Pages = 44 Distractions August 8, 2003 by Allen Snyder Über-indignant editorials are flying from the right like RPG shrapnel at US troops. Wingnut pundits are assuming full defensive posture, talking much faster and making less sense than usual. They’re queuing up around the block rationalizing Bush’s 16-word State of the Union lie and offering up creative explanations why 28 pages in the recently released 850-page report on the intelligence failures and governmental snafus prior to 9/11 are blacked out. Predictably, BushCo’s lies and cover-ups religiously comply with its three cardinal rules of political manipulation.

"US sees atom bomb as God" Aug 07, 2003 AFP Hiroshima's mayor lashed out at the US' nuclear weapons policy yesterday during ceremonies marking the 58th anniversary of the city's atomic bombing, which caused the deaths of over 230,000 people. Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said the US worshipped nuclear weapons as "God" and blamed it for jeopardizing the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. "The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central international agreement guiding the elimination of nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse," Akiba said in an address to some 40,000 people. "The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called `useable nuclear weapons,' appears to worship nuclear weapons as God," he said.

Factories Bleeding Jobs August 7, 2003 By BARBARA NAGY Manufacturing job losses appear to be gaining speed in Connecticut after moderating a bit earlier this year, with companies from auto-parts producers to makers of medical products announcing sizable cuts in the past few weeks. Economists suspect many had been putting off layoffs on the expectation that business would improve and orders would pick up. That hasn't happened, leading many to finally resort to job cuts.

"Leave No Tree Behind" Bush's War on National Forests August 7, 2003 By CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI Hurt not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees. The revelation of St. John the Divine Once again the Bush administration has demonstrated creativity in dealing with problems caused by the environment. Trees are one problem and roads are a solution. Each has been addressed within the last two months. A part of the Healthy Forest initiative addresses the tree problem. The way it works is this. Lumber companies cut down lots of old growth trees. Once they are gone there are fewer trees and the ones left are healthier. Pursuant to a new policy described on May 31, 2003, environmental studies before logging or burning trees will no longer be required. Consultations about the effects of those activities on endangered species will no longer be required if Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management biologists determine endangered species will probably not be harmed. Cutting and burning excess trees on up to 190 million acres of federal land can take place without environmental studies. Trees can be cut from up to 1,000 acres without environmental studies and controlled burns can be used on up to 4,500 acres.

Global warming may be speeding up, fears scientist August 7, 2003 John Vidal Alarm at 'unusual' heatwaves across northern hemisphere. One of Europe's leading scientists yesterday raised the possibility that the extreme heatwave now settled over at least 30 countries in the northern hemisphere could signal that man-made climate change is accelerating. "The present heatwave across the northern hemisphere is worrying. There is the small probability that man-made climate change is proceeding much faster and stronger than expected," said Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief scientific adviser to the German government and now head of the UK's leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall centre. Prof Schellnhuber said "the parching heat experienced now" could be consistent "with a worst-case scenario [of global warming] that nobody wants to come true".

Rigged Elections On The Horizon August 7, 2003 With the 2004 Presidential election campaigns gearing up in the U.S., some voters and many activists are becoming alarmed over news stories about new voting machines failing inspections, being susceptible to tampering and leaving no paper trail. Some even believe the systems are designed for corruption. To make matters worse, voting experts trying to raise awareness of this flaw were recently barred from an election officials conference in Colorado.

GOP Memo Suggests Bush Orchestration Of California Recall August 7, 2003 Throught His Longtime Press Spokesperson, Current "Campaign Operative" Minday Tucker While White House and national GOP officials insist they won't get involved in the California recall, a memo obtained by The Chronicle outlines a Republican strategy to oust Gov. Gray Davis and help President Bush before the 2004 presidential election. The memo by California GOP organizer Julie Leitzell, who heads a political action committee called CommonSense Direction,...clearly suggests the imprimatur of the White House.

