Four from Democracynow

Government Scientists Accuse Bush Administration of Interfering, Misleading on Climate Change
According to a new survey, hundreds of government scientists say they have perceived or personally experienced pressure from the Bush administration to eliminate phrases such as climate change and global warming from their reports and public statements.
One of those scientists -- NASA climatologist Drew Shindell ­testified Tuesday before the Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform.

Blood of the Earth: Dilip Hiro on the Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources
In his new book, veteran Middle East Journalist Dilip Hiro offers a detailed account of how and why the planet's limited supply of oil has come to revolutionize human behavior, politics and warfare across the globe. He joins us for a wide-ranging interview.

As Police Arrest Public Housing Activists in New Orleans, Federal Officials Try to Silence Leading Attorney for Low-Income Residents
New Orleans police raided the Saint Bernard housing project this morning where activists had been occupying a building to prevent government plans to demolish it. Meanwhile, the Housing Authority of New Orleans has sent a letter to one of the lead lawyers for the residents, Bill Quigley, asking him to stop speaking to the media and to remove statements he made that appear in several online videos.

Revealed: FBI Internet Surveillance More Extensive Than Previously Known
The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed. C-NET News reports that instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling data on thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases.

Repeal 2006 Military Commissions Act

[from] NC Coalition for Peace and Justice Listserv
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (text online at thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:4:./temp/~c109IVm4h3::), passed late last year, abolishes habeas corpus for citizens and non-citizens alike and legalizes torture.
Demand that it be repealed by signing the Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee's petition to NC politicians, online at:

There are paper petitions at Internationalist Books in Chapel Hill, and soon at The Peoples Channel, the Durham Food Co-op, and elsewhere. There will be a Durham BORDC meeting Saturday afternoon (there is also a Chapel Hill BORDC branch).

The petition is focused on politicians representing the Triangle, but anyone can sign, and it would help if interested people elsewhere in the State start petitions or campaigns as well.

The text of the petition is:
We oppose the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This is an unjust law that violates the basic human rights of citizens and non-citizens. It does away with habeas corpus rights (to a prompt court hearing to determine whether one's imprisonment is legal, to know what charges have been brought, and to have legal counsel). It also gives the executive branch power to allow interrogation techniques that violate the Geneva Conventions and human decency. No one should be subject to arbitrary arrest or to detention without a prompt and fair trial, and no one should, under any circumstances, be subject to torture.

Michael Pollock


Cheney's Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair

Copies of handwritten notes by Vice President Dick Cheney, introduced at trial by defense attorneys for former White House staffer I. Lewis"Scooter" Libby, would appear to implicate George W. Bush in the Plame CIA Leak case.

To Strike Iran's Nuclear Sites

US "Poised to Strike at Iran's Nuclear Sites"
From Bulgaria and Romania
President Bush is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before the end of April, and the US Air Force's new bases in Bulgaria and Romania would be used as back-up in the onslaught, according to an official report from Sofia.

Impeachment by the People

Impeachment by the People
By Howard Zinn
February 2007 Issue
Courage is in short supply in Washington, D.C. The realities of the Iraq War cry out for the overthrow of a government that is criminally responsible for death, mutilation, torture, humiliation, chaos. But all we hear in the nation’s capital, which is the source of those catastrophes, is a whimper from the Democratic Party, muttering and nattering about “unity” and “bipartisanship,” in a situation that calls for bold action to immediately reverse the present course.
read entire article at: http://www.progressive.org/node/4473


Climate change warning for Sydney
A new report warns that life in the Australian city of Sydney could be made unsustainable by climate change.

Got Cukes, Apples, Etc.?

[The plight of the honey bee spells huge problems in food production. What is bad for bees is disasterous for us. Google small cell bees, top bar hives, regressed bees, chemical-free beekeeping, organic bees.]


[from blog reader in Raleigh]
"I just finished a delightful book, The Amazing Story of The Fantasticks, America's Longest Running Play.
"I'm writing to share with you not the story, but what I found in the next-to-last chapter, beautifully written by journalist Linda Ellerbe: 'Will Durant said civilization is a stream with banks. He said the stream is sometimes filled with blood from people's killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, rear children, sing songs, write poetry and whittle statues. He said historians (and journalists) are pessimists because they ignore the banks of the river. But the story of civilization, he said, is the story of what happened on the banks.'
"Ellerbe continues: 'Sixteen years ago I saw The Fantasticks for the first time. This week, I will see it for the sixteenth time. Why? Because at least once a year I need to be reminded about the importance of what goes on on the banks and how to get back to them. Deep in December, it's nice to remember. The rest of the time, it's necessary.'"

Keep an Eye on This

Cheap, Safe Drug Kills Most Cancers

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their "immortality." The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and is known to be relatively safe. It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.


More on Climate Change

Panel warns on Great Barrier Reef
Australia's Great Barrier Reef could be dead within decades because of global warming, a leaked IPCC report says.

German plan to close coal mines
German officials agree a deal to phase out the heavily-subsidised coal mining industry in the country.

Melting of glaciers 'speeds up'
As scientists meet for crucial climate talks in Paris, data shows glaciers are shrinking ever faster, scientists say.


Quantum Shift Coming

Blair sees hope of climate deal
Tony Blair tells the World Economic Forum a breakthrough on climate change may be near.

City Gardens, Caracas


Makes Our Part Even More Important

China admits to climate failings
A Chinese government report says the country has not made any progress on cleaning up its environment.


Excellent Media Site


Wal-Mart Boycott

Boycott Wal-Mart for Degrading Organic Standards

OCA Calls on Consumers to Boycott Wal-Mart for Degrading Organic Standards
Organic Consumers Association, Jan 17, 2007

Straight to the Source
Six months after OCA requested in a widely circulated "Open Letter" that Wal-Mart stop selling Horizon and Aurora Organic milk coming from intensive confinement factory farm dairies, and stop importing cheap organic foods and ingredients from China and Brazil that could and should be supplied by North American organic farmers, the nation's largest and most ethically-challenged retailer has done what you would expect, nothing.

In addition, as the Cornucopia Institute has pointed out over the past two months, Wal-Mart continues to post signs in its stores that mislead consumers into believing that non-organic items are actually organic. Meanwhile Wal-Mart's friends in the USDA's National Organic Program have, of course, done nothing.

Wal-Mart's entry into the organic and fair trade sector has generated much fanfare and publicity, at great benefit to a company seeking to re-brand itself in the wake of broad-based criticism of its business practices. While seeking to improve both its reputation and bottom line by moving into the organic and fair trade market, Wal-Mart has systematically lowered standards for these products by squeezing suppliers and sourcing supplies from factory farms and overseas suppliers. Currently, the demand for organic products outweighs the supply, and Wal-Mart's entry into the market has only exacerbated the problem.

The popularity of organics for consumers has in large part grown from the knowledge among purchasers that products they purchased were raised and produced in a safe, humane and environmentally friendly manner and in many cases were produced locally or regionally. The industrialization of organics by companies like Wal-Mart threatens the ability of consumers to be certain that products they are purchasing are indeed raised and produced according to true organic standards.

