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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
The WTO ruled against banning GMOs, but did so in a weaker way than expected.
The WTO's mission is to transfer power from states (which may be democratic) to business (which never tries to be). But sometimes even the WTO is partially held in check by strong public opposition, as is found in Europe.
Europe's policies regarding waste and hazardous chemicals are encouraging the chemical industry to shift towards less waste and less hazardous chemicals. The US should adopt similar policies.
Brazil has made a very profitable investment in using ethanol in cars, which has created a million jobs while reducing global warming.
The US could do it too, if its leaders were statesmen. Such an investment, accompanied by or incentivized by higher taxes on fossil fules, would help keep New York City from being flooded in a few decades much as New Orleans has been.
On May 18, join Cindy Sheehan for a protest at the White House and Rumsfeld's house.
One Guantanamo prisoner has tried 12 times to commit suicide.
Bush claims the authority to disregard laws--in effect, thumbing his nose at Congress and the Supreme Court.
Nepal is moving to redraw its constitution to reduce the power of the king.
Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia have signed a trade agreement directed at opposing US influence.
Rich Chinese are wiping out wildlife for conspicuous consumption, fueled also by Chinese traditional medicine, which is often pure superstition.
Don't forget the sharks. Shark's fin has little flavor, but it is fashionable to serve shark's fin soup at Chinese banquets as an act of conspicuous consumption. As a result, sharks are being caught for their fins alone (the rest thrown back into the sea), and they are being wiped out.
China's premier admits that China is destroying its environment for economic growth.
An Iraqi refugee who became an Australian citizen, then returned to Iraq after the Australian government said it was "safe" there, was beaten up by Bush forces troops--who didn't even give him time to say who he was.
The soldier's claims that they mistook him for a supporter of Saddam Hussein is no excuse; even real supporters of Saddam Hussein should not be tortured.
18 very wealthy US families have funded a dishonest campaign for 10 years to repeal the estate tax, so that they can save billions.
Human Rights Watch says that 600 Bush regime employees are implicated in acts of torture, but only 300 have been investigated, and only 40 punished with prison sentences--mostly short.
But there is on positive step: a lieutenant colonel faces criminal charges for torture in Abu Ghraib.
This is good, but they should offer him a plea bargain if he testifies against the higher-ups that must have given the orders.
China is starting to recognize the need for environmental protection, planning a new "green city" near Shanghai.
However, they will have to work on greenhouse gas emissions if they don't want this city to go under water in a few decades.
Poor countries rejected a plan for UN reforms, saying that it was really a power grab by the rich countries to control UN spending.
The UN's problems are real, and more control over spending is needed. However, hijacking such reforms in order to get themselves more power is exactly the sort of things that the US and EU would do.
Perhaps what is needed now is for the poor countries to draw up their own plan--to implement better financial controls over the UN's money while still allowing the General Assembly to decide its budget.
When the record companies ask for nasty laws to restrict the public, they say this is on behalf of the musicians. At the same time, they screw the musicians, over and over. Now some musicians are suing.
Since the record companies like to refer to themselves as the "music industry", I call them "music factories". These factories press money into hype and call it music. Duplicity and arrogance are standard for them.
We don't need music made in factories. Let's shut them down!
Bush was warned there were no WMD, says former CIA man. Bush didn't care, because the WMD claims were only an excuse anyway.
The Burmese military rulers have started a campaign of destroying villages, forcing thousands to flee.
(This is small compared with what Bush has done in Iraq, or New Orleans, but Burma isn't as big as the US either.)
AOL says it was an accident, and maybe it was. But whether accidental or not, it shows that ISPs should not be given any more power to decide what mail or web pages to deliver, or to deliver more reliably, or faster, or whatever.
Robert Fisk: the academics who exposed the Israel lobby tactics are now meeting false accusations of "anti-semitism".
As for the claim that non-Jews do the same kind of lobbying, I say that the kind of lobbying they reported on is wrong no matter who does it. No foreign country, and no business, should ever have that much influence on the policies of a democratic state--and when they do, it means that democracy is in danger.
Texaco poisoned part of Ecuador with its oil operations, callously disregarding public health to reduce its costs.
Bush, responding to foolish Americans who are angry about the price of gasoline, is trying to lower the price. I'm pleased to see that Democrats are focusing on the long view--fuel economy, etc.
Japan's parliament is planning to pass a law requiring teachers to teach "patriotism". This further undermines one of the great achievements made at the end of World War II.
Bush has taken another leaf from Stalin's book, by systematically trying to distort science to fit his goals.
The chief of Al-Jazeera's Cairo bureau has been arrested for "reporting false news" (about an explosion in Egypt).
I have no information about whether the report was really false.
Furthering his War on the Constitution, Bush is implementing a budget bill that was not properly passed by Congress.
This case of misplaced loyalties resembles what you might find in a street gang. The problem is how to overcome it.
(Note that the Tivo is a bad choice to cite as a positive example. It implements DRM and spies on the user.)
The IRS investigates churches that criticize Bush policy, but does nothing to churches that support Republican candidates.
This must be part of Bush's War on Integrity.
Iran's president formerly denied the holocaust. Now he recognizes it, and blames Europe for causing it and the creation of Israel. Well, it's a step forward.
Senator Feinstein, a persistent enemy of freedom on many fronts, has proposed a law to require DRM on all webcasting.
New York Mayor Bloomberg announced new plans for surprise searches in New York High Schools; students have already protested the existing search policy, which goes beyond searching for weapons.
Bloomberg's attitude towards searching people is that we "all have to get used" to having no rights.
They could be worse--they could label these leaders "enemy combatants", as Bush has done, and imprison them for years without any charges or trial.
There is a proposal to replace FEMA with a new agency that would be able to talk directly to the president in an emergency.
This in itself might be a good idea--but keep in mind the reports that FEMA is building camps which could imprison millions of Americans.
Also, don't forget that Bush's sabotage of New Orleans began long before the hurricane hit--when he took away the funds to reinforce the levees, and spent it on aggression in Iraq.
One reason FEMA is ineffective is that Bush has been sabotaging it ever since he captured the White House.
Alexander Milinkevich, leader of the opposition in Belarus, has been imprisoned for protesting vote fraud.
Nepal's king agrees to recall the parliament he dismissed, but many of the people now want to end the monarchy.
In the US, dissent is not formally illegal--but the government has plenty of ways to prosecute anyone who dissents in a way that someone might actually see.
The government of Sudan is increasing its atrocities against non-Muslims in the south, as the UN is tied up and unable to act.
The European Parliament says that the CIA has flown 1000 flights through the EU in recent years--flights suspected of carrying prisoners to be tortured.
All governments should insist on inspecting every CIA flight for prisoners, even if the flight is run by an Air America-style front company.
It is not unusual for police to tell lies about protestors. It is nice to have a video to prove it was a lie. But it is not enough to refute the police lies. Policemen who bring false charges must be charged with perjury.
Blair has imposed a series of laws that attack human rights in the UK, and he's not through yet. Now he accuses the people who defend freedom as "out of touch with modern Britain". Which is to say, their ideas of freedom are out of fashion.
Blair is doing his best to make civil liberties unfashionable.
Wisconsin is considering a bill to prohibit companies from requiring people to get chip implants.
Egyptian police attacked a sit-in strike by judges protesting the prosecution of other judges who want to investigate election fraud.
The World Bank lied about spending money to fight malaria, and falsified results to make the non-program look like a success.
Uri Avnery: on the Israel lobby in the US: Who's the dog? Who's the tail?
Blair is planning further attacks on human rights by imposing many permanent parole-like restrictions on people who have served prison sentences.
Once in a while, a convicted murderer who has been released from prison and isn't a mobster commits another murder--but it is rare. The magnitude of this danger to citizens is so tiny that it cannot justify any harm to people's rights. The harmful effect of decreased liberty due to this plan must outweigh any good it does, simply because the scope to do good is so small.
The US Congress is drafting a bill that can endanger the neutrality of the Internet, letting ISPs large and small decide what sites can come in quickly and which ones to slow down.
The Bush regime is eliminating an internal check previously required before launching commando/terror raids against other countries--they will not ask the US ambassador first.
With this change, it will be easier for Bush to attack anyone he wants to attack. It will also be easier to make disastrous mistakes, as Bush cuts out people with local knowledge who might warn him first.
It is feasible to convert electric generation entirely to renewable energy sources in just a few decades. Building new nuclear power plants is unnecessary.
Note that if new nuclear plants were planned now, they would not be operating until 2020 or so.
Illegal logging threatens forests in many countries, but activists have been able to stop it in some places.
Slavery is formally illegal nowadays, but in fact it is a massive problem.
Iran offered negotiations in 2003 about its nuclear program, but Cheney et al. rejected them.
Karl Rove's replacement, Joel Kaplan, orchestrated a phony protest of phony citizens of Florida, as part of preventing a recount in Florida in 2000.
The lone woman who shouted criticism of Hu Jintao was not in a position to intimidate him, but she faces charges of "threatening" him. This "riot" was designed to intimidate officials, and did so. Yet the perpetrators have not been charged with a crime.
The Bush regime has released the names of 558 Guantanao prisoners. Other sources say the list is not complete.
The statement that they will release 100 of these prisoners is interesting. Though meant to sound magnanimous, it is hardly adequate: every prisoner deserves to be given a fair trial or else released.
Moreover experience with the Bush regime suggests a possible deception in that claim. I wonder how long these 100 prisoners are likely to have to wait for their "home countries" to be "ready to receive them". I wonder if the Bush regime knows this will never occur. Did it designate them for possible release precisely because it knows this will never occur? Did the Bush regime explicitly ask those countries to promise they will not be "ready", so that the Bush regime can falsely look better?
I lack the necessary resources and skill to investigate the answers. I can only pose the questions.
Blair is so servile towards Bush that he talks of supporting an attack against Iran, even though many in his own cabinet and party are against it.
A protestor in the US faces 6 months in prison for verbally criticizing Hu Jintao for China's repressive policies.
She is facing the false accusation of "threatening" Mr Hu; the Bush regime equates denunciation with threats. In China all criticism of the government is illegal. Perhaps Bush is consulting with Mr Hu about how to achieve the same result in the US.
The Bush regime isn't the slightest bit ashamed of violating treaties by keeping prisoners secretly. But the person who told the public about this faces prosecution.
Vietnam, which fought for years to escape from the explicit colonial rule of France, and the implicit colonial rule of the US, now begs for the colonial rule of Microsoft.
Although Congress killed the funding for development of nuclear weapons for attacking bunkers, Bush plans to develop it anyway.
Various lines of evidence suggest official collusion in the London subway bombings.
These arguments are not conclusive. For instance, eyewitnesses often get things wrong. And I don't see that the shooting of Menezes, bad as it was, proves anything about the bombings themselves.
But this is plenty of reason to have a thorough public investigation. Bliar's refusal to have one adds to the reasons to suspect him of wrongdoing associated with the events.
Skype censors text messages in China--and defends the practice saying it's "just obeying the law".
Skype software is non-free; in general, it takes away the other freedoms you should have as a user of software.
A review of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change.
Bonfire of the hypocrisies: Muslims around the world don't riot as Saudis systematically burn and destroy their history.
Colombia's President Uribe is getting in trouble for his support of death squads. His response is to condemn journalists that probe into his crimes.
A newly appointed Palestinian Authority minister leads a group that has tried to attack Israeli civilians. Israel says it will continue trying to kill him, even though he is a minister.
What about ministers in Israel that have organized and tolerated attacks that predictably will kill Palestinian civilians?
Congressman Kucinich demanded Bush explain his support for terrorist groups in Iran.
The European car manufacturers made a commitment to increase fuel efficiency, but they have not met it, because they are making larger cars instead.
When confronted with the failure, they say "We're doing the best we can, given our other priorities." (If they gave their commitment to fuel efficiency insufficient priority, that's their fault.) When people suggest a legal requirement for higher efficiency, they respond, "Self-regulation works better." But as we see it is not working. What they want is regulation they can ignore.
They must think they are talking to idiots who can't keep the whole issue in mind--or else, to sell-out politicians who only want an excuse to obey.
These run-arounds are typical of the contempt business shows to the public, and this is why self-regulation is a foolish policy for an issue important for public safety. We will know that democracy is strong when we officials respond derisively to the suggestion of replacing crucial regulations with self-regulation.
Bush has received the Jefferson Muzzle award for opposition to freedom of speech.
A suicide bombing, not carried out by Hamas, was seized on by Israel as an excuse to condemn Hamas while escalating its own campaign of violence.
Can anyone find me the figures of how many Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in the past 6 months or year, and how many Israelis by Palestinians?
The Smithsonian Institution has sold all film rights to use of its collections, en masse, to Showtime. The Smithsonian spokesman defends this policy by calling it "a signed contract" that must therefore be obeyed--evading the issue of whether it was proper, or even legal, to sign it at all.
The protests for democracy in Nepal continue even though police have shot and killed protestors again.
I think there is a good chance of establishing democracy in Nepal. Reestablishing democracy in the US seems more difficult.
Berlusconi refuses to recognize his election defeat, and the outgoing president of Italy has decided to delay the formation of the new government for his successor.
I think the motive for Berlusconi's delaying tactics has to do with the law Berlusconi adopted to protect himself from prosecution for corruption. His law shortened the period of time during which the prosecution and all appeals must be carried out. The deadline in his case comes later this year. I think he is trying to deny the opposition time to pass a new law to reverse his law.
Human Rights Watch says it has evidence tying Rumsfeld directly to torture in Guantanamo, and calls for a special prosecutor to investigate him.
The retired generals criticizing Rumsfeld reflect the views of many generals on active duty, who are afraid his policies are crushing the morale of the US Army.
Although Rumsfeld has been in charge of details, the broad outline of what he has done (torture in Guantanamo, invasion in Iraq) is what Bush told him to do. Indicting him will be a step towards justice, but replacing him alone won't solve the problem.
Destroying the morale of the US Army is a good thing, as long as the US government remains evil. Bush may be replaced by a Democrat, but that Democrat will probably continue to support low-wage treaties that transfer power from democracy to global business--such as NAFTA, CAFTA and the WTO. And the US Army will serve to threaten and potentially overthrow democratic governments that resist lesser pressures to betray their citizens to globalization. I despair of ever seeing a US government that can be trusted with its military power.
Refugees seeking asylum in the UK are regularly imprisoned for years. Many of them are now on hunger strike because they are desperate. But I think that Blair's sadism will not care if they die.
A hunger strike convinced India's Supreme Court to insist that poor people whose lands are to be flooded by a dam get real compensation.
East Timorese endured torture and massacre by Indonesian forces until they won independence. Now their own police have copied that behavior.
Greenpeace says that the casualties from Chernobyl have been greatly underestimated, and predicts 250,000 cases of cancer, and around 200,000 total deaths.
US nuclear plants, and the government agency that is supposed to regulate them, have systematically underestimated the danger and probability of nuclear accidents.
Blair is planning to drop the practice of compensating victims of miscarriage of justice.
This is a reflection of his general position that his government should not be held responsible for its mistakes.
The number of refugees around the world is decreasing, due to fewer wars. But the countries that refugees can flee to are treating them worse and worse, so as to drive them away.
Al Gore is campaigning again--to halt global warming. And he has made a movie about it.
I am not sure I could support Al Gore for a public office. He is clearly better than Bush, but he supported the subordiation of democracy to global business, which was done by the Clinton/Gore administration.
There is a report that the Bush regime is supporting an Iranian exile group, which is officially labeled as "terrorist", to carry out acts of terror in Iran.
A retired US officer confirms this story.
Comparing Bush with Nixon: two cases for impeachment.
The Lancet calls for more research on psychedelic drugs, saying that the demonization of these drugs has shut off an important area of medical research.
Bush is keeping two innocent men prisoner in Guantanamo because they "might face persecution" if they were returned to China. Guantanamo isn't persecution?
Greg Palast: Why Rumsfeld Should Not Resign.
One of Macchiavelli's suggestions for how princes should deal with conquered countries is to appoint a governor who would be nasty, and crush all resistance; then sack him and cast oneself as the friend of the people.
Important Afghan governors and officials are linked with drug smuggling and/or the Taliban.
The planned Iranian oil trading market is not ready to open, and probably won't trade only in euros when it does open.
So maybe this isn't a path to ending global US hegemony.
Israel has destroyed the crops of the Bedouin of the Negev. Israel refuses to recognize their rights to their ancestral lands, so it calls all their farming "illegal".
A merger of two offices in the "Defense" Department could have the effect of providing a police force that could be used secretly to investigate protestors.
Prohibition of cocaine makes cocaine so profitable that it finances civil war in Colombia, even as it destroys the rainforests there.
Israel is firing artillery close to homes in Gaza, in effect holding the civilian population hostage for occasional firing of qassam rockets at Israel. (Qassam rockets are capable of killing people, but very rarely hit anything.)
Gay men in Iraq are being systematically murdered by Shi'ite fanatics.
