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Bush is sending more combat troops to Iraq, where the proposed constitution is increasing the hostility among the ethnic groups.
Closing Fuel Economy Loopholes Can Save Consumers Billions.
But Bush doesn't want to do that.
Senators from both parties visited Alaska to see the effects of global warming, and to try to put pressure on Bush.
I predict Bush will continue to deny everything and obstruct all efforts to prevent this problem from getting worse. Those who direct him profit from using lots of oil, and they want to draw as much profit as they can.
Peace in Aceh may be on the way.
Bunnatine Greenhouse, a Pentagon contract official, has been removed from her job for doing it properly.
This is part of Bush's War on Integrity.
Chavez offers to sell gasoline cheap to poor communities in the US. He also offered to provide free health care there.
The low-cost gasoline idea would not really be a good thing, since it would take away the pressure to conserve energy. However, providing medical care would be a very good deed, as well as a propaganda coup.
Israel is confiscating a lot more Palestinian land to expand settlements.
Antiabortionists have been passing restrictions on abortion in many states.
Christian fanatics are moving to South Carolina with the aim of establishing a theocracy.
A 10-year-old refugee who has spent half his life in prison in Australia is suing the government for neglecting his medical needs.
Chavez says that Venezuela will take legal action against Pat Robertson. I'd love to see Robertson in jail for incitement to terrorism.
The Menezies shooting: contradictions and possible cover-up.
A thousand nonvoilent protestors against the annexation wall.
9 northeast states have made an agreement to cap and then reduce CO2 emissions.
Freeing slaves in Brazil is hard work. The slave-owners buy the police.
Dear Settlers and a few other addressees - Uri Avnery
War Made Easy--how the US media enthusiastically support invasion.
The FCC and FBI are trying to stretch the CALEA law which requires phone companies to build in facilities for massive wiretapping, to make it apply to internet service in general.
They are doing this for the specific and unusual case of WIFI and cell phones on airplanes. But if they succeed in stretching the law that far, they won't need to stretch it any further to apply it to all ISPs.
Bush is now trying to destroy everything that the UN has agreed to work for. Even Blair is refusing to support it.
Here's more of what Bush wants to eliminate.
A newspaper strike in the Toronto area is going unreported, because the concentrated corporate media decline to cover it.
Increasing oil prices, and conflicts between the US and China, seem to be the sign that peak oil has arrived.
I wish there were a side in this conflict that deserved the support of people of good will, but they seem to be scoundrels on all sides.
US cities and environmental groups are suing the US government for funding projects that contribute to global warming.
The withdrawal from Gaza has created a great opportunity, but also a great danger.
Europeans are forming a campaign to demand Judith Miller's release from prison.
I appreciate the courage she shows by going to prison for the principle of confidentiality of sources--even though in this case she is protecting people who work for Bush. I hope she would show the same courage if it were protecting someone else. In any case, we must not be misled into thinking that the New York Times upholds the other traditional journalistic virtues along with this one.
The draft Iraqi constitution displeases many Iraqis for many reasons. I get the impression that there's nothing they could do which wouldn't have this problem, which stems from the depth of division and mistrust in Iraq.
It would take a great statesman, admired by most of the people, to overcome such deep divisions--and Bush and his men hardly qualify.
The Blair Watch Project--using biometric ID cards to do mass surveillance of everyone.
Animal rights activists in the UK shut down a guinea pig farm through persistent protests.
The protestors are accused of being violent, but the descriptions of the accusations leave room for doubt about whether it was really violent.
Pat Robertson, speaking on TV, called for assassination of Venezuela's president Chavez.
As Bush faces for the first time the clear disapproval of most Americans, his personality is degenerating into a permanent temper tantrum.
Wetlands in the US are threatened by many causes, including rising sea level due to global warming.
Wetlands play a role in cleaning up pollution, so losing them is dangerous.
Roberts has a history of attacking and undermining environmental protection.
As the US focuses attention on Iran's possible nuclear weapons program, Israel's real nuclear weapons are ignored.
Is a US invasion of Bolivia coming soon?
Bush is citing false intelligence about Bolivia, perhaps to justify an attack.
Persistent and increasing drought in some places, flooding in others-- and it will only get worse as global warming continues to distort the world's climate patterns.
The policemen who shot de Menezies face an investigation that could result in charges against them.
Roberts' record reveals a right-wing extremist.
The US mainstream media showed the public how controlled they are by either ignoring Cindy Sheehan or ridiculing her, while local media covered her protest sympathetically.
Bush is suing the operator of a web site that criticizes him. And Isuzu is suing Consumer Reports because it made a report they did not like.
Blair may get a $400k per year payoff from Bush's friends.
The Center for Democracy and Technology has sold us out and given support to the "broadcast flag".
A study shows a world-wide pattern about suicide bombing: it is a response to foreign occupation. That is why it is occurring now in Iraq.
There are 50 co-sponsors for a congressional resolution for removing the Bush forces from Iraq, and from Bush. It is a very gentle resolution, with no deadline to complete the withdrawal, but it is a step.
Merck is likely to be sued by relatives of thousands of people who had heart attacks after using Vioxx, because Merck knew about this side effect and tried to cover it up.
I think that even these suits are not enough to deter companies from doing this. I think there should be criminal penalties for drug companies (and their staff) that try to hush up such information.
Novo Nordisk, a company that specializes in treatment of Diabetes ("and prevention"), gives out fattening treats to doctors and their staff. Is this how they claim to prevent Diabetes?
In case you ever serve as a juror in a criminal trial, you should read this article.
Carbon sequestration as a way to cope with global warming is becoming technically feasible; but it won't be applied until countries like the US adopt policies to make it happen.
China is setting up new police units to crush the protests and uprisings that often occur when people are chased off their land by developers. At the same time, it is changing the law to make it harder for these people to defend themselves legally--which means they will have no recourse except uprisings.
Compare this with the US, where the Supreme Court ruled that cities can use eminent domain to take private land on behalf of businesses, and you get a pattern of convergence towards tyranny.
In the UK, a neighborhood built on a former toxic waste dump is told, "Don't let your children play in the garden."
I think the government has an obligation to compensate their loss. If everyone shares in shouldering the burden, it will be bearable, but it is unfair to let it fall randomly on just a few.
An Israeli commentator says that the Gaza pullout was due to... firm pressure from Bush.
The Chinese government has organized an exhibit about Japan's wartime atrocities, whipping up public anger towards Japan.
Since the Chinese government is no great supporter of human rights, I am sure it is not doing this because of outrage against atrocities. But that's a side issue; doing the right thing for the wrong reasons does not make it wrong. The Japanese army committed atrocities by the thousands in its war of aggression--and it didn't stop with bombing and shooting civilians; they performed fatal "medical experiments" on some civilian prisoners. They mistreated prisoners of war, too, many of whom died.
No nation is immune to the temptation to commit atrocities. The Japanese government must acknowledge these wrongs so it can teach Japanese never to consider such things again.
Innocent bomber suspect De Menezes was pinned down by police--then shot while helpless.
Uri Avnery on the proof that it is possible for Israel to demolish settlements.
His quote about land mines is very impressive.
In Pakistan, another writer has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Pakistan is one of the few countries on Earth that I would simply refuse to visit. I too might be sentenced to death for what I have said on this site.
The Turkish government was negotiating with someone about paying House Speaker Hastert to change his position--and then he did so. Was he paid to change it? The FBI is covering it up, according to Sibel Edmonds.
(For officials to take pay from corporations is just as bad as taking pay from foreign governments; it is equally a betrayal of the nation.)
TV camera recordings show that the UK police lied to whitewash their killing of the man falsely suspected of carrying a bomb into a train.
The Iraqi puppet government has been unable to work out a constitution.
The job of designing a constitution for Iraq might be intractable even if it were done by statesmen with real popular support who had no conquering foreign army to placate.
In Baghdad alone, 1000 civilians are killed every month. This leads to a rought estimate of 36,000 per year in Iraq as a whole.
Here's what Melanie House says about the death of her husband, in Iraq.
Unlike Ms House, I am not "for" the Bush forces, except in the limited sense that I wish they were safely out of Iraq. Thet are not "our" troops, not any more, until we can take them away from Bush. They are engaged in a vicious and inexcusable war of conquest--so in general they are not heroes.
However, Petty Officer House was an exception, because he was a medic. Medics are heroes no matter which army they are in.
Congressman and senators who supported the war and Bush are feeling the pressure--and awareness is sinking in that Bush cannot win the war.
The Bush forces will have to leave Iraq sooner or later. The sooner they leave, the less evil they will have done.
Businesses (including Haliburton) are trying to push for massive new highway-building plans in the US, taking advantage of the Bush regime's readiness to bow serve business' wants.
If oil prices skyrocket around 2010, there won't be the traffic to fill these new roads--which is a good thing, since that much more CO2 in the air would assure global disaster.
A report says that Earth is 1 degree of warming away from disaster.
In the US, many states are developing renewable energy, despite Bush's opposition to it.
The Liberal Democrat party leader in the European Parliament has endorsed legalization of all drugs.
I don't necessarily go that far; for dangerous addictive drugs, the Dutch system, which lets addicts register and get injections legally but prohibits commercial sale, might be better. Both systems cut out the basis for the profitable black market, both avoid forcing addicts into crime or imprisoning them for their habits. I don't know which one would be better at discouraging people from taking up these drugs.
Baghdad: ten minutes on a trip to the supermarket can mean the difference between life and death.
The Israeli soldier who shot a British nonviolent activist was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
I don't think 8 years is an unreasonable sentence for manslaughter, but given the facts of the case, it should have been murder.
Global warming is melting the permafrost of Siberia, which spews methane into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming.
As we carry our world ever closer to a disaster which we won't actually see until it is too late to avoid, rich men who assume they can buy their personal way out of the painful consequences insist that it is too expensive to do anything.
That's as stupid as claiming you can't afford to get your tooth filled. Would you rather wait and have a root canal?
The use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima is commemorated annually as a call for nuclear disarmament.
Winter Soldier, an unflattering documentary of the US Army featuring Vietnam veterans, may finally be shown in the US--after more than 3 decades of suppression. Iraq has given it current relevance again.
Unacceptable regimes in Iraq and the United States.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: With Violent Greetings
Blair wants to deport some Islamic extremists--some of them to countries that are likely to torture them. Some of these are the same people who were formerly imprisoned without trial. At least one is being deported to a country where he was tried in absentia, which trial was in itself a violation of human rights.
Torture, imprisonment without trial, and trial in absentia, in the hands of an all-powerful state, more dangerous than whatever acts they are supposedly intended to prevent (and which they are just as likely to provide the motivation for). Nobody should be deported to a country where he faces a sentence issued by a trial in absentia. If that country wants to ask for extradition, and makes a credible promise of a new (and fair) trial, then the request deserves to be considered normally.
By contrast, I see no harm in refusing to let Omar Bakri Mohammed return from Lebanon. Since he went there voluntarily, he cannot plead that his human rights are in danger there.
Uri Avnery's comments on the removal of settlers from Gaza.
Over half the settler families in Gaza are leaving peacefully.
Iran nuclear row: No end in sight.
I will not feel safer if Iran has nuclear weapons. However, given that the US has made it clear to other countries that only nuclear weapons can protect them from the likelihood of a US attack, it's only natural that they should try to avail themselves of the only known protection.
The idea of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is that it would acknowledge a few nuclear powers, which would try to move towards nuclear disarmament, and in exchange the rest of the world's states would forego nuclear weapons. But the movement towards nuclear disarmament ended in the 90s. Bush wants a world in which he has nuclear weapons and his enemies do not; but he can't expect the rest of the world to support that goal.
Bliar is trying to attack judges for upholding the legal rights of suspects, even those suspected of terrorism. (Of course, innocent people are often suspected of terrorism, and sometimes even shot dead.) The judges are fighting back.
This is part of Bliar's general attack on all kinds of human rights.
In a part of Gaza cut of by Israeli settlements, Palestinian fishermen have been forbidden to go to sea for years, and a man who went to the hospital in Rafah has been forbidden, since 3 months ago, to return home.
Evacuation of the settlements might change this, or might not.
Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner, tears the idea of "intelligent design" to shreds.
Support Cindy Sheehan, on a vigil against Bush for sending her son to die for a lie.
Colleges in the US are starting to offer students textbooks that disappear after the one semester. And don't even think of lending them to someone else.
Meanwhile, Hollywood is now dictating the design of the next version of Microsoft Windows, with the specific aim take away your control over your own computers.
This takes us a step closer to the world I imagined 8 years ago, in The Right To Read.
I urge students and faculty to organize to reject these phony textbooks. Not buying them is just the first step--people should go further and denounce the restrictions that they carry. They should not be offered even as an "alternative", because society should not accept the "alternative" of losing traditional freedoms.
