Wednesday, April 25, 2007

RE: Massive animal die off

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Date: Apr 25, 2007 4:53 PM

RE: RE: Massive animal die off

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From: Charlie Brown (Truth Seeker)
Date: Apr 25, 2007 1:40 PM

What the Hell?

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From: Valerie
Date: Apr 25, 2007 1:25 PM

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From: Shane
Date: Apr 25, 2007 12:40 PM

Many thanks to LOST CHIEF - Stolen Peace and all whom came before. I have been following the bee story closely for days but had until now failed to realize that so many things were happening simaltainiously. Could this be some magnetic frequency upset (natural or otherwise) or perhaps a side effect of the notorious HAARP project or contrails fallout. I am certain the conspiracy theorists will have a heyday with this but IT HAS TO STOP. Who knows what this really is but this is alarming at best.

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From: LOST CHIEF - Stolen Peace!
Date: Apr 25, 2007 12:06 PM

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From: Death to fanaticism
Date: Apr 25, 2007 12:35 PM

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From: § Lori §
Date: Apr 25, 2007 5:41 AM

RE: all dying in large .'s recently

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From: People Against Global Warming
Date: Apr 25, 2007 2:27 AM

Very strange...perhaps pollution is having a butterfly effect beyond our wildest nightmare with domino effect kicking in !

From: Angel Shadow™
Date: Apr 24, 2007 10:27 PM

From: Indigogirl
Date: Apr 24, 2007 1:40 PM

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From: *♥* Celebrate Life
Date: Apr 23, 2007 12:02 PM

Prayers needed for our Earth and environment...

Somethings going on in the environment?

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From: Divine Love
Date: Apr 22, 2007 11:00 AM

Somethings going on in the environment?
Happy Earth day~ our Beloved Earth Mother needs our prayers~

From: FREE FALL (reality theorist)

This Really Stinks!


Kenny - Lightworker

Million Fish Die In Colorado
At Once - 'A Lack Of Oxygen'?

From Judith Moriarty


I was having a cup of tea in the kitchen when I heard a 'brief' blurb on the news telling of a million fish that had died in the Colorado River (covering an area of 7 miles). The reason given was 'lack of oxygen'. I waited to hear more on evening broadcasts (pictures) and there was NOTHING just that 30 second announcement. When I went searching I found that this was not an aberration pertaining just to the Colorado, but was happening in all parts of the country (rivers & lakes) and to put the people, who blame farmer's fertilizer at ease, many of these areas had no farms anywhere near them. Tens of thousands of fish have been found in California, Oregon, Washington State, Pennsylvania, and the Potomac etc. Looking further, I found that this is happening world wide, from Romania to China! Combine these massive die-offs with thousands of dead whales, sea turtles, porpoises, birds, honey bees, and butterflies.well, it's not hard to reason that the planet is dying. These massive deaths appear to be reported only locally and never making it to the national scene or an all out alarm by the EPA or environmental (corporate sponsored) groups?

The Gulf of Mexico has a DEAD ZONE that is approximately 7,000 square miles! Oregon has a DEAD ZONE off of its coast the size of Rhode Island. NO ALARM bells. I can understand this depraved indifference, since massive pollution, (84,000 gallons a day) from a landfill holding 2.3 MILLION TONS of putrid garbage is contaminating ground water and rivers in my own state (NH). When our state Department of Environmental Services held a hearing in the little town of Bethlehem (northern NH) they had the audacity to tell a citizen, who held a jar aloft, with this rusted polluted water that 'iron is good for you'. Sending the website 'Goliath Trust' and photos off to the Governor, Executive Council, and various legislators, was met with SILENCE. Moral: Corporate polluters, military testing (sonar), corporate HOG farmers, etc, take precedence over the health of the nation and our waters...


Up to one million fish found dead in Thai river

Tue Mar 13, 3:07 AM ET

BANGKOK (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of farmed fish have been found dead in one of Thailand's key rivers, the fisheries department said Tuesday, prompting fears that factories were polluting the waterway.

Parts of the central provinces of Ang Thong and Ayutthaya along the Chao Phraya river were officially declared disaster zones Tuesday, after the fish started dying there on Sunday night.

Officials said they were still trying to determine what had caused the deaths of up to one million caged tubtim fish, a type of tilapia, at different locations along the river about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Bangkok.

Jaranthada Karnsasuta, director general of the fisheries department, said a sudden lack of oxygen in the water killed the fish.

"Oxygen in water is very poor. Some reported zero to 0.5 percent of oxygen in the water, while fish need more than three percent to survive," he told AFP.

He said they were currently investigating two possible explanations -- that a sugar boat which capsized earlier this month released toxic byproducts into the river, or that upstream factories had polluted the waterway.

Local villagers and farmers suspect that factories, including one that produces the food additive monosodium glutamate, had released untreated water into the Chao Phraya, which flows down to the capital Bangkok, Jaranthada said.

It was less likely to have been caused by the capsized boat, he said, as the accident happened March 3 and the fish would have been affected earlier.

The Ministry of Agriculture will compensate fish farmers for their losses, which total about 40 million baht (1.3 million dollars), Jaranthada said.

An official in Ang Thong told AFP that the public health ministry had reassured him that the dead fish were not poisonous to humans, but added that they would be buried rather than entering the food chain.

Jaranthada said that the quality of water on the affected stretch of the Chao Phraya was improving after the irrigation department released clean water from an upstream dam.


Dead birds rain down on towns half a world apart

It could be the plot of a horror film, but in two towns on opposite sides of the world the mysterious phenomenon of thousands of dead birds dropping out of the sky is all too real.

Officials are baffled by the unexplained deaths which have affected Australia and the U.S.

Three weeks ago thousands of crows, pigeons, wattles and honeyeaters fell out of the sky in Esperance, Western Australia.

Then last week dozens of grackles, sparrows and pigeons dropped dead on two streets in Austin, Texas.

As birds continue to die in Esperance and the town's dawn chorus remains eerily silent, vets in both countries have been unable to establish a cause of death - despite carrying out a large number of autopsies on the birds.

Wildlife officials from Western Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation said they were baffled by the "catastrophic event" but emphasised the deaths had nothing to do with a severe storm which recently struck the area, as the birds had started dying before then. District nature conservation coordinator Mike Fitzgerald said: "It's very substantial.

"We estimate several thousand birds are dead, although we don't have a clear number because of the large areas of bushland."

Birds Australia, the country's largest bird conservation group, said it had not heard of a similar occurrence.

"You'd have to call it a most unusual event and one that we'd all have to be concerned about," said chief executive Graeme Hamilton.

Dr Fiona Sunderman, chief veterinary officer of the Department of Agriculture and Food, suspects the cause of death is some form of toxic poisoning.

Esperance resident Michelle Crisp, who normally sees hundreds of birds roosting in her garden, counted 80 dead ones in one day.

"It went to the point where we had nothing, not a single bird," she said. "It was like a moonscape - just horrible."

In Texas, officials are also working on the toxic poisoning theory. Adolfo Valadez, medical director for Austin and Travis County Health and Human Services, said it might be weeks before any conclusive results were known.

Such was the concern that the birds suffered deliberate toxic poisoning that several streets were closed in Austin while police and fire crews checked the area for any substance that might be of harm to humans.

"This was a precautionary measure. We certainly take these kinds of thing seriously, especially following 9/11," said Mr Valadez. "It may be a matter of time before we know what happened and why it happened. There is no threat to public health."

Federal officials in Washington said they were monitoring the situation, but a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said: "There is no credible intelligence to suggest an imminent threat to the homeland or Austin at this time."


Honeybees Dying At Alarming Rate

Honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate in almost half the country. It's a mystery scientists are calling "colony collapse disorder." Now, some Ark-La-Tex beekeepers are beginning to see the same signs.

Bees are far more than a picnic inconvenience. They are the givers of honey and the providers of pollination to 14-billion dollars in U.S. crops. Even clover needs bees. "Lots of farmers put this on their land and it requires pollination by bees and other pollinating insects," said beekeeper James Aulds, as he grabbed a handful of clover from the ground.


Mystery of the vanishing bees

VISALIA, California: David Bradshaw has endured countless stings during his life as a beekeeper, but he got the shock of his career when he opened his boxes last month and found half of his 100 million bees missing.

