11/30/2007

Alternative View on Venezuelan Crisis

http://www.socialismtoday.org/90/venezuela.html

World Clock

http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

11/29/2007

Who's Your Daddy?

Abu Dhabi Becomes Largest Citigroup Shareholder With $7.5B Investment, Bailout Comes Amidst Subprime Mortgage Crisis, Record-High Oil Prices *

The Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi bought a $7.5 billion stake in Citigroup, America's largest bank, on Tuesday, making it the bank's largest shareholder. As the U.S. credit crisis worsens and the price of oil hovers close to $100 a barrel, the injection of capital from oil-rich Gulf states is seen as a bailout of banks in trouble. We speak with NYU economics professor, Nouriel Roubini and Hampshire College professor Michael Klare, author of "Blood and Oil."

Listen/Watch/Readhttp://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/29/1523200 *

Minorities Hit Hardest by Subprime Mortgage Crisis *

We take a look at how the subprime mortgage crisis is affecting homeowners. The latest statistics show U.S. foreclosure filings nearly doubled in October from the same month last year. African-American and Latino homeowners have been particularly hard hit. A new study finds that African-Americans and Latinos were more than three times as likely as whites to have a high-cost loan.

Listen/Watch/Readhttp://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/29/1523206

Why Mommy Is a Democrat

http://childlit.sdsu.edu/reviews/r-zilber.htm

Saving Seeds, Gardens

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/world/europe/27italy.html?ex=1196830800&en=1849d02b32e8af71&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Thich Nhat Hanh on the Environment

"The Buddha taught that all phenomena are impermanent; there is birth, then there is death. Our civilization is also like that.

In the history of the earth, many civilizations have ended. If our modern civilization is destroyed, it also follows the law of impermanence. If our human race continues to live in ignorance and in the bottomless pit of greed as at present, then the destruction of this civilization is not very far away. We have to accept this truth, just like we accept our own death.

Once we can accept it, we will not react with anger, denial, and despair anymore. We will have peace. Once we have peace, we will know how to live so that the earth has a future; so that we can come together in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood
and apply the modern technology available to us, in order to save our beloved green planet. If not, we will die from mental anguish, before our civilization actually terminates.

Our mother, The Earth, the green planet has suffered from her children's violent and ignorant ways of consuming. We have destroyed our Mother Earth like a type of bacterium or virus destroying the human body, because Mother Earth is also a body. Of course, there are bacteria that are beneficial to the human body. Trillions of these bacteria are present in us, especially in our digestive systems (known as
intestinal normal flora). They protect the body and help generate enzymes necessary to us.

Similarly, the human species can also be a living organism that has the capacity to protect the body of Mother Earth, if the human species wakes up and knows to live with responsibility, compassion and loving kindness. Buddhism came to life, so that we learn to live with responsibility and compassion and loving kindness. We have to see that we inter-are with our Mother Earth, that we live with her and die with her.

Mother Earth has gone through re-birth many times. After the great flood caused by global warming takes place, perhaps only a very small portion of the human race will survive. The earth will need over a million years to recuperate and put on a new whole, beautiful green coat, and another human civilization will begin. That civilization will be the continuation of our civilization. To the human species, one million years is a very long time, but to the earth and in geological time, one million years is nothing at all; it is only a short period of time. Ultimately, all birth and death are only superficial phenomena. No-birth and no-death are the true nature of all things. This is the teaching of the Middle Way in Buddhism."

11/25/2007

Distilling on the Farm

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/us/25distilleries.html?ex=1196658000&en=48032559eee6703c&ei=5070&emc=eta1

End of America, Naomi Wolf

The End of America? Naomi Wolf Thinks It Could Happen
By Don Hazen
AlterNet
Wednesday 21 November 2007

An interview with author Naomi Wolf, whose new book, "The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot," may confirm your worries about democracy in America.

If you think we are living in scary times, your worst fears may be confirmed by reading Naomi Wolf's newest book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. In it, Wolf proves the old axiom that history does repeat itself. Or more accurately, history occurs in patterns, and in order to understand where our country is today and where it is headed, we need to read the history books.

Wolf began by diving into the early years leading up to fascist regimes, like the ones led by Hitler and Mussolini. And the patterns that she found in those, and others all over the world, made her hair stand on end. In "The End of America," she lays out the 10 steps that dictators (or aspiring dictators) take in order to shut down an open society. "Each of those ten steps is now under way in the United States today," she writes.

If we want an open society, she warns, we must pay attention and we must fight to protect democracy.

I met with Wolf to discuss what she learned while researching this book, how the American public has received her warnings, and what we can do to squelch the fascist narratives we are fed in this country each day.

Don Hazen: Let's take up a big question first - your fears about the upcoming U.S. presidential election and what the historical blue print about fascist takeovers shows in terms of elections.

Naomi Wolf: We would be naive given the historical patterns to have hope that there's going to be a transparent, accountable election in 2008. There are various ways the blueprint indicates how events are much more likely to play out. Historically, the months leading up to the national election are likely to be unstable.

What classically happens is either there will be a period of provocation, and we have a history of this in the United States - agitators who are dressed as or act like activist voter registration workers, anti-war marchers ... but who engage in actual violence, torch property, assault police officers. And that scares people. People are much less likely to vote for change when they're scared, and it gives them the excuse to crack down.

In addition, I'm concerned about the 2007 Defense Authorization Act, which makes it much easier for the president to declare martial law.

DH: Are you saying that they keep on adding coercive laws for no apparent reason?

NW: Yes. Why amend the law so systematically? Why do you need to make martial law easier? Another thing historical blueprints underscore is the hyped threat; intelligence will be spun or exaggerated, and sometimes there are faked documents like Plan Z with Pinochet in Chile.

DH: Plan Z?

NW:Yes, Plan Z. Pinochet, when he was overthrowing the Democratic government of Chile, told Chilean citizens that there was going to be a terrible terrorist attack, with armed insurgents. Now there were real insurgents, there was a real threat, but then he produces what he called Plan Z, which were fake papers claiming that these terrorists were going to assassinate all these military leaders at once.

And this petrified Chileans so much that they didn't stand up to fight for their democracy. So it's common to take a real threat and hype it. And close to an election it's very common to invoke a hype threat and scare people so much that they will not want to have a transparent election.

Americans have this very wrong idea about what a closed society looks like. Many despots make it a point to try to hold the elections, but they're corrupted elections. Corrupted elections take place all over the world in closed societies. Ninety-nine percent of Austrians voted yes for the annexation by Germany, because the SA were standing outside the voting booths, intimidating the voters and people counting the vote. So you can mess with the process.

One current warning sign is the e-mails that the White House is not yielding about the attorney general scandal. The emails are likely to show that there were plans afoot to purge all of the attorneys at once, like overnight. And then to let the country deal with the shock.

Now that's something that Goebbels did in 1933 in April, overnight. He fired everyone, focusing on lawyers and judges who were not a supporter of the regime. So you can still have elections ... in an outcome like that. If that had happened, if the bloggers and others actually hadn't helped to identify the U.S. attorney scandal, and they had been successful and fired them all, our election situation would be different.

Basically we'd still have an election, but it is possible the outcome would be predetermined because it's the U.S. attorneys that monitor what voting rights groups do, what is legal and who can decide the outcome of elections.

DH: Well there's a lot of activity currently in terms of the Justice Department aimed at purging voters ... reducing voter rolls ... that's an ongoing battle to try to keep voters eligible. Conservatives are always trying to reduce the electorate. By the way, are you familiar with Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism?

NW: Yes, and it all makes a lot of sense. And its certainly historically true. We're in this post-9/11 period when there is a lot of potential for these kind of "shock therapy" things to happen, but virtually everything ... has happened previously in history in patterns. It's just the blueprint. It's not rocket science.

I could tell last fall when a law was passed expanding the definition of terrorists to include animal rights activists, that people who look more like you and me would start to be called terrorists, which is a classic tactic in what I call a fascist expansion.

DH: Don't look at me - I'm not a vegetarian. Just kidding.

NW: (Laughs) Right. It's also predictive ... according to the blueprint, that the state starts to torture people that most of us don't identity with, because they're brown, Muslim, people on an island. They're called an enemy.

That there will be a progressive blurring of the line, and six months, two years later, you're going to see it spread to others. ... According to the blueprint, we're right on schedule that this kid recently got tasered in Florida, I gather, for asking questions.

There was a study by people who pioneered tasers, and the state legislature supported it; a Republican legislator put pressure on the provost, who put pressure on the university, and then the police at this university implemented the taser use. So unfortunately, it's likely that we're going to see more demonstrators, typical society leaders, in a call to restore "public order," leading up to the election. You put all those cases together ...

DH: I want to shift gears a bit and ask you to talk about what the response to the book, what kind of people have heard you speak, and what kind of reactions have they had?

NW: I'm really gratified by the response to the book. I have found, with the book's publication, though I'm not following everything that's been written about it, that most of America gets it - people across the political spectrum.

All kinds of people, including very mainstream people. Republican people. Progressive. Libertarian. Very moderate people. Very conservative people. They are basically saying to me, "Thank you for confirming our fears and showing us how these things fit together, and what we can do about them."

DH: I'm also interested in your process of deciding that you were comfortable in using words like "fascism," "Nazism," "Hitler," "Mussolini." Michael Ratner talks about it in the jacket of your book, when he writes: "Most Americans reject outright any comparisons of post-9/11 America with the fascism and totalitarianism of Nazi Germany or Pinochet's Chile. Sadly, what Wolf calls the echoes between those societies and America today are too compelling." At some point you must have come to this turning point in terms of the language - how far am I going to go, how am I going to talk about this? Was it a difficult decision?