Students who don't appreciate intangibles such liberty and community cooperation might still be persuaded by secondary reasons--such as that students will probably pay more, in the long run, if they can't borrow each other's books or resell them to next year's students.
Is Bush preparing to carry out a medium-size military attack in October? I am in no position to verify any of these facts, but even as a rumor it is worth calling attention to.
Roundup, the Monsanto pesticide that Monsanto likes to genetically engineer crops to resist, seems to be very dangerous to amphibians.
China's rule over Tibet continues to be brutal. Cowardly Western rulers such as Bliar, who are willing to fight wars to bring "democracy" to weak countries such as Iraq, sell out to China's money.
Some investors worm info out of doctors about how drug experiments are working, so they can do insider trading.
At the same time, similar investors often stop doctors from publishing experiment results properly, through the power they get through funding the research.
The UK government is trying to tell the newsmedia to stop talking about the dangers of GM crops.
I guess they'd prefer not to have any news reports on embarrassing superweeds.
A witness who survived one of the London bombs says the bomb was under the train, not in it.
This article also provides an example of the idiocy of religion. The lucky survivor thanked his imaginary god for saving him and his friend, but doesn't blame the same imaginary god for killing or injuring everyone else. A recent article in Free Inquiry, focusing on this pattern of bias, was entitled "Teflon God". It must be cozy to be praised for the good you do while never blamed for the bad--but I would rather not be exempt from ethical standards, nor would any being with a conscience.
A genetically modified herbicide-resistant plant cross-bred with a weed to produce a herbicide-resistant weed. So now farmers have to fight a super-weed.
The cross-breeding will probably work in the other direction, too. Wherever the super-weed grows, it will probably cross-breed with crops. Then Monsanto will sue the farmers for patent infringement.
But don't worry--Monsanto will sue the weed for patent infringement and get rid of it.
A wide range of businesses systematically try to distort science, faking enough doubt as to prevent the problems caused by their products or operations from being addressed. And they have arranged (bought) a law to help them.
Australia's ruler says that Australia's draconian anti-terror laws need to be "strengthened". Like every ruler using this excuse to take away people's freedom, he sticks to generalities, never meeting the challenge to show that his specific freedom-limiting measures are really necessary, or even helpful.
Australia's current laws allow grabbing people secretly, and imprisoning them if they do not answer questions. These people are essentially disappeared, since it is considered a crime for them, or anyone else, to report what happened to them. How much more "strengthening" is needed to reach something like Stalin? I'd say they are already at the level of the early Gestapo.
Legacy of the Iraq war: a new increase in nuclear terror.
An Israeli settler fanatic went on a rampage, shooting Arabs on a bus. Fortunately he didn't get very many before the rest of the passengers mobbed and killed him.
While in the Palestinian territories, I was told that settlers frequently snipe at Arabs, any Arabs that appear in range, up to the maximum range of their weapons.
One MP in the UK is not afraid to recognize how Bush and Blair are the chief mass murderers. There may be some US politicians who dare say this, but we don't hear about them much. The media in the UK are not as thoroughly under the corporate thumb as those in the US.
Of course, there are people who condemn him for this. There are people for whom it is impossible to recognize one's own country as the origin of evil no matter how obvious it gets.
About the Cuban exiles in Miami that keep trying to attack Cuba (and dragging the US government into it).
Here's the latest Amnesty International report on Cuba:
Castro's doesn't respect human rights well enough, but Bush respects human rights less in Cuba than Castro does. He's not doing it very well in the US either: I don't know if the Cuban dissidents got fair trials, but with Bush, you may not get one at all.
Corruption was bad in Russia before Putin, but now it is much worse.
A glacier in Greenland is moving 3 times faster than it was 10 years ago.
If this spreads (or has spread) to the rest of Greenland, lots of us will be in cold water.
Iraqi Shi'ites are about to form militias-- to protect themselves from Sunnis. Bush will have trouble stopping this, and I think it will turn out badly for him.
Meanwhile, the new Iraqi constitution seems likely to abolish equal rights for women.
There is so much irony here. This negation of human rights results from having a certain limited amount of democracy in Iraq--together with the fact that Islamic extremism is now powerful in Iraq.
Most Americans won't like what these religious extremists have done, but Bush may not mind it. He's a religious extremist himself.
Overfishing has cut the number of species in half in many areas of the ocean.
South Africa plans to push harder to transfer land from rich Whites to poor landless Blacks.
I support this if it is done carefully. Those rich whites had the help of a colonial system in acquiring their property.
Musharraf is opposing Islamic fundamentalists who are trying to impose Taliban-style laws in part of Afghanistan. However, these are the same people whose political support he relies on.
I think Pakistan is headed for something horrible, and it could include nuclear war.
To censor a pro-union web site, run by a locked-out employee, Canadian ISP Telus blocked 766 other sites. A million customers were unable to access these sites (unless they knew of a proxy to bypass the restriction).
The injunction against posting photos of scabs bothers me, too. That they could get such an injunction reflects the same sort of bias, for business and against citizens, that Canadian courts showed in the Harry Potter injunction case.
The private company that is supposed to provide medical care at many prisons in the US consistently skimps, and when doctors complain that they are not given the resources to do the job, it makes up an excuse and fires them.
It is typical behavior for companies to fail to do the jobs they have promised or claimed they will do. The same companies also insist that people pay them every dime they are owed--but they don't deserve it.
We need a legal system that will hold companies to the same standard that it holds individuals, but first of all we need to do so in our own standards of ethics. We have to reject absolutely the idea that company executives have a duty to make as much money as they can even if this means being nasty to the rest of the community.
"Nobody dies of overpopulation" because people work hard to find something else to blame.
Monsanto is trying to patent breeding pigs. That's right, breeding them. Not engineering genetic modifications in pigs, but selecting pigs, as farmers have done for millenia.
China announced a gigantic reforestation plan.
It remains to be seen how well the plan will be implemented. In the Chinese government, at all levels, there is a tendency to lie to cover up failures.
$15000 bail for spray-painting? Only for political activists.
Uzbekistan, whose dictator was defended by Bush and Blair for strategic reasons and oil, has now switched to Russian allegiance.
Will Bush now begin to denounce the crimes that he ignored when this dictator was an ally?
When a product is dangerous, and the manufacturer wants this hushed up, of course it calls that a "trade secret". Thus, any agency of the state that gets involved has to choose a side: the public or the company, democracy or fascism.
But there may be some good news here, that our protests after Adobe had Dmitri Sklyarov arrested may have had some deterrent effect on the FBI: it didn't just go and grab Lynn; instead, it is thinking twice about which side to take.
When researcher Mike Lynn found a security risk in Cisco routers, Cisco wasn't concerned with the problem they had created--only with whether the public would find out about their mistake.
I applaud Mike Lynn's willingness to fight against this abuse of the legal system. But I am disappointed that both he and the conference where he spoke agreed to censor themselves on the matter forever after. Perhaps he figured that the information was already out of the bottle and that Cisco would be unable to stuff it back in. Maybe that's true--but Cisco clearly isn't convinced, and I can't be confident they are mistaken.
Lynn was somewhat confused when he said that Cisco "had to do what's right for their shareholders". What's right for Cisco's shareholders is to act, on their behalf, in an ethical way. Perhaps he meant "what's good for their shareholders"--not the same thing. But if that's what he meant, the statement is mistaken. Nobody has to bully people, and making money for the shareholders is not an excuse for doing so.
I think it is superfluous to call a boycott of Cisco, because only idiots would buy a router made by a company whose response to a problem like this is to try to hush it up. However, this case, like the Harry Potter injunction, illustrates both the injustice of the relevant laws and the hostile prejudice of the governments that enforce them. Any government that takes Cisco's side is not on your side. Any official that isn't disgusted that Cisco was able to gag Lynn does not deserve to be in office.
The US as well as several other countries have signed a new treaty intended to reduce global warming. However, it doesn't have any specific required targets, so what good it will do is not clear.
Inside evidence--leaked emails from former prosecutors--says that Bush's military courts for Guantanamo prisoners are "rigged".
It was clear all along that this would be the case, more or less. But it is useful to have direct evidence.
I honor those prosecutors whose personal integrity led them to quit the proceedings that they found to be unjust. I fear that Bush will retaliate against them now, if he has not done so already. Bush recognizes only one law: "Never thwart me in anything!"
Deadly heatwaves and droughts on various continents are a consequence of global warming.
The weather always fluctuates--but as the whole world gets warmer, weather that used to be so extreme it would happen once a century can start happening once a year. Rainfall patterns change; some places will get much less average rainfall, while others get more.
The AFL-CIO voted to call for removal of the Bush forces troops from Iraq "as soon as possible".
The resolution presents this as support for the troops, and that's right. The most important support they deserve, and the only kind they should get, is no longer to fight an unjust war of occupation against a justifiably hostile people.
Bush loyalists are likely to insist that "as soon as possible" means "after complete victory". But they are slowly giving way to the pressure.
Self-proclaimed experts in business ethics are now trying to justify business' having influence in government, on the ground that businesses pay taxes.
That principle is twisted. "No taxation without representation" applies only to people--and it does not imply that she who pays more taxes deserves more representation.
The aim of democracy, since Athens, is to prevent rich people from having disproportionate influence in the policy of the state. Allowing business any sort of influence defeats the purpose of democracy.
Roberts helped Bush prevent a recount in 2000.
California has rejected Diebold voting machines because they failed 10% of the time.
The Ukraine's new government is losing support, facing conflicting pressures from the people and from the US. Their main "achievement" to date has been impose WTO-style copyright law. Joining the WTO would mean surrendering their newly-won democracy.
It's admirable to have canceled an unjust privatization, but instead of simply auctioning off the same property, they should be smarter about what to do with it.
UN peacekeepers in Haiti shot innocent people in the head during a raid.
The raid was against gangsters, but those were small fry. The US-installed government is composed of gangsters.
The Bush regime is giving out more hints of starting to pull out of Iraq.
Of course, they don't admit that it's a matter of pulling out. Instead, they're talking about handing over the occupation to Iraqi collaborators. You could call it "Iraqization".
When it's all over, Iraqi will still be a much worse place than it was under Saddam Hussein. It looks like they will have gone from a secular dictatorship to an Islamic fanatic dictatorship. But it will be better than the murderous Bush regime.
All in all, the West has been very stupid in opposing and sabotaging secular nationalism in the Arab countries, because the result was that Arabs turned to Islamic fundamentalism as the only way to resist.
An American reporter overcame the obstacles created by Bush to interview the Bush forces sniper who had shot his Iraqi friend, also a reporter and a doctor.
I think the sniper is right in saying "this wasn't murder"--not on his part. He was afraid for his buddies' lives and had very little time to think. You can't expect people to figure out the right thing to do under such a situation--not reliably. At the individual level, this soldier had moral bad luck: he had to make a choice, and both options could have been very very wrong.
However, the overall effects of the occupation are not a matter of chance. The occupation systematically generates such situations, and systematically a certain fraction kill noncombatants. The result is a lot of killings. The decision to conquer and occupy Iraq is responsible for all these killings; neither Bush nor his officers arrange each one precisely, but Bush's orders made them inevitable.
Then there are the children who die from malnutrition and lack of clean water-- thousands a year.
Thus, Bush is committing mass murder by continuing the occupation. Only a very strong ethical urgency can justify this sort of thing, and Bush knows he has none. That is why he tries to prevent his murders from being investigated, and why the mass media that are in cahoots with him don't report them. The sooner the resistance drives his army out, the less evil Bush will have done.
The UK government has adopted a policy of shooting suspected suicide bombers on sight, without warning. One innocent person was already shot in the head. In effect, the war in Iraq has come home.
The Democrats 2008 Choice: Sell Out and Lose, or Stand Up and Win.
Police in India beat up and injured hundreds of workers who were on strike.
I think there should be an investigation of why the police were there in the first place. I suspect that the business brought them in to try to crush the strike. It is just a suspicion, and might be wrong; but since they raise the question of who started the fight, this might show who really started it.
The "Iraqi government" is selling off oil fields to foreign oil companies. The price will probably be much less than they are worth; that's the usual way that privatization goes. Meanwhile, it will be easy for crooks in ministries to run off with the money. (To run off with the oil itself would be much harder.)
We always knew that grabbing Iraq's oil was part of Bush's war aims. However, it didn't stop there--the article explains that Bush and his cronies have been stealing Iraq's money too.
It is interesting to compare the low degree of attention to this corruption with the much greater attention given to much smaller corruption involving the former Oil for Food program. Corruption is never legitimate, but the regime uses its opponents' small offenses as a distraction from its own large ones.
The House Republicans have control of the chamber, but they're not satisfied with passing bad laws openly. Here they cheated the rest of the House, to give a handout to Halliburton.
A letter from Zimbabwe says: Zimbabwe keeps going down the drain as world sits by and does nothing.
Here's the Amnesty International report.
