Friday Night Flicks, Carthage

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers. Who's getting killed; who's making a killing.
7:00 Friday evening, Democratic Party headquarters, downtown Carthage.

The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved


Cheney/Fox Connection

Iraq violence 'linked to US vote'
US Vice-President Dick Cheney says Iraq militants are seeking to influence mid-term polls by stepping up attacks.
["Seeking to influence"? But the US would never play that game. . .]

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising

Greenhouse gas emissions rising
UN data shows industrialised countries' greenhouse gas emissions rising overall, despite cuts by some nations.


Riot Police in Oaxaca

Mexico riot police re-take Oaxaca
Mexican riot police seize control of Oaxaca, ending a five-month occupation by teachers and other protesters.


9/11 Flight Patterns

This has been checked on Snopes and Hoax Busters. It appears to be legit, since it was not listed as a hoax on either site.

Flights of September 11, 2001. Drastic course changes. Especially interesting how the two jets that hit the World Trade Center crossed patterns.


[and for--what, two hours?--not one jet was scrambled from Andrews AFB]

The End of Suburbia

Now online!

Bring Our Soldiers Home Rallies, NC 6th District

Blake Announces “Bring American Soldiers Home” Rallies

October 30, 2006 ASHEBORO — Sixth District Congressional candidate Rory Blake today announced a series of rallies calling for the withdrawal of American soldiers from active duty in Iraq.
The rallies will be held at noon each day between now and Election Day, one at each of the county courthouses in the Sixth District, beginning in Moore and ending in Guilford County.
“We can no longer stand-by as American soldiers languish in a war without clearly defined goals and objectives. Staying a course, called that or not, leads only to more and more American casualties. It is not a strategy for victory; it is a smokescreen for something else.”
“We don’t need more or different slogans; we need purposeful action. We must, immediately begin the planning to bring our soldiers home, and require that the Iraqi people, once and for all, begin the peacefully resolution of their differences. The time has run out for excuses. It is time for action.”
“We cannot and we will not, as President Bush has said, wait for ‘future Presidents’ to address this problem. America is capable of making hard choices.”
“We must, and we will, address this problem now.”
“The American soldiers deserve this. The American people deserve this. And I am going to stand proudly with my friends throughout the Sixth District to proclaim our support not only for our troops, but for their safe – and immediate – exit from this unfortunate war.”

The schedule for “Bring American Soldiers Home” rallies follows:
Tuesday, October 31. 12:00 noon. Moore County Courthouse, 202 Monroe Street, Carthage.
Wednesday, November 1. 12:00 noon. Alamance County Courthouse, 212 West Elm Street, Graham.
Thursday, November 2. 12:00 noon. Randolph County Courthouse, 176 East Salisbury Street, Asheboro.
Friday, November 3. 12:00 noon. Davidson County Courthouse, 110 West Center Street, Lexington.
Saturday, November 4. 12:00 noon. Rowan County Courthouse, 210 North Main Street, Salisbury.
Monday, November 6. 12:00 noon. Guilford County Courthouse, 201 South Eugene Street, Greensboro.
Rory Blake, 56, is the Democratic candidate for Congress in North Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District (all of Moore and Randolph counties, and sections of Alamance, Davidson, Guilford and Rowan counties).

More on Climate Change

Report's stark warning on climate
Analysis By Robert Peston Business Editor, BBC News

Power firms have to cut emissions by 60-70%, the report says
The Stern Review says that climate change represents the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen. And on the basis of this intellectually rigorous and thorough report, it is hard to disagree.
Sir Nicholas Stern, a distinguished development economist and former chief economist at the World Bank, is not a man given to hyperbole.
Yet he says "our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, later in this century and in the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th Century".
His report gives prescriptions for how to minimise this economic and social disruption.
His central argument is that spending large sums of money now on measures to reduce carbon emissions will bring dividends on a colossal scale. It would be wholly irrational, therefore, not to spend this money.
However, he warns that we are too late to prevent any deleterious consequences from climate change.
The prospects are worst for Africa and developing countries, so the richer nations must provide them with financial and technological help to prepare and adapt.

Tough decisions
He believes it is practical to aim for a stabilisation of greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere of 500 to 550 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050 - which is double pre-industrial levels and compares with 430ppm today. But even stabilising at that level will probably mean significant climate change.
For 150 years, we've pumped carbon into the atmosphere - whether through energy or transport - as if it had no price

David Milliband, Environment Secretary
'High cost' of climate change
Even to stabilise at that level, emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) would need to be cut by an average of three-quarters by 2050 - a frightening statistic.
As well as decarbonising the power sector by 60%-70%, there will also have to be an end to deforestation - emissions from deforestation are estimated at more than 18% of global emissions, more than transport. And there will have to be deep cuts in emissions from transport.
The costs of these changes should be around 1% of global GDP by 2050 - in other words the world would be 1% poorer than we would otherwise have been, which would be significant but far from prohibitive.
To be clear, this does not mean we would be 1% poorer than we are today, but that global growth will be slower.
The way to look at this 1% is as an investment. Because the costs of not taking this action are mind-bogglingly large.

Rising estimates
Sir Nicholas Stern's start point is economic modelling carried out in other studies showing that a scenario of 2-3 degrees of warming would lead to a permanent loss of up to 3% in global world output, compared to what would have happened without climate change. But he says those estimates are too low.

Sir Nicholas warns the world will face more floods and droughts
He believes 5-6 degrees of warming is a "real possibility" for the next century.
Having fed the probabilities of the various different degrees of global warming into his economic model, he estimates that "business as usual" would lead to a permanent reduction in global per-capita consumption of at least 5%.
But, that estimate does not include the financial cost of the direct impact on human health and the environment from global warming, or the disproportionate costs on poor regions of the world.
It also ignores so-called "feedback mechanisms", which may mean that as the stock of greenhouse gases increases there is a disproportionate rise in warming with each new increment in emissions.

Unfair burden
Putting all these factors together, he comes up with the stark conclusion that if we do nothing to stem climate change, there could be a permanent reduction in consumption per head of 20%.
In other words, everyone in the world would be a fifth poorer than they would otherwise have been.
Even worse, these costs will not be shared evenly. There will be a disproportionate burden on the poorest countries.
So here's the winning formula: Stern says spend 1% of world GDP to be 20% richer than we will otherwise be. It looks like a no-brainer.
There is another way of presenting this analysis of benefits versus costs.
Stern says that if you take the present value (the value in today's money) of the benefits over the coming years of taking action to stabilise greenhouse gases by 2050, then deduct the costs, you end up with a "profit" of $2.5 trillion (£1.32 trillion).
Any way you look at it, the financial case for tackling climate change looks watertight.
That said, there are great impediments to harvesting this dividend.
One is the obvious problem, which is that it requires collective, coordinated action by most of the world's governments - and securing the requisite consensus on the way forward will not be simple.
We should prepare for a whole series of shocks from the effects of climate change that are already unavoidable
In the interests of fairness, Stern argues that the richer countries should take responsibility for between 60% and 80% of reductions in emissions from 1990 levels by 2050.
But assuming that consensus is reached, what is the best way to correct the grotesque market failure that is currently taking us on a path to poverty? How do we start to pay a price for carbon that reflects its true economic and social costs, or a price that includes the present value of future climate change?
There are two main ways of achieving this.
One is through taxation. The other is through rationing the amount of carbon emissions that any business - or any individual - can make, and then creating a proper global market.
Such a move would allow any business or institution that wants to emit more than its entitlement to buy that right, and any business that emits less than its entitlement to sell the unused portion of its entitlement - effectively carbon trading.
Another imperative for governments is to encourage research and development on low-carbon technologies.
Governments must also encourage "behavioural change", through regulation - such as imposing tighter standards on the energy efficiency of buildings - as well as educating the public about the true costs of wasting energy.
Trouble ahead
That said, we should prepare for a whole series of shocks from the effects of climate change that are already unavoidable.

Poor countries are expected to be hit hardest by global warming
There will probably be both more droughts and more floods. An increased incidence of devastating storms is expected. And there is an increased risk of famine in the poorest countries.
So we must start to get better at monitoring of climate conditions - and adapt ourselves for the new world.
That means reinforcing buildings and infrastructure to make them sturdier in the face of extreme weather conditions, investment in new dykes, and support for financial markets so that it is possible to purchase insurance against climate-related disaster.
It will all be very expensive, disproportionately so for developing countries. So Stern argues, and it's hard to disagree, that there is a strong moral obligation on the richer countries to help the poorest ones protect themselves against the very worst that may transpire.

