Friday, April 27, 2007

RE: Powerful cartoon: Please Repost!!

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From: MaTT+RioT AkA MaTTy DaPs
Date: Apr 27, 2007 5:37 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Neo-V™
Date: Apr 27, 2007 5:08 PM

Thanks: (¯`·._)Christine(¯`·._)
Date: 27 Apr 2007, 22:03

Please read the little cartoon carefully, it's powerful. Then read the comments at the end, and please - forward it!

We cannot, we must not, ever forget what happened in Europe over 60 years ago, because it could happen again. Anyone, any group, could be the target. It has been said that those who refuse to study history are doomed to repeat it. In this case, those who are attempting to rewrite history are probably planning to repeat it! The hatred is already there, in place, taught to the children from infancy, with promises of glory and honor to those who carry out the plans.

Forewarned is forearmed, and I'm doing my small part by forwarding this message. I hope you'll do the same.

In Memoriam

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russia peoples looking the other way!

This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.

Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.

Please don't just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along - Thanks!

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RE: Interesting Times

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From: Conspiracy Theorist Clothing co
Date: Apr 27, 2007 6:19 PM

To repost this, copy and paste the text below:

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RE: Mystery fossil turns out to be giant fungus

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Precarious333
Date: Apr 27, 2007 6:05 PM

Picture at link location.


Mystery fossil turns out to be giant fungus

Scientists have identified the Godzilla of fungi, a giant, prehistoric fossil that has evaded classification for more than a century, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

A chemical analysis has shown that the 20-foot-tall (6-metre) organism with a tree-like trunk was a fungus that became extinct more than 350 million years ago, according to a study appearing in the May issue of the journal Geology.

Known as Prototaxites, the giant fungus originally was thought to be a conifer. Then some believed it was a lichen, or various types of algae. Some suspected it was a fungus.

"A 20-foot-fungus doesn't make any sense. Neither does a 20-foot-tall algae make any sense, but here's the fossil," C. Kevin Boyce, a University of Chicago assistant professor of geophysical sciences, said in a statement.

Francis Hueber of the National Museum of Natural History first suggested the fungus possibility based on an analysis of the fossil's internal structure, but had no conclusive proof.

Boyce and colleagues filled in the blanks, comparing the types of carbon found in the giant fossil with plants that lived about the same time, about 400 million years ago.

If Prototaxites were a plant, its carbon structures would resemble similar plants. Instead, Boyce found a much greater diversity in carbon content than would have been expected of a plant.

Fungi, which include yeast, mold and mushrooms, represent their own kingdom, neither plant nor animal. Once classified as plants, they are now considered a closer cousin to animals but they absorb rather than eat their food.

Samples of the giant fungi have been found all over the world from 420 million to 350 million years ago during a period in which millipedes, bugs and worms were among the first creatures to make their home on dry land. No animals with a backbone had left the oceans yet.

The tallest trees stood no more than a couple of feet (a meter) high, offering little competition for the towering fungi.

Plant-eating dinosaurs had not yet evolved to trample Prototaxites' to the ground. "It's hard to imagine these things surviving in the modern world," Boyce said.

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RE: Researchers break Internet speed records

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Precarious333
Date: Apr 27, 2007 6:06 PM

Good on the surface. Bad at its core. They will use this to further the push for Internet2, which will be Big Brother's wet dream.


Researchers break Internet speed records

A group of researchers led by the University of Tokyo has broken Internet speed records — twice in two days. Operators of the high-speed Internet2 network announced Tuesday that the researchers on Dec. 30 sent data at 7.67 gigabits per second, using standard communications protocols.

The next day, using modified protocols, the team broke the record again by sending data over the same 20,000-mile path at 9.08 Gbps.

That likely represents the current network's final record because rules require a 10 percent improvement for recognition, a percentage that would bring the next record right at the Internet2's current theoretical limit of 10 Gbps.

However, the Internet2 consortium is planning to build a new network with a capacity of 100 Gbps. With the 10-fold increase, a high-quality version of the movie "The Matrix" could be sent in a few seconds rather than half a minute over the current Internet2 and two days over a typical home broadband line.

Researchers used the newer Internet addressing system, called IPv6, to break the records in December. Data started in Tokyo and went to Chicago, Amsterdam and Seattle before returning to Tokyo. The previous high of 6.96 Gbps was set in November 2005.

