Some countries are jealous about being left out of the "axis of evil".
The bluefin tuna population off the US East Coast is under 1/10 of what it was in 1970, so fishing is restricted. But the restrictions are not working to protect the tuna's numbers, because tuna move between the US shores and Europe.
A secret police unit in Serbia has been disbanded after its members were accused of selling drugs and murdering the Prime Minister of Serbia.
A reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle has been suspended because he was arrested with 1400 others at an anti-war protest.
Oil workers in Colombia are planning a general strike, fighting against privatization plans.
88 members of the oil workers' union have been assassinated in recent years.
Bombardment by Bush forces cut off the supply of drinking water in Basra, so much of the populace is fleeing in desperation.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's reporter in Basra shows how civilians there are being killed by these bombardments.
Police in Colombia are attacking shanty-towns whose inhabitants have nowhere to go.
Some people seem to think that Bush won the election because of Nader, but this isn't true. Bush did not win the election--in particular, not in Florida--and the reason he came even close to winning there was because his Katherine Harris arranged to stop tens of thousands of blacks from voting.
The Al-Jazeera web site has been down for days because of of a barrage of spam coming from Americans who object to its coverage of unpleasant facts about the war.
The higher the US officials, the less honest they are about the situation in Iraq.
Opposition to the war, in the US and the UK, is even more important now than it was before the war started--because this is the only thinkg holding the administration back from bombarding cities and killing civilians by the thousands. And if Bush wins, he will be tempted to let Iraq turn to chaos and call it "success", as in Afghanistan.
In yet another attack on civil liberties, the UK plans to take DNA samples from everyone who is arrested. This provides a fairly straightforward way to produce a national DNA registry for improves surveillance of all citizens. After all, it's easy to arrest people; it's not unusual to be arrested just for being near a protest.
A similar proposal is just one of the dangerous provisions of "Son of patriot", which is Dubya's plan for the next attack on freedom in the US.
Robert Fisk says that Iraqi officials are giving more information about the war than the US, and in general the Iraqi information is accurate.
The New World Order means, "The Anglo-Saxons Are Coming".
Halliburton, Cheney's former oil company (which still pays him), has got a big contract for rebuilding Iraq after the Bush-Cheney administration destroys it.
Meanwhile Dubya's choice for the man to rule Iraq for the US, supposing the US conquers Iraq, has links to a right-wing group connected with Cheney and with Israel.
As Secy of Defense Rumsfeld criticizes Iraq for violating the Geneva convention on treatment of prisoners, let's not forget the US violations he is personally responsible for.
Salmon farms in Scotland are passing diseases to wild salmon, whose numbers are in sharp decline.
OCAP members organized a protest campaign by high-schoolers in Ontario against a new standardized test. When the test was leaked before it was used, members of OCAP were threatened with imprisonment.
If they elected a monkey as President of the United States, Tony Blair would ingratiate himself and do its bidding...
Considering the photos of Curious George, I monkey as president might not be such a big difference.
The islamist government of Kelantan, in Malaysia, has taken a small step towards respect for human rights. Instead of banning traditional art forms, now it only censors them for unislamic elements.
Benetton plans to insert radio tracking chips in all its clothing.
These chips are not designed for tracking individuals, but they can be used for that purpose easily enough. They contain unique identifying numbers. Once a centralized tracking agency finds out which numbers are in your clothing, it can identify you every time you pass by a scanner. Connecting the numbers with you is easy if you buy clothes by credit card, but they can also build the data base in other ways. This won't be terribly effective if only Benetton uses the chips--but if the system works well for them, it could be adopted by all companies in five years time.
It would be useful to develop a reliable method of frying these chips with ordinary household equipment. I wonder if a microwave oven can do it.
I think it would be useful for the public to put pressure on Benetton to permanently deactivate the tracking chip when they sell a garment. If you return the garment, they can attach a new one.
I'm glad to learn that the US is not bombing facilities such as the water and electrical supply. Even if this is only for reasons of calculation, it could spare millions of civilians much suffering.
Saddam Hussein being a dictator, and one who kills often, it would be worth hundreds of lives--even innocent people's lives--to overthrow him, if only we could be confident that the people of Iraq wanted to be liberated (who knows?) and that the replacement would really be much better. But anyone appointed by Dubya is unlikely to be much better. We can get a good idea of the sort of ruler that the US is likely to impose by looking at the last ruler the US supported in Iraq. His name: Saddam Hussein.
Beyond the issue of this war is the threat posed by unchecked US power. Bush convinced Americans to support war against Iraq with a series of repeated falsehoods claiming that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks. (All real evidence says Iraq had nothing to do with them.) If he could do this once, why not again? Is there any country the US could not create an excuse to attack?
What demands will the US seek to impose on a world through fear of US attack? A simple look at Dubya's business associates suggest they will be designed to benefit the Enrons of the world.
Antiwar protests continue, as even Americans resist the idea that they should support war merely because there is one.
It's possible that the fighting against Saddam Hussein's forces will be over quickly, but what happens afterward is another story. A newspaper I saw today reported that an administration figure (perhaps Rumsfeld but I don't remember) said things would go in Iraq after the war would go as they have in Afghanistan. Things in Afghanistan are not going well.
See also Dubya's War Glossary.
We will surely hear calls to support the war in the name of "supporting the troops". When leaders say this, they are hiding behind their subordinates. But Bush can't hide from us this easily. His campaign stole the election by stopping tens of thousands of citizens of Florida from voting at all, and he should resign.
Meanwhile, one of the ways this war will hurt the US is through its tremendous cost. Since the war is being fought for the sake of oil companies, it seems to me that whoever succeeds Bush should make the oil companies pay the full cost of the war.
Another cost to the US will be the tremendous antiamerican sentiment around the world. In some sense the oil companies should bear that cost, too--and people can make this happen. Imagine if everyone around the world were to buy smaller cars, or electric cars, and renewable electric plants, all because they hate the oil companies for having their pet president start a war. Wouldn't that be great? If you hate Bush, build a windmill. Eventually we may see Bush fighting windmills like Don Quixote.
A warning to Brits (and Americans): don't be drawn into blindly "supporting our troops". Intelligent, thoughtful support is not blind.
Before Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer operator, she wrote a series of emails to her family that explain the cruelties that she hoped to prevent with her presence.
There is evidence that the city has appointed a special police squad to investigate and arrest protestors.
Ethiopia faces famine again. The cause: overpopulation.
Aid for Ethopia has to include birth control, or the population will be limited by famine.
Witnesses say that Rachel Corrie was deliberately killed by the driver of an Israeli bulldozer.
