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...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


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Plausible Deniability: When America Is the Rogue

Expose an individual to violence and depravity long enough and he?s likely either to join in or become numb to it. Something along those lines seems to be happening to the American public regarding those vague vile wars on Iraq, on ?terror,? on themselves. The scandals aren?t diminishing. To the contrary. Tales of mayhem and massacres are verging on the routine. But the reaction, aside from obvious discontent and an abandon-the-Bush-ship signal for a slew of once-upon-a-time warmongers, is either more calls for blood from that quickly diminishing corps of diehard Bush brigades (because we haven?t dropped enough bombs in three years) or? tired indifference.
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Rep. John Conyers: Release the Hadley Memo

The most infamous example of the Administration's manipulation of pre-war intelligence is the sixteen words in the 2003 State of the Union Address, in which the President falsely claimed to the American people and the Congress that Iraq was attempting to acquire uranium from Africa. Until now, the Administration's line of defense has been that the President did not know about dissenting viewpoints on this issue and, therefore, acted in good faith when he presented this claim in an unequivocal fashion.
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Fool Me Twice


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By Joseph Cirincione
Posted March 27, 2006

I used to think that the Bush administration wasn�t seriously considering a military strike on Iran, because it would only accelerate Iran�s nuclear program. But what we're seeing and hearing on Iran today seems awfully familiar. That may be because some U.S. officials have already decided they want to hit Iran hard.

Does this story line sound familiar? The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. secretary of state tells congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The secretary of defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism. The president blames it for attacks on U.S. troops. The intelligence agencies say the nuclear threat from this nation is 10 years away, but the director of intelligence paints a more ominous picture. A new U.S. national security strategy trumpets preemptive attacks and highlights the country as a major threat. And neoconservatives beat the war drums, as the cable media banner their stories with words like �countdown� and �showdown.�

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Buckley Says Bush Will Be Judged on Iraq War, Now a `Failure'

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- William F. Buckley Jr., the longtime conservative writer and leader, said George W. Bush's presidency will be judged entirely by the outcome of a war in Iraq that is now a failure.
 
``Mr. Bush is in the hands of a fortune that will be unremitting on the point of Iraq,'' Buckley said in an interview that will air on Bloomberg Television this weekend. ``If he'd invented the Bill of Rights it wouldn't get him out of his jam.''
 
Buckley said he doesn't have a formula for getting out of Iraq, though he said ``it's important that we acknowledge in the inner councils of state that it (the war) has failed, so that we should look for opportunities to cope with that failure.''
 
The 80-year-old Buckley is among a handful of prominent conservatives who are criticizing the war. Asked who is to blame for what he deems a failure, Buckley said, ``the president,'' adding that ``he doesn't hesitate to accept responsibility.''
 
Buckley called Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a longtime friend, ``a failed executor'' of the war. And Vice President Dick Cheney ``was flatly misled,'' Buckley said. ``He believed the business about the weapons of mass destruction.''
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Mercs...

In the first Gulf War, there was one private contractor for every 50 soldiers, according to The New York Times; in the current iteration, the ratio is closer to one to eight, with contractors doing everything from laundry, cooking, and equipment maintenance to translation, construction, and prisoner interrogation. That increase is in itself a pretty vivid vision of the future. But the most dramatic shift has been in the use of armed private forces by the U.S. government to provide security in the war zone, a practice now so routine that it reaches all the way to the top: Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is protected not by U.S. troops but by guards from Blackwater USA. Blackwater, based in the tiny town of Moyock, North Carolina, has become one of the largest private-security companies in Iraq and the world. Given the statistics at left on military privatization, president Gary Jackson is in for a very strong (and long) decade.
 
--Charles Fishman
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Storm-Wracked Parish Considers Hired Guns

ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. -- Maj. Pete Tufaro scanned the fenced lot packed with hundreds of stark white trailers soon to be inhabited by Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Shaking his head, he predicted the cramped quarters would ignite fights, hide criminals and become an incubator for crime, posing another test for his cash-strapped sheriff's department, which furloughed 206 of its 390 officers after the storm.
 
Tufaro thinks the parish has the solution: DynCorp International LLC, the Texas company that provided personal security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is one of the largest security contractors in Iraq. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency approves the sheriff's department's proposal, which would cost $70 million over three years, up to 100 DynCorp employees would be deputized to be make arrests, carry weapons, and dress in the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Department khaki and black uniforms.
 
"You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between us and them," said Tufaro, who developed the proposal.
 
But while the plan is for the DynCorp employees to eat and live with the other deputies in the same trailer camp, the hired guns would earn "significantly more" than the $18,000 annual salary of an entry-level deputy and the $30,000-a-year salary of a seasoned officer.
 
For DynCorp and other private security companies, the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, like Iraq, is a land of opportunity. Hired shortly after the storm to protect several New Orleans hospitals, its first domestic security job, the Texas firm has earned about $14 million from work in the Gulf Coast since Katrina, not all of which has involved security.
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Needless to say...I Want One!


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Two Terrabytes Of Digital Media Euphoria

Tromping through the streets of downtown Tokyo... crunching tiny white audio players underfoot comes the iZilla. If you've been looking to step-up to a hungry man sized portable media player with incredible tech powers... this is it. First start with a whopping two terabytes of storage delivered by four 500 gig internal hard drives. Up the ante with a sweet 7" TFT-LCD touch screen... then crush your opponents with high-speed ripping capability for CD, DVD, and vinyl. A handy iPod� dock allows you to transfer songs to and from the iZilla.

Listen to the iZilla roar through the internal six speaker surround system offering 5.1 channel surround sound with up to 120 watts per channel. Or enjoy your music privately with the included DJ-Style wireless bluetooth headphones up to 15 feet away. Built in wi-fi (802.11g), Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire and USB 2.0 ports ensure the maximum capability to transfer your tunes and video to external hard drives and computers.

Take the iZilla with you anywhere. It's like having an entire home entertainment system in a handy 30 pound white briefcase. The iZilla can be powered by a standard 120VAC wall outlet, or runs off 16 D size batteries (not included).

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Blackwater USA says it can supply forces for conflicts


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By BILL SIZEMORE, The Virginian-Pilot
� March 30, 2006

Stepping into a potential political minefield, Blackwater USA is offering itself up as an army for hire to police the world's trouble spots.

Cofer Black, vice chairman of the Moyock, N.C.-based private military company, told an international conference in Amman, Jordan, this week that Blackwater stands ready to help keep or restore the peace anywhere it is needed.

[Ad]
Such a role would be a quantum leap for Blackwater and raises a host of policy questions.