In 24 states across America, beekeepers have gone through similar shocks as their bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate, threatening not only their livelihoods but also the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the nation's most profitable.

"I have never seen anything like it," Bradshaw, 50, said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. "Box after box after box are just empty. There's nobody home."

The sudden mysterious losses are highlighting the critical link that honeybees play in the long chain that gets fruit and vegetables to supermarkets and dinner tables across the country. Beekeepers have fought regional bee crises before, but this is the first U.S. national affliction.

In a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their colonies. And nobody knows why.

Researchers say the bees are presumably dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold.

As researchers scramble to find answers to the syndrome they have decided to call "colony collapse disorder," growers are becoming openly nervous about the capability of the commercial bee industry to meet the growing demand for bees to pollinate dozens of crops, from almonds to avocados to kiwis.

Along with recent stresses on the bees themselves, as well as on an industry increasingly under consolidation, some fear this disorder may force a breaking point for even large beekeepers.

A Cornell University study has estimated that honeybees annually pollinate more than $14 billion worth of seeds and crops in the United States, mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts.

"Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food," said Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation.

The bee losses are ranging from 30 to 60 percent on the West Coast, with some beekeepers on the East Coast and in Texas reporting losses of more than 70 percent. Beekeepers consider a loss of up to 20 percent in the off-season to be normal.

Beekeepers are the nomads of the agriculture world, working in obscurity in their white protective suits and frequently trekking around the country with their insects packed into 18-wheel trucks, looking for pollination work.

Once the domain of hobbyists with a handful of backyard hives, beekeeping has become increasingly commercial and consolidated. Over the last two decades, the number of beehives, now estimated by the U.S. Agriculture Department to be 2.4 million, has dropped by a quarter and the number of beekeepers by half.

Pressure has been building on the bee industry. The cost of maintaining hives, also known as colonies, is rising, along with the strain on bees of being bred to pollinate rather than just make honey.

And beekeepers are losing out to suburban sprawl in their quest for spots where bees can forage for nectar to stay healthy and strong during the pollination season.

"There less beekeepers, less bees, yet more crops to pollinate," Browning said. "While this sounds sweet for the bee business, with so much added loss and expense due to disease, pests and higher equipment costs, profitability is actually falling."

About 15 worried beekeepers convened in Florida this month to brainstorm with researchers on how to cope with the extensive bee losses.

Investigators are collecting samples and exploring a range of theories for the colony collapses, including viruses, a fungus and poor bee nutrition.

They are also studying a group of pesticides that were banned in some European countries, including France, to see if they are somehow affecting bees' innate ability to find their way back home.

It could just be that the bees are stressed out. Bees are being raised to survive a shorter off-season, to be ready to pollinate once the almond bloom begins in February. That has most likely lowered their immunity to viruses.

Mites have also damaged bee colonies, and the insecticides used to try to kill mites are harming the ability of queen bees to spawn as many worker bees. The queens are living half as long as they did just a few years ago.

Researchers are also concerned that the willingness of beekeepers to truck their colonies from coast to coast could be adding to bees' stress, helping to spread viruses and mites and otherwise accelerating whatever is afflicting them.

Dennis van Engelsdorp, a bee specialist with the state of Pennsylvania who is part of the team studying the bee colony collapses, said the "strong immune suppression" investigators have observed "could be the AIDS of the bee industry," making bees more susceptible to other diseases that eventually kill them off.

Growers have tried before to do without bees. In past decades, they have used everything from giant blowers to helicopters to mortar shells to try to spread pollen across the plants.

More recently, researchers have been trying to develop "self-compatible" almond trees that will require fewer bees. One company is even trying to commercialize a "blue orchard bee" that is stingless and works at colder temperatures than the honeybee.

Beekeepers have endured two major mite infestations since the 1980s, which felled many hobbyist beekeepers, and three cases of unexplained disappearing disorders as far back as 1894. But those episodes were confined to small areas, van Engelsdorp said.

Today, the industry is in a weaker position to deal with new stresses. A flood of imported honey from China and Argentina has depressed honey prices and put more pressure on beekeepers to take to the road in search of pollination contracts. Beekeepers are trucking tens of billions of bees around the country every year.

California's almond crop, by far the biggest in the world, now draws more than half of the country's bee colonies in February. The crop has been both a boon to commercial beekeeping and a burden, as pressure mounts for the industry to fill growing demand.

Spread over 580,000 acres, or about 235,000 hectares, stretched across 300 miles, or 480 kilometers, of California's Central Valley, the crop is expected to grow to 680,000 acres by 2010.

Beekeepers now earn many times more by renting their bees out to pollinate crops than they do producing honey. Two years ago a shortage of bees for the California almond crop caused bee rental prices to jump, drawing beekeepers from the East Coast.

This year, the price for a bee colony is about $135, up from $55 in 2004, said Joe Traynor, a bee broker in Bakersfield, California.

A typical bee colony ranges from 15,000 to 30,000 bees. But beekeepers' costs are also on the rise. In the past decade, fuel, equipment and even bee boxes have doubled and tripled in price.

The cost to control mites has also risen, along with the price of queen bees, which cost about $15 each, up from $10 three years ago.

To give bees energy while they are pollinating, beekeepers now feed them protein supplements and a liquid mix of sucrose and corn syrup carried in tanker-sized trucks costing $12,000 per load.

Over all, Bradshaw figures, in recent years he has spent $145 a hive annually to keep his bees alive, for a profit of about $11 a hive, not including labor expenses.

"A couple of farmers have asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'" Bradshaw said.

"I ask myself the same thing. But it is a job I like. It is a lifestyle. I work with my dad every day. And now my son is starting to work with us."

Aulds works the 350-hives for Hummer & Son Louisiana Honey in Bossier City. "There are very few feral bees in this area," added Aulds who explained that most wild bees locally died off in the early '90's thanks to mites.

"Bees do not take care of themselves. That's why there's beekeepers," said Aulds. Operations like Hummer & Son are now hired by farmers for pollination help so their animals can still graze and grow.

Aulds said half the country's bees are in Calfornia, helping pollinate huge crops, especially almonds. But there's trouble this year as California bee farmer Louis Rosburg described. "Disappeared. There's nothing there. There's no bees on the ground anywhere. There's just a completely empty hive."

Scientists fear that everything from viruses and mites to fungi and pesticides could be to blame for the mysterious "colony collapse disorder," with bees dying off by the hundreds of thousands. Aulds said, "since we live in a global economy with instant travel of stuff, we have all the diseases from all over the world in the United States."

He isn't ready to say colony collapse disorder is here or not but conceded that they are seeing a lot more bees dying. Typically a honey farm like Hummer & Son might see a 10-percent reduction in bees over wintertime. This time it's 30 percent. What would make them start to panic? Aulds estimated that another twenty percent drop and they would begin to change their strategies.

Hummer & Son is expected to add several hundred more hives to compensate for their winter loss and then keep their fingers crossed that the worst is over. They now rent out bees to 8-family farms for pollination. And since this is a relatively new venture for them they expect to sign up many more.


Why are the Frogs Dying?


Ponds and swamps are becoming eerily silent. The familiar melody of ribbits, croaks and chirps is disappearing as a mysterious killer fungus wipes out frog populations around the globe, a phenomenon likened to the extinction of dinosaurs.

Scientists from around the world are meeting Thursday and Friday in Atlanta to organize a worldwide effort to stem the deaths by asking zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens to take in threatened frogs until the fungus can be stopped.

The aim of the group called Amphibian Ark is to prevent the world's more than 6,000 species of frogs, salamanders and wormlike sicilians from disappearing. Scientists estimate up to 170 species of frogs have become extinct in the past decade from the fungus and other causes, and an additional 1,900 species are threatened.

"This is the precedent of a disease working its way across an entire species on the scale of all mammals, all birds or all fish," said Joseph Mendelson, curator of herpetology at Zoo Atlanta and an organizer of Amphibian Ark. "Humans would be absolutely stupid if they didn't pay attention to that."

Amphibians - of which frogs make up the majority - are a vital part of the food chain, eating insects that other animals don't touch and connecting the world of aquatic animals to land dwellers. Without amphibians, the insects that would go unchecked would threaten public health and food supplies.

