Pruning Workshop, Carthage

Pruning Workshop

This is the best time to get your trees and shrubs ready for spring. On Thursday, February 14, Taylor Williams, Moore County Agricultural Extension Agent will conduct a workshop and demonstration on how to correctly prune shrubs, landscape and fruit trees.

The workshop will start at 2:00pm in the agriculture building, 707 Pinehurst Avenue, Carthage and then move outside for some hands-on pruning. Bring your shears and a notebook. Handouts will be available.

For additional information, call the Extension office at 947-3188.

Pinehurst Conservation Commissionwww.villageofpinehurst.org

Concert, Aberdeen, Feb. 2

The Rooster’s Wife

Invites YOU

To the 1st probably not but possibly *

Annual groundhog’s day

Featuring our close personal chums, all around good mama’s boys

Direct from the far off ROCKY mountains,

THE boulder acoustic society

Beware: BAS is so hot they may not be allowed east of the Mississippi again. Don’t miss YOUR chance to compare visions of Phil while listening to the rhapsodic trill of a real live string band, up close and personal at the corner of High and Blue in downtown ABERDEEN.

Feb. 2, 2008 8 P.M.

Admission $10. members FREE!

Well behaved children under 12, $5.

At the corner of Blue and High, Aberdeen



The Rooster’s Wife is a private non-profit association organized to celebrate the performing arts in Aberdeen , North Carolina. Created to serve the community by preserving our cultural heritage and presenting the talent of the next generation, the Rooster’s Wife is committed to offering affordable programs for every age to enjoy.

*Depends on shadow visibility, available talent, mood, demeanor and general disposition of the henhouse

PUD Expected To Fail



Horticulture Workshops, Moore County

Moore County upcoming horticulture workshops and training sessions sponsored by NC Cooperative Extension are as follows:

Jan. 31, 7 pm - Pesticide Safety Training -- Agriculture Bldg.
Feb. 1, 9 am - Pesticide Safety Training -- Agriculture Bldg.
Feb. 5, 5 pm - Small Fruit Workshop -- Sandhills Research Station
Feb. 12, 8 am - Turf and Ornamental Conference -- Agriculture Bldg.
Feb. 14, 2 pm - Pruning Demonstration -- Agriculture Bldg.
Feb. 20, 8 am - Training for Pesticide Exam -- Agriculture Bldg.
Feb. 20, 1 pm - Pesticide Exam -- Agriculture Bldg.
Feb. 21, 9 am - Plasticulture workshop -- Agriculture Bldg.

Questions about, or registration for, any of these sessions are being handled by Moore County Center, Moore County Center, NC Cooperative Extension Service locaed at 707 Pinehurst Avenue, Carthage, NC. Tel: 910-947-3188.

Can We Feed Ourselves?


Uh, a Bit Late. . .

FBI investigates sub-prime crisis

The FBI probes 14 firms embroiled in the sub-prime mortgage crisis as it cracks down on improper lending.


Looking for Raw?







One Bush Left Behind

One Bush Left Behind

by Greg Palast

Here’s your question, class:

In his State of the Union, the President asked Congress for $300 million for poor kids in the inner city. As there are, officially, 15 million children in America living in poverty, how much is that per child? Correct! $20.

Here’s your second question. The President also demanded that Congress extend his tax cuts. The cost: $4.3 trillion over ten years. The big recipients are millionaires. And the number of millionaires happens, not coincidentally, to equal the number of poor kids, roughly 15 million of them. OK class: what is the cost of the tax cut per millionaire? That’s right, Richie, $287,000 apiece.

Mr. Bush said, “In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams. And a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.”

So how much educational dreaming will $20 buy?

-George Bush’s alma mater, Phillips Andover Academy, tells us their annual tuition is $37,200. The $20 “Pell Grant for Kids,” as the White House calls it, will buy a poor kid about 35 minutes of this educational dream. So they’ll have to wake up quickly.

-$20 won’t cover the cost of the final book in the Harry Potter series.

If you can’t buy a book nor pay tuition with a sawbuck, what exactly can a poor kid buy with $20 in urban America? The Palast Investigative Team donned baseball caps and big pants and discovered we could obtain what local citizens call a “rock” of crack cocaine. For $20, we were guaranteed we could fulfill any kid’s dream for at least 15 minutes.

Now we could see the incontrovertible logic in what appeared to be quixotic ravings by the President about free trade with Colombia, Pell Grant for Kids and the surge in Iraq. In Iraq, General Petraeus tells us we must continue to feed in troops for another ten years. There is no way the military can recruit these freedom fighters unless our lower income youth are high, hooked and desperate. Don’t say, ‘crack vials,’ they’re, ‘Democracy Rocks’!

The plan would have been clearer if Mr. Bush had kept in his speech the line from his original draft which read, “I have ordered 30,000 additional troops to Iraq this year – and I am proud to say my military-age kids are not among them.”

Of course, there’s an effective alternative to Mr. Bush’s plan – which won’t cost a penny more. Simply turn it upside down. Let’s give each millionaire in America a $20 bill, and every poor child $287,000.

And, there’s an added benefit to this alternative. Had we turned Mr. Bush and his plan upside down, he could have spoken to Congress from his heart.


No Child Left Behind


Interesting Press Info


The Atlantic Online


Post Carbon World, Darley


Feb. 9, Raleigh


Alliance Against U.S.

Chavez calls for anti-US alliance
Venezuela's President Chavez invites regional countries to form a military alliance against the United States.


Follow the Dollar


Interview With Kucinich

This interview was recently conducted by Chris Hedges at Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Congressional office in Washington.

Chris Hedges: Why has the Democratic Party not done what it should do?

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Lack of commitment to Democratic principles. No understanding of the period of history we're in. Failure to appreciate the necessity of the coequality of Congress. Unwillingness to assert Congressional authority in key areas which makes the people's House paramount to protecting democracy. The institutionalized influence of corporate America through the Democratic leadership council. Those are just a few.

Hedges: Have we evolved into a corporate state?

Kucinich: I Look at it as the political equivalent of genetic engineering. That we've taken the gene of corporate America and shot it into both political parties. So they both now are growing with that essence within. So what does that mean? It means oil runs our politics. Corrupt Wall Street interests run our politics. Insurance companies run our politics. Arms manufacturers run our politics. And the public interest is being strangled. Fulfilling the practical aspirations of people should be our mission. How do we measure up to providing people with jobs? It was a Democratic president that made it possible for NAFTA to be passed, causing millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs that help support the middle class. . . .

NAFTA, GAT, the WTO, China Trade, and every other trade agreement that's passed in Congress has been passed with the help of either the leadership of or with the help of the Democratic Party, knowing that each and every one of those agreements was devoid of protections for workers, knowing that if you don't have workers' rights put into a trade agreement then workers here in the United States are going to see their own bargaining position undermined because corporations can move jobs out of the country to places where workers don't have any rights. They don't have the right to organize, the right to collective bargaining, the right to strike. So what I see is that the Democratic Party abandoned working people, and paradoxically they're the ones who hoist the flag of workers every two and four years only to engender excitement, and then to turn around and abandon their constituency. This is now on the level of a practiced ritual. At least a biannual ceremony, or every two years. So you can see how pernicious this becomes when the minimum wage increase was tied to funding the war. That, to me, says it all. Because it is inevitably the sons and daughters of working Americans that are the ones who are led to slaughter. Aspirations for health care.