Until now, the eight-year-old company has confined itself to training military and police personnel and providing security guards for government and private clients. Under Black's proposal, it would take on an overt combat role.

"We're low-cost and fast," Black was quoted as saying. "The issue is, who's going to let us play on their team?"

Unlike national and multinational armies, which tend to get bogged down by political and logistical limitations, Black said, Blackwater could have a small, nimble, brigade-size force ready to move into a troubled region on short notice

read more here


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Daily Kos: Perjury by CIA Counterterrorism Center Director - the Blocked Memo

Perjury by CIA Counterterrorism Center Director - the Blocked Memo
by leveymg @ dailykos
Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:51:25 AM PDT
 
June 10, 2005. The LA Times reports that in early 2000, the CIA intentionally withheld a memo from the FBI that reported the entry of key 9/11 hijackers into the US. See: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-te ...
 
In his testimony before the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee in September 2002, former head of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) stated under oath that his office had inadvertently neglected to inform the FBI when it became known in early 2000 that Flight 77 hijacker, Nawaf al-Midhar, had entered the U.S. However, it was revealed yesterday that a memo informing the FBI had actually been drafted at CTC, but an order was issued blocking transmission of that information.
leveymg's diary :: ::
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The U.S. military plans to detonate a 700 ton explosive charge


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U.S. To Test 700-Ton Explosive
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The U.S. military plans to detonate a 700 ton explosive charge in a test called �Divine Strake� that will send a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas, a senior defense official said March 30.
�I don�t want to sound glib here but it is the first time in Nevada that you�ll see a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas since we stopped testing nuclear weapons,� said James Tegnelia, head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
Tegnelia said the test was part of a U.S. effort to develop weapons capable of destroying deeply-buried bunkers housing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
�We have several very large penetrators we�re developing,� he told defense reporters.
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read_more...DefenseNews.com - U.S. To Test 700-Ton Explosive - 03/30/06 11:32

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Army relaxes tattoo rules to attract recruits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army, which missed its recruiting goal last year, has relaxed its policy banning certain types of tattoos in a bid to attract new soldiers who otherwise would have been barred from serving.
 
The Army will now allow new recruits and all its current soldiers to have tattoos on their hands and back of their necks as long as they are not "extremist, indecent, sexist or racist," Army officials said on Wednesday.
 
The Army said it continues to prohibit tattoos anywhere on the head, face or throat area.
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US Senator Russ Feingold: Committee Hearing Statement on the Call To Censure the President

Published on Friday, March 31, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
Committee Hearing Statement on the Call To Censure the President
As Prepared
by US Senator Russ Feingold
US Senate Judiciary Committee
March 31, 2006
 
Mr. Chairman, first, thank you for scheduling this hearing. I know you recognize that this is a serious issue, and I thank you for treating it as such. I want to welcome and thank our witnesses, some of whom ? Mr. Fein, and Professor Turner -- were with us just a few weeks ago, and one of whom -- Mr. Dean -- last appeared before a congressional committee in 1974. I am grateful for your participation, particularly given the short notice that you were given of this hearing.
 
There is a time-honored way for matters to be considered in the Senate. Bills and resolutions are introduced, they are analyzed in the relevant committee through hearings, they are debated and amended and voted on in committee, and then they are debated on the floor. We have now started that process on this very important matter, and I look forward to seeing it through to a conclusion.
 
Mr. Chairman, I have looked closely at the statements you have made about the NSA program since the story broke in December. We have a disagreement about some things, but I am pleased to say we are in agreement on several others. We agree that the NSA program is inconsistent with FISA. We agree that the Authorization for Use of Military Force did not grant the President authority to engage in warrantless wiretapping of Americans on U.S. soil. We agree that the President was and remains required under the National Security Act of 1947 to inform the full Intelligence Committees of the NSA program, which he refuses to do.
 
Where we disagree, apparently, is whether the President?s authority under Article II of the Constitution allows him to authorize warrantless surveillance without complying with FISA. You have said you think this is a close question. I do not believe he has such authority and I don?t think it?s a close question. We will continue to debate that I?m sure. But I think the fact that you have proposed legislation on this program undermines your argument that such presidential authority exists. Because if it does exist, then nothing that we can legislate, no matter how carefully crafted, is worth a hill of beans. For starters, your proposed bill may or may not cover what the NSA is now doing. You and I have no way of knowing because we have not been fully briefed on the program, and I am a member of the Intelligence Committee as well. But regardless, if the President has the inherent authority to authorize whatever surveillance he thinks is necessary, then he surely will ignore your law, just as he has ignored FISA on many occasions.
 
If Congress doesn?t have the power to define the contours of the President?s Article II powers through legislation, then I have no idea why people are scrambling to draft legislation to authorize what they think the President is doing. If the President?s legal theory, which is shared by some of our witnesses today, is correct, then FISA is a dead letter, all of the supposed protections for civil liberties contained in the reauthorization of the Patriot Act that we just passed are a cruel hoax, and any future legislation we might pass regarding surveillance or national security is a waste of time and a charade. Under this theory, we no longer have a constitutional system consisting of three co-equal branches of government, we have a monarchy.
 
We can fight terrorism without breaking the law. The rule of law is central to who we are as a people, and the President must return to the law. He must acknowledge and be held accountable for his illegal actions and for misleading the American people, both before and after the program was revealed. If we in the Congress don?t stand up for ourselves and for the American people, we become complicit in his law breaking. A resolution of censure is the appropriate response ? even a modest approach.
 
Mr. Chairman, the presence of John Dean here today should remind us that we must respond to this constitutional crisis based on principle, not partisanship. How we respond to the President?s actions will become part of our history. A little over 30 years ago, a President who broke the law was held to account by a bipartisan congressional investigation and by patriots like Archibald Cox and Elliot Richardson and yes, John Dean, who put loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law above the interests of the President who appointed them. None of us here can predict how history will view this current episode. But I hope that thirty years from now, this Senate will not be seen to have backed down in the face of such a grave challenge to our constitutional system.
 
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
<URL: http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0331-31.htm >

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The War Reporter Who Turned Prophet on Iraq

...Looking back at E&P's extensive commentary on media coverage of the Iraq war three years ago, I was struck again by how Chris Hedges stands out as a kind of seer. The longtime war reporter, who decided to sit this one out, was among the few who recognized that taking Baghdad would be the easy part.
 
By Greg Mitchell
 
(March 28, 2006) -- Looking back at E&P?s extensive, and often critical, commentary on media coverage of the Iraq war three years ago, I was struck again by how Chris Hedges stands out as a kind of prophet. The longtime war reporter, who decided to sit this one out, was among the few who recognized that taking Baghdad would be the easy part.
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Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Nite Cartoon Madnesssss!!!