Enough is enough. It is now obvious that organic consumers and anyone who cares about health, justice, and sustainability should stop "bargain shopping" for organic products at Wal-Mart and its Big Box competitors. Breaking the chains of mindless consumerism means taking into consideration that where you buy an organic or green product is just as important as what you buy.

And please keep in mind that boycotting Wal-Mart is not just a symbolic gesture. Over the past year, as OCA and hundreds of other groups have shined the light on America's retail Death Star, Wal-Mart has lost somewhere between two and eight percent of its former customers, sending tremors through Wall Street and causing the company to lose sales and profits. In countries like Germany and South Korea, consumer rejection has forced Wal-Mart to close down its operations entirely.

So today and everyday please boycott Wal-Mart and the other Big Box chains. Whenever possible, buy your organic and fair trade products from your local co-op or independently owned natural food store, or from your local farmers directly.

For more information on where you can find organic and fair trade products in your local area, go to: http://www.organicconsumers.org/btc/buyingguide.cfm

It Is Possible

Solar Home in Va. Getting High Marks

By MATT REED From Associated Press
January 27, 2007
RICHMOND, Va. - State Sen. Frank Wagner is staying warm at his temporary address, even in below-freezing weather and without a traditional power supply or fireplace.
The Virginia Beach Republican, a proponent of alternative energy sources, is living for a week outside the Science Museum of Virginia in a solar-powered house designed and built by Virginia Tech students. He moved in Wednesday.
Using a remote control and a computer, Wagner is testing whether the award-winning home can generate enough electricity from the sun to run everyday home appliances - and still have enough left over to send to Richmond's power grid or charge an electric car.
"The house is designed to be self-sufficient, but there's a lot of things that could be adapted into existing houses today," he said Friday, after spending his second almost glitch-free night in the 800 square-foot home.
The house is warmed by heat that comes up through the floor, and has a rainwater harvesting system and automated mood lighting. It also features a wide-screen TV and kitchen appliances chosen for their energy efficiency.
These features can be manipulated while sitting on a couch and tapping on a tablet computer connected to the building's control system. All of it is powered by the sun's energy, which is gathered by rooftop photovoltaic panels and stored in the home's battery system.
"We want to show that you don't have to huddle around candles and be dressed in all your clothes to be comfortable in a house powered by solar energy," said Robert Schubert, associate dean of research for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.
The home was built by 80 Virginia Tech engineering and architecture students and eight faculty members over 2 1/2 years.
It won fourth place overall at the 2005 Solar Decathlon - an international competition on Washington's National Mall sponsored by the Department of Energy. The home won first place recognition for its design and electric lighting and has since been featured on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and HGTV's "I Want That!"
Schubert said no one had previously lived in the house, but then Wagner volunteered to be the university's guinea pig, helping bring the house some publicity. Wagner made the offer after touring the house in September at a Virginia Tech-hosted energy symposium.
Wagner said the house has been comfortable, but when the temperatures dipped into the 20s Thursday night, it froze the building's water supply, sending him elsewhere for a shower Friday before heading to the General Assembly.
"It's the first time anybody's lived in there, so we're going to have some glitches," he said. "I can tell you, it's a lot nicer than my hotel room, and my hotel room is pretty nice."

On the Net:
Virginia Tech Solar Decathlon 2005 entry, http://vtsolar.arch.vt.edu/
Science Museum of Virginia, http://www.smv.org/

From CCNC's Legislative Watch

More Presidential Talk on Energy
President Bush used part of his State of the Union address this week to call for a major expansion in the use of alternative fuels (mostly ethanol and biodiesel) and more-efficient vehicles as a means of cutting dependence on oil. In theory, his proposal asks Congress to cut U.S. gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017.
Unfortunately, he once again declined to support the use of strengthened auto fleet fuel-economy standards as a means to pursue that end. As a result, his proposal is likely to be as empty as last year's Presidential proclamation that "America is addicted to oil."
For example, his coming budget proposal is expected to include $2 billion in loan guarantees for cellulosic ethanol plants. Yes, and the 2005 energy bill pushed by the Administration included (in theory) an authorization for $3.8 billion worth of conservation and renewable-energy programs—most of which have remained unfunded in fact. Actual Energy Department requests for renewable fuel and efficiency program appropriations have remained flat over the past six years.
The PR folks at the White House clearly understand that the public likes the sound of cutting oil use and substituting more clean, renewable fuels and efficiency. It's a pity that those who are setting the real priorities in this Administration don't seem to have much interest in following through.

Hackney Elected Speaker:
Joe Hackney has been the voice of environmental conscience in the N.C. General Assembly for over 25 years, and has been a consistent friend of CCNC during that time as well. As one of North Carolina's outstanding career legislative environmental champions, he is truly one of "ours". Congratulations, Joe!
Also elected to House leadership was Rep. William Wainwright (D-Craven), chosen as Speaker Pro Tem. Both Hackney and Wainwright were elected on party-line votes of 68-52. In the Senate, Sen. Marc Basnight (D-Dare) and Sen. Charlie Dannelly (D-Mecklenburg) were elected president pro tem and deputy president pro tem, respectively.

Campaign Watch:
New Mexico's governor Bill Richardson
, a former Energy Secretary under Bill Clinton, kicked off a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination this week. While presidential candidates have become rather thick on the ground lately, Richardson gets a special mention in CIB because he gained a solidly pro-environmental reputation as a Cabinet secretary in the Clinton Administration. With his strong background in energy issues as well, we hope that his entry into the race will help to focus additional attention to the environment as the campaign progresses. Richardson also served 15 years in Congress, and a year as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.


MicroFarming--In Our Yards


Protection from E.coli?


In 1982, it appeared on the hamburger patties of fast food. Since then, it has repeatedly contaminated the leaves of leafy greens. This leads us to ask, “Can farmers protect us from E.coli 0157:H7?”

This Saturday at 9 AM Pacific, the Food Chain with Michael Olson hosts Tim Chelling from the Western Growers Association, Nick Nutter, a Farm Bureau consultant and former Ag Commissioner, and Joe Pezzini, VP of Ocean Mist Farms for a conversation about protecting consumers from E.coli 0157 H:7.

Log on www.metrofarm.com to listen on your radio, computer or IPOD.
Topics include how agriculture has managed its exposure to E.coli 0157:H7 over the past 25 years; what steps agriculture is taking after the latest contaminations; and to what extent can agriculture protect us from E.coli 0157:H7.

Question of the Week: Can farmers protect us from E.coli 0157:H7?

Hmm, Great for Peace Marches

US military unveils heat-ray gun
The US military unveils a "revolutionary" heat-ray gun to repel enemies or disperse hostile crowds.