Normally when I cite someone else's writing, I reference his site which shows who wrote it. I cannot do that here: if I publish the name of the Serbian who sent me this letter, I would be putting him in danger.
There are 318 prisoners in Serbia now. A number of them doesn't have relation with murder of Djindjic, but the same persons are passing extreme torture. It is very interesting that this information can be seen in Serbian (http://www.b92.net/news/indexs.php?order=hrono&dd=16&mm=03&yyyy=2003) but not in English at the main Serbian information agency, B92. Of course, even in Serbian, there are no information about torture...
Through that time no one can publish anything about the present situation which includes political proscription and police brutality. A lot of people had experience with police torture, some of them with police brutality, and, also, some of them with masked gendarmes (special police forces) in military uniforms and military weapons.
In descriptive words: If I send this letter to media I'll be instantly arrested!
Anarchist leader Ratibor Trivunac was arrested for writing that Djindjic was "a criminal killed by other criminals", although he clearly had nothing to do with the killing. He has been freed since.
Carlos Fuentes presents arguments for Mexico to resist US pressure and not support the US war resolution.
I don't think we know whether the Mexican government resisted.
A lawsuit threat from US Foodservice has silenced a site where people had posted criticism of it.
If we want freedom of the press to cover criticism of a corporation, we need laws that effectively protect web sites from harrassment lawsuits.
CAPPS II, the new system to collect and correlate many kinds of personal information about all airline passengers, is running into criticism in the Senate.
Israeli fighters trying to destroy a Palestinian house killed an American woman who was there trying to protect the house from demolition.
Like Dubya, Terry Jones (formerly of Monty Python) is losing patience with his neighbors.
After Congressman Hansen criticized the IRS and other agencies, the US government began a campaign to convict him of crimes that were fabricated. He was eventually vindicated by the Supreme Court, after spending years in prison and suffering torture that mutilated his feet and destroyed his teeth.
One torture method is carried out under the pretense of moving the prisoner from one prison to another, strapped to a seat for hours in the back of a truck. As soon as he arrives in the new prison, he is moved again. Hansen was moved all around the country in this way. Sometimes prisoners die from this.
I found this report almost incredible even given my distrust for the US government, so I looked for additional references before posting it. See this.
The persecution of Congressman Hansen took place across decades, under both Republican and Democratic presidents.
An economic system out of control--how global business concentration drives the world towards unsustainable practices.
Palestinians and Israelis are concerned that Sharon may use the US attack on Iraq as cover for even worse repression against Palestinians.
Israel's is making large numbers of Palestinians homeless, and seeks to and cutting them off from all income. It seems the plan is to make it impossible for Palestinians to live, as a means of ethnic cleansing.
When Israeli fighters destroyed the house of a family of a dead terrorist, they also destroyed the housing of 7 other families, and killed the mother of one of them.
Many people will be especially horrified by the killing of a pregnant woman. I disagree--in a world menaced by overpopulation, having children is no virtue. Killing that pregnant woman was no worse than killing you or me would have been.
Public libraries are starting to warn the public about how the PAT-RIOT authorizes the government to secretly spy on everyone.
Note that these provisions of the PAT-RIOT act are not limited to bookstores and libraries. They apply to all business records, including your credit card purchases and your telephone calls. An article in the New York Times, about a year ago, revealed that the FBI is collecting phone records for whole neighborhoods as a block.
Even your past and present whereabouts are an open book to the FBI if you carry a cell phone, since the system records its location at all times whenever the phone has power (not just when you make a call). I generally don't use my credit card for retail purchases, and I refuse to carry a cell phone.
Why call it the PAT-RIOT act? The "PATRIOT" in the law's name is not really a word; it is an acronym, the initials of seven other words. Thus, splitting it is not really changing the name of the bill, just clarifying its presentation.
See http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/ for more information about how the PAT-RIOT act attacks your freedom.
Some studies report that growing certain GM crops is good for wildlife, probably because of the reduction in pesticide use.
I don't agree with the people who think that genetically modified crops are intrinsically wrong. I am suspicious of the global businesses that develop them--suspicious that they will rush them into use too fast for their safety to be assured, and suspicious that due to patents or terminator technology these crops will hurt the social conditions of farming.
A participant in drafting a new constitution for the EU says it is developing into a threat to democracy.
The EU is already too remote from the public, too susceptible to making directives that are imposed on a public that has no way to resist or change them. If it is to be beneficial for the people of Europe, it must become more democratic.
The DOD is trying again to get a blanket exemption from environmental protection laws, so it can pollute at will.
Israeli fighters with bulldozers destroyed an apartment building because Palestinian fighters had entered it to fire at the Israelis. The Palestinians who lived in the building, who did not participate in the fighting, are now homeless.
An analogous policy of punishing the people in the neighborhood where an attack occurred was used by the Nazis in occupied countries.
Jimmy Carter rejects the Bush regime's plans to attack Iraq.
Carter is no pacifist, and when Iranian religious fanatics took the US embassy staff hostage, he sent US troops to rescue them. (The troops messed it up.) His opposition to this war is thoughtful.
The Boy Scouts of America are running into protests for expelling Atheists.
I believe I recall that the Girl Scouts do not have such a policy, and neither do scouting organizations in Canada. This problem is unique to the BSA.
Repression of dissent in the US: police start a fight with students at a peaceful protest, a journalist records this, then the journalist gets arrested.
Palestinians and Israelis expect Sharon to use the expected US-Iraq war as the cover and excuse for massive crimes.
How Israeli troops attacked a team of medics who were trying to aid a wounded man.
Such attacks are not unusual.
I reported on Susan Barclay's success in resisting first extralegal deportation and then legal deportation from Israel. Now she is being threatened with deportation again.
Look closely at the grounds that were reportedly offered for her deportation: "taking part in violent demonstrations" (i.e. someone else was violent, but Susan Barclay wasn't), and "gathering information on the activities of Israeli officers to release to the world" (i.e., reporting on war crimes). The first is otherwise known as guilt by association, while the second is a matter of suppressing information about injustice. For the sake of freedom in Israel, as well as just treatment of the Palestinians for whom Barclay serves as a witness, the Israeli judge should reject these charges as grounds for deporting anyone.
Edward Said, who denounced Saddam Hussein back when Kuwait and the US were supporting him, demolishes Bush's supposed intention to bring democracy to Iraq--and various other lies.
If you are blacklisted by the new US system for labeling air travelers as a security risk, there will be no way you can try to clear your name, no way to even confirm that you are on the list.
If our government officials were always fair and honest, and never made a mistake, only real terrorists would be on the list. Then perhaps it would be ok if there is no way to clear your name. But have you ever heard of a government whose officials are always fair, and never make mistakes?