Fiscal Tsunami Coming Soon



Smiley Unloads on Cheney and Crew

[some of us heard Jane Smiley read a few years ago at The Country Bookstore]

Fruit Trees, Etc.

Time to order those edible yard plantings. My favorite site, Edible Landscaping, is in Afton, VA. Check out their listings!


More on Warming

Global warming 'threat to growth'
Global warming may cut world annual economic output by as much as 20%, an influential report is expected to say.

U.S. Housing Slump

[but Asheville is touted as being a good, affordable place to live; let's send the developers there.]

A Poem

A poem by C. K. Williams

Cassandra, Iraq

She's magnificent, as we imagine women must be
who foresee and foretell and are right and disdained.

This is the difference between we who are like her
in having been right and disdained, and we as we are.

Because we, in our foreseeings, our having been right,
are repulsive to ourselves, fat and immobile, like toads.

Not toads in the garden, who after are what they are,
but toads in the tale of death in the desert of sludge.

In this tale of lies, of treachery, of superfluous dead,
were there ever so many who were right and disdained?

With no notion of what to do next? If we were true seers,
as prescient as she, as frenzied, we'd know what to do next. . .


Another Stolen Election?

Another Stolen Election Headed Our Way?http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102606D.shtml
Andy Ostroy interviews Mark Crispin Miller about what voters can do to prevent another stolen election.


The WalMartization of Coffee

Starbucks in Ethiopia coffee row
Ethiopian farmers are being denied millions in profits by US coffee chain Starbucks, Oxfam says.
[Starbucks coming to Moore County? Active boycotting can be fun!]

Vote the Bums Out

With Congress planning to return for only a few days in November, after the elections, it's hard to imagine how lawmakers will complete the many unfinished appropriations bills before the end of the year. Considering the growing public awareness about climate change, depleting oil reserves, and the need for more renewable energy, one would think members of Congress would be pressing hard to expand these programs. "Not so," said Ken Bossong, Coordinator of the Sustainable Energy Coalition and Director of the Sun Day Campaign, a national network of grassroots organizations promoting renewable energy technologies and improved energy efficiency. "We've heard a lot about carbon taxes and auto fuel efficiency legislation -- two directives that could make a real difference -- but we've seen no Congressional action," Bossong said.
More: http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=46308


If In Doubt


You have the right to vote—it’s the law, and you have the proof in your hands! You’ll notice letters and numbers after each of your rights listed below—those codes tell lawyers and poll-workers where to find the actual North Carolina statute that protects your right to vote! These rights are guaranteed to properly registered and qualified voters.

If you feel that your right to vote has been violated in any way, please contact an Election Protection volunteer at your polling place, or call our toll-free, non-partisan hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).


1. Between the polling place hours of 6:30 a.m. AND 7:30 p.m., or if you are in line or in the polling place before the polls close at 7:30 P.M. N.C.G.S. § 163-166.01.

2. Without presenting any identification OR YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION CARD to poll workers. N.C.G.S. § 163-82.8. If you are a first-time voter who has registered to vote by mail without sending in a form of identification, or if you are a first-time voter who has registered through a voter registration drive, identification may be required. Identification may be either a current and valid photo ID, or a document showing the current name and address of the voter, such as a current utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, or a paycheck. N.C.G.S. § 163-166.12.

3. By PROVISIONAL BALLOT if you have applied for voter registration in the county, but your name is not on the rolls; you have been registered but your name has been removed from the list even though you have remained a qualified voter in the county; or you question the voting districts (and ballots) to which you have been assigned and believe that you are qualified to vote a different ballot. 8 N.C. Administrative Code 10B.0103d. You also have the right to find out whether the provisional ballot was counted, and if not, the reason the vote was not counted. N.C.G.S. § 163-166.11(3).

4. At your same assigned polling place, If you have moved within the same precinct or changed your name without telling election officials. N.C.G.S. §§ 163-82.15, 163-82.16.

5. IN YOUR NEW PRECINCT or at a central location IF YOU HAVE MOVED AND LIVED IN YOUR NEW LOCATION FOR 30 DAYS. If you have moved and lived in your new location for less than 30 days, you must vote in your old precinct or cast a provisional ballot in your new precinct. N.C.G.S. § 163-82.15.

6. If you make a mistake and “spoil” your paper ballot. You cannot receive more than three ballots.

7. If you cannot read or write, are blind or otherwise disabled. You may request special assistance from anyone, except your employer or agent of your union. N.C.G.S. § 163-166.8.

8. With assistance from within the vehicle that brought you to the polling site or at the door of the polling place if your polling place is inaccessible to you due to a disability. N.C.G.S. § 163-166.9.

9. If you are in jail as long as your citizenship has not been forfeited OR IF YOU ARE AN EX-FELON who has completed all terms of your sentence including parole, probation, and restitution and you have re-registered to vote. N.C.G.S. § 13-1.

10. WITHOUT being intimidated or forced to vote for someone you do not wish to vote for. N.C.G.S. § 163-271.


1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)

Connect the Dots. . . Three Articles

Phillis D. Engelbert and Lily Jarman-Reisch Under New Law, Americans Must Guard Against Abuse of Power
"The aspect of the Military Commissions Act most troubling to legal scholars is its denial of habeas corpus - the right of a prisoner to challenge his or her detention as unlawful - to non-citizens designated 'enemy combatants.' Habeas corpus is a cornerstone of our Constitution (its suspension is allowed only in cases of invasion or insurrection - of which we have neither) and is an important recourse for those who have been wrongly imprisoned," write Phillis D. Engelbert and Lily Jarman-Reisch.

Gabor Steingart America and the Dollar Illusion
The dollar is still the world's reserve currency, even though it hasn't deserved this status for a long time. The devaluation of the dollar can't be stopped - it can only be deferred. The result could be a world economic crisis.

Voting Problems Loom in US Election
Long lines and long counts threaten to mar next month's US Congressional elections." In close elections, it may be days and weeks before a winner is known in a particular race," said Paul DeGregorio, chairperson of the US Election Assistance Commission, created to oversee a 2002 election-law overhaul.

No Vinyl, That's Final



Protest in Maryland

[from democracynow.org]
Protest Staged at NOAA Over Global Warming

In Maryland, the headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was the scene of a protest yesterday over the Bush administration’s handling of global warming. Two protesters occupied a ledge above the building’s front entrance and unfurled a banner reading: “Bush Let NOAA Tell the Truth.” Other protesters on the ground blocked and occupied the building's main entrance.

The demonstrators accused the agency of ignoring and actively suppressing science that details the threat of global warming.

Falling Press Freedoms

[from democracynow.org]
U.S. Drops to #53 on World Press Freedom Index List

Reporters Without Borders has released its fifth annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index and it shows the level of press freedom in the United States continues to fall. In 2002 the U.S. was rated as having the seventeenth freest press – now it is ranked fifty-third.

Reporters Without Borders criticized the Bush administration for using the so-called war on terrorism to crack down on press freedoms. The report also criticized the United States for jailing journalists at home and abroad. Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf remains in a San Francisco jail for refusing to hand over video to the police. Al Jazeera camerman Sami Al Haj has been locked up at Guantanamo for over four years. Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held in Iraq since April. Neither Al Haj or Hussein have ever faced charges.

Reporters Without Borders found that the nations with the freest press were Finland, Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands. North Korea was rated as the worst upholder of press freedom.


Carbon trade 'to save' rainforest
The World Bank says carbon trading may be a key weapon in preserving the world's rainforests.
[but beware the World Bank]

Three Planets Needed

Global ecosystems 'face collapse'
Global consumption levels could lead to a large-scale ecosystem collapse by the middle of the century, a report warns.


Responsible Shopping

Be part of the Green Shift!

Australia in Global Warming Plan

Howard to launch new climate plan
Australian PM John Howard is set to unveil a major new initiative aimed at preventing global warming.


Beware the Straight Ticket

From Moore County Democratic Headquarters

Straight Ticket Voting
Due to the abundance of Unaffiliated Candidates and Non-Partisan Races we are asking that you do not vote a straight party ticket this year. We would, however, like to bring the following candidates to your attention:

U.S. House - 6th District: Rory Blake
NC Senate 22nd District: Abraham Oudeh
NC House 52nd District: Gerald Galloway
NC House 54th District: Joe Hackney (endorsed also by Conservation Council of NC)

County Commissioner: Terry Cameron Marquez

Supreme Court Chief Justice: Sarah Parker
Supreme Court Associate Justices: Rachel Hunter, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Robin Hudson
Court of Appeals Judges: Bob Hunter, Linda Stephens

Moore County Board of Education at Large: Bobby Allen, Sue McKenzie Black, J. Dale Frye, Pamela D. Thompson

Friday Night Flicks

Iraq For Sale will be shown on Friday, November 3 at 7:00 pm at Party Headquarters in Carthage. Drinks and snacks provided. Admission is free; however, a donation equivalent to a night at the movie theatre is most welcomed!