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Waas on Plamegate

    Sometimes an article comes along that is so good and so comprehensive and so...well...perfect...that there is no way for a blogger to whittle it down and pull out the salient points and provide commentary.
    Murray Waas has just published the magnum opus on the Plame Afair. It's long, but everyone should read it.
    Waas reveals the basic outlines of a much larger conspiracy. A conspiracy within which Valerie Plame played a relatively minor part.
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Photo in the News: Housefly Gets Glasses Made With Lasers


cool man...
March 28, 2006?Pampering pets with designer goods isn't so unusual?and now even your houseflies can get outfitted in style.
 
An entry in a German science-photo competition, this image shows a fly sporting a set of "designer" lenses crafted and set in place with a cutting-edge laser technique. The glasses fit snuggly on the fly's 0.08-inch-wide (2-millimeter-wide) head.
 
Manufacturing firm Micreon GmbH submitted the insect's picture for the Bilder der Forschung (Photos of Science) 2005 competition. Selected images were on display last week in a Munich shopping center.
 
Micreon, based in Hannover, Germany (see map), created the fly's eyewear using ultrafast laser micro-machining. The firm notes on its Web site that the process can create objects with high precision at scales of less than a thousandth of a millimeter.
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Elections officials to query GOP pundit

This time, claiming she doesn't even live here ? as GOP pundit Ann Coulter has been doing on this spring's college speaking tour when she's questioned about her February election meltdown on Palm Beach ? isn't going to cut it.
 
Palm Beach County's elections supervisor has given the right wing's unofficial mouthpiece 30 days to explain why she voted in the wrong precinct.
 
In a registered letter scheduled to be sent to her this week, Coulter is asked to "clarify certain information as to her legal residence," elections boss Arthur Anderson said.
 
"We want to give her a chance," Anderson said. "She needs to tell us where she really lives."
 
Or else? He could refer the case to State Attorney Barry Krischer for criminal charges, Anderson said.
 
The letter, however, may be headed to the wrong house
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Tiny Water Purification Packet Helps Save Lives Worldwide

Chemists have developed a powerful household water purification system that puts the cleansing power of an industrial water treatment plant into a container the size of a ketchup packet.
 
The researchers have shown that the tiny packet, which acts as a chemical filter, can be added to highly contaminated water to dramatically reduce pathogen-induced diarrhea ? the top killer of children in much of the developing world.
 
The packets also show promise for boosting water safety during emergencies and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes, where water purity is suddenly compromised, the researchers say. The lifesaving packets, whose use is being expanded globally, was described today at the 231st national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
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Who put the temper in judicial temperament?

Joe Conason - The New York Observer
 
03.29.06 - Antonin Scalia, the loudest mouth on the highest bench, has indulged himself again. The idol of the far right has provoked fresh doubts about his temperament - and this time, unfortunately, the rest of the world is likely to notice.
 
Surely as brilliant as his admirers claim, Justice Scalia's intellect is too often overshadowed by aggressive bluster and rigid ideology. He suffers from an uncontrollable impulse to give insult and an insufficient respect for the opinions of others. Widely advertised as exceptionally smart, he sometimes does and says things that are extraordinarily stupid.
 
On March 26, after receiving communion at a special mass for politicians and lawyers in Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Justice Scalia answered a reporter's question with a rude hand gesture. Asked whether some Americans doubt his impartiality, he replied, ?You know what I say to those people?? and then flicked his fingers under his chin, adding, ?That's Sicilian.?
 
The conservative Boston Herald noted that this incident occurred ?just feet from the Mother Church's altar? and described it as ?conduct unbecoming a 20-year veteran of the country's highest court.? After two decades, Justice Scalia should have learned to speak with a measure of decorum and responsibility. Yet the 70-year-old jurist seems more erratic as the years go by-and his Sicilian sign-language clowning is certainly his lesser offense this month.
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 read_more...Who put the temper in judicial temperament?

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Sending Mentally Ill Soldiers Back to Iraq

As the US military has difficulties recruiting and retaining soldiers for its never-ending war of occupation in Iraq, the armed services are resorting to increasingly desperate means of coping. The Stop-Loss option in soldiers' contracts has allowed soldiers to be kept in uniform months or years after their term of service has expired. The National Guard has been sent overseas to a previously unprecedented extent. And military standards have been lowered, so that drug or alcohol abuse, pregnancy, and poor fitness no longer necessarily lead to dismissal of new recruits.
 
Now word comes that "mentally ill" troops are being sent back to Iraq. (See: Some troops headed back to Iraq are mentally ill) This article refers to "a little-discussed truth fraught with implications," but the implications discussed all have to do with the effects on the soldiers being returned, and these soldiers' "effectiveness in combat." In many instances, being returned to combat, and to a state of constant tension, will exacerbate the soldier's problems, the article -- correctly -- suggests.
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The Blog | Tom D'Antoni: D For Danger | The Huffington Post

    Sometimes being "out here" in Oregon adds a certain perspective. East Coasters, especially in, on and around the Beltway, or in New York City, because they're a part of the machine (or think they are), don't get quite as alarmed as others. Or as alarmed they should be. The incremental takeover of the powers of government by the executive branch has gotten totally out of hand.
    Look at this: The President of the United States has decided he is above the law. Is there any disagreement with that? He thinks he can ignore any existing law he chooses, violate the Constitution he has sworn to uphold, and by adding a paragraph at the end of any particular law he's signing, he can nullify that law.
    Just a minute, here. We're allowing this to happen before our very eyes. This isn't funny. This isn't censurable. This is impeachable. This is criminal. This is profoundly anti-American. It is what dictators do.
    We're in deep shit. Deeper than we've ever been in before.
    We've let them steal an election (two really). We've let them start a war. We've let them bankrupt our country. We've let them ship our jobs to other countries. We've allowed religious fanatics to infect every aspect of our lives.    We've stood by and let this happen. Why did we do that? Because of a few terrorists? Does this make sense to you? Does anything make sense?
    And if we try to vote them out of office, we've allowed them to place voting machines that give bogus results in our polling places. What's wrong with us?
    Why are the Democrats complicit? Ok, not Conyers and Feingold and Dean. Where are the so-called liberals from so-called progressive Oregon?
    It's easy to see why V For Vendetta is so popular. But as articulately as it laid out the logical conclusion of what's transpiring in Washington right now, the Masque-ex-machina was a convenient savior. It didn't require much action by the public, except putting on some masks and walking downtown.

Wasn't the first American Revolution fought against a King George? Is that what's required of us?

2006 is the tipping point. Which side are you on?

