Mining industry awards spark protests.
A participant in the joint Israeli-Palestinian protest at Mas'ha reports on what happened there, before and after the troops shot the protestors.
To illuminate the meaning of the capture of Saddam Hussein, here is A Saddam Chronology.
Bush used the capture of Saddam Hussein as a smokescreen for signing a bill that expands US government surveillance power.
Mad cow testing and prevention in the US is inadequate.
The Bush administration, following its usual priorities (secrecy first), is refusing to release information about the tests it did conduct.
Republicans torpedoed measures for stronger protection against mad cow disease.
This is part of a pattern where business risks large losses--for us, and for them--in search of short-term gains. It also shows how little Republicans really care about public safety.
Rumsfeld personally supported Saddam after he used chemical weapons.
As Israelis, Palestinians and internationals jointly protested the construction of a wall between a Palestinian village and its lands, Israeli troops shot and wounded a protestor. The protestor happened to be Israeli, and thus the shooting brought criticism even from right-wing Israeli parliamentarians.
Israelis and Palestinians together are protesting against persistent destruction of Palestinians' homes.
The homes were "built illegally", because it has been impossible for decades to get legal permission to build a house in Palestine.
Baker will benefit personally from Iraqi debt forgiveness
Retired General Zinni, who endorsed Bush in 2001, now says Iraq reminds him of Vietnam.
Don't expect the "economic recovery" in the US to translate into good jobs. Replacement of well-paid US jobs with low-paid foreign jobs is accelerating, as the low-wage treaties (usually called "free trade treaties") do what they were designed to do.
Tobacco companies encourged candy cigarettes as a way of convincing kids to smoke.
Bush is turning many parts of the federal government into a coordinated surveillance and suppression system.
Is the "orange alert" a response to real danger, or is it just a way to manipulate US public opinion?
Bush likes to visit wounded troops and promise them good care, then cut the funds for doing so.
Sharon's road, and where it leads.
The real reason Saddam was found.
A federal appeals court ruled that federal law cannot prohibit medical patients from growing and using marijuana.
Refugees barred from Australia and diverted to Nauru are on a hunger strike, and close to death.
When convicts are released from prison in the US, they face a wide range of secondary punishments which tend to close off the possibility of making a legitimate living.
Why does the US want Iraqi debts to be forgiven, but not Argentina's?
Bush is taking advantage of the distractive effect of capturing Saddam Hussein to quietly abandon the search for Iraqi weapons of mass distruction in Iraq.
As the EPA retreats from regulating mercury and other toxins, researchers are finding a link between them and mental disorders in children.
Israeli prime minister Sharon is proposing what sounds superficially like an end to the occupation, but the details make it very different.
Interview with Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
More information on the death threats that made Canadian lawyer Galati draw back from representing Abdurahman Khadr. Galati's previous client told the Canadian police about the 9/11 attacks in August 2001. He later disappeared mysteriously.
Five Israeli refuseniks are convicted, then speak to the press about why they would rather go to prison than serve in occupying forces.
Bush says he will give Iraq "democracy". His idea of "democracy" is, "all protestors will be shot."
An Australian journalist gets a taste of Department of Homeland Security hospitality.
It is absurd to have stricter visa rules for foreign journalists visiting the US to interview Americans than for tourists. They are being paid from outside the US, and they are not taking jobs that might instead have been available to Americans. It can only make sense for controlling journalism about the US--and that is not legitimate.
A Norwegian appeals court ruled that the DeCSS program, a free program that can play the video on an encrypted DVD, is not illegal in Norway, and upheld the acquittal of Jon Johansen, its coauthor.
The US government is trying to erase the records of an official's statement that reconstructing Iraq would cost under 2 billion dollars.
Attacks on the Bush forces continue, including suicide bombings, which shows that the arrest of Saddam Hussein has not made Iraqis lose their will to resist.
Bush calls the resistance "terrorists", but that is unfair. They are fighting a guerrilla war against the occupying forces, not trying to terrorize civilians. Apparently Bush uses that word as meaningless name-calling; if you fight him, you are a "terrorist".
Putin is accused of using state power to bias the Russian election.
The OSCE report can be found here.
The "defense lawyers" initially appointed by Bush to "represent" Guantanamo bay defendents in unfair military trials were all fired, after they refused to accept the unfair trial conditions.
The replacements are asking their state bar associations whether they can legitimately participate.
Diebold, a maker of electronic voting machines, has employed convicted felons in developing them.
I think this concern is somewhat of a side issue. The real danger comes not from employees who are felons but rather from executives who are partisan.
Spanish president Aznar tried (but failed) to win support for sending troops to Iraq by arresting 16 North Africans and accusing them of a terrorist plot. However, there was no evidence against them, and they were later released. Now they are threatening to sue Aznar.
Abbott drug company has quadrupled the price of a last-ditch anti-HIV drug in the US, leading doctors to boycott its products.
Some of the officers in the Bush forces are aware of who in Iraq is fighting for freedom and who's fighting against.
US courts have ruled that Bush does not have the power to throw you in the dungeon without a trial.
The FCC is planning policies that would allow internet providors to censor what you can access.
Will the counter-insurgency plan in Iraq repeat the mistakes of Vietnam?
Opium production in Afghanistan doubled in 2003.
I suppose the US will eventually start using bombs or biological warfare to stop this. I don't recommend that anyone use opium or heroin, but the typical US suppression measures are a cure that's worse than the disease.
Amnesty International has criticized the UK government for its laws that permit indefinite imprisonment of foreigners without a trial.
This system is not as bad as what Bush does in the US, in that these prisoners are officially permitted to leave the UK at any time. The problem is, some don't dare return to their home countries, since they face being killed there. They have committed no crime, but they have no place to go except the UK's prison.
The Bush forces say they are "reconstructing Iraq", but Baghdad is not getting reconstructed in any significant way.
The US House of Representatives approved a bill that would prohibit transit systems from running paid ads calling for legalization of marijuana--while paying them to run ads against. Censorship cannot be more blatant.
The chairman of the hitherto-ineffective 9/11 investigation said that the attacks could have been prevented, had the Bush administration done its job.
Robert Fisk says he knows of 12 resistance groups in Iraq, and only one of them is connected with the Baath party.
The capture of Saddam Hussein has little significance except insofar as it may help Bush distract some Americans from more important issues. By presenting what ought to have been easy, but was difficult, as a triumph, Bush draws attention away from the lies and failures.
Illegal ivory trade is so prevalent, in some African countries, that it endangers the survival of elephants in parts of Africa.
An Arab Liberal's Anguish, by Alia Fattouh.
Bush is applying the same policies in Iraq that he applies or wants to apply in the US: privatization, flat tax, crushing unions.
Global warming is killing 150,000 people per year, according to the UN. (The article comes from The Independent.)
Bush advertises Home Depot in return for all the campaign funds it gave him.
Greg Palast reflects on the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Ellen Mariani, who is suing Bush for failing to take obvious measures to prevent the death of her husband in the World Trade Center, has asked to depose Saddam Hussein.
The allegation that Bush the First and Cheney supplied biological weapons to Hussein is plausible, since the US government supported Hussein for a long time. How this relates to the 9/11 attacks is not clear to me, though, since no one has established any connection between him and them.
A joint Israeli-Palestinian rally against the separation wall united many different parties and factions of both peoples.
In the US today, the capture of Saddam Hussein is being presented as the magic solution to the problems of Iraq.
I am glad this dictator has been captured, but that doesn't give Iraq a clear path to democracy and freedom. When Hussein was in power, he was arguably the biggest obstacle to democracy and freedom in Iraq, but since the Bush occupation, the biggest obstacle is Bush. Depending on Bush for democracy and freedom, in Iraq or the US, is asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
Remember how Bush became president: he asked the Supreme Court not to count the votes of the citizens of Florida. But why was there a close result in Florida? Because Dubya's men disenfranchised tens of thousands of Florida voters by falsely labeling them as felons. This is not democracy. Bush also believes in putting people in prison on his mere say-so, without a trial. This is not freedom--it is conduct worthy of Saddam Hussein.
There are many vicious dictators in the world, and most often the US helps them stay in power. In general, I support the use of military force to kick them out--provided these two conditions exist:
Neither condition was true before Bush's invasion of Iraq, and neither one is true today. I don't think Iraqis will forgive the brutality of the occupation merely on account of Saddam.
Dubya's policy of imposing secrecy on government activities was not a response to 9/11. It began on his inauguration day.
I speculate that the reason for his policy of secrecy is because he wants to hide the way he is rewarding the companies that paid his campaign funds.
Human Rights Watch says that cluster bombs used in Iraq by the Bush forces have caused more than 1000 civilian casualties. They were often fired directly on urban areas. The bomblets that didn't immediately explode remain dangerous to civilians; even soldiers in the Bush forces get killed by them.
Halliburton, which is still paying Vice President Cheney, is getting absurdly high payments for fuel in Iraq.
The Bush forces arrested Iraqi union leaders and held them incommunicado for at least a week. I don't have word on whether they were later released.
These people were no friends of Saddam, but Bush prohably thinks that unions are as bad as terrorists.
After Congressman Kucinich began criticizing the way the mass media fail to cover real political issues, ABC news withdrew the reporter who was covering his campaign.
Considered as the exercise of power, it's entirely logical, but it doesn't deserve the name of journalism.
In Dubya's Thanksgiving publicity stunt, even the turkey was fake.
The UN General Assembly has asked the World Court to consider the legality of the Israeli "security" fence, which effectively annexes and divides parts of the Palestinian territories.
A group of Americans, including parents of Bush forces soldiers (some living, some dead), visit Iraq to see the situation for themselves.
The Bush forces are trying to say that Iraq is too dangerous for civilians to visit. However, they have brought in thousands of civilian contractors. Why isn't it too dangerous for them?
Bush arbitrarily barred several countries from Iraqi reconstruction contracts because they did not send troops.