NW: It was hard emotionally but it was unavoidable intellectually. The book actually got started with the influence of a holocaust survivor - a dear friend, who's the daughter of two holocaust survivors from Germany. She basically forced me to start reading history.

Not the end or outcome. She was talking about the early years and the effects on rights groups, gay rights groups, and sexuality forums and architecture, At first I didn't even want to draw conclusions, but my hair was just standing on edge.

When I saw that, then I went and read other history books, and looked at Stalin and Hitler, a real "innovator." I thought, if people want an open society, they need to pay attention.

You see the same things happening again and again and again. And historically people were really mislead and just reading kind of teaches us the blueprint. People use the same approach all over the world because it works. This is what they do.

Now we've just seen it in Burma. It is like clock work: monks in the street ... and because I know the blueprint, how long before they start curtailing free assembly, shooting monks, and cutting off that communication? And two days later ... you know what happened.

So intellectually I couldn't avoid using the language. Now in terms of the word "fascist," it's a very conservative usage in the book. I used the dictionary definition. There are many definitions of fascism. And even fascists disagree with other fascists. It's kind of like the Germans thought the Italian fascists weren't butch enough.

DH: So the Italians were wussier fascists than the Germans?

NW: Exactly. It gets better. The definition is pretty straightforward: "When the state uses violence against the individual to oppose democratic society." And that's what we're seeing.

And then looking back at Italy and Germany, which were the two great examples of modern constitutional democracies that were illegally closed by people that were elected ... duly elected ... most Americans don't remember. Mussolini, a National Socialist, came to power entirely legally. And they used the law to shut down the law. So that's what I call a fascist shift.

DH: So let's talk about what could happen here. Is America in denial? Or is avoidance an attitude that seemed to be present in all historical examples? That people assume it's not going to happen to them. Does the Americans' denial at this point run parallel with the denial of Germans and Italians? Or do we have our own version of denial here?

NW: That's a really great question; both are true. It's really instructive to read memoirs and journals from Germany. People writing, "This can't last ... we surely will come to our senses"; "they can't gain any ground in the next election ... you know, we're a civilized country"; "this is ridiculous, they're a bunch of thugs; no one takes them seriously."

History is particularly instructive in the early days of the fascist shifts in Germany and Italy, when things were really pretty normal. People go about their business, just like we're doing now. It's not like goose stepping columns of soldiers are everywhere. It looks like ordinary life. Celebrities, gossip columns, fashion, before getting caught up in a snare. People kept going to movies, worrying about feeding the cat. (laughs) Even while you watch the sort of inevitable unfold.

DH: And now in America?

NW: Right. So in some ways it is human nature to be in denial ... but Americans have our own special version, which is profoundly dangerous. Europeans know democracies are fragile, and they could close. They had closed. Bismarckian Germany was not a democracy.

But here we're walking around ... we usually have that sense that somehow our air will sustain us, even when no one else's air does. And we don't have to do anything about it. We have this like bubble, that somehow democracy will just take care of us, and we don't have to fight to protect democracy.

They can mow down democracies all over the world, but somehow we'll be just fine. But what's so ironic about that is that the Founding Fathers drafted the Bill of Rights in fear. They knew that you had to have checks and balances, because it's human nature to abuse power, no matter who you are. They knew the damage that the army could do breaking into your home. ... they knew that democracy is fragile, and the default is tyranny. They knew that. And that's why they created the system of checks and balances.

DH: In your book, on page 36, you write in terms of the political environment we are in: "But we are not wracked by rioting in the streets or a major depression here in America. That is why the success that the Bush administration has had in invoking Islamofascism is so insidious. We have been willing to trade our key freedoms for a promised state of security in spite of our living conditions of overwhelming stability, security, affluence and social order."

How and why has it been so easy here in the U.S. in terms of taking away liberties?

NW: I assume you mean how did it succeed even though we don't have Bolsheviks rioting in the street? Yes. I mean it is incredible looking back, but in a way it's not. I mean 9/11 was a complete left brain shock. If we had had wars at home, experienced the kind of violence at home that other countries have, we would not have gone into shock ... not have been willing to trade in our heritage in exchange for a manipulated false sense of security.

DH: Most people were not affected directly by 9/11 except traumatically by seeing it on the screen.

NW: Yes, but you can't undercredit the incredible sophistication of the way the Bush administration manipulates fear. For example, the sleeper cells narrative, which is Stalin's narrative, was totally made up.

And I give lots of examples in the book of alleged sleeper cells that never turned out to be the creepy, scary, nightmare scenario that the White House claimed they would be.

DH: In the book you say that fascists have great skills at changing public opinion.

NW: That's correct. That's exactly right. They've been very skillful at creating extremely terrifying narratives. And this is why looking at Goebbels is so instructive. Our leaders have been busy creating footage and sound bites that can be petrifying, and as a result, some of us live in a state of existential fear.

In contrast, in England and Spain, where they were hit by the same bad guys we're fighting, they're going after terrorists, but the population isn't walking around in a state of existential anxiety.

Gordon Brown said it, "Fighting terror ... well, terror's a crime." You can't underplay how sophisticated the Bush team has been about manipulating our fears. And one reason we really can't ignore is our home-grown ignorance. We now have two generations of young people who don't know about civics. A study came out that showed that even Harvard freshmen really don't understand how our government works.

And so we really don't know what democracy is anymore. I had to do a lot of learning to write this book - I'm not a constitutional scholar. I'm just a citizen. And we've been kind of divorced from our democracy. We've let a pundit class take it over. Where the Founders wanted us to know what the First Amendment was and what the Second Amendment does for us.

So as a consequence we don't feel the kind of warning bell of "Oh, my God, arbitrary search and seizure! That's when they come into your house and take your stuff and scare your children! We can't have that!"

Because there's this class of politicians, scholars and pundits who do the Constitution for us, so we don't bother educating ourselves. It's hard to educate yourself now these days.

All of that plays into how easily we can be manipulated. We really don't read history in America, so we don't notice warning signals. We tend not to pay attention to the rest of the world or the past, so we don't know what the classic scenarios are.

DH: In terms of your personal narrative, the kinds of books you've written about feminism and gender like the Beauty Myth, Fire With Fire and Promiscuities ... this book seems pretty far a field. It seems like it would have to be a wrenching realization to lead you to read everything and produce the book. Was it traumatic?

NW: Well, I would say that it's been traumatic.

DH: Is it because you are out there on the front lines now?

NW: That's not the trauma. I feel like I'm living inside a consciousness of urgency and potential horrific consequences. And that is much more uncomfortable than living inside my prior being where I generally thought, "We're living in a democracy where there are some annoying people doing the wrong things" kind of mindset.

But I know that there's a "true consciousness" that we need to overcome the false consciousness. I know it's the right consciousness to get the facts. And I guess what's heartening is that a bunch of other people seem to be collectively entering this consciousness. They are saying: "My gosh, there is a real emergency here with very devastating stakes." That is traumatic but necessary.

It is a loss of innocence to see how easy it is to degrade democracy. I certainly walk around with kind of hyperawareness tuned into, for example, the toll in Guantanamo and those children in Iraq. It doesn't get covered well.

There's basically a concentration camp being established in Iraq with children in it. And no one appears to be digging in to it ...

DH: As we are coming to an end here, there are a couple of concepts I found particularly interesting in the book. One is when you talked about the "10 steps," or the "blueprint" that fascists have used time and time again to close down democracies. You say that that these factors, ingredients, are more than the sum of their parts, which suggests a kind of synergy, "each magnifies the power of the others and the whole," as you write.

You also write about the pendulum cliché, that we have this illusion through our history that the pendulum always swings back. But because of the permanent war on terrorism, that may not be true anymore. Can you say a little bit more about those two things, and how that might fit together?

NW: Well part of the illusion is created because it seems we are in two different countries, operating at home and abroad. For example, they can come at you, anyone and claim you're an enemy combatant. They rendered people in Italy ... they can render people all over the world. And they can put people like Jose Padilla in solitary confinement for three years, literally drive sane healthy people insane.

If the president can say, Well, "Don is an enemy combatant," there is nothing you can do. It's like "Tag, you're it!" To that extent we can not be innocent. And then someone is in jail for three years without being able to see their families or have easy access to a phone.

If they can do that, the pendulum can't swing, because after the first arrest, it generally goes in one direction, and according to the blueprint, the time has come for those first arrests. We're having this conversation now, before these arrests. But if tomorrow you read in the New York Times or the Washington Post that New York Times editor Bill Keller has been arrested, the staff will all be scared, others will get scared. And people don't understand that that's how democracy closes down. And when that happens first, it's the tipping point at which we think it's still a democracy.

DH: That is when the rules have changed?

NW: Yes, and people need to believe and realize that that kind of negotiation is pretty much over. And there's just the lag time, which is so dangerous, when people still think it's a democracy, even while the martial law steps have begun. And that's where we are at, unless we get it.

Because you know, Congress keeps saying, "Hello, we're Congress." You have to answer us when we ask for information. The president's like, "Sorry, I'm ignoring you!" It starts becoming thinking like an abused woman, like: "Surely he's going to do it right this time, surely he's not going to do it again." And he does.

---------

Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.

11/24/2007

Food Waste

http://www.wastedfood.com/category/institutional/

Concert, Aberdeen, November 24, 8 p.m.