The UK High Court ruled that the "control orders" for house-arrest without trial are unfair and violate the Human Rights Act. However, Bliar remains determined to destroy human rights no matter what it takes.
A British computer cracker is fighting extradition to the US on the grounds that the US cannot be trusted to give him a trial. The US has refused to make a promise, and expects to be trusted, like a deadbeat that expects credit to be granted without question.
Police are fond of calling animal rights activists "terrorists" when they threaten property. But when hunters threaten the lives of reporters who want to film the treatment of animals, what's that?
In a rare positive step for human rights, Burundi has abolished a general nighttime curfew.
South Park was censored from showing a picture of Mohammed, showing the weakness of freedom of expression in the US.
6 retired generals now call for replacement of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. They say that the war was "mismanaged", disregarding the question of whether it was justified at all.
Bush as usual, simply ignores the opposition.
Iran is becoming increasingly isolated, and increasingly stubborn, in the stand-off over its apparent plan to develop nuclear weapons.
I do not trust Iran's statements about "peaceful uses only", any more than I would trust Bush. At the same time, I can't see how a nuclear-armed Iran is any worse than a nuclear-armed US. Both are ruled by religious fanatics that spit on human rights. The US won't even promise not to use its own nuclear weapons to launch a war.
It appears that fetuses cannot feel pain, especially not before 6 months. And antiabortionists agree, when pressed, that the question of whether a fetus can feel pain is rationally irrelevant to the ethics of abortion. So why do they push for laws that concern this irrelevant possibility?
The reason is, they simply want to associate abortion, (whether rationally or irrationally, they don't care), with something people won't like.
Remember the "mobile biolab trailers" found in Iraq? Even as Bush talked about how they were Saddam's fabled bioweapons program, the Pentagon knew it was not true.
Canada's new government wants to scrap the Kyoto agreement because Canada has not come close to meeting the targets. That, of course, is because Canada has not tried very hard. Actually trying to reduce greenhouse gas emission might be uncomfortable.
The talk about "long term measures" is probably an excuse never to actually begin doing anything. They'll wait for Vancouver to be drowned.
Biodiversity "hot spots" are now threatened with mass extinctions, because species hurt by climate change will have nowhere to move to.
Some 15000 people now suffer medical problems traced to the fumes from the burning World Trade Center, and they are suing the government for lying to them and saying it was safe to breath.
Teachers in the UK took a stand against privatization of the educational system.
Many activities are best done by the state, and privatizing them is typically an excuse for a few to enrich themselves to the detriment of the public.
The European Union suspended aid to the Palestinian Authority, demanding that its elected HAMAS government abjure violence and recognize Israel.
This sounds legitimate when considered in isolation--but it is not legitimate to make these demands of the Palestinian Authority and fail to hold Israel to the same standard.
Dr Kendall-Smith was sentenced to prison, by a judge who was obviously hostile; but he refuses to apologize. (He does plan to appeal the decision.)
The prosecutor's claim that soldiers cannot "pick and choose" orders to obey is flat-out wrong: military law says that soldiers are required to identify illegal orders, and reject them. But this judge refused to consider the question of the illegality of Bush's war.
The Iraqi puppet government was established by the Bush forces. Just like the Russian puppet governments that once ruled in Eastern Europe, this one is not really given a choice about whether to "ask" for their "help" from the Bush forces.
New Orleans rebuilding rules require many buildings to be raised by amounts up to three feet. That is a small step in the right direction, but totally inadequate; sea level is projected to rise by up to 20 feet in this century.
200 lawyers protested for democracy in Nepal. 3 of them were shot.
A new "anti-terrorist" laws in the UK makes it a crime to say things that "glorify terrorism", a term that could include any support for violent "regime change" anywhere in the world.
If this law were applied fairly, Bush and Blair would be arrested. We can be sure it will not be applied fairly.
In Slovenia, a human rights monitor faces charges with a prison sentence for "slandering" the country--by reporting video of shootings by the police.
Berlusconi's opponents won the election, just barely. Will they be able to undo the law he designed to enable him to evade prosecution for corruption? And break up his media monopoly?
A jury in the UK ruled that Tom Hurndall "was shot intentionally with the intention of killing him" by the Israeli army.
In El Salvador, women have been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for having abortions, and doctors are legally required to save fetuses even at the expense of the mothers' lives.
The French government bowed to massive protests and agreed to withdraw the law that weakened young workers' rights.
Did the Federal Reserve know about the London bombings before they occurred? There are other suspicious points in the official story.
Berlusconi's regime committed one last blow for torture, by blocking the Italian prosecutors' request to extradite and prosecute the CIA kidnapers who sent Mr Hassan to Egypt to be tortured.
British courts are in disagreement about deportation to Zimbabwe, whose dictator forced tens of thousands of people out of the capital by razing their housing.
Does anyone know why these people "can only be identified as AA and LK"? Is the UK government protecting their privacy, or is it gagging them?
The Taliban have taken over part of Pakistan, which is effectively in rebellion.
There are large protests in Nepal, demanding democracy, and the police shot and killed some protestors.
Bush and Cheney committed several felonies when they withheld material information from the Plamegate grand jury.
On the day of the London subway bombings, a company was running an response exercise that involved fictitious bombings at the same place.
Since this would be an incredible coincidence, if it were just a coincidence, it strongly suggests that the UK government had a part in organizing the actual bombings.
Iraq's developing civil war has made it the most dangerous place in the world.
AT&T secretly gave the NSA total access to all its customers' phone calls and internet traffic.
A new peace group made up of former Israeli and Palestinian fighters has to brave the prohibitions of the Israeli government merely in order to meet.
Megacorporations are pushing for strong action against global warming in Australia, too.
It is good news that these private entities that enjoy unjust power, to the detriment of democracy, are starting to support the measures necessary to prevent global catastrophe. We should not take that as granting any legitimacy to their power. (Meanwhile, it is opposition from other megacorporations that has prevented action from being taken until now, and still prevents it in the US.)
The US military is preparing to put many kinds of weapons in space. Meanwhile, it collaborates with NASA to spy on civilian peace groups.
Il Ducino is on the defensive against opposition galvanized by a new campaign against the Mafia.
The US witch hunt against progressive teachers is proceeding on many fronts in parallel.
The EU put a travel ban on 31 officials of Belarus, including the president, after he stole an election and persecuted protestors.
Why don't they do this to Bush and his ministers?
Another plan to impose software patents on Europe: by instituting a new special court with hand-picked judges for all patent issues.
Proved: that Bush knowingly lied about Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons plans. And then there was a carefully orchestrated coverup and scapegoat campaign so he would not be caught.
A panel of scientists ridiculed Blair's plans to build new nuclear power plants, pointing out that it is wind power or solar power are much more practical, as well as avoiding many grave problems.
Surely Blair's advisors know that; they must have some ulterior motive to build new nuclear plants. Some corrupt deal with business, I would suppose.
Many large US companies asked Congress to put limits on CO2 emission. They are starting to recognize that we are staring disaster in the face.
Through 1990, increasing air pollution canceled out global warming. But now the air pollution is being reduced, and the result is to increase global warming.
Could we cancel out global warming by causing a mini-nuclear-winter? Maybe it could be done without nuclear explosions. Is it feasible to blast tons of dirt up where it will block enough sun to cancel out the CO2?
Massachusetts adopted a law requiring every resident to carry health insurance.
I support universal heath care, but this way of doing it is wasteful, (since it doesn't cut insurance company profits out of the loop) and probably injurious to people's privacy, given the weak laws that the US has to protect the privacy of medical records.
The Bush-run Iraqi government is cutting the food budget by 25%. Many Iraqis are poor and depend on government food rations, but the Iraqi government is required to hand its money to Bush.
Bush directly approved the plot to discredit Ambassador Wilson by blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame.
Thus, Bush has become the Leaker in Chief.
Aid to Africa: comparing action with talk.
Exposing Valerie Plame was discussed by officials in a meeting "in Cheney's office". (Does this imply that Cheney was present?)
Soldiers injured in basic training are kept in basic training--even for years, as they get incompetent surgery. They are treated like prisoners and worse, even being forced to stand at attention on crutches. Some go crazy, and some die from this.
Three professors who were seized in Africa and handed over to the Bush regime give a glimpse into Bush's secret prisons and their cruelty.
Here's the full Amnesty International report.
The film Sir, No Sir describes the resistance within the US Army that helped end the Vietnam War. I wish I could see it.
A UK inquest concluded that a British journalist was murdered when he was gratuitously shot by an Israeli soldier. His family calls it a "war crime". Israel decided not to prosecute the soldier.
Blair wants to "update" the Geneva Convention to permit pre-emptive war--now that the US (with its faithful sidekick, the UK) is the only country powerful enough to do that.
Thai prime minister Thaksin has resigned. His snap election, designed to give the opposition no chance to campaign, didn't wash.
Two British grannies face charges of terrorism for crossing the boundary of a military base.
A campaigner faces jail for anti-war tea party outside Parliament.
This is part of Bliar's war on dissent.
Robert Dreyfuss: Lebanon as a model for understanding Iraq today.
The US and some European countries are inflating their foreign aid figures by counting debt forgiveness to the puppet government of Iraq--which is really a handout to Bush.
An unknown parrot and an unknown mouse, found on Camiguin Island in the Philippines, are likely to be extinct when humans finish deforesting the island.
What do Nelson Mandela, Moses and George Washington all have in common?
A British court rejected an opportunistic attempt to extend copyright powers, in which the authors of nonfiction book sued claiming that the Da Vinci Code infringed their copyright by using historical ideas presented in their book. Copyright is not supposed to cover ideas, such as theories of history.
In the area around Chernobyl, now uninhabited, wildlife has made a comeback.
Wild animals rarely live long enough to get cancer from the radiation. But I wonder what happens to trees after 100 years of radiation.
Scientists have grown bladders from humans' own cells for transplantation into them.
If this can be extended to other organs, the Chinese executioners will lose their markets.
Poor women in India are bought and sold as sex slaves, due to the comparative shortage of women that results from selective abortion.
This is the flip side of the custom of demanding doweries from brides--both being reflections of a general attitude that treats women more or less as property. The sex ratio that results from selective abortion is just a scapegoat.
The term "feticide" plays into the hands of antiabortionists, and its use in any circumstances is a threat to women's rights.
Charles Taylor, who sent Liberia and Sierra Leone into civil war, is now on trial for war crimes.
The war in Sierra Leone killed some 50,000 civilians. The War in Iraq has probably killed three of four times that, by now, and it was started based on lies through and through. Bush should be the next to stand trial.
Argentina's president says that Argentina's invasion of the Falkland islands was a cowardly act of dictators.
I hope to hear a US president someday say the same thing about Iraq.
Diplomats witnessed the Israeli Army attack peaceful protestors in Bil'in, after viewing the olive trees and the wall that cuts them off from their trees.
Many Americans would see a scandal in the DHS spokesman who has been arrested for proposing sex to a 14-year-old girl through the Internet.
I too see a scandal, but not the same one. I think the scandal is that this man is going to face a prison sentence when he has not done wrong to anyone.
Sometimes adults are in a position of power over teenagers (or even children) and use that power to pressure them into sex. That is wrong because it is coercion. Sometimes they manipulate or trick inexperienced people into sex they didn't want. That's not right because it is not honest.
But this man seems to have done none of those things. He was chatting with a stranger, clearly not dependent on him in any way. The report gives no reason to think he was pressuring or tricking her. For all we can tell, he was making an honest request. Supposing his interlocutor had been a real girl, if she had not wanted to have sex with him, she would have had no trouble saying "no thanks". And supposing she had voluntarily had sex with him, presuming that they used a condom and suitable contraception, it would have done no harm to either of them.
MI5 was directly involved in sending some UK residents to Guantanamo.
Solving this problem does not mean communism or a "command economy". There is no need to abolish inequality, just reduce it.
RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, says: Defense of Abdul Rahman Misses the Mark!
A Just Peace Or No Peace, says the newly elected Hamas.
I don't support all of what Hamas asks for, but I agree with the basic point: the world must demand that Israel stop its violence and give back the land it has seized outside its borders, just as strongly as it demands that Palestinians stop their violence.
Africa is depleting its soil through overuse.
An Islamic charity that Bush spied on, disregarding the law, is suing the US government to make it stop.
Former Majority Leader Tom Delay has called it quits.
However, the harm he did through redistricting in Texas lives on.
Bruce Lehman, the former US patent commissioner, seems to have admitted that the WTO's "TRIPS" agreement was a bad idea.
Officially, TRIPS stands for Trade-Related Intellectual Property somethingorother. But since the term "Intellectual Property" is misleading and should never be used, I prefer to call it "TRIPES", for "Trade-Restricting Impediments to Production, Education and Science".
Niger has forbidden the BBC to report on hunger there.
Meanwhile, Sudan blocked a UN official from visiting Darfur.
Bush forces propaganda fed to the press in Iraq is regularly based on lies, says an insider.
Dr Susan Wood resigned from the FDA in protest, after political interference in its decision about non-prescription sale of emergency contraception.
The need for a prescription is especially dangerous since many pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, leaving women unable to prevent pregnancy.
I read elsewhere that some phramactists have even destroyed these prescriptions.
In Mosul, the "Iraqi police" commit acts of terror on two sides: for Bush, and against Bush.
Businesses are planning to build "green buildings" that don't produce greenhouse gases.
However, 2050 is too late for this to be the solution to global warming.
China's consumption of wood is destroying the ancient forests of Asia.
Jill Carroll, journalist hostage, was freed by her captors after 3 months. She does not know why they captured her, or why they freed her.
Olmert plans to withdraw unilaterally from a few settlements, as an excuse to make most of them a permanent land-grab. He demands that the Palestinians agree to renounced violence and carry out old agreements.
Will Israel agree to end its violence and carry out old agreements?
The UK is considering putting brakes on economic growth, because "No amount of economic growth is going to pay for the cost of the damage caused by a new and unstable climate".
The battle over ID cards in the UK continues, as a compromise delays the requirement until after the next election.
Whether to impose mandatory ID cards will be one of the main issues of that election.
Closing in on proof that Bush knowingly lied about Iraqi weapons plans.
If we can prove he directly lied, will it do any good? It is proved that Bush lied to us all about spying on us, and even the Democrats in Congress show little will to denounce Bush this.
One can envision that this will increase the pressure to develop them, and reduce the already weakened barriers to using them in wars of aggression.
The Bush regime's arguments to the Supreme Court in regard to imprisonment in Guantanamo reveal its total contempt for the concept of human rights--and its willingness to be as dishonest as necessary to crush them.
To save the Amazon rainforest, greater efforts will be needed.
An Indian doctor was sentenced to prison for telling a pregnant woman that the fetus was female.
This misguided law, based on confusedly blaming the practice of selective abortion for the long-standing prejudice against women, will increase population growth and perpetuate poverty.
The Internet approach to recycling all sorts of things.
Iraq Veterans Against The War held a joint protest march with survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Some veterans begged Iraqis to forgive the horrible things they did in Iraq.
The facts cited demonstrate that the practice of killing Iraqis haphazardly, and then lying about it, was widespread in the Bush forces. One former soldier says he got "instructions" to do so. I wonder who gave those instructions.
A Republican candidate used a faked photo to "prove" that Baghdad isn't violent.
Protesters outside the neoliberal "World Water Forum" say that water wars are already deadly for the poor.
Bush's attempts to promote "freedom and democracy" in Iraq has given them a bad name in the Arab world.
If all the apples you've seen are rotten, you might be skeptical that there is such a thing as a good one.
Bush is trying to reject the outcome of the Iraqi elections, which gave Sh'ites and Kurds the power, and this is contributing to increased conflict with the Shi'ites.
Bush's policy of trying not to exclude Sunnis from power could be a just policy, taken in isolation. But the only reason he has got the Shi'ites not to rebel (much) is that they expected to take over power.
In Germany, file sharing has been made a felony. This is what happens when governments take the side of companies against the public.
This article uses the propaganda term "piracy" to refer to sharing; please do not adopt that practice.
The German "music industry" has said cruel things to the public, such as
'If you plan to continue protesting about future audio media releases with copy protection, forget it; copy protection is a reality, and within a matter of months more or less all audio media worldwide are copy protected. And this is a good thing for the music industry. In order to make this happen we will do anything within our power - whether you like it or not.'
The music factories deserve to be completely wiped out for attacking the public's freedom.
The Bush forces killed 37 worshipers in a mosque, after the resistance shot at them from somewhere else in the neighborhood. The result is to increase conflict between the Shi'ites and the Bush forces.
Iraq has become an unstable roller coaster. I don't think Bush can stay on top of it for long.
Brian Haw, who has protested the conquest of Iraq for 3 years, has been arrested, completing Bliar's repression of all protest held where Parliament can see it.
Europe is coming to recognize that it has failed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Improvements in energy efficiency have been cancelled out by growth in volume.
The Bliar regime does not torture, but it has now been proved to participate in torture campaigns, such as providing questions for foreign torturers to ask.
UN arms embargoes have been a failure, frequently ignored.