Iraq For Sale The story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war. Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq.

Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision-makers who allow them to do so.

This We Could Afford


Profiting from Preservation and Sustainability

Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7pm, The Classical Design Foundation will present the second of the four-part lecture series, Sandhills at a Crossroads.

Internationally recognized author and speaker Donovan Rypkema, of Place Economics, Washington, D.C., will speak on "Profiting from Preservation and Sustainable Development"

Sandhills Community College Owens Auditorium, 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst.

Admission is free. For further information visit


“We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.” – Winston Churchill

From the curve of Mona Lisa’s neckline to the profile of a city skyline, design determines how we see our world. Classical design has always been about organizing space into logical and beautiful solutions through proportion, scale and rhythms – and when done well it is an asset worth preserving.

Those of us who live here are fortunate to be in a place where whole communities have been laid out by master designers, like Embury and Olmsted, who practiced their craft in an age that placed great emphasis on quality of life, while still negotiating the realities of such an undertaking. Restrained as they are by today’s emphasis on deadline and profit, seldom do the efforts of modern planners approach anything like the enduring solutions that we live with here everyday.

In the balance between development and preservation, what works for one community will not necessarily be the right solution for another. Surrounded by the distinct landscape of longleaf pines that defines the very reputation of the Sandhills, we live in an extraordinarily rare set of circumstances. World class resort communities were established here as relative latecomers to North Carolina’s overall development, due to the limited resources of this region. And yet, despite these limitations - such as water – locations like Pinehurst and Southern Pines developed into legendary places with their own unmistakable character, and so created our most marketable resource.

In this setting, an emphasis on historic preservation should make obvious economic sense. We already are the sort of human scale, walkable communities that modern city planners are trying to recreate nationwide. Historic preservation is one of the most important tools that town officials and civic leaders have to protect this unique character – a character that was created with a carefully considered design of proportion, scale, and rhythm of life. The Sandhills is at a crossroads. Growth and development pressures of an unprecedented scale are already challenging our way of life. Becoming indistinguishable from anyplace else should be unthinkable here. There is still time to direct our energy toward recognizing and protecting the qualities that give us our identity and provide us with such a remarkable sense of place. - The Classical Design Foundation


Mothering Has Few Boundaries

[from another blog space]

More on Judicial Endorsements

"I chair the NC Association of Women Attorneys Judicial Endorsements Committee, a registered state political action committee.

"The following list is our endorsements for the 2006 election cycle. I want to emphasize that it is particularly important to vote for candidates for our appellate courts. All NC judicial races are now non-partisan. However, our Supreme Court is very conservative currently and in danger of becoming exceedingly so if some of the candidates who are running now are elected (and some of the sitting judges are defeated).

"A few of the candidates could be considered a NC version of Justice Scalia or Justice Thomas. So, please make sure you get to the polls and help us keep a strong and impartial judiciary.

"Early voting is now taking place at your local county election headquarters. Otherwise, election day is Tuesday, November 7.

"The North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys Judicial Endorsements Committee Endorsements for the 2006 Election Cycle:

Chief Justice: Sarah Parker
Associate Justice: Mark D. Martin
Associate Justice: Patricia Timmons-Goodson
Associate Justice: Robin Hudson

Robert C. Hunter
Linda Stephens

District 10B Ripley Rand (Raleigh)
District 15B Carl R. Fox (Orange County) Adam Stein (Orange County)
District 18C Susan E. Bray
District 26B Robert P. Johnston
District 27A Jesse B. Caldwell

District 1 Eula E. Reid
District 10 Joyce Hamilton (Raleigh)
Vince Rozier (Raleigh)
Kristin Ruth (Raleigh)
Anne B. Salisbury (Raleigh)
District 12 Cheri Beasley
Talmage Baggett
David H. Hasty
A. Elizabeth Keever
Robert Stiehl
District 14 Nancy E. Gordon (Durham)
Ann McKown (Durham)
Marcia H. Morey (Durham)
District 18 Susan O'Hale
District 26 Rickye McKoy-Mitchell
District 28 Sharon Barrett
Patricia Kaufmann Young

"The JEC board follows set criteria and procedures in making endorsements. The committee endorses a candidate for judicial office based on the following criteria: (1) the candidate's legal skill and ability; (2) the candidate's experience as a professional and in the community; (3) the candidate's temperament and demeanor for a judicial position; and (4) the candidate's support for women in the legal profession, the rights of women under the law and other organizational positions.

"The board evaluates each candidate for a race and conducts a thorough investigation. The investigation specifically includes interviewing practitioners about the candidates, both those that the candidate has listed as references and others in the relevant community. For candidates who have already served as appellate judges, the investigation includes reading their opinions. The procedure is thorough and the committee takes its obligation to investigate seriously.

"Let me know if you have questions."
Stella Anne Boswel, 4805 American Drive, Durham, NC 27705 (919)309-0695 stellab@verizon.net

Your Vote on Judges DOES Matter

NEWS RELEASE Contact: Jim Warren
October 20, 2006 919-416-5077

State Board Confirms Shearon Harris Security Violations

Justice agency asserts authority over security licensing at all NC nuclear plants

DURHAM, NC – A State licensing board cited a security contractor for violations involving the testing of guards at the Harris Nuclear Plant, and moved to reassert state jurisdiction over training procedures at the three nuclear plants located in North Carolina. In a unanimous vote Wednesday afternoon, the Grievance Committee of the Private Protection Services Board, part of the NC Justice Dept., said Securitas, Inc. had recertified armed guards without the required training and without authorized instructors.

The State investigation stemmed from complaints by Harris guards late last year of widespread security flaws, including the charge that Securitas forced guards to cheat on recertification exams. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has confirmed many of the guards’ complaints – including security equipment left inoperable for long periods. The NRC’s final report is expected soon. The charges were filed on the guards’ behalf by public interest groups NC WARN and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The State investigator interviewed nearly the entire Harris security force during his investigation. The report released Wednesday cited multiple findings that Securitas – which handles plant security for owner Progress Energy – was deficient in various qualification requirements for state-licensed security guards. In eight security categories, Harris guards received training of well under half the hours required under state law.

The agency noted that a 1992 agreement with nuclear plant owners Duke Power and CP&L (now Progress Energy) allowed the security guards at the plants to meet State standards by following NRC security requirements. At the hearing, the PPS Board was adamant that the agreement must be rescinded. One PPS Board member noted that “90% of this problem belongs to the NRC.”

Securitas lawyer Robert Adden told the board that training at Harris is ongoing, implying that annual refresher courses are not needed, and that instructors act as “substitute teachers” in training, even if not certified. Those remarks drew a sharp rebuke from board member David Grimes, who insisted state rules do not allow such practices: “It is wrong … that’s the only way to cut it,” he growled.

Both Adden and PPSB investigator Tim Pressley noted that NRC regulations are more general than required under NC law, but it was unclear whether NRC standards are higher than the State’s. The Securitas lawyer said Harris guards receive more overall testing than required, but was unable to substantiate the claim.

John Runkle, attorney for NC WARN, stressed to the Board that, with the federal NRC under siege for not enforcing safety and security regulations at US nuclear plants, the State PPS board should now demand compliance with its rules within 30 days, and follow up with audits each 90 days.

Plant guards and critics have long complained that industry pressure has kept NRC from requiring realistic, post 9/11 security levels although nuclear plants have been identified as known and vulnerable targets for terrorists. The Harris problems were the plant’s third set of security gaps revealed since the late 1990s.

“Security failures, fire safety violations, sudden reactor shutdowns, emergency cooling failures, the largest building full of high level nuclear waste … Progress Energy really needs to start backing its PR statements that safety is its priority,” said NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren today.