Ironically, the European Union is going to make a complaint about this to the World Trade Organization. The US won't even play by the unfair rules that it has imposed on most of the world.
2003 will be the hottest year ever recorded in Britain, in over 300 years of temperature records.
The two previous record years were in the 1990s.
A grocery workers' strike in LA is getting support from other unions, and from the public.
These workers are paid so little they can barely live on it.
UK police persistently harassed the protestors in a nonviolent monthly demonstration outside a detention center for immigrants. Police arbitrarily limited the number of protestors. The harassment continued as they returned to Oxford after the protest.
This was clearly a deliberate campaign of intimidation, hostile to the very idea that citizens have the right to protest. The UK government, while "democratic" in form and name, does not much like democracy when it shows up in the flesh.
Citizens of Sri Lanka are protesting against plans to privatize the water supply. They know these plans could result in increases in water fees which would cut off many citizens from water supply.
Two major Afghan warlords are giving up heavy weapons to the Afghan central government. With all the problems of violence in Afghanistan, this is at least a step forward.
Penn, of Penn and Teller, called the cops after an airport security guard committed assault by grabbing his crotch without asking him first.
Dubya wants to reinterpret the Endangered Species Act to redefine the "protection" of endangered species to include hunting them and destroying their habitat. In effect, anything could be allowed as long as they say it is done to protect the species. This resembles the way Bush "protects" freedom and democracy.
US citizens have until Dec 10 to state the\ ir objections.
The Israeli pilots who have refused to attack civilian targets (since such attacks typically kill many bystanders) speak about their reasons. "The terrorists are bastards, but we must fight to not become terrorists ourselves."
The principal Shia cleric demands a partially Islamic constitution for Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Bush forces have arrested the family members of a suspected resistance leader. Saying "We've got your wife and daughter"--isn't that the thing the bad guys always do?
Bangladesh arrested a newspaper editor as he was leaving to visit Israel to speak to a journalists' group, and charged him with spying.
It is not unusual that governments that want to keep everything secret, and have not developed the US government's tradition of secrecy, view ordinary journalism as spying.
This article presents evidence that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) published a falsified photo of the 9/11 attacks.
The US Army Reserve is having trouble retaining experienced personnel. They feel they are being used too much, for insufficient reason.
Conservatives were once a minority; tactics like this boosted their numbers. So I don't think the smaller number of Liberals today makes it not worth trying. This could be a way to reverse the decline.
Inspector General in Iraq has limits that make him unable to fully investigate corruption there.
The US government has canceled the requirement for registration of visitors from several predominantly Muslim countries, but is replacing it with a new surveillance system that will operate in airports.
Someone, perhaps a Republican Congressman, offered a bribe to another Republican Congressman to support the recent Medicare reform bill.
Foreign contract workers in Iraq are being killed at an estimated rate of one per day. This is an estimate because there are no official figures.
The CIA knew, and told Bush straight out, that it "lacked specific information" about alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
This means that Bush cannot evade direct personal responsibility for exaggerating suspicion into certainty.
An article attributed to an officer in the Bush forces that was in the battle in Samarra explains what really happened there and what it implies.
I have no way of knowing if the message was actually written by an officer in the Bush forces. However, they would be punished if they put their names to such views.
The Canadian lawyer defending a former prisoner in Guantanamo quit after receiving a death threat that he believes came from some government's intelligence service.
Privatizing the US army makes it easier to hide combat from Congress and hide casualties from the public.
The US media have given zero coverage to Ellen Mariani's lawsuit accusing Bush of covering up a failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
A number of articles investigating holes in the official story about what happened on 9/11 can be found here.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, agriculture in Cuba collapsed too, because it was based on imported oil. Cuba tackled with the problem by shifting to organic farming on a massive scale, and by moving away from Communism through replacing collective farms with small cooperatives. It now produces enough food for its needs in a sustainable way.
This doesn't excuse Cuba's persecution of dissidents or censoring the media. Those policies are equally inexcusable in the US, too--and the US doesn't have sustainable agriculture either.
Photos give clear proof that Simon Chapman was framed by Greek police.
I've read that there is a craze in the US of naming babies after corporations. If you know anyone who did this, you could try asking, "How much did XYZ company pay you to name your baby XYZ?" If they say "nothing", you can suggest they try shopping around for the next baby. It might open their eyes to the reality of what they just did.
Why did the FBI arrive so quickly when Senator Wellstone's plane crashed? And if the explanation is innocent, why are relevant records missing?
Bush has 200 initiatives to undermine US environmental laws. Often they redefine terminology to make laws apply to a small range of cases, make them vacuous, or make them unenforcible.
This story turned out to be inaccurate, a conclusion drawn from a mistaken calculation. For the sake of honesty I have kept the note here.
The FBI is often using the new powers of the PATRIOT act for crimes that have nothing to do with terrorism.
International aid agencies say Israeli forces obstruct their operations and shoot at their workers.
The Bush forces' story of a "victory" in Samarra on Sunday turns out to be fabrication. Bystanders say that the Bush forces shot indiscriminately and killed civilians. Civilians then got their guns and shot back.
Poverty and hunger in the US are growing as many Americans don't get a living wage.
The US government has cut its aid to the poor in various ways, while helping business to reduce wages. Poverty and hunger are the natural result of "trickle-down economics".
The UN has withdrawn aid workers from parts of Afghanistan because they are being killed. The Taliban says it plans to kidnap aid workers.
If we want to establish freedom in Afghanistan, or even defeat the Taliban, we have to do more there. But Dubya decided to attack Iraq instead.
The party in power in Spain, which prefers to forget Franco's murderous dictatorship, stayed away from an event in Parliament to remember Franco's victims.
General Franco came to power through a coup, which failed to seize power immediately, and thus degenerated into a three-year civil war to overthrow the Spanish Republic. Franco won with the help of military aid from the Nazis, while the Spanish government found no country would sell it modern weapons.
Some of the British prisoners in Guantanamo Bay may be released--but most of them will be required to confess to some crime first. Then they will have to serve a sentence without ever having a real trial. Two of them, who have been imprisoned for two years despite a lack of any reason to think they were Taliban, may actually be released. Others may face imprisonment without trial in Britain.
While this reduction in the numbers of people facing indefinite imprisonment without trial by the US is a step in the right direction, any number is too many.
A 9/11 widow has sued Bush, accusing him of knowingly failing to carry out his duty to try to prevent the attacks.
Almost 10,000 soldiers in the Bush forces have been killed or seriously hurt or injured in Iraq. That includes many who were not hurt in combat, but they are just as dead or just as wounded.
As the Bush forces claim a triumph over the resistance, local people say the 46 dead Iraqis include bystanders.
Given that randomly chosen Iraqi bystanders probably oppose the occupation, the Bush forces might consider all Iraqi civilians as enemies. In two recent incidents, a crowd of Iraqis mutilated the corpses of Bush forces soldiers who had just been attacked and killed. One occurred in Mosul, where the Bush forces formerly had public support.
It's possible that the attacks were carried out by Saddam loyalists, but the crowd's subsequent actions show that hatred of Bush is widespread in the populace. Under such circumstances, the occupation will not be sustainable.
Paramilitaries, embedded journalists and illegal protests. Not in Iraq--in the US.
A soldier in the Bush forces has been punished for joining in a peaceful anti-war protest while home on leave. The US media don't talk about this--instead, they talk about how to prepare to convince the US public to accept the atrocities that the Bush forces may commit in their name.
The official verdict is that Dr. Kelly committed suicide, and the pathologist supported this; but this examination of the details of the medical report argues it shows he was more likely murdered.
While the AARP claims to exist to represent the interests of retired people, it seems that the executives of the AARP had a different idea of the organization's true purpose: to increase its membership as much as possible. In my book, that in itself is corrupt.
Save the Children UK was gagged on criticizing the Bush forces; also, it fears to criticize a corporation that gave it money.
In effect, by accepting their money, the organization put itself under their control.
The "separation wall" is effective for separating Arabs from their land. However, because it is placed in the middle of the Palestinian territories, leaving many Palestinians on the Israeli side of the wall, it makes no sense as a method for separating suicide bombers from their victims.
This is the translation of an article first published in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot.
Sham security measures are the rage all around the world, since 9/11 provided the excuse.
30 press agencies, newspapers and TV networks have protested to the Pentagon that the Bush forces in Iraq have threatened journalists and destroyed their photos and equipment.
A British Law Lord (the equivalent of a Supreme Court Justice in US) condemns the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and the military courts planned for the prisoners there.
Of the two members of the 9-11 investigation commission who will be allowed to look at parts of secret Bush documents, one has close ties to Bush.
OCAP members brought their kids to the protest against the police attempt to kidnap a child from its parents at a previous OCAP protest.
Even as police were stealing one protestor's child, they threatened another protestor, saying "you're next".
A company is seriously proposing to insert your credit card under your skin, using an RFID.
If you accept this "convenience", companies and governments will be able to follow your movements just by reading the RFID. They can do this anywhere; it's not limited to places that you use your credit card. (They can do this with other RFIDs too, including the ones on your keychain and the toll payment RFID on your car.)
Since I object to general surveillance, I use cash for ordinary retail purchases. I use a credit card only in the situations where I am forced to disclose my identity anyway: car rental, airplane tickets, and hotels.
On Friday I noticed that the two Boston newspapers, in their vending boxes both devoted their biggest headlines to a Bush publicity stunt--his visit to Iraq. This non-event won't have much direct effect on anything, least of all the outcome of the war in Iraq, so it is not really important news. However, publicizing it as if it were important could perhaps help Bush get elected president.
We could perhaps evaluate a newspaper or radio station based on how it treated this pseudoevent. The more attention it pays, the more we see it has the wrong priorities.
John Kokal, an intelligence analyst at the US state department whose job was studying evidence about Iraqi weapons, died by falling out of a government building. The building's windows don't open, and its roof is normally locked.
Relatives of people killed on 9/11 are rebuking the official investigation, saying that in several ways it is failing to probe into the areas of suspicion.