House Concert Aberdeen Nov. 24th, 8 p.m.‏
From: Janet Kenworthy (janet@bluestreetdesigns.com)
Sent: Fri 11/23/07 10:09 AM
To: Janet Kenworthy (janet@bluestreetdesigns.com)

Hello music lovers,

This week in 1877, Thomas Edison announced his invention of a machine that could record and play back sound. Prior to the popularity of the phonograph, most households made their own music. While recordings of his compositions were among the most successful sold, John Phillip Sousa did not like the new contrivance, suggesting that it would dull the desire and discipline to learn to play music. His prescience was remarkable. By the 1950’s, most music in the country was played by professionals. The recording devices preserved the American folk music that in previous generations been played in the home for entertainment. But had there not been recording devices, the songs and tunes that were being saved may not have needed the rescue.

That bit of history speaks to the importance of live music. Participation, either performing or as a member of the audience, is an essential human experience. You just have to be there. Neither the film nor the recording can recreate the exact sensation of that perfect rendition of that great song. A new lyric tossed in , appropriate to the moment, a slight change in delivery, and seeing the notes as they are played- you can’t get that when you are home on the couch.

With that , I remind you that our winter house concert series kicks off Saturday, November 24th, 8 p.m. with Jonathan Byrd. www.jonathanbyrd.com for a preview. $12 at the door, $10 for members, and that discount will apply as soon as you join. You will also get the discount on our long sleeved t shirts, and advance ticket sales.. We accept cash and checks for admission, and merchandise.. No food offered on site . Call (910)944-7502 for reservations and further information.

Should this holiday weekend find you in the Charlotte area, hit the Evening Muse Sat. night for the cd release of the newest from the Near Misses. Hugely talented girl group featuring a variety of instruments and beautiful harmonies, you will see them in person next spring on the porch. www.thenearmisses.com/ If you are here, not there, I hope you’ll be here, at the corner of High and Blue, one block north of Main St., in downtown Aberdeen, Saturday night.

See you then,


Janet Kenworthy
www.theroosterswife.org
www.bluestreetdesigns.com
(910)944-7502

11/21/2007

What Would Jesus Buy?

http://www.indiewire.com/people/2007/11/indiewire_inter_124.html

Workers Bear the Cross

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/21/1520239
³Workers Bear the Cross²: Retailers, Churches Accused of Selling Sweatshop-Made Crucifixes *
With Christmas just over a month away, a new report by the National Labor Committee accuses US-based Christian retailers and churches of selling crucifixes made under sweatshop conditions in China. We speak with NLC executive director Charles Kernaghan.

11/20/2007

Farming's Future

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7092407.stm

11/19/2007

The Shock Doctrine

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805079831?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwfutuor-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0805079831

Drought

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/seasonal_drought.html

Weak Dollar

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7101194.stm

11/18/2007

Global Water Stress

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5269296.stm

Saving the Heritage Turkey

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/11/06/dining/1107-TURK_index.html?ex=1196053200&en=65bdf0c5c73dfaf4&ei=5070&emc=eta3

Conservation Insider Bulletin from Dan Besse, Nov. 16

Conservation Insider Bulletin

Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina

Conservation News to Peruse & Use

Editor: Dan Besse, earthvote@ccnccpac.org


November 16, 2007


Environmental issues received attention this week from the presidential campaign trail to the annual gathering of the nation's cities. Details follow in this week's CIB:

--Local Government Watch: Padgett to Head National Transportation Panel; Sea Level Rise Declared "Disastrous" Potential Threat

--Campaign Watch: Presidential Forum Will Focus on Energy & Climate; LCV Invites Nominations for "Dirty Dozen"

--Washington Watch: Duke Fights Global Warming Legislation

--Education & Resources: More Muddy Waters


Local Government Watch: Padgett to Head National Transportation Panel; Sea Level Rise Declared "Disastrous" Potential Threat


(Editor's Note: CIB is arriving a day late this week because the editor was in New Orleans participating in the meeting from which the notes below were taken. Mostly work, but we did spend a couple of hours monitoring environmental conditions in the French Quarter...)


The National League of Cities met for its annual conference this week in a city still recovering from one of this century's greatest U.S. environmental disasters. More than 3,000 local elected officials from around the nation met to consider new policy matters and review lessons from the uneven progress of ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans. Environmental issues were prominent on the week's agendas.


Padgett to Head National Transportation Panel: Wilmington, NC, City Council Member Laura Padgett will take over as chair of the National League of Cities' Transportation Infrastructure and Services (TIS) Steering Committee. Padgett is regarded as an environmental quality advocate in Wilmington, and transportation policy has emerged as a leading environmental quality issue both in North Carolina and nationwide. (The two areas are inextricably linked in air quality, energy usage, green space, urban sprawl, and climate change issues.) The TIS Steering Committee, advised by the TIS Policy and Advocacy Committee, formulates transportation policy recommendations for the National League of Cities (NLC). The NLC, in turn, speaks on behalf of its more than 1,600 member cities in national policy work. Padgett's new role will provide enhanced opportunities for national attention to transportation/environmental issues relevant to North Carolina.

At this week's NLC meeting, a transit-policy workshop also featured Charlotte as its case example of the connection between transportation decisions and land use development patterns.


Sea Level Rise Declared "Disastrous" Potential Threat: The NLC's other major environment-related policy body is its Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee (EENR). Among the issues taken up by the EENR this week were sustainability, energy, and water quality. Fittingly, in view of its meeting location, the body adopted a resolution warning of the potential "disastrous" effects of sea level rise related to global warming on American coastal cities. In the course of adopting that resolution, the committee also agreed to take up the issue of long-term drought as a key matter for additional study and work. (As was discussed before the committee, reduced precipitation and more severe droughts are among the projected impacts from climate change for some U.S. regions. The current severe drought in the southeastern U.S. may be a mere precursor of things to come if climate change is not brought under control.)


Campaign Watch: Presidential Forum Will Focus on Energy & Climate; LCV Invites Nominations for "Dirty Dozen"


Presidential Forum Will Focus on Energy & Climate: The national League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) has helped put together an inaugural "Presidential Forum on Global Warming and America's Energy Future" on Saturday, November 17. The event is being webcast live, and will no doubt be available to review on a recorded basis after the event. See www.lcv.org for more information.


LCV Invites Nominations for "Dirty Dozen": Every two years, the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV) constructs a list of the 12 (or so) worst members of Congress on environmental issues, who are up for re-election and vulnerable to a change. In 2006, LCV education campaigns helped to defeat nine of the 13 designated "dirty" members of Congress, including N.C.'s own unlamented former Representative Charles Taylor. Now, LCV is inviting environmental advocates nationwide to nominate candidates for inclusion in the 2008 Dirty Dozen. To make your suggestion, go to http://action.lcv.org/ct/R1qNks11dXlb/. More info on the LCV Dirty Dozen campaign is available at www.lcv.org.


Washington Watch: Duke Fights Global Warming Legislation


Duke Energy is fighting against the leading Congressional proposal for action on the issue of climate change. The Lieberman-Warner bill creating a cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions has bipartisan support and recently received a favorable report from a key Congressional subcommittee. Duke opposes the bill, says its spokesman, because the bill doesn't give coal-dependent utilities like itself enough of a break in the establishment of caps and credits. The utility's opposition to the Lieberman-Warner legislation is at odds with its loudly trumpeted support for effective national controls on carbon emissions.


According to the Charlotte Observer (11/16/07), Duke is among the nation's largest emitters of carbon dioxide and its third-largest user of coal. Duke generates 52 percent of its Carolinas power from coal, and 98 percent of its Midwestern territories power from coal.


Education & Resources: More Muddy Waters


The Neuse River Foundation (NRF) reports that its "Muddy Water Watch" meeting on training citizens how to take part in monitoring pollution from construction sites was a success. About 40 people participated in the November 13 session in Raleigh. NRF says it will hold a second "orientation session" on the program on December 18, and the official training sessions will begin January 22. More information is available at www.muddywaterwatch.org.


That's our report for this week.

Concert, Aberdeen, November 24

The Rooster’s Wife Presents

Jonathan Byrd


A House Concert

November 24, 2007

Admission $12.

Corner of High and Blue, Aberdeen

Info and reservations (910)944-7502

www.theroosterswife.org or theroosterswife@yahoo.com

Have a Dave Barry Thanksgiving!

Great American Turkeys
Posted on Sun, Nov. 18, 2007Digg del.icio.us AIM reprint print email
BY DAVE BARRY
(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published Nov. 17, 1996.)

Thanksgiving is a time of traditions, and there is no tradition more meaningful than the annual U.S. Department of Agriculture warning about fatal food-dwelling bacteria.

This year, I'm pleased to report, the department has outdone itself: For the first time ever, the department has officially advised Americans not to stuff their turkeys. Many alert readers sent in an Associated Press item in which the manager of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hot Line -- whose name is (I am not making this up) Bessie Berry -- is quoted as saying: ``Improperly cooked stuffing can cause serious illness or even death.''

I am frankly wondering if stuffing should be regulated, like assault rifles, to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

BANK TELLER: May I help you?

ROBBER: Hand over the money!

SECOND BANK TELLER: Do as he says! He's holding improperly cooked stuffing!

But the looming specter of a painful death should in no way dampen the festivity of your Thanksgiving dinner. Just make sure the food is prepared in accordance with federal guidelines (''STEP ONE: Lighting The Blowtorch''). And before you eat, don't forget to bow your head for the traditional prayer of thanks (''We thank Thee for this bountiful meal and ask Thine forgiveness for the fact that we hath ordered pizza'').