Uncle Sam shocks some veterans with recall to duty August 7, 2003 Army Capt. Richard Hinman says he's a "draftee" serving in a volunteer army. Think about it, says Hinman. The West Point graduate, who left the military in 1999, didn't want to go to Iraq and Kuwait. But he got his orders on Feb. 8 and was sent overseas in May. "I wanted to get out of this kicking-in-doors-with-guns kind of thing," said Hinman, who was looking forward to more time with his two children but is now serving at Camp Doha, Kuwait. "It was a real surprise." And a shock, Hinman said in a telephone interview from Kuwait, because he was so unprepared. Even his old uniforms had been thrown away. Hinman is an Individual Ready Reservist, one of about 300,000 former service members available for active duty in a time of crisis, according to the Pentagon. Each year, as thousands of military personnel finish their terms of active duty, they are placed on IRR status for a period that varies according to agreements they signed when they joined the service. In some cases, a person on IRR status can be called up as many as 10 years after departure from the armed forces, the Pentagon says.

Immunity for Iraqi Oil Dealings Raises Alarm August 7, 2003 By Lisa Girion Some contend Bush's order grants U.S. firms a broad exemption, a view the government rejects. An executive order signed by President Bush more than two months ago is raising concerns that U.S. oil companies may have been handed blanket immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecution in connection with the sale of Iraqi oil. The Bush administration said Wednesday that the immunity wouldn't be nearly so broad. But lawyers for various advocacy organizations said the two-page executive order seemed to completely shield oil companies from liability — even if it could be proved that they had committed human rights violations, bribed officials or caused great environmental damage in the course of their Iraqi-related business.

Rumors from inside the beltway -- August may be hell August 7, 2003 by Whispers in the dark posted on 4-8-2003 at 12:43 PM Post Number: 133732 Whispers -- Chaos on Capital Hill. The football has been replaced by a dummy for the dummy. Doves are fighting but hawks are regrouping. The commander-in-chief takes a little time off. A trip. Out-of-the-hill. Just like before 9-11. Who has the football? Why? Rumors. Whispers. Fears. Watch Jakarta. Hello again ATS. An old friend returns in time of need. Initially we expressed great skepticism at the posts, they followed a time worn trail of giving a little infomation and then clamming up with the hard questions. As a result we (the moderators and admin) took little notice of posts such as these: Here, and Here, and Here. There it would have ended, except for two posts, which ended with a warning to watch Jakarta for a supposed terrorist activity. Sixteen hours after these posts the bomb exploded there outside the hotel.

Washington and Canberra seize on Jakarta bombing to further justify “war on terror” August 7, 2003 By Peter Symonds At least 14 people are dead and almost 150 injured after the blast from a large car bomb ripped through the ground floor of the luxury JB Marriott Hotel and surrounding buildings in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta at lunchtime on Tuesday. The bomb left a crater two metres in diameter, pierced through to the parking lot in the basement of the hotel, blew out windows and incinerated cars parked in the area. At this stage it is not clear who was responsible. But this brutal murder of innocent people is a profoundly reactionary act, which will be seized upon by Jakarta to bolster its repressive apparatus and by Washington and its allies as a pretext for the “global war on terrorism”.

'Dr Strangeloves' meet to plan new nuclear era August 7, 2003 Julian Borger US government scientists and Pentagon officials will gather today behind tight security at a Nebraska air force base to discuss the development of a modernised arsenal of small, specialised nuclear weapons which critics believe could mark the dawn of a new era in proliferation. The Pentagon has not released a list of the 150 people at the secret meeting, but according to leaks, they will include scientists and administrators from the three main nuclear weapons laboratories, Los Alamos, Sandia and Livermore, senior officers from the air force and strategic command, weapons contractors and civilian defence officials.