There is a new campaign to label products that put smaller burdens on the environment.
It might be a good thing, but in order to be effective, I think it needs to apply to consumables, not just to durable goods. Also, it doesn't say that labor conditions are part of the criteria, so this seal doesn't mean it wasn't made in a sweatshop.
Dalits in Tamil Nadu, whose villages and crops were wiped out by the tsunami, are getting no aid. When people try to provide aid to the, upper-cast people stop them and steal it.
Bush extends his War on Integrity to the SEC, by appointing Chris Cox to lead it.
Sad news: the US House of Representatives approved CAFTA. The vote was close; we almost won a victory, but "almost" counts for nothing.
We have to hope that some Central American countries will refuse to ratify the treaty, and protect the future of their potential democracy.
The Indonesian government has made a deal with the Aceh independence movement, which seems to offer the prospect of a peaceful solution involving some regional autonomy.
The UN is wrestling with the question of how to define "terrorism".
The question would difficult even without the political pressures from various governments. I expect the US to demand a broad definition that includes legitimate political protest and excludes anything done by a government.
The Taliban are regaining strength--possibly with the help of Pakistan's intelligence service.
However, the people in the part of Pakistan near Afghanistan are also supporters of the Taliban, and some of them are fighting the Pakistan government.
Pakistan is more or less a military dictatorship, does not recognize human rights. Its laws impose a death sentence for blasphemy. It is one of the countries I would not even consider visiting. If people invite me to give a speech there, I will do it by videoconference.
A close political advisor of Berlusconi has been convicted of working closely with the Mafia at the same time.
Renewable energy sources and cogeneration are now comparable with nuclear power, in their contribution to world electricity supply, and they are much cheaper.
I think this refutes the claim that only nuclear power could be deployed enough to significantly reduce global warming.
"Theft in plain sight" as Israel extends the annexation fence around Jerusalem.
The UN Work Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned the US, saying that the Cubans who were convicted of spying--not on the US government, but on terrorist groups that operate in the US and attack Cuba--did not get a fair trial.
Some Irish police were investigated and found responsible for trying to frame innocent people. They were punished...with being transferred to Dublin.
Shell is paying dearly for jailing Irish villagers that oppose construction of a dangerous pipeline.
This page gives information about what Shell did to the Ogoni in Nigeria.
It appears to be a few years old; there is no longer a military government in Nigeria. I wonder what the situation is now with Shell and the Ogoni.
Was that boy, or the thousands of others like him, less important than someone who was killed in London?
Two teenagers were executed in Iran for being gay.
The House Rules Committee, in approving extension of the USA PAT RIOT Act, blocked the full house from even considering certain amendments to reduce the powers--for instance, the amendment that was adopted by a majority of the house, to eliminate the power to collect bookstore and library records. In other words, even our representatives (weak defenders of our freedom that they are) were bullied and trampled down by the Republican leaders.
The Blair regime is talking about a new anti-terror law that might make it a crime to view a "terrorist" web site. (This is half way down the page.)
Aside from being censorship, this would be quite easy for the police to sucker anyone into viewing such a site, which would then be an excuse to put the person in prison.
I am more scared of this than of bombs in the subway.
More information on Judge Roberts, Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court.
A US representative suggested using nuclear weapons on Mecca as revenge for possible future terrorism.
I can understand the anger that must have led him to say that. Anyone who can understand that anger should also be able to understand how Muslims might feel similar anger after the mass murder that Bush and Blair have committed in Iraq--and how they might also be led to consider setting off explosions that would kill many in the US or UK.
So what is the way forward? To kill more? Or to kill less?
Alfonso Molina, a prominent Colombian journalist, reported in the launch of Telesur that the Colombian army recently seized and shut down a TV station run by an indigenous group. (It was broadcasting views criticial of the government.)
The US House of Representatives voted to extend the USA PAT RIOT act.
It appears that fear-mongering is still too strong for to resist in the name of civil liberties. Although there was opposition on the specific issues of library, bookstore, and medical records, nearly all accepted secret searches (illegal even to talk about) for other kinds of business records.
Bush formerly said he would fire anyone in his administration involved in leaking the name of Valerie Plame. But now he says he will only fire someone if he "committed a crime".
Perhaps he thought, when making the previous statement, that the people responsible would never be caught.
The UK government is prosecuting a colonel for the killing of a civilian prisoner.
It appears that the UK has eliminated the problem of command influence that makes military "justice" in the US a farce. That's commendable. The willingness to prosecute a colonel is also comparable, compared with the US policy of only blaming underlings. However, the integrity of the prosecution system, combined with the fewness of the successful prosecutions, demonstrate how hard it is to build a case against soldiers who kill civilians during war. Which means that mostly they can get away with murder.
South Africa is pressuring Mugabe to pull back from his tyrannical policies in Zimbabwe, in exchange for a loan.
I read in another article (for which I cannot find an accessible URL) that some are pressuring South Africa to demand even more in respect for human rights in exchange for this loan.
A Muslim religious court in India ordered a woman to separate from her husband and marry his father, because he raped her.
Some Indian Muslims are outraged by the injustice of this, but apparently not enough to change it. And the chief minister of the state (equivalent to a US governor) supports it.
Islamic ideas of justice are barbaric, and Muslims can be part of civilization only by rejecting those ideas.
Iraq: A nation where suicide bombing is a fact of life.
This shows graphically how the London bombings are small potatoes compared with the violence that Blair has helped Bush commit. And I was please to read that a poll found that 2/3 of Britons consider Blair partly responsible for the bombings. Britons should not allow Blair to respond by trying to claim down while he continues the evil that motivates such retaliation.
More about Thailand's State of Emergency: it applies only to the provinces where the insurgency is located, but it is meeting some sharp criticism as threatening to Thai democracy--especially from newspapers that object to censorship.
Bush has done all the same things, one way or another--with the exception of explicit censorship, but the mass media are controlled through their corporate owners, and it serves the same purpose. He applies them to the entire US, even though there is no insurgency anywhere in the US. Is this threatening to US democracy?
In May, Bush met personally with someone who participated in the attempted coup against Venezuela's President Chavez.
That is plenty of basis to suspect that Bush supports the violent overthrow of Chavez's government.
I will look for more information about Posada's case. He shouldn't be subject to double jeopardy, but there is no reason for a foreign terrorist to be welcome in the US, even if he can't be convicted criminally for it
Australia's government has been shamed into taking a step back in cruelty to people seeking political asylum. Those that have been imprisoned for years (sometimes as much as 7 years), for no reason except seeking asylum, will be freed from prison while their cases are considered.
Role in Iraq war ' has made Britain a target for attacks'. (And the US too, of course.)
Massive drug company mergers have nearly wiped out the development of new antibiotics, just as the old ones are starting to frequently fail.
Random anti-Muslim violence has increased in the UK after the recent London bombings.
Religion in general is foolish, and has the potential to lead people to persecute others, but people should not be persecuted just for following a religion. Anyway, these understandably angry people are putting the blame in the wrong place. Bliar is more responsible for the recent bombings than all the Pakistani immigrants combined.
A new law authorizes Islamic tyranny in a part of Pakistan, if it isn't declared unconstitutional.
Coca Cola is threatening to sue an Indian photographer for a billboard that includes their logo and slogan--making a political point about how the company's plants dry up wells, so that poor people can't get clean water.
This is an example in a long line of examples of how trademark law is being used to interfere with statements of political views. Nowadays, with governments giving companies so much power, criticizing companies is an essential part of political activity.
Bush secretly manipulated the Iraqi election.
In the US, he stole the election, probably twice. He would not have scrupled to do the same in Iraq. Did he do it?
Abu Ghraib torture has now been traced directly to Guantanamo, so we know the soldiers who were convicted were not acting on their own.
They deserve their punishments, since following orders is not an excuse. But the ringleaders must be punished too.
Bush's Iraqi Army is made of "ghost batallions".
Their corruption follows the example set by Bush's donations to Haliburton etc. If the master is crooked, you can't expect his servants to be honest.
The corruption in Iraq doesn't operate exactly the same as it did in Vietnam, but it fills the same role in the overall pattern: a corrupt regime, democratic only in name, lacking the loyalty of the people and unable to fight effectively against the rebels. So it remains only as long as it is propped up by a foreign army.
Bliar hopes to overcome the opposition to his ID card plan by turning it into an EU rule.
This is known as "policy laundering": governments that wish to impose an unpopular policy on the people arrange a treaty they can sign, turning it into a fait accompli beyond the reach of democracy.
I'm all in favor of a united Europe, if it were done in a democratic way, one that served the public rather than subjugating it to business and governments. But the existing EU is just an excuse for tyranny, and if it cannot be made democratic, it must be abolished.
A state of emergency was declared in Thailand in response to a steady stream of attacks by Muslim insurgents. This involves censorship of the news, as well as that favorite Bush tactic, imprisonment without trial.
One could argue that this is close enough to civil war that it justifies extreme measures. However, let's not forget that the Thai government has a history of disregarding the rights of anyone deemed socially undesirable. A couple of years ago, for instance, the Thai police were reported as killing people who were suspected of drug trafficking. (This probably included some who really did drug trafficking and others who didn't.) Is that partly responsible for the insurgency?
The London suicide bombers were carrying identification papers. They apparently wanted their identities to be known.
So...if the UK had established mandatory ID cards, would it have changed anything? Obviously not. But this is a great excuse for any sort of attack on people's freedom. Just say "We're protecting you from terrorists". The next step, already taken by members of the Bush administration, is to say that anyone who complains (perhaps because he values freedom) is "helping terrorists".
How Chicago police persecute people who live in housing projects--including threatening to arrest people for not hitting other people on command.
When noted free software developer Chip Salzenberg found his employer engaged in sleazy and illegal address gathering from web sites, he reported his objections to the boss. The company responded with a fabricated criminal accusation against him. The state then seized all his computers, disks, etc, before checking if it made any sense. When the DA eventually dropped the spurious charges, the company sued him, and the state handed all his computers and records over to the company.
Anyone who works remotely, using a computer, can be victimized in this way. So there is an effort to defend him and warn others.
This is one is piece of the general pattern known as fascism, in which the government kowtows to business while trampling human rights.
I asked Chip whether the DA is considering prosecuting the company for the activities he originally objected to. He said he could not comment on that. I hope that means this is under consideration. But even if so, the disparity in attention given to the two complaints--acting precipitously when a company claims to be the victim, and slow when it is the perpetrator--is suspect.
Colombian President Uribe is asking European governments to support a law that would effectively grant immunity to the government-supported death squads that are the greatest origin of terrorism in Colombia.
All over the US news media, we are told that US news media are dominated by Liberals. They can say this because it isn't true.
Police collected videos from thousands of surveillance cameras in London to try to spot the bombers.
This was a large job but not impossible, and that's as it should be. When the job needs to be done, it can be done. If it were easy, it would lend itself to abuse of power.
The danger is that newer technology will make it easy, perhaps make it possible for the police to construct a list that records everywhere that everyone goes. That would be a tool for tyrants.
Canadians have been ordered not to read books that were sold to them "by mistake" . Read that article, then don't buy any Harry Potter books.
An interesting essay on the ideas behind the freedom movements of the 60s, ideas that helped inspire the Free Software Movement.
Another essay analyzes the aspects of the counterculture that I sensed inarticulately, which are the reasons I did not participate.
Israeli "soldiers are not used to dealing with 15-year-olds"... because 15-year-old Arabs don't count.
In Laos, as villagers recycle metal from bombs dropped 30 years ago, the live bombs continue to kill adults and children.
This is how Iraq's future looks.
In the week since bombs in the UK killed 50 persons, 60 others there have been killed by traffic accidents (assuming 2004 patterns continue). These deaths were no less gruesome and tragic, even though they didn't all happen in one event. There probably won't another bombing this week, but there will surely be more traffic deaths this week, and every week, totalling over 3,000 a year.
It is important to try to prevent people from being killed, by whatever cause. But sometimes the methods proposed are themselves gruesome and tragic--such as the surrender of freedoms that previous generations gave their lives to defend. Perspective on the various dangers can help in making the right decision.
The Palestinian Authority asks the EU to boycott products made in the Israeli settlements.
CAFTA is designed to increase the harm that was done by NAFTA. Every country that refuses to ratify it will escape from being hurt by it.
CO2 in the air is not just making the oceans rise, it is making them more acidic. That can wipe out many ocean-dwelling species.
Since we are already overfishing most of the edible ones, we are in for a lot of trouble ourselves.
The American Indian influence on American ideas of liberty and the US Constitution.
The Blair regime is starting to think about pulling troops out of Iraq.
This is a good sign--it means they are feeling the pressure. We have to keep up the pressure until they pull out completely.