So what I've done in my campaign is to advocate a full-employment economy. How do you do that? A new WPA-type program. We'll rebuild America's bridges, water systems, sewer systems, our libraries, our universities, our mass transit systems. And we do that with a program that I introduced legislation in repeated Congresses with the cosponsorship of a Republican from Ohio by the name of Steven LaTourette and the bill, HR 3400, provides for rebuilding America's infrastructure. And I would put millions of people back to work in good-paying jobs. I would put millions more back to work in new energy policies where we would design, engineer, manufacture, install and maintain wind and solar microtechnologies which would be retrofitted into tens of millions of American homes and businesses, driving down our carbon footprint and dramatically reducing our cost of energy. This would be a major development in America to take us away from a condition where America is leading the way towards the destruction of our global climate. I call this part of it the WG: a Works Green Administration, where we turn government into an engine of sustainability, where the whole government becomes about moving towards green. The transportation plan, mass transit, housing and development - it's about green housing, solar, natural lighting, using recycled material, the energy department stops incentivizing coal and oil and nuclear, and moves toward incentivizing wind and solar, bringing forward a whole generation of entrepreneurs just waiting to get into green energy solutions.

NAFTA becomes about the development of these new technologies at the alpha stage and then licensing them to the beta stage to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit. I mean we could create millions of jobs to prime the pump of the economy - that's the way I think about this. Prime the pump of the economy, get people back to work rebuilding America and creating a transition economy and making us more green in all of our policies. Agriculture, for example: Bring back the concept of parity, work for sustainable practices in agriculture and help protect small farmers, get their products to market, get their price, get a fair price, protect them with local markets, help organic farmers. I could go through every department, and that's what Works Green is about.

Addressing the practical aspirations of people, you're looking for jobs, how to create jobs, how to create movement in the economy that benefits people. And our party just swings around the edges and always makes deals with the idea of protecting the status quo, which is war.

Hedges: Because the working class has suffered so grievously, why is it that the only mass movement essentially comes from the right, let's say the Christian Right, in terms of grassroots level? Why aren't we seeing a period like the 1930s, where there is a real kind of outrage on the part of the working class?

Kucinich: I think it'll get to that but it's not there yet. First of all, Eric Hoffer . . . understood the power of dogmatism, in terms of mobilizing people. But one can come from a position of love and compassion in being able to mobilize people as well. On higher principles, not along the narrow path that some on the right have chosen.

Hedges: The corporations control the process of communication. I mean you just got shut out of a [Dec. 13] debate -

Kucinich: Yeah, right.

Hedges: - courtesy of Gannett -

Kucinich: Right, exactly.

Hedges: - and Ralph talks a lot about how he believes that corporate interests were determined that his issues weren't going to be heard. Eighty percent of newspapers are controlled by what? Six or eight corporations? How do you - they've in many ways shut down the ability, I mean they shut you down quite physically in Iowa.

Kucinich: Well, Iowa is a couple of factors that came into play. The American people - I never looked at it as being about me - I mean the American people are entitled to the fullness of the debate. It's not democratic to try and shut one point of view out. And since it's very obvious to anyone watching that my point of view is profoundly different from any other point of view being offered inside the party, what they're actually doing is unwittingly contributing to the destruction of the Democratic Party itself by saying that "these are the only points of view that we will deem acceptable within the Democratic Party." And those points of view are generally reinforcing the corporate mentality inside the party. And that's very destructive of the democracy. It actually contributes to the undermining of the hope for legitimate debate within a democratic society. And one of the major issues that I feel is somehow somewhat linked to what's going on in Iowa, is the issue of health care. I'm the only one in this race who's talked about the necessity of a single-payer, not-for-profit health-care system, Medicare for all. Now this plan would bring health care to those 46 million Americans who don't have any health insurance and the tens of millions of American who are underinsured, who would no longer have to worry about their economic position being undermined by the insurance companies. Insurance companies make money by not providing health care - we all understand that. When you consider that half the bankruptcies in this country are linked directly to people not being able to pay their medical bills, when we consider that the bankruptcy laws were changed so that people would be locked into a sort of debtors' prison for a good part of their lives, you come to understand the imperative of HR 676, the bill that I coauthored, as being the path toward economic self-sufficiency. Many homes in this country are finding that their budgets are totally undermined by their health-care costs. And so my solution is apart from any other candidates. It's very interesting how little, despite a real effort, how little coverage the not-for-profit health-care system receives, how little coverage this proposal receives.

Hedges: Did you see Russell Baker's [note in the Dec. 18, 2003] New York Review of Books . . . he said, [in effect,] "Let's take away health-care coverage for all the reporters in the newspapers, so then we'll get coverage of people who don't get health care."

Kucinich: I hadn't seen that, but it's probably true. And here's the problem. If you were to look at all the debates, is it just coincidental that there's been very little exploration of health care as an issue? Is it just coincidental that the only time that candidates were asked to put themselves on the line as to their position on health care was at the Ark debate in Iowa, where each and every candidate invited, promised, that they would not participate in a single-payer system. Ark being an insurance company, by the way. You know, think about this. An insurance company sponsoring a debate in Des Moines, Iowa. It's no surprise that later on the Des Moines Register, sitting in the middle of a five-county area, where insurance is the main crop, that they would find some lame excuse to try and limit the debate.

Hedges: What's been for you the most frustrating part of your campaign, especially looking at the Democratic Party itself?

Kucinich: You know, I don't look at it as being frustrated, because I don't think in those terms . . . [loud buzzer sounds] . . . Um - that means there's a vote on. I don't think in terms like that.

[A voice announces over the loudspeaker: "This is the House Democratic cloakroom. . . . at 3:21 p.m. Advise members they have 15 minutes to record the vote on suspending the rules on passing the bill HR 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization act . . . thank you.")

OK. So we got a few minutes before I have to go over, and then I'll come back. So. I've written an autobiography of my first 21 years. I don't know if you've had a chance to see it yet. It's called Courage to Survive. And what it makes clear is that perseverance is my strong suit. When I was elected to the House of Representatives I got elected on my fifth try. And my first attempt was in '72. And I lost in '72, and I lost in '74, and I lost in '88, and I lost in '92. And I won in '96 and in '98, and 2000, and 2002, and in 2004, and in 2006. To me, what you do in life is you stand up and you fight for those things you believe in. And you do it without a question or a pause, to take a phrase from one of my favorite songs. And so I don't have any complaints.

Hedges: Do you know John Ralston Saul? The Unconscious Civilization?

Kucinich: No.

Hedges: He's a great philosopher. He writes about the corporate state; he's Canadian. He talks about how the whole purpose of the corporate state is to disempower citizens. The government, once it's turned over to corporations, what you then undergo essentially is a coup d'etat in slow motion. Which appears to be what we're undergoing right now. . . .

Kucinich: Are you familiar with what happened to me in Cleveland in 1978?

Hedges: Oh, yeah.

Kucinich: You know the story? I was 30 years old when I was elected mayor of Cleveland, 31 when I took office. And Dec. 15, 1978, I was given an ultimatum by the chairman of the largest bank in Ohio, the 33d largest bank in the country. He told me that I had to sell our city's municipal electrical system, which serviced a third of the city, provided electricity at anywhere from 20 to 30 percent less than private utility - I had to sell that system to the private utility, thereby giving them a monopoly, or the bank was not going to renew the city's credit on loans I hadn't even taken out, $15 million in loans, this was the lead bank. So I was basically being told what the conditions were of my continuing as mayor. I was the youngest person ever elected to be mayor of a big city. And people were predicting all kinds of things for me. I was mayor by the time that Bill Clinton was on his way to becoming governor of Arkansas, youngest governor. So basically they told me, "Look, you sell the system, you're going to get $50 million worth of new credit, you can do anything you want with it. Get all these programs going. If you don't, we're going to put the city in default." The bank, it turned out, and the next bank, owned two percent of the common stock. Which is a large percentage of common stock of utility. Utility had its deposits in a couple of these banks, and there were firm locking directorates between the banks and the utilities. And so I said, "No," and this put the city into default. It was an amazing thing. It has never happened in American history. I lost the next election, and in the middle of that there were a couple of clear assassination attempts and a few other things that happened during this period. There is only one American political figure who came to my defense, and that was Ralph Nader. No one else. He was there. Ralph was able to get a subcommittee of the banking committee to do a staff report, which was pretty damning of the banks, and there was a perfunctory hearing about it.