To Vote in NC

[extensive information about NC's voting procedures and candidates, including judicial]

More Fear-Mongering

[from the BBC]
The US Republican Party has launched a controversial terror-linked TV advertisement to bolster support ahead of mid-term elections next month.
The footage shows al-Qaeda leaders with captions of threatening statements, while the soundtrack of a ticking bomb plays in the background.
The advertisement, which ends with the sound of a bomb exploding, is due to air from Sunday.
Democrats have hit out at the commercial, calling it scaremongering.
US voters go to the polls on 7 November to elect members of Congress.
Republicans have made a tough stance on terrorism a major part of their campaign strategy.
'Desperate ploy'
Both Osama Bin Laden and his second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are shown in the commercial, which is entitled "The Stakes".
Attributed quotes such as "Kill the Americans" and "What is yet to come will be even greater" are flashed across the screen.
Gun-bearing militants in training camps are also shown, followed by the stark message: "These are the stakes. Vote November 7th."
A statement on the Democratic National Committee website called the advertisement "a desperate ploy to once again try to scare voters and distract from their failures".
"Republicans are so afraid of their abysmal record they can't offer one example of what they've done to keep America safe," the response said.
But the Republican National Committee said the advertisement "underscores the high stakes America faces in the global War on Terror".
The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says the advertisement comes as the Republican Party face up to the real possibility that it could lose control of one or both houses in the polls.
This is an outcome that would in effect torpedo the Bush presidency
, our correspondent adds.


Message from Moore Co Dem Chair Wilson

Why Vote Democratic? by George Wilson, Chairman, Moore County Democratic Party

Before I attempt to persuade you to vote in a particular manner, I need to stress the importance and the extreme value of your individual vote. If you hold dear your five freedoms, then you need to value your vote. As Phyllis, my wife, often says, “Vote the way you can live.” Hold dear the fundamental right and responsibility of voting. The only way to ensure keeping your right to vote is to constantly and carefully exercise that right.

Now on to my case for supporting the candidates that I feel reflect democratic values. Moore County Democrats strongly believe in and care about education, the environment, economic opportunity and true representative government. We need political leaders that are responsible, responsive and effective. That is the kind of leaders the Democratic Party of Moore County is offering in this election.

Democrats support, without question, the sanctity of the American family. We believe it to be the bedrock of our society. The strength of our society is directly related to the strength of our families. Our social order rests firmly on this foundation. Each of our social and political functions rests firmly on this same foundation.

Democrats promote public policy that secures the rights and safety of our children, protects the rights of our seniors and affords them due respect and dignity. Working men and women of Moore County as well as around this great state, should be able to compete unencumbered for economic advancement and self-actualization. We seek a harmonious balance of individual self-interest and the collective public interest.

We are for government accountable to the people - government that reflects the values of honest and ethical behavior. We look to our leaders to be good stewards of not only our public resources, but our public trust as well. The Moore County Democrats on the ballot are of the highest moral and ethical character.

We hold to the proposition that democracy will not and cannot survive without an educated population. To that end, we support efforts by our county commissioners and our state legislators to meet all the operating needs of the public schools and of our community college. Our schools have massive capital construction needs. Taking into account how affluent our county is, we should not house our schoolchildren in dilapidated buildings and trailers.

Renewed emphasis needs to be placed on programs that combat the problems of adult illiteracy and English as a second language. We are in favor of teaching families financial literacy. We believe families deserve the opportunity to learn the life skills needed to budget resources prudently, use credit wisely, and to save and invest. We should assist working families with their dreams of home ownership, providing for the education of their children, and securing a financially sound retirement. Democrats are pushing for more robust investments in technology education. Our graduates must be fully competent to meet the needs of employers in this modern economy.

These issues of the economy and education are inter-related. A better educated the work force will attract better quality employers. Better jobs mean higher wages and better benefit packages. Unemployment, on the other hand, creates a climate of despair. Over-employment, defined as the condition of an individual working more than one job in order to keep a decent standard of living, is not at all family-friendly. The basic needs may be met, but that situation keeps one or both parents on the job and the children in childcare, if it is available and affordable. Democrats believe in raising the minimum wage. Democratic policies favor middle-class working people. We also believe there should be affordable healthcare for everyone.

Our state and county should attract and foster both existing and new industries. We must promote sustainable balanced growth that protects our fragile environment. We must build a solid infrastructure that supports competitive business climate that will be attractive to potential employers. Tax relief and economic incentives should be offered only if they result in a realized benefit for our people. All North Carolinians deserve rewarding jobs that allow them to support themselves and their families.

Do not waste your valuable vote. We value your vote. All of our candidates value each of your votes as well. Rory Blake will take our message to Washington as our US Representative from the 6th Congressional District. Abraham Oudeh will be our voice on the NC Senate floor. Gerald Galloway, working with Joe Hackney, will be the unifying spirit of cooperation in the NC House. Teresa (Terry) Cameron Marquez, as County Commissioner, will bring a much needed balance and an awesome arsenal of leadership skills that promise to unite our county as never before. Our intent and our collective vision is that no child, working man or woman, or senior be left behind politically, socially, or economically.

If you believe in a fair and just society that cares for and educates its people, then you should vote for Democrats. If you believe in honest ethical candidates, then you should vote for Moore County Democrats. If you believe in economic justice and the value of work over wealth, then you should vote for Democrats. If you believe in sustainable growth while protecting the environment and the ability to make a profit, then you should vote for Democrats. Whatever you believe, please vote!

In the words of Terry Tempest Williams - “The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.” ---- George Wilson

Fresh Eggs Anyone?

MANY photos of chicken tractors ideal for city and suburban lots.


See Endorsements


Also includes endorsements for non-partisan judicial seats.
You can early-vote and avoid the rush.

Our Rights Evaporate

National Yawn as Our Rights Evaporate By Keith Olbermann MSNBC Countdown
Wednesday 18 October 2006

New law redefines habeas corpus; law professor explains on "Countdown."

History does not play well at this White House. Expressionless faces would probably greet references to how John Adams ended his political career by insisting he needed the Alien and Sedition Acts to silence his critics in the newspapers, or how Franklin D. Roosevelt's executive order to seize Japanese-Americans during World War II necessitated a formal presidential apology eight presidents later.
But even so, somebody probably should have told President Bush that today was the exact 135th anniversary, to the day, that President Grant suspended habeas corpus in much of South Carolina for the noble and urgent purpose of dispersing the Ku Klux Klan and making sure the freed slaves had all their voting rights, neither of which has yet truly occurred. It is your principal defense against imprisonment without charge and trial without defense thrown away for no good reason, then and now.
Our fifth story on "Countdown": President Bush, happy Habeas Corpus Day.
First thing this morning, the president signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which does away with habeas corpus, the right of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned, provided the president does not think it should apply to you and declares you an enemy combatant.
Further, the bill allows the CIA to continue using interrogation techniques so long as they do not cause what is deemed, quote, "serious physical or mental pain." And it lets the president to ostensibly pick and choose which parts of the Geneva Convention to obey, though to hear him describe this, this repudiation of the freedoms for which all our soldiers have died is a good thing.
President Bush: This bill spells out specific, recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees, so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law. And this bill complies with both the spirit and the letter of our international obligations.
Olbermann: Leading Democrats view it differently, Senator Ted Kennedy calling this "seriously flawed," Senator Patrick Leahey saying it's, quote, "a sad day when the rubber-stamp Congress undercuts our freedoms," and Senator Russ Feingold adding that "We will look back on this day as a stain on our nation's history."
Outside the White House, a handful of individuals protested the law by dressing up as Abu Ghraib abuse victims and terror detainees. Several of them got themselves arrested, but they were apparently quickly released, despite being already dressed for Gitmo.
To assess what this law will truly mean for us all, I'm joined by Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University.
I want to start by asking you about a specific part of this act that lists one of the definitions of an unlawful enemy combatant as, quote, "a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a combatant status review tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense."
Does that not basically mean that if Mr. Bush or Mr. Rumsfeld say so, anybody in this country, citizen or not, innocent or not, can end up being an unlawful enemy combatant?
Johathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor: It certainly does. In fact, later on, it says that if you even give material support to an organization that the president deems connected to one of these groups, you too can be an enemy combatant.
And the fact that he appoints this tribunal is meaningless. You know, standing behind him at the signing ceremony was his attorney general, who signed a memo that said that you could torture people, that you could do harm to them to the point of organ failure or death.
So if he appoints someone like that to be attorney general, you can imagine who he's going be putting on this board.
Olbermann: Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?
Turley: It does. And it's a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn't rely on their good motivations.
Now we must. And people have no idea how significant this is. What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values.
It couldn't be more significant. And the strange thing is, we've become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. I mean, the Congress just gave the president despotic powers, and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to, you know, "Dancing with the Stars." I mean, it's otherworldly.
Olbermann: Is there one defense against this, the legal challenges against particularly the suspension or elimination of habeas corpus from the equation? And where do they stand, and how likely are they to overturn this action today?
Turley: Well, you know what? I think people are fooling themselves if they believe that the courts will once again stop this president from taking over - taking almost absolute power. It basically comes down to a single vote on the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy. And he indicated that if Congress gave the president these types of powers, that he might go along.
And so we may have, in this country, some type of uber-president, some absolute ruler, and it'll be up to him who gets put away as an enemy combatant, held without trial.
It's something that no one thought - certainly I didn't think - was possible in the United States. And I am not too sure how we got to this point. But people clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're going to change back anytime soon.
Olbermann: And if Justice Kennedy tries to change us back, we can always call him an enemy combatant.
The president reiterated today the United States does not torture. Does this law actually guarantee anything like that?
Turley: That's actually when I turned off my TV set, because I couldn't believe it. You know, the United States has engaged in torture. And the whole world community has denounced the views of this administration, its early views that the president could order torture, could cause injury up to organ failure or death.
The administration has already established that it has engaged in things like waterboarding, which is not just torture. We prosecuted people after World War II for waterboarding prisoners. We treated it as a war crime. And my God, what a change of fate, where we are now embracing the very thing that we once prosecuted people for.
Who are we now? I know who we were then. But when the president said that we don't torture, that was, frankly, when I had to turn off my TV set.
Olbermann: That same individual fell back on the same argument that he'd used about the war in Iraq to sanction this law. Let me play what he said and then ask you a question about it.
President Bush: Yet with the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few. Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously? And did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?
Olbermann: Does he understand the irony of those words when taken out of the context of this particular passage or of what he perceives as the war against terror, and that, in fact, the threat we may be facing is the threat of President George W. Bush?
Turley: Well, this is going to go down in history as one of our greatest self-inflicted wounds. And I think you can feel the judgment of history. It won't be kind to President Bush.
But frankly, I don't think that it will be kind to the rest of us. I think that history will ask, Where were you? What did you do when this thing was signed into law? There were people that protested the Japanese concentration camps, there were people that protested these other acts. But we are strangely silent in this national yawn as our rights evaporate.
Olbermann: Well, not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but I think we've done a little bit of what we could have done. I'll see you at Gitmo. As always, greatest thanks for your time, Jon.
Turley: Thanks, Keith.