Speed records under the older addressing system, IPv4, are in a separate category and stand at 8.8 Gbps, set in February 2006.

The Internet2 is run by a consortium of more than 200 U.S. university. It is currently working to merge with another ultrahigh-speed, next-generation network, National LambdaRail.

The announcement of the new record was made at the Internet2 consortium's spring meeting, which ends Wednesday in Arlington, Va.

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RE: Stupidity Schooling: American Mass Education as EliteControl

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:33 AM

Stupidity Schooling: American Mass Education as Elite Control

Go to Original

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
--Pink Floyd, The Wall, "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2," 1979

It took American TV news (see video below) a century to figure out the Great American Dumb-Down. Perhaps the lag time in noticing the phenomenon reflects the purposively impaired ability to think inculcated in U.S. public schools.

That conclusion is implicit in a controversial 2003 book by a award-winning but angry New York City educator and 2006 ABC News special on public education as idiocy-making. In addition, the book and report further imply that an increasingly higher percentage of Americans since World War II fail to grasp, much less assume, responsibilities essential to democratic citizenship, a talent noticeably absent in 21st-century America.

After 30 years of teaching at some of New York City's best and worst schools, John Taylor Gatto, twice New York's Teacher of the Year, had seen enough children crushed beneath the bureaucratic machinery of public "education." Angered at the systematic death of students' intellects and spirits, Gatto took retirement to begin chronicling how public schools were less about teaching students how to read or think well, than about stifling creativity to ensure graduates became docile employees for their social betters who wanted them to aspire littler higher than compliant consumism.

In 2003, Gatto wrote The Underground History of American Education, a book dutifully panned by the mainstream press. His chilly critical reception in no small part was occasioned by his apparently radical thesis: American public education by the early 20th century had become "a servant of corporate and political management" foisted on working-class children by elite U.S families--J.P. Morgan (left) and J.D. Rockefeller (right), chief among them--who saw themselves as genetically and intellectually superior to America's monetarily unanointed masses.

Indeed, the sub-themes of racism and classism permeate Gatto's angry insights into public education as an elite tool of social control. But where is an author taking readers when he makes this generalization about public schooling:

Horace Mann had sold forced schooling to industrialists of the mid-nineteenth century as the best "police" to create moral children, but ironically, as it turned out in the twentieth century, big business and big government were best served by making schoolrooms antechambers to Hell.

Oh, my. He wants us to walk through Kansas' looking glass, doesn't he Dorothy? But Gatto's teaching experience and grasp of his historical materials make it well worth the paradigm leap he asks of us in rethinking public education's social mission.

To support his view of public schooling as compulsory class indoctrination in intellectual subservience, Gatto establishes a timeline of 20th-century educational developments he links to a cornucopia of expert quotes and excavated historical documents, to include private letters exchanged among America's elite discussing their progress in socially constructing a nation of subordinates incapable of comprehending the contours of the covert class war being waged on them, must less challenging it.

Of the Big Business ethic that imbued the thinking of leaders and scholars who crafted modern public education in support of American industrialization and empire-building (Hawaii, the Phillipines, Cuba, etc. were forcibly annexed) emerging in the 1890's, Gatto writes:

In the first decades of the twentieth century, a small group of soon-to-be-famous academics, symbolically led by John Dewey and Edward Thorndike of Columbia Teachers College, Ellwood P. Cubberley of Stanford, G. Stanley Hall of Clark, and an ambitious handful of others, energized and financed by major corporate and financial allies like Morgan, Astor, Whitney, Carnegie, and Rockefeller, decided to bend government schooling to the service of business and the political state....

In these planners' hands, public education became mind control, an institution in which "[c]hildren were literally trained in bad habits and bad attitudes! Teachers and principals, 'scientifically' certified in teachers college practices, were made unaware of the invisible curriculum they really taught."

The secret of commerce, that kids drive purchases, meant that schools had to become psychological laboratories where training in consumerism was the central pursuit.

In a pre-World War I speech to U.S. business leaders, President Woodrow Wilson reiterated public education's adjunct support status of commerce by intimating most children should become acclimated to factory work while the children of the elite attended college:

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Around 1917, the time of Wilson's remarks, Gatto reveals a group of elite educational administrators and policymakers, informally called "the Education Trust"--"representatives of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, and the National Education Association"--sought to "impose on the young the ideal of subordination."