Hedges: Do you share Nader's pessimism?

Kucinich: I'm not pessimistic.

Hedges: Where is it going to come from? How is the state going to be wrested back?

Kucinich: There has to come a moment of awareness. Something will happen to cause people to become aware of what's happening, of what's happened to the government. This is why impeachment is so important. Impeachment would bring up the whole train of abuses that have caused our government to become less democratic. The lies to take us into wars, the eavesdropping, the wiretapping, the rendition, the torture, I mean it all becomes one piece. If people see the whole thing at once, it then creates a kind of awareness that will create some change. I have no doubt about that at all, none whatsoever. What's happened is that people just see bits and pieces and it is never being tied together. I feel we are losing our democracy to lies that took us into war, lies that caused the destruction of essential civil liberties, lies that are driving us into debt, corruption on Wall Street and a Democratic Party that has lost its will to fight these people.

Hedges: Are we hostage to corporate dollars? Isn't this the only way you can become president?

Kucinich: It would appear that way, although of course I have taken another path. Are they - whoever "they" are - hostage to corporate dollars? I think that's fair. Who are they? Well, you have to get the scorecard. I used to go to baseball games when I was a kid. There was a guy who would run up and down the aisles waving scorecards, saying, "Scorecards, scorecards, can't tell the players without a scorecard." Each player had a number and you knew there position. In order to know people's numbers here you have to go to Open Secrets [http://www.opensecrets.org] and see who is contributing to them and study their votes. Then you know what position they are playing, and more important than that, you know whose team they are on. To me this is the kind of disclosure that is essential. But let's go way over that and look at it from up here. This is why we need to change the Constitution and provide for public financing for elections. [Knock on the door.] . . . I'll be back.

[Leaves to cast a vote on the House floor. Returns.]

Kucinich: There is no other Democrat who is advocating a not-for-profit system. I am the only one, and I am the only one with a plan and I am the coauthor of the bill and I have been involved in this for years. In 2000 I took this plan to the Democratic Platform Committee with a group of people from California including Gloria Allred, Tom Hayden, Lila Garret. We offered it. But we were asked not to even offer it by the Gore campaign because that it would be a slap in the face to the interests that were helping the campaign. In 2004 I offered the same proposal to the platform committee and it was rejected again. Now, if there is any issue that the Democratic Party could establish itself on, in the same way FDR established the Democratic Party with the New Deal, the Democratic Party as a party could reestablish as a party of workers and small business in a single stroke by standing firmly as a party for single-payer, not-for-profit health care. The party refuses to do it. There are 83 members of the House that have signed onto the bill HR 676, but the fact that the Congress . . . I was the coauthor of the bill . . . Here again this is one of those areas as president my positions run contrary to the rest of the Democratic field, but also my own party.

Hedges: What about the war? This is what gave the Democrats control again.

Kucinich: No question about it.

Hedges: And yet they have failed. That was their mandate.

Kucinich: Look at this: In October of 2002 the Democrats counseled in a telephone conference with our leaders in which we were told that the election of 2006 was about three things: Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. The ads attacking Republicans were replete with references to the war and the Democrats sensed from the polls indicating a shift in public opinion against the war, campaigned against the war, elected House and Senate because of the war, and yet it wasn't one month after that victory was achieved because of the war that the Democrats gathered in a conference and declared that has a party we were going to continue to fund the war.

Hedges: Why?

Kucinich: The ostensible reason given was to support our troops, which is so transparent a dodge that it borders on the obscene. I walked out of that meeting and knew I had to run for president again. I knew it.

Hedges: When was that meeting?

Kucinich: The second week of December, maybe the 6th or the 8th, somewhere in there.

Hedges: To what do you attribute this decision? It has to be counterproductive to Democratic interests.

Kucinich: I think there has been a serious loss of confidence in the Democratic Party over the last year. It has been interpreted as a decline of confidence in Congress, but in truth, since the Democrats took control of Congress, it's a decline of confidence in the Democratic Party itself.

Hedges: Why did they lose their nerve?

Kucinich: One of the things you have to remember, and this is where . . . I don't think anyone has done this research . . . but it is my impression that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the Democratic primaries in 2006 more often than not opted to support candidates who were either neutral or supported the war. You have two waves here. You have the primary, of going for candidates who were either neutral or supported the war. Most of them won their primaries. And then you had the next wave, which was an anti-war wave. . . . [T]he paradox was that a Democratic Congress was elected that was less congenial to ending the war than the Congress before it. Most people don't understand that. How that could happen? Now, that doesn't mean, however, that the leaders would have to follow that direction. The leaders could say, "Look, we are going in a new direction." You have to remember what happened to the Democrats in 2002. It was Dick Gephardt who stood next to George Bush and gave him the OK for war. Most people thought the Democrats OK'd the war. Well, in the House they didn't. Two-thirds of the Democrats in the House voted against the war. I know because I led the effort. In the Senate they could have stopped it because they controlled the Senate. They didn't do it. You had Edwards and Clinton in the Senate at the time and Biden and Dodd. Any one of them could have held up the war. They didn't do it. They all went in with it.

Hedges: Do you think it is because in a presidential election they do not want to appear weak on defense issues?

Kucinich: One does not want to appear weak. That's true. But one should also not want to appear unintelligent. How intelligent was it to send our troops into a war without any proof that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, al-Qaeda's role in 9/11, the anthrax attacks in the country . . . that Iraq had no intention or capability of attacking the United States? There was no proof that Iraq had been involved in 9/11, had weapons of mass destruction. Why did we do this? So it was thoroughly unintelligent for these leaders - who made the choice to appear tough and turned out to be unintelligent. So now the American people are being given a choice and, really you have candidates who voted for the war when they could have stopped it, or to fund the war and reauthorize it. All of them have voted to fund the war or reauthorize it. The war, you get to the point, where the war in the debates actually was given fours years life by having candidates Obama, Clinton and Edwards all agree that the war could continue to 2013.

Hedges: Why? What is the reason?

Kucinich: I think there is a mindset that comes from a complex of an implicit understanding of the power of those interests who profit from war and of the power of war as an idea and of being unwilling to challenge the status quo. A president has to represent the status quo, but what do you do if the status quo is corrupt? So they certainly know by now the war was wrong. If the war was based on lies, you tell the truth. You take the plan to get out. They are not talking about that. They are talking about a long-term occupation. There is no question about it: Everything speaks to a long-term occupation. If the Republicans win, we stay in Iraq. If the Democrats win, we stay in Iraq, unless I am the one who gets nominated. I put the plan out there to bring our troops home immediately, HR 4232. You have to keep in mind [that] if you want to know where people stand today, you have to look not at the broad brush of where the Democrats are, but at the individuals. Sen. Clinton took a hard-line position against Iraq, and she voted 100 percent of the time to fund the war until the last vote. Sen. Edwards took a hard-line position to attack Iraq. He voted all except one time to keep funding the war. Sen. Obama said he opposed the war before it started. He gave one, single speech, got elected - and his voting record is identical to Sen. Clinton's in voting to support the war. How can you expect anything different? Even if Sen. Edwards says he made a mistake, if you look at the track of preparing for another war against Iran the same people - Sens. Clinton, Edwards and Obama - all said of Iran that "all options are on the table," licensing George Bush's aggressive rhetoric and preparations against Iran. They said that, each one of them.

Hedges: Can they use the Congressional authorization for Afghanistan and Iraq? Can the Bush White House interpret that in such a way that they can carry out a strike on Iran without going back to Congress?

