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Farah tried to plead with the US troops but she was killed anyway September 8, 2003 The death of two innocent Iraqis was thought so unremarkable the US military did not even report it, but Peter Beaumont says it reflects an increasingly callous disregard of civilian lives in coalition operations. Farah Fadhil was only 18 when she was killed. An American soldier threw a grenade through the window of her apartment. Her death, early last Monday, was slow and agonising. Her legs had been shredded, her hands burnt and punctured by splinters of metal, suggesting that the bright high-school student had covered her face to shield it from the explosion. She had been walking to the window to try to calm an escalating situation; to use her smattering of English to plead with the soldiers who were spraying her apartment building with bullets. What is perhaps most shocking about their deaths is that the coalition troops who killed them did not even bother to record details of the raid with the coalition military press office. The killings were that unremarkable. What happened in Mahmudiya last week should not be forgotten, for the story of this raid is also the story of the dark side of the US-led occupation of Iraq, of the violent and sometimes lethal raids carried out apparently beyond any accountability.

Schoolkids Go Begging as Military Gets Billions September 8, 2003 By John Carter, a salesman in Los Angeles. That was my breaking point. Without pause for thought or propriety, I blurted out, "You mean we can spend $4 billion a month to keep the military in Iraq, but we can't afford crayons for first-graders?" Well, that silenced the line and the passersby. I proceeded with some bombast about how the time had come to speak out against this madness. I'm not schooled in politics but I love this country. After the horror of 9/11, my heart swelled with pride and the community spirit that swept our country and the international community. Now, two years later, I fear the worst for the republic and for our standing as the bastion of liberty and champion of the world's oppressed. Our nation cries for leadership. Our ship of state is piloted by mean-spirited bureaucrats and their cronies who are robbing the commonwealth. They are building prisons at record rates while our schools, parks, air, water and, yes, the economy deteriorate before us.

Desperate over growing debacle: Bush justifies Iraq occupation with lies on “terror” September 8, 2003 By Bill Vann Faced with the deepening debacle of the US military occupation of Iraq and growing popular opposition at home, President Bush delivered a televised speech to the American people Sunday in which he attempted to justify the continuing slaughter there with claims that are recognized internationally as patent lies. Timed just four days before the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Bush’s speech started from the deceitful premise that Iraq was somehow responsible for the tragic events in New York City and Washington that day.

I Love My Country. I Hate My President September 8, 2003 By James C. Moore When President Nixon died, I was assigned to travel to California and report on the funeral for a group of television stations. Although Yorba Linda is beautiful, with the kind of appeal that has drawn millions to Southern California, I was not interested in being a journalist at the funeral. Sure, this was history, but I despised Richard Nixon. His lust for power, and his absolute distrust of the public, nearly destroyed our country’s Constitution.

Bush job approval falls in polls September 8, 2003 US President George W Bush's job approval rating dropped in two polls amid concern about the economy and instability in Iraq. Bush, who faces a re-election fight in just over a year, saw his rating fell sharply from last month in a Zogby America poll of likely voters. Forty-five per cent gave Bush positive marks for job performance in the new survey, down from 52 per cent in August and the lowest since January 2001, the month he took office.

September 11th And The Bush Administration Compelling Evidence for Complicity September 8, 2003 Walter E. Davis, PhD Clearly, one of the most critical questions of the twenty-first century concerns why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not prevented. As I outline below, there are numerous aspects regarding the official stories about September 11th which do not fit with known facts, which contradict each other, which defy common sense, and which indicate a pattern of misinformation and coverup. The reports coming out of Washington do very little to alleviate these concerns.

Sex slavery thriving in Holy Land September 8, 2003 By Megan Goldin NEVE TIRZA PRISON, ISRAEL Christina, an 18-year-old university student from Moldova, has been bought and sold so many times she has lost count. Christina, who declined to give her real name, studied classics and anthropology and played basketball as a hobby before she was lured from a rural town in one of Europe's poorest countries to sex slavery in Israel. She is not alone.