Google's Good Eats



Junk Food, Junk Prices


NC'sTop 25 PAC Contributors


Protect NC Parks, Open Spaces

From the Smokies to the foothills to the Outer Banks, North Carolina has more than its share of natural beauty.
But out-of-control development and the state's growing population are quickly transforming the landscape, with the farmland and forests we treasure quickly disappearing. North Carolina's population recently surpassed that of New Jersey's and within the next 20 years will grow larger than Ohio's and Michigan's.
The development that comes with our growing population contaminates our rivers and streams, destroys fish and wildlife habitat, and makes the state more susceptible to damaging floods. What's more, development threatens some of the state's best-known and best-loved green spaces, from Chimney Rock, to the Uwharries, to our treasured coast.
That's why Environment North Carolina is working with the Land for Tomorrow Coalition to back the recommendations of the Land and Water Conservation study commission, which will ensure an additional $1 billion goes to existing land conservation programs.
The Land and Water Conservation plan can help protect Chimney Rock, the Uwharries, and hundreds of thousands of other important natural areas like them across the state. The proposal will help sustain working farms and forests, preserve stream and river buffers, and create new parks and greenways. In all, the plan will protect more than 260,000 acres of forests, farmlands, trails, parks, gamelands, and other natural areas, and more than 6,000 miles of river and stream buffers.
There's still time to let legislators know you support saving our natural areas. Welcome your legislators back to Raleigh and ask them to support protecting our parks and open spaces by sending an e-mail below.
Click on the link or copy and paste it into your web browser. Then forward this email to your family and friends.
Sincerely, Elizabeth Ouzts
Environment North Carolina State Director

Don't Forget, Jan. 27

A House Concert
January 27, 2007
8 p.m.
Corner of High and Blue in Downtown Aberdeen
$10. Donation
RSVP and more information: (910) 944-7502 or


Passive Solar


Homes Making Green Energy


State of the Union, State of the Media

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
If You Are Concerned About Health Care, Iraq, theEconomy, Global Warming You Must Be Concerned About Corporate Control of the Media

President Bush will give his seventh State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.
Last weekend, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave what could be described as an alternate State of the Union before thousands gathered in Memphis, Tennessee, at the third National Conference for Media Reform.

Veteran White House Correspondent Helen Thomas on the Escalation of the Iraq War, Jimmy Carter's New Book & the Failings of the Washington Press Corps
Commonly referred to as "The First Lady of the Press," Helen Thomas is the most senior member of the White House press corps and has covered every President since Kennedy.

Democracy Now interviewed Thomas last week at the National Conference For Media Reform.

More on Tree Trade-offs


Earth to Bush, Come in, Bush. . .

Bush 'must fight climate change'
Heads of major US firms call on President Bush to back mandatory emissions cuts in his State of Union speech.

View of US's global role 'worse'
The view of the role of the United States in the world has deteriorated, according to a BBC poll.

Expand the Virtual March



Organic Growers School, NC

The 14th Annual Organic Growers School information and registration documents are now available online at www.organicgrowersschool.org . This 2-day workshop is held every March on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC, about 30 minutes from Asheville. This year's course is March 10 and 11th.

Though some of the workshops focus on mountain and foothill growing conditions, the majority of the information applies to all NC growers.

Some of this year's offerings include:
  • Organic Beekeeping
  • Harnessing Solar Energy
  • Basic Drip Irrigation
  • Creating a Permaculture Urban Homestead
  • Landscaping for Water Quality Protection
  • Propagation by Seeds/Cuttings/Division
  • Sustainable Garden Planning & Design
and much more, including a children's program! _______________________________

Some interesting articles from recent issues of BusinessWeek magazine with a focus on agriculture, especially livestock production. On Dec 11 they published "What Entrepreneurs Need to Know: Direct-to-Consumer Farming Takes Off"
http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/dec2006/sb20061211_181013.htmAnd on Dec 20 they published "Whole Foods and the Celebrity Farmer"
The article below is about the National Animal Identification System.

Regards, Jackie Hough at Raft Swamp Farm, Raeford, NC

A Tree Problem


A Tree Problem


V-Day Is Coming, Sou. Pines, Mar.3

A Benefit Production of Eve Ensler's
The Vagina Monologues
As Part of the V-Day Worldwide Campaign
Sunrise Theatre, downtown Southern Pines
Saturday, March 3, 2007 2:00 and 8:00 P.M.
$15.00 ; $10.00 for seniors, students, and single working mothers
Contact: Beth McSwain, 910-603-4514
V-Day is a global movement that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues.

In 2006, more than 2700 V-Day events in 1150 communities and colleges took place in the U.S. and around the world. To date, V-Day has raised over $40 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs, reopened shelters, and funded safe houses inKenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq.

The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.


2nd House Concert, Aberdeen

The Rooster’s Wife

Jonathan Byrd

Karen Mal

A House Concert
January 27, 2007
8 p.m.

Corner of High and Blue in Downtown Aberdeen
$10. Donation

RSVP and more information: (910)944-7502 or

The Rooster’s Wife is dedicated to bringing live entertainment
to the community of Aberdeen and surrounding areas.
Your help and enthusiasm for the project is greatly appreciated.
Come to the concert to learn how you can help make it happen.


Obama, the Muslim (not)


For Word and Beaver Lovers

This is a letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania . Read the State's letter before you get to the response letter.

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County
Dear Mr. DeVries:It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity.
A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.
The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the streamchannel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2006.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff.
Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.
We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please fe! el free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
Sincerely,David L. PriceDistrict Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the response sent back by Mr. DeVries:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Lycoming County
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.
A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.
As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
My first dam question to you is:(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation-- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names.
If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears. Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone.
If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump! Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

Jan. 27 March Web Site


To Bomb Iran

In case you missed it, Seymour Hersh on bombing Iran

Interrogating Bush



Big Pharma, Disease, Drugs

Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs

The new documentary “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & PushingDrugs ”looks at how illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created by pharmaceutical companies to make greater profits.

Moyers' Speech, Memphis



It's a Start

US House Takes on Big Oil
The House of Representatives is poised to play Robin Hood with energy policy Thursday.
It aims to cut $14 billion in federal oil and gas tax breaks and other benefits over the next 10 years and give them instead to renewable-energy programs.

More Affordable Student Loans

A college degree is becoming a necessity in today's world. And students are doing whatever it takes to pay for college, including taking on more and more debt. Average student debt levels have more than doubled in the last decade, and nearly two-thirds of all four-year college graduates now have student loans.

Last year, Congress cut the student loan program by $12 billion dollars, money that could have gone to lowering interest rates or making college more affordable. As college costs continue to swell, more students have to borrow to pay for their degree.

A full 39% of student borrowers graduate with unmanageable levels of federal student loan debt.

As more students take out larger loans, private student lenders have worked to increase their subsidies at the expense of students and tax payers. Lenders like Sallie Mae capitalize on excessive federal subsidies and oppose loan reforms that could help students at the expense of their share holders.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that will help make college more affordable for students around the country by cutting interest rates in half. The vote was 356-71.

We need one last bit of help on this issue. If you are the owner of abusiness, a PTA member, a scientist, active in your church, a localelected official or part of any other local community or neighborhoodgroup, please take a moment to sign the coalition letter which we'll deliver to the Senate sponsors, Senators Edward Kennedy and RichardDurbin.

To sign the letter, click on this link or paste it into your webbrowser:http://www.uspirg.org/action/higher-education/coalition?id4=ES

Sincerely, Rob ThompsonNCPIRG Public Interest Advocate

Peace March, Jan. 27

from Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films & Foundation

Jan 27th in Washington DC will be massive end-the-war demonstrations

WHEN: Saturday, January 27th 11am
WHERE: UFPJ march on Washington, on the Mall at the corner of 3rd street

More details on the march are at unitedforpeace.org

Resets the Clock

Climate resets 'Doomsday Clock'
Climate change is as great a threat to humankind as nuclear annihilation, global security experts conclude.