LA Film/Video Fest, Nov 3 - 19

The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University is proud to present

The 20th annual Latin American Film & Video Festival:
A Celebration * Una Celebración * Uma Celebracão

November 3 - 19 on the campuses of

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Duke University
North Carolina State University
North Carolina Central University
Durham Technical Community College
Guilford College

For the complete festival schedule, visit the Consortium's Festival Web site at http://ilas.unc.edu/film/fest2006/festhome.htm
More information, contact Sharon Mujica at smujica@email.unc.edu

This Fat Article Gives Us the Skinny

[A long but excellent article, background info on the Bush petro-grab in Iraq]

Character Counts Week

from truthout.org

George W. Bush has officially declared that this is now National Character Counts Week. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.
"America's strength is found in the spirit and character of our people," reads the Bush proclamation. "During National Character Counts Week, we renew our commitment to instilling values in our young people and to encouraging all Americans to remember the importance of good character."
Someone forgot to circulate the "Character Counts" memo among the ranks of the Republican Party, it seems.
You have to think of this crew as being like the Mafia, only a lot dumber. Think about it. The Mafia's criminal enterprises operate under heavy scrutiny from local, state and federal officials, all of whom have subpoena power, not to mention the ability to tap phones and kick down doors.
The Republican criminal enterprise that is currently unraveling in all directions operated virtually free from restraint or scrutiny. They own the government, from the Oval Office to the FBI to the Capitol Dome, and yet somehow they are managing to get busted left and right.
And, of course, the really serious criminal behavior - lying about weapons of mass destruction to initiate a war of conquest that has enriched White House allies while killing untold tens of thousands of people, including almost three thousand American soldiers, for starters - continues to operate with impunity.

Path to Freedom Urban Pioneers

Urban Pioneers
"Doing what we can, where we are, with what we have - right now."
Since the mid 80s members of the Dervaes family have steadily worked away at transforming their ordinary city lot in Pasadena, California into an integral urban homestead.
They regard their 1/5 acre urban homestead as a sustainable living resource center where they are setting out to live by example while also inspiring others to “just do it!”
Founded by Jules Dervaes in 2001, Path to Freedom is a not for profit, family operated, viable urban homesteading project which is breaking new ground every year.
Their yard has over 350 varieties of edible and useful plants. The homestead's productive 1/10 acre organic garden now grows over 6,000 pounds (3 tons) of organic produce annually,providing fresh vegetables and fruit for the family’s vegetarian diet along with a viable income.
In addition they have chickens, ducks, goats, brew their own biodiesel (made from waste (free!) vegetable oil) to fuel their car, compost with worms, solar panels provide their electricity needs, a sun and earthen oven is used to cook food in. These "Urban Pioneers" have taken steps to bring about a homegrown revolution - they are "living it."

The Urban Homestead: At a Glance

We seek to live more enviromentally conscious, simple, agrarian and self-sufficient life by bringing about change in our daily lives - one step at a time. We hope that our journey will insprire fellow travlers who are on the path less traveled.
Our family's mission and struggle will be to continue to acquire the total package of brains, guts and knowledge necessary to become self-sufficient pioneers and better earth stewards.

"To use our hands as weapons of mass creation and to walk the path to restoration and renewal."
~ Jules Dervaes ~

Peace Alliance dot Org


Darwin Online

The complete works of Charles Darwin are being made available online.


Is God a Tree-Hugger?

Bill Moyers' program entitled "Is God Green?" on PBS


a look at the intersection of faith and environmentalism. He interviews pastors who have begun to tackle this topic from the pulpit. It gives insight into how some faith-based communities have been reached and how they responded.

Some Torture is OK

One-third support 'some torture'

Almost a third of people worldwide say some torture is acceptable to fight terrorism, a BBC World Service poll finds. [especially high in US and Israel]


Iraq for Sale

Business is one thing, fraud is another. No wonder we're overextended, paying $45 for a six-pack. Download-able movie for viewing

VIDEO Iraq for Sale: As Not Seen on TV


"Iraq for Sale," the latest documentary from Robert Greenwald, tells a depressingly familiar tale of corporate corruption and war-profiteering in Iraq.
Focusing on companies like Halliburton, CACI International and Blackwater Security Consulting, it recites a litany of rapacity and exploitation that ought to have American citizens swarming Congress, demanding heads on pikes.


Mayan Weaving Sale, Chapel Hill

MAYAN WEAVING SALE, November 4th, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Church of Reconciliation, 110 N. Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill.

Cafe and Panaderia open all day. Lunch served at 11:30.

All funds are hand-carried to Guatemala for Literacy Training, Medical Clinic, Sustainable Agriculture Projects and Leadership Training for Women among the Mam Mayan Indians.

Polar Bear Creates Own Blog Space


From Empire to Community

Spiritual Challenges of Global Climate Change and Peak Oil


The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community By David Korten

Endangered Farmers

October 24, 2006 "Pesticides, Poisoning and Self-Harm" 3:00-4:30 pm Chapel Hill, NC

Lorann Stallones, MPH, PhD Director, Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Professor, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Studies have reported high rates of suicide among selected occupations, including farmers. Recently, exposure to pesticides was hypothesized to serve as a risk factor for suicidal behavior as well as the agent used in acts of self-harm.

Animal studies document the impact of organophosphate exposure on serotonin levels, providing evidence for the possible link between exposure to organophosphate pesticides and suicide in humans.

The program will be at the Tate Turner Kuralt Auditorium on the UNC campus, Chapel Hill. Sponsored by the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center.

Free and open to the public, registration is not required. 919-966-2251 or 843-3530.

Our Food Supply

Michael Pollan The Vegetable-Industrial Complex

Michael Pollan says: "... these days, the way we farm and the way we process our food, both of which have been industrialized and centralized over the last few decades, are endangering our health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that our food supply now sickens 76 million Americans every year, putting more than 300,000 of them in the hospital, and killing 5,000."

[and illness is a profitable business. . .]

US Population

US population to hit 300 million
The US population will hit 300 million on Tuesday, 39 years after reaching 200 million, officials predict.


Sou. Pines Public Hearing Nov 15

Planning Board - Public Hearing Scheduled for November 15, 2006 - 7:00pm
Douglass Center, 1185 W. Penn Ave., Southern Pines

It is important to note that the public hearing is for the PUD Zoning Ordinance, not for any one proposed development. However, it is no secret that if the PUD Zoning Ordinance is approved, then Pine Needles Village will be submitting their conceptual plan to the Town for approval.