Amphibians also serve important biomedical purposes. Some species produce a chemical used as a pain reliever for humans; one species is linked to a chemical that disables the virus that causes AIDS.

Amphibian Ark wants zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums in each country to take in at least 500 frogs from a threatened species to protect them from the killer fungus, which is called chytrid fungus. Each frog would get cleaned to make sure it doesn't introduce the scourge into the protected area.

The group estimates it will cost between $400 million and $500 million to complete the project. It is launching a fundraising campaign next year to create an endowment.

The scientists say the amphibian collection is simply a stopgap. It buys time and prevents more species from going extinct while researchers figure out how to keep amphibians from dying off in the wild.

The fungus isn't the only thing that's deadly to amphibians it's just killing them faster than development, pollution and global warming, said George Rabb, the retired head of the Chicago's Brookfield Zoo and a leader in Amphibian Ark. Scientists will have to closely monitor frog populations rereleased into the wild once the fungus is eliminated, he said.

"Right now with global warming and the garbage heap we put in the atmosphere, there are going to be risks," said Rabb, one of the country's leading conservation scientists. "That's why we'll need people from other professional fields epidemiology, climate change."

Scientists aren't quite sure of the fungus's origin, but they suspect it might be Africa. The African clawed frog, which carries the fungus on its skin and is immune to its deadly effects, has been shipped all over the world for research.

The clawed frog was also used in hospitals in the 1940s as a way to detect pregnancy in women. It produces eggs when injected with the urine of a pregnant woman.

The fungus works like a parasite that makes it difficult for the frogs to use their pores, quickly causing them to die of dehydration. It has been linked to the extinction of amphibians from Australia to Costa Rica.

Last month, Japan reported its first cases of frog deaths from the fungus, prompting research groups to declare an emergency in the country. On the Caribbean island of Dominica, the fungus has almost wiped out the mountain chicken, a frog species considered an island delicacy.

At Yosemite National Park in California, the mountain yellow-legged frog is close to extinction. The park has only 650 frog populations left, but 85 percent are infected with the fungus and the growing quiet along the park's lakes is evident as many of the frogs are dying off.


On the Net:

University of California-Berkley's AmphibiaWeb:

Amphibian Ark:

Zoo Atlanta:

Species dying off at unprecedented rate, researchers say
15,589 species are at risk of extinction and least 15 have gone extinct
in the past 20 years, conservationists say

Posted Nov. 18, 2004
Courtesy World Conservation Union
and World Science staff

From the mighty shark to the humble frog, species are dying off faster than ever before, according to a new report billed as the most comprehensive evaluation ever conducted of the world's biodiversity.

The announcement was made at the World Conservation Union's World Conservation Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, this week. The findings are based on a report called the Global Species Assessment, released by a consortium of conservation groups in conjunction with the union's annual “Red List” of threatened species.

“There is some good news,” said a statement released by the World Conservation Union, an environmental organization, this week regarding the findings. “Conservation measures are already making a difference – a quarter of the world’s threatened birds have benefited from such measures. What is needed is more of them, and to focus them better.”

The Global Species Assessment shows trends in biodiversity over four years since the last major analysis in 2000, and it includes, for the first time, complete assessments of amphibians, cycads (an ancient group of plants) and conifers, as well as regional case studies. It also highlights which species are at greatest risk of extinction, where they occur, and the many threats facing them.

“Governments are starting to realise the value of biodiversity and the critical role it plays in their peoples’ well-being. Species provide food, medicine, fuel, and building materials. They help filter water, decompose waste, generate soil and pollinate crops. Recognition of this is growing but governments need to mobilize far more resources,” said David Brackett, Chairman of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission.

In 1996 it was revealed that one in eight birds (12%) and one in four mammals (23%) were threatened with extinction (falling into the Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable categories). This infamous line-up has now been joined by one in three amphibians (32%) and almost half (42%) of turtles and tortoises, according to the World Conservation Union.

With amphibians relying on freshwater, their catastrophic decline is a warning about the state of the planet’s water resources, the report said. Even though the situation in freshwater habitats is less well known than for terrestrial, early signs show it is equally serious. More than half (53%) of Madagascar’s freshwater fish are threatened with extinction.

The vast ocean depths are providing little refuge to many marine species which are being over-exploited to the point of extinction. Nearly one in five (18%) of assessed sharks and rays are threatened.

Many plants have also been assessed, but only conifers and cycads have been completely evaluated with 25% and 52% threatened respectively.

For the first time, the assessment includes the Red List Index, a new tool for measuring trends in extinction risk. This shows overall changes in threat status (projected risk of extinction) over time for a particular group. It will be important for measuring changes in biodiversity. Red List Indices are currently available for birds and amphibians, and show that their status has declined steadily since the 1980s.

“Although 15,589 species are known to be threatened with extinction, this greatly underestimates the true number as only a fraction of known species have been assessed. There is still much to be discovered about key species-rich habitats, such as tropical forests, marine and freshwater systems or particular groups, such as invertebrates, plants and fungi, which make up the majority of biodiversity,” says Craig Hilton-Taylor, the World Conservation Union’s Red List Programme Officer.

People, either directly or indirectly, are the main reason for most species’ declines. Habitat destruction and degradation are the leading threats but other significant pressures include over-exploitation for food, pets, and medicine, introduced species, pollution and disease. Climate change is increasingly recognised as a serious threat.

“It is clear that the situation facing our species is serious and getting worse. We can continue to assess and bemoan the loss of the world’s biodiversity or we can act! We must refocus and rethink the way in which society must respond to this global threat,” says Achim Steiner, the World Conservation Union's Director General.

“While most threats to biodiversity are human-driven, human actions alone can prevent many species from becoming extinct. There are many examples of species being brought back from the brink including the southern white rhino and black-footed ferret, and thousands of dedicated people around the world are doing their utmost to reverse the extinction rate,” he added. “But this cannot continue to be the task of the environmental community alone. Governments and business must commit to these efforts as well”.

Since the release of the 2003 Red List, more than 15,633 new entries have been added and 3,579 species reassessed. There are now 7,266 threatened animal species and 8,323 threatened plant and lichen species. A total of 784 plant and animal species are now recorded as Extinct with a further 60 known only in cultivation or captivity.

Since 2003, there have been some notable changes to the list, including some marked deteriorations, like the St Helena olive (from Extinct in the Wild to Extinct), the Hawaiian crow (from Critically Endangered to Extinct in the Wild), the Balearic shearwater (From Near Threatened to Critically Endangered), the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp lizard (from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered), and an African begonia, Begonia oxyanthera (from Near Threatened to Vulnerable).

But there have also been some improvements, such as the European otter (from Vulnerable to Near Threatened) and the Christmas Island Imperial pigeon (from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable).

The 2004 assessment shows that threatened species are often concentrated in densely populated areas, particularly in much of Asia and parts of Africa. A major conservation challenge will therefore be to reconcile the demands of large numbers of people on the environment, whilst protecting the biodiversity upon which so many people’s livelihoods depend.

The importance of international support in safeguarding biodiversity is critical says the assessment. Many countries with a high concentration of threatened species have a low Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and are unable to implement the required conservation measures without international assistance.

Some key findings from the Global Species Assessment

* Numbers of threatened species are increasing across almost all the major taxonomic groups.
* The marine environment is not as well known as the terrestrial environment but initial findings show that marine species are just as vulnerable to extinction as their terrestrial counterparts.
* Freshwater habitats are also poorly known, but recent surveys reveal that many aquatic species are threatened with extinction.
* Most threatened birds, mammals, and amphibians are located on the tropical continents - Central and South America, Africa south of the Sahara, and tropical South and Southeast Asia. These regions contain the tropical broadleaf forests which are believed to harbour the majority of the earth’s living terrestrial and freshwater species.
* Australia , Brazil, China, Indonesia and Mexico hold particularly large numbers of threatened species.
* Countries with high numbers of threatened species and relatively low GNI include Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru and the Philippines.
* The world’s list of extinctions increases – from 766 in 2000 to 784 documented extinctions since 1500 AD.
* Although estimates vary greatly, current extinction rates are at least one hundred to a thousand times higher than background, or "natural" rates.
* Over the past 20 years, 27 documented extinctions or extinctions in the wild have occurred but this underestimates the true number that have taken place.
* While the vast majority of extinctions since 1500 AD have occurred on oceanic islands, over the last 20 years, continental extinctions have become as common as island extinctions.
* Humans have been the main cause of extinction and continue to be the principle threat to species at risk of extinction.
* Habitat loss, introduced species, and over-exploitation are the main threats, with human-induced climate change becoming an increasingly significant problem.