To Refuse Deployment

Iraq War Resister Denied Key Defense Strategy in Military Trial

New developments in the military tribunal of First Lieutenant Ehren Watada.

The judge in the case has ruled Watada’s defense won’t be able to present evidence challenging the legality of the war nor explain Watada’s motive to resist deploying to Iraq.

Watada faces up to six years in prison. He is the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment orders to Iraq.

A Billion Here, a Billion There. . .

Int. Dept. Head Knew Oil, Gas Firms Avoided Payments

A top Interior Department official is under scrutiny after it was revealed she knew oil and gas companies had avoided billions of dollars in payments two years earlier than she recently claimed.

The case centers around the disclosure a bureaucratic error allowed off-shore drilling companies to avoid paying royalties for extracting oil and gas from public waters. In September, Minerals Management Service director Johnnie Burton said she was informed of the matter just last year. But Burton has now admitted she was told three years ago.

An independent investigation says the government could have collected nearly one billion dollars in just the last three years.

It's the Gaz

Gazprom export sales rise by 43%
Russia's controversial state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom sees its annual export revenues soar 43%.


She's Back!

Molly Ivins is back (from further cancer treatment) and biting nicely.

Posted on Sun, Jan. 14, 2007
America already has voted against a surge
By Molly Ivins Creators Syndicate

AUSTIN - The purpose of this newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things.

What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that we simply cannot let it continue.

It is not a matter of whether we will lose or are losing. We have lost.

Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically," he said.

His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops.

Bush's call for a "surge" or "escalation" also goes against the Iraq Study Group. The talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation and proposals based on much broader strategic implications.

About the only politician out there besides Bush actively calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own -- impose its rule throughout the country. ... By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed." But with all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed.

A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country -- we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls. We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.

Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Sen. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent colleagues.

Anyone who wants to talk knowledgably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. It's like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid?

As The Washington Post's review notes, Chandrasekaran's book "methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq's fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis."

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war.

Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and are trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge.

If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"

Nat'l Conference on Media Reform

contains videos of speeches made in Memphis last weekend

Stay Home and Garden

High ski runs fuel habitat fears
As winter snow becomes less reliable at lower levels, ecologists say high-altitude ski slopes will threaten fragile habitat.

Unified Green Agenda

David Roberts A Unified Green Agenda
"It is up to greens to make sure that in 2007, a year full of possibility on energy and environmental issues, change moves in the direction of long-term sustainabilityand justice," says David Roberts. "Powerful forces will be pushing the other way.
Before I suggest a positive agenda most elements of the green coalitioncan agree on, it's important to understand why circumstances are uniquely aligned for action, and forecast a few of the forces against which greens should consciously countervail."

EU Plans

German leader outlines EU plans
German Chancellor Angela Merkel outlines her plans for her country's six-month presidency of the EU.

Food Communities

Terra Madre is a network of food communities, each committed to producing quality food in a responsible, sustainable way. Terra Madre 2006 focuses on the relationships between food communities, cooks, and universities, their respective roles and specialized knowledge within the food world and the ways they can work together to make good, clean and fair food possible.

Slow Food: The founding father of the Slow Food Movement, Carlo Petrini, recognized in1986 that the industrialization of food was standardizing taste and leading to the annihilation of thousands of food varieties and flavors. Concerned that the world was quickly reaching a point of no return, he wanted to reach out to consumers and demonstrate to them that they have choices over fast food and supermarket homogenization.
Today the organization is active in 50 countries and has a worldwide membership of over 80,000.

Slow Food USA: Slow Food U.S.A. is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America. By reviving the pleasures of the table, Slow Food U.S.A. believes that our food heritage can be saved. http://www.slowfoodusa.org

Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent
Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
North Carolina State University, North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Chatham County Center
Growing Small Farms Website:http://chatham.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms
Post Office Box 279Pittsboro, NC 27312
Email: debbie_roos@ncsu.edu
Phone: 919.542.8202 Fax: 919.542.8246


Vote Is This Thursday

The U.S. House of Representives is scheduled to vote this Thursday on a bill that would redirect taxpayer subsidies currently going to Big Oil in order to support funding for clean, renewable energy technologies.
Ending unfair subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies provides resources that can more wisely be used to develop and deploy clean renewable energy sources.
Doing so not only reduces air pollution, but also enhances our national security and strengthens our economy.
Use this link to send an email to your Congressional Representative to support passage of this important bill.

Contra Dance Saturday

Contra dance Saturday, Jan. 20

Kenny Greer calling

The Carolina Cut-ups playing

7:30 lesson

8:00 - 11:00 dance

Old West End Gym

Invite your friends and coworkers!

It's the Oil

Asian states sign key energy deal
Leaders at an East Asian summit agree to promote energy security and find alternatives to fossil fuels.

Ecuador's New Prez

Ecuador swears in new president
Ecuador swears in a new president, Rafael Correa, who has promised a"citizens' revolution".

Nat'l Animal ID System

Legislators in Multiple States Call for a Halt to the National Animal Identification System

Legislators in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington have filed bills to stop the National Animal Identification System, or NAIS, in their states, responding to a wave of public opposition from across the country.

The National Animal Identification System is an industry-government plan to identify and track every livestock animal in the country. While big agri-businesses and technology companies support the program, individuals and organizations across the country have opposed it. The objections range from invasion of privacy and property rights to the unknown, but probably high, expenses of the program.

Pat Stewart, Massachusetts Coordinator for Liberty Ark Coalition, contends that NAIS would harm local agriculture and the equine industry. "I’m thrilled that this bill acknowledges the contributions of Massachusetts farmers and horse owners to the Bay State. Consumers are seeking locally grown food and rural quality of life. This bill will enhance those possibilities.”

Bernadette Barber, the Virginia Coordinator, speaks of the concerns of everyday individuals: “We own just a small farmstead--a few cows and pigs for milk and meat for the family freezer, and a few backyard ponies and horses for fun. NAIS will utterly 'Red Tape’ us to oblivion with unnecessary paperwork and costs. When the federal government cannot even secure the safety of spinach, I really don't want them regulating and charging me for growing my own food.”

In Washington, Celeste Bishop reflects on the growing grassroots movement: “It has been a remarkable year of watching small farmers across the country not only bring safe quality food to their families and communities but go the extra mile to mold agricultural policy that is balanced and not fear-based. Food security is a big concern for folks these days and the best protection for food security and safety is to know and support your local farmers,” says Ms. Celeste.

Like the other states, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington have been taking federal funds to implement NAIS. The recently-introduced bills will bring this issue to the forefront of a legislative debate on whether the states should be implementing NAIS over the objections of their residents.

To learn more about NAIS, and what it means for farmers and consumers, visit http://www.libertyark.net.