An Afghan man who was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity seems likely to be freed, but the law that denies people religious freedom will not be abolished.
Pakistan has sentenced several people to death for "blasphemy", while Malaysia makes it illegal to convert from Islam to any other religion. Muslims who dislike it when people connect their religion with violence should work to end Islam's violence towards people that don't want to be Muslims.
The MPAA (Malicious Power Attacking All) is trying to claim that use of Bittorrent is illegal.
Sharing music and movies on the Internet ought to be explicitly legalized. Sharing is friendship; to attack sharing is to attack friendship.
The US Supreme Court is hearing a case about trying Guantanamo prisoners in military courts.
A million people are now protesting in France against the law that undermines workers' rights.
600 rallied in London for freedom of speech, including but not limited to the freedom to print cartoons that make fun of Mohammed. One of them faces criminal charges for "offending" someone; I read elsewhere this was for carrying a sign with one of those cartoons on it. This illustrates how fragile freedom of speech is in the UK.
China has put a tax on wood, to discourage deforestation. And on luxury cars that use a lot of energy.
Chopsticks don't have to be disposable--that is a modern practice. They can be washed just like forks.
A man placed under punitive sanctions in the UK, without trial of course, says he would rather face torture in than subject his family to this continued punishment.
I sympathize with his desire to spare his family; but if he lets the UK use them as hostages to make him accept torture, what side has won? I think a person's duty is to make sure that terrorists who take hostages do not gain anything thereby. Especially when the hostage takers work for a government.
Three Christian Peacemaker Teams hostages in Iraq were freed by a raid by the Bush forces, based on information from a prisoner who was connected with the kidnapers.
I am very curious about the motive for the kidnaping. Perhaps the ex-hostages will be able to tell us.
Given the scarcity of water, I think that some sort of market for water is needed to bring about conservation--especially when the water is used by business. But every person should have a guaranteed right to a certain amount of water per day, gratis.
A big utility privatization in Thailand was canceled by a court decision.
A play made from the words of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by Israeli forces as she protected a Palestinian's house from demolition, has had great success in London. In New York, however, people do not dare produce it.
Perhaps they should make a movie of it.
An Israeli soldier who shot a girl of 13 was prosecuted, but not very hard. Instead of punishment, he will now receive compensation, around $17,000.
How the Israel Lobby shapes US foreign policy, including Bush's conquest of Iraq.
I disagree with one minor point: it is incorrect to conclude that oil was not a major reason for Bush's war of conquest, merely because support for Israel was a major reason. People often have multiple reasons for doing one thing, and there's plenty of evidence that Bush wanted to control the oil.
I learned about both from an Israeli peace group.
Israel continues its policy of demolishing Arab houses. In the past, sometimes houses have been demolished with people inside them. This time, they threw children out the window first.
The US public wants its beef tested for BSE. Creekstone Farms wants to test its cattle for BSE. The US government says it is not allowed to do so.
Glacial earthquakes in Greenland's ice sheet have more than doubled in ten years--a sign that the ice sheet is starting to break up.
A group of Iraqi exiles face the threat of persecution by supporting the Iraqi resistance, and calling for the Bush forces to pull out of Iraq.
Bush's mother found a clever way to give his brother a gift and evade gift taxes. She gave it to a charity, with a requirement to spend it on licenses for proprietary software distributed by his company. In other words, an unethical "product" which actually costs him next to nothing to "produce".
Bush's latest "signing statements" indicate a Humpty Dumpty approach to laws: they mean whatever he says they mean.
Iran, Iraq Crises Converge Despite U.S. Hardliners.
It will be hard for Bush to attack Iran while depending on Iran for cooperation in regard to Iraq--cooperation which could be canceled at any time. However, it would be a shame if Iran helps Bush to subjugate Iraq in exchange for not itself being attacked.
The Australian government secretly intervened to shut down a web site that satirized the Prime Minister.
The satire is still available.
If Melbourne IT is serious about the excuses that they give for having turned off the domain name, then now that they know the facts, they should turn it on again--right? They can easily verify that it does not in fact do phishing. Have they tried to check?
The article uses the propaganda term "intellectual property", a term that should never be used, because it misleadingly implies that copyright law, patent law, trademark law, and various others, are variations on a theme. In fact, these laws have nothing in common, in terms of what they forbid you to do. See this article.
This event illustrates why the hoopla about "internet governance" is a distraction. It is merely a matter of which governments control which parts of a complicated system for maintaining domain names. The ".org" domain is one of those officially controlled by ICANN for the US, but this did not stop the Australian government from taking away Neville's satirical domain. He used an Australian company to manage the domain.
Founder of Liberation Theology says: A New Ethics is Needed to Save Life on Earth.
The Basque independence group Eta, known for bombings of civilian targets, has agreed to stop fighting permanently.
FBI agent Samit's testimony at the Moussaoui trial shows that the FBI management was dead set against investigating suspected terrorists before 9/11. It even blocked Samit from notifying the FAA.
How religion kills: the Bush regime is keeping millions of young people around the world ignorant about safe sex practices, in the name of the perverse idea of sexual abstinence.
The US military's top generals wanted in 1962 to launch a war with Cuba by attacking the US or friendly countries and blaming it on Cuba.
That was published in 2001. Now it has been admitted that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked--so the spirit of Operation Northwoods did live on in Vietnam.
Farmers in India struggle under impossible debts that make them effectively slaves to the moneylenders.
It's not too much better in the US. The Alliance for Fair Food campaigns to improve the working conditions and pay of farm laborers in the US, who are paid very little for working very hard.
Bush wants to allow tax preparers to sell your tax return.
Research now suggests sea level will rise 6 meters, around 20 feet, in this century, putting many of the world's major cities under water.
Torture in Iraq was not limited to Abu Ghraib, but secrecy protects Task Force 6-26 from proper investigation.
There are massive protests in Ecuador against signing a "free trade" treaty with the US.
These treaties put limits on democracy while keeping wages down. The leaders who want them are working for global business, not for their own people. I hope the opposition drives this president out of power.
The Bliar regime has been forced to take the part of al-Rawi, their former agent who is imprisoned in Guantanamo because they disowned him.
It will be a good thing to win his freedom, but what about the other 500 prisoners being tortured in Guantanamo?
Operation Swarmer-- a P.R. exercise in Iraq.
There are many reports that the Bush forces massacre civilians and lie to excuse it. Evidence has been found to prove this in two cases, which has led to investigations.
What remains to be seen is whether the Bush forces take this crime seriously and punish it seriously.
As the Labour Party's loans from millionaires are revealed, the public rightly concludes it is just as sleazy as as its predecessor.
The dishonesty of these secret loans obscures the deeper issue: how can a party which receives loans from tycoons possibly represent labor? If its policies are such as to make tycoons want to lend it money, they surely don't strongly support those tycoons' employees.
Organs from people executed in China are being sold for transplant purposes.
This could lead China to start executing people in order to sell their organs, as in Larry Niven's stories.
The idea of "fair trade", often seen in certain food products such as coffee, is now being applied to cotton clothing.
To make this really effective, it has to be a legal requirement.
Uzbekistan has made the UNHCR close its office there, after the UNHCR warned that deporting refugees there could lead to their being tortured.
The Bliar regime has been forced to take the part of al-Rawi, their former agent who is imprisoned in Guantanamo because they disowned him.
It will be a good thing to win his freedom, but what about the other 500 prisoners being tortured in Guantanamo?
Operation Swarmer--a P.R. exercise in Iraq.
As the Labour Party's loans from millionaires are revealed, the public rightly concludes it is just as sleazy as as its predecessor.
The dishonesty of these secret loans obscures the deeper issue: how can a party which receives loans from tycoons possibly represent labor? If its policies are such as to make tycoons want to lend it money, they surely don't strongly support those tycoons' employees.
Hundreds of people from the political opposition have been murdered, or disappeared, by the US-backed president of the Philippines, who labels them as "terrorists".
Disaster recovery funds in the US are a boondoggle for the middlemen, while the people who really do the work get just a pittance. And Bush has made it even worse.
Uri Avnery: How Olmert sent the army to attack Jericho for his election campaign.
Bush's plan to promote conservation of petroleum: by making his cronies rich at your expense.
UK victims of house-arrest without trial suffer a life of constant threats. They required to phone every night between 3am and 4am, and if they can't wake up to do so, the police raid the house. Long-term sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
The US Supreme Court will rule on a patent covering doctor's thought processes. The appeals court ruled that doctors commit patent infringement "merely by thinking".
Even economics recognizes that present day "free trade" policies are really recipes for low wages.
I tend to think these suggested remedies will not be sufficient, however.
Several states sued the US government to overturn an absurd Bush interpretation of environmental law, and won.
A European Union project for requirements for corporations' social responsibility has been hijacked by the corporations whose conduct it is supposed to regulate.
It's not clear whether the Three Gorges Dam is an ecological disaster or a benefit, but people have been imprisoned for criticizing it.
Pacifist teachers in Japan still resist government pressure to sing the militarist national anthem, but their numbers are dwindling under harsh pressure.
A Chinese dissident, kept for 13 years in a mental hospital, proves to be sane. Several prominent Chinese dissidents have been released recently as part of a campaign to distract attention from the thousands that are still imprisoned.
Senator Feingold introduced a resolution to censure Bush.
I think it is already time to call specifically for impeachment.
A RAF doctor who claims the invasion and occupation of Iraq are illegal seems likely to face a court martial.
The US is guilty of many violations of treaties on labor rights.
Arctic sea ice melted drastically last summer. The new ice this winter is small and thin.
Thailand's prime minister Thaksin, who has had the police kill poor people in the streets, now faces an uprising from the middle class because of his corruption.
New Zealand released Ahmed Zaoui from imprisonment without trial, but now threatens him with deportation to a regime which had sentenced him to death in absentia.
The House of Lords continues to block Blair's plans to impose mandatory national ID cards on the UK.
Bliar was caught handing out peerages to people who had secretly lent money to the Labor Party. His response: "it was just a coincidence that I gave them this after they paid"!
1/4 million French youths are protesting, recognizing that a proposed labor law, supposedly intended to encourage hiring youth, is really just a way to weaken the rights of labor.
If this law does reduce youth unemployment, in the long run it will do so by increasing unemployment among older workers. To shift the problem from one age bracket to another is not a solution. A real solution has to be based on taking away the political power of business and restoring democracy.
British MI5 officials handed over UK residents for torture and imprisonment--including people who worked for them!
I don't think even Stalin ever was more cruel.
Professor Miguel Tinker-Salas was visited at his college office by police who sought to intimidate him, apparently because he has been interviewed by the media a few times lately to comment about President Chavez.
The UN General Assembly established a new human rights agency, disregarded the objections of the US, which claimed it was too easy for rogue states to get seats on it.
It remains to be seen whether the rules are strong enough to prevent the world's worst rogue state, the US, from getting a seat. and sabotaging the agency's work. It also remains to be seen whether any countries can be found that respect and support human rights enough to deserve a seat.
EU regulations that pointlessly restrict generic drugs--even in a medical emergency. They did this to please the major drug companies, of course.
Officially, "MPAA" stands for "Motion Picture Association of America", but I think MPAA stands for Malicious Power Against All. And RIAA stands for Really Intends to Assassinate the Audience.
What BSA stands for is left as an exercise for the reader.
The president of the Afghan senate accused the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) of organizing a Taliban suicide bombing to kill him.
The idea is not absurd, since the ISI organized the Taliban in the first place, and has always had close links with it.
The Republicans are trying to gut the Endangered Species Act. 6,000 biologists are asking the Senate to reject this.
A large oil spill on land in Alaska shows that there's always danger of contamination where there are oil pipelines.
The worst possible outcome for the Milosevic war crimes tribunal.
A Turkish general has been accused of planting bombs so as to aggravate tensions between Turks and Kurds.
We have seen such conduct from many governments, including some in Western Europe, and the US. The idea that the Bush regime had something to do with the planning of the 9/11 cannot be dismissed.
Poor people in Los Angeles farm a plot of land in the middle of the city. The city sold the land to a developer for 1/3 its value, and the developer now wants to evict them to build a warehouse for Wal-Mart.
Pakistan's intelligence agency has been accused of giving the Taliban batteries for portable missiles, which they can use to shoot at airplanes.
It is quite interesting to compare the way the US treats Pakistan, which has supported the Taliban and given away nuclear weapons information, with the threats of war against Iran, which is merely suspected of wanting to develop nuclear weapons.
Bliar hopes that a 10% reduction in troops in the Bush forces will reconcile the UK to keeping the remaining 90% in Iraq.
These policemen could get away with killing because of the same effective immunity that normally shields most police from punishment for lesser crimes.
Burmese activist Bo Kyi talks about how he prevented the Burmese military regime's torture from breaking his spirit. And about the guide that provides advice for the family members of people who have survived torture.
The same guide should be translated now into Arabic, to help the family members of victims of the Bush regime's torture.
Rio's poor are being terrorised as police use "big skull" tanks to enter slums, where they shoot people at random--even children.
As Congress prepares to legalize Bush's illegal spying, the law also seems to prohibit reporters from saying anything about government spying.
Pakistan's lobbyists purchased changes in the 9/11 commission report to absolve Pakistan and its citizens of involvement.
No US officials would sell their mothers for a dollar--they expect at least $50,000 for that.
San Francisco has joined many US cities in calling for the impeachment of Bush.
Philippine President Arroyo is meeting some resistance to her practice of arresting opposition leaders without warrants.
Christian fanatics in the US propose to imprison doctors that perform abortions.
An international doctors' campaign condemns the US practice of force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo, which is effectively torture.
Guantanamo's forms of torture leave lasting scars.
The warming of the ocean is devastating the ecology of the Bering Straits.
The Kyoto Agreement, represents the first, weak steps to slow global warming, is too much for Canada's new government, which represents oil companies.
The Secret War Against the Defenseless People of West Papua
Several members of Parliament in the Philippines are threatened with arrest if they step out of their offices, as part of the president's crackdown on democracy.
Bush plans to close the Abu Ghraib prison and move the prisoners to other prisons.
Perhaps he hopes that torturing people in other prisons, whose names are not linked with torture in the public mind, will cause the issue of continuing torture to be forgotten.
As Bush falsely calls Chavez a dictator, people in Latin America know better, and Chavez' influence rises.
Afghan women are fighting for basic human rights despite the Taliban, but their support from the Afghan government is rather weak.
Muslims in India demonstrated the peaceful nature of their religion by setting off bombs at a Hindu temple.
Olmert has overtly declared the intention to annex large parts of Palestine, unilaterally.
Will the world tolerate this blatant defiance of UN resolutions by Israel?
Many of the neo-cons who led the Bush regime to invade Iraq now admit it was mistaken, or foolish, perhaps even wrong.
But although the neo-cons in a strict sense may have failed world conquest, they leave a lasting legacy in the US govenment: the abolition of human rights, honesty, and even minimal human decency. Even if Americans don't vote for Bush's party next time, and even if their votes are correctly counted, it is hard to see today's Democrats reestablishing the liberties they have mostly joined in abolishing.
A plan hatched by Bush and Congress would give Bush carte blanche for spying.
Following Bush's War on Integrity, this plan is being presented as a limitation on government spying.
The UN wants to replace the Human Rights Council with a new body that would be more effective in supporting human rights. The major human rights groups approve the plan. Only one country opposes it: the US, which has a lot to be afraid of if the UN becomes effective in criticizing human rights violations around the world.
Wal Mart is using trademark law to try to silence criticism in the US. Public Citizen is defending the activist they have sued.
The PAT RIOT act prohibits entry to the US to all those who have supported any armed rebellion, including General Washington's armed rebellion. It also prohibits entry to anyone who has been robbed or conscripted by such a group.
This sweeping exclusion would at least have the virtue of being uniform. It would, for instance, have excluded Osama bin Laden, because he aided the armed rebellion in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation. (He was working for Pakistan and the US at the time.) However, that uniformity will be spoiled by making exceptions. The result is that millions of future immigrants will have to cover up small relationships with some sort of resistance group, and will then be in danger all their lives if it is ever discovered.
Most of the "irregular armed groups" in Colombia work for the government.
Iraqi Sunni and Shi'ite leaders are trying to heal the violence between them. They recognize that fighting between them aids their common enemy.
Buddhism as a social revolution against India's caste system.
China is making a push for energy efficiency.
The Bush regime imitates China's authoritarian policies, but not this one.
Milan Babic, a Croatian Serb general who is a confessed war criminal, committed suicide in prison. He had previously expressed a great sense of shame for his participation in the inter-ethnic injustice.
I wish I could have been there to beg him not to kill himself. When someone has realized he has participated a great wrong, he is in a position to do substantial good by teaching others not to commit similar crimes (crimes which are quite popular today). If those who feel shame commit suicide, only the unrepentant war criminals will be left.
The first study of leakage of genetically modified crops show that they spread beyond control.
Ion Sancho is fighting back against Diebold, even as the governor of Florida and the voting machine companies combine to punish him for doing his duty to ensure that elections are honest.