Blood, Oil, and Tears - and the 2004 Bush Campaign Strategy September 7, 2003 by Thom Hartmann The two words we never hear in the corporate media's discussion of Iraq are "oil" and "nationalism." Yet these are the keys to understanding why we got into Iraq, why we only want "limited" involvement from the U.N., why we won't succeed in stopping attacks against us in Iraq, and why George W. Bush's crony capitalism and aircraft-carrier-landing phony-warrior drama have so terribly harmed our nation and set up a disaster for our children's generation. If we stay, we'll continue to control ten percent of the world's oil (and perhaps as much as twenty percent - Iraq still has vast unexplored areas that Cheney was dividing up in his pre-9/11 Energy Task Force meetings with Halliburton and Enron). Maintaining control of Iraq's oil will keep OPEC off balance, and will keep faith with Rupert Murdoch's advice to George W. Bush before the war that cheap oil resulting from seizing Iraq's oil fields would help the American economy more than any tax cuts.

Santa Cruz officials to consider Bush impeachment September 7, 2003 The Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday is expected to become the first lawmaking body in the nation to ask Congress to look into impeaching President Bush for misleading the public on the Iraq war and for trampling civil rights. The measure to be considered Tuesday is a watered-down version of July's strident call for a council resolution in favor of impeaching Bush and other top members of his administration. A year ago, Santa Cruz became the first city council in the country to oppose the war. More than 150 councils and boards of supervisors across the country subsequently passed similar resolutions.

Big Brother takes grip on America September 7, 2003 Paul Harris The US's response to 11 September has been an unprecedented clampdown on the rights of its own citizens.  The message of the posters on the walls of Skokie library is plain: Big Brother is watching you. The signs, put up by librarian Caroline Anthony, warn of the radical new laws that have given the American government power to monitor the reading habits of its citizens without telling them.

A foreign-born president? 2 bills take aim at the ban September 7, 2003 Comparisons between the actor who would be California governor and the actor who was California governor usually end with the same codicil. Even if Arnold Schwarzenegger wins the recall election, he can never rise to the presidency, as Ronald Reagan of Dixon, Ill., did. Not necessarily because he lacks Reagan's political savvy, but because he was born in Austria.

Amnesty Condemns Israel's W. Bank Security Barrier September 7, 2003 By Corinne Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's construction of a West Bank security barrier is deepening the crippling economic impact of its tough travel restrictions on Palestinians, Amnesty International said Monday. In a new report, "Israel and the Occupied Territories: Surviving under Siege," the London-based human rights group said some 60 percent of Palestinians live below the poverty line of $2 per day and unemployment is close to 50 percent.

SEND IN THE CLOWNS The Court Jesters of TV “News” September 7, 2003 By Jesse The shows go on, exactly as scheduled, every single day without fail, in homes all across America. As if on cue, all the stages are set at once, and the makeup is applied. In absolute synch, the music begins, and the cameras roll. And in admirable unison, the same tragicomedy begins on all the TV news networks: The Court Jesters are ready to perform. They're pros, they really are. They entertain us with endless hours of sensational courtroom trials. They expertly juggle the Scott Peterson, Kobe Bryant, Martha Stewart, and Patrick Dennehy cases for hours on end. They keep us focused on titillating trials so we don’t see the rest of the show. Watch them as they make us laugh and bring us to tears. How smoothly they fill us with indignation and speculation.  How cleverly they feed on our doubts and our fears, and how subtly they transport us into their worlds of fantasy.

William and Sue Kamstra and sons. He lost a $43,000-a-year job, forcing them to live at the mission.


The Collapse Of The American Middle Class September 6, 2003 By Rep. Bernie Sanders The corporate media doesn't talk about it much, but the United States is rapidly on its way to becoming three separate nations. First, there are a small number of incredibly wealthy people who own and control more and more of our country. Second, there is a shrinking middle class in which ordinary people are, in most instances, working longer hours for lower wages and benefits. Third, an increasing number of Americans are living in abject poverty -- going hungry and sleeping out on the streets. There has always been a wealthy elite in this country, and there has always been a gap between the rich and the poor. But the disparities in wealth and income that currently exist in this country have not been seen in over a hundred years. Today, the richest 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent, and the CEOs of large corporations earn more than 500 times what their average employees make. The nation's 13,000 wealthiest families, 1/100th of one percent of the population, receive almost as much income as the poorest 20 million families in America. While the rich get richer and receive huge tax breaks from the White House, the middle class is struggling to keep its head above water.