Will Bush hand Iraq over to a religious fanatic?
It might seem crazy, but the US has done it before. The fanatics of the Taliban and Al Qa'ida were trained by the US before they became our enemies.
The filtering programs that US law requires libraries to install on their internet browser terminals "to block porn" actually block a lot more than porn. For instance, they make image searching nearly impossible.
Majority Senate Leader Frist has an Iraq war poll on his website. Right now the majority of the respondents are pro-war. So spread the word to go to his website and respond to the poll, and change the percentages.
It's common for Israeli troops to kill Palestinians and say, when confronted, "We were shooting at militants attacking us" or "Palestinian fighters killed them."
Now a killing has been caught on video: an Israeli tank shot its gun at a Palestinian fireman who was putting out a fire. The video shows that no one near him was fighting the Israelis.
What is most interesting is to see that the Israeli army's excuses bear no relation to reality. They are not just slightly wrong, they are complete lies.
Meanwhile, the nonviolent international witnesses recently prevented Israeli forces from destroying a medical clinic.
The US is torturing prisoners in Afghanistan.
These are Al Qa'ida prisoners--or at least, suspected of being members of Al Qa'ida. (Not all suspicions are true.) But other suspects are brutalized in the US (Rodney King is perhaps the most famous). Soon people suspected of wearing a peace shirt in a mall may be tortured too.
A US citizen faces a year in prison for walking in a mall wearing a shirt advocating peace.
It reminds me of the woman in Lhasa, Tibet, who was attacked last year by Chinese police for wearing a shirt with the face of Phil Silvers (the police thought it was the Dalai Lama). They did not arrest her, they just took off her shirt, forcing her to go half-naked till she could find something else to put on.
Thus, both the US and China forcibly suppress dissent--the Chinese regime openly, while the US pretends to stand for freedom. The US approach is clearly more brutal. Being forced to run through the streets half-naked may feel humiliating, but being imprisoned for a year is a much greater injury.
Sharon's plans for Palestine amount to taking the Palestinians' land and imprisoning them in small Bantustans--or should we say, ghettos?
The US has already started the attack against Iraq, from the air. Doing this without any fanfare suggests that Bush wants to slide into war unnoticed--typical behavior for a government with something to hide.
Meanwhile, Turkey's parliament refused to vote to allow the US to attack Iraq from Turkish territory.
The 4 March Wall Street Journal has an editorial lecturing Turkey on this "mistake". Why "mistake"? Because the US offered a lot of money to buy Turkish support, and Turkey refused to be bought. A fall in stock prices in Turkey supposedly proves the error of this decision. The idea that business is more important than lives and ethics is not stated explicitly, but rather taken for granted at every point. If you're not for sale, kiddo, you're making a terrible mistake passing up this one-time never-to-be-repeated offer. Perhaps Turkey was less than enthusiastic about getting into an open battle with the Iraqi Kurds, who say that they would fight any Turkish forces that try to occupy their territory, as the US suggested Turkey should do.
It might be a bit embarrassing to the US to go to war and see two of its allies immediately begin to fight each other. But Dubya and the WSJ won't feel embarrassed--they will simply refuse to acknowledge the problem.
Greg Palast reports on the leaked, secret FBI document that told agents not to investigate the bin Laden family and their connections with terrorism.
Israeli agents tried to deport Susan Barclay, one of the international volunteers to protect human rights in Palestine, disregarding the fact that she had a court hearing coming up about whether she should be deported.
Susan defied the agents, convinced the plane's crew to refuse to take her, and eventually arrived at her hearing. The court decided not to deport her. What's most interesting, though, is the lack of respect that these agents have for their own court decisions.
Demolition of Palestinian housing is continuing at a high rate. Sometimes Israeli soldiers destroy houses in which suicide bombers live. This is collective punishment, in violation of treaties to protect the population of occupied countries.
The Israeli soldiers don't usually check who is in neighboring houses, and often people are killed in them.
Sometimes houses are demolitshed because Israel says the houses were built without permits. They were--because Israel almost never gives Palestinians building permits. In effect, this is a legalistic excuse to punish a whole people.
Is the US government lying about the arrest of Al-Qa'ida "mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?
Ahmed Quddus was arrested in that raid, and his family says that nobody was arrested with Ahmed. Perhaps Bush is keeping arrests secret so he can announce them when he needs a PR boost.
I sure wish we had a government that we could trust to tell us the truth about fighting terrorism. Kucinich in 2004?
A US bombing raid in Afghanistan killed 17 civilians last month.
This is part of a pattern of low-intensity war against the Taliban. In this war it is always the US and allies that kill the civilians, and then tend to deny that it occurred. The consequences of this for the US in Afghanistan will not be good.
Meanwhile, depleted uranium in munitions ranging from anti-tank shells to bunker-buster bombs is suspected of causing the increase in birth defects found in Afghanistan a year after the US invasion.
US troops are in danger from using DU munitions too. They are safe to handle before they are fired, but once they explode and burn, the uranium is dispersed into the air and the water and becomes easy to ingest.
With this problem, even allies faced with outright enemy invasion will have to think twice before asking the US to chase the invaders out. If the price of liberating your country is birth defects and cancers forever, is it worth paying?
John Kiesling resigned from the US diplomatic service to protest Bush administration policies, saying that "Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson."
Police in Atlanta are always at the ready to protect businesses like Taco Bell from the danger of...being criticized by leaflets. Even if it take stretching the law to do it.
Policemen's attitude towards laws is like Humpty Dumpty: "The law means what I say it means, no more, no less."
Venezuelan President Chavez has arrested the leaders of the general strike that lasted through December and January.
I do not support the strikers, who were generally the wealthiest Venezuelans and wanted the country to return to the US-dominated "new world order" and to policies that enrich them at the expense of the many. The US is suspected of instigating a coup against Chavez a year ago, and may well have instigated the general strike too.
But a strike is not a coup--it is a legitimate exercize of people's freedom. Chavez does wrong arresting people for leading the general strike. The strike failed; that should be enough.
Antiwar protestors were arrested in Minneapolis just for handing out leaflets.
I don't know what the law actually says about this--but either the police stretched the law and abused their power, or our society has gone too far in cutting down the public space where citizens can express their views. Either one is unacceptable.
Microsoft's gift to the next Enron: software designed to save documents so that only authorized people inside a corporation can read them--and even they can't transmit the text to anyone else. Future would-be whistleblowers will find that the whistle makes no sound.
Fanatics of various faiths, including Bush (Christian), Sharon (Jewish) and the Taliban (Muslim), are spreading so much hate and distrust that even groups that are dedicate to peace and understanding feel the strain among their members.