Alaskan Conservationists Tell Secretary Norton: 'It's Time to Start Listening to Alaskans About Protecting Alaska's Wild Places' August 7, 2003 U.S. Newswire ANCHORAGE, Alaska Alaskans want the state's wildest places to stay wild, a gathering of conservationists from around the state told Interior Secretary Gale Norton in a brief private meeting in Anchorage today. In the 30-minute conversation, representatives of 12 Alaska conservation organizations voiced deep concerns about the Bush administration's short-sighted Alaska policies. "From the Arctic Refuge to the Tongass and Chugach, Alaskans feel like the natural and culturally rich state we love is under siege," said Eleanor Huffines, Alaska regional director for The Wilderness Society.

Call to arms: volunteers sign-up at the Ahrar Mosque. Who is the Mahdi?


Iraqis flock to Mahdi's Shia army August 6, 2003 Telegraph A militia of mostly Shia men is growing in response to a call to arms made by a maverick young cleric. Harry de Quetteville in Baghdad reports on Muqtader al-Sadr's army against US occupation. As evening falls in the poor Shia suburb of Baghdad once known as Saddam City, dozens of volunteers queue under the watchful gaze of a local imam to sign up for the army. But this is not the new Iraqi army sponsored and approved by the American-led administration. These soldiers will receive no monthly salary of £40. Here, prospective warriors are ready to serve, and die, for nothing. This is "Mahdi's army", a growing militia of mostly Shia men who have responded to the fiery call to arms made by a maverick young cleric, Muqtader al-Sadr, two weeks ago in the Shia holy city of Najaf. Since then al-Sadr has led anti-US demonstrations and encouraged worshippers to resist the US "invaders" and Iraq's "Zionist" governing council, appointed by the coalition. Now the ranks of this religious army, named after an ancient imam who Shias believe will return to save the world, have swollen into tens of thousands, perhaps more. "On the very first day after the call, up to 1 million people signed," claimed Sheikh Hassan al-Zurgani, a Baghdad representative of the Hawza, a Shia seminary based in Najaf. "The official Iraqi army is the puppet of the USA," he added. "Now our people are willing to be martyrs and the USA must fear us."

The Gulf War Story No One Would Publish Operation Black Dog August 6, 2003 By David Guyatt Deep Black August 6, 2003 Source "B" was shaken but not stirred when we first met. The odour of fear and uncertainty was palpable - a fact that was no surprise in view of what I was about to be told. This wasn't my first 007 Bond-like covert rendezvous, but it would certainly be my most startling. We had agreed to meet in order that the source could tell me about a highly secret and even more highly sensitive US operation known as "Black Dog." Neither of us trusted electronic communication and, therefore, a face-to-face meeting was essential.

The Burning Bush The Rest of Us Don't Have a Prayer August 6, 2003 by James Ridgeway Bush has been kissing Christian ass ever since he took the oath of office. There are 19 million voters whom Karl Rove considers "religious conservatives," but only 14 million of them voted in 2000, and the president's campaign strategists want to get them hopped up enough to vote in huge numbers in the unlikely event of a close election next year.

Stealing The Internet  August 6, 2003 by Jeff Chester and Steven Rosenfeld With Blessings from the FCC and Congress, the High-tech Industry Wants to Privatize the Internet. What Happens When you Have to Pay to Join the Information Revolution? by Jeff Chester and Steven Rosenfeld Ever stop to wonder what is really happening to the Internet these days? The crackdown by the music industry on illegal downloading tells just part of the story. Even with the dot-com bust, the digital boom is here, as high-speed connections, faster processors and new wireless devices increasingly become part of life. But the thousands of lawsuits are not just about ensuring record companies and artists get the royalties they deserve. They're part of a larger plan to fundamentally change the way the Internet works.

War casualties overflow Walter Reed hospital August 5, 2003 By Jon Ward Officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are referring some outpatients to nearby hotels because casualties from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have overloaded the hospital's convalescence facility. "We have an informal agreement with any number of hotels in the area. If we come to this point, they will take [patients] for us," said Walter Reed spokesman Jim Stueve. "They're very supportive and cooperative when we need that assistance." Mr. Stueve could not specify how many soldiers are in hotels, but said Walter Reed is referring about 20 patients or their relatives to hotels each day.