Reporter Rebecca Solnit describes the police attacks on protestors in Miami. An introductory note discusses the pervasive militarization of the US and military plans to replace the US Constitution with a military government.
A poll finds that a majority of Israelis, and a majority of Palestinians, support the unofficial peace plan drawn up recently in Geneva.
If the two peoples continue to support the plan, the next Israeli election may bring peace.
Militarization in Miami shows the latest in Bush policy towards political dissent, with tactics that we used to expect from third-world countries.
Hundreds of thousands of Jews have moved out of Israel recently, some because of fear, some for economic reasons, and some to avoid the atmosphere of hatred towards Palestinians that they now see around them.
Earlier this year, Ashcroft gave the FBI carte blanche to investigate protest groups and dissidents. Now the FBI is in fact investigating protestors and treating them as terrorist suspects.
As Democrats vie to run against Bush, we must remember that Democrats don't necessarily have good policies. Clinton, a Democrat, was responsible for the sweatshop treaties that are lowering wages all around the world.
Amnesty International reports that Egyptian police continue to torture suspects, and that the government has ignored most of the recommendations for how to stop torture.
The Senate defeated the Bush energy bill. (A later article says the Republicans have given up on it, for this year.)
The Bush forces just strengthened opposition to the occupation of Iraq by dismissing 28,000 Iraqi teachers with Baath party backgrounds.
California's Secretary of State has decided on a policy of requiring electronic voting machines to save a voter-verified paper record.
I can't tell from this page when the policy will go into practical effect.
The invasion of Iraq is providing a boost to Al-Qaida.
An Indonesian general is on trial for commanding a Suharto-era massacre of civilians.
That is a step forward, but Indonesia must continue by taking action against those who ordered the massacres in East Timor.
The US House of Representatives approved a bill in which an extension of FBI surveillance powers had been buried.
Amnesty International bows to threats of violence against its personnel, by deciding not to show a film about the coup attempt against President Chavez in Venezuela.
Police in Miami attacked nonviolent protestors as they were dispersing.
New York City Police systematically harass and even assault prostitutes, and even threaten the activists who hand out condoms to them.
Their spokesman has the gall to suggest that occasional noise at night is such a great evil that it justifies persecuting people. Why don't they arrest the elevated trains, then?
During Bill Clinton's presidency, Paula Jones accused him of past sexual impropriety. The unproved accusations were widely covered in the media.
During George W. Bush's presidency, Margie Schoedinger accused him of past sexual impropriety. The unproved accusations were generally ignored by the media. Schoedinger was recently found dead, shot in the head.
Based on that article, I would not say I am convinced about those sexual accusations against Bush. (Not that it matters much compared with what he has done.) But the contrast in treatment of accusations against Clinton and accusations against Bush seems to prove that there is an effective right-wing propaganda machine at work.
Protestors in London went to the Greek Embassy to demand release of the Thessaloniki 7.
A number of civil liberties and privacy advocates have made a statement on the danger of RFIDs as a system for surveillance.
In one particular point, I think this position is not strong enough. The use of RFIDs only for identifying types of products (for instance, identifying which ones contain some toxic materials) can still present a means for surveillance. The combination of different types of objects that you have on your person could be used to identify you, since on any given day each person will usually have a different combination. Once that combination is connected with you, it could be used to track you as you move around.
I'd like to be able to buy a cheap RFID locator, so I can tell if anything I own has an RFID, and then a cheap RFID zapper, to render the RFID entirely nonfunctional.
A review of 9/11 skepticism: investigation into alternate hypotheses of what happened on September 11. Many of these theories suppose either negligence and/or collusion on the part of the Bush administration.
I don't believe the theories that say Bush ordered the attacks. I have seen no evidence to prove that, and the very idea that the AWOL president could find 20 men to carry out suicide missions for him seems implausible. But there is factual evidence that the Bush administration prevented the FBI and the US Air Force from stopping the attacks. The FBI refused to investigate the hijackers-to-be, even after agents reported them as terrorist threats. We Americans have a right to know who ordered made that decision and why. There must be some specific reason why fighter planes did not follow standard procedure to intercept the hijacked planes. We Americans have a right to know what it was.
The American Association of Retired People faces membership protest for going against its own stated positions to support the Republicans' Medicare bill.
Policing in Europe and the US is increasingly becoming politicized, a system for controlling public opinion rather than protecting public safety.
Richard Perle concedes that the Bush attack on Iraq violated international law.
I'll be the first to admit that laws don't necessarily define what is right or wrong. Laws, national or international, can be unjust. However, the system of international law has been fairly effective at restraining aggression (though not always successful), and is worth preserving.
It is interesting that Perle contradicts Bush and Blair, who are still trying to claim the attack was in accord with international law. It is also interesting to see his attitude that the US should be above the law, which has force only for others.
The opposition in Georgia is responding to election fraud by saying they will protest until the president resigns.
Maybe the US could learn a lesson from them.
A new record company encourages listeners to share the music.
100,000 or 200,000 protested Bush's visit to London.
Brett Bursey's trial is bringing out evidence of a pattern of police misconduct towards protestors, where people are arrested and beaten by police for being in certain places with protest signs, while others in similar places without such signs are let alone.
As the big drug companies lobby for extended patent monopolies to prohibit generic drugs, claiming this is necessary to fund their medical research, the medical research they do usually doesn't make a big difference to people's health.
People have been arrested in Zimbabwe for sending email calling for protests.
In nearby Rwanda, newspaper editors have been arrested for critizing the government.
Climate modeling shows that observed warming temperatures in North America for the past 50 years are due to human activity, not natural events.
2,000 more species have been classified as endangered, bringing the world total to 12,000.
Dubya's "sterile zone" in London isn't as big and nasty as it is in the US.
The Bush forces sealed off an Iraqi town, Palestine-style. Is this what Bush means when he speaks of "freedom" for Iraq?
Experience in Palestine says that this isn't going to put an end to resistance. On the contrary, it will tend to stimulate resistance.
I was going to predict that the Bush forces would move to a policy of active reprisals against civilians, but before I got the chance to say that, I got the information that they already have done so. They have imitated the Israeli policy of demolishing homes of people they suspect of involvement in the resistance.
These reprisals will probably have the same effect in Iraq as they do in Palestine: to make everyone hate Bush, and make many of them hate Bush enough to kill themselves to get revenge.
The similarity between Bush occupation policies in Iraq and Israeli occupation policies in Palestine is just the thing to help Al Qa'ida recruit more terrorists. So is the Bush administration too stupid to recognize this, or is it deliberately helping Al Qa'ida to remain strong, so that the "war on terrorism" will never have to end?
The FBI spied on Martin Luther King, Jr., in an attempt to discredit him. When this became known to the public, guidelines were imposed to prevent the FBI from doing this to other dissidents.
Ashcroft got rid of these guidelines, pretending of course that this is "to protect us." (It was commands from above, not these guidelines, that kept the FBI from catching the 9/11 terrorists before they acted.)
The question is, who will protect us from Ashcroft and the FBI?
Meanwhile, various cities are trying to remove the limitations that prohibit the police departments from investigating people merely because the government doesn't like them.
One British war widow plans to tell Bush, to his face, that her husband died for a lie.
This letter was sent to the New York Times but not published by them.
To the Editor,
"Radical Islam Gains a Seductive New Voice," (Oct. 26 Week in Review) does a disservice to readers trying to understand why people around the world think of the U.S. as an ignorant, prejudiced, hegemonic bully. The caption under the photo in The Times refers to "Muslims warming to the militant ideology known as political Islam," but the signs of the Indonesian protesters in the photo read, "Islam Loves Peace," "Islam is Anti-Terrorist," "Islam Rejects Terrorism," and loosely translated, "A Terrorrist is an Isolated Individual, Not a Follower of Islam." The great majority of Muslim people in Indonesia are moderate in their notions of the relationship between Islam and politics. But when George Bush condemns Mahathir Mohamad's comments about powerful Jews without condemning Pentagon official Lt. Gen. Boyken's comments about America's enemy being Satan, and Islam's inferior God, we should not be surprised that Muslims are cynical about American motives.
The Republicans' energy bill rewards the corporations that paid them for it.
Four former heads of Israel's security service have called for ending the occupation of Gaza, and eliminating the Israeli settlements there.
The UK government plans to crack down on excess salt in ready-made foods, which kills tens of thousands of people there every year.
Antiwar activist Brent Bursey is facing federal prosecution for protesting with a sign at the airport where Bush was landing. He was denied the right to a jury trial.
Adbusting protestors repainted ads in the Paris Metro.
I heard on the BBC last night that the Bush forces had launched a new counteroffensive against Iraqi resistance forces, which included firing a cruise missile from Baghdad to near Mosul to attack a place supposedly being used by the resistance.
If it was indeed being used by the resistance, that missile was an expensive alternative to an artillery bombardment or even an air strike. The only possible motive I can imagine for using the missile is to remind someone that the Bush forces have cruise missiles. But if they do not make much military difference, the resistance is likely to be thinking "so what?" I therefore conclude tentatively that the whole thing was meant to impress Americans that Bush is "doing something".
Other aspects of this recent offensive likewise have the air of public relations. For instance, bombarding an empty building and destroying it, after warning people in the neighborhood to stay away, probably won't have much military effect of any kind. At least the warning probably prevented civilian casualties, but why do it at all? Hasn't Bush learned that "shock and awe" doesn't keep them in awe for very long?
Researchers are hurrying to take ice cores from glaciers in Peru as the glaciers melt due to global warming.
The September 11 investigation commision accepted a compromise about access to White House documents that will enable Bush to continue covering up the answers to the questions Americans have been asking for two years.
Bush and his friends have lied to us about September 11 in the past.
The UK is stripping aid for poor countries and protecting rainforests in order to pay for the war in Iraq.
The Japanese government has postponed sending troops to Iraq, and indeed may never send them since the governing coalition includes a pacifist party.