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"Because I Say So" - Bush Administration

One of the most dramatic moments in today's oral argument in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld comes when an uncharacteristically agitated Justice David Souter presses Solicitor General Paul Clement about whether Congress last December effectively stripped the Supreme Court of the right to hear habeas corpus claims from any of the hundreds of detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. Clement says it's not necessary for Congress to have "consciously thought it was suspending the Writ." Perhaps the lawmakers just "stumbled on the suspension of the Writ," which would also be fine, Clement suggests.
 
Souter stops him, amazed. "The suspension of the Writ," the justice sputters, is the most "stupendously significant act" Congress can undertake. "Are you really saying Congress may validly suspend it inadvertently?" he asks. It's the morning's best example of the degree to which, for Souter as well as for Justice Stephen Breyer, today's argument is an agonizing exercise in Bush administration doublespeak. Clement's arguments are frequently drawn from the well of "because the president says so," or "because the president is the president," or "because it's wartime." They start to sound like Alberto Gonzales' testimony before Congress or the president's signing statements: legal analysis by assertion and justification by double standard. This war is like every other war except to the extent that it differs from those other wars. We follow the laws of war except to the extent that they do not apply to us. These prisoners have all the rights to which they are entitled by law, except to the extent that we have changed the law to limit their rights.
 
In other words, there is almost no question for which the government cannot find a circular answer.
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Biotech Crops Will Hurt Family Farmers and Worsen the Energy Crisis

As concerns about oil supply mount, the latest group to jump on the renewable energy bandwagon has been the biotech industry. In a March 13, 2006 press release, building towards their Chicago meeting in early April, Jim Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), proclaimed that a new wave of genetically engineered technologies ?will end our national addiction to oil.? Nothing could be further from the truth.

Family farmers and others who have already suffered from the first wave of biotech crops can only shudder at what lurks within this latest Pandora?s Box. Thanks to Monsanto, farmers are now stuck producing vast quantities of low quality Bt corn that has hardly any market. This unwanted biotech corn must then be dumped ? at taxpayer expense ? into domestic ethanol production, factory livestock farms, or abroad in places like Mexico. There it contaminates indigenous varieties, undercuts peasant farmers, and creates desperate people who have no choice but to cross the border. And in the wake of the Starlink disaster, in which genetically modified corn not intended for human consumption found its way into fast-food tacos and elsewhere, one can only imagine the consumer safety threat posed by fields of high starch low fiber biotech corn, engineered with an ethanol enzyme, growing adjacent to sweet corn across the Midwest.

The conventional ethanol industry is already under the thumb of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Many family farmers have lost their shirts investing in co-op ethanol projects that get gobbled up by ADM when times get tough, such as happened to MN Corn Processors. And, in tune with its slogan about being the supermarket to the world, ADM could care less about energy independence at a national level. They have already pledged to import sugarcane ethanol from Brazil under new ?free trade? deals and leave U.S. corn producers high and dry if the price is right. Adding biotech ethanol crops into this corporate controlled market will only tip the scales further against family farmers.

Another lucrative ?solution? to the energy crisis being promoted by the biotech industry is to engineer microbes to produce enzymes that can then be added to switchgrass or crop wastes, such as corn stover or wheat straw, in biorefineries. This is a process known as cellulosic ethanol production. Of course, the environmental impact of such massive industrial facilities is unknown. And beyond all the hype, one is still left with the same Enron style scheme, dependent upon potentially dangerous patented technologies, abusive one-sided contracts, and markets manipulated by corporate cartels.

Patented varieties and bioenergy facilities under tight corporate control are hardly a recipe for sustainable rural development or national energy independence. In fact, given all the problems created by existing biotech crops, this misguided approach may only make matters worse. Rather than going to war or trusting in biotech, the Unites States would do much better by investing in comprehensive energy conservation, decentralized energy production, and genuine renewable alternatives such as wind, solar, and biodiesel.

John E. Peck is a member of the National Family Farm Coalition. The National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) was founded in 1986 to serve as a national link for grassroots organizations working on family farm issues.

� 2006 MinutemanMedia.org

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Even in West Texas, Bush Takes A Whuppin'

        President Bush beat the rest of the field like an orchestra timpani in my poll to find out who's least admired among a list of shaky characters.
        A couple weeks ago, I asked y'all to vote on who you thought should have the lowest approval rating: George W., Saddam Hussein, Kenneth Lay, O.J. Simpson, Barry Bonds, Jeffrey "Let's Do Lunch" Dahmer, and Sarah, the nasty old former bartender out at the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.
        One guy e-mailed me all honked off for including Osama bin Laden in the same poll with George W. I never mentioned bin Laden in my poll, and I told the guy so. Seems he had gotten bin Laden and Saddam mixed up.
        Isn't that how we got into this Iraq mess in the first place?
        Bush was a shoo-in for lowest approval rating with 534 votes, or 62.17 percent of the vote. Sarah came in a distant second with 89 votes, or 10.36 percent. What this proves is that there are more people chapped about the war in Iraq than there are folks who have been thrown out of the Dry Creek Cafe.
        The rest of the field came in like this: Hussein, 83 votes (9.66 percent); Dahmer, 47 votes (5.47 percent); Simpson, 45 votes (5.24 percent); Bonds, 32 votes (3.73 percent) and Lay, 29 votes (3.38 percent).
        So Bush didn't do so well here. But I always figured that even if George W. Bush's dog hauled off and bit him, he could always head out to his old oil patch stomping grounds and be universally loved.
 
Boy, was I wrong.
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Undermining the Ownership Society

Away from the cameras covering the Enron trial and largely hidden from view on the evening news, a war is being waged over the most basic rights of ownership that undergird our economy.
 
Most economic conflicts arise between those who own property and those who do not. Management versus labor. Landlords versus tenants. Rich versus poor. But now, the persecution is being directed at owners from those who manage what is owned. It is corporate executives versus stockholders.
 
Today, trillions of shares of stock are owned by pension funds and 401(k) plans -- that is, owned by millions of workers. Politicians say we need to move toward an "ownership society" -- but, we, the citizens, already own a pretty big share of Corporate America. For years, much of that ownership was passive -- many investors made gains, and didn't ask questions. But since Enron and other corporate scandals damaged the economy, many citizen investors, primarily through their pension and union funds, have tried to exercise their rights to demand reforms at the companies they own -- reforms that would increase companies' bottom line by cracking down on executive abuses.
 