It is no surprise that Jeb Bush does not want honest elections in Florida. What is most noteworthy of how this resembles other instances where the powerful demand that people elect officials that the powerful will approve of--for instance, Israel and Palestine.
The House of Lords continues to resist Blair's plan to impose ID cards on the UK.
3 demonstrations against the Apartheid Wall - Bil'in/Beit Sira, Abud, Tulkarem
Torture as Policy--From Guantanamo to Iraq
The FBI admitted, in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, that it knew quite a bit about Al Qa'ida plans for 9/11, contradicting previous claims of ignorance.
Conservatives held a meeting and denounced Bush, and challenged someone to defend him. (No one tried very hard.) They said that most conservatives are silent because of a campaign of intimidation by the Bushmen.
Some of their criticisms are based on conservative goals that I disagree with. For instance, I think that "entitlements" are good, when they create a social safety net. However, the bulk of their criticisms are such as any opponent of tyranny could make.
You have read about how the Bush forces were sent to invade Iraq without giving everyone armor. This might seem like a side issue, given that the war was itself a crime. But it turns out that this minor failure provides a perfect example of the Bush regime's general attitude towards citizens: shaft them, cover it up, and punish anyone who reveals the truth.
Compare this with the Chinese government's approach to its citizens. Not very different.
Europe is wide open for foreign spy organizations such as the CIA to operate. The laws to control them are weak.
New Jersey is considering a bill to prohibit anonymous posting on the Internet.
The Supreme Court ruled, once upon a time, that the right to speak anonymously is essential to political freedom. (Can anyone find a reference?) In more honest times we might have counted on such a bill to be struck down.
Eradication of the opium crop in Afghanistan is causing lots of anger, which the Taliban exploit.
The Taliban are being hypocritical about this, since when in power they completely wiped out opium production, using much harsher policies.
Stephen Heller, who exposed Diebold's illegal, untrustworthy voting machines in California, has been rewarded with felony charges--for showing the public the Diebold's secret papers that demonstrate wrongdoing.
This cases demonstrates two aspects of why I call the US system "fascist." Corporations are so powerful that the government does not dare prosecute them even when their crimes are proved. And people who expose these crimes are punished instead. Government of the people, by the flunkies, for the corporations.
The UK government is responding to pressure to remove its troops from the Bush forces by saying it will soon begin the long slow process of doing so, provided everything is fine in Iraq.
This seems like talk meant to substitute for action.
Ion Sancho, an elections supervisor in Florida, allowed an investigation that proved the electronic voting machines cannot be trusted. The state of Florida, under the control of Bush's brother, is now trying to punish him--together with the makers of the machines that he showed cannot be trusted.
Florida's corrupt election law prohibits checking corrupt voting machines with hand-counting.
Former Congressman Cunningham was sentenced to 8 years prison for bribery.
Will Bush pardon him?
There were massive protests in Bali against an Indonesian bill to prohibit pornography--and lewdness, such as showing a navel in public or kissing on the lips.
Foreign oil companies have done a good job of keeping the wealth from Nigeria's oil to themselves (plus a few Nigerians). The result was to start a guerrilla uprising.
Bush is developing a weapon designed to cause unbearable pain to people over a mile away.
No weapon could be more appropriate for the Bush regime than one that works by torture. Soldiers will soon have shielding against this, but it will work great against the protestors and prisoners that Bush really wants to attack.
Another world is possible for baboons. Perhaps there is hope for humans too.
The UN notes that Israel plans to starve the Palestinians into voting for leaders that Israel likes. That is to say, leaders who will give Israel what it wants, while Palestinians get only what Israel wants to give them.
Indonesia is considering a law that would sentence people to many years in prison for publicly showing their genitals, breasts, buttocks, thighs, hips, or navels. Non-Muslims in Bali say that this would prohibit their religious ceremonies, as well as their art, customs, and livelihoods.
It is safe to say that this disgusting plan comes from Islamists, meaning Muslims that wish to impose their idea of their religion's values on everyone, including non-Muslims and less strict Muslims.
Kofi Annan supports the UN experts' call to close the Guantanamo prison and offer each prisoner a chance for justice.
The Bush regime criticized the report's authors for not visiting Guantanamo, but this is disingenuous; they did not go because they knew they would not really be allowed to see how prisoners are treated. They refused a sham visit.
I was told, long ago, that Stalin once allowed distinguished international guests to visit the political prison at Vorkuta. They came away thinking that the prisoners were treated decently--it was a hard life, but not torture. What they did not know was that they had never seen the prisoners or their living quarters. They had seen the guards instead.
Such a simple deception would not be possible in Guantanamo, but Bush has lots of sophisticated and clever advisors to develop more subtle ones.
The Republican Party in Minnesota is handing out spy CDs to get personal information from people who don't know they are sending it.
Bush's nuclear treaty with India rewards India for doing exactly what Bush is now threatening to invade Iran for possibly planning to do.
The dictator of Belarus arrested opposition politicians and journalists, as part of his reelection campaign.
He hasn't learned to rig the vote behind the scenes, like Bush.
Harper's Magazine: The Case For Impeachment.
The Bush forces disregarded their own auditors to pay Halliburton around $250 million in suspicious charges. They sure go easy on Cheney's company.
Partial victory over Wal-Mart: it will stock emergency contraceptives but will let individual pharmacists block access to them.
Wal-Mart wants pretend that it is catering to the feelings of its pharmacist employees, to pretend that one could hardly ask it to do otherwise. This is an absurd facade; Wal-Mart would hardly allow employees to decide personally to refuse to sell any other product. (It's hard enough getting Wal-Mart to allow its employees to take lunch breaks.)
Opponents of affirmative action used a campaign of lies to get people to sign their initiative petition.
I am not sure I agree that the initiative should be thrown off the ballot for that reason. Allowing excuses to reject an initiative petition once enough people have signed it could be dangerous in other situations. However, something should be done so that these lies backfire on their perpetrators.
A Turkish film, Valley of the Wolves, shows what the Bush forces have done in Iraq. After huge success in Turkey, it faces censorship threats in Europe. Would-be censors damn it for portraying America as "an evil, merciless power". That would be a nasty thing to say that about America, if it weren't the truth.
This example shows why it is not just unjust, but stupid as well, for those who are weak to try to censor verbal attacks. They will surely be themselves threatened with censorship, and the strong are much more likely to succeed in censoring their opposition than the weak are.
The only way to resist censorship of the weak is to oppose all censorship. Freedom of expression must include all views. Kenan Kolat is right when he says that "a democracy must be able to endure even those films it doesn't approve of." And the same applies to Islam.
Garett Reppenhagen, returned Iraq War Veteran tells Congress what it means to soldiers to find out that they were sent to fight a war of aggression based on lies.
Reppenhagen mentions how veterans feel ashamed. To some extent, their feeling of shame is irrational, but they have in fact done something which they ought to feel ashamed of--fighting a war of aggression However, those who have moral courage can redeem themselves, and become heroes, if they do as Reppenhagen has done--to denounce the war and try to end it.
Pakistan is blocking bloggers from updating their blogs. Is it for Bush's visit, or is this simply an example of the "freedom and democracy" that Bush wants to spread?
Berlusconi is being tried for corruption, but a new statue of limitations (which he established) might get him off the hook.
A Chinese democracy activist was disappeared after he started a hunger strike in protest of the beating he received from government thugs. Yahoo is accused of having helped the Chinese government arrest him.
India has tossed aside its moral authority by sucking up to the US.
Uganda is draining Lake Victoria to make electricity. This, combined with a long drought, is destroying the lake.
Stacy Bannerman's testimony to Congress about ending the war.
Bush has a new plan to help the wealthy in the US: health-savings accounts.
Bush personally received intelligence information that undermined or contradicted two of his claimed reasons for invading Iraq. Thus, he was personally lying.
Condoleeza Rice later lied, saying that Bush had not received this information.
A collection of phone and cable companies in the US wants to change the Internet design to focus on giving them control and profits instead of serving for citizens to communicate.
Most civilian war deaths in Iraq are caused by Bush forces air raids. Often these raids occur in areas where there is no other fighting and no reporting.
Projecting from the 2004 Lancet study, which then estimated 100,000 deaths, suggests that between 185,000 and 700,000 civilians have been killed by now.
If nearly all of those killed are Sunni, does this amount to genocide?
Many relatives of dead British Bush forces soldiers published a blunt letter, saying the war was started by Bliar's lies, and that they will join in a protest to say this in public because he refused to meet with them in private.
If Bliar remains true to form, he will never admit his lies, even when everyone around him recognizes them. He feels no shame about lying, or even being caught in a lie, as long as he things he can't be punished for it.
As killings between Iraqi Sunnis and Shi'ites continue, Bush tries to blame them on Iran. When will Bush blame Iran for causing Hurricane Katrina?
This article omits to mention that the "US-trained iraqi forces" are all Shi'ites and Kurds, that the use of those troops to occupy Sunni areas was part of the cause of the inter-communal violence, and that the death squads that are killing Sunnis appear to be part of those forces. Token participation of Sunnis in a "national unity" government would do nothing to change this.
Israelis and Palestinians held a nonviolent protest against the annexation wall in Beit Sira, and Israeli border police shot activist Matan Cohen in the eye. He may lose the sight of that eye forever.
This was no accident; the police were shooting at people's heads. There is a fine art to using rubber bullets to cause permanent injury and even death.
"Free trade" is incompatible with democracy, with human rights, with preserving the environment, with public health, etc., because it gives business power to crush them at its convenience.
The Taliban are systematically attacking schools in Afghanistan and people who work in them.
Bush was informed a few days before Hurricane Katrina that New Orleans' levees might fail. A few days later he lied directly, saying no one had thought of it.
It is just an example of a general pattern: Bush does not believe he should be responsible for his actions. He says whatever sounds good, regardless of the truth. Many other politicians are like this, too.
Shi'ite families living in Sunni areas of Iraq are being forced out by threats made by masked men.
It is impossible to tell who is really making these threats. It could be fanatical Sunnis, disobeying their own leadership, but it could also be anyone with an interest in stimulating the conflict between the ethnic groups.
A leaked US report says that Germany provided the Bush forces with Iraqi defense plans that German spies had obtained. The German government denies this.
As early as October 2003, Bush was informed that the Iraqi resistance was made up of Iraqis who resented the occupation. But Bush and his coterie insisted it was led by foreigners and followers of Saddam Hussein, and refused to listen.
Iraq's death squads, operated by the Ministry of the Interior, kill around 1000 per month in Baghdad alone, as Iraq moves toward civil war, says the UN investigator.
The article also makes an interesting point about the motives of the fanatical Sunnis who try to massacre Shi'ites. It is only partly because they consider Shi'ites heretics. Partly it is because they consider Iraqi Shi'ites to be allies of the Bush forces. This is yet another path by which the Bush occupation of Iraq is fomenting civil war.
Corporate-driven globalization has failed to deliver the benefits it promised--to anyone except the wealthy--but legislators increasingly give it their support.
The reason is that, directly or indirectly, those legislators have been bought.
Scott Ritter points out precisely how the Bush regime hid its knowledge that Saddam Hussein had no connection with Al Qa'ida so that Bush could go on pretending that he did. He also explains how the Nuremberg trials rejected the justification of "preemption" which was offered by Nazi leaders who were on trial. Bush uses the same excuse, in an even weaker form.
Voting machines logs from Florida show 100,000 malfunctions during the 2004 election, and some show records of votes which were not made on election day.
Mobs of Muslims in Nigeria demonstrated how peaceful their religion is by killing Nigerian Christians, venting their anger over the cartoons that suggested their religion was violent. That was in the Muslim-dominated north. Christians in the south retaliated by killing other Muslims, thus demonstrating how their religion teaches them to "love your enemies".
New Pentagon Doctrine: Mini-Nukes are "Safe for the Surrounding Civilian Population".
Reports Find Tenuous Terror Ties at Guantanamo.
One man was labeled an "enemy combatant" because he admitted he knew Osama bin Laden--from watching TV broadcasts of tapes. Unless they can prove those tapes are really of Osama bin Laden, they ought to release him.
How Bush allowed Al Qa'ida to take root in Pakistan.
I have a few comments to make on this story.
First, there is reason to doubt that Osama bin Laden personally is really in Pakistan, or anywhere at all. The tapes attributed to him seem to be designed to serve Bush, and some independent experts say that the person in the tapes is not really him. He could simply be dead. However, the issue is not really about him or any one person.
These issues have been mentioned in a previous note.
Second, the Taliban are widely reported to have been created by the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service. For Pakistan to surreptitiously help them again is no surprise. (Please link to previous note here.)
Third, Pakistan's nuclear weapons probably played a role in convincing Bush to accept Pakistan's half-hearted support and call it complete. It's really interesting to compare how Bush talks about Iran, which might intend to develop nuclear weapons, and how Bush talks about Pakistan, which actually did so--and then offered the plans to Iran and other countries.
However, even despite that, Musharraf might have chosen a different course--if he had seen US efforts focused clearly on Afghanistan for the long term. Thus, Bush's wish to attack Iraq, using 9/11 as an excuse, was directly responsible for the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The US still maintains almost 500 nuclear weapons in Europe, with plans to hand them over to other countries for use, in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The Bush regime is systematically shutting off lawsuits against automobile companies and other manufacturers whose products injure people.
The president of the Philippines declared an emergency to cancel protests accusing her of stealing the election. These protests include celebrations of the mass rallies which forced the previous dictator Marcos from power.
Amnesty International condemns the UK for systematic attacks on human rights.
The documentary about Guantanamo, whose actors were harrassed by police, is hard-hitting. Bliar, who tends to label opposition as terrorism, surely finds a lot of terrorism in the movie.
The mismanagement of Haiti's presidential election is part of a long and methodical attempt to deny Haiti's poor their democratic rights.
An irate Chinese movie-goer made a parody of a movie that he did not like. Now he faces a lawsuit threat from the movie's director, who can't take a joke. Who does he think he is--Muhammad?
This incident shows the injustice of Chinese copyright law--but injustice is what you must expect when people use the term "intellectual property". That term spreads confusion, and frames whatever issues it is applied to in a way that tends to lead to laws that are too restrictive. (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.xhtml.)
The Bliar regime is trying to cover up facts about CIA flights through Britain.
As usual, this cover-up works through a campaign of distraction which seeks to confuse the issue just enough to prevent people from pushing home the crucial questions. Bliar asks Britons to treat the Bush regime as above suspicion, to be trusted implicitly and totally.
A politically-motivated reorganization of the State Department drove out the main experts on arms control treaties.
Bush is happy to use arms control treaties as excuses to plan to attack other countries such as Iran, but he does not really like the treaties--they are not unilateral enough for his taste. What he wants to do is terrorize the whole world into submission.
Violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites is rising in Iraq.
The reason I suspect that the Bush forces want the Shi'ites to massacre millions of Sunnis is that they have long been doing many things that tend to provoke civil war (including sending Shi'ite troops to occupy Sunni areas, and setting up Shi'ite death squads that kill Sunnis in large numbers), and that people such as Cheney are not stupid, and could not fail to recognize where these actions are likely to lead.
Hamas leaders met with an Israeli peace activist and explained their position: they will not recognize Israel while Israel continues the occupation of Palestine. They think it is unfair to ask them to make concessions in return for nothing.
Iraq's latent civil war, which the Bush forces have done much to stimulate, has almost burst into open warfare, restrained only by Ayatollah Sistani and Iran.
Perhaps the bombers were Iraqi Sunnis who hate Shi'ites for their religion; it appears such do exist. Or perhaps they were hate Iraqi Shi'ites for not resisting the Bush forces, or on account of the Shi'ite death squads. (Of course, blowing up a shrine is no way to fight the death squads.)
However, since the Bush forces have done so much to set Iraqi Sunnis and Shi'ites against each other, it would not surprise me if this bombing were carried out by the Bush forces so as to finish the job. I have wondered if their plan were to provoke the Shi'ites into massacre the Sunnis so as to end the resistance.
The Bush regime is rapidly developing the material capability and legal framework to imprison millions of Americans by decree.
I think it is very significant that the Bush regime now has a list of 325,000 "terrorist suspects". Since the number of real terrorists in the US, if we count only those that don't work for Bush, must be a tiny fraction of that, it follows that they are being rather loose with the designation of "terrorist suspect". Perhaps this will be their excuse for imprisoning dissidents that still support the US Constitution.
Various parts of the Bush administration are playing various dirty roles in the sale of 26 US cargo ports to the government of the United Arab Emirates.
It's the typical well-planned Bush regime dirty work, where everyone has an excuse, so no one can be held responsible--if you take a narrow standard of responsibility. However, the president is responsible for all of this, and any president should be impeached for playing such games.
I would criticize a couple of details in this article. It assumes the Bush administration had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks; there is some reason to think it did. It doesn't mention the fact that they paved the way for the flooding of New Orleans by refusing to repair the levees so they could spend the money on a war of aggression.