11 million remain jobless in US September 6, 2003 By Bill Vann The US economy lost another 93,000 jobs in August, nearly half of them in factory production, the Labor Department announced Friday, as at least 11 million people remained unemployed, the highest number in nearly a decade. “Since July 2000,” the department’s monthly report noted, “manufacturing employment has declined continuously, shedding nearly 16 percent of its jobs.” Among the hardest-hit sectors last month was the textile industry, which wiped out 12,000 jobs, while wood products, machinery, apparel and electrical equipment and appliance each lost 5,000. Non-manufacturing areas—including those once proclaimed the engines of a new, “post-industrial” economy—were also hard hit. Employment fell by 16,000 in the information sector, where nearly half a million jobs have been wiped out since March 2001. Another 7,000 jobs disappeared in telecommunications, where employment has also declined continuously over the past year and a half. Eight thousand workers lost jobs in computer systems design, while 10,000 positions in company management were eliminated. The new job cuts were all the more staggering, given that most economists had projected the adding of between 12,000 and 40,000 jobs to US payrolls.

The Arrogant Path to War, We Were Warned About This Chaos September 6, 2003 By ROBERT FISK How arrogant was the path to war. As President Bush now desperately tries to cajole the old UN donkey to rescue him from Iraq--he who warned us that the UN was in danger of turning into a League of Nations "talking shop" if it declined him legitimacy for his invasion--we are supposed to believe that no one in Washington could have guessed the future.

Bush fulfills corporate America's wish list September 6, 2003 The Bush administration eased a series of important environmental regulations in a quiet flurry of late-summer activity, delivering almost every rule change on corporate America's wish list. In the past few weeks, the administration diluted federal rules governing air pollution from old coal-fired power plants; emissions that cause global warming; ballast water on ships contaminated with foreign species of plants and animals; sales of land tainted with PCBs; drilling for oil and gas on federal land; and scientific studies that underpin federal regulations. In every case the business community got what it wanted, and environmentalists got mad.

US resentment over outsourcing spills over to streets September 6, 2003 Resentment in the US against outsourcing technology jobs to countries like India is growing, with protests spilling over to American streets. About 40 technology workers, carrying placards that said "Will code for food", and "Outsourcing is stealing billions from America," staged a 'Labour Day' protest against companies that send American jobs overseas and employ foreigners on work visas.

WTO Rules Set To Devastate Biodiversity September 6, 2003 Friends Of The Earth International "The result [of WTO agricultural trade agreements] will be devastating for small farmers in developing countries... These small-farmers are the main custodians of the world's agrobiodiversity, which consists of thousands of plant and animal varieties... When these farmers disappear, this wealth of biological and cultural diversity disappears too."

U.S. Troops Want Rumsfeld to Send Them Home September 6, 2003 By Saul Hudson TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - If they had the chance, U.S. soldiers at a base in Iraq would have had one question for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- When are we going home?. But Rumsfeld made no formal speech on Friday to the troops at their base at the palace of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in his hometown of Tikrit. "I don't give a damn about Rumsfeld. All I give a damn about is going home," Specialist Rue Gretton said, humping packs of water bottles on his shoulders from a truck. "The only thing his visit meant for us was we had to clean up a lot of mess to make the place look pretty. And he didn't even look at it anyway," Gretton said after soldiers swept the dusty streets around the complex of lakes and mansions.

Cry California Lost in the divisive clamor of recall politics, something precious is being ground to dust. Every candidate in California's dark recall-election comedy should be obliged to answer the question: "Whither Duroville?" "Duroville" is the California visitors never see and that pundits ignore when they debate the future of the world's sixth largest economy. Officially this ramshackle desert community of 4000 people in the Coachella Valley doesn't even exist. It is a shantytown -- reminiscent of the Okie camps in The Grapes of Wrath -- erected by otherwise homeless farmworkers on land owned by Harvey Duro, a member of the Cahuilla Indian nation.

First debate in California recall election: Snapshot of a political system in crisis September 6, 2003 By Barry Grey The first in a series of televised debates in the California gubernatorial recall election, held September 3, underscored the inability of any of the so-called major candidates to seriously address the economic and social crisis gripping the largest state in the US. The event, held in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek, was televised throughout the state, but its time slot—4 p.m. to 6 p.m.—guaranteed that large numbers of working people making their way home in rush-hour traffic would not have the opportunity to view it.