Of course, they talk about "handing over security to the Iraqi Army". When the US began pulling its troops out of Vietnam, it said it was handing over the war to Vietnamese troops. This was called "Vietnamization". In fact, it was a way to save face while accepting defeat. Accepting defeat is what the Bush forces ought to do; if "Iraqization" opens the door to this, so much the better.
At the ethical level, this war is very much like the Vietnam war. The Bush forces, much like the US army in the 60s and 70s, support a puppet regime whose troops are motivated only by their pay and their perks. (The book John Paul Vann, A Shining Bright Lie explains how this worked in Vietnam.) Bush and his "Iraqi Army", like Nixon and the ARVN, give lip-service to freedom and democracy, but nothing more. The resistance doesn't care about freedom and democracy either, but it really does have some ideals. Their soldiers want their cause to win, not just to get paid.
The government that took over in Vietnam was another dictatorship, but dictatorship and peace is better than dictatorship and war that kills millions. If the Iraqi resistance throws out the Bush forces--and I think they will--the outcome will probably be a dictatorship, and it won't respect human rights. But that's better than brutal foreign conquerors occupying their country, stripping its wealth, imposing unjust laws, killing tens of thousands of civilians, and torturing thousands more--and not respecting human rights.
A study provides specific evidence that music file-sharing does not reduce record sales.
I present this because it helps undercut one of the record companies' arguments, but when we cite this, we should be careful to reject the presupposition that if downloading decreased their income that would make it wrong. The right to share is a human right that takes precedence over anybody's business plan. Also, we should reject the term "piracy" to describe sharing. Don't grant any legitimacy to an unjust law!
In a way, I am disappointed by what this study found, because I'd like to see the major record companies' income go down--all the way to zero. There's nothing wrong with making and selling records, and I would not object to having a copyright system which really did require record companies to pay a share of the sales price to the artists. (The actual system only pretends to do this, except for the superstars.) But the vicious threats these companies have made against the public call for punishment: bankruptcy.
The UN "peacekeepers" in Haiti seem to support the gangsters that Bush put in power there.
A secret UK govt report admits--the War on Drugs has failed.
There is nothing more dangerous than a war on drugs. When a war is on drugs, it forgets who the enemy is, and begins attacking the citizens indiscriminately. Let's get that poor war into a drug treatment plan, quickly!
I'm not in favor of simple legalization of dangerous addictive drugs such as heroin. In the Netherlands, it's illegal to sell these drugs, but addicts are not imprisoned and can get shots from doctors. The policy seems to work well for reducing the number of addicts.
Armed Palestinian extremists attacked a Palestinian singer's concert because he sang a love song.
The G8 summit convinced Bush to make a symbolic empty gesture in the direction of reducing global warming. Whoop-de-do.
Blair has been kowtowing to Bush for years, claiming that this is the way to get Bush to change. It has never worked.
I don't fault Blair for "trying" to convince Bush. I fault Blair for blocking so many other things that could have been done, because supposedly this would enable him to convince Bush. And the Downing Street Memo shows that Blair pretends he is going to convince Bush to be less bad, even when privately he knows the game is up. Bliar, Bliar, World on Fire!
The inhabitants of a suburb of Sofia, Bulgaria, were being poisoned by fumes from the large garbage dump nearby. They protested, blocked the streets, and were attacked by police. They face a choice of being mutilated one way or the other.
The police were beating people up, not to enforce the law, but rather to promote violation of it. The garbage dump has been ruled illegal but the city keeps dumping garbage there anyway.
A call for "carbon rationing" to reduce global warming.
Russia blocked a plan to try to limit arms sales to Africa. (These arms sales take up a large part of African governments' resources and tend to perpetuate poverty.)
In theory one could also address the problem from the other end. Much of Africa's appetite for arms is caused by gangs that conquer the valuable natural resources of specific areas--for instance, diamonds. They sell these resources on the world market. The rich countries could, if they were willing, make it harder for the gangs to sell what they have conquered, or assist more in suppressing and defeating them.
A Palestinian was shot in a protest against the annexation wall.
Elsewhere I've read that Palestinians generally begin throwing stones only after the police attack the initial nonviolent protest.
The only Iraqis that will actually fight the Sunni resistance are Kurds and Shi'ites, so Bush is using them. But I expect Bush's advisors are aware that this encourages civil war between Iraqi ethnic groups. They also surely know the principle of "divide and rule".
This illustrates my suggestion on how to get even for 9/11. We don't know how much of the responsibility falls on Muslim fanatics and how much on Christian fanatics, but supporting gay marriage (aside from being the right thing on general principles) will be a defeat for all of them.
Some 50 people were killed last Thursday by terrorist bombings in London as revenge for the invasion of Iraq. As we contemplate this attack against civilians, we should keep in mind that the Bush forces have done the same to Iraqi civilians more than a thousand times over. The London bombing was just a taste of what Iraq has seen.
Why do they hold Londoners responsible for Blair's participation in Bush's war? Many, who supported the war, are morally responsible. Many others, who opposed the war, are not. Of course, the bombs in London did not try to distinguish. They are not alone in this: the Bush forces' bombs do not distinguish among Iraqis. The soldiers could try, but often don't; the death squads do, but perversely. The radioactive uranium dust that now contaminates Iraq does not discriminate between fighters and children, and it will continue not discriminating for centuries to come.
The best thing we can do now is to learn a moral lesson from all these deaths. We can refuse to allow this act of revenge to be used by Blair and Bush as distraction from the great evil that inspired it--or as an excuse for them to curtail freedom in any way. We should stop them from killing thousands in Iraq, and then the motivation to take revenge by killing dozens of us will fade. When our governments respect human rights, democracy, and justice, we will inspire others to respect them too.
Blair is trying another compromise to get Bush to do something about climate change.
It's not a bad thing to explore other possible deals. A plan like this could do some good--if the World Bank doesn't turn it into additional pressure for its cruel "structural adjustment" deprivation policies.
However, Bliar is ducking the issue when he argues against isolating Bush. It's true that the US won't sign any strong agreement now, but it is just as true that the weak ones the US might sign won't solve the problem. There's only one way to get the job done, and that is to isolate the US today, to pressure it to accept a real solution later. By shielding Bush now, Bliar is blocking the only path to solving the problem.
Police threatened to arrest students on a field trip, and their guide because they took a picture of a polluting chemical plant. They call it "fighting terrorism", but they are the ones trying to terrorize people.
Note that the police made false accusations to threaten the students. False witness is a common police tactic. (I wonder if posting the 10 commandments in police stations would increase the honesty of policemen who are Christians.) Not that it would have been justified to arrest the students for crossing the streat even if they had done so.
Note that the state officials then bullied Fontenot by threatening to abuse their power. Speculation: maybe some of their corporate backers found his activities enforcing environmental law inconvenient and were glad to have an opportunity to get rid of him.
When a public campaign got going to back up Fontenot, the bullies got scared, and started trying to deny what they had done. This isn't unusual--bullies are often cowards.
A report says that the London congestion charge hasn't reduced car trips, and has only moved congestion to different places. (Sorry, I cannot find a URL I can link to.)
What this system has been completely effective at is...surveillance. The system works by recording which cars enter a certain area of central London.
A suitable increase in the gasoline tax would reduce car travel and congestion, with no surveillance at all. The increase could apply in region around London, and taper off gradually to zero as one gets further away from that region.
Bliar was forced, for a moment, to admit his "special relationship" with Bush won't convince Bush to do anything to stop global warming.
Despite this, there has been a little progress. Bush was forced to admit that humans are contributing to climate change. Previously he was a stubborn cold-earther. (A cold-earther is someone one who continues to maintain that the Earth is not getting warmer. Sort of like a flat-earther.)
China's transition from Communism to Fascism is revealed in a series fo uprisings of the poor against local governments working hand in hand with businesses.
But China, where the poorest 10% still own 1.4% of the wealth, is egalitarian compared with the US, where the poorest 40% own 0.3%, and the poorest 18% own nothing.
Microsoft has supplied China with Internet-censorship software that has been used to arrest dissidents.
200 Italian police claimed to "fight terrorism" by forming a secret gang to operate illegally and dishonestly. It has ties to the "far right", which usually means neo-Nazis.
And--this is really interesting--a former CIA agent says that the head of Italian military intelligence "authorized" the CIA to kidnap an Egyptian and send him to Egypt to be tortured. In countries that respect human rights, spy chiefs are not allowed to authorize kidnaping.
The Bush forces are operating death squads in Iraq, and they killed the reporter who broke the story.
A New York Times reporter is going to jail to stand for the principle of confidentiality of sources.
I admire this courage. I wish the New York Times allowed its reporters to be equally courageous in reporting on the lies of the Bush regime and the invisible hand gang.
Here's the text of a complaint that I am sending to the TSA for misleading treatment at Logan Airport.
When I continued to verbally criticize the conduct of the agents, and didn't sit down and shut up, they called the State Police, and one Officer Gillespie told me that "Unless you shut up I will throw you out." I asked if that meant he would arrest me for speaking, and he said, "No, for making a scene." (Different words for the same act.) I told him that was bullying and abuse of power, and refused to shut up.
I then promised I would write about it for my web site, and he asked what it was, so I told him. Unfortunately it took a few days for me to get the work done. I hope he has not concluded I failed to follow through.
Fascism in Ireland: handouts to corporations go beyond money; they allow corporations to ignore environmental protection and endanger people's lives and property.
250,000 Australian workers protested against plans to abolish all protection for workers' rights. The unions have been reluctant to get into the fight.
Protestors are blocking the demolition of Berlin's only memorial of the Berlin Wall.
Palestinians at a permanent border crossing in the middle of their land face the risk of arbitrary discrimination, and brutal and senseless attacks. It makes me think of what I've read about the pogroms committed by antisemites a hundred years ago.
Meanwhile, some Jews try to overinflate the term "antisemitism". Watch out, it might burst.
A gang of Israeli fanatics attacked a harmless Palestinian, then threatened to kill the paramedic who wanted to treat him. A group of journalists saved him, while soldiers were prepared to let him die.
This underreaction to settler violence, combined with the overreaction to Palestinian violence (and to Palestinian nonviolence as well), adds up to a double standard that is the Israeli state's way of blocking peace.
The UN Ambassador of Iraq's Bush-installed government accused the Bush forces of murdering his cousin (a student) in cold blood.
If they kill enough thousands of innocent people, sooner or later one of them will turn out to be related to an official. I don't think the Bush forces will do a real investigation even in a case like this. I expect they will tell a lie and stick to it come hell or high water. (They've done so many times before.)
"Free trade" treaties give corporations the power to make poor countries compete for who will allow the most destruction of the environment.
A UN official accuses the US of keeping secret prisoners on warships.
Debt relief for Africa: "a fraud and a circus".
Gay marriage has been authorized in Spain.
A tibetan nun, imprisoned and tortured by China for over ten years because she said "Long live the Dalai Lama" and "Free Tibet", is now free and telling her story.
The forcible evacuation of Israeli settlers from Gaza has started, and in one place the settlers were evicted forcibly without bloodshed.
However, in many places the Israeli government has treated settlers with kid gloves even when they were threatening people's lives.
Perhaps Sharon is afraid that if he can deal with low-level settler violence without bloodshed, people will demand he avoid bloodshed in response to nonviolent peace protests.
Countries around the world ban organizations by fiat by labeling them as "terrorist".
Since these organizations do not get to have a trial, in effect this policy has abolished freedom of political assembly. Even more outrageous, in the EU individuals can be arbitrarily labeled as terrorists, which in effect sentences them to starvation--again, without a trial.
The US and UK prohibition on supporting these groups extends to "ideological support", which is censorship of political opinion, and the EU prohibition extends to "passive support", which can be stretched to include almost any behavior which demonstrates insufficient zeal in obeying orders.
This policy is tyranny piled on tyranny. Some of the banned groups may be real terrorists, but whatever danger they may present is nothing compared with the danger of tyranny.
For more information, http://www.statewatch.org/terrorlists/terrorlists.pdf
On Socialism, by Albert Einstein.
Einstein recognized that a planned economy could be tyranny. He did not recognize the potential for waste and absurdity that real planned economies have demonstrated. Nevertheless, he hits the nail on the head about how unbridled capitalism subverts democracy, and tends to convert it into what we call fascism.
Microsoft's web of influence is a new example of how far this goes.
How to avoid both of these pitfalls at once is a problem I am trying to think about.
Bliar's ID card scheme is a plan for pervasive surveillance, misleadingly labeled as a system for proving identification.
As the government of Zimbabwe drives millions into hunger they don't die of starvation because AIDS kills them first.
Despite strong opposition, Bliar got the ID card plan through the House of Commons.
Bush said he would tear down Abu Ghraib prison, but now is going to expand it instead.
This is more indication that the resistance is gaining ground. The sooner the Bush forces pull out, the less evil they will have done. They are already responsible for the death of tens of thousands, but that is no excuse for continuing to add to the toll.