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes 'FAIR USE' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17, U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.)

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RE: 10 steps to Fascism: The most important bulletin 4 today!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Taboo Central
Date: Apr 25, 2007 3:51 PM

Thanks, nierika! You are a Truth Network anchor person/reporter extraordinaire!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: nierika
Date: Apr 24, 2007 3:28 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Kurt Nimmo
Date: Apr 24, 2007 12:43 PM

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
Kurt Nimmo - Tuesday April 24th 2007, 9:50 am

By Naomi Wolf, published by the Guardian, Tuesday April 24, 2007.

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens’ ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don’t learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of “homeland” security - remember who else was keen on the word “homeland” - didn’t raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.

Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the US.

1 Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now on a “war footing”; we were in a “global war” against a “global caliphate” intending to “wipe out civilisation”. There have been other times of crisis in which the US accepted limits on civil liberties, such as during the civil war, when Lincoln declared martial law, and the second world war, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned. But this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda notes, is unprecedented: all our other wars had an endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward freedom; this war is defined as open-ended in time and without national boundaries in space - the globe itself is the battlefield. “This time,” Fein says, “there will be no defined end.”

Creating a terrifying threat - hydra-like, secretive, evil - is an old trick. It can, like Hitler’s invocation of a communist threat to the nation’s security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the National Socialist evocation of the “global conspiracy of world Jewry”, on myth.

It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain - which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks - than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the end of civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

2 Create a gulag

Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal “outer space”) - where torture takes place.

At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as outsiders: troublemakers, spies, “enemies of the people” or “criminals”. Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders - opposition members, labour activists, clergy and journalists - are arrested and sent there as well.

This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy crackdowns ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to the Latin American coups of the 1970s and beyond. It is standard practice for closing down an open society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course, Guantánamo in Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept indefinitely without trial and without access to the due process of the law, America certainly has its gulag now. Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced they would issue no information about the secret CIA “black site” prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate people who have been seized off the street.

Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger and more secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We know from first-hand accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people, innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the US-run prisons we are aware of and those we can’t investigate adequately.

But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses involve only scary brown people with whom they don’t generally identify. It was brave of the conservative pundit William Safire to quote the anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller, who had been seized as a political prisoner: “First they came for the Jews.” Most Americans don’t understand yet that the destruction of the rule of law at Guantánamo set a dangerous precedent for them, too.

By the way, the establishment of military tribunals that deny prisoners due process tends to come early on in a fascist shift. Mussolini and Stalin set up such tribunals. On April 24 1934, the Nazis, too, set up the People’s Court, which also bypassed the judicial system: prisoners were held indefinitely, often in isolation, and tortured, without being charged with offences, and were subjected to show trials. Eventually, the Special Courts became a parallel system that put pressure on the regular courts to abandon the rule of law in favour of Nazi ideology when making decisions.

3 Develop a thug caste

When leaders who seek what I call a “fascist shift” want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from prosecution.

The years following 9/11 have proved a bonanza for America’s security contractors, with the Bush administration outsourcing areas of work that traditionally fell to the US military. In the process, contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been issued for security work by mercenaries at home and abroad. In Iraq, some of these contract operatives have been accused of involvement in torturing prisoners, harassing journalists and firing on Iraqi civilians. Under Order 17, issued to regulate contractors in Iraq by the one-time US administrator in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, these contractors are immune from prosecution

Yes, but that is in Iraq, you could argue; however, after Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security hired and deployed hundreds of armed private security guards in New Orleans. The investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard who reported having fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a natural disaster that underlay that episode - but the administration’s endless war on terror means ongoing scope for what are in effect privately contracted armies to take on crisis and emergency management at home in US cities.

Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000. If you are reading history, you can imagine that there can be a need for “public order” on the next election day. Say there are protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history would not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a polling station “to restore public order”.

4 Set up an internal surveillance system

In Mussolini’s Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.

In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens’ phones, read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state scrutiny.

In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about “national security”; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.

5 Harass citizens’ groups

The fifth thing you do is related to step four - you infiltrate and harass citizens’ groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in favour of peace, found itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, while churches that got Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal under US tax law, have been left alone.

Other harassment is more serious: the American Civil Liberties Union reports that thousands of ordinary American anti-war, environmental and other groups have been infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon database includes more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings, rallies or marches by American citizens in its category of 1,500 “suspicious incidents”. The equally secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (Cifa) agency of the Department of Defense has been gathering information about domestic organisations engaged in peaceful political activities: Cifa is supposed to track “potential terrorist threats” as it watches ordinary US citizen activists. A little-noticed new law has redefined activism such as animal rights protests as “terrorism”. So the definition of “terrorist” slowly expands to include the opposition.

6 Engage in arbitrary detention and release

This scares people. It is a kind of cat-and-mouse game. Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the investigative reporters who wrote China Wakes: the Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power, describe pro-democracy activists in China, such as Wei Jingsheng, being arrested and released many times. In a closing or closed society there is a “list” of dissidents and opposition leaders: you are targeted in this way once you are on the list, and it is hard to get off the list.

In 2004, America’s Transportation Security Administration confirmed that it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who have found themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San Francisco; liberal Senator Edward Kennedy; a member of Venezuela’s government - after Venezuela’s president had criticised Bush; and thousands of ordinary US citizens.

Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author of the classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March 1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark, “because I was on the Terrorist Watch list”.

“Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that,” asked the airline employee.

“I explained,” said Murphy, “that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.”

“That’ll do it,” the man said.

Anti-war marcher? Potential terrorist. Support the constitution? Potential terrorist. History shows that the categories of “enemy of the people” tend to expand ever deeper into civil life.

James Yee, a US citizen, was the Muslim chaplain at Guantánamo who was accused of mishandling classified documents. He was harassed by the US military before the charges against him were dropped. Yee has been detained and released several times. He is still of interest.

Brandon Mayfield, a US citizen and lawyer in Oregon, was mistakenly identified as a possible terrorist. His house was secretly broken into and his computer seized. Though he is innocent of the accusation against him, he is still on the list.

It is a standard practice of fascist societies that once you are on the list, you can’t get off.

7 Target key individuals

Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don’t toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile’s Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing pro-democracy students and professors.

Academe is a tinderbox of activism, so those seeking a fascist shift punish academics and students with professional loss if they do not “coordinate”, in Goebbels’ term, ideologically. Since civil servants are the sector of society most vulnerable to being fired by a given regime, they are also a group that fascists typically “coordinate” early on: the Reich Law for the Re-establishment of a Professional Civil Service was passed on April 7 1933.

Bush supporters in state legislatures in several states put pressure on regents at state universities to penalise or fire academics who have been critical of the administration. As for civil servants, the Bush administration has derailed the career of one military lawyer who spoke up for fair trials for detainees, while an administration official publicly intimidated the law firms that represent detainees pro bono by threatening to call for their major corporate clients to boycott them.

Elsewhere, a CIA contract worker who said in a closed blog that “waterboarding is torture” was stripped of the security clearance she needed in order to do her job.

Most recently, the administration purged eight US attorneys for what looks like insufficient political loyalty. When Goebbels purged the civil service in April 1933, attorneys were “coordinated” too, a step that eased the way of the increasingly brutal laws to follow.

8 Control the press

Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s, Czechoslovakia in the 60s, the Latin American dictatorships in the 70s, China in the 80s and 90s - all dictatorships and would-be dictators target newspapers and journalists. They threaten and harass them in more open societies that they are seeking to close, and they arrest them and worse in societies that have been closed already.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US journalists are at an all-time high: Josh Wolf (no relation), a blogger in San Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for refusing to turn over video of an anti-war demonstration; Homeland Security brought a criminal complaint against reporter Greg Palast, claiming he threatened “critical infrastructure” when he and a TV producer were filming victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Palast had written a bestseller critical of the Bush administration.