Another traditional thing you should do is teach your kids the true meaning of Thanksgiving. I suggest you have them put on the following historical play, ''The Very First Thanksgiving,'' which I wrote myself after several backbreaking minutes of research in the encyclopedia.

THE VERY FIRST THANKSGIVING

(Scene One: Some Pilgrims are standing on the deck of the Mayflower.)

FIRST PILGRIM: Well, here it is, the year 1620.

SECOND PILGRIM: Yes, and we have been on this tiny ship, the Mayflower, for many weeks, fleeing persecution in England because of our religious views.

FOURTH PILGRIM: Also, we wear hats that look like traffic cones.

FIRST PILGRIM: What happened to the Third Pilgrim?

SECOND PILGRIM: He's throwing up.

FOURTH PILGRIM: Hey, look! There's Plymouth Rock! Pull over, captain!

LONG JOHN SILVER: Arrr.

(Scene Two: The Pilgrims are standing on the shore.)

FIRST PILGRIM: Well, this looks like a barren area with poor soil and harsh winters, offering little chance for our survival.

OTHER PILGRIMS: Perfect!

ROBBER: Hand over the money!

FIRST PILGRIM: Hey! You already did your scene in this column!

ROBBER: Whoops.

SECOND PILGRIM: Look! A Native American!

NATIVE AMERICAN: Fortunately, I speak English. My name is Squanto.

FOURTH PILGRIM: ''Squanto''? What kind of name is ``Squanto''?

SECOND PILGRIM: It sounds nasty! It sounds like, ``Mom! The dog made Squanto on the linoleum!''

FIRST PILGRIM: What's ``linoleum''?

SECOND PILGRIM: I have no idea.

SQUANTO: I'm going to show you how to plant maize and beans using alewives, shad or menhaden as fertilizer.

FOURTH PILGRIM: ``Alewives''?

SQUANTO: That's what it says in the encyclopedia.

(Scene Three: One year later.)

FIRST PILGRIM: Well, here it is, one year later.

SECOND PILGRIM: That was a pretty harsh winter.

FOURTH PILGRIM: That was definitely the last winter I plan to spend in a small confined space with people eating a diet of maize and beans.

FIRST PILGRIM: Also, as you will recall, we had a lot of starvation and disease, the result being that half of us are dead.

SECOND PILGRIM: Time for a celebration!

(Scene Four: The Pilgrims and Squanto are seated at a banquet table.)

FIRST PILGRIM: So here we are, at the (burp) first Thanksgiving.

SECOND PILGRIM: I definitely want the recipe for this alewife dip.

FOURTH PILGRIM: Hey Squanto, what are those drums saying?

SQUANTO (after listening for a moment): Lions 14, Bears 7.

FIRST PILGRIM: You know, Squanto, without your help, we never would have survived this winter. So we've decided to take over all of North America and pretty much obliterate your culture.

SQUANTO: Sure.

FIRST PILGRIM: Really? You don't mind?

SQUANTO: No, not at all.

FIRST PILGRIM: Great!

SQUANTO: Try this stuffing.

UN Chief on Climate Change

* UN challenges states on warming

UN chief Ban Ki-moon challenges governments to act on the findings of a major report on climate change.
Full story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/7098902.stm

The Missing Class

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11022007/watch3.html
The people we all know. . .

Don't Be a Shower Hog

http://realestate.msn.com/Improve/Green/Article_kip.aspx?cp-documentid=5520628

11/16/2007

The Long Decline

Tom Whipple | The Peak Oil Crisis: Our Government Is Speaking

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/111507EA.shtml

Tom Whipple, The Falls Church News-Press:
"World production has been on a plateaufor two years now and few knowledgeable observers expect that it will ever get more than a couple of million barrels a day beyond current production levels before settling into the long decline that will signal the end of the oil age."

11/15/2007

Assassination of Hugo Chavez

The Assassination of Hugo Chavez
by Greg Palast

Reporting from Lago Agrio, Ecuador
Wednesday November 14

Before The Lord spoke unto Pat Robertson and told him to endorse Rudy Giuliani, family man, for President, the Reverend got a message that higher powers wanted him to arrange a hit on another President:

"Hugo Chavez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Robertson has a tough time separating Church and Hate. But when the vicious vicar declared it was time to take out the President of Venezuela, he was simply channeling the wishes of the Supreme Authority, Dick Cheney.

I'm asking you to see the story they don't want you to see in the USA: from the original investigations filmed for BBC Television, "The Assassination of Hugo"- a special DVD documentary by myself and Rick Rowley. NOT for general release - ONLY available as a gift to donors to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund.

Why must they kill Chavez?

With the help of guerrila cameraman Rick Rowley ("Fourth World War"), I flew to Caracas to get the answer - from Chavez himself. I also talked to the guy who took Chavez hostage in 2002. (I had to wear a wire for that one.)

The answer is right underneath Chavez' feet. Oil. How much? According to the inside documents that fell into my hands from the Department of Energy - LOTS of oil, five times the reserves of Saudi Arabia.

The DVD includes Chavez himself, in our extended exclusive interviews. We go over the Bush plans - for his oil, and for his "elimination." Sing along with the crooning champion of the poor - or, as George Bush titles him, "a demagogue awash with oil money."

Watch the film - from Caracas malls to the oil tankers by helicopter - the story I guarantee you won't get on the Petroleum Broadcasting System.

PLUS two incredibly important reports: "Ecuador: Oiled and Despoiled" - my journey into the mud for Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, PLUS "Florida Con Salsa" - the theft of the Presidential Election in Mexico 2006.

Donate at least $50 and I'll sign'm and send'm to you - or to whomever you designate for the holidays.

Make that donation at least $75 and I'll also send you, signed, "Assassination" AND "The Elections Files," my investigations for BBC, from the original report that busted open the phony "felon" purge by Jeb Bush to never-before-released interviews with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and fired prosecutor David Iglesias on "caging" voters and the scheme to steal the next election.

Your tax-deductible donation keeps us digging for "Just The Facts, Ma'am." I'm writing this in the rain forest in Ecuador, where oil is prevalent as snakes- but more poisonous. We donate our films to Democracy Now. BBC pays for some of our effort - but not the expensive work of investigation. That's your job. YOU produce our work.

"Palast's stories are so relevant they threaten to alter history." - Chicago Tribune

"Palast … is twisted and maniacal." Hon. Katherine Harris

"America's best investigative reporter … and the funniest." Randi Rhodes, Air America Radio


The Palast Investigative Fund is a 501c3 not-for-profit educational foundation. All donations are tax deductible. 100% of your donation goes to pay our out-of-pocket expenses and investigative team. (Note: Greg Palast takes no fee from the fund.) Make a donation and I'll send you a signed gift, personalized in appreciation for your help. Or write "NO GIFT" and we'll just send a note of our gratitude. Real reporting is real expensive - and you make it possible when Corporate Media won't.

Eco-ruin

Eco-ruin 'felled early society'
One of Western Europe's earliest known urban societies may have brought destruction on itself, a study suggests.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/7093685.stm

Poem for the Earth

Catechism for a Witch’s Child
By J. L. Stanley

When they ask to see your gods,
Your book of prayers.

Show them the lines drawn delicately with veins
On the underside of a bird’s wing.

Tell them you believe in giant sycamores mottled
And stark against a winter sky in nights so frozen
Stars crack open spilling streams of molten ice to earth.

Tell them how you drank the holy wine of honeysuckle on a
Warm spring day and of the softness of your mother who
Never taught you death was life’s reward but who believed
In the earth and the sun and a million, million light years
Of being.

Diabetes/Plastics Connection

http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/travel-leisure/Our_oceans_are_turning_into_plastic_are_we.shtml

"As if the potential for cancer and mutation weren’t enough, Dr. vom Saal states in one of his studies that “prenatal exposure to very low doses of BPA increases the rate of postnatal growth in mice and rats.” In other words, BPA made rodents fat. Their insulin output surged wildly and then crashed into a state of resistance—the virtual definition of diabetes. They produced bigger fat cells, and more of them. A recent scientific paper Dr. vom Saal coauthored contains this chilling sentence: “These findings suggest that developmental exposure to BPA is contributing to the obesity epidemic that has occurred during the last two decades in the developed world, associated with the dramatic increase in the amount of plastic being produced each year.” Given this, it is perhaps not entirely coincidental that America’s staggering rise in diabetes—a 735 percent increase since 1935—follows the same arc."

Worst Emitters

Australians named worst emitters *A survey of the world's power stations finds Australia to be the heaviest polluter per capita with the US second.
Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/7092989.stm

11/12/2007

Volunteer Program, Sou. Pines Middle School

Dear Friends,

Would you like to help a young person find direction in life? A new mentoring program will be starting soon at Southern Middle School designed to do just that. Students and mentors will receive training in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This will allow mentors to help students utilize principles that will direct their lives. The initial training for mentors is scheduled for Thursday, November 29, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM at Southern.

The additional 16 hours of Seven Habits training will be scheduled at the volunteers’ convenience. Mentors are also invited to sit in on the student training on November 30, 8:15 AM-2:45PM. Even if mentors can only stop by for a few minutes, we would appreciate the support. If you are not available for the training on the 29th of November, I will be able to arrange alternate training times.

We are recruiting thirty adult mentors to meet weekly with thirty six graders at Southern. These students have been identified by the teachers and counselors as youngsters who can benefit from quality time spent with a caring adult.