UK police seized an Indymedia server because of a message anonymously posted on it.
It's hitting Alaska first, because the warming is greatest in the Arctic and Antarctic. But it will get to the othyer coastal states by and by, if we don't reduce our generation of greenhouse gases.
In 2002, Bush ignored a North Korean diplomatic initiative about nuclear weapons talks.
He was too busy lying about Iraq's nonexistent nuclear weapons program to bother trying to convince North Korea to end a real nuclear weapons program.
Iranians voted for the hard-liner who doesn't want friendship with Bush.
Democracy in this election was only partial, since the mullahs vetoed reformist candidates. However, there was some democracy; the candidates disagreed on many issues, including how to treat the US. This election shows that Iranians won't welcome invading Bush forces with cheers.
Farmers from Colombia are suing BP for using paramilitaries to force them off their land and into destitution. Those who didn't go were killed.
Multinational corporations working with paramilitaries to murder and bully people seems to be a pattern for Colombia.
The Wall Street Journal systematically distorts the evidence about global warming.
In this it works hand in glove with Bush, whose efforts to disguise the problem have been mentioned here before.
A former Bush regime official joins those who believe the WTC towers were destroyed by explosives placed within the buildings.
The only way to sort out facts from suspicions, and draw a conclusion we can rely on, is with a real investigation. But as long as the Bush regime won't allow a real investigation, we are justified in tentatively following the suspicions which lead to the government.
The World Tribunal on Iraq is presenting the evidence against the Bush regime for its war of conquest.
An anonymous survey of librarians finds that government agents often gather information about who reads what-- contradicting official denials.
The US government is trying to take advantage of a presumption that it is on our side, to get away with attacking our freedom and lying about it. That presumption is what we must discard.
The UK imprisons thousands of refugees who came seeking asylum, without justification and in violation of its stated policies.
Scott Ritter: The US Invasion of Iran Has Begun!
Many Iranians want democracy in an independent Iran, and they might accept foreign help in achieving this--if they could trust it and did not see it as an intrusion. They surely won't accept the kind of "help" Bush wants to give them.
Uri Avnery: the fanatical settlers are on a track to a violent confrontation with the democratic elements of Israel.
Even Democrats in Congress are starting to say that Bush is losing the war. But some of them still insist that the goal is to win it. Will they ever learn?
Chinese peasants increasingly defy the local government authorities who are working hand in hand with businesses.
At the same time, China is more popular than the US among people in the UK.
I think they have good reason to hold those views. The government of China is undemocratic, oppresses the poor, and doesn't respect human rights--Bush is heading in that direction, but has not gone so far. However, while China has threatened to launch a war of conquest (against Taiwan), it has never actually started one. And it doesn't attack human rights in other countries as the US does. Bliar, the great enemy of human rights in the UK, gets his support from the US, not from China.
Dalits in India are not allowed even to walk through an upper-caste neighborhood. If they do, they may be attacked, even killed.
Fox News won in court against the journalists who sued after they were fired for trying to publish a story about the use and dangers of bovine growth hormone.
Monsanto, which has a history of attacking scientists who publish results that criticize Monsanto, is also involved here.
ACLU: Science under Siege (by the Bush regime).
The genocide of the minorities of Burma.
Iranian women protested the unfair election despite police threats.
Wanted for kidnaping: 13 US government agents who seized a refugee in Italy and sent him to Egypt to be tortured.
In Germany, a major politician dares to denounce the relentlessly cruel pseudo-logic of neoliberalism.
Meanwhile, the Bliar regime is pressuring Europe to abandon its social policies, with the argument that businesses prefers to locate in the UK.
The rest of Europe should turn this argument around. Of course business prefers countries that give business more consideration (and ordinary people less), but some country's success in drawing business away from other countries by undercutting social policies is something to be punished and stopped, not imitated.
He also criticizes farm subsidies, which are a more complex issue. The only valid reason for them is so that rural people are not forced to move to the city and give up farming. Farm subsidies going to anything but a family farm definitely should be eliminated. Subsidies to family farms have to be reconsidered, because they do social and environmental harm as well as good.
These two issues should never be combined--they are structurally different. Farm subsidies can be a form of catering to a minority, albeit a large one. The welfare state and labor regulations help the majority, all except the wealthy.
An Italian ISP collaborated with police to spy on a political organization whose site they hosted, while lying to the organization about the reason for the site's outage.
The record companies (i.e., music factories) are terrorizing parents in the UK with demands for money they don't have.
While Bliar talks about protecting the environment, behind the scenes he is trying to downgrade its priority in the EU.
Bliar is once again attacking the right to trial by jury, continuing his persistent attack on the rights of the accused.
In Lebanon, a series of anti-Syrian politican figures have been murdered.
Iran responded to a presidential candidate's complaint of ballot-stufing by (1) an irrelevant recount and (2) banning the newspapers that printed the complain.
Contrast this with Bush, who arranged for recounts to be done in a useless fashion, and didn't have to ban any newspapers because major US newspapers are sufficiently controled that they never tried to publish this.
In the UK, lots of children are being given ASBOs. One child was told he'll be imprisoned if he uses dirty words. Since he has Tourette's Syndrome, he literally cannot stop himself.
This example shows how outrageous and stupid the system has become, but it's unjust even when it is not so outrageous. If a child with no mental illness, or an adult, had been threatened with imprisonment for saying dirty words, it would be equally unjust. No one should be imprisoned for saying "fuck" or "shit", nor even for saying them ten times a day.
The ASBO is a scheme for imprisoning people for acts that are not crimes, and denying them even the meager protections remaining in UK criminal law. Furthermore, it operates under a deceptive pretense not to be doing those things. In effect, every official that defends of ASBOs is a liar.
Various US allies are attacking or resisting the US practice of kidnaping people to be tortured.
The EU, which has mostly done a good job of balancing capitalism and the welfare state, is now under pressure from conservatives who want to destroy the welfare state.
In the 90s, the EU was made a lot more powerful than it was before; however, its lawmaking is not democratic, and the result is that it often acts as a means for business interests to impose their will on all of Europe.
Removing Bolton from the State Department enabled some useful international cooperation to proceed.
If Bolton is approved as US ambassador to the UN, he will surely block agreement on many things. However, if he plays obstructionist in the UN on high-profile actions, his obstructionism could backfire. Other countries could isolate the Bush regime and make agreements without US participation, which could end the ability of the US to impede necessary world activities.
How far Bush has gone to sabotage action on global warming.
It's a mistake to try to "bring Bush on board" by making the agreement empty. On this issue, as so many others, Bush is the enemy, and he should be treated as one. One does not give an enemy veto power over one's actions. Better to denounce him, and use him to rally public opinion.
Opposition to ID cards grows in the UK, when people learn what they will cost.
But we have to go further--and we need to teach people to see the deeper danger. Please tell other people about the issue.
Global warming threatens devastating droughts in Africa.
The EU Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the Blair regime for several kinds of violations, including denial of rights without trial, ASBOs, and use of evidence obtained through torture.
When the Center for Disease Control discovered conclusive evidence that mercury-based preservatives in baby vaccines were causing autism, it covered up the evidence to protect the vaccine companies.
Senate majority leader Frist is directly participating in the cover-up, having been bought with campaign contributions. Meanwhile, these mercury-based vaccines continue to be shipped to other countries.
Bliar's principle of never opposing Bush is about to collide with his proclaimed goal of reducing global warming.
Bliar keeps on pretending that through his "special relationship" he can persuade Bush to change. He gets only the tiniest results, but he keeps saying there will be more, if we just wait and see.
Mukhtar Mai, who fought back in the courts of Pakistan after the dominant caste in her village gang-raped her to punish her family, looked like she was winning. Then she was imprisoned by the government of Pakistan and blocked from travelling--or testifying--while the previously-convicted rapists have been freed. Afterward she withdrew her plan to tour the US to talk about the issue.
I think the government of Pakistan must have threatened her family, or something like that. President Musharraf's response to this issue resembles that of his friend Bush when US atrocities are exposed: "Just hush it up".
In China, developers send thugs to attack poor people who won't sell their homes.
This reminds me of what I've read in books such as Red Azalea, about the bullying by gangs that took place during the Cultural Revolution--except that now the individual acts of bullying are on a larger scale.
Sharon wants to use HAMAS participation in Palestinian elections as an excuse to end dealings with the Palestinian Authority or abolish democracy in Palestine. But the intelligent thing to do is to negotiate with HAMAS.
There is some evidence that Kofi Annan knew about his son's corrupt dealings with Iraq.
If Kofi Annan has lied about this, he should lose his post (at least). But what's even more significant is the way even worse lies by US Republicans are ignored--and often cannot even be investigated, because they block investigations.
The Bush forces lied to the UK about using napalm-like bombs.
Mugabe is forcing multitudes of poor people out of the cities by destroying their food and shelter. Strikers have been threatened with arrest.
The super-rich in the US are gaining so much that they are leaving the ordinary rich behind.
Political-level officials in the Department of "Justice" ordered the lawyers handling the case against the tobacco companies to reduce the demanded penality from 130 billion to 10 billion. In effect, to let them off the hook.
This probably relates to campaign contributions from tobacco companies to some Republican politician.
The oppression of copyright law is seeping into more areas of life. Photo printing stores are refusing to print photos because they look "professional".
I guess you should take it as a complement if they refuse to print your photo. The first time.
Companies that make birthday cakes are now scared to let customers draw on them.
There are two paths for society to choose from: oppressively enforce this unjust law, or get rid of it.
The Holy Libel, after Republicans rewrite it.
Both levels of Diebold optical-scan vote-counting machines seem to be easy to fiddle--and it looks like they were designed for that.
Now another big accounting corporation has gone bad, and the US government doesn't dare prosecute it because it is so big.
20% of all bird species are threatened with extinction.
Lecturer Jorge Cortell was forced to resign from the Universidad Politecnica in Valencia, Spain, for giving a talk on the legal use of peer-to-peer networks.
After the publicity resulting from these events, Cortell was offered a radio show--but subsequently the offer was withdrawn after company headquarters put pressure on the manager who had offered it to him. More censorship.
Congressman Sessions introduced a bill to prohibit cities from setting up wireless networks for their citizens.
Congressman Sessions owns half a million dollars of stock in a company that doesn't want cities to do that.
This site shows what the war in Iraq has cost US taxpayers, and what else could have been done with that much money.
But don't let this distract you from the principle reason not to start such a war: it's wrong. It would have been just as wrong even if it had not cost a dime.
The Filippine president was recorded apparently fixing the election.
The first prosecution under Denmark's "anti-terrorism" law is Greenpeace. Its members hung a banner, and that is treated as "terrorism"!
People have been saying all along that these laws were directed at suppressing dissidents and not really at terrorists.
Ethopia's government shot and arrested protestors, and closed radio stations. In response, taxi drivers and others are on strike.
Some Democrats want to close the Guantanamo prison camp and move the prisoners "elsewhere"--where, presumably, abuses such as imprisonment without trial and torture could be more effectively covered up.
Does anyone make a phone that does caller ID and can be set to hang up automatically when it doesn't like the name that's calling?
The statement that the use of body counts is not responsible for atrocities may be correct--because the atrocities were happening already.
Sri Lankans are protesting because their government is using the tsunami as the excuse to take land away from local people and give it to hotels.
Tsunamis are not common in the Indian Ocean, and with a warning system in place, there is no reason not to let people live on the coast.Tsunamis are not common in the Indian Ocean, and with a warning system in place, there is no reason not to let people live on the coast.
Human Rights Watch reports that the Uzbek regime did massacre civilians, then lied about it.
It's interesting to contrast the Bush regime's posture regarding freedom and democracy in Uzbekistan with its stated posture regarding freedom and democracy in Iraq.
In 2001, an American was more likely to die from nutritional deficiency than from terrorism.
So why is there a "War on Terrorism" instead of a "War on Hunger"?
What's the Bush regime's real motive for doing what it is doing?
Bush regime plans involve fighting a "universal adversary", which lumps together unions and civil rights groups with religious fanatics.
Polls show Americans are turning against Bush, and seeing through his lies. However, they are not enthusiastic about the Democratic Party--nor should they be, since it is almost as bad and supports most of the same lies.
Far from Over: Bolivia on the Brink of Civil War-or Revolution.
Bolivia's president has resigned, and the head of the senate (who previously criticized the president for not repressing the protestors) was persuaded to let the succession pass him by.
So far, things are moving on a good path, but the battle isn't over.
Four students protesting Coca Cola company in Colombia were kidnaped by thugs and threatened.
The International Criminal Court will investigate and try the individuals who organized the massacres of Darfur, probably including officials of the Sudanese government.
They should investigate Bush next.
The MIT Industrial Liaison program sent me a report which proudly announced:
DuPont becomes the leading R&D investor in MIT with a $25-million renewal that calls for expansion into nanotechnology, alternative energy, and more.