Other reporters and writers have been punished in other ways. Joseph C Wilson accused Bush, in a New York Times op-ed, of leading the country to war on the basis of a false charge that Saddam Hussein had acquired yellowcake uranium in Niger. His wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a CIA spy - a form of retaliation that ended her career.

Prosecution and job loss are nothing, though, compared with how the US is treating journalists seeking to cover the conflict in Iraq in an unbiased way. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or threatening to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the BBC. While westerners may question the accounts by al-Jazeera, they should pay attention to the accounts of reporters such as the BBC’s Kate Adie. In some cases reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN’s Terry Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq had staff members seized by the US military and taken to violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see the evidence against their staffers.

Over time in closing societies, real news is supplanted by fake news and false documents. Pinochet showed Chilean citizens falsified documents to back up his claim that terrorists had been about to attack the nation. The yellowcake charge, too, was based on forged papers.

You won’t have a shutdown of news in modern America - it is not possible. But you can have, as Frank Rich and Sidney Blumenthal have pointed out, a steady stream of lies polluting the news well. What you already have is a White House directing a stream of false information that is so relentless that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth from untruth. In a fascist system, it’s not the lies that count but the muddying. When citizens can’t tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.

9 Dissent equals treason

Cast dissent as “treason” and criticism as “espionage’. Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalise certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of “spy” and “traitor”. When Bill Keller, the publisher of the New York Times, ran the Lichtblau/Risen stories, Bush called the Times’ leaking of classified information “disgraceful”, while Republicans in Congress called for Keller to be charged with treason, and rightwing commentators and news outlets kept up the “treason” drumbeat. Some commentators, as Conason noted, reminded readers smugly that one penalty for violating the Espionage Act is execution.

Conason is right to note how serious a threat that attack represented. It is also important to recall that the 1938 Moscow show trial accused the editor of Izvestia, Nikolai Bukharin, of treason; Bukharin was, in fact, executed. And it is important to remind Americans that when the 1917 Espionage Act was last widely invoked, during the infamous 1919 Palmer Raids, leftist activists were arrested without warrants in sweeping roundups, kept in jail for up to five months, and “beaten, starved, suffocated, tortured and threatened with death”, according to the historian Myra MacPherson. After that, dissent was muted in America for a decade.

In Stalin’s Soviet Union, dissidents were “enemies of the people”. National Socialists called those who supported Weimar democracy “November traitors”.

And here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not realise that since September of last year - when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - the president has the power to call any US citizen an “enemy combatant”. He has the power to define what “enemy combatant” means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define “enemy combatant” any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly.

Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the power to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow, or have us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial. (Prolonged isolation, as psychiatrists know, triggers psychosis in otherwise mentally healthy prisoners. That is why Stalin’s gulag had an isolation cell, like Guantánamo’s, in every satellite prison. Camp 6, the newest, most brutal facility at Guantánamo, is all isolation cells.)

We US citizens will get a trial eventually - for now. But legal rights activists at the Center for Constitutional Rights say that the Bush administration is trying increasingly aggressively to find ways to get around giving even US citizens fair trials. “Enemy combatant” is a status offence - it is not even something you have to have done. “We have absolutely moved over into a preventive detention model - you look like you could do something bad, you might do something bad, so we’re going to hold you,” says a spokeswoman of the CCR.

Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is hard to believe, even though it is true. In every closing society, at a certain point there are some high-profile arrests - usually of opposition leaders, clergy and journalists. Then everything goes quiet. After those arrests, there are still newspapers, courts, TV and radio, and the facades of a civil society. There just isn’t real dissent. There just isn’t freedom. If you look at history, just before those arrests is where we are now.

10 Suspend the rule of law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency - which the president now has enhanced powers to declare - he can send Michigan’s militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state’s governor and its citizens.

Even as Americans were focused on Britney Spears’s meltdown and the question of who fathered Anna Nicole’s baby, the New York Times editorialised about this shift: “A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night … Beyond actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or any ‘other condition’.”

Critics see this as a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act - which was meant to restrain the federal government from using the military for domestic law enforcement. The Democratic senator Patrick Leahy says the bill encourages a president to declare federal martial law. It also violates the very reason the founders set up our system of government as they did: having seen citizens bullied by a monarch’s soldiers, the founders were terrified of exactly this kind of concentration of militias’ power over American people in the hands of an oppressive executive or faction.

Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini’s march on Rome or Hitler’s roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.

Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in democracy could be closed down by a process of erosion.

It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days, things look normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in Berlin in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere - while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are sailing: “dogs go on with their doggy life … How everything turns away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster.”

As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being fatally corroded. Something has changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press do their work today in a context in which we are “at war” in a “long war” - a war without end, on a battlefield described as the globe, in a context that gives the president - without US citizens realising it yet - the power over US citizens of freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.

That means a hollowness has been expanding under the foundation of all these still- free-looking institutions - and this foundation can give way under certain kinds of pressure. To prevent such an outcome, we have to think about the “what ifs”.

What if, in a year and a half, there is another attack - say, God forbid, a dirty bomb? The executive can declare a state of emergency. History shows that any leader, of any party, will be tempted to maintain emergency powers after the crisis has passed. With the gutting of traditional checks and balances, we are no less endangered by a President Hillary than by a President Giuliani - because any executive will be tempted to enforce his or her will through edict rather than the arduous, uncertain process of democratic negotiation and compromise.

What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged with treason or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to threaten Keller with last year? What if he or she got 10 years in jail? What would the newspapers look like the next day? Judging from history, they would not cease publishing; but they would suddenly be very polite.

Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide of tyranny for the rest of us - staff at the Center for Constitutional Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people needs everybody’s help, including that of Europeans and others internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home can mean for the rest of the world.

We need to look at history and face the “what ifs”. For if we keep going down this road, the “end of America” could come for each of us in a different way, at a different moment; each of us might have a different moment when we feel forced to look back and think: that is how it was before - and this is the way it is now.

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … is the definition of tyranny,” wrote James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.

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RE: Hey Tom or whoever Go F*^%. yourself

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Apr 25, 2007 3:59 PM

Hey everybody, we just launched another program to stop dirty spammers from hasseling you. When you input a link in myspace it may be converted to a redirect link. You'll start seeing them around the site. They look like this: These links are legit and we are creating them. They are not viruses or whatever else your conspiracy theorist friends told you. They still point to their original url, but let us easily turn off links to spam, phishing, or virus sites. booyah!

Conspiracy ,what a dick.

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RE: 4 the love of God! What happened to that blood clot anyway?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Taboo Central
Date: Apr 25, 2007 4:08 PM

Looks like the bionic assbag is playing the health card again!
Can Zombies be reincarnated? I sure hope not! Once is enough for eternity where the head dead guy is concerned. Voodoo me up, Scotty!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: nierika
Date: Apr 24, 2007 4:29 PM

How bloody effin convenient Darth Cheney!!!

Ohio Congressman Postpones Move To Impeach Cheney
Apr 24 2007 3:01PM

WASHINGTON - Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich said he's holding off on his plan to introduce articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.

Kucinich had planned to hold a noon news conference in Washington to discuss a bid to oust the vice president. But the Democratic lawmaker who's again running for president says on his Web site that he has decided to wait until Cheney's health situation is clarified.

A spokeswoman says the vice president was taken to a doctor's office this morning to have a blood clot checked. She says doctors declared that it's improving and urged Cheney to continue his current treatment, which includes blood-thinning medicine.
On the Net:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich:

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Apr 25, 2007 7:17 AM


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: *Galactic Consciousness*
Date: Apr 24, 2007 3:56 PM

From: Save Our Troops, WE Won't Forget 911 !
Date: Apr 24, 2007 5:08 PM

From: ooppoddoo

(Thank you,

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Skull and bones, and their new world order plans.

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National Problematique: North American Nightmare

"It's the NEW WORLD ORDER" 2-27-07

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RE: Mark Crispin Miller: The REAL Justice Dept. Scandal.. A MUST

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Elsewhere's Daughter
Date: Apr 25, 2007 7:22 AM

Miller on Gonzales, Election Fraud, Ohio, impeachment, etc.

succinct, simple, and excellent! good to send to your friends who don't quite get it...