Sincerely,

Robin Moore at 947-2086

Tell It, Granny!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x2257463

Language Row--Chavez & King of Spain

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7089131.stm
[As BBC rightly points out, the King used the familiar 'you' reserved in Spanish for children and underlings. Yes, Chavez is The America's favorite blow-hard, but, as our very own, vastly impeachable Mr. "Fuck you" Cheney has experienced, bad manners do not promote good manners.]

Moore County Beekeepers, Nov 13

Moore County Beekeepers:

The November 2007 meeting of the Moore County Beekeepers
Tuesday, November 13, at 7 p.m.
Agricultural Building, Carthage, room 3.

Louie and Jackie Hough will be presenting a program entitled "Honeybee Favorites; Forage Plants thru the year in North Carolina." Should be interesting so please try to attend.

Also mark your calendars for the Annual Christmas Party December 11 at 6:30.

Cedar Vigil Tuesday, 5:30

[from Suzanne Coleman]
An Open Invitation to the People of Southern Pines,

You are invited to commemorate the life of Lady Deodara on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. and pay tribute to her years of service.

Regardless of your position on this issue, come, because this magnificent tree deserves it. She served us well for almost 100 years. She offered shelter and protection to a myriad of birds and provided shade to residents and visitors alike. She gave us everything she had for more than four generations and was repaid with an ambush in the pre-dawn hours when she was defenseless. She deserves a proper, honorable burial.

Come on principle, because we in Southern Pines honor and cherish ritual and tradition. We take pride in doing things the right way, the honorable way... not behind people's backs... not under the cover of darkness.

Come because this grand old Lady earned our respect and deserves our thanks and praise.

Come because she was one of us and she deserved better.

Suzanne

11/11/2007

Australia in Trouble.

Climate rallies across Australia
Tens of thousands of people march across Australia calling for stronger action against global warming.
Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7089277.stm

11/10/2007

How Do We Reconcile?

Published on Friday, November 9, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
Faith and War
by Cindy Sheehan

A friend of mine, who is Chair of the Economics Department, invited me to speak to the students and faculty at the University of Dallas (where the Veterans for Peace convention was that I spoke at the day before I went to Crawford on August 6th, 2005), which is a small, non-culturally or non-racially diverse, Catholic college.

Surprisingly, my friend Sam, received little protest over inviting me, but there was a "Support the Troops" rally in the room next to where I spoke. Some Camp Casey friends accidentally went into that room and only heard the speaker call me names like "scum" and he called the rest of the people at my event "peace fairies."

I was heartened to find the first three rows of my speech were filled with young people who were smiling and vigorously nodding their heads at everything I said. Most of the audience clapped or laughed in the right places so I was feeling pretty good. However, I was a little sad when there were some snide snickers when I had the unmitigated gall to call Iraqis "human beings."

During the "Q and A" part, the first question I received amazed me. Now, I was raised Protestant and received an excellent training in the Christian scriptures and I know after being a Catholic for 25 years and a Catholic youth minister for nine of those years, that the average Catholic does not know a great deal about the Bible as most of their religious training is in the tenets of the Catholic faith. Here's how many Catholics quote scripture: "It's somewhere in the Bible," when, in my experience, many times they are actually quoting: "Poor Richard's Almanac."

An emphasis on the biblical support for the teachings of the church was never used as long as I taught in the church using the approved teaching materials of the church, but the depth of ignorance of Jesus of Nazareth exhibited in the first question still had the ability to astonish me.

The question printed neatly on a 3 by 5 index card was: "How do you reconcile your progressive ideals with your faith?" I answered the question that Jesus cared about the poor. He admonished us to "feed the hungry," "clothe the naked," "heal the sick," and "visit those imprisoned." Jesus performed a stunning feat of civil disobedience by over-turning the tables of the moneychangers in the temple and was subsequently executed by the Empire of his time. Jesus was the ultimate progressive radical. Jesus' name is exploited by our materialistic society at Christmas time when he changes from the right-wing Christian warmonger to the "Prince of Peace."

Jesus welcomed the "least of these" to his table. He didn't exclude sinners, lepers or prostitutes who were the pariahs of his day. Today, I am convinced that if Jesus returned he would welcome gays and non-white people (even "illegal" immigrants) to commune with him. The only people I ever heard Jesus speak badly about were the "brood of vipers" (Mt 3:7) that were the Sadduccees (Democrats?) and Pharisees (Republicans?) who in the parable, with hypocritical piety, walked right by the man who had been beaten, robbed and left by the side of the road to die without helping him and they turned his "Father's" house (the Temple) into a "den of thieves." (Mt. 21:12).

My question for the questioner was: "How do you reconcile your faith with supporting war and killing?"

More at:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/11/08/5110/

Vigil for Deodora on Broad St, Tuesday, 5:30

Candlelight vigil for the Deodora cedar has been changed from Veterans' Day to Tuesday, Nov 13th at 5:30 p.m. The site is, of course, where the venerable tree USED TO BE (see Pilot front page article).

Act NOW to Save Solar, Call Congress

Act Now To Save Solar!
ASES Action Alert

We need to make sure that renewable energy receives the support of Congress. Unfortunately, it appears that this may not occur unless WE ACT NOW.

Speaker Pelosi has stated that before Congress adjourns on November 16th, it must pass an energy bill. Great so far.

On Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi decided to drop the renewable energy standard AND THE TAX TITLE out of the energy bill. Without the tax title there can be no extension of the investment tax credit for solar and no extension of the production tax credit for wind energy.

In short, this means that our Congressional Leadership is going to vote on an energy bill with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for renewable energy. Eliminating the pro-solar provision from the Energy Act of 2005 JUST AS THE SOLAR INDUSTRY IS STARTING TO RAMP UP. Likewise the elimination of the Production Tax Credit will halt new wind development.

THIS ON-AGAIN-OFF-AGAIN SUPPORT MUST STOP. TIME IS SHORT.

ASES, along with many others, encourages you to pick up the phone and contact your congressional representatives. Please call their Washington offices and tell your Representatives and Senators to demand that Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi include the 8-year extension for the solar investment tax credit and the production tax credit in the energy bill.

Tell them that the challenges we face need to be addressed and these tax titles MUST be included.

If you want to say more here are some additional talking points:

Clean energy means jobs. ASES' report released this week demonstrates that the 8.5 million Americans working in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries today, can grow to 40 million jobs by 2030 IF WE HAVE FEDERAL LEADERSHIP!

America needs carbon-free, local, renewable energy now!
The solution to global warming is to be found in the transition to a sustainable energy economy.

Energy independence comes from growing these industries, NOT FROM PULLING THE CARPET OUT FROM UNDER THEM.

Thank you for your support.


The American Solar Energy Society

Carolyn Beach,
American Solar Energy Society
303.443.3130 x107


The bill numbers are: Senate HR6 and House HR3221

11/09/2007

Birds on Broad

http://www.thepilot.com/stories/20071109/news/local/20071109Birds.html

CA Sues US

California sues US over car fumes
The state of California says it is suing the US government over its failure to regulate vehicle emissions.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/7086121.stm

The Deodora Is No More

http://blogs.fayobserver.com/faytoz/2007/11/08/tree-surreptitiously-chopped-under-the-shadow-of-darkness/

[Developers beware; such actions play right into the hands of those who opppose such profoundly mindless and greedy people. Boycott!]

11/08/2007

Green Pages for Christmas

http://www.coopamerica.org/pubs/greenpages/
[better yet, make it a buy-nothing-do-something day]

Will Full Senate Block?

Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 by TruthDig.com

A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture
by Amy Goodman

Judge Michael Mukasey admits waterboarding is repugnant, but refuses to say whether it amounts to torture. Yet Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein voted for his confirmation as U.S. attorney general anyway. Mukasey, Schumer and Feinstein should talk to French journalist Henri Alleg. An editor of a paper in Algeria, he was waterboarded by the French military in 1957, when the French were trying to crush the Algerian independence movement. The 86-year-old journalist spoke to me from his home in Paris:

“I was put on a plank, on a board, fastened to it and taken to a tap [water faucet]. And my face was covered with a rag. Very quickly, the rag was completely full of water. You have the impression of being drowned. And the water ran all over my face. I couldn’t breathe. It’s a terrible, terrible impression of torture and of death, being near death.”

Journalist Stephen Grey, whose documentary “Extraordinary Rendition” airs on PBS stations this week, told me: “I, like many journalists, should issue a correction, an apology really, because we all reported waterboarding as a simulated drowning. It is clear from those who did it, this is actual drowning … this is something that shocks the conscience and therefore is torture.”

In a remarkable demonstration of commitment to his job, former acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin, according to ABC News, underwent waterboarding when tasked by the White House to rework its official position on torture in 2004. Concluding that waterboarding is torture, he was forced out of his job.

On Monday, Nov. 5, anti-torture activists engaged in an actual demonstration of waterboarding outside the Department of Justice. Twenty-six-year-old actor Maboud Ebrahimzadeh volunteered to be the victim. After the session, he was near tears: “It is the most terrifying experience I have ever had. And although this is a controlled environment, when water goes into your lungs and you want to scream and you cannot, as soon as you do you will choke.”

Four retired military judge advocates general wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy stating, “Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.” Twenty-four former intelligence agents and analysts agreed with the JAGs, adding, “Whether or not the practice is currently in use by U.S. intelligence, it should in fact be easy for him to respond.”

Yet Mukasey told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I don’t know what’s involved in the technique, if waterboarding is torture.”