Even Hitler and Mussolini's fascist terrorizing of Europe in the early 193os inspired some of these patrons of compulsory mass education to metaphors of total authoritarian control. In the early 1930s "
an executive director of the National Education Association announced that his organization expected 'to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force'." "You can’t get much clearer than that," Gatto quips.

The author also reminds us the elite's mass education agenda was pocked with notions of racial and class superiority, a point demonstrated by university classes for future leaders. For example, by 1900, "a special discipline existed at Indiana for elite students, Bionomics. Invitees were hand-picked by college president David Starr Jordan, who created and taught the course. It dealt with the why and how of producing a new evolutionary ruling class."

When his course for future managers of dullard laborers became a smashing success,
Jordan "was soon invited into the major leagues of university existence, (an invitation extended personally by rail tycoon Leland Stanford) to become first president of Stanford University, a school inspired by Andrew Carnegie’s famous 'Gospel of Wealth' essay. Jordan remained president of Stanford for thirty years."

In the 1920s, another pseudo biological science, eugenics (from the Greek, meaning "well born"), also was popular among America's largely white managerial student body, a development accompanying white working-class Americans' spiking membership in the Klu Klux Klan. The KKK became the antidote for their quite desperation over Eastern European immigrants they say as threatening their jobs and "racial purity" at their less exclusive end of America's gene pool.

Architects of public education believed environsed forced schooling eventually could assuage "[t]he Spectre Of Uncontrolled Breeding" by eventually supplanting the family's role in assimilating immigrant and minority children to American "ideals."

Arthur Calhoun’s 1919 Social History of the Family...declared that the fondest wish of utopian writers was coming true, the child was passing from its family "into the custody of community experts." He offered a significant forecast, that in time we could expect to see public education "designed to check the mating of the unfit."

Gatto's well-researched and -reasoned book offers additional arguments in his autopsy of middle and lower-class children's creativity he knew from experience lay murdered across New York's classrooms. For example, he deconstructs the social engineering behind continuing social inequality fortified through a tediously heartless curriculum with few details left to chance, to include uninspiring sterile classroom layout and design; he also explicates the federal, state and local educational police's ever-changing buzz words, phraseologies and philosophies de jure, all based on quasi-scientific research, used to awe concerned parents and fanagle congress out of more tax dollars for the next "reform" program to reverse students' declining ability to read, write or tame a column of numbers.

By the end of his provocative text, Gatto has peeled back the hypocrisy and revealed the Potemkin Village that is American public schooling and the "technology of subjection" making the American Dream through education so compelling a sell among the Unwealthy. But what we have in America, Gatto tells us, is essentially a thin fig leaf covering the well-born's abiding concern for deferential professional and social subordinates who subscribe to --and wish to emulate--the rituals that underscore their privileged social status they've discretely ensconced in upscale zip codes of gated communities.

Elite Payoff: The ABC's of What "Stupid in America" Looks Like

Among Gattos' most compelling evidence of this agenda's effectiveness to make the Unwealthy intellectual midgets are historical literacy rates among U.S. Army enlistees, a common entry-level vocation for the working-class.

While only 4% of World War II enlistees between 1942-1944 (those schooled in the 1930s) were turned down of the 18 million tested, by the Korean War (1952-1954) 19% were rejected for their inability to read at a fourth-grade level, though on average they had more schooling than WWII recruits. But among Vietnam War-era draftees and volunteers entering the army from the early 1960s through 1973, "the number of men found noninductible by reason of inability to read safety instructions, interpret road signs, decipher orders, and so on—in other words, the number found illiterate—had reached 27 percent of the total pool."

While this evidence may only reflect the army increasingly became attractive to enlistees with limited education and skill packages, Gattos confirms this downward national trend in functional illiteracy through states' high school achievements scores. (1)

This failure of schools to teach reading is painfully seen in a January 2006 ABC 20/20 news special titled "Stupid in America." Hosted by John Stossel, the program suggests that American public schools (academically ranked 25th internationally in 2003) indeed may have become the "antechambers to Hell" Gattos described.