Kucinich: Well, Congress actually had an opportunity to pass a resolution that would have forced the administration to come back in the form of an amendment. They rejected it. This Congress has, unfortunately, licensed the administration's aggression, first by not holding them accountable for lying to Congress in the resolution that was brought before the Congress in October 2002. You may be familiar, Chris, with the dissection I did of that resolution, the Iraq war analysis of 2002. . . . [Y]ou will see, what I did was dissect the thing draft by draft, statement by statement, and this was before Congress voted. If I can do this, why couldn't have any of the others running for president today? This is when it counted. This the moment of maximum peril. This is the moment that America was about to go and launch a war of aggression against another nation. When I started challenging this, I was alone. Then there were six members, then 10 and then it grew to 125.

Hedges: How much is the reluctance on the part of the other candidates to address the Iran issue an Israeli issue?

Kucinich: Sen. Edwards spoke [at the] Herzliya [conference, and] three times in one speech he said all options are on the table. Everyone understood what that meant. It is a metaphor for the use of nuclear weapons. It is unambiguous. Sens. Obama and Clinton at various times said the same thing. Anyone who is really supportive of Israel - and I consider myself supportive of Israel - would recoil in horror over the thought of the United States attacking Iran, because it is Israel that would end up paying the price. Anyone with an ounce of common sense understands that, which is why we have an obligation to move towards creating peace in the region, engaging Iran in diplomacy. I had an ongoing discussion with the Iranian ambassador [Javad] Zarif. I found out that an effort was made three years ago by the previous Iranian administration, [that of president Mohammad] Hatami, to settle the issues that were outstanding between Iran and the United States. It was thrown in the wastebasket by the Bush administration. There have been numerous efforts to try and build relations, and they all came from Iran. They were immediately, each and every one of them, rejected because the administration was determined to go on a course of action of aggression. [The November 2007] National Intelligence Estimate could have been much more severe in its judgment of the administration. It served a purpose in slowing down the movement towards war, but it does not totally stop it by any means because this administration is absolutely devoted to war as an instrument of policy.

Hedges: If this administration carried out a strike on Iran, would you predict that the Democratic leadership would support it?

Kucinich: I think you have to look at the sweep of legislation in the last year and a half. Anyone who looks at that could not conclude otherwise. It would just be a continuation of licensing of aggression against Iran. There is nothing that indicates they would do anything other than that because of the bills we have passed. I was often the only one, or one of two, who consistently challenged what we are doing with respect to Iran, voting against legislation that I knew was being used to lay the groundwork for war. It was very clear. There were maybe 14 different resolutions that were out there, and each time I went to the floor and I rose and I spoke against them. I said, "What are we doing?"

Hedges: What happens if we do not begin impeachment proceedings?

Kucinich: We haven't proceeded with impeachment because the leadership says impeachment is off the table. Effectively, what they have done is to nullify the one provision of the Constitution that protects the American people from the presidency turning into a monarchy. Congress' co-equality depends upon impeachment. Our democracy depends on the president and the vice-president being held accountable for the crimes they have committed against the American people. It is about lying, weapons of mass destruction, lying about Iraq's so-called alleged connection to al-Qaeda and 9/11, trying to conflate Iraq with 9/11, trying to imply that Iraq had some ability to attack the United States or the intention to do so - in Cheney's case, trying to build a similar case for a war against Iran based on lies again. But it is much more than that. It is responsibility for the deaths and injuries of thousands of American troops and over a million innocent Iraqis, the destruction of our domestic agenda by borrowing $1-2 trillion from China for the war, the ruining of America's reputation, the wiretapping, the eavesdropping, the rendition, the torture, the suspension of habeas corpus -

Hedges: None of which the Democratic Party has rolled back.

Kucinich: None. Zero. I have to tell you, one of the things I was greatly concerned about is when I read that our Democratic leaders have been thoroughly briefed on torture, on waterboarding, as the Washington Post reported a few weeks ago. If you are silent, when you hear that, if you say nothing about it, silence becomes complicity.

Hedges: Is this because people like Hillary Clinton want to inherit an imperial presidency?

Kucinich: I don't know about that. That becomes a consequence of not taking action. There might be something in that the American people would be so fed up with the Bush administration that they would once again take it out on the Republicans. But I frankly don't think that will happen. I think what is more likely to happen is that people will become so disenchanted with the Democrats for not taking action that they won't vote. People will just say there is no difference. They have not done what they said they would do. There is a loss of confidence. And so people will not vote. When we show up as a party with the full power of the Constitution behind us, the people will show us, too. They will show up.

Hedges: How do you feel about citizens' movements, such as Code Pink, calling on people not to pay their taxes? It is built out of that frustration.

Kucinich: I understand that. That is a civil disobedience tactic. It also invites scrutiny by the IRS, which doesn't really care about anyone's politics. They just care about getting the money they are owed. It is a brave thing for people to do because there is a degree of risk in doing that. Why should people have to do this?

Hedges: Because the Democratic Party isn't doing anything.

Kucinich: I understand. I am asking a rhetorical question. People are feeling they have to do something.

Hedges: When you confront the Democratic leadership, do they hear you?

Kucinich: They console themselves on the myth that they do not have the votes, when all they have to do is tell the president, "We are not going to give you any more money." This is a basic civics lesson. The bill is made, introduced, it goes into committee, it comes back out, it goes to the floor, you know, eventually it can be passed. I will tell you how a bill isn't made. It is not introduced. It doesn't get to the floor. Since appropriations bills begin in the House, by the Constitution we can tell the president we are not going to give him any more money. He . . . has to use the money he has that is available to take a new direction that will result in ending the war. We can box the president in on this. If he fails, if he refuses to bring the troops home, then we turn to impeachment. It isn't as though the president has the right to just keep the troops there. You can't blame the president. The Congress has the right to fund the war or not to fund the war. Every time you fund the war, you vote to authorize it all over again. The showdown that needs to happen - and this is the way Vietnam ended - we basically told the president we would stop the funding. You don't need a vote to do that. The president would be similarly faced with having to then go to the nations of the region and say, "We are going to leave," and that is the only responsible course of action we can take, and the course of action I recommend anyway. So why should we have to force him to do that? Why don't we just go to him and say, "Look, this is the plan: We want the troops brought home, and we are not going to give you any more money. We will support you if you take these steps. If you don't, it will be very tough"? They are refusing to confront him. Considering the fact that the whole war is based on lies, what are we doing here? History may well look back at this time and ask why was American sleeping while their leaders were engaging in aggressive war? They are going to know there was one person who was awake. I call it for what it is: a war crime.

Hedges: What happens if the Democratic nomination goes to someone who will not confront these issues?

Kucinich: Let me tell you what happens when it goes to me. We take steps not just to get out of Iraq, but to go to the nations of the region and put together an international security and peacekeeping force that moves in as our troops leave. I go to Syria. I go to Iran. I tell them it is a new day. I also start a process of peace in the Middle East . . . bringing people together to get guarantees for the security of Israel. At the same time you work to provide for a true Palestinian homeland with full rights for the Palestinians. The door to peace in the world goes through Jerusalem. I would also work to change the U.S. policy with respect to arms manufacturing. We are the arms merchants of the world. We are fueling wars everywhere around the world. We have got to change direction. I would start to systematically pull back America's presence from its global bases around the world. We don't need to do that, not in today's world. That is a throwback to the 19th century or maybe even the 18th century. It is not germane to a modern world. The problems today are non-state actors. I would move to make, as a matter of national security, a new energy policy that was carbon-free and nuclear-free. I would counsel the other nations of the world that the long-term economic and security interests will be to get away from nuclear power, which is the basis at some point, for not only the enrichment of uranium but the production of plutonium. We need to go away from that direction. We would have a strong military that would be mobilized to protect this country, but the policies of aggressive war would end. My doctrine would be strength through peace, the end of the neoconservative approach of unilateralism and first strike, and the beginning of the end of war as an instrument of policy, the beginning of transparency, open dialogue, direct contact, leader to leader, real diplomacy - the science of human relations, whatever you want to call it - it's a new day. I will work to get rid of all nuclear weapons by enforcing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. I will enforce the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Small Arms Treaty, the Land Mines Treaty. And America will join the International Criminal Court. Frankly, every official of the Bush administration who was involved in the execution of an aggressive war would be held accountable under the laws of this country. There are provisions within our current laws. The laws of the United States incorporate under article six of the Constitution all treaties. Our leaders do not have the right to make a war of aggression. They have to abide by the Geneva Convention and by international law. I see a different security posture and a different energy and economic policy for this country. The Patriot Act would be cancelled, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, the Homegrown Terrorism Act. I would send the justice department into federal court and knock down each and every provision of law that was put up during the time of the Bush administration, either with the help of Congress or through signing statements, that compromised First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment rights, Fifth Amendment rights, Eighth Amendment, 14th Amendment rights or any other amendment rights. Those are the one that immediately come to mind.