I wish the audio were better in spots, but excellent otherwise.

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RE: PBS Frontline---Bush's Media

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Elsewhere's Daughter
Date: Apr 25, 2007 7:37 AM

Liars. An example just yesterday Bush said that the 2006 election showed that the country didn't want to lose in Iraq- and therefore Americans SUPPORT THE SURGE.


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RE: Frustration Over Wall Unites Sunni and Shi'ite

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 25, 2007 8:20 AM

Frustration Over Wall Unites Sunni and Shi'ite

By Alissa J. Rubin
The New York Times

Go to Original

Baghdad - The unexpected outcry about the proposed construction of a wall around a Sunni Arab neighborhood has revealed the depths of Iraqi frustration with the petty humiliations created by the new security plan intended to protect them.

American and some Iraqi officials were clearly taken aback by the ferocity of the opposition to the wall, and on Monday the United States was showing signs of backing away from the plan. The strong reaction underscores the sense of powerlessness Iraqis feel in the face of the American military, whose presence is all the more pervasive as an increasing number of troops move on to the city's streets.

And it has proved to be an unlikely boon for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, making the Shiite politician - at least for now - into a champion for Sunnis because he publicly opposed the wall's construction.

At a rally on Monday, residents of the Sunni Arab neighborhood of Adhamiya pledged support for Mr. Maliki because of his declaration on Sunday in Cairo that construction of the wall around their neighborhood must stop. Their endorsement was all the more telling because many Sunnis see Mr. Maliki as the representative of a government bent on Sunni oppression.

"My view of Maliki has changed since I heard of this news, and we hope he would be able to carry out this decision," to stop the wall's construction, said Um Mohammed, a teacher in Adhamiya.

"We denounce the building of the wall, which will increase the sectarian rift," she said as she stood with more than 1,000 neighborhood residents at the peaceful protest.

By late in the day, the American military, under pressure from the Iraqi government, appeared to be rethinking the plan. "This one was obviously one in which the people in the area expressed some concern," said Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for the Pentagon. "There are aspects of this that the Iraqi government feels at this point are not productive. We'll continue to work with them on this and other tactics," he said.

Although the strategy of using barriers to safeguard areas of Baghdad is not new, the Adhamiya plan to enclose the neighborhood entirely was promoted as an advanced security measure. About two years ago, the American military erected a wall along the section of the Amiriya neighborhood that borders the airport road. While hardly foolproof, it reduced the number of attacks on American convoys on the route. More recently, the military has erected walls around marketplaces to safeguard them from suicide bombers, said Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, Baghdad's deputy commanding general, in a statement released Saturday when questions began to emerge about the plan.

But the Adhamiya wall, only partly built, has fast become a metaphor for the cumulative resentment that Iraqis feel about the violence and disruption of daily life that have brought so much misery to the country since the American invasion in 2003.

The latest indignity is the new security plan, w'ich has snarled traffic with checkpoints that turn even the shortest journeys into hourlong forays. And to the chagrin of many Iraqis, even after four years, the Americans still seem to be oblivious of the havoc they cause in Iraqis' daily lives by forcing traffic to stop, blocking roads and taking property for military outposts.

Iraqis feel demeaned and infuriated when they find themselves sitting in traffic for hours as it trickles through checkpoints or standing in lines in the already blazing spring sun waiting to be frisked to get into government buildings.

A man who had waited in line for more than two hours to get into the fortified International Zone, formerly known as the Green Zone, on Monday said no one explained the reason for the delay to the nearly 200 people standing there. "Why, why? What did I do?" he said to no one in particular, as a soldier who had briefly appeared near the front of the line walked away.

On the outskirts of Adhamiya on Monday afternoon, a line of cars stretched for more than half a mile, waiting to go through an Iraqi Army checkpoint to enter the neighborhood. The line of some 200 cars was moving so slowly that some drivers had gotten out and were gesticulating and shouting in frustration.

Although the decision to use tall concrete barriers to cordon off the neighborhood was made jointly by Iraqi and American forces, American soldiers are building the Adhamiya wall, according to neighborhood residents and a news release issued by the United States military. The wall is made of concrete slabs weighing 14,000 pounds each, which, when set next to each other, form a solid barrier. Cranes are used to winch them into position.

Mr. Maliki's decision to speak out against the wall was read on the streets as a moment of defiant Iraqi sovereignty in the face of the Americans, whom the vast majority of Iraqis view as an occupying force. Despite his government's backing of the overall security plan, Mr. Maliki has managed to appear to be a defender of the interests of the common citizen.

Sameer al-Obeidi, the imam of the Abu Khanifa mosque, one of the most influential Sunni Arab mosques in the city, applauded Mr. Maliki. "We shake hands with the government in such stands," he said.

The American involvement in the wall's construction has united Iraqis of different sects. Sunni political parties, as well as some Shiite groups, strongly oppose the wall. Shiite groups fear that though Sunni Arab neighborhoods are the ones being cordoned off this week, next month it could be Shiite areas as well.

There was still confusion on Monday over whether construction on the wall would proceed. Despite Mr. Maliki's declaration during his visit to Cairo on Sunday that construction would be halted, the chief Iraqi military spokesman said that there was no change in the plans to build the 12-foot barrier.

"We will continue to construct the security barriers in the Adhamiya neighborhood. This is a technical issue," Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said.

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RE: Rove Investigator Himself Under Investigation

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 25, 2007 8:25 AM

    Rove Investigator Himself Under Investigation
    By Jason Leopold 

     Go to Original

    A federal investigation into the political activities of Karl Rove, announced late Monday, is being headed by a Bush appointee who is currently the target of an internal White House probe - calling into question the integrity of the administration's efforts to conduct an independent review of Rove's work as White House political adviser.

    The news underscores how deeply the Bush administration is mired in scandal.

    Scott J. Bloch, who heads the Office of Special Counsel, told the Los Angeles Times Monday that his office will launch a wide-ranging investigation into Rove's involvement in the firings of eight US attorneys, his behind-the-scenes work to influence elections, and his use of a Republican National Committee email account to conduct official White House business, in what appears to be a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

    However, the Los Angeles Times failed to inform its readers that Bloch had been accused of retaliating against employees who disagreed with his policies, and intimidating them before they were questioned about a whistle-blower investigation inside the Office of the Special Counsel. The whistle-blower probe was launched by the White House's Office of Personnel Management inspector general nearly two years ago, according to a February 16, 2007 story in the Washington Post.

    Bloch vehemently denied the allegations at the time. On Tuesday, a spokesman in his office reiterated Bloch's position and insisted that the special counsel would still be able to conduct an independent review of Rove's work for the past six years, regardless of the accusations against him.

    Some Democratic Congressional leaders, such as Rep. Henry Waxman, chair of the Government Oversight Committee, who is also looking into Rove's use of RNC email accounts, as well as his role in the firing of the US attorneys, would not immediately comment on the announcement that Bloch's office is spearheading the probe into Rove's work. However, there are concerns among Democratic officials on Capitol Hill that the investigation as headed by Bloch would amount to a whitewash.

    Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Bloch's own questionable behavior as special counsel makes him the "wrong choice" to investigate Rove.

    "Having transformed [the Office of the Special Counsel] into a virtual black hole for legitimate complaints of retaliation, Bloch is decidedly not the right person to tackle the issues of misconduct and illegality that surround top White House officials," Sloan said, "There is a serious question as to whether Bloch will just provide cover for an administration that has been covering for him."

    In fact, some of the issues Bloch would be in charge of looking into related to Rove's activities in the US attorneys scandal, such as claims that some federal prosecutors were not in sync with White House policies on a variety of issues, mirror Bloch's alleged behavior involving his own employees.

    "The Office of Personnel Management's inspector general has been investigating allegations by current and former OSC employees that Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch retaliated against underlings who disagreed with his policies - by, among other means, transferring them out of state - and tossed out legitimate whistle-blower cases to reduce the office backlog," the Washington Post reported. "The probe is the most serious of many problems at the agency since Bloch, a Kansas lawyer who served at the Justice Department's Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives, was appointed by President Bush three years ago. Since he took the helm in 2004, staffers at the OSC, a small agency of about 100 lawyers and investigators, have accused him of a range of offenses, from having an anti-gay bias to criticizing employees for wearing short skirts and tight pants to work."