Sensational Memos Lift the Lid on News Control August 05, 2003 By Henry Makow Ph.D. "It seems that guerrilla warfare is a real thing. Too much looting, assaulting Iraqi women, too much Muslim-bashing. No discipline in the US forces and the commanders have a hard time in controlling their men. Protestors are to be shown to be "die-hard Baathist supporters of the evil Saddam" and show pictures of a "commando" camp with pictures of Saddam and anti-US slogans." (June 12) Since April, The Barnes Review News web site ( has posted memos like this from an executive at a major TV network to selected News Division staff. If they are authentic, these memos represent the most important revelation of government deception since the Pentagon Papers, and suggest the "news" is little more than mass psychological control. There are shocking references to cover-ups of government domestic terrorism, SARS, Mad Cow, and events in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Iran and much more.

Coalition forces hunt Saddam, one Iraqi killed at checkpoint August 5, 2003 A 75-year-old farmer was shot dead and his son wounded Sunday after being turned back at a coalition checkpoint west of Fallujah, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad, the farmer's family told AFP. As they prepared to turn around, they came under fire from the checkpoint. The father died on the spot while his son was hit in the jaw and left hand. The US army had no immediate comment on the incident.

It's unstoppable: High tech jobs ditching US August 5, 2003 The need to stay competitive will benefit countries such as India, China and even Singapore, where labour costs are lower EVEN though the United States' ailing technology sector looks poised to recover, the bad news for job-seekers in the world's largest economy is that they won't benefit. Faced with intense competition and the need to cut costs, one in 10 technology jobs is likely to move overseas within the next 18 months, says research firm Gartner. The beneficiaries will be countries such as India, China, Vietnam and Singapore, which are seen as being able to deliver cheaper and faster software development, manufacturing and tech support. The trend appears to be an unstoppable force, and that not just infuriates jobless workers but also worries some economists who say it may ultimately hinder the US economic recovery.

"A Drumbeat to War" August 5, 2003 By B. Rehak It's one of those little things Mr. Bush says that crosses the news wires, and unless you're looking really close your eyes might miss it, or more probably, your brain simply rejects it. The folks who wind him up and send him out are depending on that. It's very difficult to get Mr. Bush to go on the record about anything, and access to him by the working press is more restricted than any leader in American history. By this time in Bush 41's Presidency, he'd staged 61 full press conferences, and Bill Clinton had done 33 in the same period during his first term. leftwords

The unreported cost of war: at least 827 American wounded August 4, 2003 Julian Borger US military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media. Since May 1, when President George Bush declared the end of major combat operations, 52 American soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, according to Pentagon figures quoted in almost all the war coverage. But the total number of US deaths from all causes is much higher: 112. The other unreported cost of the war for the US is the number of American wounded, 827 since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

470,000 stopped looking for work in July Long-term unemployment on the rise in US August 4, 2003 By Shannon Jones Job-cutting and downsizing among US manufacturing corporations and retail establishments continued in July, wiping out tens of thousands more jobs and further belying claims of an economic recovery. It marked the 36th consecutive month in which manufacturing employment has fallen. Among the major companies announcing job cuts in the last several weeks are Pillowtex, the manufacturer of home textiles, which declared bankruptcy and announced the planned closure of its 16 plants, employing 6,500 workers. Retailer Lord & Taylor is closing 32 stores and laying off 3,700 workers, while film and camera maker Kodak is preparing to eliminate up to 6,000 jobs.

Religious zealotry and the crisis of American democracy August 4, 2003 Khoren Arisian The danger of religious fundamentalism has been present in the American political bloodstream since the arrival of the Puritans. Now, with a government of religious conservatives locked in a polarising mindset of us-them and good-evil, the threat it poses is not just to American freedom, but to the world’s. We cannot understand what is really going on in American politics today without a critical and unblinking examination of its enduring religious basis and the theological presuppositions that support it. Consider President George W. Bush’s current nominee for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor, Jr., who deems it “acceptable to execute the mentally retarded,” replace the Constitution with the Bible, and asserts that “We derive our rights from God and not from government.”