If MIT considers itself a business with investors, its tax exemption should be taken away.
Many workers are now being required to wear computers that control and monitor all their activities, turning them into puppets.
This practice should be illegal.
An award-winning Indian film-maker, on tour in the US, was harrassed by New York City police, purely because he was taking pictures on the street. (Which is not even illegal.)
The world's leading scientific academies have formally told Bush: act now to reduce greenhouse gases, before it is too late.
China is taking action now.
I think Bush will persist in what he is doing. Cheney surely knows that global warming is real, so he he must have decided not to care about the harm it will cause. Perhaps he thinks his family will buy its way out of the problem.
Republicans in Congress are actively pushing lobbyists to get more involved in the Republican party--thus making the sale of laws more systematic, even as they assure they will get the bulk of the money.
The Taliban continue fighting in some areas of Afghanistan.
An interview with Joseph Campbell, from 1985, is particularly interesting as a background to the activities of theocratic Christians today.
The Deputy President of South Africa has been caught taking bribes, but so far he has not been prosecuted.
A gold company is blocking debt relief for poor countries.
The political problems of Africa are complex, and just abolishing debts doesn't assure the people will benefit.
However, not abolishing debts assures they will suffer.
What's so Revolutionary about Venezuelan Coal?
The Governor of Massachusetts has been lying about his position on abortion rights, according to one of his aides.
The Democrats lost women's votes because they moved to the right on issues women care about. But they have not learned their lesson.
Japan is making tremendous investments to cut energy use.
The Brazilian government has arrested 86 businessmen and government officials for illegally cutting down the rain forest.
Indigenous Uprising: The Rebellion Grows in Bolivia
National ID cards could make identity theft easier (as well as giving the government unacceptable power to control citizens).
Israeli soldiers confessed participating in a reprisal murder operation against innocent Palestinians. They say they were specifically ordered to kill innocent people.
Depleted uranium: a returned veteran's story.
Doug Rokke, who was in charge of DU for the US Army, talks about how dangerous he found it to be.
Pesticides damage the sperm count of rats in a way that is new to science. It lasts for several generations. They may be responsible for a similar effect in humans.
One side effect of this damage could be reduced human population growth. But this is not the way I would prefer to achieve that goal.
Oil magnate Khodorovsky was sentenced to 9 years in prison--for tax evasion, but he was prosecuted because he opposed President Putin.
What a laugh to see Bush say, "Over here you're innocent until proven guilty". Over here, you're labeled an "enemy combatant" and you don't get a trial at all.
The New York Times defends globalization with superficial, thoughtless arguments. It should outsource its editorials to Kerala--then they would make more sense.
The Supreme Court gave approval to Athur Andersen's destruction of Enron's documents. Accountants can now participate in covering up corporate fraud with no fear of retribution.
New reports of torture in Guantanamo show it didn't start there, that it went as far as causing permanent physical injury, and that it yielded false confessions.
Mugabe is razing the cities of Zimbabwe, where people oppose him. Over a million people are now homeless.
Growing problem for military recruiters: parents.
Note how the recruiters threaten to bring back the draft if people won't fight Bush's wars voluntarily. Bush has no intention of letting Americans decide to live in peace.
Arizona has adopted a voting requirement whose mere expense will discourage poor people from voting.
Israeli protestors had to evade arbitrary military blockaders to reach a joint protest march with Palestinians.
This Republican bill would require Americans to report their relatives (and friends) to the police, or face imprisonment themselves.
How's that for family values?
Bush launched the war against Iraq in 2002 while he was still pretending to be considering it as a possibility.
The Bush forces continue to stir up hatred among Iraqis. For instance, as fighting continues in Falluja, they have provided no help in rebuilding, and most of the inhabitants still alive are living in tents in the rubble. They continue blocking medical supplies and the activities of the doctors. And all independent journalists are excluded.
Greg Palast explains why there is no serious investigative journalism in mainstream US media. The standard practice is to kill any investigation based on evidence from a confidential source if a government representative privately denies the claim.
My favorite part: "Violence is thus not merely a manifestation of the rule of undemocratic leadership in counties such as Zimbabwe and Swaziland. It is, rather, an essential feature of neoliberalism."
People have proved it is easy to rig an election on Diebold vote counting machines--by cracking the system.
Bush moves to make the Securities and Exchange Commission useless, just as he has destroyed many other regulatory agencies.
Israel plans to demolish 88 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem.
Correction: This note orginally said 1000 homes were to be demolished. The correct number is 88 homes, with 1000 people left homeless.
Bush is spending billions on space-based weapons, and on missile-defense schemes that probably don't work.
Bush regime officials are attacking Amnesty International, as they attack everyone who criticizes the regime in any way. We should interpret this as an indication that Amnesty's report stung Bush, and do more of the same.
The list of views for which the Bushmen criticize Amnesty could serve as an introduction to understanding the modern political situation. For instance, states like the Bush regime are far more dangerous to humans and to human civilization than any underground terrorist groups.
The US media's response to the Amnesty International report measures just how effectively controlled the media are. The Washington Post's comment is particularly interesting: calling Amnesty's criticism of Bush regime atrocities "counterproductive". In effect, this says the criticism was valid, but that it is more "productive" to accept the regime's lies.
Bush is losing some of the control over the government he set up in Iraq. They may not finish writing a constitution on Bush's timetable.
WTO negotiations are headed in a direction to drive millions of subsistance farmers into destitution.
The poor farmers, rather than kill themselves as thousands are already doing in India, ought to start revolutionary movements aimed at taking their countries out of the WTO.
When two US citizens were arrested and tortured in Pakistan, FBI agents participated in the interrogation, while the US embassy refused to help them.
This illustrates the Bush regime's general policy of opposition to human rights and its disrespect for the truth.
Bush and the IMF have a plan to make sure that poor countries will remain under its control even if they don't owe money to the IMF.
An analysis of why Bush is losing the war in Iraq.
The writer's conclusion is that the Bush forces must remain in Iraq for many years until they crush the country, but that is not the only option. They could end the oppression and cut the losses (both American and Iraqi losses).
The Iraqi resistance has not been stopped by Palestine-style occupation measures in Baghdad.
Cruel as the Taliban were to women, at least they put an end to rape. The warlords that now control Afghanistan are the same ones that allowed their troops to rape as standard practice.
Global warming has led to large forest fires in Siberia. Loggers, taking advantage of a government policy that allows logging where there has been a fire, are contributing too.
The Bush regime has a similar policy.
Here's an explanation.
A participant in an Israeli solidarity protest for Palestinians reports on the police countermeasures.
The proposed EU constitution was rejected by France, which means it is "dead"--for the moment.
I urged voters to vote against the proposed constitution because it is undemocratic and privileges business over humans rights, citizens' interests, and public services. All the pro-business "free trade" treaties were included directly as parts of the constitution--which was set up to be nearly impossible to amend.
Europeans should not accept a constitution for a united Europe that fails to establish true democracy.
Tuna are being overfished in the Mediterranean, driven by the demand for sushi. So the tuna are being driven towards extinction.
Rand's eutopian vision of a Palestine at peace with Israel seems to be offering hope. All it would take is peace--and money that the US has available.
Indigenous Leaders Say World Bank Should Take Its Own Advice
Ideological True Believers at the World Bank--and the results of their work.
The Ethiopian government seems to be suppressing the real result of the hotly contested election there.
Bolivia is moving towards increased taxes on oil and natural gas exports, but much of the people are demanding nationalization.
My friends in Bolivia told me that the "popular" pressure in Santa Cruz for "autonomy" comes from the wealthy--they hire people to lead protests, then force their employees to participate on threat of being fired. However, there is also a vagueness about what "autonomy" means. To some, it means having an elected governor for the province; but the goal that lurks behind is to stop the central government from imposing taxes on businesses in that state--for instance, taxes on extraction of oil and natural gas.
Colombia plans to spray broad-spectrum herbicide in nature reserves. The stated purpose is to kill coca and marijuana plants, but it can easily harm other plants, or animals.
This campaign won't have much effect on drug plant production, but it could cause the extinction of other species.
A purely theoretical move towards democracy by Egypt's President Mubarak highlights how tyrannical his regime really is.
A US army general was demoted and discharged, apparently because he disagreed with officials' policies--but they won't admit it.
This is part of the Bush regime's War on Integrity. Whoever serves Bush must be prepared to do whatever Bush wants, while pretending not to do it.
make a monkey out of
Bush provides funds to the Palestinian Authority and
says Israel must stop expanding settlements.
This is a refreshing surprise. I hope he means it.
The remaining political prisoners in Chile are on hunger strike,
demanding abolition of the "anti-terrorist"
law that permits imprisonment
on political grounds.
This law was the result of the September 11 attacks, which killed
President Allende and installed a military dictatorship. This
was instigated by the US government.
Bush regime spending on "clean energy" is
a waste or a fraud,
mostly going towards new forms of coal-exhaust scrubbing technology
that don't work as well as the existing ones.
In Latin America, economic growth usually does no good for the poor.
Only special government attention enables the poor to gain any of the
Logic shows that this article is mistaken when it says that further
economic growth is important for the poor. Effective government
programs to help the poor will work even if the total size of the
economy remains the same. Furthermore, in countries such as Bolivia
and Ecuador, which have oil or natural gas to sell, simply raising the
taxes on these exports will bring in the money to fund these programs.
"The only good Iraqi is a dead Iraqi." (How the neocons use hatred to
manipulate people into war, so they can run off with the money.)
Gush Shalom ad: Fiasco of resettlement of Gaza settlers - a planned failure.
The Republicans are
destroying the separation of powers in the US government in their drive
for total power.
There is a
growing campaign to impeach Bush.
E. J. Dionne
condemns Bush's assault on media independence.
A previous note has a link to Greg Palast's article about Newsweek's
Amnesty International calls for foreign governments to
investigate and prosecute high US officials -- including Bush -- that have
arrested Israelis who were peacefully joining Palestinians
under persistent attack by settlers.
The soldiers first threw stones at the protestors before arresting
them. When Palestinian youths throw stones at soldiers, the soldiers
often shoot and kill them, claiming their lives were endangered by the
stones. Did the soldiers endanger the lives of these protestors? If
so, they should be tried for attempted murder.
The Australian government
released a child prisoner who has spent her whole three years of life in
prison. And her mother.
However, this is not progress, since another child was born in prison the previous day.
Australia's High Court says that asylum-seekers can be kept in prison
for ever, as long as the purpose is not punitive. In other words, the
Australian government can keep you in prison for life, as long as it
says you have not done anything to deserve it.
If Karzai is serious about his demands to limit US military abuses in
he will have to push harder.
Guantanamo is the gulag of our time, and the prisoners of the US have been,
in effect, disappeared.
Here's the full
report on the Americas.
The proposal to ban photos in the New York City subways has been dropped.
This is one small victory for human rights over the phony War on Terror.
Bush provides funds to the Palestinian Authority and says Israel must stop expanding settlements.
This is a refreshing surprise. I hope he means it.
The remaining political prisoners in Chile are on hunger strike, demanding abolition of the "anti-terrorist" law that permits imprisonment on political grounds.
This law was the result of the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende and installed a military dictatorship. This was instigated by the US government.
Bush regime spending on "clean energy" is a waste or a fraud, mostly going towards new forms of coal-exhaust scrubbing technology that don't work as well as the existing ones.
In Latin America, economic growth usually does no good for the poor. Only special government attention enables the poor to gain any of the economy's growth.
Logic shows that this article is mistaken when it says that further economic growth is important for the poor. Effective government programs to help the poor will work even if the total size of the economy remains the same. Furthermore, in countries such as Bolivia and Ecuador, which have oil or natural gas to sell, simply raising the taxes on these exports will bring in the money to fund these programs.
"The only good Iraqi is a dead Iraqi." (How the neocons use hatred to manipulate people into war, so they can run off with the money.)
Gush Shalom ad: Fiasco of resettlement of Gaza settlers - a planned failure.
The Republicans are destroying the separation of powers in the US government in their drive for total power.
There is a growing campaign to impeach Bush.
E. J. Dionne condemns Bush's assault on media independence.
A previous note has a link to Greg Palast's article about Newsweek's cave-in.
Amnesty International calls for foreign governments to investigate and prosecute high US officials -- including Bush -- that have supported torture.
Israeli troops arrested Israelis who were peacefully joining Palestinians under persistent attack by settlers.
The soldiers first threw stones at the protestors before arresting them. When Palestinian youths throw stones at soldiers, the soldiers often shoot and kill them, claiming their lives were endangered by the stones. Did the soldiers endanger the lives of these protestors? If so, they should be tried for attempted murder.
The Australian government released a child prisoner who has spent her whole three years of life in prison. And her mother.
However, this is not progress, since another child was born in prison the previous day.