Hedges: Would you consider running as a third-party candidate?

Kucinich: I have been trying to make the Democrats an effective second party. This is my second effort at doing that. I am still in the process of doing that. My answer is that I am still in the process of trying to make the Democrats a credible second party.

Hedges: Nader felt the Democratic Party actively tried to sabotage his campaign. What about you? Do you feel the Democratic establishment is in any way undermining your campaign.

Kucinich: I don't think about that. I would hope they have better things to do with their time. I can't be intimidated. I can't be bought. I can't be bossed. It would be shame for them to waste their time doing that. It is not going to change; it's not going to affect me one bit. They should spend their energy on the war, health care, creating jobs, trying to find a way to give people a reason to vote Democratic. I have been doing this for 40 years. I have more experience in politics than most people on the American political scene on so many different levels. I am sure there are some people who have been in local politics for 50 years and are just wonderful. My experience has been at a local, state and federal level in judicial and executive offices. I can tell you that we are at a moment in American history where we are in danger of losing our country. That is what causes me to defend the Constitution. It is what causes me to seek strength through peace, to propose peace for the violence in our own society, domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the schools. I do not only reject war as an instrument of policy. I reject the inevitability of war. I believe peace is inevitable if you are ready to work for it. If you examine the underlying structures in our society, they have not really challenged this notion of the inevitability of violence, whether it is domestic violence, child abuse, spousal abuse, violence in the schools, gun violence, gang violence, racial violence, violence against gays, police/community clashes. It is as if we don't believe that our culture be non-violent. Violence is learned; so is nonviolence. I am looking at helping to create a social transformation here. This isn't just about winning an election. Elections come and go. Where is the country? What happens to our nation? What happens to the people? Politics cannot just be an inside game between competing corporate interests. It amounts to the condition under which people live and survive. I see a much higher purpose to what it is we do. That is why I continue to participate.

Seed Vault, Norway


What a Great War!


Nuke-Plant Shutdowns

Drought Could Force Nuke-Plant Shutdowns


Mitch Weiss, The Associated Press: "Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could
be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought
is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate."

In South Carolina, the Economy

The South Carolina You Won't See on CNN
South Carolina Primary Colors: Black and White?
by Greg Palast

South Carolina 2000: Six hundred police in riot gear facing a few dozen angry-as-hell workers on the docks of Charleston. In the darkness, rocks, clubs and blood fly. The cops beat the crap out of the protesters. Of course, it's the union men who are arrested for conspiracy to riot. And of course, of the five men handcuffed, four are Black. The prosecutor: a White, Bible-thumping Attorney General running for Governor. The result: a state ripped in half - White versus Black.

South Carolina 2008: On Saturday, the Palmetto State may well choose our President, or at least the Democrat's idea of a President. According to CNN and the pundit-ocracy, the only question is, Will the large Black population vote their pride (for Obama) or for "experience" (Hillary)? In other words, the election comes down to a matter of racial vanity.

The story of the dockworkers charged with rioting in 2000 suggest there's an awfully good reason for Black folk to vote for one of their own. This is the chance to even the historic score in this land of lingering Jim Crow where the Confederate Flag flew over the capital while the longshoreman faced Southern justice.

But maybe there's more to South Carolina's story than Black and White.

Let's re-wind the tape of the 2000 battle between cops and Black men. It was early that morning on the 19th of January when members of International Longshoremen's Association Local 1422 "shaped up" to unload a container ship which had just pulled into port. It was hard work for good pay. An experienced union man could earn above $60,000 a year.

In this last hold-out of the Confederacy, it was one of the few places a Black man could get decent pay. Or any man.

That day, the stevedoring contractor handling the unloading decided it would hire the beggars down the dock, without experience or skills - and without union cards - willing to work for just one-third of union scale.

That night, union workers - Black, White, Whatever - fought for their lives and livelihoods.

At the heart of the turmoil in South Carolina in 2000 then, was not so much Black versus White, but union versus non-union. It was a battle between those looking for a good day's pay versus those looking for a way not to pay it. The issue was - and is - class war, the conflict between the movers and the shakers and the moved and shaken.

The dockworkers of Charleston could see the future of America right down the road. Literally. Because right down the highway, they could see their cousins and brothers who worked in the Carolina textile mills kiss their jobs goodbye as they loaded the mill looms onto trains for Mexico.

The President, Bill Clinton, had signed NAFTA, made China a "most favored nation" in trade and urged us, with a flirtatious grin, to "make change our friend."

But "change," apparently, wasn't in a friendly mood. In 2000, Guilford Mills shuttered its Greensboro, Carolina, fabric plant and reopened it in Tampico, Mexico. Four-hundred jobs went south. Springs Mills of Rock Hill, SC, closed down and abandoned 480 workers. Fieldcrest-Cannon pulled out of York, SC, and Great America Mills simply went bust.

South Carolina, then, is the story of globalization left out of Thomas Friedman's wonders-of-the-free-market fantasies.

This week, while US media broadcasts cute-sy photo-ops from Black churches and replay the forgettable spats between candidates, the real issues of South Carolina are, thankfully, laid out in a book released today: On the Global Waterfront, by Suzan Erem and E. Paul Durrenberger.

Erem and Durrenberger portray the case of the Charleston Five dockworkers as an exemplary, desperate act of economic resistance.

Thomas Friedman's bestseller, The World is Flat, begins with his uplifting game of golf with a tycoon in India. Erem and Durrenberger never put on golf shoes: their book is globalization stripped down to its dirty underpants.

While Friedman made the point that he flew business class to Bangalore on his way to the greens to meet his millionaire, Global Waterfront's authors go steerage class. And the people they write about don't go anywhere at all. These are the stevedores who move the containers of Wal-Mart T-shirts from Guatemala to sell to customers in Virginia who can't afford health insurance because they lost their job in the textile mill.

And the book talks about (cover the children's ears!) - labor unions.

South Carolina is union country. And union-busting country. But who gives a flying fart about labor unions today? Only 7%, one in fourteen US workers belongs to one. That's less than the number of Americans who believe that Elvis killed John Kennedy.

Think "longshoremen" and what comes to mind is On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando, the good guy, beating up the evil union boss. The union bosses were the thugs, mobbed-up bullies, the dockworkers' enemies. The movie's director, Stanley Kramer, perfectly picked up the anti-union red-baiting Joe McCarthy zeitgeist of that era of - which could go down well today.

Elected labor leaders are, in our media, always "union bosses." But the real bosses, the CEOs, the guys who shutter factories and ship them to China … they're never "bosses," they're "entrepreneurs."