Don't Forget, Jan. 16


presents Forum II in the series

"A Community Dialogue on Growth"
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
7:00 to 9:00pm

Mims Studios
11 Camellia Way
(behind Country Book Store)
Downtown Southern Pines


Community Response to Peak Oil

Unleashing Abundance as a Community Response to Peak Oil:
Designing Energy Descent Pathways By Rob Hopkins

Traveller, there are no roads. Roads are made by travelling. (Spanish proverb)

There is an emerging consensus now that we are either very close to or have passed the peak in world oil production. As someone who has been involved in environmental issues for 16 years, and permaculture for 13 years, I have to ask myself how I didn't see this one coming (although I know some of you did!). The implications are profound. No longer is it in any way appropriate to say 'we need to recycle,' when the processes of recycling require transporting recyclable waste long distances. We have to look much deeper at the whole waste question. An excellent recent report by Tim Lang and Jules Pretty, 'Farm Costs and Food Miles: An Assessment of the Full Cost of the UK Weekly Food Basket,' argued that food could only be called sustainable when it is grown and consumed within a 20-mile radius. We have to build a local food economy from an almost totally non-existent base. There has been no time in history when anything less than 70% of the population were involved in some way in the production of food. Nowadays it is more like 6% (here in Ireland, for example), and of those, a high proportion would have lost much of that knowledge.

"Green" building that relies on imported "ecological" materials from other countries will no longer be viable, leading to our needing to rethink how we will actually construct energy-efficient shelter in a lower energy near future. We are looking at the need for a rapid process of re-localisation, of looking at what is essential to our lives (food, warmth, shelter, water) and rebuilding the local economy in such a way that it is actually able to supply these. The process of dismantling our diverse and complex local economies over the last 50-60 years was a disastrous one. It was easy to take apart but it will be incredibly hard to rebuild.

The recent award winning film The End of Suburbia (reviewed in the [Permaculture]Activist issue #58) takes a very sobering look at the whole peak oil issue. It makes very clear that the problem is of a scale that is almost unimaginable, and that the solutions are really not in place at all, or indeed anywhere near being so. We are so dependent on oil for every aspect of our lives, that its gradual (or rapid, depending on who you listen to) but steady disappearance from our lives will force us to redesign everything about our communities and our own lives. We need to relearn the skills that sustained our ancestors: crafts, local medicines, the great art of growing food. This is the biggest challenge.

Oil Depletion Protocol

After publishing his pathbreaking book The Party’s Over, Richard Heinberg has turned his attention to ways of dealing with the inevitable energy descent. His latest effort is a new book, The Oil Depletion Protocol (New Society Publishers), a belt-tightening regime which Heinberg summarized in his ASPO-5 presentation today. “It’s clear that unless we have a means of rationing oil, we’ll end up fighting over it,” he said.

The Oil Depletion Protocol builds on earlier efforts—The Uppsala and Rimini protocols, for example—and its success depends on a world that cooperates to divvy up the remaining supplies. It comes on the heels of the Kyoto Agreement, which similarly depends on widespread adoption by nations.

Heinberg said the idea of a depletion protocol is extremely simple. “It can be explained in a few minutes to anyone,” he said. The “operating condition” is that nations “reduced oil consumption by at least the world depletion rate”—assumed to be about 2.6% per year but could be adjusted upward as needed. At the same time, no country should produce above the present depletion rate.

How would countries adapt? Heinberg rolled out the familiar menu of options:

Development of renewable sources—wind, solar, and biomass. “Ultimately this is what we need to depend on anyway, at least by the end of this century. So it makes sense to invest in these at the outset.”

Agriculture needs to be radically restructured to accommodate the protocol’s oil diet, Heinberg said. It will need to become more labor intensive and dependent on “localized organic production.” Permaculture techniques are going to become increasingly valuable for surviving the descent.

And we can take simple steps, like planting a vegetable garden. “During the second world war, 40% of our vegetables used to be produced in back yards.” He said.

Car-dependent countries like the US and Australia have a lot of catching up to do. But baby steps are possible to begin the weaning process, like car sharing and community supported hitchhiking. What’s the incentive for nations to sign up? “Oil depletion is happening whether we plan for it or not,” he said. “Those that plan will be better off.”

Sweden has set the right example, adopting a national goal of aggressively cutting oil consumption at a rate that actually exceeds the annual 2.6% rate recommended by Heinberg’s protocol. Heinberg thinks the world can successful implement the protocol. No incentives are needed, he said, because nations that adopt the protocol will thrive and those that don’t will see the obvious benefits of joining the club.

One hitch: To join the protocol you’ll need to agree to a comprehensive national oil audit so that an international “secretariat” can monitor compliance. But such transparency is desperately needed anyway, he said. Heinberg said adopting the protocol before the peak is preferred, but it’s never too late.

“Nations that drag their heels will suffer the most,” he said. The key to implementing the protocol for industrialized nations will be the adoption of import quotas. In the long run, Heinberg said the protocol gives the world a better mechanism for managing energy descent than standard market and priced-based solutions.

If the transition is left to the market, we’re likely to see very volatile prices that will hinder “adaptation” while the protocol will moderate big price swings. “We need high prices,” he said. “But we need stable high prices – and that’s what the protocol will provide.”

How Cuba Survived Peak Oil


It's the Compost

[from longer article at www.Permacultureactivist.net]
"Much interest of late has gone towards the process of converting waste cooking oils into biodiesel. While this is interesting and creative, it seems inherently limited in its applications, primarily because of the relative scarcity of the source material. Nothing like a sufficient quantity of spent cooking fat is available to provide adequate transport energy for the entire population, even at vastly reduced levels of energy use. Also, the production of industrial cooking oils is primarily monocultural and inherently devastating to enormous areas of the planet. Biologically, production of oils requires a more complex and less efficient energy pathway than plant production of cellulose and ligneous material.

"There will always be many hundreds, if not thousands of times more woody material than oil produced. In addition to the basic phytochemistry, there is the geographic argument: many millions of acres of land are unsuitable for arable crops, are degraded forest of low yield, or are wastelands wrecked by agriculture­ or toxic chemicals. We need technologies for deriving economic yield from the rehabilitation of these lands. We also need simple technologies to break the monopoly of the fossil fuel industries.

"It was the genius of Jean Pain to grasp the essential problem of the age and throw himself into finding simple and appropriate technical solutions for it (even if, by his admission, he did not know all of what he would do at the outset). That these solutions find their most efficient application at a modest and very local scale is a boon to the world and has everything to do with Pain’s original intent. The social and labor arrangements, capital financing, and technology­ required to yield useful and commercially valuable energy and fertilizer for individual and community-scale application from restorative forestry are within the reach of large numbers of people and groups throughout the world.

"What is needed now is for significant numbers of people to realize and take responsibility for our continued use of liquid fuels in transport, energy for domestic heating and hot water, and to realize that the stable and successful transition to a sustainable economy requires us to develop locally controlled and biological sources for these energies, based on simple, widely available and applicable technologies."

Tree Power


It's the Oil

Iran and Venezuela back oil cuts
Iran and Venezuela call for Opec to cut oil production, as the Iranian president begins a Latin American tour.