    A January 13, 2005 story in The New Standard said employees in the Office of the Special Counsel retained a private attorney to protest Bloch's orders that at least 12 staffers in the department move to another city or lose their jobs so Bloch could hire individuals who agree with his policies. In a strange twist, these employees accused Bloch of selectively "purging" employees from his department, a word now associated with the US attorney firings, and an area that Bloch says he will investigate to determine if wrongdoing took place.

    The New Standard report said a representative for some of the employees in the Office of the Special Counsel had reason to believe that their reassignments "amount to an attempted "purge."

    "They further suggest that Special Counsel Scott Bloch is gradually doing away with his critics while making way for pliant, fresh-faced replacements, fitting a pattern of "cronyism" they allege he has engaged in throughout most of his thirteen-month tenure as head of OSC," the New Standard reported in a January 13, 2005 story.

    In February, "the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the Project on Government Oversight, the Government Accountability Project and Human Rights Campaign and a lawyer for the OSC employees protested in a letter to legislators and to Clay Johnson III, the Office of Management and Budget deputy who ordered the OSC probe," the Post reported

    "The OSC's memo, the group said, "was only the latest in a series of actions by Bloch to obstruct the investigation. "Other actions have included suggestions that all witnesses interviewed ... provide Bloch with affidavits describing what they had been asked and how they responded," according to the Post.

    Whether Bloch can truly be effective in the investigation into Rove's political work will likely be an issue of further debate.

    Bloch believes he can be. He told the Los Angeles Times Monday that his office "will not leave any stone unturned."

    "We will take the evidence where it leads us," Bloch told the Times.

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RE: The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 25, 2007 8:28 AM

    The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

    By William Greider
    The Nation

    Go to Original

    The church of global free trade, which rules American politics with infallible pretensions, may have finally met its Martin Luther. An unlikely dissenter has come forward with a revised understanding of globalization that argues for thorough reformation. This man knows the global trading system from the inside because he is a respected veteran of multinational business. His ideas contain an explosive message: that what established authorities teach Americans about global trade is simply wrong - disastrously wrong for the United States.

    Martin Luther was a rebellious priest challenging the dictates of a corrupt church hierarchy. Ralph Gomory, on the other hand, is a gentle-spoken technologist, trained as a mathematician and largely apolitical. He does not set out to overthrow the establishment but to correct its deeper fallacies. For many years Gomory was a senior vice president at IBM. He helped manage IBM's expanding global presence as jobs and high-tech production were being dispersed around the world.

    The experience still haunts him. He decided, in retirement, that he would dig deeper into the contradictions. Now president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, he knew something was missing in the "pure trade theory" taught by economists. If free trade is a win-win proposition, Gomory asked himself, then why did America keep losing?

    The explanations he has developed sound like pure heresy to devout free traders. But oddly enough, Gomory's analysis is a good fit with what many ordinary workers and uncredentialed critics (myself included) have been arguing for some years. An important difference is that Gomory's critique is thoroughly grounded in the orthodox terms and logic of conventional economics. That makes it much harder to dismiss. Given his career at IBM, nobody is going to call Ralph Gomory a "protectionist."

    He did not nail his "theses" to the door of the Harvard economics department. Instead, he wrote a slender book - Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests - in collaboration with respected economist William Baumol, former president of the American Economic Association. Published seven years ago, the book languished in academic obscurity and until recently was ignored by Washington policy circles.

    I asked Gomory if his former colleagues from the corporate world quarrel with his provocative message. "Most of them have never heard it," he said. "It's a pretty new message." He has discussed his reform ideas with some CEOs, "who said, Well, maybe we could do that. Others couldn't have disagreed more strongly."

    Now Gomory is attempting to re-educate the politicians in Congress. He has gained greater visibility lately because he has been joined by a group of similarly concerned corporate executives called the Horizon Project. Its leader, Leo Hindery, former CEO of the largest US cable company and a player in Democratic politics, shares Gomory's foreboding about the destructive impact of globalization on American prosperity. Huge losses are ahead - 10 million jobs or more - and Hindery fears time is running out on reform.

    "We want to be a counter to the Hamilton Project," Hindery explains. "They have a sense of stasis that is more benign than I have. I don't think this is all going to work out." The Hamilton policy group was launched last year by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to make sure the laissez-faire trade doctrine known as Rubinomics continues to dominate the Democratic Party. "We're never going to have the status of Bob Rubin," Hindery concedes. "But we're not chopped liver either. We have respectable business careers. You can't tell Ralph Gomory that he is 'smoke and mirrors,' because he wrote the book."

    Gomory's critique has great political potential because it provides what the opponents of corporate-led globalization have generally lacked: a comprehensive intellectual platform for arguing that the US approach to globalization must be transformed to defend the national interest. Still, it will take politicians of courage to embrace his ideas and act on them. Gomory's political solutions are as heretical as his economic analysis.

    At IBM back in the 1980s, Gomory watched in awe as Japan and other Asian nations captured high-tech industrial sectors in which US companies held commanding advantage. IBM invented the disk drive, then dropped out of the disk-drive business, unable to compete profitably. Gomory marveled at Singapore, a tiny city-state, as it lured American manufacturers with low-wage labor, capital subsidies and tax breaks. The US companies turned Singapore into a global center for semiconductor production.

    "It was an unforgettable transformation," Gomory remembers. "And it was pretty frightening.

    "The offer that many Asian countries will give to American companies is essentially this: 'Come over here and enhance our GDP. If you are here our people will be building disk drives, for example, instead of something less productive. In return, we'll help you with the investment, with taxes, maybe even with wages. We'll make sure you make a profit.' This works for both sides: the American company gets profits, the host country gets GDP. However, there is another effect beyond the benefits for those two parties - high-value-added jobs leave the U.S."

    China and India, he observes, are now doing this on a large scale. Microsoft and Google opened rival research centers in Beijing. Intel announced a new, $2.5 billion semiconductor plant that will make it one of China's largest foreign investors. China's industrial transformation is no longer about making shirts and shoes, as some free-trade cheerleaders still seem to believe. It is about capturing the most advanced processes and products.

    The multinationals' overseas deployment of capital and technology, Gomory explains, is the core of how some very poor developing nations are able to ratchet up their technological prowess, take over advanced industrial sectors and rapidly expand their share in global trade - all with the help of US companies and finance, as they roam the world in search of better returns.

    The Gomory-Baumol book describes this as "a divergence of interests" between multinational firms and their home country. "This overseas investment decision may then prove to be very good for that multinational firm," they write. "But there remains the question: Is the decision good for its own country?" In many cases, yes. If the firm is locating low-skilled industrial production in a very poor country, Americans get cheaper goods, trade expands for both sides and the result is "mutual gain." But the trading partners enter a "zone of conflict" if the poor nation develops greater capabilities and assumes the production of more advanced goods. Then, the authors explain, "the newly developing partner becomes harmful to the more industrialized country." The firm's self-interested success "can constitute an actual loss of national income for the company's home country."

    American multinationals, as principal actors in this transfer of wealth-generating productive capacity, are distinctively free to make the decisions for themselves without interference from government. They want profit and future consumer markets. Their home country wants to maintain a highly productive high-wage economy. Without recognizing it, the two are pulling in opposite directions - the "divergence of interests" most US politicians ignore, evidently believing church doctrine over visible reality.

    The Gomory-Baumol book explains the dynamics with charts and equations for economists to study. For the rest of us, it is easier to follow Gomory's personal explanation of changing fortunes among trading nations. "What made America much wealthier than the Asian nations in the first place?" Gomory asks. "We invested alongside our workers. Our workers dug ditches with backhoes. The workers in underdeveloped countries dug ditches with shovels. We had great big plants with a few people in them, which is the same thing. We knew how, through technology and investment, to make our workers highly productive. It wasn't that they went to better schools, then or now, and I don't know how much schooling it takes to run a backhoe.

    "The situation today is that the companies have discovered that using modern technology they can do all that overseas and pay less for labor and then import product and services back into the United States. So what we're doing now is competing shovel to shovel. The people in many countries are being equipped with as good a shovel or backhoe as our people have. Very often we are helping them make the transition. We're making it person-to-person competition, which it never was before and which we cannot win. Because their people will be paid a third, a quarter of what our people are paid. And it's unreasonable to think you can educate our people so well that they can produce four times as much in the United States."