The Algerian government has "disappeared" at least 7,000 people in its civil war against Islamists. The Islamists were expected to win an election, so the government canceled the election.
The Islamists would probably have imposed Islamic law, which tramples human rights (especially those of women, but also those of men). However, the Algerian government's response has been no better.
Those disappeared in Algeria may have been murdered, or they may still be alive in prison. There is no way to know. Those who are disappeared in the US by the Bush administration are probably still alive, but they may be kept in prison all their lives.
In one respect, the Bush regime proposes to go one better than the Algerian regime. The Algerian regime won't give any information about what happened to the disappeared people, but it doesn't arrest Yassine Ourad for saying that his father was arrested. Bush would make that a crime.
Bush proclaims that the US will make a "sustained commitment" to Iraq and turn it into a model democracy.
Looking at how the Bush regime operates in the US--not counting votes, arresting people without trial--we have to wonder if a Bush-designed Iraqi regime would be much of a democracy. But there's already evidence that must lead us to disbelieve Bush's talk of a "sustained commitment" for anything except oil. He has repeatedly spoken the same way about Afghanistan, but his actions don't match. The US is failing to help Afghanistan rebuild.
Oppressed people in other countries will see their hopes for freedom dashed by the deals that Bush is making to buy the support of various countries.
Religious extremists in the US used the cold war as an excuse to get the US government to endorse religion explicitly--on money, and in the pledge of allegiance. Now Europe is considering the question for its new constitution. Fortunately, the plan is running into resistance.
This is part of a general trend for the government to operate in secrecy, in the US, the UK, and around the world. We are familiar with Bush's decision to resist all FOIA requests as much as possible.
Among the many attacks on freedom in the Bush administrations "Son of PATRIOT" bill is a provision that would prohibit grand jury witnesses from reporting what their testimony was. Even worse, if you find out that someone has been imprisoned without charges, it would be a crime for you to tell the public about it. People will be prohibited from telling the public that their husbands or brothers have been imprisoned without trial.
The UN found out in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its chemical and biological weapons--but kept the plans for producing them.
(It is virtually impossible to wipe out all copies of plans.)
For more details of what Hussein Kamel told the UN inspectors, see this.
The contradictions of Israeli policy towards Palestinians put them in a "Catch-2002".
This article also discusses the political developments among the Palestinians that led to the present resistance.
If you want to be as healthy as possible, you should avoid using marijuana very often, for this and other reasons. But we must be prepared to reject the double standard that prohibitionists will use to misinterpret this report.
The article estimates that one unfiltered marijuana cigarette delivers about four times as much tar as one tobacco cigarette. Heavy tobacco smokers smoke 40 to 80 cigarettes per day, and a substantial fraction of tobacco smokers use that much. To get an equivalent amount of tar from marijuana, you would have to smoke 10 marijuana cigarettes per day. Hardly anyone uses that much marijuana; in fact, one marijuana cigarette per day is pretty heavy use.
One reason for this discrepancy is that tobacco is physically addictive--withdrawal causes physical problems--while marijuana is not.
Taken in context, this report reaffirms what we already knew: that marijuana is safer than tobacco, and prohibition of marijuana is irrational and destructive.
RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, opposes an attack on Iraq.
RAWA previously opposed the Taliban, and before them the warlords, and before them the Communists, because none of them respected human rights for women (or for men).
When Palestinians randomly kill Israeli civilians, the Palestinians are called terrorists. When the Israeli army randomly kills Palestinians, it gives us to believe that the Palestinians are terrorists (and that were killed fighting the Israeli army). Often they are actually civilians who were killed randomly while going about their lives.
General Wiranto, former head of the Indonesian armed forces, has been indicted by a UN war crimes tribunal. The Indonesian army and associated paramilitary groups waged a bloody terror campaign to try to prevent East Timor from becoming independent, and Wiranto was its head at the time.
The Bush administration wants to resume US aid to the Indonesian military, which continues using repressive measures in Aceh.
Jeb Bush wants to close the State Library of Florida.
Looks like it runs in the Bush family to try to stop public from getting information from the government.
HP's temporary workers are suing HP for forcing them to work overtime without pay. (Microsoft did the same thing and was sued.)
CNN's rules for slanting the news, and how they let the Israeli government block news about Palestine.
The UK plans to cut carbon dioxide emission by 60%, and do it without building nuclear reactors. The reduction will take 50 years.
Plan Colombia is supposed to be part of the "war on drugs", which would be bad enough; but it's actually worse.
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has formed a new coalition that will continue policies of aggression and repression towards Palestinians.
However, the Labor party refused to participate, and will now be able to criticize the brutality of Sharon's policies.
When Sharon is no longer Prime Minister he faces prosecution in Belgium for war crimes in Lebanon that the Israeli Army cooperated with. Israel treats this Belgian decision with outrage, yet it reflects Israel's own treatment of the perpetrators of mass murder.
An Indian woman who is a Canadian citizen was attacked by crazed INS agents as she was returning from India to Canada via Kuwait and Chicago. They did not let her speak to the Canadian Consulate before destroying her passport and forcing her to go back to Kuwait.
She got off in Kuwait and got help from Canadian authorities, who helped her return to Canada.
Even supposing there was some reason not to let this harmless woman into the US--which I do not believe--the INS agents surely could have let her go to her adopted home country right nearby. Their actions bespeak the arrogance of power, the wish to seize an opportunity to crush a handy helpless victim.
The ACLU and others have asked the Supreme Court to limit government surveillance and overturn the decision of a secret surveillance court.
Some economists argue that copyright and patents fail to promote the progress that they supposedly exist to promote.
This article takes a narrowly economic view of its subject, measuring social alternatives only by what goods are available for what price, assuming that you the citizen are a mere consumer and place no value on your freedom in itself. It also uses the misleading term "intellectual property", which is misleading because it lumps copyrights and patents together. The article also lumps them together, which it can get away with because it ignores the (different) social issues that copyrights and patents raise.
Despite those flaws, it is significant. If one can judge copyright to be harmful even on narrow economic terms, disregarding the ethical wrong of stopping people from sharing, it can only be more harmful once we consider the ethics as well.
Parts of the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress are starting to withdraw support for a war with Iraq.
"The oceans, once mistakenly thought to be inexhaustible, clearly are not." Scientists call for banning of longline fishing, gillnetting and bottom trawling, which are wiping out many species of fish, as well as sea birds and sea turtles.
The world's fishing fleets are now so efficient and numerous that operating them at full capacity is unsustainable.
Saddam Hussein is presenting the Feb 15 anti-war protests as if they were support for him and Iraq.