In the Judiciary hearing when the votes were cast, Leahy said: “No senator should abet this administration’s legalistic obfuscations by those such as Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo and David Addington by agreeing that the laws on the books do not already make waterboarding illegal. We have been prosecuting water torture for more than 100 years.”

U.S. soldiers have been prosecuted for participating in waterboarding in the Philippines in 1901 and Vietnam in 1968. The U.S. imprisoned a Japanese officer in 1947 for using waterboarding against U.S. troops in World War II.

Sen. Edward Kennedy added: “Make no mistake about it: Waterboarding is already illegal under United States law. It is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit ‘outrages upon personal dignity,’ including cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment. It is illegal under the Torture Act, which prohibits acts ‘specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.’ It is illegal under the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’ And it violates the Constitution.” He went on: “Waterboarding is slow-motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of blackout and expiration-usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch, and if it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia. When done right, it is controlled death.”

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, who voted for Mukasey’s confirmation, said Congress should pass a law forbidding waterboarding, having received assurances from Mukasey that he would uphold such a law. What if President Bush vetoed the law, or if he issued one of his signing statements used to sidestep bills he signs into law?

Despite all this, Schumer’s and Feinstein’s votes for Mukasey mean the Judiciary Committee has voted 11 to 8 to recommend his appointment as attorney general to the full Senate. From war funding to torture, you have to ask, If the Republicans were in the majority, would there be any difference?

Now only the full Senate can block Mukasey’s appointment. Maybe at least one senator will step up and filibuster the confirmation, just long enough for Mukasey to research and announce his opinion on whether waterboarding amounts to torture. If a U.S. citizen, soldier or official were waterboarded somewhere overseas, would Americans hesitate for a moment to call it torture? A filibuster might give the Mukasey supporters like Schumer and Feinstein pause to reconsider. For starters, they should talk to Henri Alleg.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 500 stations in North America.

© 2007 Amy Goodman

News in the Americas

* Gunmen fire on Venezuela protest *Gunmen open fire on students protesting against planned reforms by the Venezuelan president.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/7084262.stm

Economic worries knock US markets *US stock markets fall sharply as the dollar weakens further and Morgan Stanley discloses sub-prime related losses.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/business/7084215.stm

Chavez meets Colombia Farc rebels *Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he has held talks with a representative of Colombia's Farc rebel group.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/7084347.stm

11/07/2007

Zinn on 'Sham' War

Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 by The Daily Free Press

Zinn Renews Call To End ‘Sham’ War

by Vivian Ho

Former Boston University professor and political activist Howard Zinn last night said Americans need to “withdraw our obedience from our government” in response to what he called government deception surrounding modern wars.

“The war on terrorism is a sham,” Zinn said at Morse Auditorium. “Terrorism is an idea that exists all over. You can’t make war on it. If terrorism is the killing of innocent people for some presumed important purpose, then making a war on people is terrorism. War is terrorism. The terrorism of our war in Iraq has killed far, far more people than were killed in the twin towers.”

Zinn said a revolution is the only option Americans have to bring about change and charged his audience of more than 200 to form a “people’s” movement toward a “different world.”

The longtime professor also said government hype must be combated with a discussion of history.

“If you know some history that is outside the establishing view of history, you will not be fooled by the things you hear from the White House, or from members of Congress, or from leaders of political parties,” he said in his lecture, organized by BU Students for a Democratic Society, Boston Youth and Student Anti-War Movement.

The study of the history of government deception in wartime needs a closer look, Zinn said.

“What’s being told is that we are fighting in Iraq for democracy. We are occupying in order to bring democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people,” he said. “If you look at the history of American occupations, look at the history of U.S. interventions in other parts of the world - where have we brought democracy? There’s no evidence of America bringing democracy to the countries that we occupy.”

Zinn said the turnout was encouraging. Attendees said they reserved spots beforehand, and many filled in balcony seating.

“It was a lot of things people need to hear,” said College of Arts and Sciences junior Haley Ott. “There’s a stigma against activism, [so] for someone like him [to speak], it’s useful to have people inside like that.”

Zinn stressed the necessity of citizen involvement, a sentiment BU Anti-War Coalition member Alek Drobnjak said he strongly supports.

“He made a point on people getting involved, which was very important,” the College of Engineering sophomore said. “We need more people to join our clubs and participate in our government.”

Zinn will be speaking again this weekend with BU professor Elie Wiesel in a nonpartisan regional conference called “Race to 2008,” a discussion meant to revive political involvement among campuses in the Northeast.

“If you want something done, it happens when people come together,” said SDS President Farah Mohammadzadeh, a CAS junior. “It’s a revolution. It’s possible.”

© 2007 The Daily Free Press

Progressive Dems, Chapel Hill Saturday

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF NC

MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY!

help spread the word!!!

Many Issues - Many Voices - One Movement...

FRIDAY DEC. 7th : MUSIC for our MOVEMENT, MUSIC for our TIMES
SATURDAY DEC. 8TH: PNDC ANNUAL MEETING
Community Church, 106 Purefoy Rd., Chapel Hill


Friday Night Concert and FUNdraiser: MUSIC for our MOVEMENT, MUSIC for our TIMES
7:00 PM, featuring:

David Rovics http://www.davidrovics.com/

"David Rovics is the musical version of Democracy Now!” - Amy Goodman

"If the key to building a mass movement is to make it 'irresistible,' David is opening the flood gates." - Medea Benjamin

“…Listen to David Rovics” Pete Seeger

fruit of labor http://www.fruitoflabor.org/

The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble, the cultural arm of Black Workers for Justice, has been organizing in communities and workplaces with rousing and insightful songs of protest for more than twenty years.

Concert Tickets
$20 for advance tickets available through noon on Thursday, December 6th
$15 for student or low income
$25 at door


Advance ticket purchases and Pre-register for the annual meeting will soon be available at:
http://www.progressivedemocratsnc.org/home/


Saturday: December 8th – PDNC Annual Meeting

Many Issues, Many Voices, One Movement: Responding to the times as
an interconnected, multi-ethnic, progressive movement in NC
(Or what to do when representative democracy isn’t representing the people...)


8:30: Registration $20 in advance or $15 student or low income (includes lunch); $25 at the door (lunch not guaranteed)

9:30: Welcome and presentation of final agenda

9:50: Forum: Movement Leaders in Dialogue: Advancing the People’s Common Agenda in the face of an Unresponsive State Legislature


Democracy • Environment • Energy • Death Penalty • Housing • Peace • Immigration
Race • Youth • Labor • GLBT • Justice Reform • Economy • Jobs • Health Care


12:30: Lunch provided

1:00: Keynote Speakers

Marisol Jimenez-McGee, Advocacy Director, El Pueblo


Marisol Jiménez McGee, originally from Chicago, IL, began working in immigrant advocacy after traveling to the U.S.-Mexican border and witnessing the injustices that exist in U.S. immigration and economic policies. She worked in centros in Colorado and North Carolina for several years before deciding to challenge the system and focus her work at the policy-level. Marisol came to North Carolina in 2000 and earned a Masters in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work where she focused her studies on immigration issues, globalization, and public policy. Marisol is currently the Advocacy Director and a registered lobbyist for El Pueblo, http://www.elpueblo.org/. She lives in Chatham County.


Dr. Rev. William J. Barber II, President, North Carolina NAACP: "We need a movement and not just a moment!"

Arguably one of NC’s most inspiring orators, Rev. William Barber has excited people with his enthusiastic leadership since his election as president of the North Carolina NAACP in 2006. He was named one of Seven Who Will Matter in 2007 by the Raleigh News and Observer: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/527554-p2.html. “Watch out folks! When someone with Rev. Barber's leadership ability gets interested in an issue and can inspire thousands and thousands to get out of the pews and into the streets to take and to demand action, there will be some changing going on!” Mark Kleinschmidt

2:15: Democratic Lt. Governor Candidates Forum

(The PDNC membership will decide whether to endorse in this race, and, if so, who to endorse at this time.)


3:15: Membership Business Meeting: PDNC’s priorities for 2008

4:30: Pending: Representative and Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich http://www.dennis4president.com/home

“When the Founders of our country spoke of ‘forming a more perfect union,’ it wasn’t just about politics. It was also about being able to be more than we are - about consciously evolving. It’s not too late to seek a new world!” -- Dennis Kucinich

Water, Drought Issues, NC

http://www.ncconservationnetwork.org/issues/water_issues/water_resources
[from NC Conservation Network]

11/05/2007

from Candidate Chris Smithson

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Southern Pines

At the urging of friends and neighbors, I decided to enter this race to pursue the issues I care deeply about: Responsible growth; Neighborhood safety, protection and preservation; Strengthening our infrastructure; Supporting our Hometown Businesses and, most importantly, inclusion of all of our Citizens in Town planning and decision-making.

In my view, this is a logical continuation of my public service and an opportunity to use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained on the Council and as the son and grandson of two former Councilmen.

Your concerns have been my number one priority. I will continue to make it a policy to be accessible as possible, to attend community meetings, to take your calls, to answer your emails, to explain my position on issues and to ensure that all Citizens are an integral part of charting our Town’s future.

As a third generation resident and business owner, my roots go deep in this community. I’ve witnessed dramatic changes over the years, but none more dramatic than the development pressures that face our community today. Southern Pines is truly at a Crossroads. We need informed, independent, open leadership to guide our Town through these crucial times.

How that happens and what it looks like will depend on the quality of our Town leadership and citizen involvement.