For instance, the Coca-Cola Company recently agreed to obtain stockholder permission before approving large executive severance packages. Since 2000, three departing Coke executives were given $180 million in severance pay. Though opposed to the new policy, management was forced to accept it, thanks to a shareholder resolution by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The union owns shares of the company, and thus has a fiduciary responsibility to help make the company as efficient and profitable as possible. Reining in exorbitant executive pay packages that are draining resources is one way to do that.
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Gelded Donkeys: Why the Democrats Are Worse Than Useless

In the Sherlock Holmes mystery, Silver Blade, it was the dog that didn't bark that fingered the killer. As Holmes explained to Watson, the reason for the silence, even as the victim was being murdered, was that the dog must have known the killer - its own master. Viola! Mystery solved.

In a similar fashion, amidst the most catastrophic presidency in the history of the country, it is the donkey that doesn't bray that identifies the culprit. And the culprit, of course, is the donkey's master. It is a who-dunnit of Olympian proportions, for the fate of the country hangs on its solution.

The extent of the disaster of the Bush presidency is almost beyond cataloguing. But it is worth trying in order to comprehend the stunning impotence of the Democrats in offering any meaningful opposition.
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Kristallnacht Again? The Dark Night of the Mind

?Dangerous? is an unarmed man facing down a tank in Tiananmen Square.
 
?Dangerous? is a suicide bomber flying a plane into the World Trade Center.
 
?Dangerous? is a government sending young Americans to their deaths in the searing deserts of Iraq without cause.
 
?Dangerous? is a Supreme Court justice who makes an obscene gesture in the hallowed halls of the United States Supreme Court regarding a case where he has the power of life and death.
 
But to call professors dangerous because they are doing what we are paid to do?think, reflect, discuss, profess, enlighten?is ludicrous. We in the academic profession are endangered by a government that only respects the powers of the wealthy while pontificating to the world about its commitment to freedom; by passive citizens who want a president they can have a beer with and isn?t any smarter than they are; and by anti-intellectual vigilantes who think they can stamp out free thought and want to start by silencing professors with whom they disagree.
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Seven Months After Katrina

Sleeping in Your Car in Front of Your Trailer in Front of Your Devastated Home, Tales of Lunacy and Hope from New Orleans
 
In New Orleans, seven months after Katrina, senior citizens are living in their cars. WWL-TV introduced us to Korean War veteran Paul Morris, 74, and his wife Yvonne, 66. They have been sleeping in their 2-door sedan since January. They have been waiting that long for FEMA contractors to unlock the 240 square foot trailer in their yard and connect the power so they can sleep inside it in front of their devastated home.
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As Vermont Loses its Virginity

There's no doubt that a grassroots impeachment movement is brewing in Vermont. Dan DeWalt's Newfane town meeting impeachment resolution - passed also by Dummerston, Putney, Marlboro, Brookfield and, in modified form, by Brattleboro - attracted international attention. The state's Democratic Party is now considering a call for impeachment. So you might think that Vermont is once again ahead of the pack.
 
But don't believe for a moment that we can be smug about our outrage, our good common sense, and our progressive values.
 
True, we were the first state to outlaw slavery. True, we were the first state to debate gay marriage and grant civil rights to gays and lesbians. True, our beloved Sen. James Jeffords switched out of the Republican Party to help balance the power in the early days of the Bush Administration. True, our former governor, Howard Dean, almost swept the last presidential sweepstakes and is now chief fund-raiser and grassroots hell-raiser for the Democratic Party. True, we have a group working hard for Vermont's secession from the Union. True, we voted loud and clear that we want Bush out of office as soon as possible.
 
But let's look at reality.
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Today's Immigration Battle - Corporatists vs. Racists (and Labor is Left Behind)

The corporatist
Republicans ("amnesty!") are fighting with the racist Republicans
("fence!"), and it provides an opportunity for progressives to step
forward with a clear solution to the immigration problem facing
America.

Both the corporatists and the racists are fond of the mantra, "There are some jobs Americans won't do." It's a lie.


Americans will do virtually any job if they're paid a decent wage. This
isn't about immigration - it's about economics. Industry and
agriculture won't collapse without illegal labor, but the middle class
is being crushed by it.

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Read more...Today's Immigration Battle - Corporatists vs. Racists (and Labor is Left Behind)


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Halliburton's Performance Worsens under Second Iraqi Oil Contract

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 -- Rep. Waxman releases the first analysis of Halliburton's RIO 2 contract to restore Iraq's southern oil fields. The examination of previously undisclosed correspondence, evaluations, and audits reveals that government officials and investigators have harshly criticized Halliburton?s performance under RIO 2. The documents disclose an "overwhelmingly negative" performance, including:
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

McNabb Redux: Limbaugh Trashes Golf Prodigy Michelle Wie


Michelle Wie kickin' butt and takin' names...
----------------
In all likelihood, it's the fact that a 16 yr old girl can kick his butt on the links that has this whistleass whining about Ms Wie. Men with tender egos have always put down contenders of other races or the opposite sex.
--pseudolus
----------------
Radio host Rush Limbaugh has turned his guns on 16-year-old golf prodigy Michelle Wie. In a recent interview with BadGolfer.com:
 
[Wie is] a triumph of marketing. ? Do you think these PGA Tour guys really think she deserves to be a tournament with them? The political-correctness situation will just not allow them to say it. ? [Golf champion Vijay Singh, who was criticized for saying of another female player, ?If I?m drawn with her, which I won?t be, I won?t play?] learned like many people in our unfortunate society where political correctness is prized most. Vijay was honest and look what it got him. Attacked by a bunch of liberals and femi-nazis.
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Hazard beneath Capitol


Potential Assassin Lurking Under The Capitol
Workers in tunnels beneath the Capitol endure hazardous conditions, with carcinogenic asbestos crumbling from the walls and lying so thick on the ground that it can be scooped up in handfuls, according to a letter of complaint to lawmakers written by 10 employees of the Architect of the Capitol (AoC), the office that maintains the legislative-branch complex.
 
The tunnels are so dangerous that the U.S. Capitol Police have been forbidden from patrolling them, leaving a potential security loophole.
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Humans Ignore the Evidence of their own Eyes


Seeing is believing!
Written by Oxford University     
Sunday, 19 March 2006  
 
You probably think you?d notice if all the objects around you started moving, but research at Oxford University published today in Current Biology shows that in certain circumstances people do not even notice if a room grows to four times its size.
The Virtual Reality Research Group in Oxford used the latest in virtual reality technology to create a room where they could manipulate size and distance freely. They made the room grow in size as people walked through it, but subjects failed to notice when the scene around them quadrupled in size. As a consequence, they made gross errors when asked to estimate the size of objects in that room.
 