Australia's High Court says that asylum-seekers can be kept in prison for ever, as long as the purpose is not punitive. In other words, the Australian government can keep you in prison for life, as long as it says you have not done anything to deserve it.
If Karzai is serious about his demands to limit US military abuses in Afghanistan, he will have to push harder.
Amnesty International: Guantanamo is the gulag of our time, and the prisoners of the US have been, in effect, disappeared.
Here's the full report on the Americas.
The proposal to ban photos in the New York City subways has been dropped.
This is one small victory for human rights over the phony War on Terror.
The "Sustainable Forestry Initiative": a lumber industry "greenwash" campaign to disguise bad practices as good.
The UN representative in Afghanistan supports Karzai's demand for an independent investigation of torture by the US forces in Afghanistan.
The Iraqi resistance killed a government security chief, and other collaborators; but other bombs seem to be aimed at Shi'ite civilians.
Aside from disapproving morally of such atrocities, I also wonder what the motivation for them is. Are there Iraqi Sunnis who want to fight Iraqi Shi'ites as well as Bush? Isn't the latter a big enough enemy?
Amnesty International reports that human rights and rule of law are threatened all across the world, and the US government is primarily responsible.
Americans like to say that the USA is number one. Nowadays that means public enemy number one.
Only half of the antiquities stolen from the National Museum of Iraq have been found.
Bush's war of lies has destroyed a large part of the history of the beginning of civilization. Perhaps that was intentional. Some of these artifacts date back to before 4004 BC. Perhaps Dubya's fanatical supporters wish to destroy the history of the true origin of civilization.
An EU study concludes that "free trade" is leading to greater environmental damage--primarily in poor countries.
Free trade treaties transfer power from governments (which can be democratic) to business (which never tries to be democratic), and business typically uses this power to bully governments that dream of protecting the environment. (Or public health. Or education. Or the general standard of living. Or anything that benefits the public in general.) The only real solution is to roll back the free trade treaties. To judge the globalization of business power in narrow terms of the efficiency of production is a fundamental mistake.
The new film "The Power of Nightmares" exposes how the Bush and Blair regimes exaggerate the danger of terrorism as a form of political manipulation.
Canada blocked Africa's top anti-bio-patents scholar--the representative of the Ethiopean government--from attending a UN conference which had invited him.
In response to worldwide protests, Canada ultimately gave him a visa, so late that he can only make it to the last day of the conference. Canada blocked other activists from attending the conference too.
The Canadian government is acting like the puppet of the biotech companies.
Christian fanatics who don't recognize evolution are making a big push for US schools to teach divine creation (or variants dressed up in scientific guise) as an "alternative theory".
Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide because of debts they can't pay.
Similar policies in the US led to the farm foreclosures of the 80s.
They were led into these debts by programs sponsored by their own government and foreign institutions, programs inspired by neoliberal ideology and encouraged by international organizations. In my view, that means they are not responsible for the debts--the institutions that encouraged them are responsible.
US Faces Questions over 'Kidnappings' in Europe.
Bush will never cooperate with holding anyone responsible for his regime's abuses; European states should protect their citizens and residents by punishing the US government directly, and by keeping its agents out.
A UK judge overturned a verdict of unlawful killing by the police. When they make a mistake and kill someone, they have near total impunity.
Compare this with the attitude taken towards political opposition (see another recent note) to see the double standard.
Over a million people have left the Chinese Communist Party recently, and said so. After this became known, the Chinese government has started persecuting some of them.
Delightful quotations from Richard Dawkins about evolution and atheism.
Australia has been aping the US, sending troops and police into various other countries while taking over parts of their governments and giving the Australian agents immunity from prosecution for whatever they might do. However, this has hit a snag in Papua New Guinea's supreme court.
This "cooperation program" has been criticized as serving Australia more than Papua New Guinea.
New research shows stem cells can be made for anyone, using donated eggs. Most likely we will soon be able to cure various diseases with the help of these methods-- if religious fanatics don't stop us.
These religious fanatics say they value "human life", but they only care about you before you're born. After that, they don't care if you die.
Many Israelis were arrested when they peacefully protested the Hebron settlers who have built themselves a road across Palestinians' lands.
An MPP victory -- marijuana will remain legal in Alaska
Upwards of 500 protestors were shot and killed in Uzbekistan, but the government refuses to admit it.
The German government deported a known Falun-gong practitioner to China, where he was imprisoned without trial. The court refused to pay attention to the predictable danger he faced if sent back.
Governments under pressure to reduce immigration often deport refugees who face persecution. They disregard the truth in order to be tough.
Man-made damage to biodiversity threatens to keep humans in poverty too.
A principal factor in this harm is human overpopulation. Another major factor is the domination of the US by business interests that are too short-sighted to practice conservation.
Monsanto did a study that found a particularly genetically-modified corn variety causes developmental abnormalities in rats.
What did Monsanto do with this information? They kept it secret so they could sell the seeds anyway.
The FBI says "eco-militants" who don't even try to kill anyone are the "main terrorist threat". In effect, they have admitted that they have been exaggerating the danger from Al Qa'ida all along.
It is an exaggeration and an injustice to apply the term "terrorist" for people who damage property but always try, as a matter of principle, to avoid causing injuries to persons. Yes, it is possible that some day they might slip up and injure some innocent person. In this, they resemble the police, who frequently injure and even kill innocent persons. When that happens, they just say "oops, mistakes happen"--if they do even that much. I see a double standard here.
Jared Diamond speaks on why societies collapse, and what it means for ours.
Policeman frames someone from a minority group--that's not news. Second policeman lies to support the first--that's not news. Policeman caught on tape doing it, and discredited--that's news.
It is heartening to see a judge recognize and condemn police abuse, for once. But most of the time there is no such a video (the cops don't leave this to chance--they often arrest people who are making videos, or drive them away.) How do we solve the problem when there is no recording?
Bush reluctantly arrested an anti-Castro terrorist who worked for the CIA and is accused of putting a bomb on an air liner.
A Swedish report says that it was the Swedish government that decided to deport two Egyptians to Egypt. The CIA just helped out by transporting them. But it seems to me that something is wrong in deporting someone before he can file an appeal--and in deporting someone to a country where he will be tortured.
Shouldn't it be just as much a crime for police to let others abuse prisoners in custody as it is for the police to do so themselves?
Japan's resurgent militarism is visible in the adoption of a national holiday named after Emperor Hirohito.
Cutting down the Amazon rainforest at 10000 sq miles a year, just to grow soybeans to feed cattle.
Sibel Edmonds, the FBI translator who tried to reveal gross deriliction in regard to the threat of terrorist attacks, saw her appeal rejected without any stated reason, based on arguments kept secret from her lawyers.
The most patriotic thing that Sibel Edmonds could do now is to flee to another country, where she will be free to tell Americans what she knows.
Police violently attacked a protest march of 15,000 Brazilians complaining about Lula's failure to help the poor.
The latest Star Wars movie turned out, by coincidence, to be a parable about Bush.
A hearing for the Critical Art Ensemble defendants shows just how far the Bush regime is willing to twist the law when it wants to attack someone.
Bush took advantage of the "Koran dunking" report to establish a double standard for major US media: stories that criticize Bush need more careful support than stories that support Bush.
The reporter has been blamed for not dotting all his i's, while Bush conceals the evidence that would conclusively show the truth (or, just possibly, the error) of the story.
Hirsi Ali, who campaigns against Islamic oppression of women, now faces death threats from religious fanatics. But she doesn't let this silence her.
Cuban Terrorist Tests Bush Administration's Convictions.
The New Zealand government has authorized internet filtering software for schools which is controled by religious extremists in the US.
In Uzbekistan, troops shot wounded protestors to finish them off.
It wasn't long ago that Bliar fired the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan for criticizing tyrannical practices such as torture. Bliar did not want his ally to be criticized. Now that the citizens are rising up against their tyrannical government, Bliar finds it convenient to change his tune.
I wonder if this criticism will go beyond words. It is interesting to compare Bliar's treatment of Uzbekistan with his treatment of Iraq.
Conclusive proof that Bush decided to attack Iraq months before, that he never intended to let UN weapons inspectors do their job, and that he was lying all the way through.
You'd expect US journalists to jump for this scandal, but they ignore it.
"Conspiracy theory" on 9/11 is now present in a major newspaper--in the UK.
Afghan President Karzai, reflecting popular feeling, demanded a veto over US military operations, and the return of Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo.
UK MP Galloway, who was kicked out of Bliar's Labour party and won election from his own new party, has come out fighting against Bush regime accusations that he was bribed by Saddam Hussein. He says the charges are based on forgery.
Bill Moyers on US media (including public TV): "instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news."
I used to support public radio regularly, until I noticed they had started broadcasting commercials. (They don't admit that these are commercials; they have made up an excuse to call them something else.) The presence of these commercials indicates the power that businesses have over what is broadcast, and the refusal to admit what they are testifies to a dishonest world view.
It was around the same time that I noticed that there were generally more critical of Democrats than Republicans.
The Bush regime is attacking the new president of Ecuador for merely suggesting that maybe Ecuadorians should get some of the money from the high oil prices. Bush wants this windfall to go to his buddies, the oil companies.
I think this president is too timid. He should do what Chavez did, what Bolivia seems to be doing: unilaterally increase the share that the oil companies have to pay to the government. That is what Ecuadorians want.
Maybe these countries could sign a mutual assistance treaty that obliges all of them to tax all oil and natural gas at 50%.
Before the war, I said I would support an invasion to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussain's dictatorship, provided (1) the Iraqi people wanted this kind of liberation and (2) we could trust the invading forces to establish freedom and democracy. But I didn't think either of these conditions was true. Events have confirmed they were not.
The Iraqi resistance doesn't believe in freedom or democracy any more than Bush does, and uses tactics as brutal in their own way as the Bush forces' tactics. But I still hope they win, because they are better than a foreign occupying army whose real purpose is to help foreign corporations steal the country's wealth. The end result will probably be another dictatorship, but it will probably kill fewer Iraqis than the Bush dictatorship. (Its veneer of democracy should not fool anyone.)
A dictator is never legitimate, so I will once again be ready support an invasion to liberate Iraq from the new dictatorship, provided (1) the Iraqi people want this kind of liberation and (2) we can trust the invading forces to establish freedom and democracy. But the first condition surely won't be true, and I'd be skeptical about the second if someone like Bush is in charge.
Desertion in the US military is increasing.
Global warming will cause big increases in the water in some rivers, and big decreases in others.
Mayors of 130 US cities are together deciding to comply with the Kyoto treaty to reduce global warming.
US companies that make food that's bad for people's health regularly donate to the organizations that claim to work for public health, corrupting them.
Palestinian violence has gone way down--there were zero "terror alerts" in Israel in a recent week--but Israeli violence against Palestinians continues to rise.
A woman visiting Dubai was threatened with years in prison because she had taken painkillers before her trip. Don't go to Dubai!
Blair had a family of Mongolian refuguees, loved by their British community, deported in a hurry, too fast for anyone to notice. The father faces danger of persecution in Mongolia for his previous political activity there.
LA police shut down a large art show which featured parodical use of corporate logos.
An interview with the gallery owner.
The government of Florida wants to cut off health care for a crippled young girl who will be helpless without it.
Why the difference from Terry Schiavo? Perhaps because this girl is conscious--or perhaps because here the state is paying the bill.
A refugee from Kashmir in Australia faces a life of imprisonment for no crime, caught between two hostile governments.
The anti-empire TV network that was being discussed in Venezuela in December is now starting.
This article highlights the response of Chavez opponents, and shows how they strain to put him in a bad light. If they can't accuse him of doing anything bad, they talk about what they imagine he "might" do. (That is something he cannot possibly disprove.) But the worst of their speculations is nothing compared to what the Chavez opponents, who control all the private TV channels in Venezuela, have already done.
I'm pleased to see the comparison with Al Jazeera, since that's the model I argued for in the meeting in December. Others wanted to follow a more explicitly ideological vision, which I think would not have much influence. If my words had anything to do with this, I will feel really proud.
The gas underground in Bolivia will only get more valuable as time goes by. Someone will be willing to pay to extract it, even with 50% tax. If these oil companies won't, China will. Bolivia should tell these companies that they are welcome to buzz off.
Christian extremists have been imposing their power in the Air Force Academy since the 70s, at least.
The US-supported dictatorship in Uzbekistan is facing an uprising, after troops shot wildly at protestors.
Horror of USA's Depleted Uranium in Iraq Threatens World
Israeli settler terrorism against Palestinians keeps increasing.
Bush has recruited insiders and representatives of large monopolistic corporations to draw up ideas for changes in anti-trust law.
Coming from a regime that lets the polluters decide clean air criteria, this is no surprise.
Uri Avnery: Death of a Myth--"the beautiful Eretz Israel".
Australia's general cruelty towards people seeking asylum there periodically results cases of extreme cruelty, such as the 3-year-old girl who was born in prison and has no prospect of getting out.