I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 6th. I pledge to honor your support by continuing to work hard, listen to the people, study the issues and make decisions that are in the best interests of the people, not special interests.

Sincerely,
~Chris

VOTE FOR SMITHSON ON NOV. 6th

A MAYOR FOR THE PEOPLE

_____________________________________

“Voters should make Chris Smithson their choice for Mayor. He will place the health, safety and welfare of residents before any special interests. ”

~ David Woodruff, SP Town Council

Fringe Dwellers, the Privileged Poor

http://djbuege.com/fringe.html

from our own Jan Leitschuh

http://www.funfreedom.com/
is her book, The Ordinary Adventurer

Edwards in Iowa

http://bluenc.com/blog/robert-p

"Green Sacrifices"

Most ready for 'green sacrifices' A global poll suggests that people are prepared to make tough lifestyle changes to combat global warming.
Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/in_depth/7075759.stm

Transfer Tax, Moore County

[source: Dan Besse, Conservation Council of NC]
Transfer tax referenda: Despite a full-court press lobbying effort by the realtor/developer lobby, the N.C. General Assembly this year voted to allow counties to choose whether to adopt an increase in the land transfer tax. On Tuesday, 16 counties (from Swain in the western mountains to Brunswick on the coast) will decide whether to take advantage of that opportunity. The development lobby has poured heavy cash (more than $400,000) into fighting those local referenda in counties around the state.

(According to Chris Fitzsimon of N.C. Policy Watch, supposedly "local" opposition groups are local fronts for the N.C. Homebuilders Association and the N.C. Association of Realtors, through hosting their nearly identical websites and financially underwriting the "local" committees.)

Supporters of the land transfer tax argue that it provides a fair way to require new development to pay its share of the costs of growth at the local government level.

The outcomes of these tax referenda will tell us something about both public attitudes toward booming development in fast-growth areas, and the effectiveness of development lobby rhetoric in swaying public perceptions in these debates.

11/04/2007

Blues Guitarist, Red Springs, Nov. 9

Celebrated blues guitarist comes to Red Springs

The Red Springs Arts Council invites the public to enjoy the masterful slide guitar ability of Scott Ainslie performing at Flora MacDonald Academy Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door. The cost for children is $2.

Ainslie has played venues varying from the Kennedy Center and the renowned Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to community concert series and local school performances.

Ainslie’s festival performances range from state arenas such as the Bull Durham Blues Festival to the Toronto Blues and Jazz Festival.

Ainslie also will perform and speak to local youths at Red Springs High School earlier in the day.

“What’s nice about that (blues) is that it’s low-tech music,” Ainslie said to sound check. “You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be educated. If you want it, come and get it.”

As historian Ainslie has 30 years of scholarship. Combined with almost 40 years playing guitar his performances meld passion and education.

“Ainslie’s…Delta picking is so precise and passionate, his slide work is inventive and memorable, and his technique is rhythmically vibrant,” The River City Blues Society told Sing Out! “Perhaps even more impressive is Ainslie’s singing.”

The North Carolinian’s achievements are numerous. In 2000 Ainslie was a University of North Carolina Public Fellow. On a local note, he received the 20th Annual Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College and was Visiting Artist at Fayetteville Technical Community College from 1988-1990.

His performances in Red Springs are greatly anticipated. “Our small, intimate, historic auditorium in the old Flora MacDonald College will be the perfect space to experience this musical form,” Margie Labadie, Red Springs Arts Council president said.

The event is sponsored by the Red Springs Arts Council through a Grassroots Arts Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.

Lesley Covington
Historian and Publicist: Red Springs Arts Council

Dem Women of Moore County

Moore County Democratic Women

November 10
10 a.m.
Democratic Headquarters, Carthage

Speaker:

Judith Krall, President of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Moore County since October, 2005.
She has been a member of NAMI since 1981 and developed the NAMI West Virginia organization, serving as President from 1986 to 1992.
She will be discussing the Postpartum Depression bill and other pertinent legislation.

Pilkey for Pauley Lecture, Nov. 8

http://www.thepilot.com/stories/20071104/news/local/20071104PILKEY.html

Transfer Tax, Moore County

The Transfer Tax may help slow down development. Unfairly, many realtors--heavily subsidized to oppose the tax--call it the Home Tax. On Tuesday please vote yes.

Conservation Insider Bulletin from Dan Besse, Nov. 2

Conservation Insider Bulletin

Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina

Conservation News to Peruse & Use

Editor: Dan Besse, earthvote@ccnccpac.org

November 2, 2007


Early voting ends tomorrow (Saturday November 3) at 1 p.m. for municipalities voting next Tuesday. We make our final pre-election comments in this week's CIB:

--Campaign Watch: Last Chance for Early Voting; High Stakes Decisions; Senate Switchback
--Education & Resources: Still Time for Clean Energy
--Enforcement Update: Muddy Water Watch Training

Campaign Watch: Last Chance for Early Voting; High Stakes Decisions; Senate Switchback

Last Chance for Early Voting: Even if you are not yet registered, you can still vote in the elections being held Tuesday if you live in one of many municipalities around North Carolina—but only if you act NOW! Early voting, with its same-day registration, closes tomorrow (Saturday, November 3) at 1 p.m. Don't miss this chance. Read on below to find out why it's important.

High Stakes Decisions: The contests to be decided in this round of municipal voting concluding Tuesday include some high-stakes decisions, for the towns and cities involved and in some cases for the state as a whole. Development and environmental issues will be key topics in local elections all around our state. Among them, here are some of the contests CIB will be watching Tuesday night:

Mecklenburg transit tax: Will voters retain or repeal the special half-cent property tax that finances our largest city's public transit—including our state's first commuter light rail system? It's a critical decision point for the future of balanced transportation options in North Carolina. Mecklenburg County's Air Quality Commission also came out this week saying that repeal of the transit tax would set back efforts to clean up regional air quality. (Charlotte voters will also choose their next mayor on Tuesday: Republican incumbent Pat McCrory or Democratic challenger Rep. Beverly Earle. Some of the drama went out of that contest when Republican primary voters picked McCrory over anti-transit challenger Ken Gjertsen, so both party's nominees support retaining the transit tax, but the race remains of interest on other policy grounds.)

Durham mayoral race: Incumbent Mayor Bill Bell is fighting off a challenge from former Civitas Institute employee Thomas Stith. Stith, a capital-C "Conservative", could be counted on to march in Lockestep with the anti-government, anti-regulatory philosophy of the folks who think that global warming is a liberal hoax. Many environmentalists would consider a Lockie mayor of one of our state's largest cities to be cause for alarm.

Boone Town Council runoff: Anti-regulation forces spent heavily in their effort to knock off Boone's environment-friendly mayor, Loretta Clawson, and take over a majority of its town council. They failed, but their point of view could still pick up a key vote on that council, depending on the outcome of Tuesday's runoff voting. One of the anti-regulation challengers, Steve Phillips, succeeded in displacing environment-friendly incumbent Bunk Spann. However, Dempsey Benton, the only incumbent to have voted against adoption of steep-slope development regulations, and therefore the only incumbent favored by the anti-regulation PAC, trailed in the first round of balloting to environment-friendly challenger Liz Aycock. Boone voters will decide Tuesday which of those two will get the final available Council seat. A victory by Aycock would keep the voting balance on the town council unchanged.

Asheville City Council contests: In North Carolina's largest mountain city, voters will decide whether they like the environmental policies of the current council majority (e.g., steep-slope development regulations, public transit expansion efforts, bike lanes). Incumbents Brownie Newman and Bryan Freeborn and newcomer Elaine Lite are the three conservation-group-endorsed candidates among the six total candidates vying for three seats up for grabs in the voting concluding Tuesday.
Transfer tax referenda: Despite a full-court press lobbying effort by the realtor/developer lobby, the N.C. General Assembly this year voted to allow counties to choose whether to adopt an increase in the land transfer tax. On Tuesday, 16 counties (from Swain in the western mountains to Brunswick on the coast) will decide whether to take advantage of that opportunity. The development lobby has poured heavy cash (more than $400,000) into fighting those local referenda in counties around the state. (According to Chris Fitzsimon of N.C. Policy Watch, supposedly "local" opposition groups are local fronts for the N.C. Homebuilders Association and the N.C. Association of Realtors, through hosting their nearly identical websites and financially underwriting the "local" committees.) Supporters of the land transfer tax argue that it provides a fair way to require new development to pay its share of the costs of growth at the local government level. The outcomes of these tax referenda will tell us something about both public attitudes toward booming development in fast-growth areas, and the effectiveness of development lobby rhetoric in swaying public perceptions in these debates.

Senate Switchback: By now, every political junkie in North Carolina is well aware of State Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-Guilford) decision to jump into the U.S. Senate race next year after all. The ongoing topic of speculation has been, why the change now? Some observers have linked Hagan's reversal to the revelation by candidate Jim Neal that he is gay. While CIB has no inside information on that point, we would offer a few observations. First, we think it more likely that Hagan's decision reflects the withdrawal of State Rep. Grier Martin (D-Wake) as a potential candidate. Democratic party insiders were clearly seeking a candidate with elected experience and long-standing in-state residency. Those party forces had been talking up the potential candidacy by Martin, and had been leary of a primary fight between two prominent state legislators. When Martin ultimately declined to run (a decision which surprised many, including CIB), the party forces switched over to Hagan as the strongest candidate possibly still available. By most conventional political measures (starting name recognition among party leaders, experience in public office, initial donor base), Hagan is the stronger candidate in comparison with Neal.