GOD SPOKE TO ME LAST NIGHT. BUSH IS A LIAR! August 3, 2003 by Dan Dvorak I couldn’t make this up. Tossing and turning all night has become the norm these past few months so nothing unusual was happening or so I thought. The story of George Bush telling the world that he was carrying out God’s directives in bombing Afghanistan and Iraq suddenly popped into my mind and there is where it started. What kind of god would order the destruction of life and property, the massacre of women and children and the poisoning of life for all future generations, especially when it turns out there was no reason for action of that kind? Surely God knew there was no connection to 9-11, and for sure He knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. What Christ would lend his name and authority for such atrocities and what followers whose belief is symbolized by the word which bears the name “Christian” could possibly believe that Bush’s claims are consistent with the Word and teachings of their Lord and Savior?

"The Kingness of Mad George" August 3, 2003 By B. Rehak LOS ANGELES, The Founding Fathers wanted this democracy to last forever because they understood that mere empires come and go. To that end, they established an intricate system of historic checks and balances to make sure the sort of tyranny they'd just fought to defeat never rose up again. They gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to guarantee our freedoms. Americans would never have a king, but instead a popularly elected President, and they'd always be free to openly express their opinions, especially about the government and its policies. The people would be the master of their own rulers. It was a unique experiment in liberty which evolved and endured for more than two centuries, until one day in November 2000. leftwords

An Interview with Award Winning Muck Raker Journalist Greg Palast August 3, 2003 By Rob Kall editor, The media sources and journalists he respects and trusts, the people that make up his idea of an “Evil Empire,” and his latest take on threats to honest voting and elections. You’ve characterized most US News like Pravda. What, if any US media, do you respect? There’s only one print today that I would read, and that’s the Wall Street Journal, and that’s because they follow the money and that’s the number one rule for information. For example one document I got which was vitally important news was the state department’s secret plan to steal all the assets of Iraq, which was long before the

ALMOST EVERY DAY TERRORISTS ARE KILLING AMERICANS August 3, 2003 by Rob Kall The Failed Myth of Republicans as better Defenders is Being Replaced by Right wingers as Bumbling Keystone Cops. Just because terrorists are not attacking our embassies, and haven't flown any planes into buildings lately does not mean we are not being attacked, literally on a daily basis, by terrorists. Americans are being killed by terrorists almost every day. The emperor Bush'ss idiocracy of neoconmen and far right court jesters were wildly successful getting us quagmired in Iraq,and now, almost every day, one or more US soldiers are killed-- killed, most likely, not by regular Iraqi soldiers-- but rather, by terrorists who have bled through the leaky borders of Syria, Iran, Jordan... even Turkey. So... what we have  is a situation that George Bush created in which almost every day, another American is killed by terrorists. And of course, we have George Bush to blame for this.

US anti-war activists hit by secret airport ban August 3, 2003 By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles After more than a year of complaints by some US anti-war activists that they were being unfairly targeted by airport security, Washington has admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports. The list had been kept secret until its disclosure last week by the new US agency in charge of aviation safety, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And it is entirely separate from the relatively well-publicised "no-fly" list, which covers about 1,000 people believed to have criminal or terrorist ties that could endanger the safety of their fellow passengers. The strong suspicion of such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is suing the government to try to learn more, is that the second list has been used to target political activists who challenge the government in entirely legal ways.

Senate GOP Blocks Minimum Wage Hike August 3, 2003 By Helen Dewar Senate Democrats yesterday launched a new drive to raise the minimum wage but ran into a roadblock from Republicans, who sidetracked a major foreign operations bill so it could not be used as a vehicle for votes on the wage proposal and other Democratic initiatives. Democrats argued that a minimum wage increase, last approved by Congress seven years ago, is long overdue and complained that Republicans were refusing to allow the Senate even to consider the issue.