This is surely not what the protesters intended. I oppose attacking Iraq under the present circumstances, but that isn't because I think Saddam Hussein deserves to be the ruler. If there were a popular resistance movement aiming to create a democracy, I would support it.
But we can hardly trust Bush to establish democracy or civil liberties in Iraq when he does not respect them in his own country. For a picture of what we could expect, look at Afghanistan, where the problems are tremendous and the US is not providing much help.
Should Europea try to "catch up" with the US economically--is that really a desirable goal? Here's an article that starts by assuming that it is. I've posted a link to it so I can point out why its basic assumptions are wrong.
The article starts by assuming that the US has an "economic lead" over Europe. In what sense is that true? Certainly not in the prosperity of its citizens. The median income in the US has barely kept up with inflation, and the poorest are poorer now than in 1980. Certainly not in the quality of life of its citizens--we have to work more hours than we did then, almost an entire month per year more than in 1970. Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans can't afford to see a doctor if they get sick.
If the US has a "lead" in any sense, it could only be in transferring wealth from the general public to the rich. The US has been doing that very effectively, ever since Reagan promised us a "trickle-down" that never occurred.
Anyone who wants his country to follow the US "lead" is trying to lead his country to disaster. So when the article concludes by proposing that Europe should solve its demographic problem by competing with the US to enrich the few whose skills are most in demand, I have to think that he started from this conclusion and sought an opportunity to justify it. He argues that there is no choice, but there is a choice. Instead of trying to outdo the US in harshness, Europe could begin speaking directly to Americans about how harsh and self-destructive our system is--both for us and for the rest of the world. Then maybe the US and Europe could compete to make their economic systems better for people generally.
Did Enron make the US vulnerable to terrorism?
The Sep 11 highjackers were not working for Enron, but apparently it was Enron's ties with both the Taliban and the Bush administration that opened the way for them.
Whistleblower John Loftus reports that Vice President Cheney, trying to protect sensitive negotiations between Enron and the Taliban, told the FBI not to allow investigation of people connected with the Taliban--including, for instance, the Al Qa'ida terrorists that were planning the September 11 attacks.
The Bush administration now proposes to "protect" Americans from terrorism with a further attack on our freedom. They want to cancel US citizenship of for people who are suspected of association with terrorism--even through participation in protests. http://writ.findlaw.com/ramasastry/20030217.html,
You could argue that the executives of Enron, by asking Cheney to block investigation of terrorist threats, were aiding terrorism and deserve some sort of punishment. Perhaps Cheney deserves punishment too for complying with their request. But canceling their US citizenship goes much too far. No one's citizenship should ever be canceled because of crimes, even the most serious of crimes.
Of course, we know that this law would not be used against those in high places who have really aided terrorism. It would be used to threaten people who oppose them. Perhaps they will choose a protest that Representative Kucinich participated in, label one of its sponsors as a terrorist organization, cancel his citizenship, and stop him from running for president.
If Bush and Cheney were serious about protecting us from terrorism, they could do it best by resigning from office. Then they would no longer pose a risk to our security or a threat to our freedom.
Supposedly the newspaper is accused of "alerting ETA to police raids." How did they do that, I wonder? By publishing articles?
I had not heard of Peter Tatchell before this article, but from what I can see there, I admire his views.
Bush is following the advice of Nazi Hermann Goering in whipping up Americans to want war.
A court in France found Yahoo innocent of charges of promoting Nazism. It had links to sites selling Nazi memorabilia.
I don't like Nazism one bit, but it is important not to restrict public expression of political views.
The UK has been designing cruel policies towards people seeking asylum, in order to discourage them from coming. The UK High Court ruled that these policies violate the European Convention on Human Rights.
The prologue of Bertrand Russell's autobiography describes his priorities in life. I recommend paying attention.
When people say what goals their work is intended to serve, it is instructive to compare those stated goals with Bertrand Russell's goals.
Fashion designers and arms dealers: both merchants of death.
I've always looked at designer logos on clothing as a mark of stupidity--evidence that someone was foolish enough to be led by the nose by fashion and snobbery. If enough of us express this opinion, we can weaken the influence of fashion manipulation.
Representative Kucinich is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
He criticizes the USA PAT-RIOT Act for its attacks on civil liberties. Maybe I will support him, after I learn more about him.
UK Prime Minister Blair has shown total contempt for the British people by forcing them into a war that they oppose. Since a million protestors in London had no effect on him, now Britons plan a civil disobedience campaign to oppose British participation in the war.
I suppose the peace rallies of Feb 15 are not news to anyone reading this site, but I think I can't let them go unmentioned.
Compare these two Colin Powell quotes:
"We cannot let Usama bin Laden pretend that he is doing it in the name of helping the Iraqi people or the Palestinian people. He doesn't care one whit about them. He has not given a dollar toward them. He has never spoken out for them."
February 11, 2003 Powell testified before the Senate Budget Committee and said, "Once again he [bin Laden] speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq. This nexus between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored." The quote is about halfway down; search for the word "nexus" to find it. See this for more analysis.
It has been pointed out that these two quotations are not precisely opposites. You can make them fit, if you assume that Saddam Hussein helps Osama bin Laden but Osama bin Laden never helps Saddam Hussein. However, it would not be like Saddam Hussein to do that.
Bolivians are rising up against a government that represents the US and corporations, not them.
Rabbi Michael Lerner was barred from speaking at an anti-war rally by an antisemitic cosponsor of the rally.
Lerner, who describes himself as "pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian", urges people to participate in the anti-war rally nonetheless
A new Iraq war would be very dangerous to children in Iraq.
Since over half the Iraqi population are children, that means Iraq is having a very high birth rate. I wonder how this compares with its birth rate before the Gulf war, and I wonder whether it is partly because birth control is not available there--or else why.
The UK is considering a mandatory surveillance and tracking system for all private cars. It would record the location of every car in the country--while it is driving, at least.
Of course, the excuse for this Orwellian measure is just to collect a tax and reduce congestion. But that is silly--the gas tax does approximately the same job, including charging more per mile in central London and in rush hour, since cars burn a lot more gas per mile. As so often happens, some minor goal serves as the excuse for the government to attack your freedom.
They say there will be "strict controls" to protect your privacy. But not from the police if they think you are a dissident.
The advocates of this plan say it is impossible to build enough train and bus capacity to solve the problem. But if they don't want people to drive, they had better provide some other transportation method.
Dubya's repeated claims that Iraq is connected with Al Qa'ida have brainwashed most Americans into thinking that the Sep 11 attacks were committed by Iraqis.