Sustainable Food Production

[from permaculture friend/expert in New Hampshire]

"The people in Biosphere II in Arizona ... raised 80 percent of their food for two years within a 'closed system.' Their experience demonstrates that a complete year's diet for one person can be raised on the equivalent of 3,403 square feet! ... In contrast, it takes commercial agriculture 22,000 to 42,000 square feet to grow all the food for one person for one year, while bringing in large inputs from other areas [and] causing the loss of approximately six pounds of soil for each pound of food produced."


Reminisce Magazine

Reviewer response on Amazon.com
"This magazine is SO good it is hard to describe. First of all, it has NO ads! NONE! It is written by "Us", our parents, grandparents, etc. There are a couple of columns by the publisher which are very good, but, other than that, it is all reader-written. Very unique! I have to say that this magazine and its sister "Reminisce Extra" were wonderful conversation starters with my parents and grandparents before they passed away. "

It's the Oil

Iraq Gov. Gives Cool Response to Troop Surge
In Iraq, the Shiite-led government gave what the New York Times calls a “grudging endorsement” of the plan to send more troops. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki failed to attend a news conference and did not give any public comment.

Soldiers Barred from Media at Bush Speech
Meanwhile, President Bush traveled to the military base at Fort Benning, Georgia Thursday in what critics called a photo-opportunity visit.
President Bush: “Imagine what would happen if these extremists who hate America gained control of energy reserves. You can bet they would use those reserves as blackmail in order to achieve their objectives. If we were to leave Iraq. If we were to fail, Iran would be emboldened in terms of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have safe havens in which to launch attacks. People would look back at this moment in history and say what happened to them in America. How come they couldn't see the threats to future generations. That is why we must and we will succeed in Iraq.”
The Los Angeles Times reports Bush’s military audience gave him a less enthusiastic reception than on previous visits to promote his Iraq policy. Most of the soldiers at Fort Benning have already served in Iraq. The White House and military officials barred the soldiers from speaking to reporters before or after the President’s speech.

Pentagon Drops Limits on Reservists’ Active Duty
In a sign of increasing strain on the military, the Pentagon announced Thursday its doing away with a time limit on how long reserve soldiers can serve on active duty. Citizen-soldiers had previously been allowed to serve no more than a cumulative total of twenty-four months. The new policy will mean reservists can be sent back to Iraq or Afghanistan so long as those 24 months are not consecutive. The Pentagon says in practice it will try to limit mobilizations to 12 months at a time.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Pentagon chief of personnel David Chu said the changes are “no big deal.” Chu says most reservists implicitly understood their time in active duty would eventually go beyond the previous limit. The announcement came as Defense Robert Gates said he will recommend the US military add another 92,000 troops over the next five years.

Nicaragua Joins ALBA

Nicaragua Joins Alternative Trade Bloc

In Nicaragua, the government of newly inaugurated President Daniel Ortega marked its first day in office Thursday by signing on to ALBA -- the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas.

ALBA was established as a counterweight to US-led trade agreements in Latin America.

U.S. Media


Buddy, If You Can Spare a Dime

This seems a wonderful place to put it: http://kiva.org/

It's the Oil

EU plans attack on car emissions
The cost of gas-guzzling cars may soar under plans from the European Commission to cut the amount of CO2 emissions.

Moscow and Minsk resolve oil row
Russia agrees to slash duty on crude oil exported to Belarus, ending a dispute which disrupted EU energy supplies.

Rice denies US 'escalating Iraq'
The US secretary of state backs President Bush's plans for Iraq as she leaves on week-long Middle East visit.

Asian Block

Asian nations look to closer ties
A joint charter, trade and terrorism top the agenda as the annual Asean summit opens in the Philippines.


Land of Impeachment

January 12, 2007
Land of Enchantment and Impeachment by David Swanson

There is a decent chance that within the next month or two the New Mexico State Legislature will ask the U.S. House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. And there is the definite possibility that a Congress Member from New Mexico will take up the matter when it gets to Washington.

The Jefferson Manual, rules used by the U.S. House, allows for impeachment to be begun in this manner. It only takes one state legislature. No governor is needed. One Congress Member, from the same state or any other, is needed to essentially acknowledge receipt of the state's petition. Then impeachment begins.

Last year the state legislatures of California, Minnesota, Illinois, and Vermont introduced but did not pass resolutions to send impeachment to the U.S. House. The State Senator who introduced the bill in Minnesota is now a member of Congress, Keith Ellison. He is one of many Congress Members waiting for the right moment to impeach Bush and Cheney. The state of New Jersey has a strong activist movement working to introduce and pass impeachment this year. There's a race now to see which state can do it first, which state can redeem these United States in the eyes of the world.

New Mexico is jumping into the contest in a big way, with a terrific leading sponsor of the bill, strong Democatic majorities in both houses, and a citizens' movement ready to hold its government to account. Of course, it is cities, not states, that have really taken the lead on impeachment, as on ending the war. Dozens of cities have already passed resolutions for impeachment. Dozens more have introduced them, and they are pending. [ http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/resourcecenter ]

A handful have introduced them and voted them down. On March 6th about 100 towns in Vermont will vote at public meetings for impeachment.

But by March 6th, impeachment may already be underway. There is a conflict brewing between Congress and the White House over the war and over the division of powers created by the U.S. Constitution and eliminated by this administration. If Bush attacks Iran and/or Syria without approval from Congress, or escalates the war in Iraq without approval from Congress, we may finally see Congress fight back.

This President has rendered Congress almost meaningless. He reverses laws with "signing statements." He disregards laws at his whim, openly bragging about doing so. And he makes many operations secret, hidden even from Congress, refusing requests for information, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act. When this President does communicate with Congress, he often provides false or misleading information, most notably in making the case for the current war.

Vice President Cheney has already said that he will likely refuse to appear before Congress if subpoenaed. The White House will likely refuse subpoenas of any sort, and openly professes to believe the President is a "unitary executive."

White House spokesperson Tony Snow said on January 8th: "The President has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way."

Americans voted in November for Congress to stand up to this assault on our democracy. We voted against the war, but we even voted out Republicans who were opposing the war. We threw out candidates who allowed Bush to campaign for them, and left in office those who refused. While it is public knowledge that Bush launched the opening stages of the Iraq War in secret, without Congress's approval or awareness, illegally using funds appropriated for Afghanistan and elsewhere, it has not always been as clear as it is at this moment that Bush will not end the war even if required by Congress to do so.

Growing awareness of this fact is leading the peace movement to join the impeachment movement. Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers so many years ago, recently argued that it was only the pressure of the peace movement that allowed the impeachment of President Nixon to proceed, and that it was only the exposures and threat of impeachment that persuaded Nixon not to veto the bill that finally cut off the funding for the Vietnam War. As Congress exposes the crimes of Bush and Cheney to public view, it will move us closer to impeachment. As Congress Members begin to object to their powerless role of court jesters, they will move us closer to impeachment and also to bringing our troops home. We should be encouraging our Congress Members to proceed immediately with key investigations [ http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/investigations ] and to not be afraid to use subpoenas. We should also be encouraging state legislators in our own and other states who take up the cause of democracy. We need them to do so from their positions as elected officials closer to the people and further from the big dollars.