Please ask your neighbors and other friends of Sou. Pines to attend.

If you've been reading The Pilot you've seen Letters to the Editor regarding this issue. You've also seen guest editorials opposing PUD. The voice of the people needs to be heard on this issue. Please come to the November 15th meeting.


Cuts in Emissions - UK

UK planning law on climate change

A bill covering climate change and cuts in carbon dioxide emissions is being considered by the government.


It's a Lot of Power

On the verge of victory
Net neutrality uprising shows power of Internet as democratizing force

[from Working for Change]

A grassroots movement that barely existed five years ago is on the verge of triumphing over one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington.

The issue is net neutrality, the concept that, as with phone service, every Internet site is equally accessible to users. Net neutrality means that Joe's blog connects just as easily for users as CNN.com.

That's the Internet system hundreds of millions of people around the world (at least) have gotten used to. But here in the U.S., where many of the major Internet providers are based and the largest number of Internet users lives, the telecommunications lobby has spent some $200 million during this Congress to change all that.

What the telecom giants want instead is a tiered system, where they can charge large-scale users like Google, Yahoo, or Amazon.com fees in exchange for faster, more reliable access to their sites. CNN.com would load much faster than Joe's blog, and for that reason alone will be far more appealing to users. And that site being run by striking AT&T workers? You might not be able to access that at all.

The stakes are enormous. Anyone producing independent media would be at a huge disadvantage under such a system. It's not just existing web sites and blogs that would be affected. The biggest stakes are still to come. Within five years, much of the audience for print, radio, and video (including TV) will be online. A decade, and it will all be the same technology, worth uncounted billions each year to whichever companies control the service.

And the impact wouldn't stop at our shores. In the global South, where many poorer users gain access through Internet cafes and are charged by the minute for usage, slowly loading web sites (including most anything local) would price many people out of Internet access entirely.

The literally trillions of future dollars at stake are why the telecom giants spent so much money trying to ram a massive communications "reform" bill through Congress this year, with the abolition of net neutrality as its centerpiece. But then a funny thing happened.

Even with virtually no mainstream media coverage, word got out -- a testimony to the new power of the Internet and independent media. People noticed. And got angry. And organized. Though groups working to preserve net neutrality have been outspent by an unspeakable
factor, they've had public opinion on their side. Lots of it. Millions of Internet users spread the word, signed petitions, and besieged Congress with e-mails, faxes, phone calls, and visits -- so many that Congress got scared.

The upshot is that it looks like the Senate version of the communications bill this session (sponsored by Alaska's Ted Stevens, who already has had a rough time of it in recent months) is fatally stalled. Craig Aaron of FreePress.net, one of the major groups working to keep net neutrality, reports that the bill definitely won't be passed before the Nov. 7 midterm election.

He rates it unlikely the following lame duck session would take it on, either, and it definitely won't happen if, as now seems likely, Democrats win control of one or even both houses next month.

Defenders of free speech aren't out of the woods yet, of course. The telecommunications lobby would surely reload in January. And in the meantime, the FCC may rule as soon as today on whether a proposed merger between AT&T and BellSouth (leaving only AT&T, Verizon and Qwest as the country's main phone providers) should include a condition preserving net neutrality. Recent mergers between Verizon and MCI and between AT&T and SBC have included such a provision, but this time FCC Chair Kevin Martin may have the needed votes to avoid it. And it's no coincidence that among the telecom giants, AT&T has fought hardest and spent the most money trying to gut net neutrality.

Nonetheless, if Congress can't get its communications bill passed before January, it will have to start over -- potentially with a Democratic majority in at least one house that is far more sympathetic to net neutrality. Don't rest yet, but at this point, the prospects for preserving net neutrality are pretty good.

If that happens, it's a grass roots victory of historic proportions. Name the last time a lobby with that much power and money was stymied in its top legislative priority by a citizen movement. Offhand, I can't think of any examples at all. And this during the most corrupt, lobbyist-pliant Congress in recent American history.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, just the fact that the tiered system isn't already signed into law represents a remarkable victory. It also represents something new: the power of the Internet, with little help from other media, to organize and mobilize many millions of users on short notice on an arcane topic.

That demonstrates the capacity for Internet users to become a huge democratizing force in our corrupt political culture. It's a lot of power, there to be harnessed.

Let's keep using it.

U.S. Voting Systems

E.J. Dionne Jr. The Paranoids Are Right


"Sometimes, paranoids are right. And sometimes even when paranoids are wrong, it's worth considering what they're worried about. I speak here of all who are worried sick that those new, fancy high-tech voting systems can be hacked, fiddled with and otherwise made to record votes that aren't cast, or fail to record votes that are," writes E.J. Dionne Jr.

Iraqi Death Tolls

'Huge rise' in Iraqi death tolls

An estimated 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the 2003 US-led invasion, a joint US-Iraqi survey says.


Come Meet Rory Blake

Reception for Rory Blake, candidate running against Republican Howard Coble
Tuesday October 17 from 6 to 8 PM, Democratic Headquarters, Carthage

Mark your calendars and plan to attend. Come and bring your spouse or friend. Refreshments will be served.



Must see online

Oil, Smoke and Mirrors is an independent 50 minute documentary on peak oil, 9/11 and the war on terror.


Why Blacks Don't Dig Condi Rice

George E. Curry is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and BlackPressUSA.com. His weekly column is syndicated by NNPA to more than 200 African-American newspapers, with a combined readership of 15 million.
[Check out his column on Rice. And another on Hillary.]


Blog Reader Walks in Utah

[remember the soldier who's walking across Utah to protest the war? This is from our Sonia.]

"I walked with the soldier today. I didn't take my camera and glad because it would have seemed too cheesy.

"It breaks my heart, he's so young. Met his brother and one other soldier, it was a small group. Gave them peaches from my garden. I found their location by e-mailing his wife, who gave me his cell phone number. My friend and I--the only person who could drop everything and join me--got to meet them. I'm ready to walk across America.

"Told them about you. They asked how I found out about them. Wow, from NC, so the word must be getting around, they told me.

"I must bug the media here. He's a home grown Utahan.

"One of the most meaningful acts an adult can do is to inspire a child to do great things." Sonia

The Vision Thing

Syria: US lacks Mid-East vision

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the US lacks the will or vision to pursue peace in the Middle East.


[Team Bush/NeoCon has vision, but it precludes peace and and social equity.]

Next Best Exercise

Sandhills Contra Dance!


LESSON AT 7:00 DANCE FROM 7:30 TO 10:30 P.M.





We Can Grow Our Own

Published on Monday, October 9, 2006 by the Seattle Times (Washington)
Time to Become a "Locavore"
by Neal Peirce

The first OK to buy spinach after the big E. coli scare was for crops shipped out of Colorado or Canada. Then the Food and Drug Administration cleared California spinach — except the suspect packages sent out by Natural Selection Foods.

Great. But why is three-quarters of all U.S. spinach grown in California, then shipped to markets as far distant as 3,500 highway miles? And especially at this time of year, when spinach can be grown successfully almost anywhere?

Agribusiness — that's why.

The Best Exercise

Rev'd Up, By Lynne Duke, The Washington Post, 9 October 2006

Archbishop Desmond Tutu looks back, definitely not in anger.

New York - The cleric is laughing. He laughs a lot. He can't help it. Desmond Tutu is tickled by his life, his faith, his God, so the giggles just bubble out, cresting sometimes in a hilariously showy cackle. The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, the David to the old Goliath that was apartheid, Tutu can be seized with this joy at just about any time.

He might be talking about weighty issues like the moral imperative, our inherent sense of right and wrong, and how "everyone has an instinct for freedom because God has imbued each one of us with a gift of freedom," and here comes that infectious giggle.

Or he's cracking up as he tells of the "uncanniness" of being at Madame Tussauds' some years ago and wondering, as he watched a workman carrying the waxen Tutu, "What am I doing under his armpit?" Or he's expounding on the limits of racial reconciliation in his home land, South Africa, and how some whites reacted to him as would an "arrogant, racist, superior being who says, 'What gives you the right to be such a cheeky native?' " And then he's cackling full out, rocking side to side in his chair.

For Columbus Day


Now, About Those Voting Machines. . .

[from Newsweek]
Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters' choices come Nov. 7.

In addition to winning for the first time in the NEWSWEEK pole, on the question of which party is more trusted to fight the war on terror (44 to 37 percent) and moral values(42 percent to 36 percent), the Democrats now inspire more trust than the GOP on handling Iraq (47 to 34); the economy (53 to 31); health care(57 to 24); federal spending and the deficit (53 to 29); gas and oilprices (56 to 23); and immigration (43 to 34).