It is sad to admit that lies are stronger than the truth.
An American nurse who was arrested in Indonesia for volunteering to give medical care to Acehnese has now been freed.
Reservists in the UK, where people are strongly opposed to war with Iraq, are refusing call-up in large numbers.
Bush is planning a law that makes the PAT-RIOT act even worse. Part of the plan is to cancel the US citizenship of citizens who participate in organizations that the government calls "terrorist".
The government can label a group as "terrorist" just by saying so. Therefore, this adds up to the ability to cancel your citizenship at any time--provided you belong to a group. They might even be able to invent the group.
But even if they had to make a case to prove that a group is terrorist, canceling the citizenship of anyone is still an outrage.
The bill would also legalize the government's secrecy about people who have been secretly arrested; that is, disappeared.
A British intelligence report, made just a few weeks ago, reported no links between Iraq and Al Qa'ida.
Andy Higginbottom, whose reports about murder of union leaders in Colombia have sometimes been linked to here, is now receiving death threats himself.
Hundreds of former members of revolutionary guerilla armies, which made peace with the government several years ago and turned to political action, have also been murdered in Colombia, and it looks like things are going to get even worse.
The Israelis began "attacking terrorists" in Hebron by destroying the vegetable market, giving the merchants no chance to rescue either their stalls or the vegetables.
They are also destroying houses by the dozen, ostensibly because they were "built without permission"; but since Palestinians can never get permission to build, this legal excuse is a dishonest Kafkaesque facade for removing people who are "in the way".
Iraqis may hate Saddam, but a US conquest of Iraq will not strengthen those in the middle east who want democracy.
James Watson proposes the frightening policy of taking the DNA fingerprint of everyone--and trusting the government to control access to the information.
Our governments say that they try to protect us and serve our interests. Perhaps Dr. Watson believes this is true. If we had democratic governments that listened to the concerns of citizens who are not rich, if the police were honest and did not bend and break the law to attack dissidents, perhaps his proposal would be a good idea.
Robert Fisk is skeptical about the evidence regarding Iraq.
The Australian Senate voted to condemn the Australian government's preparations to participate in a war against Iraq.
Song: We are Americans.
Israeli soldiers destroyed a Palestinian home, killing an elderly woman who was still inside it.
Israeli forces have a systematic practice of demolishing Palestinian homes. This only occasionally turns into murder, but it is always a form of collective punishment (i.e. punishment of the innocent), violating international treaties about how to treat people in occupied territory.
Confronting the Empire, a statement by Arundhati Roy
The hero of "West Wing", derided by Conservatives, has a foreign policy so right-wing that a British columnist finds it frightening.
The European Parliament is investigating accusations that the EU funds for the Palestinian Authority are being diverted into terrorism. Others dispute these charges. The Parliament may set up an investigating committee.
Texas executed Jackie Elliott, who was convicted 16 years ago on the testimony of police informers. New evidence, including evidence that the police ignored other suspects, was rapidly being found. The judge, faced with the danger that evidence would show that the state was wrong, decided to press ahead with the execution so and forestall the danger.
The article mentions additional evidence that Elliott wasn't the murderer. It also points out that the judge had made statements to the media showing prejudice against Elliott. Isn't this exactly what the first judge in the Microsoft antitrust trial was reprimanded for? Apparently Microsoft's money is held to deserve greater respect from the legal system than a man's life.
While the US prepares to attack Iraq, pretending that Al Qa'ida is there, the real Al Qa'ida is having a resurgence in Afghanistan. It is not just fighting Americans, but women also.
Maybe Bush should fight Al Qa'ida where it is, instead of where it ain't.
Greek police are harrassing an Anarchist for various crimes in Italy that she was already exonerated for.
For 20 years, globalization has replaced well-paid US jobs with low-paid foreign jobs; but some good jobs could not be moved. Digital technology is changing that.
Soon the only jobs left in the US will be those that require physical proximity to clients in the US--a few doctors and teachers, and a lot of McJobs. These will remain in the US as long as the US has a customer base for them. But falling wages will eat into that customer base.
When the US going down meets India coming up, the result will be more like India today than like the US today.
Be on the lookout for trumped-up excuses for invading Iraq; it won't be the first time.
The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday, Feb. 4, on the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has traditionally been a gateway to a Supreme Court appointment. Email your Senators TODAY to oppose this nominee, AND call your Senators at 202-224-3121 to urge them to block the confirmation of Miguel Estrada.
Public libraries in the US are carefully deleting information about what books you read and where you surf on the internet, to protect your privacy from a marauding Federal government.
The UN estimates that half a million Iraqi civilians will need medical care because of a war. And it will be hard for them to get any care in Iraq at war.
Part of the reason would be that the US plans to attack facilities such as electrical supply. In a war like this one, attacking the power supply would not be a military necessity. Command facilities surely have their own generators, and neither tanks nor snipers need electricity to fight. This would be a measure aimed at the civilian population.
Bush's polarization of Europe on the issue of Iraq joins many other harmful consequences of his relentless push for war.
The Iranian religious leaders have released a famous dissident religious leader from arrest.
5000 children die each month in Iraq because the UN sanctions committee does not allow Iraq to buy medicine (though the US pretends Iraq can buy all it wants).
Some of the sicknesses are caused by the radioactive uranium released by exploding US shells that were filled with uranium 238. These "depleted uranium" shells were developed because the density of the uranium is effective for penetrating armor, not with the intention of poisoning the surrounding countryside. But the poisoning does occur, and now that it is clear to see, we must not use these shells again, not even when war is justified.
Another type of armor-piercing shell might be a little less effective, but the world's strongest army could make do with it. And if the US sets an example of renouncing these shells, perhaps other countries would do likewise.
Kevin Annett faces arrest in Canada for speaking out about murder, forced sterilization, land expropriation, and even Tuskegee-style medical experiments without consent, all carried out on Native Americans by the Canadian government together with major churches.
To silence Annett, a judge convicted him of defamation merely for quoting the sworn testimony of witnesses in court. The court did not bother to send Annett a summons to notify him that there was a lawsuit against him. The whole proceedings should be invalid, but Annett nonetheless faces arrest.
The Labor party in the UK threatens to deny firefighters the right to strike, unless they voluntarily don't use it.
The Labor Party pretends to defend the rights of labor, and still gets much of its support from unions. Let's hope they wise up and stop.
A British mother who was convicted of murdering her two babies was exonerated after evidence showed that the natural death of both babies was not, after all, so terribly unlikely.