Sen. Clinton Says Supreme Court Still Merits Mistrust August 3, 2003 Recent Decisions on Gays, Affirmative Action Does Not Outweigh 'Dubious Rulings,' She Says. Sen. Hillary Clinton said Friday that Supreme Court victories this year for gay couples, minorities and women do not erase the distrust created by other "legally dubious" rulings, including the Bush v. Gore presidential election case.

Global strife swells Exxon's coffers August 3, 2003 David Teather Exxon Mobil, the largest publicly quoted oil company, yesterday reported a 58% increase in profits to $4.2bn (£2.6bn) during the second quarter, on the back of soaring energy prices. The sharp growth continued a trend seen in the past two quarters at Exxon Mobil and was recorded in the face of turbulent conditions, including a national strike in Venezuela and disruptions in North Sea and west African operations. Revenues were 13% higher than a year ago at $57.2bn. The war in Iraq and subsequent difficulties in getting oil production back up to pre-war levels, as well as civil unrest in Nigeria and the Venezuelan situation have kept prices high. The company said earnings had improved across all parts of the business, even though production was flat.

Afghanistan: Report documents violence and repression by US-backed warlords August 3, 2003 By James Conachy The interviews and testimony conducted by HRW suggest an atmosphere of unchecked violence, theft, intimidation and sexual abuse of the population by the militias. This takes place in front of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, who are a main military and political prop for the Northern Alliance’s despotism over the Afghan people. In Kabul province, a former delegate to the loya jirga told HRW that “there are arbitrary arrests all the time—people held by the authorities for money.” According to HRW, the various militias enforce mafia-style protection and extortion rackets in the areas they rule. Vehicles are regularly stopped at checkpoints and forced to pay either money or in goods to pass through. A shopkeeper in Kabul testified that Interior Ministry police collected protection money from him “every Thursday at around 3:00 p.m.” Another told HRW: “If you do not pay, they close your shop and lock it with their lock. If you break it open, they will arrest you and put you in jail.” In two cases cited by HRW, troops believed to be on Sayyaf’s payroll forced homeowners to tell where their money was by stabbing them with bayonets. The report also cites witnesses alleging young women and boys have been raped in their homes or kidnapped off the street and sexually assaulted. The report outlines the systematic political intimidation of the few political and media figures who have dared raise public criticism of the “interim government.”

GOP-Led Congress Increasingly Defies Bush August 3, 2003 By Janet Hook A feisty Congress has left for a summer recess with a blunt reminder to President Bush: Republican control of the House and Senate does not give him carte blanche on Capitol Hill. The GOP-controlled Congress has in recent weeks defied Bush on domestic policies ranging from drug imports to media deregulation to tax credits for the working poor.

GIANT SUCKING SOUND' OF LOST JOBS GETS LOUDER August 2, 2003 by Randolph T. Holhut "The recession is over." So says the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of U.S. business cycles. It announced on July 17 that the recession that began March 2001 ended eight months later in November 2001. The 2001 recession was one of the briefest since World War II, but the bureau also found that it was followed by one of the weakest recoveries. In the months that followed the end of the 2001 recession, the supposedly recovering economy grew at half the rate of previous upturns. That might explain why there now are 9.3 million Americans that are jobless and why the U.S. unemployment rate is currently at 6.4 percent - the highest it has been in nearly a decade. In the 19 months since the end of the 2001 recession, more than 2 million jobs disappeared. This year, President Bush has promised that his $330 billion "jobs and growth" tax cut plan will create 1.4 million new jobs by the end of next year. The U.S. economy would have to generate an average of 300,000 new jobs a month from now until the end of 2004 to create 5.5 million new jobs - that's the promised 1.4 million from the tax cuts and the 4.1 million that White House economists earlier this year predicted would be gained with or without the tax cuts.