Feds end radioactivity monitoring September 6, 2003 By LOLITA C. BALDOR, WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is eliminating a small Department of Energy program that monitors radioactive materials at federal sites, triggering questions from a Democratic congressman. Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, in a letter to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, questioned why the program is being phased out considering the increased threat of terrorism.

The Assault on the USS Liberty Still Covered Up After 26 Years September 6, 2003 By James M. Ennes Jr. Twenty-six years have passed since that clear day on June 8, 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty with aircraft and torpedo boats, killing 34 young men and wounding 171. The attack in international waters followed over nine hours of close surveillance. Israeli pilots circled the ship at low level 13 times on eight different occasions before attacking. Radio operators in Spain, Lebanon, Germany and aboard the ship itself all heard the pilots reporting to their headquarters that this was an American ship. They attacked anyway. And when the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime.

British Army Admits Brutalizing Iraqi Civilians September 6, 2003 By Julie Hyland Basim Hasan, also a butcher, received a black eye and cuts to his face. He told the Mirror's reporter Tom Newton Dunn: "When I was lying down one of the soldiers stamped on my head. My face hit the ground so hard I lost consciousness." Abdule Amer, a chemistry teacher, explained: "We didn't offer any resistance. I asked one soldier 'Do you speak English?' But he kicked me in the face, giving me a black eye and nose bleed." The home of vegetable seller Choban Jasem was raided at the same time. His sister-in-law had begged the soldiers not to hurt her children and was struck over the head with a rifle butt in response. Jasem, who is 62, said: "While I was on the ground, a soldier kicked me hard on the nose. I started bleeding heavily. "Then they dragged me to an armoured car outside through rocks on the street, which gave me a big cut on my knee. I didn't know why they were taking me and thought I was going to die. I kept asking them 'Why, why?' But they told me to shut up."

Donate or else, drug companies told staff September 6, 2003 By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Gardiner Harris During the 2000 presidential campaign in the US, executives at Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of America's largest drug companies, received an urgent message: Donate money to George Bush. The message did not come from Republican campaign officials. It came from top Bristol-Myers executives, according to four executives who say they donated to Mr Bush under pressure from their bosses. The four, who asked not to be named, said they were told to donate the maximum - $US1000 ($1500) in their own name and $US1000 in their spouse's - and if they failed to do so, their names would be forwarded to the company's then chief executive, Charles Heimbold.

The Enronization of the Bush Administration September 6, 2003 By STEVEN C. CLEMONS "American citizens are this nation’s stakeholders, and the president has been misleading the public, distorting fact, and contriving false realities with the aim of sending men and women into harm’s way ."

Will Bush Backers Manipulate Votes to Deliver GW Another Election? September 5, 2003 Listen to: Segment || Show  Watch 128k stream  Watch 256k stream As millions of voters prepare to use electronic voting machines for the first time we take a look at the companies selling these machines and their ties to the Bush administration. We speak with reporter Julie Carr Smyth and author Bev Harris. [Includes transcript]

Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity: Neoconservative Iraq Just War Theories Rejected  September 5, 2003 by Mark and Louise Zwick The most consistent and frequent promoter of peace and human rights for the last two decades has been Pope John Paul II. From Iraqi War I to Iraqi War II, he has echoed the voice of Paul VI, crying out before the United Nations in 1965: War No More, War Never Again! John Paul II stated before the 2003 war that this war would be a defeat for humanity which could not be morally or legally justified. cjd.or

The New World Order elite has big plans for Arnold September 5, 2003 Alex Jones Most Americans think of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a charismatic bodybuilder who became a famous Hollywood actor and then married into the Kennedy clan. Just beneath the surface of Arnold's façade lies an intricate web of evil including Nazi war criminals, occult rituals, a Rothschild rendezvous, a friendship with once head of the UN and known Nazi, Kurt Waldheim, Warren Buffett (the oracle of Omaha) and many others. prisonplanet.comg

When will anyone admit that it has been a huge fraud? September 5, 2003 Robert Sheer Oops. There are no weapons of mass destruction after all. That's the emerging consensus of the second team of weapons sleuths commanded by the United States in Iraq, as reported last week in the Los Angeles Times. The 1,400-member Iraq Survey Group found what the first wave of U.S. military experts and the United Nations inspectors before them discovered - nada.