The lead researcher, Dr Andrew Glennerster, says: ?This was very surprising. Normally, viewing a scene with two eyes, or walking around it, provides enough information to calculate its 3D structure, as we know from computer vision.?
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Family Presence in the Emergency Room

In ?Being There? (p. 34), in the April 3, 2006, issue of The New Yorker, Jerome Groopman reports on the controversial practice of ?family presence,? in which patients? relatives are permitted to witness CPR and other, often gruesome, resuscitation attempts in the emergency room. The policy, Groopman writes, ?is spreading, promoted in many instances by chaplains and nurses over the objections of doctors. (There are no reliable data, but advocates estimate that as many as half of American hospitals allow some form of family presence.)? Groopman notes that while laypeople are now routinely involved in decisions at the National Institutes of Health and on hospital review boards, ?family presence in emergency rooms, which is part of this larger trend, remains controversial. Not only does it represent an incursion by the public into medicine?s inner sanctum; more than any other recent development, it reveals the extent to which the power to decide how medicine is practiced is no longer an exclusive prerogative of doctors.?
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There is "No Good News" in Iraq

by Bill Gallagher
  
          "Put all your eggs in one basket -- and watch that basket." -- Mark Twain
 
President George W. Bush is spending his depleting "political capital" trying to salvage whatever he can from the unending mess in Iraq his madness created. But the career buck-passer says when U.S. troops will be withdrawn "will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."
 
If nothing else, though, Bush is politically savvy and he is focusing on the upcoming mid-term congressional elections. That's all he really cares about -- maintaining his unchallenged power.
 
Losing one or both houses to the Democrats would derail his grip on everything that comes out of Washington. Bush and his "brain," Karl Rove, fear Democrats in Congress controlling committees with subpoena powers would pounce on the serial deceptions, corruption and incompetence of six years of Bushevik rule.
 
For them, a government working as the framers of our Constitution intended with congressional checks and balances is unthinkable and would disrupt their criminal enterprises. Scrutiny and public revelations threaten the family business and the driving force behind all they do: accumulating and protecting their wealth.
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Researchers Get Mammalian Neurons And Silicon Talking

European researchers have created an interface between mammalian neurons and silicon chips. The development is a crucial first step in the development of advanced technologies that combine silicon circuits with a mammal's nervous system. The ultimate applications are potentially limitless.
 
In the long term it will possibly enable the creation of very sophisticated neural prostheses to combat neurological disorders. What's more, it could allow the creation of organic computers that use living neurons as their CPU.
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Does the Media Have it Right on the War?

The media loves anniversaries, the grimmer the better. On the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, our newspapers and TV news were filled to the brim with retrospectives on the origins of the Iraq war, reassessments of how it was conducted by the Bush administration, and reconsiderations of the current quagmire-cum-civil-war in that country.
 
An amazing aspect of this sort of heavy coverage of events past is the degree of consensus that quickly develops among all mainstream outlets on certain fundamental (and fundamentally controversial) issues. For example, the question of "what went wrong" in Iraq is now almost universally answered as follows:
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Freeloader of America's Finest: In the Crosshairs of Xenophobes

In 1995, Jose Gutierrez was a 14-year-old orphan in Guatemala when he decided to do what 700,000 other Guatemalans had done -- enter the United States illegally. Two thousand miles and 14 freight trains later, Gutierrez crossed the border. He was promptly arrested by the Border Patrol. Being a minor and without a family, he was spared deportation and turned over to California's welfare system. He spent the next four years in foster homes, learning English, attending and graduating high school, getting his medical needs taken care of by the public-health system. As the lexicon of neo-flag-wavers would put it, Gutierrez was freeloading on the American taxpayer.
 
When he turned 18, Gutierrez got himself a green card. He planned to be an architect. Not quite having the means yet, in 2002 he joined the Marines. A year later he found himself shipping off to Kuwait. And in the first hours on the first day of the Iraq invasion, he was killed on the outskirts of Umm Qasr, just inside the Iraqi border. He was the first of 2,322 Americans (so far) to be killed in the war. He is, as the lexicon of neo-flag-wavers likes to say, a hero, a patriot, among America's finest.
 
So. Which is it? Freeloader? Illegal immigrant? Criminal? Or hero?
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Imperial Overreach is Accelerating the Global Decline of America

The disastrous foreign policies of the US have left it more isolated than ever, and China is standing by to take over
by Martin Jacques 
  
"Our power, then, has the grave liability of rendering our theories about the world immune from failure. But by becoming deaf to easily discerned warning signs, we may ignore long-term costs that result from our actions and dismiss reverses that should lead to a re-examination of our goals and means."
 
These are the words of Henry Hyde, chairman of the House international relations committee and a Republican congressman, in a recent speech. Hyde argues that such is the overweening power of the US that it may not hear or recognize the signals when its policy goes badly wrong, a thinly veiled reference to Iraq. He then takes issue with the idea that the US can export democracy around the world as deeply misguided and potentially dangerous. He argues: "A broad and energetic promotion of democracy in other countries that will not enjoy our long-term and guiding presence may equate not to peace and stability but to revolution ... There is no evidence that we or anyone can guide from afar revolutions we have set in motion. We can more easily destabilize friends and others and give life to chaos and to avowed enemies than ensure outcomes in service of our interests and security."
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Creating a Network Against Biopiracy

CURITIBA, Brazil - Two patents granted in the United States between 2000 and 2002 and another for which an application has been filed have put "maca", a high altitude Andean plant that is used by indigenous people in Peru, at the centre of a new battle against biopiracy, which involves the construction of an international network against the misappropriation of traditional knowledge.
 
One of the patented maca-based products claims to raise testosterone levels. But the countries that registered the plant "did not invent a thing," said lawyer Isabel Lape�a, with the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law. "They merely took advantage of indigenous, campesino knowledge of the plant, which is known as ?natural viagra'," she told IPS.
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'Unit's' military expert has fighting words for Bush

By David Kronke, TV Critic 
 
Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, was a founding member of Delta Force, the military's elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He culled his experiences for "Inside Delta Force" (Delta; $14), a memoir rich with harrowing stories, though in an interview, Haney declines with a shrug to estimate the number of times he was almost killed. (Perhaps the most high-profile incident that almost claimed his life was the 1980 failed rescue of the hostages in Iran.) Today, he's doing nothing nearly as dangerous: He serves as an executive producer and technical adviser for "The Unit," CBS' new hit drama based on his book, developed by playwright David Mamet. Even up against "American Idol," "The Unit" shows muscle, drawing 18 million viewers in its first two airings.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Daily Kos: Insider-Trading by a Top DeLay Staffer in Congress?

by Rep Louise Slaughter
Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 09:19:12 AM PDT
 
Hi folks. I wanted to come here and follow-up on the story of possible insider-trading in Congress. Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was hearing stories about possible insider trading by Tom DeLay's top leadership aide in Congress? Well today I am going to introduce legislation with my colleague Rep. Brian Baird of Washington that will block Members of Congress and their aides from engaging in insider trading.  We can't let Members and their staffers making profits through day-trading using  non public, sensitive information they become privy to because of their special acces
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President May Have Known of Constitutional Defect Before Signing Bill

You need to read this page first, if you haven't heard of this little bit of "Constitution busting.:Bush Signs Bill That Never Passed House

By: Waxman office
Published: Mar 15, 2006 at 08:12
Today Rep. Waxman sent a letter to the White House Chief of Staff asking that the White House respond to information that the Speaker of the House called President Bush to alert him that the version of the Reconciliation Act he was about to sign differed from the version that passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Waxman writes: "If the President signed the Reconciliation Act knowing its constitutional infirmity, he would in effect be placing himself above the Constitution."
 