What is significant here is that the pathologist failed to pass along vital information that would have exonerated her to start with. This systematic flaw in the system will no doubt produce other miscarriages of justice, and not all of them will be corrected. Accidents will happen with any system, but when they result from a systematic flaw, they are not really accidents.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia is switching to the free software GNU/Linux operating system. They recognize that this is a way to uphold freedom, as well as a way to save money.
GNU/Linux is a variant of the GNU operating system, in which Linux is used as one component.
According to Human Rights Watch, the state government of Gujarat, India actively encouraged the 2002 massacres of Muslims in that state.
Bush is stacking the government's science advisory committees with people that will support his political agenda or help business.
Natural forces of freezing and thawing move stones into complex and patterns of many kinds. Some people had assumed these must have been made deliberately by conscious beings.
If you think that "I don't see how it could have happened naturally" is sufficient basis to conclude that "It must not be natural", your own occasional ignorance (we are all ignorant of some things) will systematically lead you to posit supernatural causes for natural events. Recognizing this, you should reject that inference. It's usually more plausible that we are ignorant of some natural phenomenon than that anything supernatural exists.
A campaign for freedom of the press opposes a ruling in part of Germany that requires all ISPs to block access to certain "hate speech" web sites.
Admiration, and some critical suggestions, for the anti-globalization movement.
Two anarchist prisoners in the US are being punished harshly just for receiving moral support mail from anarchists.
Bulgarian workers brought into Israel are treated almost like slaves. "They kick the workers in the head until they bleed".
Municipally owned cable systems are serving the public much better than privately owned cable.
It is no surprise that public ownership is better, since it is rare that customers for privately owned cable systems have any competition to choose from.
The UN weapons inspectors reported that Iraq is not fully cooperating with them (although it has let them look wherever they wish to look).
The report gives some credibility to the claim that Iraq is hiding biological and chemical weapons, but does not prove it. The US government now says it will release its secret evidence to prove this. However, Bush and Blair have told us several times that they were about to show real proof--and after a long drumroll, they showed us inconclusive information that we already knew.
The US is considering a war strategy that ought to terrify every American.
Children in India's silk factories work, in effect, as slaves.
There are signs that the US plans to attack Iraq in just a week.
You don't have to commit, aid, or even intend any sort of harm to others in order to be guilty of "terrorism" in the UK. Mere suspicion legally counts as guilt.
Section 57 of the UK Terrorism Act says, "A person commits an offence if he possesses an article in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation, or instigation of an act of terrorism."
The act proceeds to say that if you can "prove" that the article was "not for a purposes connected...with terrorism", that is considered a defense. But how would you prove the absence of a certain purpose in your mind? That is impossible; even if you didn't entertain a particular purpose, you conceivably might have done so. Trying to use this defense would be sheerest Kafka.
Of course, if you are convicted of the crime of having been suspected, the government spokespeople (and much of the press) will talk about you asserting that you really were planning an act of violence. This subsequent explicit lie will serve to justify the implicit lie embodied in the law itself.
What this shows is that a system of laws can be a fancy dressing for arbitrary rule. UK citizens should stop being distracted by the occasional terrorist and direct their attention to putting a check on the lawlessness of government.
An organization of US veterans asks US soldiers not to fight in Iraq.
The US is starting to wake from the trance that Bush put on it after 9/11.
The Independent reports that Bush has decided to call the whole process of weapons inspections in Iraq a failure -- perhaps because the inspectors have not found the weapons that the US wants us to believe are there.
It is clear that either the inspectors are unable to verify the facts, or the US is lying. In principle, either one could be true. But if the US has really told them where to find the weapons, how could they fail?
Bush says that any Iraqi officers that ordered the use of "weapons of mass destruction" against US troops would be tried as war criminals. The US always said it was ready to use weapons of mass destruction against the Soviet army if it invaded Europe. This looks like a double standard to me.
What militant Islam looks like to someone who saw it from the inside.
Israeli soldiers destroyed the market next to the Palestinian town of Nazlat Issa, saying the market was built without building permits. (It is essentially impossible for Palestinians to get building permits from Israel.)
The villagers built the new market because Israelis set up a checkpoint that prevents people from going to the old market inside the village.
Tony Blair, while insisting that the UK (and presumably the US) will attack Iraq with or without UN support, admits that there is no link between Iraq and Al Qa'ida.
In effect, this admits that Bush was lying all the time when he claimed they were connected.
The son of a former head of state asks for your help, and your money, to secure control of oil assets that are under the control of a hostile regime. Sound familiar?
Opposition MPs are being tortured in Zimbabwe.
Neoclassical economics teaches that people are completely selfish and models the "rational" consequences of such selfishness--usually assuming additionally that people make decisions based on full knowledge of their options. Both assumptions are absurd.
Heterodox economists who question these assumptions are under attack at many universities.
The absurdity of neoclassical economics is widely taught as truth; why is that? I think because it is convenient for companies and their owners, that are acting selfishly and seek to avoid criticism for it, and for governments that suck up to them, such as by cutting taxes for the rich while cutting and privatizing services for the poor.
Note also how department chair Jensen speaks of "industry standards" for economics departments, in effect referring to universities as an "industry". It's no surprise that many of university administrators see things that way, but any university that considers its activities primarily in that light has lost sight of its proper mission and ought to lose its tax exemption next.
The United States of America Has Gone Mad, by John le Carre
What does the US establishment hope to gain from the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americans), also known as ALCA?
Two Chinese labor leaders were convicted of "subverting state power" for leading workers to demand back wages owed to them.
This is what the US government closes its eyes to by encouraging trade with China.
Representative Kucinich gave a memorable speech when he was sworn in for his current term in Congress.
Yoni Ben-Artzi, a consciencious objector in Israel, is being imprisoned indefinetely without trial, and needs people's support.
An amateur photographer in Denver was arrested for taking photos of the hotel where Vice President Cheney was staying. When he tried to use his one phone call to talk to the press, he was cut off.
The police said he would not get his camera back, and did not even give him a receipt for it. They say they are holding it as "evidence". This is a transparent excuse to punish him with confiscation of his property. It indicates the cavalier attitude that the police adopt towards the law: it is an excuse for power, not a limitation on what they can do.
We see that Cheney (and Bush) hurt Americans not only through their decisions, but also by randomly crushing people as they move through our neighborhoods.
Berlusconi, il ducino, is threatening the magistrates who have prosecuted corruption in Italy.
There are many accusations that Berlusconi is corrupt and that he cooperates with the Mafia. (His party has all the parliamentary seats in Sicily.)
The conflict between the Bolivian government and coca growers is heating up. US government pressure is the reason why the Bolivian government is so intransigent on this issue.
Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians seriously tried to carry out the Oslo peace process.