Coke accused of supplying toxic fertiliser to farmers September 5, 2003 The Coca-Cola plant in Kerala's Palakkad district has run into serious trouble with a BBC investigative report saying that the sludge produced by the Coke factory contains dangerous toxic chemicals that are polluting the water supplies, the land and the food chain. The report reveals that the sludge produced from the Coke plant at Plachimada village is supplied to local farmers who use it as fertiliser contains 'dangerous levels of the known carcinogen cadmium.'

Bush to New Yorkers: Drop Dead September 2, 2003 Harvey Wasserman George W. Bush has officially told the people of New York City that as far as he's concerned, they can drop dead. And thanks to his lies, many of them will. With his latest attack on the Clean Air Act he's said the same to millions more. Bush has used the 9/11 "trifecta" to build his popularity, fund the military and tear up the Bill of Rights. But the GOP's cynical uses of the tragedy have gone to a new level.

Sick and Suspicious September 5, 2003 By BOB HERBERT While I.B.M. officials deny it, evidence is being offered by stricken employees that unusually large numbers of men and women who worked for the giant computer corporation over the past few decades have been dying prematurely. I.B.M. employees, and relatives of employees who have died, are claiming in a series of very bitter lawsuits that I.B.M. workers have contracted cancer and other serious illnesses from chemicals they were exposed to in semiconductor and disk-drive manufacturing, laboratory work and other very basic industrial operations.

U.S. Economy: Productivity Feeds Growth Without Jobs September 5, 2003 (Bloomberg) U.S. companies are supplying an expanding economy with more cars, computers, machinery and services while cutting jobs and getting more out of remaining workers, reports showed. Productivity, a measure of how much work an employee performs, grew at a 6.8 percent annual rate in the April-June period, triple the first quarter pace, the Labor Department said in Washington. Initial jobless claims rose last week to 413,000, the highest in more than a month, the department also reported.

US's roads, wires, pipes are crumbling: September 5, 2003 Engineers AP The United States' infrastructure is full of cracks, leaks and holes and is worsening in many ways, according to an analysis by civil engineers that gives a harsh assessment of the country's transportation, water and energy systems. A report prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers said the condition of 12 categories of infrastructure hasn't improved in the past two years.

Russia May Supply Air Defense Systems to Iran September 5, 2003 What does Washington think about it? Russia may start supplies of modern anti-missile defense systems to Iran, the information became known from an interview of Radjab Safarov, the director general of the Russian Center for Modern Iran Studies, with the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun.

The Pipeline to Haifa Israeli Minister Dreams of Iraqi Oil September 5, 2003 By AKIVA ELDAR National Infrastructures Minister Joseph Paritzky has requested an assessment of the condition of the old oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa, with an eye toward renewing the flow of oil in the event of friendly post-war regime in Iraq.

Listening to Protest, Court Halts FCC September 5, 2003 Following widespread popular protest of the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rule changes, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a temporary injunction yesterday blocking the pro-corporate measures that would have gone into effect today. The court was acting on a petition filed by Prometheus Radio Project and the Media Access Project. The stay is in effect until the court hears full arguments in the case. In the meantime, continued popular pressure is needed - in the form of phone calls to Senators - to force a rollback of the FCC rules. The Senate Appropriations Committee is voting today on this issue.

Worker exploitation at the US-Mexican border September 5, 2003 In open complicity with the owners of the maquiladora Industria Fronteriza, the president of Tijuana's labor board has threatened that the legal demand of the workers vs. the company will be nullified in three days. This is an absolute transgression of the Mexican labor laws and workers' rights. Urgent Help is needed for Industrias Fronterizas workers. Read: Entire Feature

Europe-US gulf widens September 5, 2003 Owen Bowcott European resentment of American global leadership has escalated sharply since the US-led invasion of Iraq, polarising opinions on opposite sides of the Atlantic about the role of the United Nations. The findings emerge from an opinion poll which shows that Americans are now more strongly in favour of playing an active part in world affairs than at any time since 1947.

We Can Win the War in Vietnam September 5, 2003 Daniel Patrick Welch And other chestnuts from a not-so-bygone era  I love the smell of quagmire in the morning. My, but it takes you back, doesn't it? The only thing left to say is that there is "light at the end of the tunnel." But everything else has already begun to play itself out. We have even seen the resurrection of that Orwellian mantra "winning the peace." If I had been just a few years older in the Vietnam era, the deja-vu might kill me.