The text of the letter follows:
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Craft Beer Industry Enjoys Resurgence

By CLARKE CANFIELD
PORTLAND, Maine - Like most small breweries, Gritty McDuff?s went through a lull as sales of craft beer leveled off in the late 1990s. Now Gritty?s and the craft beer industry as a whole are enjoying a resurgence, with sales growing at their fastest pace in a decade.
 
At Gritty McDuff?s, production last year rose nearly 30 percent to more than 250,000 gallons.
 
The 1990s were a boom time for the industry, with sales rising fast and even doubling in 1994. But growth slowed by the end of the decade, and hundreds of microbreweries and brewpubs went out of business.
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SEAN PENN HAS TORTURE DOLL


click picture above to enlarge Posted by Picasa
Hollywood activist SEAN PENN has a plastic doll of conservative US columnist ANN COULTER that he likes to abuse when angry. The Oscar-winner actor has hated Coulter ever since she blacklisted his director father LEO PENN in her book TREASON. And he takes out his frustrations with Coulter, who is a best-selling author, lawyer and television pundit, on the Barble-like doll. In an interview with The New Yorker magazine, Penn reveals, "We violate her. There are cigarette burns in some funny places. She's a pure snake-oil salesman. She doesn't believe a word she says."
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80 Eyes on 2,400 People - Los Angeles Times

If terrorists come to tiny Dillingham, Alaska, security cameras will be ready. But privacy concerns have residents up in arms.
By Tomas Alex Tizon, Times Staff Writer
March 28, 2006
 
DILLINGHAM, Alaska ? From Anchorage it takes 90 minutes on a propeller plane to reach this fishing village on the state's southwestern edge, a place where some people still make raincoats out of walrus intestine.
 
This is the Alaskan bush at its most remote. Here, tundra meets sea, and sea turns to ice for half the year. Scattered, almost hidden, in the terrain are some of the most isolated communities on American soil. People choose to live in outposts like Dillingham (pop. 2,400) for that reason: to be left alone.
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Variety.com - Hurwitz takes a hike

"Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz says he will not be continuing with the series, throwing a major -- likely fatal -- monkey wrench into attempts to keep the Emmy-winning laffer alive for a fourth season.
 
Series producers 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine Television had agreed on a deal to move "Arrested," previously on Fox, to Showtime -- assuming Hurwitz was willing to come back. In the end, however, a mix of creative and financial concerns has prompted Hurwitz to move on.
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Woman With Perfect Memory Baffles Scientists

March 20, 2006 -- James McGaugh is one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works. But these days, he admits he's stumped.
 
McGaugh's journey through an intellectual purgatory began six years ago when a woman now known only as AJ wrote him a letter detailing her astonishing ability to remember with remarkable clarity even trivial events that happened decades ago.
 
Give her any date, she said, and she could recall the day of the week, usually what the weather was like on that day, personal details of her life at that time, and major news events that occurred on that date.
 
Like any good scientist, McGaugh was initially skeptical. But not anymore.
 
"This is real," he says.
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Red Bull gives you wings: official | The Register


Posted by Picasa
Red Bull does indeed give you wings, a Brazilian study has shown. A Sao Paulo university team plied 26 male volunteers* with booze, Red Bull or a mixture of both, and demonstrated what deranged clubbers already knew: mixing energy drinks with alcohol provokes "an increased sensation of pleasure and a reduction in sleepiness". Or, as team leader professor Maria Lucia Souza-Formigoni told the BBC: "The person is drunk but does not feel as drunk as he really is."
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More evidence of green tea's brain benefits

24/03/2006 - Green tea catechins may improve reference and working-memory related learning ability, say research from Japan, adding to claims that green tea can help ward off Alzheimer?s.
 
Consumer awareness of the benefits of green tea and green tea extracts continues to rise with growing numbers of studies, from 430 papers in 2000 to almost 1500 in 2003, reporting benefits of the main compounds, catechins.
 
This has seen European demand surge, having reached 500 metric tonnes in 2003. Companies such as DSM, with its Teavigo boasting 95 per cent purity of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and Taiyo International, with its Sunphenon claiming more than 90 per cent purity, position themselves firmly in specific catechin markets.
 
The new study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Nutrition (Vol. 136, pp. 1043-1047), reports the effects of green tea extracts in the form of Mitsui Norin's commercial Polyphenon E (PE) on the cognitive learning ability of rats.
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National Impeachment Movement Ignored by Corporate Media

by Peter Phillips
If a national movement calling for the impeachment of the President is rapidly emerging and the corporate media are not covering it, is there really a national movement for the impeachment of the President?
 
Impeachment advocates are widely mobilizing in the U.S. Over 1,000 letters to the editors of major newspapers have been printed in the past six months asking for impeachment. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter writer George Matus says, "I am still enraged over unasked questions about exit polls, touch-screen voting, Iraq, the cost of the new Medicare?who formulated our energy policy, Jack Abramoff, the Downing Street Memos, and impeachment." David Anderson in McMinnville, Oregon pens to the Oregonian, "Where are the members of our congressional delegation now in demanding the current president's actions be investigated to see if impeachment or censure are appropriate actions?" William Dwyer's letter in the Charleston Gazette says, "Congress will never have the courage to start the impeachment process without a groundswell of outrage from the people."
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Judge Rules Teachers Have No Free Speech Rights in Class

by Matthew Rothschild
Here's an update on Deb Mayer, the teacher who said her contract was not renewed because she answered a student's question about whether she would participate in a demonstration for peace. (See ?Teacher Awaits Day in Court.?)
 
Her case involves an incident that occurred on January 10, 2003, at Clear Creek Elementary School in Bloomington, Indiana.
 