But more important is a deeper omission--it does not mention why being a Republican works this way. The reasons, I believe, are the corporate media and widespread intimidation. Bush can get away with lie after lie because, when these lies are exposed, most Americans never find out.
Holocaust-denyer David Irving has been sentenced to years in prison for stating his views on history. He claims that there was no gas chambers in some Nazi concentration camps.
This sentence was unjust, and the law under which he was sentenced was unjust as well. Censorship is far more dangerous than the weak and discredited remnants of Nazism as such. The dangerous modern-day fascism comes from mainstream business-friendly political leaders.
Once people can be imprisoned for denying Nazi atrocities, it will be easy to imprison people for denying other things that must never be questioned--such as, that Bush liberated Iraq, that the WTO has ended poverty, and that there is no global warming.
The US mainstream media generally support the Bush regime, but Rumsfeld is not satisfied and announced a new campaign to influence the press.
The public will have to respond by discounting anything the media says that supports the Bush regime, regarding it as probable propaganda, and not to be trusted.
Since the Palestinians of Kaffin are blocked from their lands by the Annexation Wall, and cannot replant the olive trees that the Israeli army uprooted, the Israelis of the neighboring town of Metzer replanted the trees for them.
The UN criticized Israel for withholding the Palestinian Authority's funds.
The US persistently misrepresents the success of Bush's bizarre prescription drug benefit for old people.
The German government is investigating its own agents' participation in CIA torture kidnapings.
Bush and Blair are intervening in Iraqi "democracy" to demand "non-sectarian" ministers in certain ministries.
There are good reasons to wish for non-sectarian ministers, since the current one operates death squads in police uniforms, but the result is quite ironic--especially since there are specific reasons (see previous notes) to suspect that the Bush regime intentionally trained and assisted those death squads
The root issue is that democracy is not sufficient by itself; respect for human rights is needed too. However, many Iraqis do not value human rights, and Bush is not the one to teach them.
Scientists are joining with liberal clergy to oppose the 'intelligent design' campaign--but in the process, they are pandering to prejudice against Atheists.
Some suggest that we stop using the word "theory" to describe established scientific principles such as gravity and evolution. The word is generally associated with the existence of doubt.
The Bush regime made an unusual deal about selling US port operations to Dubai Ports World, avoiding some of the requirements which are standard in such cases.
It is also peculiar that this company is not private. In effect, Bush plans to sell US ports, not merely to a foreign company, but to another country.
The UK delayed for years in putting extremist cleric Abu Hamza on trial, despite having found him with a cache of arms. This and related evidence lends fuel to the suspicion that he was actually a British agent.
While it is hard to be sure of this, the statements about British government infiltration of violent groups on both sides of the Northern Ireland conflict are well established.
A US congressional candidate is on the "no-fly" list. Of course, the government won't tell him why.
For this reason, as well as others, I sure hope he wins. It will be embarrassing to the US government to have a congressman on the "no-fly" list, and this will help highlight the injustice and dishonesty of a system that denies people their rights without a trial based on secret evidence.
A major Shi'a shrine in Iraq was bombed; many Shi'ites assumed (as does this article) that it was Sunni "insurgents", but no one really knows.
It is not unusual in Iraq for brutal violence to be carried out by people in Iraqi police uniforms. (Often they are real Iraqi police.)
Musharraf, the dictator of Pakistan, is facing opposition from Islamic extremists that want to remove him from power.
Pakistan does not respect freedom of speech on religious matters. Several people have been sentenced to death in Pakistan for "blasphemy" after they criticized Islam; and this, I believe, is the system that islamists want to impose on the world.
A long drought, combined with the human population and its cattle, adds up to massive wildlife deaths.
Droughts like this happen ccasionally in nature, but global warming could make them more frequent.
Poverty is spreading in the US under Bush. Poor people often have jobs, but the jobs pay so little that they are just working themselves to death.
The Fair Trade movement is growing in Europe as a way to ensure decent wages for farmers in poor countries.
I believe, however, that this should not be left to volunteers' initiatives. Rich countries should make Fair Trade a legal requirement.
Of course, the WTO would say this is prohibited. So the WTO should be prohibited.
While Bush gave a speech about renewable energy, his hatchet-men were firing the people who work on this at the National Renewable Energy Lab, kicking them out as if they were suspected saboteurs.
This embarrassed Bush, so he found money to restore funds for their jobs.
But unless he kicks out the managers who treated them so badly, I doubt he can get the fired scientists to come back.
Actors who played Guantanamo prisoners in a prize-winning movie were arrested by UK police, along with the real ex-prisoners who were traveling with them. This was not a case of mistaken identity; the police knew exactly who they were.
Note how the police try to evade the odium of their actions by playing on the subtle and unimportant distinction between "arrested" and "detained".
Bush won't admit planning a nuclear war against Iran, but there is a lot of evidence that he is. (Mordicai Vanunu said so too.)
Unlike the article's author, I place no faith in the government of Iran's claims that it does not aim to develop nuclear weapons. However, even supposing that it does so aim, developing them is nowhere near as bad as being the first to using them. The US, not Iran, is the great threat to world peace.
It is another tragedy for America's freedom, attacked by the liars that pretend they are protecting us.
Positive feedback mechanisms are starting to magnify man-made global warming. We don't know when we will cross the point of no return, or whether we have already done so.
With renewable energy handling only 4% of energy supply, it won't do much to slow this threat unless it is greatly expanded, and quickly.
What the UK government ought to do, to protect its citizens' privacy.
Former CIA agent Ray McGovern calls on people in the US government to go public with evidence that Bush is lying to excuse an attack against Iran.
60 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the Bush invasion, many of them by the Bush forces.
The US and Israel are planning to attempt to bully Palestinians into holding a new election which would give a result that the US and Israel like better.
That's what "democracy" means to Bush: you vote for his choice or he makes you regret it.
It is typical that officials formally deny that they are planning this, while leaks show that they are indeed doing so.
Human-caused global warming is 30 times faster than the last major episode of global warming. What nature did in 10,000 years, we can do in 300.
NOAA government scientists say that they were blocked from stating their disagreement with Bush's politically-imposed "scientific" conclusion that increased hurricane activity is not due to global warming.
This is part of Bush's War on the Earth.
Muslim and Christian bigots suppressed a planned Gay Rights march in Moscow, with Muslim leaders calling for homosexuals to be killed. (If they want us to believe that Islam is a "peaceful religion", let them start being peaceful.)
Citizens of Massachusetts: Support the marijuana reform bill.
Berlusconi is trying to completely crush all dissent from his views on Italian TV: calling a centrist TV program biased, so as to try to abolish it.
That is what the right-wing in the US did; after spreading an exaggerated picture of what Liberals stand for, they then labeled centrists such as Clinton as "Liberals".
The people and the police in Basra are enraged at the beating of prisoners by British Bush forces troops. The former prisoners say they will sue.
Soldiers who feel threatened tend to vent their anger on whoever they think of as "the enemy". And war always kills civilians. If the populace feels that an army has liberated it from foreign conquerors, and feels powerfully grateful, it can accept the occasional civilian deaths. In such a situation, the soldiers will have no trouble distinguishing the civilian population from their enemy. But in Iraq, any civilian can be immediately suspected of being "the enemy" of the Bush forces. And the populace, wanting an end to the occupation of their country, has no reserves gratitude on which to forgive anything.
A look at one day's newspapers shows that corporate crime is going great guns.
An NSI whistleblower says that the NSA is breaking laws even more than people know, but he's forbidden to tell anyone the details, even Congress.
More photos of torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib have been released (including torture to death).
Congressional Democrats are promoting a plan for public campaign funding which almost completely shuts out third parties.
Here's an example of what the plan's proponents say about it. It presents valid arguments for public funding of campaigns, but ducks the third party issue.
Bliar has persistently lied to get Parliament to pass the "anti-terror" laws that he wants for other reasons.
Even the American Bar Association condemns the Bush program of illegal spying.
A draft UN report accuses the US of torturing Guantanamo prisoners.
I think a more precise statement is that they are venting at the cartoons (and anyone even remotely and unintentionally associated with them) the anger that was aroused by torture, mass murder, and cruel military occupation. It is good to point this out to angry Muslims, because anger at those acts of violence is perfectly justified. The only mistake they are making is in displacing the anger into the wrong target.
It is not always easy to find a way to channel the anger aroused by the Bush regime's violence into effective and appropriate action. Many Muslim countries are ruled by dictators backed by the US; those few which are democracies are mostly hogtied by the US and the WTO, and disregard their own people on most issues. But that difficult task is essential to ending Bush's violence. Picking on a weak cartoonist or his countrymen will not do any good for anyone.
Although these statements by the prime minister are fairly wise, Malaysia needs to improve in regard to religious toleration. Muslims in Malaysia are legally forbidden to stop being Muslims.
Blair won a vote on ID cards, but had to make some concessions, as a result of which the battle is not over yet.
Dalits in an Indian town are standing up to intimidation and attacks that extended as far as burning their houses.
Tibetans protested Google's decision to bow to Chinese censorship requirements.
The Bush forces new embassy in Iraq, more like a castle to dominate the country, is being built by migrant laborers who work 12 hours a day for a pittance.
Reporters Without Borders accepts funds from the Bush regime. Perhaps not uncoincidentally, it goes fairly easy on the US (which has killed many journalists in Iraq), while focusing its ire on Cuba and Venezuela.
Reporters Without Borders mentions the case of Sami al-Haj, the journalist imprisoned in Guantanamo, but avoids talking about how he has been treated there.
The Castro regime does deserve criticism for imprisoning journalists, but it's not the only regime which holds journalists prisoner in Cuba, and Reporters Without Borders seems to follow a pro-US bias in its treatment of them.
President Morales of Bolivia appears to be adopting right-wing policies on many issues, contrary to what he promised the people who elected him.
A study estimates that the US Clean Air Act produces economic savings 6 times what it cost to implement.
The CIA advocates supporting sustainable development so as to avoid dangerous social instability.
If arguments like these help win the support of conscienceless rich people, who don't care if others get sick or suffer, why not use them?
Canada adopted a plan to protect 5 million acres of the Great Bear forest. Even better, they will control logging in the rest of the forest, so as to protect the wildlife that lives there.
The US has been pretty much caught tapping the phones of the leaders of Greece. Since they are conservatives, and inclined to be submissive towards the US, they want to take this lying down.
The implications of Hamas' victory.
Israel announced a unilateral plan to annex substantial parts of Palestine--daring to openly admit the theft that we always knew the settlements were designed to accomplish. Meanwhile, it has resumed killing Palestinians with rockets.
A French court has ruled that noncommercial peer-to-peer file sharing is lawful. The media companies will fight to change this, of course, but it is a signal victory.
Blair plans to cancel local elections in the UK because his party might do badly. This is not a joke!
A meeting of leaders of Muslim countries planned and organized the protests against the anti-Islamic cartoons.
There is nothing wrong with defaming a religion--it is just a belief that some people believe. No belief is beyond possible criticism or attack.
An "editorially independent" student newspaper in the UK turns out not to be so independent after all. Its editor and other staff were "suspended from the paper" after they included one of the notorious cartoons criticizing Islam in an article discussing the resulting controversy.
Journalists are on trial in Turkey for criticizing the government for trying to shut down a conference to discuss the genocide of the Armenians. They are accused of "insulting the government".
I'm sure many Turks really feel offended--but that is no excuse for censorship.
The diamond industry agreement to reject "conflict diamonds" that support wars looks good, but businesses mostly ignore it.
That often happens with "industry self-regulation" schemes; only the threat of prosecution and fines makes businesses really take care.
Haiti's next president faces the contradictory demands of doing something for the people, while cooperating with the IMF, whose aim is to keep the people in poverty.
Only by defying the IMF is it possible to make life in Haiti better.
Bush's media campaign has convinced most Americans to fear an attack by Iran, and nearly half already favor attacking Iran.
Even if Iran had nuclear weapons, I'd be more scared that the US would start a nuclear war, than that Iran would do so. The US is already talking about doing just that.
An Iraqi government (i.e. Bush regime) official accuses occupation troops of participating in smuggling out looted antiquities.
A family reports on a raid on their street in Iraq. All the men younger than fifty have been taken away--to be imprisoned, or perhaps just shot.
An Iraqi journalist who participated in the World Tribunal on Iraq is now a prisoner of the Bush forces, held in Abu Ghraib prison.
Bush claims that broad illegal spying prevented an attack against a building in L.A. Experts have denounced this as confabulation.
More has been learned on how Libby was involved in Plamegate.
Journalists could not get into the walled-off Iraqi town of Siniyah, but its inhabitants, when they could get out through the checkpoint, say their town is now effectively a prison. They hate the occupiers, and they support attacks on oil refineries and pipelines so as to stop Bush from stealing Iraq's oil.
Paul Pillar, who resigned from the CIA, has publicly affirmed what the Downing Street memo told us: that Bush manipulated intelligence to fabricate excuses for the war he already had decided on. He was not interested in advice.
Thus, any talk about "intelligence failures" is an attempt to get high officials off the hook by scapegoating the CIA.
Polar bears are being considered for the endangered species list (in response to a lawsuit) because their habitat, arctic sea ice, is melting away.
The only way to preserve their habitat is to stop it from melting away, and that means reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How did incompetent Michael Brown get to be in charge of FEMA? It's a long story of corruption that typivies the Bush administration.
Bush's PR man at NASA tried to censor NASA scientists for the sake of administration political goals (denial of the big bang and global warming).
A nurse in New Mexico wants an apology after she was investigated for "sedition", having published a letter that condemned Bush.
When Google Desktop Search indexes your files, it sends them to Google servers, where they will remain for 30 days--conveniently accessible to a government that uses the Constitution for toilet paper.
Google excuses this by arguing that the public will trade its privacy for more convenience. That is the standard excuse made by those offering the public an opportunity to do so. I would turn it around: because the public lacks the courage to stand up for its rights one by one, we need to defend their rights at the level of government regulation.
Despite the beginnings of civil war in Iraq, the Iraqi resistance's attacks continue to be aimed primarily at the foreign occupying forces. (I'd guess that most of the rest are aimed at collaborators.)
I am disappointed by her decision, and also disappointed that she did not clearly state the reason.
In order to support anti-war candidates, we need well-known anti-war candidates to support. What anti-war candidate could there be to oppose Feinstein who is as prominent as Cindy Sheehan?
Paul Roberts, who used to be an editor of the Wall Street Journal, says it has moved from principled Conservatism to a mindless loyalty to the Bush cause.
I disagree with Conservatives on many issues, about the rights of businesses versus individuals, but at least they opposed an imperial presidency and respected some individual rights. The Bush regime and its supportes are not Conservatives.
Scientists report that New Orleans may have to be abandoned entirely in a few decades, due to the effects of global warming.
It remains possible, however, to raise the level of the city well above sea level, as Galveston was raised a century ago. If the seas rise only a meter, well, one additional meter of elevation would not make it much harder.
WTO Biotech Ruling Reveals Special Interests, Say Critics.
The WTO should be abolished, and as a first step, citizens should demand their governments defy this order as illegitimate.
Bush has resurrected Total Information Awareness under another name.
Legal scholars denounce Bush's arguments for illegal spying.
The main reason why these attempts to "prevent terrorism" won't work is that they are focused only on secondary threats. They won't help against the big dangers that our country faces, such as rigged elections and mass murder by corrupt presidents that appoint corrupt officials and fire those of integrity. Meanwhile, they would be easy for a corrupt president to turn towards prevention of dissent.
Guantanamo prisoners on hunger strike are practically being tortured to feed them.
Deb Mayer, a teacher in Indiana, was fired after a harassment campaign by parents who were angry that she had spoken about "peace" in class. Not satisfied that her principal made a rule against using that word in class, they made false accusations to get her fired.
A former minister of El Salvador was convicted in the US of torture that was committed under his direction in El Salvador. Maybe this will pave the way to try Bush and his henchmen.
The ICC is expected to issue arrest warrants for those who ordered the killing of thousands of people in the Congo. When will it go after the biggest killers, such as Bush?
Scott Ritter says Bush is planning to attack Iran regardless of what the UN does. And that he also plans to use nuclear weapons against Iran.
The same Danish newspaper that published cartoons about Muhammad rejected cartoons about Jesus.
It could be true that the paper has double standards for Islam and Christianity. If so, that is to their discredit. However, newspapers should be free to publish both kinds of cartoons.
Perhaps some newspaper in Iran would like to publish the previously rejected cartoons about Jesus. If any Christians are offended, it would teach the world a good lesson that freedom of speech cuts all ways.
Bush forces death squads have been operating in Iraq since shortly after the conquest, a former general confirms.
22 congressmen have signed the call to for an impeachment probe.
The Bush forces are making soldiers pay for equipment destroyed in combat, if they can't provide proof. Well, how else can they getthe money to pay Halliburton?
Veterans protested on behalf of Bush forces soldiers poisoned by Dirty Uranium bombs.
Republicans' changes in US law have allowed courts to consider evidence obtained by torture.
The US is step by step becoming a demonic parody of the values it professes.
More than half of the prisoners in Guantanamo are not accused of actually doing anything.