1.4 million more Americans in poverty in 2002 September 4, 2003 By Genaro C. Armas The Associated Press Nearly 1.4 million more people in the United States fell into poverty last year — almost half of them children — even as the country emerged from recession, according to a Census Bureau survey. About 12.4 percent of the population, or nearly 34.8 million people, lived in poverty in 2002, according to the survey being released today. That was up from 12.1 percent, or 33.4 million, in 2001. Roughly 17.2 percent of children, or 12.2 million, lived in poverty in 2002, up from 16.4 percent, or 11.5 million, in 2001.

How many homeless veterans are there? September 4, 2003 Although accurate numbers are impossible to come by ... no one keeps national records on homeless veterans ... the VA estimates that more than 275,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And, more than half-a million experience homelessness over the course of a year. Conservatively, one out of every four homeless males who is sleeping in a doorway, alley, or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served our country ... now they need America to remember them.

'National Security' Part Of Bush Plan To Gut Civil Services September 4, 2003 The Bush administration is evoking "national security" as a powerful weapon to accomplish its twin goals of privatizing thousands of federal jobs and taking a whack at government unions. The administration's sales pitch is to raise the specter of terrorism and 9-11 -- a surefire way to scare Congress into backing plans to gut the Civil Service system.

Bush's Floundering Doctrine By Nat Parry September 4, 2003 George W. Bush has declared "no retreat" on Iraq even as that country descends into bloody anarchy and as Iraqi fighters pick off American soldiers by ones and twos almost daily. Instead, Bush is raising the stakes by refusing to rethink his Bush Doctrine of preemptive wars.

US Aid: The Lifeblood of Occupation September 4, 2003 By Matt Bowles  Israel has maintained an illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Palestinian territories) for 35 years, entrenching an apartheid regime that looks remarkably like the former South African regime Palestinians into small, noncontiguous bantustans, imposing closures and curfews to control where they go and when, while maintaining control over the natural resources, exploiting Palestinian labor, and prohibiting indigenous economic development.

The Absurdities of Water Fluoridation September 4, 2003 by Paul Connett, PhD Water fluoridation is a peculiarly American phenomenon. It started at a time when Asbestos lined our pipes, lead was added to gasoline, PCBs filled our transformers and DDT was deemed so "safe and effective" that officials felt no qualms spraying kids in school classrooms and seated at picnic tables. One by one all these chemicals have been banned, but fluoridation remains untouched.

Number of Wounded in Action on Rise September 3, 2003 By Vernon Loeb U.S. battlefield casualties in Iraq are increasing dramatically in the face of continued attacks by remnants of Saddam Hussein's military and other forces, with almost 10 American troops a day now being officially declared "wounded in action." The number of those wounded in action, which totals 1,124 since the war began in March, has grown so large, and attacks have become so commonplace, that U.S. Central Command usually issues news releases listing injuries only when the attacks kill one or more troops. The result is that many injuries go unreported. The rising number and quickening pace of soldiers being wounded on the battlefield have been overshadowed by the number of troops killed since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations May 1. But alongside those Americans killed in action, an even greater toll of battlefield wounded continues unabated, with an increasing number being injured through small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, remote-controlled mines and what the Pentagon refers to as "improvised explosive devices."

Families seek answers about soldiers’ deaths September 3, 2003 By Deborah Funk At least one family, and possibly two, want independent opinions on what caused the deaths of their loved ones after they became ill in Iraq. In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Bellville, Texas, family of Army Spc. Zeferino Colunga requested medical records, personal effects and blood and tissue samples of the 20-year-old soldier. Colunga, of the 4th Squadron, 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment, died Aug. 6 at Homburg Hospital in Germany, after he fell ill in Iraq. The family was told he had pneumonia and acute leukemia, his 19-year-old sister, Teresa Colunga, said. “We gave the military my brother alive,” she said. “They gave him back to us dead. I want to find out what happened.” The family is concerned that the Defense Department lacks the expertise of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is not providing them with information they request, according to the letter. “We as a family are concerned that we are not being told the truth,”