The students were reading an article in Time for Kids about peace protests. She responded to the student?s question by saying she sometimes honks for peace and that it?s important to seek out peaceful solutions both on the playground and in society. Afterwards, the parents of one of the students got angry and insisted that she not speak about peace again in the classroom. Mayer?s principal so ordered her.
 
When the school district did not renew Mayer?s contract at the end of the semester, she sued for wrongful termination and for violation of her First Amendment rights.
 
On March 10, Judge Sarah Evans Barker dismissed Mayer?s case, granting summary judgment to the defendants.
 
The judge said the school district was within its rights to terminate Mayer because of various complaints it received from parents about her teaching performance.
 
But beyond that, Judge Barker ruled that ?teachers, including Ms. Mayer, do not have a right under the First Amendment to express their opinions with their students during the instructional period.?
 
The judge ruled that ?school officials are free to adopt regulations prohibiting classroom discussion of the war,? and that ?the fact that Ms. Mayer?s January 10, 2003, comments were made prior to any prohibitions by school officials does not establish that she had a First Amendment right to make those comments in the first place.? The judge also implied that Mayer, by making her comments, was attempting to ?arrogate control of the curricula.?
 
And the judge gave enormous leeway to school districts to limit teachers? speech in the classroom.
 
?Whatever the school board adopts as policy regarding what teachers are permitted to express in terms of their opinions on current events during the instructional period, that policy controls, and there is no First Amendment right permitting teachers to do otherwise,? Judge Barker wrote.
 
The judge ?has simply gotten the law wrong,? says Michael Schultz, Mayer?s attorney. ?There is a long line of authority that teachers do not check their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door. And, in this case, Ms. Mayer was asked for her opinion in the context of teaching the approved curriculum. She only gave her opinion in a very appropriate, limited way and then related the issue to the students' lives (i.e., on the playground), and then moved on in the lesson. If giving one's opinion in response to a legitimate (and predictable) question is fair game for making a decision to terminate a teacher, who will want to teach? And, more importantly, what impact will this state of affairs have on the quality of instruction??
 
Mayer says she?s going to appeal. ?It?s too important not to,? she says. ?Teachers everywhere are at risk because of what this judge has said.?
 
Matthew Rothschild has been with The Progressive since 1983.
 
� 2006 The Progressive
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America's Debt Wish

by Bob Burnett
Late on the evening of March 16th, the Senate passed a record $2.8 trillion budget and increased our national debt limit to a tad below $9 trillion. You may ask what difference it makes that our national debt is trillions of dollars and each citizen's share is $27,981?
 
It makes a lot of difference in terms of the operation of the US government. More importantly, it says a lot about the American psyche.
 
We have an $8.363 trillion debt because the Bush Administration spends money as if there'll be no tomorrow. And they have a rather cavalier attitude about all their expenses; they don't want to pay for them. Their constant refrain is, "put it on my tab." When the tab comes due, there's not enough money in the US treasury to pay for it-remember those tax cuts that Republicans are so fond of-and so the government has to borrow money.
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The Fear is in the Room: Inside Our Unbrave Media World

by Danny Schechter
NEW YORK ? There is a scene in the movie Good Night and Good Luck about an outbreak of insecurity that nearly ended the late CBS News legend?s broadcast challenge to red-hunting Senator Joe McCarthy before it aired.
 
A few hours before the historic moment that demonstrated that newscasters can take on demagogic politicians and deceptive policies, Edward R. Murrow?s colleagues were having second thoughts.
 
One pointed out that McCarthy would likely lash back. Another worried that the program would be seen as a mere gesture and accomplish nothing. A third wondered if it was worth jeopardizing the show and CBS News by going after such a high-profile figure so forcefully.
 
Murrow listened with growing despair at timidity packaged as pragmatism.
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The Founders Never Imagined a Bush Administration

by Joyce Appleby and Gary Hart
George W. Bush and his most trusted advisers, Richard B. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, entered office determined to restore the authority of the presidency. Five years and many decisions later, they've pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis.
 
Relying on legal opinions from Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Professor John Yoo, then working in the White House, Bush has insisted that there can be no limits to the power of the commander-in-chief in time of war. More recently the president has claimed that laws relating to domestic spying and the torture of detainees do not apply to him. His interpretation has produced a devilish conundrum.
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Sloganeering

Cute new slogan for the embattled Berlosconi in Italy. From Mussolini's granddaughther comes this phrase that should ring true in the ears of our fevered 'patriots' on the right..."Better Fascist than queer!" That should get some legs in the rightwing media by the time our elections roll around. --pseudolus
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you can google it!

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Justice Scalia flips the finger in church

BOSTON, March 27(UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia startled reporters in Boston just minutes after attending a mass, by flipping a middle finger to his critics.
 
A Boston Herald reporter asked the 70-year-old conservative Roman Catholic if he faces much questioning over impartiality when it comes to issues separating church and state.
 
"You know what I say to those people?" Scalia replied, making the obscene gesture and explaining "That's Sicilian."
 
The 20-year veteran of the high court was caught making the gesture by a photographer with The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper.
 
"Don't publish that," Scalia told the photographer, the Herald said.
 
He was attending a special mass for lawyers and politicians at Cathedral of the Holy Cross, and afterward was the keynote speaker at the Catholic Lawyers' Guild luncheon.
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Monday, March 27, 2006

I4U News - Yamaha Sound Projector YSP-1000 Review


yamaha ysp-1000 Posted by Picasa
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"I recently enhanced my new living room with an affordable but high quality home theater. One of the important aspects for this home theater is that it is rather 'hidden'. Satellite surround sound boxes would be a big no, no. A solution to this wiring nightmare is the Yamaha Sound Projector YSP-1000. Read the review below if the surround sound performance from a single box can replace the typical 5 loudspeaker setup."
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Quicksilverscreen.com: Self Cooling Beer Can

Now this idea rocks! Not like the one down below that has me stumped (dial-a-flavor or whatever it was). --pseudolus
---------------
"The I.C. Can? is the result of the solid partnership of Tempra Technology and Crown Holdings, who are currently discussing commercialization and marketing of this self-refridgerating can to top beverage companies. Imagine: an icy cold beverage without refrigerated vending machines or bulky ice chests.
 
The world?s first self-refridgerating [sic] can is finally here! It works. It?s safe. And its development is a result of the partnership of Tempra Technology and Crown Holdings.
 
The advanced design utilizes the latest breakthroughs in thermal, insulating and vacuum heat pump technology. The self-contained I.C. Can? is the approximate size of a 500 ml beverage can. This includes the beverage container itself, and the integral self-cooling device.
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