When Gonzales and Alito say that the president can do whatever he wants, they are following precedent--in Germany.
Crazed Islamist protestors took over parts of Beirut. They seem to believe that it is legitimate to punish not only whoever would mock their religion, but any handy substitute.
It is ironic to see Muslims rioting and killing people because someone had the impudence to accuse Islam of being a violent religion. Of course, not all Muslims are doing this; Islam does not automatically make all its believers violent. But it can't be denied that an attitude that encourages violence is one aspect of Islam. This attitude can manifest itself in situations where it is justified, as in the Iraqi resistance, and in situations where it is unjustified, as in the attacks on Danes and French.
Some suggest that newspaper editors should "learn how to live in a multicultural world" by not publishing anything that might offend some group of touchy people that might fly off the handle. I respond that it is Muslims that need to learn how to live in a multicultural world, by learning to respond to words with words, not with fists or guns. Some wiser Muslims understand that violence in response to words does "more damage to the name of the Prophet...than the cartoons." The rest must listen to them.
During my career of fighting for free software, my work has been called "Communist" and a "cancer"; once I was called a "mad imam". Despite all these insults, I never once threatened to kill or injure the people who insulted me--nor even to sue them. People have a right to insult me and my views--or you, or your views--or Muhammad and his views--or anyone and any views.
An Iranian newspaper has started a Holocaust cartoon contest as a response to the cartoons about Islam.
There is something not quite appropriate about this response; in effect they are saying, "Since you said something nasty about us, we will say something nasty about someone else." It would be more appropriate as a response to run a contest for cartoons to insult a certain newspaper editor.
It is also redundant: antisemitic books are already prominently displayed in the bookstores of some Muslim countries, and I'd guess that includes Iran.
However, this is a big step up from violence. At least this newspaper has recognize that the proper response to insulting words is verbal.
In a program to save women's lives, the UK will replace the cut-off US aid funds for organizations that do abortions.
Corporations could be charged with homicide when their negligeance kills people, just as people are. And in the past, they sometimes were.
Turnabout: Iran and Venezuela Plan War on Israel
The Bush war crimes commission's report details the case against Bush for various kinds of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Iraqi religious leaders, Muslim and Christian, call for the release of prisoners held without charges by various armed groups. (One of those groups is the Bush forces.)
Unsealed court records show that Libby will be accused of a broad pattern of lies.
Blair is planning to participate in the permanent military occupation of Iraq.
Note the pro-Bush bias of the article, which pretends that the Bush occupation is necessary because the "insurgency disrupts everyday life" in Iraq. Any disruption they cause is nothing compared to what the occupying forces do. Here's a small example.
Sao Paulo, Brazil, is about to make solar water heating mandatory on all new and rebuilt buildings.
The Capitol Police tried lying to justify arresting Cindy Sheehan; when that would not stick, they tried a half-hearted apology that is a vehicle for more lies. She's not having any of it.
Some in Congress are talking about passing laws prohibiting US companies from cooperating with Chinese internet censorship.
The Foundation for Democracy in Iran, a neocon group posing as a freedom movement, is feeding "news reports from Iran" to the media to provide an excuse for war.
The various leaked British memos have proved conclusively that Bush lied when he said he had not yet decided to attack Iraq. The US mass media have not informed the public of this.
Iraq under Bush rule is worse off in every way than under Saddam Hussein's rule. Even malnutricion is up, and that's by comparison with the years of sanctions.
Isreali public opinion favors negotiating with HAMAS.
When an opinion poll reports 48% in favor and 43% opposed (with therefore 9% undecided), the right way to interpret that is 48-to-43. It's not very likely that all the undecided people will come down on one side once they make up their minds.
HAMAS won the election largely because Israel refused to make any concessions to the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority.
It is hard for Western governments to criticize HAMAS after what they themselves have done.
Not having done those things, or supported them, I am morally in a position to criticize HAMAS. I oppose of its stated goal of eliminating Israel, and I will utterly oppose any harm that it does to womens' rights.
But HAMAS' policies should not stop Israel from negotiating with a HAMAS-led Palestinian government. In practical terms, Israel's violence against Palestinians dwarfs Palestinians' violence against Israel. Israeli settlers are stealing Palestinian land and water as you read this. If HAMAS is willing to overlook all this and negotiate with Israel, Israel can overlook the lesser HAMAS violence and negotiate with HAMAS.
The IWW organized a Starbucks in New York City, and fought off management's attacks on their members.
Daniel Ellsberg says that protestors in the streets made him realize his patriotic duty to publish the Pentagon Papers. Now it's up to Americans to protest so that today's officials will recognize where their duty lies.
The Pentagon has created a complete data base of students in the US, and is ready to share it with the police at any time.
The UK police who shot Menezies, the Brazilian who they assumed was a suicide bomber, then altered their log to cover up what they had done.
Lying is standard practice for cops. They lie to cover up, they lie to make their crimes look justified, and they lie to put people in prison.
You probably know by now that HAMAS won the Palestinian elections. I've been unable to find a good story about this and its implications in a place I could link to.
When Israel and others refer to HAMAS as enemies with which they cannot possibly talk, it's useful to recall that Israel built up HAMAS as a way of weakening support for the Fatah.
Hamas does not plan to impose Islamic law, but its victory may unleash extremist pressure against women's rights.
The Iraqi resistance is having increased success in stopping Bush from using Iraq's oil to pay for the occupation of Iraq.
Google is cooperating with Chinese censorship.
Google is using the collaborator's standard excuse--that collaboration with injustice somehow makes it less. Once in a while, this is true. Usually it is false, but it is not easy to prove that it's false, and that is why it is such a handy excuse.
On rare occasions, it is possible to mitigate an evil system by working with it and trying to be sensitive. However, this cooperation also tends to prop up the system. It is easy for the collaborator to count the few occasions on which it has mitigated the evil; it is not so easy to measure how much the collaborator has contributed to the perpetuation of the evil by not opposing it. Thus, it is natural for the collaborator can cite the former while ignoring the latter. It ends up as a systematic excuse for collaboration, and therefore must always be distrusted.
Even Fox News is worried about a new prohibition in the proposed USA PAT RIOT act.
Maine is the first US state to require TV manufacturers to pay for disposal of the toxic materials in TVs.
17 representatives now call for Bush to step down or to be impeached.
Former British intelligence agent David Shayler was reviled when he claimed that in 1996 MI-6 plotted with Al Qa'ida to assassinate Qaddafi. Later a leaked document proved he was right. (Look for "London and Manchester".)
Shayler believes 9/11 was an inside job, but has no specific evidence to add to this.
A Bush forces official will go to prison for stealing millions from the military occupation of Iraq.
Bush's subsequent governors of Iraq have followed the same pattern of corruption.
Bush wanted to disguise a spy plane as a UN plane so as to dishonestly claim Saddam Hussein had attacked the UN.
This would not have been the first time that the US treated the UN treacherously in Iraq. The original UN weapons inspection team was forced to leave because some of its members were spying for the US.
Double standards in the Capitol, and in Israel.
Israeli treatment of Palestinians reminded Desmond Tutu (and many others) of Apartheid. There is now a Palestinian campaign to boycott Israel and its organizations, following the example of the boycott campaign that forced South Africa to end Apartheid.
The Republicans passed a law to make poor mothers work longer hours (what are they supposed to do with their children in that time?) so they can give the rich another tax cut.
After a Danish newspaper printed a cartoons making fun of Islam and Mohammed, Muslims around the world began making threats, demanding the power to censor criticism of their religion world-wide. They also began boycotting Danish companies, and the newspaper shamefully apologized. But other papers around the world have reprinted the cartoons in defense of freedom of the press.
I have not seen the cartoons; I don't know what I would think of them as statements, but I doubt they are much harsher than my cartoons about Bush. In any case, whether I agree with these cartoons is a side issue. Muslims persistently demand to bully into silence anyone who would criticize them. (Remember the assassination orders against Salman Rushdie?) The rest of the world should resolutely show that they have no such power.
I am an ACLU member, and I defend the right of even Nazis and neo-cons to express their pernicious views. Believers in Islam, and critics of Islam, also have right to express their views. Nobody, not Mohammed, not even Bush, has the right not to be mocked.
Cleveland police attacked a woman putting up posters for a protest, then accused her of "assaulting an officer".
I guess she hit their knees with her back. That's what protestors with police sitting on them always do.
Cindy Sheehan reports on her arrest in the Capitol Building.
Afghanistan, 5 years after the war, is slowly falling apart. Bush made grandiose promises to rebuild the country, but they were just noise. Now the country depends on growing opium, while the Taliban are slowly coming back.
I supported the war in Afghanistan--not because of 9/11, but because the Taliban were horrible. I did not realize that Bush would let the country dangle while he moved on to his real target, Iraq. Now I wonder whether it is too late to prevent another round of long drawn-out violence in Afghanistan.
Jimmy Carter says that some Bush regime officials want to keep troops in Iraq for 50 years.
Rumsfeld wants Americans to become accustomed to a permanent state of war.
Someone who tried to watch Bush's State of the Union address reports that Bush surpassed himself in hypocrisy.
Mali's farmers reject genetically modified cotton because it would subject them to the permanent control of seed companies.
Are large corporations now "too big", or "too important", to prosecute for crimes?
A Kurdish democracy activist has been sentenced to 30 years prison in semi-independent Iraqi Kurdistan for "insulting" its government.
That government operates under the umbrella of Bush protection, and Bush could surely make it stop these outrages if he wanted to. However, for Bush this represents only his dream of how to run a country.
Iraq is not Vietnam...but here's a list of parallels.
Veterans for Peace are creating relationships with reservists, who might be sent to Iraq to fight in the Bush forces. This can help build resistance to the war among the soldiers, where it is urgently needed.
Senator Feingold pointed out that Torture Gonzalez lied in his confirmation hearing when he was asked about illegal spying as a hypothetical possibility.
Lying to Congress is a crime; shouldn't Gonzalez be prosecuted?
Almost half of Iraqis support attacking the Bush forces. That figure includes the Shi'ites and Kurds.
I understand Iraqi's concern that the Iraqi police and army are not capable of policing the country. The troops tend to desert when there is a battle, or even before.
However, "building up" the Iraqi "security forces" is not a matter of mere training and supplies. As long as the occupation continues, these forces are collaborators; the resistance attacks them, and they can't help knowing that what they are fighting on the wrong side. Meanwhile, some of the police are death squads, probably trained by the Bush forces.
I think that building of Iraqi security forces composed of patriotic Iraqis can only begin once the Bush forces are gone. Only then will patriotic Iraqis be able to participate.
Cindy Sheehan joined others including Kevin Zeese (senate candidate) and Ann Wright (a diplomat who resigned from disgust for Bush) at a rally for impeachment in DC.
She was also arrested while listening to the State of the Union address--for wearing a shirt that criticizes Bush. Nothing more than wearing a shirt.
Does anyone know whether Senator Feinstein changed her mind and supported the filibuster against Alito? If not, I look forward to supporting Sheehan's senatorial campaign.
A Swiss lab says voice-print analysis shows the latest Osama bin Laden tape is not Osama bin Laden.
Walter Cronkite had suspicions about a previous tape, too.
Washington is threatening to cut aid to Bolivia unless Morales kowtows.
When this article speaks of "reforms", that probably means the same thing it means when the IMF says it: measures to screw the poor. Perhaps Morales should simply withdraw Bolivia's request for this aid, so that it will cease to be a lever in Washington's hands.
Gunfire failed to stop the massive protests in Nepal against the king's autocracy.
Women soldiers in the Bush forces died of dehydration, because they refused to drink water after 4pm. Their reason: they were afraid that if they went to the latrine at night, they might get raped. General Sanchez took steps to cover up the problems.
An interview with Harry Belafonte about Bush and the constitution.
I think Belafonte makes a mistake in saying that "poverty is terror". Poverty is suffering, but identifying all kinds of suffering with "terror" is destroying an important distinction.
The US took hostages in Vietnam, too.
Bolivia and Venezuela have signed a trade accord, exchanging diesel fuel for agricultural products. This seems like a further step in Bolivia's rejection of the empire.
The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.
The leader among Sunnis disposed to cooperate with Bush says that the Shi'ites are pursuing a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" in Baghdad.
Theocracy based on lynch-mob violence is the rule in Iraq today.
A tower of evidence supports the claim that the World Trade Center was destroyed by explosives, not airplanes.
And some of the details connect it directly with the Bush family.
The Geneva Conventions clearly prohibit taking hostages, and US law makes it a crime for soldiers to do so. But it has become a common practice in the Bush forces, and no one has been prosecuted.
I forecast that the Bush regime will eventually be found to have committed nearly all the forms of evil that have ever been known or envisioned. It has rejected any and all limits on its actions, so its demand for power is now unchecked, and will spread like poison gas into every corner of the space of cruelty.
Palestinians unite again to call for the release of the Christian Peacemaker Teams.
Inside the Justice Department, even some Conservative lawyers tried to resist Bush's drive for absolute power. But they were forced out.
Bush has no room for old-fashioned Conservatives, since their views include principled opposition to an all-powerful executive branch and defending constitutional rights. To work for Bush, one must support Bush's power all the way.
When Bant Singh's daughter was raped by higher-caste Indians, and the village council sentenced her to marry one of the rapists, Bant Singh pursued the case and got the rapists imprisoned. Their relatives took mutilated him in return.
He may die as a result of the injuries, which were untreated because the doctor demanded a bribe. (Remember the visitor in Florida whose eye was hit by a bullet?)
This is typical of the way Dalits are treated--like the way Blacks were treated in the US under segregation, but worse.
With the weak congressional opposition to Bush's illegal spying, what if Bush uses the hearings as an opportunity to go further?
Cindy Sheehan says: she will run against Diane Feinstein for the US Senate if Feinstein doesn't join the Alito filibuster.
Feinstein's policy about Alito--to make an ineffective gesture of opposition while rejecting effective opposition--is typical of her general political position: she is a right-wing Democrat, one of those responsible for the degradation of the Democratic Party. However, desirable as it would be for her to be replaced by a real Democrat, I'd much rather see her join the filibuster and defeat Alito.
How the CIA scientifically studied torture to develop traceless techniques for breaking people's spirit--in imitation of the Soviet Union.
50 scholars, and former high government officials, charge Bush with participating in the 9/11 attacks.
More cases where the Bush forces took Iraqi women hostage.
I offer the Iraqi men whose family members were taken hostage by Bush terrorists the same advice that I offered to westerners when Arabs took hostages: don't give the terrorists what they demand!
Captain James Yee, who was the Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo, reports on mass suicide attempts, and how the Bush authorities won't release prisoners they know to be innocent--and how he himself was arrested and treated like the Guantanamo prisoners, on charges later dropped.
One mainstream commentator, Joel Stein, dared to recognize that it's wrong to "support" troops engaged in an unjust war.
(I've read that he has since been vilified by Bush's army of character assassination.)
This is exactly the reason why I won't call them "our" troops. Some of them used to be the US Army, but since Bush took them away to use them for a war of aggression, they are not "ours" any more. Calling them the "Bush forces" denies Bush a handle to manipulate Americans through their misapplied patriotism.
Susan van Haitsma says that her brother in law, a reservist on his way to Iraq, asks for Americans for just one kind of support: to oppose the war.
When Congress canceled it, people warned that Bush would bring it back under some other name--and he did, in the NSA.
Tackle nuclear waste disposal first, warn UK advisers, as Blair plans to build new nuclear plants.
The ACLU got proof that Iraqi women were taken hostage by the Bush forces, to put pressure on their husbands.
Previous notes refer to earlier accusations of hostage-taking; what's new here is to get proof from Bush forces documents.
The "deceitfulness" of one of the women in the last case probably refers to what you'd expect a wife to do when she knows her husband is in danger.
An FBI agent spying on a peaceful protest arrested Caitlin Childs for refusing to hand over a piece of paper on which she had written his car's license number.
The protesters were vegetarians, criticizing the sale of meat. In the eyes of Bush, that makes them terrorists.
Police have made several clumsy attempts to infiltrate the Broward Antiwar Coalition, including one apparent attempt to provoke a confrontation with police at a rally just as it was scheduled to end.
I sympathize with photographers Hammontree and Lauderdale; people who protest in public should not criticize, let alone attack, journalists for photographing them. But let's not get distracted from the real threat to these journalists, which comes from the police, as this article also shows. No city should allow its police to confiscate cameras. If the police don't want witnesses, what are they trying to hide?
I also suggest that police should be required to make a video recording of all their official dealings with citizens, including all arrests. Police are much more likely than the average citizen to engage in unjustified violence; they need to be strictly supervised.
The president of France threatened to use nuclear weapons against countries that support terrorist use weapons of mass destruction on France. The threat seems to intended to manipulate French public opinion.
This does not go as far as the US has already gone. The US has officially refused to accept any limits on when it might use nuclear weapons.
How the Bush forces, thinking only about "winning the war", drifted into laying the groundwork for an Iraqi civil war.