And even if the Republicans manage to bail out their ship before the midterms, they'll have a hard time matching their one-time strengths to voters' priorities. A third of registered voters, 33 percent, say the single most important issue deciding their vote will be Iraq; compare to 20 percent who say the economy and only 12 percent who say terrorism, which ties with health care.

Two From Living on Earth

Latino Power
California Latino leaders are trying to convince their constituents that environmental concerns are critical issues for their communities.

Riding the Environmental Justice Bus
A bus touring America's south visits communities fighting for environmental justice. We have an audio diary from aboard the bus.


Air Does Not Recognize National Boundaries

Indonesia smoke blankets region

Large parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are covered by thick smog from Indonesian bush fires.

[Apex, NC, in the news. . .]

You Can Make Your Own

Ian Sample, science correspondent Saturday October 7, 2006 The Guardian

Probiotic drinks containing live mixtures of bacteria may help to combat certain cancers, according to studies on patients at risk of the disease. Tests conducted by scientists at the University of Ulster suggest the bacteria have an anti-cancer effect in the bowel which limits the build-up of genetic damage in cells and stops them growing out of control.

Ian Rowland, a professor of human nutrition at the university, recruited 80 volunteers for the tests, half of whom had been treated for colorectal cancer and half of whom had been diagnosed with small bumps in their intestines called polyps, which can become cancerous if left untreated.

Each of the patients was given a probiotic drink containing a mixture of "healthy" bacteria, along with a sugar called inulin derived from chicory. The inulin is a "prebiotic", a substance that cannot be digested in the upper intestine, so remains available as a source of energy for the bacteria further down in the large intestine. During the study, biopsies were taken from the intestines of patients before and after a 12-week course of the probiotic drink.

At the end of the study, the extent of cell damage and proliferation - how rapidly the cells grow - was compared. The results showed no difference among patients who had been treated for cancer, but for those with intestinal polyps, there was evidence the bacteria were beneficial. "Those patients on the pro and prebiotics had less DNA damage and a lower rate of cell proliferation in biopsies taken from their colons.

The scientists also found lower levels of chemicals that are associated with cancer," Prof Rowland said. "Whilst this evidence is not definitive, the study does suggest that the extensive data showing anti-cancer activity from experiments in animals and isolated cells may apply to humans, and that more studies in human volunteers are warranted."

The study is due to appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Scientists have yet to work out how bacteria might prevent cancer, but leading theories suggest that the microbes may stimulate the immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells; that probiotics inactivate cancer-causing chemicals in the intestine; or that the bacteria cause the cancerous cells to destroy themselves, a natural process called apoptosis.

Last month scientists at Reading University warned that half of probiotic drinks do not contain the healthy bacteria they claim on the label. Shoppers are warned to be suspicious unless the probiotic supplements state they have lactobacilli or bifidobacterium, and stipulate a minimum of 10 million bacteria a bottle.

Probiotics are designed to replenish the bacteria in our guts, and consumers are buying into the idea, with the UK market for probiotic drinks and yoghurts being worth £307 m in the year up to July.

[go to Dom's kefir site, then contact me for kefir starter: suttonmaureen@hotmail.com]

Grow Hemp For the Planet, Or. . .

By Andy Sullivan Fri Oct 6, 8:10 AM ET WASHINGTON (Reuters)

Good news for aging hippies: smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer's disease

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.
THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia among the elderly.

Those afflicted with Alzheimer's suffer from memory loss, impaired decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills. The ultimate cause of the disease is unknown, though it is believed to be hereditary.

Marijuana is used to relieve glaucoma and can help reduce side effects from cancer and
AIDS treatment.

Possessing marijuana for recreational use is illegal in many parts of the world, including the United States, though some states allow possession for medical purposes.

More GOP Seats at Risk

In House Races, More GOP Seats Are Seen at Risk

At least five more Republican Congressional seats are in serious contention, analysts said Friday, as signs that the Congressional page scandal are sapping the enthusiasm of a group essential to Republican victories in 2002 and 2004: religious conservatives.


Keep Our Eye On the Ball

[While our media keeps us distracted by Senator Foley, John Warner's assessment of Iraq situation gets little attention.]

Warner’s Iraq Remarks Surprise White House


WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — The White House, caught off guard by a leading Republican senator who said the situation in Iraq was “drifting sideways,” responded cautiously on Friday, with a spokeswoman for President Bush stopping short of saying outright that Mr. Bush disagreed with the assessment.


Food Not Lawns

How to turn your yard into a garden and your neighborhood into a community.

Valuable Video Link

[Please suffer through yet another inane commercial before the good stuff]


Cooder's Chavez Ravine

In the 1950's, Chavez Ravine, a relatively poor but vibrant Mexican-American enclave in the heart of Los Angeles, was co-opted by municipal authorities through the use of eminent domain.

The thriving community was torn apart by forces wanting to redevelop the area. Eventually, Chavez Ravine became home of Los Angeles Dodgers (lured from Brooklyn in part because of the choice land upon which they could build their stadium.) Along with people being forced from their homes and their neighborhoods in the name of progress, things like the Red Scare of the 50's ("Don't Call Me Red", a song told from the point of view of Frank Wilkinson [who died last January at age 91], an assistant director of the LA Housing Authority who got called before the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee) and even UFO sightings over the neighborhood ("El UFO Cayo") came into play.

On his bittersweet, compelling CD, Ry Cooder chronicles this tale with the help of a talented assemblage of like-minded friends and comrades. Cooder has always followed his muse wherever it took him...pop music, soul music, "world" music, movie music, whatever appealed to him he immersed himself in it with exuberance and reverence.

On the triumphant Buena Vista Social Club collection, Cooder helped bring long overdue attention and acclaim to a host of Cuban singers and musicians; on Chavez Ravine, returns to Los Angeles community he knows so well.

Among those joining Cooder on the vocals are veteran singers Lalo Guerrero and Little Willie G. Instrumental contributions come from guitarist David Hildalgo (of Los Lobos), ace accordion player Flaco Jimenez, and accomplished session drummer Jim Keltner.

Despite the story, Chavez Ravine is full of joyful, triumphant, thought-provoking music.

At Duke, Oct. 11

The Working Group on the Environment in Latin America announces: "Seeing the Forest for the Trees: The Future of Global Climate through the lens of Costa Rica" presented by Dr. Elizabeth Losos, President of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)
When: Wednesday October 11, 2006, 7:00 PM Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Room 05, West campus, Duke University


Elizabeth Losos directs the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), a non-profit consortium of 63 universities and research institutions from the United States, Latin America and Australia. OTS owns and operates 3 biological stations in Costa Rica and conducts environmental education programs, including graduate and undergraduate education. Research at the OTS stations has added significantly to what is known about tropical biology and forest ecosystems-more than 300 scientists from 25 countries work at OTS sites each year. Dr. Losos will discuss what lessons rainforest research in CostaRica has to teach us about the future of global climate.

The Working Group on the Environment in Latin America (WGELA) is part of the The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University.

Wal-Marting Organics


Wal-Mart recently announced it will greatly expand its offering of organic foods, and will price organic only slightly higher than conventional.

This leads some to ask, “Will Wal-Mart wal-mart organics?”

This Saturday at 9AM Pacific, the Food Chain with Michael Olson hosts Sam Fromartz, author of Organic, Inc., and Ronnie Cummins, Founder of the Organic Consumers Association, for a conversation about Wal-Mart’s entry into the organic foods industry. (Note: Wal-Mart declined to participate.)

Log on www.metrofarm.com to listen on your radio, computer or IPOD.

Topics include the short history of organic food; the industrialization of the organic industry; and why some warn that Wal-Mart’s entry into the organic industry could lead to the demise of organic standards.

Interview with PermaDude

An interview with a permaculture researcher on post peak oil and his new what-to-do at:


Legal Scholars Reply to Cheney

Iraq, pre-emption, and the laws of war: scholars reply to Dick Cheney

openDemocracy Sept. 29, 2006

The United States vice-president offers a new, blanket justification of the invasion of Iraq.
In response, scores of leading legal scholars have sent this open letter to all members of the United States Congress.

Working Harder, Eating Worse

[both of these two articles are from The Independent, Durham/Chapel Hill]

Prince George and the return of the Sheriff of Nottingham
People are working harder, earning less, and the rich are raking it in. Where's Robin Hood when we need him?