When people go to the UK seeking political asylum, the system often treats them so badly that they must become prostitutes, and may be homeless. But now that one asylum seeker was connected with terrorism, there is pressure to make the system even more cruel, for all of them.
In the 1960s, the last time Brazil had a leftist president, the CIA engineered a coup. A murderous military government took over the country. A group of Brazilians including Fernando Gabeira kidnaped the US ambassador in order to get other dissidents released from prison.
Today Brazil is a democracy again, and Fernando Gabeira is a member of the Brazilian congress. But he was not allowed into the US to attend the 1998 opening of a film of his book about those events. The US still considers him a terrorist. Will the CIA terrorists who overthrew democracy in Brazil ever be punished?
Gabeira is still in the Brazilian congress as of January 2003.
1300 men have been arrested in the UK for downloading "child pornography" on the Internet. "Child pornography" was once the excuse of choice for increased surveillance and censorship of the Internet, before terrorism came conveniently to hand.
The arrested men are described as "suspected paedophiles", a cleverly ambiguous term. Just what are they suspected of? Is it that they do or did something with real children? If so, the downloaded pictures are not evidence of it. Or is it only that they might feel an attraction to children? If so, then they stand accused of nothing but a mental inclination: thoughtcrime. The term conceals either one injustice or another, and thus obscures them both.
When pressed, the authorities will say these men are to be punished for possession of forbidden pictures, not for anything else. But if that were sincere, why make ambiguous accusations of something else? The prohibition of these pictures is really an excuse to lock people up who are condemned for their thoughts.
There are more serious crimes than sex with children--murder, for example. Perhaps people who have thought about murder should be imprisoned too. With the help of the USA PAT-RIOT Act, the police could examine bookstore records and arrest everyone who has bought a mystery novel, on the grounds that he or she might have an inclination to murder someone someday.
I'm glad I always pay cash for books.
The India-Pakistan arms race perpetuates poverty.
Vietnamese who posted criticism of the government on the Internet have been sentenced to long prison terms.
The harsh attitude towards men who are attracted to children, manifested in the systematic attempts to arrest people for merely looking at pictures, could be perversely making it more likely they will try to have sex with children.
It won't be the first time that a harsh government approach to a social problem backfires and makes the problem worse.
Polar bears are headed for extinction in about a century, because of global warming. Although few of us will live to see it happen (barring great advances in medicine), preventing the extinction will have to be done now.
Law professor Francis Boyle argues that Bush should be impeached, that his plan to go to war against Iraq merely because it might develop weapons violates the principles established at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.
Thousands of people are stating their opposition to Blair's proposal for a national ID card in the UK.
In a UK-sponsored conference on planning for a Palestinian state, the Palestinian delegates are participating by video conference, since Israel would not let them travel.
It occurs to me that part of the reason why this conference is occurring is that Blair hopes it will divert Arab hostility in the case of war with Iraq.
Blair says the US and UK may attack Iraq without UN support. As he and Bush have done several times before, he says that there will be evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, but does not show us any.
Football, American style, amazingly could provide a paradigm for fairness among Americans for whom caring about fairness seems absurd.
The US empire and the British empire: are they to be admired?
Dubya insists that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, and dismisses the contrary reports of UN weapons inspectors as insignificant. Meanwhile, the US has been slow to help the inspectors find the supposed weapons.
Beer companies buy the support of the Congressional Black Caucus.
(Lots of other companies buy the support of other parts of congress.)
Anti-war train operators in the UK have refused to drive trains carrying arms to be sent to Iraq.
The prejudice against prostitutes allows people to murder them with impunity, as long as it's done one by one.
This article was written in the UK, but the attitude is basically the same in the US.
As the US prattles about Iraq's possible "weapons of mass destruction, mass murder is happening in the Congo. Thousands of machetes are sufficient weapons of mass destruction there.
I don't know enough about the situation to try to suggest how the slaughter could be stopped, but I am pretty sure the US could do it if it were willing to spend 1/10 what it plans to spend in Iraq.
A US government agency has a list of around 1000 americans who are not allowed to fly. Supposedly they are on the list because they are potential terrorists, but the list includes political dissidents who believe in complete nonviolence as a matter of conscience.
They don't give you a trial before putting you on the list, they won't necessarily confirm that you are on the list, and there is nothing you can do to get off the list. It's pure Kafka--or should I say, pure Dubya.
One of the people who was blocked from flying is a Green party leader. He was shown a government document labeling the Green party as a terrorist threat. I have supported several Green Party candidates recently. I wonder if they will put me on the list.
The Israeli army is steadily destroying certain areas of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. They attack in a regular pattern, so the people who live in the next homes to be destroyed flee in advance. As a result, they are not generally being killed. That doesn't make it acceptable to deliberately destroy whole neighborhoods.
(You have to read a fair ways through the page to come to this material.)
Global warming is causing species to move their territories northward at three miles a year.
But not all species can move--they can run into mountains, rivers, valleys, deserts, oceans, and various other changes in terrain that they can't cope with. The result: extinction for some species, which can have repercussions for others.
There are tree species whose fruit evolved to be eaten by animals now extinct for thousands of years. For some, the result is that the trees cannot spread from the areas they now live in. For some, there are no new seedlings, only a decreasing number of old trees.
The 10 worst corporations of 2002 (only two of them are on the list for financial deceit).
Angie Zeltzer photographed an Israeli settler attacking a Palestinian, and then was attacked in turn. The settler is now on trial, and Zeltzer is there to testify--but the government is trying to stop her testimony by deporting her.
It appears that no principle of justice or democracy is safe in Israel under the current government.
More recent reports say that the settler was given a plea bargain and the Israeli Supreme Court approved Zeltzer's deportation as a "security threat". What kind of government declares someone a "security threat" for trying to document a crime?
Is it legitimate for police to pick through your trash without a warrant? A team of journalists gave the officials who advocate this a taste of their own medicine.
In the era of the USA P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act, whether police can paw through your trash may seem trivial, but I think that fighting for any aspect of the rights of citizens will strengthen our resolve to defend all our rights from those who are trying too officiously to protect us. I think that people in general should be free to pick through the trash looking for useful things to use. But it could make sense to have more restrictive rules for the police.
If You're Happy And You Know It, Bomb Iraq.
I won't draw any specific conclusion from this article about how North Korea sees its situation vis-a-vis the US.
Activists of OCAP are going on trial for being among the victims of a police riot that attacked their protest rally.
When Ashcroft was a senator, he criticized the Clinton administration's plans to increase surveillance. The criticism was justified--but that same Ashcroft is now presiding over a much greater assault on our freedom.
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Copyright (C) 2002 Richard Stallman
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