Various other countries have refused, despite pressure from Bush. Governments that have agreed to send troops often face large opposition. This article gives a list of nations with troops in Iraq, many with public mostly opposed to the war.
The US is sabotaging an agreement to protect the ozone layer by insisting on continued use of methyl bromide, a chemical that destroys ozone.
Schools with "zero tolerance" policies are punishing students for writing fiction and pictures about violence.
There is resistance in Parliament to Blair's plan to record the fingerprints and retinal prints of everyone in the UK.
Look at the idiotic way they defend the scheme:
"I know some people believe there is a sinister motive behind the cards; = that they will be part of a Big Brother state. This is wrong - only basic information will be held on the ID card database - such as your name, address, birthday and sex.
"It will not have details of religion, political beliefs, marital status or your health records."
The Iraqi resistance destroyed two more Bush forces helicopters, with many casualties.
Sitting here with a broken elbow, I feel bad for the thousands that have been wounded in the Bush forces, as well as for the hundreds that were killed. I put the blame for their suffering on Bush -- not on the Iraqis, who naturally resist the occupation of their country. (I feel bad for all the killed and wounded Iraqis, too.)
Bush now says he will transfer the government to Iraqis by June 2004. That means, in time for the election campaign. It looks like he is trying to adopt the Kucinich program, and it is a good thing to do, if he does it for real.
But I think Bush won't do it honestly. I predict he will hand-pick Iraqi puppet rulers that will carry forward Bush's plans to privatize Iraq and hand its wealth over to Bush's business cronies. The Iraqis will recognize this, and continue fighting. A phony transfer of power to Iraqis won't end the fighting.
A national guard soldier home on leave from serving in the Bush forces in Iraq said, on the radio, "Bush lied to us".
The CIA reported to Bush that the Iraqi resistance, after starting perhaps from a nucleus of Baathists, has gained tens of thousands of voluntary supporters among Iraqis incensed at the Bush occupation of their country.
The resistance has good sources of intelligence about the Bush forces, but the Bush forces know little about the resistance.
That's what tends to happen when an occupying force confronts a guerrilla force that has popular support. If the resistance were just some secret Saddam supporters, if ordinary Iraqis were opposed to them, they would eventually be caught.
Miami has imposed vague and restrictive permanent rules against protests in advance of the protests against the FTAA.
Protestors are being harassed by police already before the protest starts.
Robert Fisk analyzes how Dubya matches up against Comical Ali.
On the eve of Dubya's visit, many in the UK are rather hostile towards him.
Bush seems to have an unhealthy fascination for British royalty. Unhealthy, that is, in the leader of a country that was created by fighting a war to break away from the power of the British throne.
US Senate Democrats stood up to Republican pressure and blocked 4 extremist Bush judicial nominees.
The story also reports that Senate Republicans blocked 63 Clinton appointees, but they didn't need a filibuster to do it. So now they pretend it's an outrage.
In Guinea, an opposition leader faces charges of "insulting the president", which suggests that democracy in Guinea is a sham.
Howard Dean talks a lot about protecting the environment, but when he was Governor of Vermont, he gave the corporations what they wanted.
Before Bush even goes to Britain, there is an uproar in Britain about plans to keep protestors away from him.
At the OCAP protest, Toronto police kidnaped a 2-year-old child from his mother's shoulders, then made threats to get his father to come along with them. They beat him up while he was holding the child in his arms, and threatened to charge him with a crime for calling for help.
Americans are catching on to the fact that Bush lied about Iraqi WMDs, but are slow to recognize that the story about connections between Saddam Hussein and Al Qa'ida were lies as well.
US government documents confirm that Dubya's grandfather, Prescott Bush, held millions of dollars in the US for Nazis, for almost a year after Germany declared war on the US, and that he tried to conceal the activities once they began to be exposed. Prescott Bush was later elected US senator.
Bush is prosecuting porn movie makers who don't follow certain censorship guidelines.
Bush is attacking our democracy and freedom in so many ways that this might not make the top 20. But it is part of the theocratic agenda, and we shouldn't forget about it.
A phony grass-roots group plans to lobby for unlimited mining in the western US.
The Israeli separation wall will make life very difficult for some 700,000 Palestinians.
Scientists say cancer research is hurt by the restrictions imposed on research done with mice genetically engineered to be cancer-prone using the Harvard mouse patent. Du Pont and Harvard demand royalties for anything discovered with research done using such mice.
Since the purpose of the patent system is to promote progress, using patents this way defeats the purpose of the system. Patent law should be changed to prohibit this.
What the article did not say is that the patent itself is absurd. Harvard scientists used an already known technique to implant an already identified oncogene into an existing strain of mouse. If they invented anything, it was some detail, some refinement of the process necessary for the specific case. But they got a patent covering the very idea of inserting any oncogene into any species of mammal. (One wonders, why only mammals? Why exclude birds and molluscs?) Even if the patent holders were not using the patent in an outrageous way, its mere existence is an outrage, an example of the absurd practices of the US Patent Office.
The Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (not Liberal in the US sense) lost ground in the recent elections, largly because it had promised to send troops to Iraq. Its majority now depends on a coalition partner which is pacifist and objects to the deployment. The deployment may be delayed or even canceled.
It is good to see the people in Japan and other countries putting pressure on politicians who cave in to pressure to support Bush. The more you resist, the easier it becomes for others to resist.
Children who grow up with TV on most of the time may have more trouble learning to read.
The Hindu, one of India's major newspapers (I've been interviewed for that paper a few times), has been prosecuted by the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for "violating legislative privilege".
US Army documents show that atrocities like those of Tiger Force(see recent note) were widespread, and that on the rare occasions when a court martial convicted a US soldier, the punishment was often small or nothing at all.
The opposition in Georgia is holding large protests after international observers report lots of skullduggery in the election.
The US Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
The Bosnian Serb government has admitted to the massacre of Srebrenica.
OCAP in Toronto occupied an abandoned building and got the government to promise to turn it into housing. However, several protesters were arrested, and one protester's child was temporarily kidnaped by police.
The Israeli organization Machsom Watch has kept a log of incidents in which Palestinians were harmed, harassed, or just held up for hours at checkpoints. The list gives a picture of what the occupation means.
British American Tobacco withdrew from Burma, giving way to a public pressure campaign.
The company had been giving the typical excuse that its activity in Burma, where workers can be treated like slaves, was "giving jobs to poor people". But giving someone a Burma-style job is not much of a favor, and hardly makes up for helping the military government of Burma to continue suppressing democracy there. If British American really wants to help some poor people, it should set up a factory in another country where workers earn more.
Lawyers for Mr Khodorkovsky, the arrested Russian magnate and opposition-funder, say that Russian police are using torture and drugs on suspects connected with the case.
They are also having secret hearings--much as Bush does, when he wants to.
Seven protesters who were arrested protesting the EU summit in Thessaloniki, and facing heavy prison sentences, are on hunger strike.
One of them has actual video evidence showing the police planting weapons on him. Readers of this site will not be surprised that police would do such a thing.
The Central Trade Union Federation of Colombia says that assassinations of union organizers in Colombia are increasing. This is part of the campaign of repression that the US government supports.
Note that some of them were working for Coca Cola Company, which is being sued in the US for working with paramilitary thugs to prevent unionization.
The Israeli army destroyed wells in Gaza that the US government had just built. Part of the US government was peeved.
They gave the usual excuse, that Palestinian fighters were hiding in them, but you know that fighters can hide anywhere. So after the Isrealis destroy one house or well, they will destroy another, until all the houses in Gaza are destroyed and all the inhabitants are homeless.
I wouldn't be surprised if he and every other Russian businessman is guilty of fraud, and an opposition party that is run by the funds of a rich businessman rather than from grass roots support is not very good democracy.
But it is better than none at all--and that looks like where Putin is taking Russia.
Caterpillar is suing Disney for trademark infringement because of a film that depicts Caterpillar bulldozers in use destroying the jungle.
(A later report said that the judge refused to grant an injunction against the film. Disney has enough clout that it can expect to get a fair shake in court.)
Ironically, while Caterpillar doesn't like the idea that children might see its products used in fiction for evil purposes, it is not very concerned about the real use of its real products for evil purposes.
To boycott Caterpillar for selling bulldozers to Israel seems rather indirect to me. I suppose there are many places Israel could buy nonmilitary destruction equipment, and I would guess that most of the bulldozers in Israel are being used for legitimate purposes. Still, this makes an instructive contrast with what Caterpillar says in court.
CBS bowed to pressure from conservatives and canceled the showing of a series about President Reagan. I wouldn't watch TV anyway, but I think it is scary that they have this much power to censor.
Conservatives were angry that the series did not show Reagan's achievements, which include
A scientific census of the ocean reports that all large species of fish are being wiped out by overfishing. Their numbers have been cut by 90% in the last 50 years.
The survey has other interesting findings as well.
A\ company is asking the FDA to allow silicone breast implants again, although it has not provided the data to show they are safe, and the scanty data it has collected show considerable risk.
What I find most alarming is the way the decision was voted on by a panel made up primarily of plastic surgeons, who would probably profit directly from approval.
Bush prosecutes Greenpeace by twisting an obscure and absurd old law.
The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to consider the cases of the people imprisoned without trial by the Bush regime.
Careless talk costs lives -- especially when Bush is talking.
US cities and states are suing the EPA to prevent a rule change designed to allow more pollution.
Attacks against the Bush forces are up 50% since two months ago.
Sometimes Bush says this is the work of foreign terrorists. If true, it shows how effective the invasion of Iraq has been at fomenting terrorism against the US. Sometimes Bush says this is the work of Saddam Hussein and his supporters. But neither they nor foreigners could sustain such a campaign without the support and sympathy of millions of Iraqis.
Here is the text of the unofficial agreement reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israeli supporters of peace.
Perhaps some day the Israeli government will agree to it and make it a true peace accord.