Indeed, the late and lionized King of Union Busters, Sam Walton, would be proud today, were he alive, to learn that the woman he called, "my little lady," Hillary Clinton, whom he placed on Wal-Mart's Board of Directors, is front-runner for the presidency. She could well become America's "Greeter," posted at our nation's door, to welcome the Saudis and Chinese who are buying America at a guaranteed low price.

So what happened those five union men charged felonious reioting in 2000? Through an international union campaign, they won back their freedom - and their union jobs - after the dockworkers of Spain, the true heroes of globalization, refused to unload the South Carolina scab cargoes.

Erem and Durrenberger ask themselves why they were so drawn to a story of five Carolina cargo-handlers put in prison a decade ago. Maybe it's because the Charleston Five show how courage and heart and solidarity can lead to victory in the midst of a mad march into globalization that threatens to turn us all into the Wal-Mart Five Billion.

See video of the dockworkers' uprising and read more from the book, On the Global Waterfront, by Suzan Erem and E. Paul Durrenberger (introduction by Greg Palast) at http://www.ontheglobalwaterfront.org/.

Note: Palast will be speaking this Saturday at UCLA on "White Sheets and Black Votes: Race, Politics and Disenfranchisement." Free but RSVP required.

Greg Palast is the author of the NY Times best-sellers, Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. View Palast's investigative reports for BBC Television on our YouTube Channel (Link).

Join our social networking sites on Facebook on MySpace and on Google's Orkut. Sign up for RSS updates of our site(link) and for our podcasts(link).

Support our work by donating to the Palast Investigative Fund(a 501c3 educational foundation).

Beware the Code Words



Urban Gardens

Urban gardens now produce about 60 percent of all vegetables consumed in Cuba
and 50 percent of all vegetables consumed in Havana, more than from the
organoponicos (farms) and intensive gardens combined. City Farmer News

Take a Breath



Whose Profits?


Flexing Muscles


GM Sugar



Latin America Waking



How Goes the Dream?


Concert, Aberdeen, Jan. 26

Hello music lovers,

Well, the first month of 2008 has nearly escaped me. All my good intentions have not been realized but thanks to the drop in temperature, I have made good on the end of year paperwork glut, the snow has hidden the yard work, and the blood work is scheduled. At the risk of sounding maudlin, all of us of a certain age must keep up with certain indignities regarding our personal longevity. You know who you are. Don’t put it off any longer. I want to see you out and about for a long time to come.

Back to the future. As I have often mentioned here, Sustainable Sandhills executive director Jon Parsons loomed large in getting music going here in LA. He continues to advise and you can see him regularly behind the sound board. The Parsons will continue to have the post Christmas gig for as long as I am the rooster’s wife. Jake does not read email so I am not too worried about any ideas this might engender.

Email excepted, I favor the old fashioned as well. The Parsons blew in from their cozy nest in Cumberland County to fill us with good cheer. Mixing originals with traditional favorites, the group held court and rapt attention and totally entertained us. Caroline’s new song “Damn the Man” deserves a wider audience. It gives a strong and accurate message about who carries the burden of others’ decisions. If you were here, urge her to send it out into the musical galaxy. If you weren’t here, encourage her to upload the song to www.theparsons.info so you can hear it. The group introduced their newest member, Ashley Davis, on the fiddle, and a fine addition she is. They were as busy as bees in a jam jar, ducking in and out around the microphone as everybody took their turn. It was a night of good old time fun.

A quarter century ago, President Ronald Reagan opposed legislation creating a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King. Back in those good old days, the vote of 338 representatives and 78 senators made presidential veto an impossibility. The bill was signed in the rose garden and honored Dr. King’s message of social change accomplished through non-violent political activism. His philosophy was grounded in the Sermon on the Mount, one of the strangest, most impossible , and beautiful instructions ever given “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.” Now that is one radical idea.

I am weary of the political sparring and constant media attention with its growing list of superlatives (tsunami Tuesday ? !) for this never ending campaign for leader of the free world. So when MLK’s birthday rolls around annually, it is a nice break from the bleak news to a discussion of the meaning of non violent protest, and the importance of service to others. After all, Congress called on Americans back in 1994 to make the holiday an opportunity to serve. Many describe it not as a day off, but as a day on, on to make our world better.

On this day of remembrance for a man that touted radical concepts, I see the change that has evolved in my lifetime as a result of the civil rights movement. Looking at the field of candidates of both major parties, included are a woman, a black man, a Baptist minister, a Mormon, just to name a few. From where I sit, these race horses don’t seem to be winning because of these descriptions, but more importantly, they don’t seem to be losing votes because of them either. If in the twenty five years since the holiday’s inception we have grown to the point of voting on points more important than race or gender, I say well done Dr. King; we did hear you, it is a little better in the world.

And I must add the world is always better with live music. Be here at the corner of Blue and High for the concert Sat. night. Bill Hicks, Mike Craver, and Jim Watson, three of the original Red Clay Ramblers, will be joined by Joe Newberry for a terrific show. They will play favorites from the Rambler repertoire along with selections from their prodigious output as individuals.

Don’t miss it. (910)944-7502 or theroosterwife@yahoo.com to save your seat.


Mediterranean Rising

Warning on rising Med Sea levels
Levels in the Mediterranean Sea are rising rapidly, with potentially serious effects in coastal areas, a study finds.

About Granny D, 98

"Hi Friends,
Next week, Thursday, Jan. 24, is Granny D's 98th birthday.

Her address is: Doris Granny D Haddock
PO Box 492
Dublin, New Hampshire 03444

She is off to the doctor today for a checkup, intent on making it to 100 or beyond--still a lot of work to do!

She has helped move a campaign finance reform bill through the New Hampshire House this week, and wants to get it through the senate as soon as possible. She was stumping for Edwards a couple of weeks ago, but seems almost equally delighted by the prospect of an Obama or Hillary presidency: "Something to feel great about with any of them."

Indeed, a year from this month, if we all work hard, she will likely witness something she has only dared dream of seeing in her lifetime: a woman or an African-American president. And that will be for her 99th birthday.

Sincerely, Dennis Burke

p.s. I recently helped write a book on the Darfur situation that will be out in a few weeks from Random House. Look for "The Translator," or pre-order it if you are interested in the issue, which remains critical."


Stuck With the Bill

"Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)"
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston joins us to talk about his new book, Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill). Johnston reveals how government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the poor and the middle class to the rich and politically connected.

Conservation Insider Bulletin from Dan Besse, Jan 18

Conservation Insider Bulletin
Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina
Conservation News to Peruse & Use
Editor: Dan Besse, earthvote@ccnccpac.org

January 18, 2008

There's more on sonar, plus in-state decisions on coastal stormwater and beach-bagging, in this week's CIB:

--Judicial Watch: White House to Whales: Who Cares?

--Administrative Watch: EMC Strengthens Coastal Stormwater Rules; CRC Rejects Eternal Sandbagging

Judicial Watch: White House to Whales: Who Cares?

Last week, we reported that a federal judge in California concluded that concerns about the impacts of Navy sonar testing on whales and other marine life were well-founded. U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered the Navy to adopt strict new safeguards limiting their training exercises using midfrequency sonar off the California coast.

Since then, President Bush has entered an executive order exempting the Navy from environmental laws so that the sonar testing can go forward as planned, without regard to the court-ordered restrictions. Bush's action is not the final word on the matter, but legal analysts indicate it may strengthen the Navy's hand in its appeal to the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court was expected to issue a ruling as early as today.

In addition, yesterday District Court Judge Cooper agreed to modify her original order to temporarily suspend two of its requirements which the Navy called most intrusive: to shut down sonar if a marine mammal is spotted within 2,200 yards of a sonar device, and to reduce sonar power under certain sea conditions that allow sonar blasts to travel farther than normal. She will hear further arguments from the Navy and attorneys for environmental groups challenging the testing next week.