In New Mexico, a leading light of that state's politics, State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque, will be leading the way on impeachment. He deserves the support of all the world, and you can thank him at jortizyp@aol.com or 505-986-4380. Let's help him make New Mexico the land of enchantment and impeachment.

DAVID SWANSON is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.

No Iconic MLK, Please


Southern Pines' Growth Forum, Jan. 16

Forum II in the series
"A Community Dialogue on Growth"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
7:00 to 9:00pm
Mims Studio
11 Camellia Way
(behind Country Book Store)
Downtown Southern Pines

Randy Kincaid, Mayor
Kris Krider, Town Planner
Visionary Leaders of the Town of Davidson, NC

* Ranked #1 in North and South Carolina for sense of place and livability
*First NC town to implement the most comprehensive smart growth
anti-sprawl ordinance despite threats of lawsuits
* Passed an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to ensure that sufficient infrastructure
(police, firefighters, water, sewer, electric)
is in place to support new development
* Requires developers to set aside up to half of any new subdivision as open space
* Requires a mix of housing types,
including workforce housing for teachers, police and firefighters.

Do Not Import

EU to ban imports of wild birds
Animal welfare campaigners welcome an EU decision to make a ban on importing wild birds permanent.

It's Your Country, Do What We Say



Bait and Switch


GI Resistance


Energy Efficiency Index by State


Sir, No Sir Interview


GIs Against War


More Moore


More U.S. Troops

As Bush Commits More Troops to Iraq, UFPJ Calls For March on Washington to End War *We speak with Leslie Cagan, the national director of United For Peace and Justice. The group has called for a March on Washington on January 27 to end the war. Cagan says, "I do not think anybody really understood just how deeply the feeling against the war is in this country until Nov. 7th."

Iraqi-American in Najaf: More U.S. Troops Will Result in More Resistance *As President Bush announces plans to escalate the war in Iraq and send over 20,000 more troops, we go to Najaf to get response from Sami Rasouli, an Iraqi-American living in Najaf.

Torture, Suicide and Imprisonment: A Look Back at Five Years of Guantanamo *Today is the fifth anniversary of the first prisoners being sent to the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Since then, more than 750 men and boys from 40 countries have been imprisoned there. Not one of them has been put on trial. Hundreds have been released without charge and sent home. Three have committed suicide, at least 40 others have tried to do so. We look back at some of our coverage over the years, including interviews with former Guantanamo detainees and interrogators, attorneys, human rights activists and more.

Greens In the EU


The Costs of War

The cost of the war is important because it’s paid for by money stolen from social needs. The money that has paid for death and destruction in Iraq could have gone towards reconstruction in New Orleans, for example.
In his famous speech declaring his opposition to the Vietnam war almost 40 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “It is disgraceful that a Congress that can vote upwards of $35 billion a year for a senseless, immoral war in Vietnam cannot vote a weak $2 billion dollars to carry on our all too feeble efforts to bind up the wound of our nation's 35 million poor. This is nothing short of a Congress engaging in political guerilla warfare against the defenseless poor of our nation.”

Immediate, Unconditional & Complete Withdrawal from Iraq -- Out Now!

End Colonial Occupation and Imperialist Aggression, from Africa to Asia, from Iraq to Palestine, from Afghanistan to Haiti, from the Philippines to Puerto Rico

No New Wars Against Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Somalia -- Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela

Stop the War at Home --Stop Racist Police Terror - Stop the Raids Against Immigrant Workers --Solidarity with Immigrant Workers and Katrina Survivors

What we can do to help:
Read the call for March 17 - Washington DC - http://www.troopsoutnow.org/mar17.html
Endorse the call for March 17 - http://troopsoutnow.org/mar17endorse.html
Volunteer to help - http://troopsoutnow.org/mar17volunteer.html
Donate to help with organizing expenses - http://troopsoutnow.org/donate.html

Are We Surprised?

Feds Want Your Internet Records
The federal government wants your Internet provider to keep track of every web site you visit. For more than a year, the US Justice Department has been in discussions with Internet companies and privacy rights advocates, trying to come up with a plan that would make it easier for investigators to check records of web traffic.

Follow-Up to The Queen


Our Eye On the Ball

[Iraq? Consider New Orleans. . .]

The Top Twelve



Sunday, Jan. 21, Slow Food

[from Slow Food in the Triangle]
Dear Friend,

In October, twenty-one of our local farmers, chefs, educators and agriculture professionals joined 9,000 delegates from 150 nations in Turin, Italy to work together to find solutions to the challenges they face as stewards of their land and communities at Slow Food International's 2006 Terra Madre.

Please join us on Sunday, January 21 from 4:00-6:00pm at the Carrboro Century Center's Century Hall to hear our Triangle delegates share their stories.

Come sip bicerin (tasty Torino-style hot chocolate made with local pasture-raised milk), see pictures from the trip and ask our panel of delegates about their experience. There will also be time to find out more information about Slow Food, our local convivium and sustainable food production in our area.

At around 6pm, we will move the discussion to Panzanella where we will gather for an informal dinner. If you can join us at Panzanella, please call the restaurant at 929-6626 as soon as possible to reserve a spot since seating will be limited.

For more information about this event, please contact Daryl Walker at (919)-967-3716 or visit www.slowfoodtriangle.org

We look forward to seeing you!

It's the Oil

EU seeks huge energy revolution
The EU is to unveil sweeping new energy targets to combat environmental and political costs of oil and gas.

Russia 'forced' into oil shutdown
Russia says a row with Belarus forced it to stop pumping oil through a key pipeline to Europe.

Iran smog 'kills 3,600 in month'
Pollution led to 3,600 deaths in Tehran in just one month, Iranian officials say, with the annual total put at 10,000.


The Case For Impeachment


Bush to Get 'Involved'?

World trade deal 'on knife edge'
Global trade talks are on a knife edge, the European Trade Commissioner warns ahead of talks with the US.


Can't Fool Mother Nature

Posted by: "Julia Graham" jlg7001@humboldt.edu

(AGI) Rome, Jan 3

The fact that bees are staying away from fields cultivated with genetically modified organisms and the consequent reduction in pollination is a scientific alarm for agriculture and the environment, which justifies the precaution and gives value to the zero tolerance decision made by Italian agriculture against biotech, said Coldiretti, commenting on the results of study by the Department of Biological Sciences of Simon Fraser University from British Columbia, Canada.

The study, which was published by the Ecological Society of America, showed that in fields cultivated with GM grapes, the number of bees fell sharply, with a serious deficit in pollination compared to traditionally grown fields.

Besides being useful for agriculture due to their pollination activities, which help crop-growing, bees have always been an important sensor to evaluate the quality of agricultural systems, Coldiretti said. Their diffidence of GM products is therefore a signal from nature that should not be underestimated.

Bees' ability to distinguish GM plants from normal plants also shows that the two crops are not equivalent.

Coldiretti said that this confirms the concern about the effects of co-existence between traditional crops and biotech crops and it shows that more research and testing is needed to verify the effects on the agricultural ecosystem.

This study justifies the growing opposition to GM products as food: three out of four Italians (74 percent) say they believe GM products are not healthy, an opinion which has grown by 4 percent, according to the 2006 Coldiretti-ISPO Investigation onItalians' opinions about nutrition.