"Mandatory detention" is an interesting euphemism for "prison". The Australian government surely has some pedantic excuse to pretend that the place she is kept is not a prison. But I'm sure it looks, feels, smells and tastes like a prison.
The employees at a Wall-Mart in Quebec unionized. Wall-Mart closed the store.
Very sad news: the US is moving close to imposing machine-readable national ID cards (for all practical purposes).
The Bluefin tuna population in the western Atlantic has gone down 80% since the 1970s, due to overfishing.
When bankers were offered an "acceptable risk calculator", an industry standard to determine for how many deaths are acceptable for a large profit, they jumped for the idea.
They had been tricked by those great hoaxers, the Yes Men. The Yes Men also announced, on behalf of Dow, that Dow would pay to clean up the poison in Bhopal that continues to kill the people there.
Religious fanatics in Kansas are making another attempt to sabotage teaching of evolution there.
Evolution is what makes biology make sense. To understand aspects of biology without recognizing the role of evolution in producing them is as hopeless as trying to understand aspects of comparative religion without recognizing the role played by the concept of a deity in producing them.
Highlighting the injustice of ASBOs in the UK, police have applied this all-purpose bullying policy to a quadraplegic teenage boy.
I'm sure the police are embarrassed for having been caught threatening a cripple in this way. They will surely say, "It was a mistake to apply this policy to him. Everyone makes mistakes." However, this instance is just the tip of an iceberg of injustice. What about the other boys who were caught "chatting" near some stores--should that be treated as a crime? Is it right for anyone, even someone with healthy arms and legs, to be threatened with imprisonment if he holds another conversation there?
After Philippine-born Australian citizen Vivian Solon was attacked and wounded, she was in a confused state. The Australian government deported her in a hurry. Her family had no idea what had happened to her, and she was reported missing. In 2003, an Australian government agency realized the mistake, and did nothing.
Although mistakes and confusion played a role in these specific events, they are also the result of the general Australian government policy of being cruel and callous to refugees. The ruling party gets votes by demonizing them and showing how nasty it can be. For instance, it intercepts ships full of refugees and does not let them land.
In an election campaign a few years ago, it published photos of refugees throwing their children off a ship, into the ocean, saying "They were ready to kill their own children to get to Australia--what nasty people!" Only after the election did the Australian naval officers on the surrounding Australian ships get a chance inform the public that the refugees' ship was already sinking.
Thousands of students protested against the US in Afghanistan, and one of the protests turned violent (apparently due to extremists). Troops shot at the protestors.
If you shoot people's children, it tends to make them hate you. So I think that the Afghan government emplaced by the US will find itself facing increasing opposition. Could this have been avoided if Bush had spent more money on rebuilding Afghanistan, instead of invading a source of oil? We cannot be sure, but it would have been wise to try.
These protests were sparked by reports that guards in Guantanamo put copies of the Koran in a toilet. Apparently they are religious nuts, more concerned about the Koran than about torturing mere people.
If the guards really did this, it is one of the few things they have done which I would not myself criticize. The Koran is just a book. If police can get useful information from someone by putting a book in a toilet, I have no objections. I don't care if it's the Koran, the Bible, the Mahabharata, or even the GNU Emacs Manual. It's just a book, and people can print more copies.
But that should not distract us from the real issues of Guantanamo rights. Even if these protestors have seized on a foolish reason to condemn the treatement of prisoners there, that doesn't excuse the real wrongs. Those prisoners are facing life in prison without trial, and some may face execution after a sham trial. And they have been tortured. The US government cannot defend its actions by pointing to the foolishness of the present complaint.
Real wages in the US are falling at the fastest rate in 14 years.
Planned mergers of giant telecommunications companies would nearly wipe out competition in the US.
Experts: Iraq Verges on Civil War. And: even the Bush's Iraqi police blame the Bush forces for the violence in Iraq.
Theocratic Republican leaders, including senators and congressmen, are threatening violence against judges.
US troops and civilian personnel in Colombia sell arms to murderers, traffic drugs, and occasionally kill, all with impunity.
The mayor of Spokane, who has fought long and hard against gay rights, has been outed as secretly gay.
He was attacking other gays as a callous, cynical act to further his own career. Such a man would have a great future in US politics if it were not known that he is gay.
Human Rights Watch says, to send a prisoner to Egypt is tantamount to having him tortured. Over 60 prisoners are known to have been sent there, but probably there have been many more.
These Islamists are religious fanatics, but that's no excuse for the religious fanatics in the White House to have them tortured.
Former ministers are fleeing Iraq--perhaps because they are afraid of being accused of corruption (which they are probably guilty of), perhaps because they're afraid of the resistance.
Freedom of the press is endangered in Colombia by widespread attacks on journalists who report news that irritates the paramilitaries.
In Nepal, some political leaders have been released from prison, and phones have been turned back on, but basic freedoms are still denied.
The Iraqi resistance has stepped up attacks, often targeting Iraqis that fight on Bush's side. However, the hostilities between the groups are taking Iraq further towards civil war.
Anger at Bliar wasn't enough to make Labour lose the election, but with its decreased majority it will have trouble driving through his nastiest policies. Bliar himself may also have to go.
Government agents in Burundi have been convicted of murdering an investigator sent by WHO to track diverted funds.
As massacres continue in Darfur, under the support of the government of Sudan, the response is inadequate.
A suggestion for Iraq: Operation Golden Shower.
A friend commented thus: What White House or Congress would ever approve a plan to short stop the money in Iraq before it, er, trickles down to the Carlyle Group?
Expect to see more of this as gasoline gets more expensive, which it will probably do from now on (except for a possible temporary reduction between now and 2010).
Global warming is already interfering with the circulation of water in the Atlantic--the Gulf Stream that takes warm water from South America to Europe, and the deep water "conveyor" that takes cold water back south.
Meanwhile, the CO2 that doesn't go into the atmosphere and cause warming instead goes into the ocean and makes it more acidic. This endangers many ocean species.
No one knows how close we are to a climate disaster, but we keep finding that we've crossed major milestones on the way there.
Gaza settlers will be offered new towns in Israel to convince them to leave peacefully.
This proposal has been controversial because Nitzanim is a protected natural area. It would be better to find another place. But if this plan enables the withdrawal to occur, I think it is good overall.
Police in Bogota, Colombia, attacked a young protestor for no particular reason, and beat him so badly that he died from his injuries. Now they are lying about it (just like police).
A leaked UK memo, written 8 months before the invasion, proves that Bush and Bliar had already decided to start a war, and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of invading Iraq.
For another article, plus a copy of the memo, see here.
Israeli police disguised as Palestinians infiltrated a nonviolent protest and tried to make it turn violent. They started throwing stones, which provided the excuse for other police to arrest the real protestors. This was all caught on video, providing conclusive proof of what happened.
The Palestinians arrested--for asking the provocateurs not to throw stones--are still in custody.
Israelis protested in Tel Aviv after their soldiers shot two Palestinian children.
Republicans want to impose monitoring and controls on university courses.
US auto companies are getting punished for their years of selling overlarge oil-wasting vehicles. They have actively opposed all plans to increase fuel efficiency--and Bush has supported them all the way.
8% of Americans have auto-immune diseases, and man-made toxins in the environment are a large part of the cause.
Since mercury is one of the causes it is relevant to mention that Bush has done his best to prevent the EPA from reducing mercury pollution.
Police harassed a woman at an Earth Day rally in Modesto, California, claiming it was illegal for her to hand out flyers in the park where the rally was occuring.
Police regularly use their arbitrary power to stop people from lawful participation in democracy. They don't care that it is lawful, they stop it anyway. By the time people go to court about it, it is too late to make a difference: the police already achieved their goal.
For police to interfere with lawful political activity should be a crime carrying a month of mandatory jail time. Police might rein in their lawlessness when they start seeing jail from the other side.
A secret Bush forces report shows the Iraqi resistance is not weakening, belying what Bush tells the public. However, many of the victims of the attacks are Iraqi civilians.
Germany is pressuring the US to remove its nuclear missiles which remain in Germany since the Cold War.
By funding medical research directly, instead of paying drug companies the monopoly prices caused by drug patents, the US government could save $110 billion annually on Medicare alone. (The US public would save even more, and so would the rest of the world.)
A TV station in Afghanistan is spreading Western mores.
Bliar hid the doubts about legality of attacking Iraq even from his own cabinet, thus manipulating them into a decision that he had chosen in advance.
(This isn't the best article to explain what happened, but it's the one I have a URL for.)
The Bush forces are trying to blame a few soldiers, plus the prison commander, for the torture at Abu Ghraib. But torture has been widespread in the Bush forces, so it can't be the fault only of people stationed at Abu Ghraib. And it cannot be unrelated the support for torture that comes directy from Bush.
A large area of Ecuador was been poisoned permanently by Texaco.
The megacorporations promise benefits from their "investment", but often deliver only suffering.
Conservative legislators in Kuwait have blocked a proposal to let women vote.
The US Air Force Academy is controlled by theocratic officers who use their office to bully cadets to become Christian extremists.
The resemblance between military training and religious cults is nothing new. They use similar methods to try to break a person's spirit so they can rewrite him as they wish. However, it is something new that the two are merging in the US military.
Representative DeLay has cunningly used his own charity as a way to disguise selling influence to corporations.
Berlusconi personally rewrote the Italian report about the attack on Giulia Sgrena's car, to avoid embarrassing Bush with the truth.
Industrial progress rests largely on the shoulders of publicly-funded R&D. Companies add a little more and then get complete monopolies in the form of patents.
Arguing that military spending has turned the US partially into a command economy, much like the one that failed in the Soviet Union. (So no wonder it is doing so badly.)
I think the basic idea is true to an extent, but the specific points need to be checked carefully. For instance, if the overall effect of military spending is to distort the US economy and control the social sciences, it doesn't necessarily follow that DoD-support university research in physical sciences and computing was harmful.
Bliar made a secret decision to build a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile, despite saying that the decision would be made later. We see a lie, and a coverup.
During the Cold War, it made sense to have a nuclear deterrent; there was an enemy to deter. It doesn't make much sense for the UK now.
I don't think the UK's nuclear submarines are very dangerous directly; I worry that the theocrats in the US will start a nuclear war as fulfillment of their prophesies, but I don't think the UK will do so. However, it undermines the efforts to prevent proliferation, and that can be much more dangerous.
The Palestinian Authority says it is prepared to fight the few militant groups that threaten to cause trouble during the planned Israeli withdrawal of some of the settlements.
This makes sense as a strategy for the while. Most of the militant groups support a cease fire now, which means there are only a few that they would have to fight.
However, doing this now may make it harder to resist later demands to attack all the militants, while Israeli violence proceeds unchecked. As long as Israelis continue stealing the Palestinians' land, destroying their olive trees, poisoning their animals, knocking down their houses, arresting them on the way home from the hospital and denying them medical care, etc., while using provocateurs as an excuse to attack peaceful protests, Israel is not entitled to criticize Palestinians for fighting back.
Florida has blocked a 13-year-old girl from getting an abortion, in effect intending to force her to have a baby.
The Bush forces have decided that the soldiers that shot at Giulia Sgrena's car in Baghdad Airport are innocent. Italians refuse to accept this, and even the Italian government is about to accuse Bush of a cover-up.
The truth about Bush is slowly percolating through the world's people, and eventually he will be unable to keep up the pretense.
Ecuadorians have chased out one president, but they are not ready to accept the next one either. He has resisted Bush just a little, but doesn't have the courage to resist very much.
Ecuador should cancel its debt and its contracts with the US. If Bush gets mad, they can sell their oil somewhere else.
Railroad privatization in the UK has been a failure--for everyone except the lucky train owners.
Uri Avnery reports on the different treatment that settlers and peace activists receive from the Israeli government when they protest.
Another Labour MP has joined the Liberal Democrats, urging voters to "Give Mr Blair a bloody nose".
Israeli settlers in Palestine are poisoning the Palestinians' sheep.
In many areas, the settlers regularly harrass and even shoot Palestinians nearby.
Bliar's dishonesty about Iraq has been conclusively proved.
The specific lie Bliar has been caught in is his claim about what legal advice he received. In fact, it said that attacking Iraq would comply with international law only given clear, strong evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Bliar pressured his advisor into changing his advice by telling him there was conclusive evidence of that,
We know that this claim was based on phony evidence, which was probably the result of pressure that Bush and Bliar exerted in that direction.
The initial advice was hidden and Bliar pretended never to have received it.
The UK brought criminal charges against a woman for not calling an ambulance after her husband, who was incurably ill and had suffered for years, took an overdose of pills. (All she did was keep him company while he achieved the goal of ending his pain.) The jury acquitted her.
The Vietnam War ended 30 years ago, but the weapons that the US used are still killing Vietnamese.
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