US "justice": protestors who put their own blood on a military recruitment center were sentenced to prison, while a soldier who tortured an Iraqi prisoner to death was not.
Was that because his method of torture didn't spill blood?
The House of Lords tore up Blair's mandatory ID plan in the name of freedom, but did not completely reject the first stages of the plan.
Support for impeachment is growing among Americans, but some Democratic politicians are trying to defend Bush from their constituents.
Why would a Democrat protect Bush when her constituents want to impeach him? I suspect it has to do with campaign finance.
The Bush plan to "rebuild Iraq" was sabotaged by bad organization and dishonesty--the pretense that Bush had not already decided to invade required the administration not to plan what to do afterward.
Meanwhile, the continued resistance has meant that the Bush forces do additional damage faster than they could ever have rebuilt old damage.
An interview with Ali Fadhil, award-winning Iraqi journalist, who was arrested by the Bush forces.
The World Bank says that western aid to Afghanistan, which bypasses the Afghan government, weakens it.
That might be true, but I wonder about other good reasons for bypassing the government. Will it use the aid fairly and honestly?
Bush plans a campaign of lies to excuse illegal spying.
Anti-war soldiers in the Bush forces are organizing--cautiously--to bring the war to a halt. (Skip the first story.)
Everyone in the Bush forces deserves a certain amount of compassion, though not as much as the Iraqis that they massacre and torture. But when we speak of "supporting" them, it should mean supporting these organizing efforts.
2005 was the hottest year on record, and did so without help from el niño, which means it clearly indicates the warming trend.
When Roberts and Alito said they could not discuss cases they might consider if appointed to the Supreme Court, they were disregarding a Supreme Court ruling which said that indeed they could do so.
An Iraqi-American who raised funds to send food and medicine to Iraq has been convicted of many technical crimes which usually are not prosecuted at all--after being labeled as a "terrorist".
An internal Pentagon report says that the Iraqi resistance has stretched the Bush forces almost to the breaking point. If the resistance holds on, it can win.
Jim Massey, the ex-marine that testifies to the evil he and his unit did in Iraq, is now facing a typical right-wing campaign of character assassination.
A former Abu Ghraib soldier says that various kinds of torture were standard practice there.
As Bush argues for illegal spying on the claim that the whole world is now a battlefield and he can therefore do whatever he wishes anywhere, prominent Democrats in the Senate are accepting the illegal spying.
With this, the US government has declared the abolution of human rights, and war on the whole world (including Americans).
The Arab League's attempt to reunite Iraqis has failed, with Shi'ite organizations now preaching hatred for Sunnis.
This could be failure for Bush's aims of controlling Iraq, but it gives little hope for freedom and democracy in Iraq.
There are reports that a Bush forces officer, Colonel Westhusing, was murdered by the company he was investigating--a privatized government agency that is now part of the Carlyle group.
I don't know if this is true, but we can't deny it is plausible. And that illustrates something broader which we do know is true: the Bush regime's degraded standards of honesty and justice make it easy, in general, for the powerful to get away with murder.
6 former heads of the EPA got together to condemn Bush's policy of disregarding environmental threats.
Iceland is beginning to convert from gasoline to hydrogen to run vehicles.
I see two shortcomings: (1) we can't wait till the middle of the century to stop global warming, and (2) most of the world doesn't have Iceland's geothermal energy source, so we still need other ways to generate the electricity to make the hydrogen.
The bill Congress is considering to restrict analog video recorders includes a secret requirement. It would be, in effect, a secret law.
Zanon Ceramics in Argentina was seized by its workers in 2002. Now it is more efficient, safer, better to work at, and has made friends with its community.
The state of Alaska refused to provide its voter data base to be checked for fraud, saying it has a contract with Diebold not to do so.
This contract should be treated as invalid, because the public's right to an honest election is more important than whatever happens to any company.
The issue also illustrates why governments have a duty to use free software. They have no right to give control over their data processing into private hands.
Blair is trying to suffocate the investigation of possible UK cooperation in CIA torture flights.
Protestors who spray painted "troops out now" in Ohio face felony charges.
Meanwhile, Bush faces no punishment for breaking a large string of laws.
A Bush forces soldier who tortured an Iraqi to death was convicted of "negligent homicide".
An army that treats the "need to make someone talk" as a mitigating factor for torture will never end torture in its ranks.
More evidence is appearing that shows the danger of Depleted Uranium dirty bombs--and that it can contaminate people who visit battle areas months after the battle.
Bechtel vs. Bolivia: The People Win!
However, full victory means the abolition of these secret courts that are not responsible to the people of any country.
Further tests confirm security flaws in Diebold electronic voting machines.
However, grave as these flaws are, I'm not sure these tests get at the heart of the matter. The crucial question is not whether an outsider could break the security of the machines, but rather whether corrupt election officials could do so, or make it easy for Diebold to do so.
The Taliban have brought suicide bombings to Afghanistan, which seems to be slowly heading towards a quagmire like that of Iraq.
Sudan arrested the attendees (local and foreign) of a human rights meeting.
The opponents of Blair's national ID card believe they can defeat it.
The EU is overlooking human rights abuses in other countries in favor of lucrative contracts.
The latest Palestinian suicide bombing was not responding to an Israeli attack--rather, it seems to have been intended to cause trouble for Palestinian elections and prevent both Israelis and Palestinians from moving towards peace.
Testimony in the Bush war crimes commission lays out how Bush faked reasons to justify a war of aggression.
The levees of New Orleans were built in a shoddy fashion that could indicate fundamental flaws in how the Army Corps of Engineers does its work.
Why is no one talking about raising the level of the land in the areas that need to be rebuilt? If we had the sense to do this in Galveston a century ago, why not today? With sea levels rising, and hurricane numbers and strength increasing, any levees that we might build now will surely be inadequate in two decades.
The head of the Veterans Administration did not say why he resigned, but some say it's because he sees no way to deal with the disaster of poisoning by DU ("Depleted" Uranium dirty bombs).
Torture flights: what No 10 knew and tried to cover up.
To rely on the word of a known liar to guarantee the honesty of one's conduct is in itself dishonesty.
Hamas support grows after Israelis shoot militant leader.
The proposed renewal of the PAT RIOT Act has a new provision that would make it a crime to "disrupt" a political convention or other "major events".
If interpreted narrowly, that might be legitimate, but handing such power to a regime with a persistent habit of stretching laws is dangerous.
(The part about entering a place where the president will be does not seem like a big deal to me.)
One by one, Iraqi cities and towns are being turned into prisons, in which the Bush forces prevent people from living normal lives. In effect, Palestine all over again.
Iran is setting up an oil market that will operate on euros instead of dollars. This directly attacks the worldwide use of dollars which gives the US its economic power.
I don't have faith in all the conclusions drawn in the article--predicting human actions several steps ahead is never reliable, since there are always other possibilities. (Life is not a game of chess.) But this does seem likely to weaken the US' ability to bully the world, and that would be a good thing.
One anomaly bothers me: why is Iran pushing the nuclear issue now, when that helps the US win support for war against Iran? It's clear that the best strategy for Iran would be to avoid offering a casus belli. It might be that the president of Iran is a fanatic, overcome by his emotions--but I'd need more evidence before I'd take that as the explanation.
Florida wants to reconstitute the privacy-invading Matrix program.
More suspicious points in the latest "Osama bin Laden tape".
Osama bin Laden tapes have a history of appearing just when Bush needs them.
It would not be necessary for bin Laden to be dead, or collaborating with Bush, in order for the CIA to fake a tape. But neither of those is the case, one might expect him to speak up to denounce the fakes. Many have argued that he is dead, and that seems plausible to me.
An interview with three Bush forces veterans about how they joined what was then the US Army, what they saw in Iraq, and why they now oppose the war.
There are plans to track all car travel by putting RFIDs in license plates.
The Canadian lawyers that seek to prosecute Bush for war crimes have appealed the dismissal of their case.
Several chains of evidence connect the death squads of the Iraqi government with the death squads of Central America in the 80s.
The US accuses Venezuela of "overspending" on a "military buildup". It's like the pot calling the Sun black.
Once again the US Senate considers a bill to require Digital Restrictions Management in all computers-- disguised as a footnote in a bill to impose the "broadcast flag" on digital TV broadcasts.
The UK government, like the Bush regime, is trying to keep the public in the dark about wounded soldiers. It has refused to release statistics about the severity of the wounds.
Republicans expect to win the 2006 election the same way they won the 2004 election--by cheating.
The Israeli police won't let a Palestinian return to an Israeli hospital for treatment. He got AIDS from a blood transfusion and can't be treated in Gaza. The police say he is a "security threat", but he could hardly do any harm on this visit if he is watched.
The latest "bin Laden tape" urges everyone to read the book Rogue State, by Bill Blum. The same Blum wrote another book condemning the (US-supported) Afghan resistance in which bin Laden got his start.
Did the real bin Laden decide to overlook Blum's opposition to his first battle? Or is this tape CIA disinformation, meant to smear people like Blum that criticize US attacks around the world?
For the record, I supported the US campaigns to arm the Afghan resistance, and I still think that it was right to help the people of Afghanistan to kick out the occupying foreign army that they hated.
The German government is trying to prevent a public inquiry into whether its spies helped the Bush forces attack Iraq. They say this would spread "anti-Americanism".
However, the attitude that this would spread would not be hostile to Americans--only to the unjust and undemocratic government that has taken hold in the US.
The greatest heroism possible for a soldier is to stand up to one's own commanders. Here are some US military heroes.
Michel Chossudovsky says that the US is planning a nuclear attack on Iran.
A practical RFID-zapper that is trivial for any electronics hobbyist.
The EU proposes taxing air travel and short-term financial transactions. It seems like a good idea, since it will discourage those things as well as raise money.
Jack Abramoff worked in the 80s for South Africa's intelligence.
In 2000, the CIA gave Iran nuclear bomb plans.
Epidemiological methods estimate that between 200,000 and 700,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed by the war.
Iraqis and other Arabs are aghast over the kidnaping of Jill Carroll, and calling on the kidnapers to free her.
Previous kidnapings attributed to Iraqi "terrorists" have also given grounds to wonder which side the perpetrators were really on.
Death Sentence for Friends and Families of Alleged Terrorists
US military recruiters are failing to make their quotas--so they accuse Americans of cowardice.
This is part of a larger pattern, in which the pressure for officers and enlisted men to support a war that they know is wrong corrupts their spirit and that of their institution.
James Lovelock says global warming has gone beyond the point of no return. It could be true, but there is no way to be certain, so it would be foolish to give up.
However, if the US continues blocking any real efforts to slow global warming, we're all down the tubes.
The Bush forces sealed off an Iraqi town and arrested 100 local men of all ages, after an attack by the resistance.
A veteran of the Bush forces calls for impeachment of Bush.
A Bush forces soldier is on trial for killing an Iraqi prisoner.
Once the Bush-approved torture methods are seen as normal, it is not a big step to killing prisoner. It is predictable that people will take that step from time to time.
Kevin Benderman, imprisoned illegally for petitioning conscientious objector status, continues campaigning for all Americans, even from prison.
Sgt Benderman's principled stand.
A US attack in Pakistan, which came as a surprise to the government of Pakistan, is strengthening Islamist opposition to the government there.
To attack civilians in an "allied" country is rather arrogant, but I think that shows the attitude of the Bush regime. To be its "ally" only means that you don't get attacked when you're obeying.
The US Supreme Court upheld Oregon's assisted-suicide law. The only opposition came from "conservatives" that normally claim to support "states' rights".
Google is resisting Bush's attempt to collect information about searches that the public has done.
The government has no business violating people's privacy merely to study how to implement a law.
The Iraq war will cause a trillion dollars of damage to the US economy--or more, if the Bush forces continue it.
Al Jazeera's lawyers have petitioned to see the transcript of Blair and Bush's discussion about bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters.
Correcting US misinformation about Al Jazeera.
More information on how the forged Niger uranium documents reached US intelligence.
People in the State Department recognized them as suspect before Bush referred to them as valid. That's more evidence that Bush was not misled by mistakes, but rather that he demanded a certain conclusion and people gave it to him.
The Iraqi Constitution was surreptitiously changed between its approval and its publication. The changes are interesting.
Republicans want to "reduce the red tape" that protects our environment.
Here's what happens in other countries which streamline industrial activity. It used to happen in the US, too--and it could happen again in the future.
Israeli police have arrested settlers for attacking Palestinians.
This is news because settlers usually enjoy impunity for such attacks. It would be very good if this counterexample indicates a lasting change in policy.
The government of France is practicing long-term imprisonment without trial, and seems to have cooperated with the CIA by turning a blind eye (at least) to torture flights.
CNN's new host, Glenn Beck, has a history of right-wing hatred on the air--even suggesting the murder of prominent opposition figures.
It is useful to compare claims of "liberal media bias" against facts like these.
Two more Cuban-Americans have been arrested for informing the Cuban government of the activities of terrorists sheltered by the US.
The US Army covered up the fact that Pat Tillman was killed by other US troops. Perhaps this was only because the news would be embarrassing, and they wanted to use him.
However, Tillman denounced the Iraq war as "illegal" to fellow soldiers, and was opposed to Bush.
I've seen suggestions, without clear proof, that the Bush regime had him killed to prevent him from campaigning against Bush policies. I don't know if that is true.
The European Commission is trying again to impose software patents on Europe.
Although that article puts the words "open source" in Florian Mueller's mouth, his actual posted statement did not use those words. I wonder what is the reason for this.
An Iraqi refugee charges that the Iraqi Minister of the Interior directly authorized random arrests and torture of prisoners.
A report that the Bush forces recently took a 70-year-old grandmother hostage, demanding that her grandson surrender himself to authorities that are likely to torture him.
I don't know enough to judge the accuracy of this report, but the Bush forces have made a practice of taking family members hostage for over two years. John Yoo recently argued in public that Bush has the right to order the torture of a child if he thinks that is the right way to defeat "bad people". Hostage-taking fits that attitude perfectly.
Bush and Yoo decline to recognize that, with that attitude, they too are "bad people". And because they are more powerful than other "bad people" such as Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden, they belong earlier in the World's Most Wanted list.
The UN "stabilization force" in Haiti has had to admit it killed innocent people in a raid on "gang members". Meanwhile, the business elite that Bush helped to oust Aristide is demanding that the UN do more to "against violence", but that could easily mean helping them suppress Aristide's poor supporters.
Shadow zones in Bush's Iraq policy: the issues he never talks about.
Australia and the US are offering an alternative to regulation, for preventing global warming. You could call it "invisible handwaving".
Sharon is Not a Man of Peace.
Poland has sentenced a journalist to prison for criticizing a politician.
The Bush forces say they can't identify the soldiers that kicked and punched an Iraqi prisoner until he was unconscious. The file was deleted in a computer crash, they say.
Congress adopted a shameful law denying Guantanamo prisoners access to US courts to enforce US laws (such as the prohibition of torture). The Supreme Court is now looking at whether that cancels the cases already filed by Guantanamo prisoners.
The defense lawyers in Guantanamo military tribunals have denounced them as unjust, and at least one, a reservist who is a civilian lawyer, fears he will lose his civilian lawyer's license merely for participating in the unjust proceedings.
An interview with Noam Chomsky, about Iraq, the Democratic Party, and what it means to declare war on a tactic such as "terrorism".
An Ecuatorian in the US was hit by a stray bullet on New Years Eve. She went to a hospital, which refused to treat her because she could not pay.
Another article (which I don't have a URL for) says that she was in danger of losing her eye if not treated, but the hospital told her that her problem was not serious.
This "non-profit" hospital has in fact been making a lot of money.
Bush forces soldiers, while home on leave, are under pressure to give out propaganda to the local press.
In November, the Bush forces handed over a palace to the "Iraqi government forces". Who promptly looted it.
The Bush forces didn't even investigate the torture claims of an Iraqi prisoner, the ACLU has found. They dropped the investigation without questioning even one soldier.
Soldiers from the Bush forces spoke favorably to Congressman Murtha at a "town meeting".
The judge in Saddam Hussein's trial has resigned because of pressure from the "Iraqi government" to make the trial less fair.
The information in the "Downing Street memo", that Bush had arranged for "intelligence" to show grounds for attacking Iraq, came from CIA Director Tenet.
Will General Miller be prosecuted for introducing torture to Guantanamo?
A "doomsday vault" will try to preserve all agricultural plant varieties.
Illegal NSA surveillance started before 9/11, as soon as Bush got in power.
A BBC article in Iran's nuclear program presented this quote: "People should worry about a populist religious fundamentalist having his finger on a nuclear button" (from Jay in Liverpool).
I think this was intented, in ironic British humor, to compare the President of Iran with the President of the US.
Frog Extinctions Linked to Global Warming. 1/3 of all frog species are now threatened.
A BBC article on Iran's nuclear program presented this quote: "People should worry about a populist religious fundamentalist having his finger on a nuclear button" (from Jay in Liverpool).
I think this was intented, in ironic British humor, to compare the President of Iran with the President of the US.
Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running.
Belarus adopted new laws to criminalize protest activity.
Switzerland intercepted an Egyptian government memo confirming the existence of secret US prisons in various European countries, including Romania, Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. Then the intercepted memo was leaked to the press.
The Swiss Cabinet condemned the leak of papers. It seems more concerned about leaks than about the monstrous conduct reported by the leak. Don't they remember that the Geneva Conventions were negotiated in Switzerland?
Russell Tice, ex-NSA employee, talks about massive NSA spying that he believes was illegal.
Elizabeth Holtzman, who voted in Congress to impeach Nixon, presents the case for the impeachment of Bush.
The Iraq Pledge of Resistance group in Baltimore has proof that the NSA spied on them.
Amnesty International has new accusations of torture in Guantanamo.
According to legal experts, the the case for impeachment of Bush is solid, and the US is in a constitutional crisis. (You'd never think so from looking at the US media.) But the Republicans won't allow impeachment no matter what Bush might do--so what must America do to rescue the Constitution?
The FBI has internally adopted the policy of labeling civil disobedience as "terrorism". Nonviolent organizations that criticize government and business are being investigated on this basis.
Bliar claims to make a priority of preserving endangered species, but he's cutting wildlife research, so he doesn't really mean what he says.
Botswana has imposed fees for children in secondary school.
In recent decades, the IMF (with the US behind it) has forced many countries to abolish free education. Nothing could be more damaging to a country's future. I don't know whether the IMF is involved here; can anyone find out?
Many seabirds died on the US west coast, for lack of fish to eat. The fish were not there becase their food was not there. It comes down to an unusual wind pattern.
Such things can happen randomly, but I think there's a big chance that global warming is responsible.
Iran defied the IAEA and resumed unspecified "nuclear research".
I feel anxiety about Iran with nuclear weapons, but more anxiety about the US with nuclear weapons. Other recent notes present indications that the US is actually planning to use nuclear weapons.
When the IRS freezes taxpayers' refunds, because it suspects them of tax fraud, it doesn't tell them. If the auditors decide not to audit a taxpayer after all, the IRS doesn't tell him.
When IRS officials defend this form of screwing the public, that alone shows they are not fit for being in charge of anything important to the public.
A journalist investigating fraud in the Bush forces was arrested by soldiers shooting live ammunition. Fortunately they didn't hit him or his children. He was also fortunate not to be kept in prison for months or years, as other randomly arrested people have been. But his videos, made for the Guardian, were confiscated.
This is a small illustration of what the Iraqi resistance is fighting against.
As Haiti continues descending into chaos, the commander of the UN "stabilization force" was found dead in what looks like a suicide--but it's very suspicious.
The precipitous decline of vultures in India is due to a drug used to treat sick cattle.
Indian film-maker Rakesh Sharma is suing the city of New York, with the help of the ACLU, because the police arrested him for "filming without a permit".
Bush is blocking Brazil from selling airplanes to Venezuela. Chavez is threatening various kinds of reprisal.
The NSA is spying on a US domestic peace group.
The Spanish government has arrested people for recruiting others to fight in Iraq against the army occupying their country.
A few decades ago, thousands of people were recruited in other countries to fight in Spain against tyranny. The government of Spain should recognize the legitimacy of such recruiting, and should not interfere when people are recruited in Spain to fight against tyranny in Iraq.
If you have a senator on the Judiciary committee, call and say: "Don't allow Alito in!"
It was Alito who suggested the idea of presidential "signing statements" in which presidents can say "I think I am above this law." Do you want Alito to be on the Supreme Court when it votes on whether this really negates the ban on torture?
|Arlen Specter (PA)||Orrin Hatch (UT)||Charles Grassley (IA)|
|Jon Kyl (AZ)||Mike DeWine (OH)||Jeff Sessions (AL)|
|Lindsey Graham (SC)||John Cornyn (TX)||Sam Brownback (KS)|
|Tom Cobur (OK)||Patrick J. Leahy (VT)||Edward Kennedy (MA)|
|Joseph R. Biden Jr (DE)||Herb Kohl (WI)||Dianne Feinstein (CA)|
|Russ Feingold (WI)||Chuck Schumer (NY)||Richard Durbin (IL)|
In another blow to freedom of speech, the US has prohibited anonymous email (and phone calls) intended to "annoy". Annoyance is a rather weak criterion, so this law is dangerous.
AIPAC works politically in the US to promote Israeli interests. Its employees were been charged with espionage. It has used its close connections with neocon officials to work to get the US to attack Iran.
If the Israeli government is serious about cracking down on organized crime, it should investigate the construction of settlements in Palestine--often done using government money, but without government approval, on stolen land.
They get their building permits illegally too.
The Bush regime now disparages NATO as "unreliable" for its purposes.
I hope so.
The Department of "Homeland Security"--that is, Committee for Public Safety--now enjoys the power to arbitrarily open all mail coming into the US. Their tastes in so doing show that protection from real terrorism cannot be the motive.
Three Republican senators have criticized Bush for claiming he can ignore the recently adopted ban on torture.
Bush has moved from privately disregarding the laws to openly claiming the power of a dictator.
A letter from a journalist, imprisoned without trial by the US government, describes continual unnecessary punishment--for having one's hand under the blanket, for leaving a few grains of rice on the floor, for a small missing piece of a plastic bag. As well as beatings of shackled prisoners. The only possible purpose is to crush the spirit.
The Bush regime will never let these men go, because they might perhaps want revenge for what the Bush regime has done to them. The Bush regime has reached the lowest level of moral degradation, where one evil already committed becomes the excuse for the next evil.
Iraqi Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi says that Saddam Hussein should be murdered, not put on trial.
Bush, no fan himself of the right to a fair trial, might find this a little embarrassing.
In Iraq, even the children have learned to hate America. Even those who were born in America.
The Bush forces built a wall around an Iraqi village and now plan to check everyone going in and out. Much as in Palestine.
In India, about half a million fetuses are aborted each year for being female. This could help reduce India's population growth in the future, since the extra males won't be able to have children on their own. It also might help eliminate nasty customs such as demand for dowries.
Abortion is a right, regardless of the gender of the fetus. We must firmly condemn any attempt to attack women's right to an abortion based on what factors they use to decide.
The police who directly killed an important Ukrainian journalist are being tried for murder. As of yet, the politicians who ordered the killing have not been charged.
A recently retired UK general says that Blair should be impeached.
John Yoo, Bush's favorite anti-lawyer, argues that the President has the right to torture children in order to get information.
When a brutal regime sinks to this level of depravity, the whole world ought to drive it out of power, and charge all its officials with war crimes.
This parody, which is funnier than you would expect, also seems to accurately describe the arguments made by Bush and Yoo.
A division of Microsoft was proud to censor a Chinese blogger who criticized the firing of journalists (see previous pol note). Microsoft deleted his blog text and didn't even save a copy.
Israel plans to let some Palestinian candidates campaign in Jerusalem, and not others.
This would automatically make the Palestinian election an unfair election.
Electronic equipment includes lots of poisonous chemicals, and instead of recycling, it is sent to China where people poison themselves taking it apart.
The US Army dropped the charges against the only officer accused for two prisoners in Afghanistan who were beaten to death whil shackled.
This shows what the Bush regime thinks about torture.
Uri Avnery on Sharon's legacy.
The UN envoy to Burma has quit, because Burma has not allowed him into the country for two years.
Spanish sea holiday areas are becoming so urbanized that they are driving away the tourists they want to attract.
In the long run, if masses of people from Northern Europe keep flying to such places for vacations, global warming and sea-level rises will turn their homes into warm beach areas. Unless the conveyor shuts down and freezes them into uninhabitability.
The Bush regime is drawing up plans for temporary or permanent military control of the US, including surveillance of political dissent.
The Blair regime has given police the power to arrest people for offenses as minor as littering, and to permanently save their photos, fingerprints, and DNA samples. This is an all-purpose recipe for harassment and surveillance--presented, as usual, as a solution for other problems that don't need or justify such drastic measures.
The NSA destroyed evidence of its illegal spying, to avoid being criticized (or prosecuted).
Bush regime illegal spying goes beyond the NSA, and started before 9/11. The regime's officials use the most absurd arguments to excuse it--a sign of the effectiveness of their control of the media, since they couldn't get away with this if the press were inclined to jump on their absurd statements.
The UN security council is starting to put pressure on the Burmese dictatorship.
If Bush had really wanted to spread democracy and freedom, he would have sent an army to Burma rather than Iraq.
By the way, it is not correct to call Burma "Myanmar". That name was chosen by the illegitimate military rulers, and is rejected by the elected president of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi. Accepting their name grants them legitimacy.
Sharon's successor will probably continue the unilateral policy of annexation and ethnic cleansing of large parts of the West Bank, while refusing to participate in peace talks.
The Palestinian Authority has no one to talk with about peace.
The Haitian rulers are having a dispute which shows how corrupt they are. Bush installed them after forcing Aristide from office.
The Pakistanis tortured in Greece are pressing their accusations against the Greek and UK intelligence agents who tortured them.
Representative De Lay has given up on regaining his post as majority leader.
His replacement will surely be equally unscrupulous, but we can hope he is less effective.
Lurking behind discussions of environmental protection and sustainable development: the population issue.
"Magnet therapy" has been proved a fraud.
An Islamist Sunni party in Iraq is developing a pattern of selling out to the Bush regime.
John Pilger: the Death of Freedom (in the UK and the US).
The UK government has admitted that its accusations of Iranian meddling in Iraq were false. Bush had used these as examples to justify threats to attack Iran.
Current Bush regime war plans involve use nuclear weapons as a matter of convenience in future wars, such as the planned attack on Iran.
If Bush really does this, nuclear nonproliferation as an ideal will be dead; nothing will discourage proliferation except fear of the US. But not everyone needs to be afraid. I expect that Pakistan will provide nuclear weapons technology to various other countries after that.
The Bush forces intentionally bombed a house in Baiji, Iraq, and killed a whole family. They did so based on unverified suspicion that members of the resistance were there. This method of fighting the resistance is guaranteed to kill lots of civilians.
The US media reaction illustrates the many methods normally used to minimize and excuse such killings.
The US pressures and bribes other countries give its agents and citizens immunity from ICC prosecution for war crimes. Jordan resisted this, but appears to be surrendering.
85% of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are tortured.
Another Cambodian human rights activist has been arrested. The crime: putting up a banner criticizing the prime minister.
I am not sure I agree with the criticism on the banner. Hun Sen cooperated with the Vietnamese who rescued Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge, and I only wish they had done it sooner.
But whether those views are justified or not is a side issue. The crucial point now is that dissidents have a right to speak.
Several deep-sea fish species face extinction due to overfishing. One species' population is down by 98%. It could take decades for these species to recover, even if they are protected now.
Two editors of a Malaysian newspaper have been forced to resign after the paper identified a woman, who had been stripped in a police station, erroneously as Chinese. The government has shown no interest in whether the police's conduct was incorrect.
Blair did the same thing to the BBC a couple of years ago.
As Bush signed the bill containing McCain's anti-torture amendment, he publicly declared that he was above this law and could ignore it when he wished to.
Mordechai Vanunu thinks Israel may use nuclear weapons against Iran.
Many members of congress are being investigated for bribery, now that Abramoff has agreed to confess everything.
Australia has had its hottest year on record, but its government remains inclined to bicker about how to reduce future global warming, rather than take action.
If civilization can't get past such bickering, it is likely to be destroyed by its own stupidity.
A conservative Republican (at least it seems so) compares Bush to Hitler--for declaring that his word is law, and trying to crush the rest of government's ability to resist him.
It has been well established that the Nazis arranged the Reichstag fire; it surprises me that the writer says that it "played into their hands". Perhaps he does not want to suggest that the Bush regime participated in the arrangements for the Sep 11 attacks.
Israel is preventing Palestinian election candidates from campaigning in East Jerusalem, in a unilateral move towards annexation. Palestinians are divided on whether to delay the vote if they cannot do it properly.
The Bush forces tried to buy the support of Sunni Muslim scholars and clerics in Iraq.
The Association of Muslim Scholars says this can't be true.
I trust the first report more. If the Lincoln Group bought some scholars, some people in the company have to know this; the Association of Muslim Scholars would not know. If some of their members did sell themselves to Bush, they surely would keep this secret in their community.
However, I don't think very many of them will be for sale.
Peru is asking for the extradition of former president Fujimori, for crimes including murder.
The Iraqi resistance is becoming more effective at preventing the Bush forces from selling stolen Iraqi oil.
International trade in caviar has been banned. The direct cause is that the countries which have sturgeon stocks could not agree on quotas, but the underlying cause is that these sturgeon have been pressed towards extinction by the demand for caviar.
Another columnist supports impeachment.
Bush is canceling the "rebuilding of Iraq" after having done very little real rebuilding. I guess the pretense served its purpose.
There have long been accusations that Ariel Sharon participated in corruption. Now there is evidence to back it up.
Evo Morales has decided to cut his own pay, and that of his ministers.
Italy is considering murder charges against the Bush forces soldier who shot at Giuliana Sgrena and killed Nicola Calipari. Following the usual practice of police, the Bush forces fabricated a story to excuse the shooting, but the Italians are not buying it.
Israeli border police arrested a Palestinan--then killed him by tying him to a donkey and making it run.
And it seems not to be the first time.
Patti Saintangelo, mother of 5, is being sued by the RIAA because her children did music sharing. She refuses to settle, and people have set up a site to donate to her legal cause.
The claim that the Department of Homeland Security sent an agent to visit a student who tried to borrow Mao's little red book was false.
North Korean guest workers in the Czech Republic are effectively slaves. The Czech government says it's "voluntary".
This is a good example of how "consent" is not the same as freedom, why there must be limits on how people can surrender their rights, why there must be inalienable rights.
The Israeli government shares the responsibility for the countless crimes that Israeli settlers commit against their Palestinian neighbors.
This article says that the Bush forces explicitly encouraged the looting of Baghdad's museums and universities just after the conquest.
A translation of part:
The surprising detail in every depiction was but the allegation that the American soldiers often made the lootings possible in the first place by breaking or shooting open well secured gates and then inviting the people around to loot: "Go in, Ali Baba, it's yours!" ? the Americans shouted said Iraqi eye wittneses... An employee of the UN development program observed that Americans intruded the technical university, opened the computers and took their harddisk with them before the looters pursued their business.
Abdul Halim Khaddam, former vice-president of Syria, says that President Assad explicitly threatened to kill Rafik Hariri.
Supporters of Assad, in an outburst of Bush logic, accused Khaddam of treason for making this accusation.
There will be an international investigation of vote-rigging in Iraq.
When the US media cover Israeli attacks on Palestinians, it always presents them as "retaliation".
The Israelis and Palestinians are involved in a long-running feud in which each side can cite acts of cruel violence by the other. Most of them are committed by the Israelis, who have more power to do so. Often a lull is broken by an Israeli attack, and Israelis know this, but our media don't admit it.
Anti-Imperialists Beware - Bush Is Reading Again
The Bush regime has over 100,000 unofficial mercenaries, almost as many as the acknowledged soldiers. Will it "withdraw the [official] troops" and turn the war over to mercenaries?
Evo Morales, president elect of Bolivia, joined Chavez in calling Bush a "terrorist".
I think it's an exaggeration to claim that he is the only terrorist, but he is probably the only one that Bolivia has to fear.
More Guantanamo prisoners are on hunger strike, and being force-fed through pipes pushed through their noses into their stomachs.
The refusal to allow reputable neutral observers full access to a prison has always been a sign of a tyrannical regime. That's what it was when the Soviet Union did it, and that's what it is today when the US does it. The US thus becomes heir to all the disgust that people felt for the Soviet Union.
The Bush forces "encourage" soldiers on leave to say good things.
They cannot claim this is mere exercize of the soldiers' freedom of speech, when they punish the same soldiers if they express another opinion.
A Washington Post story reveals that the Bush forces are supporting a TV station in Iraq, and mispresenting this. (They pretend that their support does not give them effective control over the station.)
Also noteworthy is the way they call US media traitors if it shows any sort of success of the Iraqi resistance. This is part of a long-term right-wing strategy of accusing the US media of left-wing bias, whenever it doesn't entirely support the right-wing.
In Cambodia, a leading human rights worker, Kem Sokha, has been charged with the crime of defamation. An opposition leader has been sentenced to prison for defamation of the ruling party.
Can anyone find me the text of the banner that Kem Sokha displayed?
40% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had "strong ties to al Qa'ida", and a quarter believe he had weapons of mass destruction before the Bush invasion.
These figures, although decreasing somewhat, reflect the ability of the Bush regime (or any regime that the corporate media support) to override the truth. They illustrate a threat to freedom and democracy that will continue to threaten freedom in the US even if the Bush forces are kicked out of Iraq.
Bush announced an investigation to find out who revealed the NSA's crimes to the public.
The Bush regime philosophy follows that of China. Whatever the regime does, cannot be wrong; if it brings shame on them, the wrong was not in committing the act, only in telling the public about it.
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