The District Court judge's original order restricted exercises to areas more than 12 miles offshore, required monitoring for the presence of marine mammals, and directed sonar shutdown when marine mammals were spotted with 2,200 yards of the maneuvers. While the California Middle District Court order is not binding on activities in North Carolina, a federal judge here could view it as persuasive precedent in the case now underway challenging similar testing off the Carolina coast.

Administrative Watch: EMC Strengthens Coastal Stormwater Rules; CRC Rejects Eternal Sandbagging

EMC Strengthens Coastal Stormwater Rules: Last week the N.C. Environmental Management Commission voted unanimously to significantly strengthen its rules governing stormwater runoff in coastal counties. Among other provisions, the new rules increase the required setback of new development along coastal area waters from 30 to 50 feet of buffer. They also lower the threshold for commercial development to trigger the controls from one acre to 10,000 square feet, and remove most wetlands from the land area used in calculating allowable maximum impervious surface percentages. The rules adopted were recommended by a three-member panel of hearing officers including EMC vice chair Pete Peterson. To no one's surprise, the ever-cooperative Raleigh lobbyist for the N.C. Home Builders Association indicated that the developers group will challenge the rule changes before the Rules Review Commission (RRC). If the RRC checks off on the changes, the developer lobby is expected to further appeal to the legislature. Assuming the General Assembly does not elect to intervene, the rules changes could go into effect by late 2008. Anticipating the various appeals, the state Division of Water Quality has set up a website to explain and track the issues: http://h2o/enr.state.nc.us/su/coastal.htm. (Thanks to Erin Kimrey of NCCONNET for a good summary of the action.)

CRC Rejects Eternal Sandbagging: Meanwhile, over at the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission (CRC), the normally patient CRC declared that it has had enough of The Riggings. (CIB Editor's Note: As I recall, the Riggings' huge sandbag wall was in place when I was first appointed to chair the CRC in 1985.) This Kure Beach condominium complex has fought all efforts to require it to remove its massive sandbag escarpment and move back from the receding shoreline for more than 20 years. Like other similarly-situated developments that are now nearly sitting in the surf line, it had its sandbags approved as a temporary permit, to allow it time to move the structures. Recently, the Riggings' property owners rejected a federal buyout deal which would have included a $2.7 million FEMA hazard mitigation grant to help relocate the structures across U.S. 421.

After the owners rejected the deal, state coastal regulators pulled the project's final permit. Yesterday, the CRC rejected the Riggings' request to retain the sandbag wall indefinitely. Next stop, probably, the state courts.


Processed Foods vs. Kids


You Wanna Be My President?



Pauley Lecture, SCC, 2/6

Author Timothy Tyson will discuss race relations and his book Blood Done Sign My Name on February 6th as part of the Ruth Pauley Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public, with no tickets required. It will be at 7:30 PM in Owens Auditorium on the Sandhills Community College campus in Pinehurst. For additional information, call 245-3132 after 6:00 PM.

US Okays Cloned Food


Must Include Kucinich

from the Los Angeles Times:

A judge in Nevada has just ordered MSNBC to include Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Tuesday's Democratic Party presidential debate in Las Vegas or he will cancel the forum.

Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson vowed to issue an injunction halting the nationally televised debate if MSNBC failed to comply. Kucinich had filed a lawsuit seeking to be included just this morning.
The judge ruled it was a matter of fairness and Nevada voters would benefit from hearing from more than just Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama.

Kucinich had been invited to participate in the 6 p.m. Pacific debate Tuesday, but that invitation was rescinded last week ... So set up a fourth podium.

Andrew Malcolm, correspondent - The Los Angeles Times

In Europe

US fears Europe-based terrorism *One of the biggest threats to US security may now come from within Europe, the US Homeland Security head says.


Papal visit scuppered by scholars *The Pope cancels a visit to a top Rome university after protests against his views on Galileo.


German bank hit by sub-prime woes *Hypo Real Estate sees its shares slump by a third after writedowns due to US sub-prime exposure.



Spin Farming




Problems with Biofuels, EU

EU rethinks biofuels guidelines

The EU's environment chief admits it did not foresee the problems raised by its policy of boosting biofuels use.



Garbage Revolution


Hillary--Beekeeper, Mountain Climber


National ID Rules

Homeland Security Finalizes National ID Card Rules


The Associated Press reports, "Americans born after December 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled today by federal officials."

Conservation Insider Bulletin from Dan Besse, Jan 11

Conservation Insider Bulletin
Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina
Conservation News to Peruse & Use
Editor: Dan Besse, earthvote@ccnccpac.org

January 11, 2008

We have developments on important coastal issues, pesticide law enforcement, and more, in this week's CIB:

--Washington Watch: No Money for OLF
--Judicial Watch: Federal Judge Restricts Navy Sonar Testing
--Administrative Watch: Pesticide Board Hears Major Enforcement Case
--Education & Resources: CCNC Co-sponsors Lakoff Talk

Washington Watch: No Money for OLF

We have some good news after all on funding for the controversial OLF. At least for the moment, it's not getting any.

Even though President Bush vetoed the defense authorization bill which contained a prohibition on spending any federal funds for the proposed OLF (outlying landing field) in Washington and Beaufort counties, he signed the omnibus appropriations bill which is keeping the federal government in general going. As it turns out, U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC4) managed to get a similar provision inserted in that bill as well.

Good for Price. (And a CIB hat tip to Jack Betts' "This Old State" blog on the Charlotte Observer, website, where we picked up this information.)

Judicial Watch: Federal Judge Restricts Navy Sonar Testing

Advocates for marine mammals and other wildlife off the Carolinas coast have been concerned for some time regarding the effects of Navy sonar testing on sealife. Litigation is in progress on that debate.

This past week, a federal judge in California concluded that similar concerns about testing off the west coast were well-founded. U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered the Navy to adopt strict new safeguards limiting the training exercises using midfrequency sonar. The judge's order restricted exercises to areas more than 12 miles offshore, required monitoring for the presence of marine mammals, and directed sonar shutdown when marine mammals were spotted with 2,200 yards of the maneuvers.

The California Middle District Court order is not binding on activities in North Carolina, but a federal judge here could view it as persuasive precedent in similar circumstances.

Navy spokesmen indicated that the Navy was considering an appeal to the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Administrative Watch: Pesticide Board Hears Major Enforcement Case

The N.C. Pesticide Board this week heard presentations on the case of a major agribusiness which stands accused of exposing North Carolina employees to toxic pesticides, resulting in birth defects among their children. The company, Ag-Mart, was hit with a $184,500 fine in 2005 for 369 violations of state pesticide control regulations.

Last October, however, an Administrative Law Judge dismissed most of the fine and recommended that the Pesticide Board penalize the company a mere $6,000. That recommendation went to the board for review this week, but its decision was postponed.

The Florida-based Ag-Mart grows tomatoes on about a thousand acres in North Carolina. When levied, the original fine represented one of the largest in state history for pesticide violations.

Education & Resources: CCNC Co-sponsors Lakoff Talk

CCNC encourages you to check your calendar for March 1. On that date, CCNC will be one of at least 22 organizations co-sponsoring a presentation by Dr. George Lakoff of the University of California-Berkeley. Lakoff will speak on effective communication of public policy issues, at 6:30 PM on Saturday, March 1, 2008 at the Hilton Garden Airport (Raleigh-Durham Airport). Lakoff is the author of Don't Think of an Elephant, on the topic of persuasive language use. For more information, email Senseney Marshall at senseney@ncjustice.org.

Biofuels May Be Worse



Bad for America


Comment from Commondreams.org

"I only wish the media and corporate industries were scared of Kucinich and Paul! Sadly it appears to me that they aren’t even a little scared - they have made the decision to sideline such campaigns and marginalize such messages with all the powers they have at their disposal - not out of fear but because they CAN!