A UN mission is trying to prevent collapse of the government in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government, set up by the US to keep the Taliban out and perhaps introduce human rights into Afghanistan, has been given low priority by the US for over a year, because what Bush really wanted to do was attack Iraq. As a result, the Bush forces in Iraq are stuck in a quagmire, while the success achieved in Afghanistan unravels.
Recently the Iraqi resistance shot down a Bush forces helicopter.
The Bush forces responded by confiscating journalists' film. When Bush talks about building democracy in Iraq, freedom of the press is not part of it. A previous note describes the closure of newspapers in Iraq by the Bush forces.
Americans are finally starting to see through Dubya's system of lies. His popularity continues to decline.
So his only hope in 2004 is to fiddle the vote count through electronic voting machines.
Israeli army chief of staff criticizes the occupation.
That article discusses the reaction to his criticism but doesn't say exactly what he did. Here is how an Israeli friend described it for me:
What happened was that during a routine briefing to a bunch of defense journalists, the chief of staff told that he disagreed with the current IMOD policy of making the lives of Palestinians en masse harder and harder. He advocated more liberal policy, saying that the hardship might evenually bring about an explosion that will destroy the Palestinian Authority, and with it any hope of stopping the violence.
Diebold, maker of suspect electronic voting machines and strong supporter of the Republican party, is using copyright law to supress leaked copies of the internal memos that demonstrate the lack of security in Diebold voting machines.
No electronic voting machine can be trusted for honest elections unless it generates a voter verified paper record.
Instead of terrorism, Palestinians have been trying a radical new/old tactic: directly attacking the troops of the occupying army. As Uri Avnery explains, the Isaeli goverment tries to portray this classic act of resistance as if it were simply more terrorism, but Israelis are starting to see through the propaganda.
The article also explains how an "illegal" outpost in Palestine sucks in army protection, then causes the demolition of all Palestinian houses and orchards in the neighborhood, and eventually turns into a shoot-on-sight zone.
A major Israeli newspaper now calls for the removal of all the settlements in Gaza.
A number of recent obituaries have asked for memorial gifts to be sent to organizations working for the removal of Bush from office.
The EU plans to test household chemicals for safety for users and the environment. Thousands of chemicals used in consumer products have never been tested.
Bush demands that Syria and Iran prevent foreigners from entering Iraq to help fight against the Bush occupation.
The move is a logical one, but Syria and Iran will not be able to bar the way to sneaky foreign resistance fighters as effectively as Bush can bar the way to above-board foreign medical experts. They will continue to get in anyway.
The move is a logical one, but Syria and Iran will not be able to bar the way to sneaky foreign resistance fighters as effectively as Bush can bar the way to above-board foreign medical experts. They will continue to get in anyway.
Right-wing Christians in the US are trying to crush scientific research about sex practices, research which has consequences for public health strategy. Apparently these bigots think we shouldn't even know about the practices that their prejudices condemn.
The US general in charge of intelligence in the Muslim world is a fanatical Christian extremist. It is frightening to see religious nuts who are blinded by the light in any position of power; in this particular position, his blindness can keep the US in the dark about the dangerous plans of other religious nuts.
Cancer and birth defects are increasing in Iraq due to the use of Depleted Uranium weapons by the Bush forces, which have covered Iraq with radioactive poison that cannot be cleaned up.
Foreign medical experts invited to observe the diseases and compare notes have been excluded from Iraq by the Bush forces.
Israelis in the peace movement helped Palestinians harvest their olive trees. The Palestinians could not reach their own trees in sufficient numbers to do the work, because the separation wall blocks their access.
Note that the Israeli policy of demanding residents of encircled towns get permits to stay in their homes is the crucial legal step in forcibly expelling them (ethnic cleansing).
The US copyright office decided to interpret the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in a very strict fashion, allowing only a very limited set of exceptions to the anti-circumvention provisions that effectively give publishers the power to write their own copyright law.
Israeli government plans to extend the "illegal" settlements that the road map said it was supposed to demolish.
FIPR warns that "electronic life records" in the UK could endanger human rights if not implemented properly.
Given the way the UK government has trampled human rights in recent years, we can't be confident they would pass up another opportunity.
Going trick-or-treating or to a costume party on Halloween? How about dressing up as Dubya? He's as dangerous as any vampire or ghoul, and what's even scarier, he really exists!
I don't know whether there are Dubya costumes available. But if you call your local costume store now and ask if they have a Dubya costume, they may decide there's enough demand to make them for next year.
The Indonesian government convicted an editor for headlines that condemn the President. The stories under those headlines criticized government policies.
If I can live with being insulted, any politician ought to be able to learn how.
Canada is threatening to deport a number of people who are accused of supporting terrorists, and keeping them in prison for a long time, but presenting no evidence against them. They did not even violate immigration rules, as they have valid visas to be in Canada.
Of course, the US is doing even worse, but that is no excuse.
US-sponsored pipeline through the Caucasus threatens environmental damage and will be a magnet for terrorism.
The UN decides not to report on the companies that fuel the civil war in the Congo.
Wal-mart isn't satisfied with the poverty wages that it pays to employees -- it contracts out cleaning so it can pay cleaners even less.
Mumia on the Corporate Party and NAFTA.
US senators fight over who to blame for lies about Iraq: Bush or the CIA.
The Israeli army refuses to acknowledge that it killed civilians with missile attacks in Gaza, despite the many Palestinian and foreign witnesses. Uri Avnery explains how trying to evade criticism for the policies of the occupation has made the Israeli army abandon its former standards of honesty, and lose its credibility, even with Israelis.
An elite US unit in Vietnam committed repeated massacres of civilians, according to fomerly-secret reports from the troops in that unit.
Speaking to the australian senate, Bush was heckled by senators.
Cheney presented a distorted version of an opinion poll in Iraq, giving an impression of support for the Bush forces which contradicts the actual poll results.
Rampage by Israeli forces in Gaza causes over 100 casualties, mostly civilian. The only significant difference between this and suicide bombing is that the pilots don't commit suicide.
Bush's plan for several wars is undaunted by the costs and reverses of Iraq. He was planning back in 2001 to attack several countries, and is still planning to.
Common Cause reports on mismanagement of the funds spent for rebuilding Iraq.
Diebold, a company that makes electronic voting machines suspected of being easy to manipulate to commit election fraud, is using the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to suppress internal memos which show how vulnerable its machines are.
Bush is trying to use the FTAA to impose laws like the DMCA on all the western hemisphere. He is also trying to use FTAA to mostly abolish the right of fair use under copyright, which is the reason why publication of memos such as these is arguably lawful today.
6 US states have refused to cooperate with a US database project called Matrix, claiming it attacks the privacy of citizens.
Six cheers for their courage.
Australian anti-war protesters sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for "malicious damage": spray painting the Sydney Opera House with easily removable paint.
Groping Arnold plans to attack California women's (and men's) purses as well as their genitals. He is likely to drop state lawsuits against the electric power companies, companies that used California's electricity deregulation to cause a power shortage and make big profits.
A previous note reports that Arnold's ties with these companies go back to the decision to push for a recall election.
Bush is trying to abolish environmental impact statements, which prevent many environmental problems before they happen.
A UNICEF report says that a billion children and young people are in poverty, kept there by the system of global trade that lets business move to whichever country lets business treat workers the worst.
Through the courage of an Australian intelligence analyst who exposed the government's lies about Iraq, the Australian senate has censured the prime minister for lying.
Supermarket workers are on strike in California.
We are seeing accusations that Iran is harboring a son of Osama bin Laden, and letting him direct terrorism.
It could be true that the Iranian mullahs are supporting Al Qa'ida in this way. On the other hand, it could be only propaganda from Bush to lay the groundwork for another unnecessary war. Like the boy who cried "wolf", the president who cried "terrorist" can't be trusted, even though he may occasionally denounce a real terrorist.
Microsoft releases an email system designed just for Enron.
Even when not equipped with nasty features, Microsoft's software is unethical because it does not respect the user's freedom to share and change software.
An important archaeological discovery, a skeleton more than 4,000 years old, discovered in Florida, will be reburied instead of saved for scientific investigation. Even photographs, from which something might be learned later, will not be made. What a senseless waste! If we want to show respect to the person whose skeleton this was, then since we could only guess at what views he would have if he knew the situation, let's do so by giving him the chance to contribute to knowledge of his times and people.
The Indian tribes in Florida today have as much connection with this skeleton as an Egyptian living today--or anyone with ancestors from the Middle East, including presumably me--has with an Egyptian mummy of the same date.
Scientists should stop legitimizing the policy of excluding human remains in the US from scientific study, and start denouncing it roundly until it is changed. If a skeleton in the ground is old enough that there is no way to relate it to any particular living people, it should belong to science.
India has no reason to be grateful to Mother Teresa, given what she really did there.
US reservists who developed strange ailments while part of the Bush forces in Iraq are being held in squalid conditions, and wait weeks between doctors' appointments.
To revitalize the International Space Station project, it should stop claiming that its primary goal is scientific research, and adopt the goal of furthering the manned exploration of the Solar System.
Bolivian President Lozada has resigned.
During the protests that overthrew Lozada, a soldier was shot for refusing to shoot protesters.
Here is a report on some of the provisions of an unofficial peace plan agreed on by some Israelis and some Palestinians.
The plan looks fair to me. The question is, could this or any fair plan receive official approval?
In the US, heated words in class, even reading a book, can get you questioned by the FBI nowadays--or by local police, as restraints on their activities crumble. And following the administration's policy of preemptively attacking anyone who could be imagined as an enemy, protest leaders are being arrested before the protest begins.
Alex Jackson, after reading my previous note on SunnComm, pointed this out:
Here's a direct quote from the CNET article referenced on your page:
Future versions of the SunnComm software would include ways that the copy-protecting files would change their name on different computers, making them harder to find, [SunnComm CEO] Jacobs said. Moreover, the company will distribute the technology along with third-party software, so that it doesn't always come off a protected CD, he added.