We are what we eat: corn and petroleum

Garrison Names Names

"None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law any more, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Ideal. Mark their names. Any institution of higher learning that grants honorary degrees to these people forfeits its honor.

Alexander, Allard, Allen, Bennett, Bond, Brownback, Bunning, Burns, Burr (NC), Carper, Chambliss, Coburn, Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Cornyn, Craig, Crapo, DeMint, DeWine, Dole (NC), Domenici, Ensign, Enzi, Frist, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Hutchison, Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Lott, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Menendez, Murkowski, Nelson of Florida, Nelson of Nebraska, Pryor, Roberts, Rockefeller, Salazar, Santorum, Sessions, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Stabenow, Stevens, Sununu, Talent, Thomas, Thune, Vitter, Voinovich, Warner."

Garrison Keillor Congress's Shameful Retreat From American Values

Garrison Keillor writes: "The US Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, decided that an 'enemy combatant' is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant ... and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter."
Keillor reminds us that "The Senate also decided it's up to the president to decide whether it's OK to make these enemies stand naked in cold rooms for a couple of days in blinding light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now purely a bureaucratic matter."

Cost-Saving in the Long Run

Massachusetts Begins Offering Health Insurance to the Poor

Massachusetts began signing up its poorest residents for low-cost health insurance Monday, the beginning step in the state's goal to be the first to require all citizens to have health insurance.

Illegal Substance

The Washington Post ran an interesting article Sunday, (October 1,2006) entitled, "The Raw Deal".


In it, journalist Thomas Bartlett deftly describes his investigation of the only food to be made illegal - raw milk. He uncovers and challenges some of the many biases held by the FDA and state agencies. Health officials liken it to pot and heroin. Yet this illegal substance has brought life and vitality to so many that they are willing to go to any length to get it.

Why is raw milk the ONLY food that has been made illegal when NO food or water is immune from contamination? All dairy products account for less than 1% of all outbreaks. Raw milk is legally sold in 25 states including South Carolina, but it is ILLEGAL in North Carolina.

In 2004, health officials re-wrote the law to prohibit partial ownership of a cow (cow share) making it illegal to drink raw milk from that animal. This law was created without any public knowledge or hearing. Yet the health official involved stated that she had full support of the Dairy industry. Of course she did!

Other Slow Foods members may not be aware of this issue. The real concern is that we are not permitted the FREEDOM of food choice. If big business is allowed to influence our health officials, what is next? Will they outlaw composted cow manure ( E.coli threat?) or confiscate heirloom tomato seeds (for patented seeds)? These restrictions happen slowly but when they do, it is more difficult to reverse a law than make one.

There are many farmers who want to provide clean raw milk for North Carolinians. One farmer told me that he gets $1 per gallon for the milk he sends to the co-op. Half his monthly income, $1000, is spent on the haul fee to get it there. Local customers will pay him $3/gal. on farm. He is hoping that this income will keep him in business. He like many other farmers who provide clean raw milk from grass fed (not confined factory) cows, gets harassed by our state officials. How is it a health issue if farmers can drink raw milk but not the public?

I am working with NC Senator Kay Hagan to repeal the ban on cow shares. Please support the many MDs, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, and many, many thriving families in North Carolina who want to make clean, raw milk from grass-fed, sustainably raised cows a LEGAL food choice.

For more information or to join our effort, please contact me at EatReal@gmail.com.
Yours Sincerely, Ruth Ann Foster Slow Foods member and Weston A. Price Foundation, Greensboro Chapter Leader

More from Moyers

". . .The only way to counter the power of organized money is with organized and outraged people. Believe me, what members of Congress fear most is a grassroots movement that demands clean elections and an end to the buying and selling of influence—or else! If we leave it to the powers that be to clean up the mess that greed and chicanery have given us, we will wake up one day with a real Frankenstein of a system—a monster worse than the one created by Abramoff, DeLay and their cronies. By then it will be too late to save Lincoln's hope for "government of, by, and for the people."

Bill Moyers is a veteran television journalist for PBS and the president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. This week, Bill Moyers returns to investigative journalism with MOYERS ON AMERICA, taking on crucial issues facing our nation. Previews available at www.pbs.org/moyers

Capitol Crime Watch

a somewhat interactive site by Bill Moyers, especially on the Abramoff/DeLay crimes that have infected the culture of Congress


LCV Holding Our Reps Accountable

Voters Select North Carolina's Charles Taylor as 10th Member of "Dirty Dozen"

WASHINGTON, DC – The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the independent political voice for the environment, today named Rep. Charles Taylor (NC-11) as the tenth member of the 2006 “Dirty Dozen,” following his selection for the dubious honor via an online poll. LCV’s Dirty Dozen list highlights members of Congress with the worst environmental records.

Rep. Taylor, whose lifetime LCV score is a paltry 5%, received 40% of the votes for the “winning” spot. Tying for second were Rep. Mike Sodrel (IN-9) and Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) with 18% each and taking the “show” spot was Rep. Dan Boren (OK-2) with 16%. Rep. John Hostettler (IN-8) finished last with 8% of the vote.

“Rep. Taylor has worked hard for this distinction, unfortunately at the expense of his constituents in North Carolina and every American who values our environment,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “His abysmal voting record on the most basic of legislation to protect our air, water and land, as well as his refusal to vote to help create a new energy future based on renewable and clean technologies is more proof that Rep. Taylor is turning his back on solutions that would help his constituents and the American public.”

Karpinski also noted that Rep. Taylor, as chair of the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee, helped push through huge new taxpayer-funded subsidies and tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, while drivers in the 11th District were paying record high prices at the pump. Rep. Taylor voted against practical solutions to our energy problems, such as requiring that cars go further on a gallon of gas.

In the mid 1990s, Rep. Taylor earned the nickname “Chainsaw Charlie” by authoring a provision that allowed additional logging in national forests and gave logging companies the ability to sidestep environmental protections. In addition, Rep. Taylor is currently leading the effort to build the Road-to-Nowhere in Western North Carolina, which would cost an estimated $590 million in federal funds.

Having already selected the first nine members of the Dirty Dozen, LCV for the first time invited visitors to its web site (www.lcv.org) to help select the next member of the Dirty Dozen. Voters were asked to identify the member of Congress they felt had most egregiously blocked efforts to tackle America’s energy challenges and to take action onglobal warming.

Since its inception, more than half of all Dirty Dozen members have been subsequently defeated. LCV will announce the remaining members of the 2006 Dirty Dozen in the coming weeks.

Polluters Gather in MX

Top 20 polluters gather in Mexico
Ministers from the world's top 20 polluting nations gather in Mexico for talks on tackling climate change.
[and guess who still has not ratified the Kyoto protocols. . .]



Open Letter to President Bush

Open Letter to President Bush,

Dear Sir, for several years now we’ve watched you and your co-conspirators running through our fair republic like children throwing lighted matches in a dry forest.

Do you know that the world is laughing at you? You’ve done your best to frighten us, but it’s not working.

Often we wonder, given your repetitious blunderings and lies, we wonder how we’re able to get up each morning, go to work, tend our families and our gardens, meet our friends, volunteer in our various communities. Why, we ask ourselves, are we not marching in the streets, calling in sick, creating massed work stoppages, chaining our military-aged children in the basement?

It must be because we actually believe that stuff you say about democracy and freedom, that stuff you so clearly cannot grasp. Unlike yourself, Sir, many of us paid attention in school, in these public schools you try so hard to foul up utterly with your tonnages of paperwork. We studied the U.S. Constitution, we learned how a bill becomes a law—or used to, before The Corporate Age seriously muddied the waters—and we got the concept of the three prongs of government, none stronger than the other.

Despite the recent shamelessness of many of our Congress people, we continue to have faith in the principles of balanced government. We choose to believe that you and your fascistic cohorts are a bad, bad mistake that the machine of our republic will eventually correct.

Your latest outrages, the redefining of—may the world forgive us—torture, and the ending of habeas corpus, confirm to the world that you have lost the big IT. Now, as the world heaves a sigh of understanding, you demonstrate your true motives and delusions. You are cornered criminals, apt to do anything. You may bomb Teheran, you may imprison your fellow citizens in these domestic prisons that your friends continue to build. You may help your friends steal other elections. There is no telling now to what lengths you’ll go in your denials of how the world really is.

But Constitutional principles stand. Good ideas cannot be killed. And this republic may spring up again Or maybe its roots will develop elsewhere. So you do not frighten us. We pity you in your delusional state. And we continue to hold to the course set many years ago by people who knew right from wrong.

Maureen Sutton