You can get killed for that! September 3, 2003 By Sean Gonsalves Break out the champagne on Wall Street! A new report is out called "Labor Market Left Behind," co-authored by Economic Policy Institute senior economist Jared Bern-stein and the Institute's president, Lawrence Mishel. "Since the start of this recovery, unemployment has continued to trend upward, from 5.6 percent in November 2001 to 6.2 percent in July 2003....(There are) three unem-ployed people for every job opening. During this recovery, unemployment has risen 0.6 percentage points overall and 1.3 points among African Americans," according to Bern-stein and Mishel (see And get this: "Employment opportunities have declined more for college graduates than for high school dropouts. Underemployed workers - those working fewer hours than they want to or in a job for which they are overqualified - reached double digits (10.2 percent) in July 2003. Current unemployment rates are actually lower than they would be, except for the fact that some 2 million workers have stopped looking for work in this poor market." Fortunately for the Bush administration, the question: who would Jesus bomb? is crowding other important inquiries such as: how do we end poverty as we know it?

UNFAIR and UNBALANCED! Selling Snake Oil News September 3, 2003 Jesse - Editor, So FOX News claims to own the slogan, “Fair and Balanced!”  Now, that’s even more amazing than if Charles Manson had made “Sugar ‘N Spice” his trademark. False and misleading advertising is clearly forbidden under federal law and in most states in this country. One has to wonder why there is there no similar regulation guarding the people of America against the deceptive dissemination of misinformation disguised as “news!” FOX News really takes the cake. Describing FOX News as “Fair and Balanced” may possibly be the greatest misrepresentation of a “product” since the cure-all tonics of the past. Like Fox News, the phony elixirs of the old west were sold by con men trying to make a fast buck!  Anyone tuning in to FOX News, at any time of day, hears a slick and polished sales pitch for something that looks like news, sounds like news, and is even called “news.’ People rely on networks such as FOX news for information which they need in order to make informed decision that can drastically affect their lives. When they tune in they believe they’re getting news. What they’re really getting is a large dose of snake oil that is totally useless and very, very dangerous.

The worst of times September 2, 2003 In the first of a three-part series on trade, George Monbiot argues that the rich world's brutal diplomacy is worsening the plight of poor nations. The world is beginning to look like France, a few years before the Revolution. There are no reliable wealth statistics from that time, but the disparities are unlikely to have been greater than they are today. The wealthiest 5% of the world's people now earn 114 times as much as the poorest 5%. The 500 richest people on earth now own $1.54 trillion - more than the entire gross domestic product of Africa, or the combined annual incomes of the poorest half of humanity. Now, just as then, the desperation of the poor counterpoises the obscene consumption of the rich.

STEALING OUR MIDDLE-CLASS FUTURE September 2, 2003 Jim Hightower Labor Day has gone all soft on us, and it's time to harden up on its true meaning. This holiday is not some vague tribute to men and women who labor. Rather, it's a radically-democratic declaration of the intent to build and sustain a middle class in America – as a bold statement (and as fraught with perils) as Jefferson's Declaration and Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Far from being about taking a day off, Labor Day is about people taking democratic power. Today, our middle-class power is being steadily filched by thieves in high places – the BushCo government, the corporate-friendly Wobblycrats in congress, and the corporate Kleptocrats themselves. All are busily hauling truck loads of money and power out of the middle class to the top, dumping it into the hands of CEOs and the wealthy investors.

We Must Stop Bush From Stealing the 2004 Election September 2, 2003 By Norman D. Livergood Americans must act now to stop the Bush II junta's already ongoing criminal initiative to steal the 2004 election. The Republican-owned voting machine corporations, the defense industry, and the entire criminal gang in the White House are already working in every way possible to rig the 2004 election in their favor.

Adding insult to labor's injuries September 2, 2003   This poignant Labor Day, when the numbers are bad, the policies are worse and the jobs are disappearing, it's not so much the economy that riles me as the disrespect and the gratuitous contempt with which this administration treats working Americans. The old insult to injury. If we've had an administration so blinkered by class blinders before, it is not within my memory. What these people know about working-class Americans would fit in a gnat's eye.

Genetically modified food: Bush promotes a `biological time bomb' September 2, 2003 BY EVA CHENG On August 7, the United States government formally demanded that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) set up a dispute settlement panel in order to legally challenge the European Union's five-year de facto ban on the new approval of genetically modified foods. In doing so, US President George Bush's administration is not only pressuring the EU to accept more GM food imports, it is also seeking to force down the throat of the world's people a food supply that is of highly dubious safety and has potentially devastating environmental consequences.