In other words, SunnComm intends to distribute software that (a) installs itself on a computer without the computer owner's knowledge or consent, by "piggybacking" on other software, (b) deliberately obfuscates itself in order to make it difficult for the owner to remove or even recognize its presence, and (c) has no purpose except to cripple the computer on which it is unwittingly installed. In short, SunnComm intends to distribute a computer virus.
It's not exactly a virus, since it doesn't automatically copy itself from one machine to others. On the other hand, this mechanism of inclusion in other software without your knowing it is just as nasty as a virus.
The solution is, don't ever trust a non-free program. If the software is not free, you can't tell what's in it, you can only put blind faith in the developers. And as SunnComm knows, many developers don't deserve that faith.
There have been massive protests in Bolivia over a plan to let foreign companies sell of Bolivia's natural gas to the US. It's not that they don't want to sell the gas; rather they want to make sure that the country and the people benefit from the sale.
The Bolivian government, supported by the US, tried labeling protesting coca growers as "terrorists".
protesters are now demanding the resignation of President Lozada, who ordered troops to shoot protesters.
One of President Lozada's coalition partners stopped supporting him.
Monsanto says it will pull many operations out of Europe because of its opposition to GM crops.
This should be seen as a sign of victory, but I have a feeling it is meant to punish Europe. Now, any government or legislators that feel pressured by something as minor as a matter of a few hundred jobs must be a coward. But it would not surprise me to see European legislators giving weight even to this minor act of revenge.
A series of identical letters to the editor, praising the achievements of the Bush forces in Iraq, have been sent to various US newspapers in the name of various soldiers in the Bush forces. Some of these soldiers did not even know letters were being sent in their names.
The letters say that in Kirkuk everything is going pretty well, and the soldiers say they agree with that. It may be true, in Kirkuk, but that doesn't generalize to the rest of Iraq. Kirkuk is inhabited to a large extent by Kurds, and was retaken first by the Kurdish forces.
Shiites in Iraq are starting to fight the Bush forces.
Bush is prepared to spend money to rebuild the Iraqi electicity infrastructure (even though it's likely to be blown up by rebels), but puts rebuilding of the shaky US electric infrastructure on the back burner.
The rich countries' plan for "development aid" for Africa is actually a plan to extract Africa's resources and won't do anything to reduce poverty in Africa.
Genetic engineering companies "tried to lie" to Europeans about genetically modified foods.
UK plans for total phone and internet surveillance will be challenged as a violation of EU laws.
Obesity growing throughout the developed world, due to lack of exercise and fattening packaged food, is a major health risk.
The US government has been fighting to stop Europe from adopting new safety requirements for testing chemicals before they are sold.
Big-fee lion-hunting in Africa has reduced the lion population to just 1/3 of what it was a decade ago. Botswana decided to end lion hunting, but rich trophy-seekers such as Bush I want to bring it back.
This joke is circulating on the net.
Up in Heaven, Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great and Napoleon are looking down on events in Iraq.
Alexander says, "Wow, if I had just one of Bush's armored divisions, I would definitely have conquered India."
Frederick the Great states, "Surely if I only had a few squadrons of Bush's air force I would have won the Seven Years War decisively in a matter of weeks."
There is a long pause as three continue to watch events. Then Napoleon speaks, "And if I only had that Fox News, no one would have ever known that I lost the Russia campaign."
Ha'aretz describes the Israeli raids in the Gaza Strip, which found three smuggling tunnels by destroying the housing of 120 families.
Powerful sonar systems kill whales by making them surface so fast that they get the bends.
The 9/11 investigation is still seeking access to key documents from the Bush administration.
The trade in tropical fish for aquariums is endangering some of the species that people want to exhibit.
Bush has close ties with electric power companies, and gets a lot of money from them. Bush appointees gave false information to Congress to weaken EPA pollution limits.
Palestinian farmers and their international shields arrested for harvesting.
A journalist reports on conversations with Iraqi resistance fighters, including nationalists who don't like Saddam Hussein, Tikritis who support him, and Islamists.
When the NIH in the US develops a drug, it typically gives some large company an exclusive license. The details are kept secret-- but in the case of taxol, the company pays next to nothing.
Drugs that deal with major world health problems tend to be developed with publicly-funded research, not by corporate research. I think the NIH should sell licenses to its patents for the rich countries only, and a condition of the license should be that the companies that buy the licenses not use their patents to stop poor countries from producing medicine cheaply for each other.
Uri Avnery describes three tense days in Ramallah, as Israeli human shields went to protect Yassir Arafat.
SunnComm, the company that used the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to threaten a student who explained how to read certain Corrupt Discs (that is, fake CDs) into a computer running Windows, decided not to sue him.
However, I think the person who commended this company for "looking past the bottom line" misinterpreted the situation. I expect that SunnComm made this decision based entirely on the bottom line, realizing that such a suit would get them bad publicity while doing nothing to make their system more effective.
It should not be necessary for them to sue, to get bad publicity. SunnComm, and the record companies that use these methods, deserve bad publicity merely for trying to stop you from reading music disks into your computer.
I think that a useful way to push back on the record companies would be to start regularly picketing record stores, handing out leaflets explaining why people should refuse to buy Corrupt Discs, how the record companies treat musicians like dirt, etc. The leaflet could also list popular Corrupt Discs that the buyer should avoid buying.
If you do this, even on your own, for an hour every few days or week, I think you will be able to recruit some of the passers-by to join the effort, and thus gradually increase the scope of the effort until you are doing it for maybe ten hours a week.
Now is a great time to start, since in two months you could expand the effort enough to cause real pressure on the store during the holiday selling season. Please email me if you do this--I think it will be useful to keep in touch, so as to perhaps organize a larger effort later.
A Palestinian suicide bomber destroyed a restaurant where Jews and Arabs ate together. (I've read elsewhere that some of the victims of the bombing were Arabs, too.) The restaurant was a small hope for peace, and an especially sad choice of target.
The Israeli "response", to attack a so-called terrorist camp in Syria which wasn't really one, clearly has nothing to do with the suicide bombing. The bombing provided an excuse for an attack on Syria that they had planned for other reasons, just as September 11 was the excuse for an attack on freedom that Bush and his men had planned for other reasons.
The Catholic Church is telling the public that condoms don't stop AIDS.
Some lies can kill.
The Philadelphia Daily News report on 20 important questions about the 9/11 attacks that Bush isn't helping us answer.
Michael Moore presented his list of 7 questions in the Guardian.
Gore Vidal explains some of the warnings that the Bush administration received and ignored before 9/11, and some of the possible motives for doing so.
Ellen Mariani, whose husband was killed in the World Trade Center, is suing the US government for failing to maintain proper security.
Mark Twain's words for the Battle Hymn of the Republic are even more appropriate today.
The CPD, which runs the official presidential debates in the US, is run by people with close ties to major corporations and has a history of selling privileges to corporations for money.
Moscow's candidate wins election for president of Chechnya, after his main rivals were driven out of the race.
Amnesty International reports that the US-installed Afghan regime does not deliver justice and safety for the women of Afghanistan.
Trophy-hunters are killing so many African lions that the species is in danger
The Russian government reported to the US government, some ten years ago, that Reagan & Bush were bidding against President Carter in 1980 to buy the support of Iranian hostage-takers.
The Burmese government is cutting down teak forests at a rapid rate that can exhaust them.
Although Global Witness declines to say "Don't import Burmese timber under any circumstances", that's what Aung San Suu Kyi says. Back when she could still communicate, she asked the rest of the world to impose complete economic sanctions and not import anything from Burma, because the military government gets the money to stay in power from its foreign trade.
The military government renamed Burma to "Myanmar" and Rangoon to "Yangon". Using the new names is a mark of respect for the military government, and supporters of the Burmese democracy movement reject them.
See the full report
A US court ruled that the FBI lied to judges to get thousands of search warrants after inviting them to download so-called child pornography.
Israeli soldiers closed off Bir Zeit university, then shot at students for no reason.
Iraqis rioted and fought with Bush troops and their Iraqi police, while saying they want Saddam back.
The occupation must be pretty bad if it makes Saddam look good.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is being used again to intimidate a student who published trivial instructions for how to bypass the copy-restriction software included in a fake CD.
(Note the misleading description of the DVD-playing program DeCSS, which was censored under the DMCA, as "software code that helped in the process of copying DVDs." DeCSS can be used for copying, but its primary purpose is to enable you to to watch the film.)
Copying music noncommercially should be legal for everyone. Laws that prohibit this are unjust concessions to predatory record companies, which mistreat the public and musicians alike.
The US is still trying to use the FTAA to impose such laws on the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
A pesticide plant in India is polluting its neighborhood and causing deaths.
Israel plans to continue increasing its colonies in the Palestinian west bank.
The Israeli settlements in the occupied territory were intended from the start as a plan for annexation of the occupied territory and preventing the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel. We can hardly expect Palestinians (or anyone) to sit still for the continuing theft of their land and water. If Israel wants the violence to end, it has to remove the settlements.
A European company recently announced that a year from now it will be making solar cells so cheap that they would make fossil fuel electric plants obsolete. If this is true, it would be a tremendous step forward for humanity, and could help reduce global warming even as it makes electricity available to billions of poor people.
But we must be skeptical whenever a business says it's going to do something in the future. It may really happen, or it may be an exaggeration. We should not take this for granted until we have more facts to go on.
The web site blackboxvoting.org, which describes the potential for fraud in electronic voting systems, was inexplicably kept inaccessible for 10 days leading up to the California recall election.
Bush officials ignored a Pentagon report that it would be hard to export oil from Iraq, and assured the US that this would be easy.
Bush supporter compares the estate tax with the holocaust.
The Public Library of Science is launching a new freely-redistributable biology journal, as part of its campaign to liberate access to scientific literature.
A Reclaim the Streets protest in Osaka criticized a new Japanese law restricting the freedom to assemble.
If anyone can tell me more details of this attack on democratic freedom in Japan, I would like to post them here.