Second, however, Neal remains a credible candidate even though Hagan will be favored. Neal will have the opportunity to convince primary voters that his stance on the issues they care about is closer to what they are seeking in a nominee. We have no doubt that Hagan will be ethical (and smart) enough to avoid playing the sexual orientation card in this contest. (It would be disastrous for her if she tried that in a Democratic primary fight. No Democratic nominee in this contest can afford anything less than a united and enthusiastic Democratic base.) That should make the primary a chance to talk about how we should deal with real policy questions that will have meaning for thoughtful voters—foreign policy, health care, and the environment, to name a few keys. It could even prove a good opportunity for Sen. Hagan to speak on some contemporary questions related to equal rights. We hope and expect that such intelligent, issues-oriented conversation will take place and be the focus of public attention.

Education & Resources: Still Time for Clean Energy

CCNC is one of 28 groups co-sponsoring two forums titled "Averting Climate Catastrophe: Power Plants or Clean Energy—Who Decides?", to be held this month. The forums will take place Friday November 16, at 7 p.m. at Queens University in Charlotte; and Saturday November 17, at 3 p.m. at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. Both forums will feature presentations by Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute, and billed as "the nation's foremost climate scientist". Presenters will also include Mike Nicklas, former chair of the American Solar Energy Society and past president of the International Solar Energy Society. Primary hosts for the forums are the Carolinas Clean Air Coalition and N.C. WARN. More information on the forums can be found at http://www.ncwarn.org/HansenEvent11-07/CliffsideCampaign.htm.

Enforcement Update: Muddy Water Watch Training

CCNC is also participating in a program called "Muddy Water Watch", in which citizens take part in keeping an eye on erosion and sedimentation from construction sites. (Sedimentation is the state's biggest single cause of water pollution and aquatic habitat degradation.) A public orientation and training session on this important citizen initiative will be held Tuesday, November 13, from 6:45 to 9 p.m. in Raleigh. The Neuse River Foundation's Upper Neuse Riverkeeper, Dean Naujoks, will train citizen volunteers to "actively patrol construction sites looking for poorly maintained erosion and sediment control measures." Details on the program can be found at www.muddywaterwatch.org.

That's our report for this week. Don't forget to vote

50 Ways to Save the Planet

http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/GEHO0907BNFQ-e-e.pdf?lang=_e

from the Rooster's Wife

Hello music lovers.

Tomorrow the media hype suggests the game of the century will be presented on network television. You have two undefeated teams, a dignified and humble man leading one, a hugely successful man of dubious integrity the other, according to our 24/7 coverage of news, sports and weather available to 72 % of the population through the wonder of cable and satellite television. Might I suggest another form of entertainment that exhibits exquisite team work and much better fashion than a four hour consumer blitz?

Spin your globe a quarter turn and land on Cardiff, Wales, home of Grant Llewllyn. Football fans, if you are still reading, he is the music director of the North Carolina Symphony. He was right here in Moore County Thursday night bringing the best in live music right to your doorstep. If the soccer team didn’t bring you to the hallowed halls of Pinecrest High, Llewellyn and Marsalis should have. Yes, Branford Marsalis was here. Son of Ellis, brother of Ellis, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason. His quartet dazzled the listeners with their contribution to a modern composition, Lions ( A Dream) for jazz combo and orchestra, by American Ned Rorem.

Lycra has added much to NFL attire but an orchestra in formal dress beats even those Cowboy cheerleaders hands down. When the conductor, or coach, takes the platform, the players are at attention. The baton is raised. The joint is silent. Offense, defense, and special teams are all on the field together and working in perfect coordination. You cannot spike the ball to stop the clock. You play on with out time outs for second and third down efforts of ten to twelve seconds. You play straight through to the fourth quarter, complete with six percussionists, and a rousing finale to the Mussorgsky including several impressive strikes of the gong. Standing ovation. Bang a gong, get it on , indeed. Kudos to Linda Hardison and her crew.

And while we’re on the subject of team play, Mr. Marsalis was in the body of the orchestra for Pictures at an Exhibition on alto sax. It is not surprising given that his father is one of the preeminent music coaches in the world. His influence on his own children and countless other major forces in American music is deep and wide. In addition, Mr. Marsalis imbued his sons with the idea that music is essential to the community, be that New Orleans, North Carolina, the USA or the world. Whether it is Snug Harbor, or Robert E. Lee Auditorium, make a point to see and hear great music when it is in your backyard.

You don’t like the symphony, you can’t stand jazz. Come on, eat your liver. It’s good for you. Prepared properly , almost anything can be delicious. There is so much music in every genre , it is provincial and lazy to throw those babes out with the bath water. Chances are, you’ve never heard that piece. Never watched that conductor.

Carlo Giulini. Now that was a man. If you ever saw him perform, you would be a fan of symphonic music for life. The passion and precision he brought to the podium were totally compelling even from my seat in the second balcony. Giulini, Bernstein, Sir George- marvelous athletes all. And no commercials. You can borrow their cd’s from the library, or listen on line.

So that is the thought for today. Use that extra hour of sleep to contemplate something new and different . Remain open to new experiences. And don’t miss opportunities to share your passions with those you love, especially your children, or somebody else’s children. Takes a village, right ? Spread the good news about live music; you should have seen all those fiddles flying in synchrony, and make sure you exercise your franchise this Tuesday. Tell the kids about that too.

We’ll look forward to seeing you at the house along with stellar song writer Jonathan Byrd the 24th of November, 8 p.m. You ma buy tickets in advance by sending a check to :the Rooster’s Wife, 201 Blue St., Aberdeen, 28315 which will guarantee your seat, or reserve by phone. $12/person, $10 for members. See the website for details on membership and support of the concert series.

Thanks for supporting live music in Moore County.


Janet Kenworthy
www.theroosterswife.org
www.bluestreetdesigns.com
(910)944-7502

Farm Bill, Pollan

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/opinion/04pollan.html?ex=1194843600&en=5c0cb0a3e48e7c8e&ei=5070&emc=eta1

11/02/2007

No Child's Behind Left

Published on Thursday, November 1, 2007 by Associated Press

Wis. Teacher Protests No Child Left Behind Law by Sitting Out Testing; Discipline Threatened

MADISON, Wis. - A middle school teacher is protesting the federal No Child Left Behind law by refusing to administer a standardized test to his eighth-grade students.

David Wasserman, a middle school teacher in Madison, began his protest Tuesday. Instead of giving students the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam, he sat in the teacher’s lounge, leaving his colleagues to oversee the test.

He said he has moral objections to the federal law, President Bush’s signature education policy. The state test is used to measure whether schools are meeting annual benchmarks under the law. Schools that do not meet goals can face sanctions.

Like many teachers, Wasserman said he believes the test is a poor way to measure student progress, takes up too much class time and is used unfairly to punish schools. So after years of growing frustration, he said he decided to be a “conscientious objector” this year.

Wasserman said he originally planned to resume his protest on Thursday, the second day of testing, and through four more days of testing next week. But he said Wednesday he would likely back off and give the test after Superintendent Art Rainwater told a teacher’s union official that Wasserman could be fired if the protest continued.

“I can’t jeopardize health insurance for my family,” said Wasserman, 36. “I want to still hold by my morals, which I feel very strongly about. But I have a family to think about.”

In a statement released to The Associated Press on Wednesday evening, Rainwater noted the district was required by state law to fulfill the federal requirement.

“It is part of every teacher’s duty to administer the test,” he said. “Any failure to fulfill this required duty would be considered insubordination and subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

Robert Schaeffer, a spokesman for FairTest, a national group that opposes the overuse of standardized tests, said he was unaware of any other teachers who have refused to administer tests to protest No Child Left Behind. Other teachers have boycotted high-stakes state tests used for graduation or promotion, he said.

“It is an act of moral courage, and it certainly helps call attention to the widespread misuse of standardized testing,” he said. “The natural bureaucratic reaction is always to threaten people with severe sanctions. That’s why people have to have the moral fiber to put themselves at risk.”

Wasserman, who has taught in the district for six years, said he is being treated unfairly because his colleagues at Sennett Middle School could administer the test without him.

US Economy

World markets hit by credit woes
Asian markets plunge amid renewed fears about the US economy, echoing heavy falls on Wall Street.
Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/business/7074354.stm

11/01/2007

Be a Locavore

"Buy Local" Movement

PBS Airtime: Friday, November 2, 2007, at 8:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings at http://www.pbs.org/now/sched.html)

You know all about organic food. Now learn about the "buy local" movement. What's a locavore? Next on NOW.
When the federal government ended its 60-plus years of price support to tobacco farmers in 2004, Virginians were hit particularly hard. On Friday, November 2, at 8:30 p.m. (check local listings), NOW travels to the mountainous farmlands of Appalachia to meet farmers who've attempted the difficult switch from tobacco to increasingly popular organic produce. Among those profiled is restaurant owner Steven Hopp, who, along with his wife - acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver - spent a year living off the land.
Social entrepreneur Anthony Flaccavento founded an Enterprising Idea called "Appalachian Sustainable Development" to help local farmers and markets make the transition not just to organic, but to local organic. Can local farmers change course and crops and still survive in a shifting economy?
Also on the show, David Brancaccio interviews prominent environmentalist Bill McKibben about his "National Day of Climate Action" on November 3, and what we can all do to fight global warming.
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At NOW Online, read an excerpt from Hopp and Kingsolver's new book, and learn ways to become a "locavore" - someone who buys from her own community. Also, find out where your college alma mater ranks on a sustainability report card.