London power blackout and the cost of privatisation September 2, 2003 By Mike Ingram A 34-minute electricity blackout in London on Thursday August 28 caused chaos and disruption that could still be seen the following day. Problems began at around 6.20 p.m. when a blackout hit a vast area of the capital city and Kent in the southeast. It was the worst possible time. In the middle of rush hour, the power outage left more than 250,000 people stranded after finishing work. The coincidence of the power failure occurring within a month of the self-assured statements made in the aftermath of the US power blackout that this could not happen in the UK did not go unnoticed.

Realities of Israeli oppression rarely aired in North America September 2, 2003 By BILL KAUFMANN Shawn Dombrowski's first task once he'd arrived in the Holy Land was to dissect the Israeli Defence Force's destruction of a Palestinian ambulance. The Fort McMurray Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) said the Israeli troops knew the vehicle had been given clearance to enter Ramallah, but launched their grenade through its windshield anyway. "The 40-mm grenade probably went right into the doctor's chest and blew up ... three EMTs had 80% burns over their bodies," he told a Calgary audience last spring.

The Grinch That Stole Labor Day September 1, 2003 by Greg Palast In celebration of the working person's holiday, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has announced the Bush Administration's plan to end the 60-year-old law which requires employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime. I'm sure you already knew that -- if you happened to have run across page 15,576 of the Federal Register. According to the Register, where the Bush Administration likes to place it's little gifts to major campaign donors, 2.7 million workers will lose their overtime pay -- for a "benefit" of $1.53 billion. I put "benefit" in quotes because, in the official cost-benefit analysis issued by Bush's Labor Department, the amount employers will now be able to slice out of workers' pockets is tallied on the plus side of the rules change.

Not just warmer: it's the hottest for 2,000 years September 1, 2003 Ian Sample Widest study yet backs fears over carbon dioxide The earth is warmer now than it has been at any time in the past 2,000 years, the most comprehensive study of climatic history has revealed. Confirming the worst fears of environmental scientists, the newly published findings are a blow to sceptics who maintain that global warming is part of the natural climatic cycle rather than a consequence of human industrial activity. Prof Philip Jones, a director of the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit and one of the authors of the research, said: "You can't explain this rapid warming of the late 20th century in any other way. It's a response to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

Many voters unable to name any Democratic candidates, poll finds September 1, 2003 (AP) There's no shortage of Democrats running for president but most voters don't know who they are, according to a new poll. The poll, released for the Labor Day weekend which traditionally kicks off the campaign season, showed two-thirds of the people surveyed couldn't name one of the nine candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Action Figures For Imbeciles September 1, 2003 Mark Morford It's the G.W. Bush "aviator" doll, just in time to degrade every notion of heroism, ever. Country's in shambles and economy's gutted and schools are shot and Iraq's a violent bloody mess and joblessness is rampant and it's a proud time indeed to be an American, and hence you might be asking yourself, what, pray what, can I give the hardcore lockstep pseudo-Christian homophobic Republican on my gift list? What can you give the one who just loves bogus wars and BushCo's lies and thinks SUVs are way bitchin' and believes every bile-filled opinion crammed down their throats via Fox News and Hannity/Coulter/Limbaugh et al.

US decree strips thousands of their jobs September 1, 2003 Jonathan Steele Anti-Ba'athist ruling may force educated Iraqis abroad. Tarik al-Kubaisy, vice-president of the Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists, is a worried man. It's not just that the queue of patients suffering from severe stress disorders in Iraq's war-torn society is growing longer by the day. Nor that a country of 25 million has fewer than 100 psychiatrists and many are planning to emigrate now that Saddam Hussein's restrictions on foreign travel have gone. The other concern for Dr Kubaisy, who was awarded a London University PhD after four years at the Maudsley hospital, is that the Americans have taken away his job.

Jewish peace winner attacks Israel September 1, 2003 Jewish historian Reuven Moskovitz, who was awarded a prestigious peace prize, fired a broadside at Israel during his acceptance speech.The outspoken award winner used the glittering occasion to launch an attack on Israel's policies which have caused misery for millions of Palestinians. And he called on Europe to exert pressure on Ariel Sharon to stop the persecution of Palestinians.

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