The Shame of Pride August 2, 2003 by: Jonathon Vreeland "Love it or leave it"!, "Proud to be American"! or "Support Our President!", most American peace activists have heard these slogans yelled. Often accompanied with a shaking fist or an "I'll kick your ass!" It's quite shameful, but many people in the U.S.A. still feel great pride in the current state of our country. To be fair, others have a nervous look in their eyes and have removed their multitude of flags, indicating they intuit something is wrong. And any even vaguely intelligent American is aware of the dark imperial agenda controlling in the U.S. government. But let's examine the origins (etiology) of the disease called pride that causes the most malformed citizens to chant USA! USA!

US bartering arms for soldiers for Iraq August 2, 2003 By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS - Faced with a rising death toll among its soldiers in Iraq, the United States is trying to "buy" foreign troops for a proposed 30,000-strong multinational force in Baghdad. "When they were seeking UN support for a war on Iraq, they were twisting arms," one Asian diplomat said. "Now they are offering carrots in exchange for our troops."

Iraq: soldiers doling out "Dirty Harry" style vigilante justice August 2, 2003 BAGHDAD (AFP) At the checkpoint, the Americans found a handgun, ordered the 56-year-old man out of his car and proceeded to bash his head with a rifle butt. Rahim Nasser Mohammed points to his right temple, the side of his mouth and lifts his shirt, to show the spots where the soldier cudgeled him again and again nearly a month ago. His story -- that of a government employee pulled over in his car by the US army -- seems one in a thousand as reports mount of beatings and sometimes deaths of Iraqi civilians at the hands of US soldiers.

Iraqi civilians gunned down in US military raids August 2, 2003 By Kate Randall The US military is continuing its campaign of preemptive raids in Iraq, rounding up Iraqi civilians and suspected “Baath Party operatives.” In the most recent operation, dubbed Soda Mountain, US forces picked up 600 individuals, many of whom are being detained in deplorable conditions at the Baghdad airport and other locations. In the aftermath of the July 22 killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons, US military actions have grown increasingly provocative and brutal. On July 28 alone, US forces conducted 29 raids and arrested 241 people.

Russian Hospital Blast Kills at Least 33 August 2, 2003 By SERGEI VENYAVSKY, ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia A suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with explosives through the gates of a Russian military hospital near Chechnya on Friday, destroying the building and killing at least 33 people.Seventy-six others were wounded in the attack, the latest in an upsurge of suicide bombings that have killed more than 100 people since May.

Families criticize Bush on 9/11 report August 1, 2003 by Tim Wheeler Families of the 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack welcomed release July 24 of a House-Senate intelligence report that outlined specific warnings to the FBI and CIA of an imminent attack which they did nothing to prevent. David Potorti, spokesperson for September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, whose brother died in the World Trade Center, was at the Capitol Hill news conference where the 900-page report was released. “We met with FBI Director Robert Mueller,” he said. “We met with Sen. Bob Graham. We attended the press conference. Everyone said ‘This is not about blame.’ It was so odd that nobody is being blamed. How can this many people die and it’s nobody’s fault? Unless we have some kind of accountability I fear it could happen again.”

US scraps nuclear weapons watchdog August 1, 2003 Julian Borger A US department of energy panel of experts which provided independent oversight of the development of the US nuclear arsenal has been quietly disbanded by the Bush administration, it emerged yesterday. The decision to close down the national nuclear security administration advisory committee - required by law to hold public hearings and issue public reports on nuclear weapons issues - has come just days before a closed-door meeting at a US air force base in Nebraska to discuss the development of a new generation of tactical "mini nukes" and "bunker buster" bombs, as well as an eventual resumption of nuclear testing.

Israel imposes 'racist' marriage law Palestinian-Israeli couples will be forced to leave or live apart August 1, 2003 By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem - Israel's Parliament has passed a law preventing Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in Israel. The move was denounced by human rights organizations as racist, undemocratic and discriminatory. Under the new law, rushed through yesterday, Palestinians alone will be excluded from obtaining citizenship or residency. Anyone else who marries an Israeli will be entitled to Israeli citizenship.

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