They own the networks: they easily squelch any public appearance by candidates they don’t want seen/heard. Then they simply use their “pundits” to denigrate whatever pieces of such messages squeeze through.

As long as America is complacent enough to get their NEWS from corporate owned media, they will have corporate approved candidacy(s). It’s not like MSM is upholding factchecking or qualifying their sources anymore - so what makes them trustworthy?

Just check out the alternative candidate support blogs if you want to see how pervasive MSM’s affect on our national conversation is… I consistently read about how “Whacko”, “nutjob”, “deluded” and “unelectable” all but Clinton and Obama are - people read and regurgitate these absurdities as a sideaffect of the shortsighted sophomoric pap that now passes as journalism in our MSM.

Where are the great investigators and journalists of old? Where are the men and women who’s own need to know triumphed their need for inter-corporate awards and pay raises? Freedom of speech is nothing if those wielding the pens and microphones of the media are simply corporate hacks.

Perhaps this is how excellence is born...from the ashes of deceit and mediocrity rise the strong new voices who actually believe in something.

We the People need to have one National network on our airwaves and one National news outlet where all candidates have an equally accessible weekly forum, where there is no advertising and NO outside commentary. Candidates can provide their own links to the resources they want to use as reference and Americans can simply make their own choices sans any spin (and with the work of having discovered it for themselves).

And… to take it one extreme further - ALL Politics should be banned from any of the corporate channels and newspapers. Let them earn their money actually reporting NEWS!"


Isabel Allende on TED


Autos, Dead Iraqis, More Troops

Tata Motors unveils cheapest car *India's Tata Motors reveals that its $2,500 car, the world's cheapest, is a four-doored model called the Nano.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/business/7180396.stm

New study says 151,000 Iraqi dead *An estimated 151,000 Iraqis have died in violence since the US-led invasion, a new survey suggests.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/middle_east/7180055.stm

US mulls more Afghanistan troops *US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is considering plans to send an extra 3,000 marines to Afghanistan.

Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/7180322.stm

Moore County Beekeepers

For January we had 53 in attendance and a great program on "Requeening" presented by Sanford Toole.

Our program in Feb 12 will have Bee Inspector Don Hopkins telling what to do in "Preparing for the Honey Flow."

Some dates to mark on your calendar: NCSBA Spring Meeting will be in Burlington NC on March 7-8. The NCSBA Summer Meeting will be at Sandhills Community College July 10-12.

Our Summer Picnic will be on June 10.

Beekeeping Course for Beginners runs February 18 through March 24. Contact Ag. Extension office, Carthage.


Why We Must Impeach



Opposition Party?


Beekeepers Meet Jan. 8, Carthage


The Moore County Beekeepers announced today that their first meeting of 2008 will be conducted on Tuesday, January 8 at 7 PM in the Moore County Agriculture Building, Room 3.
The Beekeepers are looking forward to having a big year in keeping of the bees, so it is imperative that all members turn out in force to support the chapter. Bring a guest!
Excellent programs lined up for the year!
This year the NC State Beekeeping Association brings their Summer Meeting to Moore County!
Don't forget, Tuesday, Jan 8, 7PM.

Not Too Late to Order Blueberries

Blueberries may be the most versatile fruit in the world! Blueberry plants grow well in the Sandhills, especially Vaccinium ashei or rabbiteye varieties, which are native to this area. The plants are well suited to the home garden, don't require a lot of space, and do double duty as an ornamental. Blueberries make delicious jams and jellies, pies, additions to salads, are wonderful eaten as a snack, over waffles, or in pancakes, and are so healthy and full of antioxidants.

Due to strong demand, the plant sale conducted by the Moore County Master Gardeners has been extended through January 31.

To receive a brochure describing the figs, grapes, and blueberries being sold, contact The Agricultural Extension Office at 947-3188. Be sure to get your order in by the end of January!

Don't Skip the Lecture


Kucinich, Others Banned from Debate


Sustainable Farming Courses, CCCC

Sustainable Farming Program

CCCC, Pittsboro Campus Spring 2008

Register Now- Call 919-542-6495 ext 223

Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing Students will learn the fundamentals for basic house construction or remodeling work from experienced builder, teacher and farmer Kevin Meehan. Topics covered include framing, cabinetry and trim, stairs, wiring, drain lines, the NC building code, and hot/cold supply lines with an emphasis on sustainable and low impact building techniques. Excellent course for those new to the construction trades. Tuesday, 1/15/08 to 4/1/08, 7-9 pm, Kevin Meehan, $56.25

Fiber Animals An overview of raising animals for fiber, including llama, sheep, goats and rabbits. Course topics will include animal care, harvesting fiber (shearing) and the steps to a finished product of locally produced fiber. Costs and considerations of getting into the fiber business will be discussed. (*additional fee may be incurred if student purchases a fleece) Wednesday, 9 to noon, 1/16/08 to 2/27/08, Laura Young, $56.25*

Wine Growing: Exploring Sustainable Wine Production - NEW! Guy Loeffler will lead this hands-on and interactive course which will investigate sustainable grape production possibilities for Piedmont growers. The course will combine classroom and field time to allow students an up close experience in a working vineyard. Many of the classes will meet at Horizon Vineyards in Siler City. (*extra fees: Students will need to purchase The NC Wine Grape Growers Guide $20/ available from instructor or NCSU) Thursday 1/24/08 to 4/24/08, 3 to 5 pm, Lab times TBD $61.25*

Permaculture Fundamentals -back by popular demand! Permaculture is the design of sustainable human habitats. This class covers the fundamentals of permaculture systems design for forests, fields, permanent gardens, water, animals, buildings, economics and society. 2 weekend field trips TBA. Thursday 2/7/08 to 4/10/08, 5:30 - 9:30 pm, Harvey Harman $61.25

Growing Organic Vegetables This course will present the fundamentals of organic vegetable growing and offer hands-on training in the most important skills involved. Grow, harvest, and utilize a variety of vegetables organically, learn about irrigation installation and season extension structures. Wednesday, 2/20/08 to 4/16/08, 6 to 9 pm, Doug Jones $56.25

Please visit http://www.cccc.edu/resources/PDFs/flexi.pdf for additional course information, including 3 different workshops on Green Building and Biodiesel courses.

CALL To Register 919-542-6495 ext. 223

Looming Food Catastrophe

Forget oil, the new global crisis is food

BMO strategist Donald Coxe warns credit crunch and soaring oil prices will pale in comparison to looming catastrophe.

Alia McMullen, Financial Post Published: Friday, January 04, 2008



Watch This Trailer!


From Iowa Caucus-goer

"My resentment about the media's role in elections has been renewed. Let the candidates speak, cover them all, let the caucuses manifest and stop the damn poling and insinuations leading people into mob-think."


Eco-Fashion on the Runway



Which Democrat?


Oil, Alaska

Alaska oil exploration to begin
The US offers rights for oil and gas in an area of north-western Alaska renowned for its wildlife.


Honey as Medical Comeback Kid


From Mark Twain

From the New York Herald, October 15, 1900:

I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with he Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Phillippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.

I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Phillippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. . .

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

10 Goods from 2007



Poetry for the Good of All

". . . poetry is necessary to the health of our democracy. We are suffocating under a cloud of noxious language use. . . .It's hard to fight free of that, but poetry can help by giving us language that excites and moves us. Poetry encourages us to look into our own word hoard and reclaim the words and images that live like an underground stream in our imagination." -- Kathryn Stripling Byer

Counting to Twelve


Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about.....

If we were not so single minded about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us,
as when everything seems dead in winter and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Pablo Neruda

The OTHER Rose Parade Today


Japan To Make Warming the Focus

Climate focus as Japan heads G8
Japan aims to put global warming top of the agenda as it takes over the chairmanship of the G8.