A scientific study says world oil and gas reserves are much smaller than was previously believed, so that the price is likely to start going up in about a decade.
This means there is no time to lose in converting to alternative power sources, or to more efficient ways of life. Europeans use far less energy per capita and still have comfortable lives, because they have oriented their society in this direction. The US could do it too, if it didn't have a president whose goal is to boost oil company profits.
Robin Cook, who resigned from the UK government in opposition to the war, reports that immediately before the war Tony Blair did not appear to believe his statements about the threat from Iraq.
The second meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society is planned for Tunisia--ominously, a country that has imposed tight political censorship on the internet.
For details, see the Tunisia section of this long report.
Global warming is killing so many people that it should be considered a weapon of mass destruction.
An unprecedented heat-wave in France this summer probably killed 10,000 people.
The main opponent of measures to reduce global warming is the US government. Apparently this weapon is being wielded by the US against the rest of the world.
Police have made a practice of forcing protesters to stand so far away from Dubya that he can't even see them.
Amina Lawal's conviction for adultery has been overturned; she had been sentenced to death under Islamic law. But the law itself continues to be active, and other women are threatened with execution.
Effects of putting the Israeli security wall in the wrong place.
The Bush forces have found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and only small signs of programs that might someday have developed any.
Bush and Blair responded to this report by saying that it proves the justification for the war.
Apparently the reason for the war was that Saddam did not have dangerous weapons. If he had really had them, as North Korea does, that would be a reason not to attack.
The US bullied the government of Qatar into censoring Al Jazeera.
It is hard for freedom of the press to exist in a world where one country is too powerful.
Indonesia may soon prohibit living together, visiting a prostitute, advocating communism, and black magic.
Other articles say that gay sex and oral sex will be prohibited too.
The Palestine Monitor reports that Israeli fighters in Gaza shot 17-year-old Mohammad al-Husni as he walked past a checkpoint doing nothing in particular. Subsequently, as he lay on the ground wounded, they kept the ambulance away while shooting him again from time time. By the next morning he was dead from many wounds.
This reports such extreme cruelty that I wondered if it might be exaggerated, so I contacted Gush Shalom to check. They said they have no way to check this particular story, but that they know the Palestine Monitor as a credible source.
The US government asked the Supreme Court to overturn California's clean air regulations. When there's a conflict between any state and Dubya's friends in the oil business, you know what side he's on.
French mother faces prosecution for granting her blind, paralyzed son's wish to die.
In Project Censored's list of the top 25 censored stories in the US in 2003, first place goes to the story that Bush and his cronies planned the invasion of Iraq even before he lost the election.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who advocates harsh policies towards illegal immigrants, violated the terms of his visa when he first moved to the US, by working for a salary.
The UN has evacuated most non-Iraqi workers from Iraq, following several attacks against UN personnel there.
At this point, even if Bush (or his possible replacement) is willing to stop trying to turn Iraq into a colony and let the UN take control, the UN might be either unwilling or unable to take over. I don't know of any other force in Iran that might be able to do so, aside from religious groups. Ironically, thus, the effect of Bush's war may be to bring about a theocratic Iraq, just the sort that would be inclined to support terrorism against the US.
The longer the occupation goes on, the worse it will be afterwards.
One third of money spent by the Bush forces in Iraq goes to contractors--and much of it goes to Halliburton.
Blair's chief of staff intervened at the last minute to alter an intelligence report on Iraq, to give an impression that Iraq posed a threat to attack using chemical and biological weapons. Blair then used the altered report to justify the plan to attack Iraq.
After 5 months of searching, the Bush forces have found no trace of such weapons.
Americans: want more power blackouts? The Senate voted to eliminate the Space Environment Center, which forecasts "space weather" (I think they mean solar flares)--which sometimes knock out electric power transmission.
Carbon dioxide produced by burning of fossil fuels is getting into the ocean, and slowly making it more acidic.
The Bush forces raided an Iraqi farm with only civilians in it, started shooting for no obvious reason, called in air strikes, and killed several civilians.
A spokesman for the Bush forces calls the dead farmers "enemy dead".
British public discussion of GM crops yields almost total opposition, with people initially neutral becoming opposed as they learned more.
Many Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves have disappeared. Since they were floating on the ocean, this did not change global sea level. But we have no way of knowing at what point this will affect ice caps on Greenland and Antarctica. If a substantial part of them melts, the ocean will rise--maybe a few feet, maybe hundreds of feet. The usual prediction is for a rise of several feet.
The US government doesn't seem to recognize the danger. The new federal court house in Boston was built just a few feet above the water of the harbor. It was probably built to last for many decades, but it could have to be abandoned.
The House of Representatives appropriated $368 billion for Pentagon, including development of new weapons of mass destruction, expensive new fighter planes for aerial combat against a nonexistent enemy air force, submarines to attack a nonexistent enemy navy, and spying on Dubya's real enemy: US citizens who disagree with the government.
Six weeks after insisting the U. S. had "sufficient force to do what is required" in Iraq, the Bush Administration admitted yesterday more reservists likely will be sent to the frontlines.
An Iraqi whose family has suffered under the Saddam regime and the Bush regime has made a careful estimate of Iraqi civilian casualties due to the war: around 37,000. The total population of Iraq is around 23 million, so this is almost .2% of the population.
For comparison, US casualties in the entire decade of the Viet Nam war were only a little larger (55000), and came from a total population about ten times bigger.
Ashcroft, praising the pat-riot act in New York, was met by protesters including relatives of those killed in the 9/11 attack.
Bush/Cheney campaign slogans.
27 Israeli army pilots, some active and some in the reserves, including a former general, have signed a statement refusing to attack populated areas in the occupied territories.
These pilots are defending what I was taught in the 1960s was the spirit of Israel.
By the way, I've seen how narrow Israel is at its narrowest point, and I still don't believe that Israel's safety requires taking the Palestinian's remaining land. Israel survived almost 20 years within its 1967 borders even though all the major Arab countries vowed war. Living alongside a Palestine not allowed to have an air force, in a future where none of these countries wants a war, Israel and Israelis would be much safer than they are now.
The poetry professor who wrote about his arrest for "walking while black" was falsely arrested again, and accused of being a terrorist and insane.
His article shows how the jails in New York regularly break their own rules in mistreating arrested people.
A Jewish peace activist was beaten, and then arrested, for throwing a kosher pie at an Israeli government minister who was visiting the US.
Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice both admitted in 2001 that Saddam Hussein was no threat. After 9/11 offered an opportunity to attack Iraq, they turned around and said the opposite.
Elections appear to have been rigged in several states of the US using electronic voting machines. This casts doubt on the possibility of an honest election in 2004.
The reasons presented here, manipulation of the negotiations behind closed doors by the richest countries, is a good reason for other delegates to walk out, but it is not the deepest reason to reject the WTO.
Bush is increasingly criticized from the US military and military families for foolish planning about the occupation of Iraq.
But note that the beginning of the article is somewhat mistaken: Bush really owes his presidency to the disenfranchisement of some 50,000 voters in Florida who were falsely labeled as felons.
Bush visits a power plant and praises it as a model of clean generation, at the same time he propose policies so that it can continue to pollute.
The Campaign Against Prison Slavery aims to put an end to the use of prisoners as slave labor to produce consumer products.
When prisoners can be paid next to nothing to produce goods, it is hard for people outside prison to get paid any more than that. Unable to get work, they tend to end up in prison too, thus increasing the size of the population available for slave labor.
The former speaker of the Israeli parliament says: Israel must shed its illusions and choose between racist oppression and democracy.
Business-dominated globalization is reaching its natural conclusion as all kinds of good jobs are outsourced from the US to places where people will work for peanuts and are treated like slaves.
At that point, either the masses of unemployed will elect politicians that will abolish the WTO and rein in the corporations, or they will be permanently disenfranchised.
Over 500 members of the Israeli armed forces have put their names down as refusing to participate in the occupation, on the grounds that it violates the principles of Israel and it armed forces.
A group of Israeli fighter pilots is planning to refuse to carry out non-military assassination missions.
Seattle voters approved a ballot resolution to give punishment of marijuana possession the lowest priority for the city's police.
Critics called this a "veiled" attempt to condone use of marijuana. I don't think it was veiled, but it was not explicit. I suspect that the reason it was not more explicit was to make it have some tangible effect at the city level. Since the prohibition of marijuana is a state law, a city ordinance cannot override or invalidate it; what the city can in principle do is reduce its cooperation in arresting violators of that law.
Some states are changing their laws to allow doctors to treat chronic pain without being imprisoned.
Salmon may be polluting Alaska's lakes--because humans have polluted the whole ocean.
The World Trade Organization negotiations broke down after poor countries refused the demands of the US and EU to give corporations more power.
Note how the article begins with a quote from an Australian who claims that the poor countries acted "against their national interest", but the concept of "national interest" (typically measured by the total amount of trade or production) is of little relevance to today's trade issues. WTO is designed to increase the power of global corporation, while turning production (whichever country it may be in) into sweatshops. It is "good for the global economy" only if "good" means more millionaires and lower wages, world wide. In every country, including the US, most people stand to lose.
A Korean farm activist leader committed suicide as a protest.
The talks broke down because the poor countries united and thus gained the strength to resist US demands.
I'm glad to see the poor countries unite, but if they give increased agricultural exports higher priority than defending their sovereignty against corporate rule, their new-found strength will be wasted. No agreement at all is a pretty good outcome for these talks; but even better would be less than no agreement: for a large number of countries to leave the WTO, and abolish it.
President Chavez of Venezuela said he specifically aims for that goal.
Note how the article absurdly compares this policy (not too different from what was followed in US a few decades ago) to Cuban Communism, which is completely different.
Hans Blix, formerly chief UN weapons inspector, says that Saddam Hussein destroyed his weapons of mass destruction ten years ago, and suggests that he blocked inspectors' access several years ago to give the impression he still had some, as a deterrent to attack.