    As this shift of productive assets progresses, the downward pressure on US wages will thus continue and intensify. Free-trade believers insist US workers can defend themselves by getting better educated, but Gomory suggests these believers simply don't understand the economics. "Better education can only help," he explains. "The question is where do you put your technology and knowledge and investment? These other countries understand that. They have understood the following divergence: What countries want and what companies want are different."

    The implication is this: If nothing changes in how globalization currently works, Americans will be increasingly exposed to downward pressure on incomes and living standards. "Yes," says Gomory. "There are many ways to look at it, all of which reach the same conclusion."

    I ask Gomory what he would say to those who believe this is a just outcome: Americans become less rich, others in the world become less poor. That might be "a reasonable personal choice," he agrees. "But that isn't what the people in this country are being told. No one has said to us: 'You're probably a little too rich and these other folks are a little too poor. Why don't we even it out?' Instead, what we usually hear is: 'It's going to be good for everyone. In the long run we're going to get richer with globalization.'"

    Gomory and Baumol are elaborating a fundamental point sure to make many economists (and political leaders) sputter and choke. Contrary to dogma, the losses from trade are not confined to the "localized pain" felt by displaced workers who lose jobs and wages. In time, the accumulating loss of a country's productive base can injure the broader national interest - that is, everyone's economic well-being.

    "Our objective," Baumol told a policy conference last summer, "is to show how outsourcing can indeed reduce the share of benefits of trade, not only for those who lose their jobs and suffer a direct reduction in wages but can wind up making the average American worse off than he or she would have been."

    The conventional win-win assurances, they explain, are facile generalizations that ignore the complexity of the trading system - the myriad differences in country-to-country relationships and the vast realm of government actions and policy interventions designed to shape the outcomes. "Many of our 'dismal science' colleagues speak unguardedly as though they believe free trade cannot fail, no matter what," Baumol said.

    Some nations, in other words, do indeed become "losers." Gomory fears the United States is now one of them - starting to go downhill. When he and Baumol wrote their book, they figured US trade relations with China and India produced "mutual gain" for both ends. The United States got cheaper goods, China and India got jobs and a start at industrialization. But the rapid improvements in those two nations during the past decade, Gomory thinks, are putting the United States in the bind where their gain becomes our loss.

    Essentially, the terms of trade have changed as more and more value-added production has shifted from the United States to its poorer trading partners. America, he explains, becomes increasingly dependent, buying from abroad more and more of what its citizens consume and producing relatively less at home. US incomes stagnate as the high-wage jobs disappear and US exports become a smaller share of the world total.

    The persistent offshoring of domestic production is leading to a perverse consequence: The United States finds itself paying more for imports. The production that originally moved offshore to get low-wage labor and cheaper goods is now claiming a larger and larger share of national income, as the growing trade deficits literally subtract from US domestic growth. "All the stuff you were already importing from them becomes more expensive," Gomory explains. "That's why you can start going downhill - because you pay more for what you were previously getting." Put another way, one hour of US work no longer buys as many hours of Chinese work as it once did. China can suppress its domestic wages to keep selling more of its stuff, but that does not alter the fundamental imbalance in productive strength.

    The US predicament is vividly reflected in the nation's swollen trade deficits, now running at nearly 7 percent of GDP every year. The country consumes more than it produces. It borrows heavily from trading partners, led by China, to pay for its "excess" consumption. This allows America to dodge - temporarily - a reckoning with its weakened condition, that is, falling living standards. But that will eventually occur, when Americans are compelled to reduce their consumption and pay off the overdue bills. Postponement will deepen the ultimate injury because, meanwhile, the trading partners will gain greater industrial capabilities, while US productive strength weakens further.

    Americans can choose to blame China or disloyal multinationals, but the problem is grounded in US politics. The solution can be found only in Washington. China and other developing nations are pursuing national self-interest and doing what the system allows. In a way, so are the US multinationals. "I want to stress it's a system problem," Gomory says. "The directors are doing the job they're sworn to do. It's a system that says the companies have to have a sole focus on maximizing profit."

    Gomory's proposed solution would change two big things (and many lesser ones). First, the US government must intervene unilaterally to cap the nation's swollen trade deficit and force it to shrink until balanced trade is achieved with our trading partners. The mechanics for doing this are allowed under WTO rules, though the emergency action has never been invoked by a wealthy nation, much less the global system's putative leader. Capping US trade deficits would have wrenching consequences at home and abroad but could force other nations to consider reforms in how the trading system now functions. That could include international rights for workers, which Gomory favors.

    Second, government must impose national policy direction on the behavior of US multinationals, directly influencing their investment decisions. Gomory thinks this can be done most effectively through the tax code. A reformed corporate income tax would penalize those firms that keep moving high-wage jobs and value-added production offshore while rewarding those that are investing in redeveloping the home country's economy.

    US companies are not only free of national supervision but actively encouraged to offshore production by government policy and tax breaks. Other advanced economies have sophisticated national industrial policies, plus political and cultural pressures, that guide and discipline their multinationals, forcing them to adhere more closely to the national interest.

    Neither of Gomory's fundamental policy reforms - balancing trade or imposing discipline on US multinationals - can work without the other. Both have to be done more or less at once. If the government taxed US multinational behavior without also capping imports, the firms would just head out the door. "That won't work," Gomory explains, "because you will say to the companies, 'This is how we're going to measure you.' And the corporations will say, 'Oh, no, you're not. I'm going overseas. I'm going to make my product over there and I'll send it back into the United States.' But if you insist on balanced trade, then the amount that's shipped in has to equal the amount that's shipped out by companies. If no companies do that, then nothing can be shipped in either. If you balance trade, you are going to develop internal companies that work the way you want." Public investment in new technologies and industries, I would add, may not achieve much either, if there is no guarantee that the companies will locate their new production in the United States.

    Essentially, Gomory proposes to alter the profit incentives of US multinationals. If the government adds rules of behavior and enforces them through the tax code, companies will be compelled to seek profit in a different way - by adhering to the national interest and terms set by the US government. Other nations do this in various ways. Only the United States imagines the national interest doesn't require it.

    In recent months Gomory and Leo Hindery of the Horizon Project have been calling on Congress with these big ideas and getting respectful audiences. The two met with some thirty Democratic senators and Congressional staffers from both parties. Senator Byron Dorgan, with co-sponsors like Sherrod Brown, Russell Feingold and even Hillary Clinton, has introduced several bills to confront the trade deficits.

    Gomory's concept for multinational taxation is a tougher sell amid Washington lobbyists because it goes right to the bottom line of major US corporations. On the other hand, this proposal has stronger intuitive appeal for citizens, who reasonably ask why multinationals are allowed to undercut the national interest when they enjoy all the benefits of being "American" companies.

    Hindery's group is advocating Congressional action to arrange a "national summit" on trade, where all these questions can be thrashed out. The political system has never really had an honest, open debate on globalization in the past thirty years. The dogmatic church of free trade - "free trade good, no trade bad" - wouldn't allow it. As more politicians grasp the meaning of Gomory's analysis, they should start demanding equal time for the heretics.

    Gomory's vision of reformation actually goes beyond the trading system and America's economic deterioration. He wants to re-create an understanding of the corporation's obligations to society, the social perspective that flourished for a time in the last century but is now nearly extinct. The old idea was that the corporation is a trust, not only for shareholders but for the benefit of the country, the employees and the people who use the product. "That attitude was the attitude I grew up on in IBM," Gomory explains. "That's the way we thought - good for the country, good for the people, good for the shareholders - and I hope we will get back to it.... We should measure corporations by their impact on all their constituencies.

    "So in my utopian dream, we decide what we want from the corporations and that's how they make a profit - by doing those things. Failing that, I would settle for the general realization of this divergence and let people argue it out."

    Some older CEOs and board members at least listen to him sympathetically. "They have grandchildren," he says. "They wonder too what's going to happen to our grandchildren. You can't get a vote around the corporate board table about, Is this good for the grandchildren? But you can talk to them and they'll worry about it and say, Well, maybe we need to do something."

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