It is a signal which is coherent with the path chosen by Italian agriculture which, also thanks to Coldiretti's work for food quality and security, is free from GM products and has garnered the European leadership in biological foods and traditional products.

(AGI) -031817 GEN 07COPYRIGHTS 2002-2006 AGI S.p.A.

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers


Feeding Upon Indecision


Expose Exxon


March on DC

NC Peace & Justice Update 1/5/2006
North Carolina Transportation and Planning Details for the January 27th March on DC and events in March 2007 on the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War

Two important dates approach for the peace and justice movement. On Saturday January 27th, tens of thousands will gather in Washington DC to demand the new Congress Act Now to Bring the Troops Home. Then on March 17th, people around the country and the world will commemorate the 4th anniversary of the War in Iraq with events in Washington DC, Fayetteville, NC and other North Carolina cities, including Asheville on March 24th.
Bring the Mandate for Peace to Washington DC on Jan. 27, 2007

Tell the New Congress:Act NOW to Bring the Troops Home!

Join United for Peace and Justice in a massive march on Washington, D.C., on Sat., January 27, to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the war.

There will be a Public Meeting to prepare for the event in Durham, tentatively Jan 10 or 17. Please RSVP to jan27@ncpeacejustice.org if you would like to attend. We will announce details soon.

Good Grief. . .


On Your Calendar

[It was a wonderful turn-out for the first house concert, in December. Let's do it again and support this fine endeavor!]
The Rooster’s Wife

Jonathan Byrd
Karen Mal

A House Concert
January 27, 2007
8 p.m.

Corner of High and Blue in Downtown Aberdeen
$10 Donation

RSVP and more information: (910) 944-7502

The Rooster’s Wife is dedicated to bringing live entertainment to the community of Aberdeen and surrounding areas. Your help and enthusiasm for the project is greatly appreciated. Come to the concert to learn how you can help make it happen.

Oil Tax

Belarus hits Russia with oil tax
Belarus says it is imposing a $45 per tonne tax on Russian oil pumped through the country to European customers.

ALL the Sciences Must Go


To Fly or Not to Fly

Airlines savaged over environment
A [UK] minister launches an outspoken attack on the airline industry over failure to tackle carbon emissions.

A Way of Life



Yet Another Signing Statement

Bush Signing Statement Claims Power to Open Americans' Mail
President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant. The president asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on December 20, followed by a"signing statement."

Hmmm, Yummy Petrochemicals


"Big deal. If gas prices get high, I'll just drive less. Why should I give a damn?"

Because petrochemicals are key components to much more than just the gas in our cars. As geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer points out in his article entitled, "Eating Fossil Fuels," approximately 10 calories of fossil fuels are required to produce every 1 calorie of food eaten in the US.

The size of this ratio stems from the fact that every step of modern food production is fossil fuel and petrochemical powered:

1. Pesticides are made from oil;
2. Commercial fertilizers are made from ammonia, which is made from natural gas, which will peak about 10 years after oil peaks;
3. With the exception of a few experimental prototypes, all farming implements such as tractors and trailers are constructed and powered using oil;
4. Food storage systems such as refrigerators are manufactured in oil-powered plants, distributed across oil-powered transportation networks and usually run on electricity, which most often comes from natural gas or coal;
5. In the US, the average piece of food is transported about 1,500 miles before it gets to your plate.

In Canada, the average piece of food is transported 5,000 miles from where it is produced to where it is consumed. In short, people gobble oil like two-legged SUVs.

It's not just transportation and agriculture that are entirely dependent on abundant, cheap oil. Modern medicine, water distribution, and national defense are each entirely powered by oil and petroleum derived chemicals.

In addition to transportation, food, water, and modern medicine, mass quantities of oil are required for all plastics, all computers and all high-tech devices.

To Pee or Not to Pee

[it's great for fruit trees, too]


Ethical Pharmaceuticals

Scientists Find Way to Slash Cost of Drugs
By Sarah Boseley The Guardian UK
Tuesday 02 January 2007

Indian-backed approach could aid poor nations and cut NHS bills.

Two UK-based academics have devised a way to invent new medicines and get them to market at a fraction of the cost charged by big drug companies, enabling millions in poor countries to be cured of infectious diseases and potentially slashing the NHS drugs bill. Sunil Shaunak, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College, based at Hammersmith hospital, calls their revolutionary new model "ethical pharmaceuticals."

Improvements they devise to the molecular structure of an existing, expensive drug turn it technically into a new medicine which is no longer under a 20-year patent to a multinational drug company and can be made and sold cheaply. The process has the potential to undermine the monopoly of the big drug companies and bring cheaper drugs not only to poor countries but back to the UK.

Professor Shaunak and his colleague from the London School of Pharmacy, Steve Brocchini, have linked up with an Indian biotech company which will manufacture the first drug - for hepatitis C - if clinical trials in India, sponsored by the Indian government, are successful. Hepatitis C affects 170 million people worldwide and at least 200,000 in the UK.

Multinational drug companies put the cost of the research and development of a new drug at $800m (£408m). Professors Shaunak and Brocchini say the cost of theirs will be only a few million pounds.

Imperial College will hold the patent on the hepatitis C drug to prevent anybody attempting to block its development. The college employs top patent lawyers who also work for some of the big pharmaceutical companies.

Once the drugs have passed through clinical trials and have been licensed in India, the same data could be used to obtain a European licence so that they could be sold to the NHS as well. Professor Shaunak says it is time that the monopoly on drug invention and production by multinational corporations - which charge high prices because they need to make big profits for their shareholders - was broken. "The pharmaceutical industry has convinced us that we have to spend billions of pounds to invent each drug," he said. "We have spent a few millions. Yes, it will be a threat to the monopoly that there is."

"I'm not only an inventor of medicines - I'm an end user. We have become so completely dependent on the big pharmaceutical industry to provide all the medicines we use."

"Why should we be completely dependent on them when we do all the creative stuff in the universities? Maybe the time has come to say why can't somebody else do it? What we have been struck by is that once we have started to do it, it is not so difficult."

The team's work on the hepatitis C drug has impeccable establishment credentials, supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust and help and advice from the Department for Trade and Industry and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

But the professors' ethical pharmaceutical model is unlikely to find much favour with the multinational pharmaceutical companies, which already employ large teams of lawyers to defend the patents which they describe as the lifeblood of the industry.

One industry insider envisaged legal challenges if the new drugs were not genuinely innovative. It could become "a huge intellectual property issue", he said.

Offset Emissions

Norway to offset flight emissions
Norway hopes others will copy its plans to offset emissions produced by flights taken by state employees.



More on Warming

Massive Ice Shelf Drifts Into Arctic Ocean

In environmental news, a 41-square-mile ice shelf that had jutted into the Arctic Ocean for 3,000 years has broken away. Scientists say the ice shelf drifted away because of sharply warmer temperatures in the Arctic region.

Meanwhile no snowfall was recorded in Central Park in New York last month. It marks the first December without snow in the park since 1877.

Thank You, George B. S.

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." - George Bernard Shaw

This quotation was a favorite of NC/Tennessee writer Wilma Dykeman, who just died after being a force of Nature who enriched us all.