This would explain why Iraq started cooperating with UN weapons inspectors once Saddam realized Bush would use the noncooperation as grounds to attack Iraq. Unfortunately, as we have seen, this was just an excuse for Bush, since the decision to attack Iraq had already been made, weapons of mass destruction or no.
At least 30 policemen and other officials who participated in the attack on sleeping protesters in Genoa are now being prosecuted for it.
One aspect of this article is not clear to me. When it says that some people have been notified that "investigations have been closed", does that mean those people will not be charged, or that they have been charged?
Wesley Clark expressed some reservations about the invasion of Iraq, but came around to support it.
Michael Moore says positive things about Wesley Clark as a candidate for president.
I continue supporting Kucinich, but I could consider Clark as a second choice.
NASA is searching for asteroids over 1km in diameter that might hit the Earth. Now there is a plan for a follow-on program to find nearly all asteroids 140 meters across.
Although the chance of an asteroid impact in any year is less than 0.01 percent, the damage one would cause is tremendous. Thus, the average rate of loss due to asteroid impacts is at least millions of dollars a year. (I think it is more like hundreds of millions per year, but I don't remember--please send me the figure and a reference if you can find it.) Even on the narrowest financial criteria, it is worth spending money to find these asteroids, so that we learn about any coming collision with enough advance notice to shift the asteroid's course and prevent it.
A prominent Egyptian archaeologist is planning experiments to see if there is actually anything potentially dangerous in ancient Egyptian tombs, in an attempt to refute a widespread supersition.
I've read that nothing in Tutankhamun's tomb spoke of cursing those who might enter it, and the people who excavated it mostly did not die soon after.
Uri Avneri and other Israelis volunteered as human shields for Arafat, after the Israeli government said it plans to "remove" him. They pointed out that "remove" could easily mean "assassinate".
Subsequently some Israeli officials spoke in favor of an assassination, which means Avneri was right.
Some 700 species of vertebrates are close to extinction and not protected at all. Another 900 species (it's not clear whether these include only vertebrates) are being protected, but in areas too small to give them a good chance of survival.
This doesn't count the invertebrates and plants that are endangered too. The number of those species must be at least in the tens of thousands.
I don't know whether the 700 include sharks, but sharks in the North Atlantic have been nearly wiped out.
How "pacification" operated in Viet Nam, and how its failure has lessons for Iraq.
How the corporate media gently buys the independent heart of journalists.
Failed Israeli assassination attempt ensures Hamas will reject peace.
Al Jazeera has protested that the Bush forces arrest and shoot at its correspondents.
The Bush forces in Iraq have closed at least five newspapers. In July they closed Al-Mustaqilla ("the independent"), taking its money and computers, and arresting its chairman. They did not say why.
If you can tell me what happened since then, I will post it here.
In addition, UK intelligence warned that attacking Iraq could increase the danger of terrorism. When Blair said that the war would protect against terrorism, he was disregarding his own spies' advice.
Here's analysis of how the "war on terror" is being conducted in ways that increase the danger of terrorism.
Another Blair, Eric Blair, might wonder if this is no accident--if the people who run the "war on terror" want to ensure that the need for this war never goes away.
Information about the corporations that are pushing for genetically modified crops.
A University of Massachusetts policeman first pushed Professor Van Der Meer, then when he objected to that, attacked him and arrested him for "assaulting an officer". This occurred after Professor Van Der Meer objected because an army recruiter told the professor and a protesting student that they should be shot in the head like Martin Luther King.
Making false accusations against citizens with is standard practice for police, which is why some of them coined the term "testilying" to describe what they do in court. What's especially outrageous is that the chief of the campus police is defending the practice. He should be fired, and replaced by someone who will charge the policeman with battery.
How concentrated are the world's media? As of 1997, just 9 companies dominated the world. Some details may have changed (and I'd like to see an updated version of this report), but the basic picture is surely the same.
US gets low grade for freedom of the press
Before the war in Iraq, the Bush forces threatened independent journalists that it would kill them.
This has happened several times. Just a few weeks ago, the Bush forces shot and killed a journalist. Of course, the generals said it was a tragic accident, but other journalists in the TV crew said the killer knew they were all journalists.
A senate committee voted for rolling back the FCC's media concentration policy.
But since Bush favors the policy (his administration pushed for it), he is going to try to convince the full senate to defeat it. Your senators need to hear from you now.
A coalition of civil liberties and consumer groups opposes a new proposed directive for stricter punishment for copyright and patent infringement.
I agree with what they say, but the statement accepts too much that it ought to criticize. EU law is already too restrictive, and simply to prevent further changes is not enough. It is wrong to stop people from sharing music and other published works, and only draconian laws could possibly do the job, so it's no surprise to see they are being proposed. But opposing this directive without criticizing its unjust motivation is insufficient. Even using the term "intellectual property" is a point of weakness, because this is a propaganda term for those who want to restrict the public.
An extremist Bush appointee for federal appeals court judge has withdrawn his name, after seeing that Democrats in the Senate were resolved to oppose his nomination.
The Kabul government demolishes houses, Palestine-style, with the families' possessions still inside.
Medical tests carried out on thousands of people who worked at the WTC site after 9/11 find that almost half now have lasting health problems.
If half of the tens of thousands of people who were in the area have similar health problems, Bush's order to the EPA to conceal the danger has permanently injured far more people than were killed by the terrorists.
Corporations have been running a decades-long propaganda campaign to get the public to take for granted certain corporate-friendly assumptions.
UK police saw a car hit a protester, then summoned the protester but let the driver go.
A former British cabinet minister under Tony Blair charges that the "War on Terrorism" pursued by his own government and the US government is bogus, that 9/11 was used as a pretext for expansionist plans laid in advance.
The government of Turkmenistan is arresting dissidents, and even the family of dissidents, and sentencing them to forced relocation without trial.
Turkmenistan's president Niyazov rejected the title of "president for life" that his obviously subservient legislature offered him, choosing instead to express his megalomania by having the month of January renamed in his honor.
Bush's Iraq "governing council" appoints ministers--but even many of those invited to join the council consider it a puppet.
Drug companies, helped by the US government are trying to weaken doctors' ethical standards.
Israelis, Palestinians and visiting foreigners have together rebuilt a house that has been demolished by Israeli forces.
ICAHD works in various ways against the Israeli system of collective punishment by house demolishion.
A US court restricted the use of a new sonar system whose extremely strong beams are dangerous to whales and fish.
This is a victory for environmental movement. However, Republicans are trying to give the military a blanket exemption from environmental protection laws, so that it can freely endanger not just whales and fish, but also the civilians it claims to protect.
The Burma Campaign publishes a "dirty list" of companies that do business in Burma, against the wishes of the Burmese democracy movement and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now reported to be on hunger strike. Companies that do business in Burma are a major pillar of support for the military government, while the workers get next to nothing.
Some of the companies that were criticized are now starting to pull out from Burma.
Two of the companies that make voting machines in the US have close ties with Bush--and there is evidence that one of them has a secret illegal back door into the machines.
Bush told the EPA not to warn New Yorkers about the danger from the fumes, chemicals and asbestos in the air around the burning World Trade Center. The eventual casualties from this callous decision may be numerous.
The latest news on figuring out why the US was unprepared for 9/11.
The murder of a Shiite cleric who cooperated with the Bush forces is variously being blamed on Saddam Hussein loyalists and Al Qa'ida. A tape purporting to come from Saddam Hussein says he did not do it. Whoever did it, it will tend to cause problems for the Bush forces.
An Alaska court has overturned the law against possession of marijuana.
The EPA ruled that it cannot regulate carbon dioxide emissions, twisting the law to suit the corporations that the US government normally works for.
Here is a proposal for how to establish democracy in Iraq that at least tries to take account of the difficulties of the situation. http://troydavis.blogspot.com
While Exxon-Mobil says that it takes the threat of global warming seriously, it is funding several organizations that oppose efforts to slow down global warming.
US citizens: through the Union of Concerned Scientists, you can send mail to your senators to urge support for the Climate Stewardship Act.
Also, ask the senate to reject a plan to delay regulations to clean up car exhaust and reduce smog.
Mussolini, who originated fascism, defined it as "the merger of state and corporate power." The US government still formally operates as a democracy, but in practice, it fits Mussolini's definition pretty well.
Blair admits he was responsible for releasing Dr Kelly's name to the public--and that he previously lied about this.
Almost 10 Americans per day are being wounded in action, while serving in Iraq as part of the Bush forces.
The Bush spokesmen are trying to distract attention from this by not talking about it.
Bush is considering a plan to mortgage Iraqi oil--which is effectively equivalent to seizing it outright.
"Finally, a candidate who can explain the Bush administration's positions on civil liberties in the original German."
---Bill Maher, on Arnold Schwarzenegger
The city of Tampa, Florida has scrapped its face-recognition software. But the officials say it's because the system didn't work, not out of concern for the dangers of government surveillance.
In other words, this initiative for orwellian total surveillance may have failed, but governments in the US and elsewhere will keep trying.
The right-wingers who castigated Clinton for having sex with a willing intern are now supporting Arnold Schwarzeneger for governor of California, disregarding his history of trying to pressure unwilling women into sex.
Either this is a double standard, or what they dislike about Clinton is that he asked.
The same article also discloses that Schwarzeneger has been considering a political carrer since the 70s, contrary to some of his recent statements.
The US government has been fighting for years, on behalf of the big pharmaceutical companies, to stop poor countries from making cheap medicines that their citizens can afford. However, step by step it has been forced back. Its first concession was to allow poor countries to make medicine for their own use, but many poor countries have no facilities to do it, and the US has since been fighting to stop poor countries from selling cheap medicines to other poor countries.
Now the US has agreed to a compromise allowing poor countries to make cheap medicine for each other, but problems remain: the compromise imposes bureaucracy that Oxfam says will be disastrous.
The Canadian government has begun selling marijuana to medical patients who need it. They no longer have to buy it on the street.
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