As you view the program, notice the failure to educate extends to so-called "better" schools in American suburbs--at the four-mark mark of George Bush's 12-years vaunted No Child Left Behind education bill mandating "100% proficiency" for all U.S. public school students by 2014. Moreover, Stossel provides charts (and case reports of charter school administrators) revealing that increased government funding has had little impact on improved student performance. (2)

Post-9/11 America: Laugh at Yourself...then leave

Canadian and Australian television executives have found programming gold in capitalizing on this "stupid in America" theme, which their views apparently find to be hilarious. Camera crews have conducted the old standard "man in the street" interviews across the U.S. in which Americans are asked basic questions about geography, international leaders and their own political system.

The results? That depends on your point of view.

Check out this 24-minute clip hosted by Rick Mercer; it's a commercial-free Canadian Broadcasting Corporation TV special titled "Talking to Americans." The responses to questions Mercer gets from Americans as he travels across the nation's fruit plains are sobering, yet not without considerable humor--provided, that is, if you're an American, you can laugh at being depicted as an arrogant, moronic imbecile.

Nonetheless, the tape (as does this 3-minute Australian clip) explains how an arrogant and moronic mental midget such as George W. Bush can feel relatively comfortable in sharing his disjointed thoughts on "democracy" with millions of "fellow citizens" who remain clueless his administration has achieved that fascist state only envisioned by the Rockefellers, Morgans, Carnegies, Fords, Astors et al.

While Canadians and Australians enjoy laughing at Americans, those of us stateside able to comprehend Gattos' thesis and place it against America's evolving social and political backdrop since the 9/11 terrorist attacks should sell the house and immigrate abroad to laugh, if that's possible, with the citizens there.

The sooner, the better--the safer.


1. Mother Jones' January/February 2007 issue reported that "over the last few years" --apparently since the start of the Iraq War in 2003-- the Army has relaxed, among age and medical requirements, its educational threshold. For example, the number of high school dropouts (10% to 19%) and "cap on GIs with substandard aptitude scores" (2% to 4%) almost doubled.

2. The 110th Democrat-controlled Congress must reauthorize Bush's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 sometime this spring or summer. Preliminary reports are that the "grassroots rebellion" against the law erupting in many of states over underfunding and impossible achievement standards will be address in the Dem's subsequent allocations of funds, etc.

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RE: Reality Check: Genuine Journalism Exposes Somali Horrors

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:37 AM

Reality Check: Genuine Journalism Exposes Somali Horrors

by Chris Floyd
Go to Original

Yesterday we examined the egregious distortions and outright lies that Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times employed in whitewashing (pun fully intended) the Bush Administration's proxy war in Somalia: The Lies of the Times: NYT Pushes Bush Line on Somalia. Today, however, we are pleased to offer an antidote to Gettleman's servile perversion of reality -- a piece of honest-to-God journalism by Martin Fletcher of The Times of London.

Unlike Gettleman, Fletcher is actually on the scene in Mogadishu, where the Bush-backed, American-trained Ethiopian invaders and their Somali warlord allies are using tanks and artillery on residential areas to crush the growing resistance to this latest "regime change" operation in Bush's "War on Terror." Fletcher is an eyewitness to the death, brutality, ruin and intense human suffering produced by Bush's new war -- a war that was launched to overthrow the Islamic Courts government, whose brief time in power last year is now looked back on as a "golden age" of peace and stability by Somalis, as Reuters reports today.

The Times, of course, is a very conservative, pro-war, pro-Bush paper -- owned by Rupert Murdoch, no less, the proprietor of the war-porn factory known as Fox News. But although he has politicized and polluted The Times as he does everything he touches, Murdoch is shrewd enough to understand that the newpaper's centuries-old reputation for journalistic excellence is part of its "brand value" and should not be totally shredded. Thus you will often find excellent reportage buried in its pages -- nuggets of truth and reality that totally contradict the neo-fascist fantasies that Murdoch peddles on Fox and elsewhere.

And so it is with Fletcher's report, which is excerpted extensively below, and is taken from a prominent, two-page spread in The Times' print edition. Be sure to read the whole thing, and as you do, ponder this painful irony: An archconservative Murdoch paper in England can tell the truth about Somalia -- but the most venerated bastion of America's so-called "liberal media" cannot.

From The warlords of death return to steal city’s brief taste of peace (The Times):


In five days spent in and around a city reverberating with the constant thud of mortars and bursts of gunfire, The Times saw burnt-out slums, huge refugee encampments, hospitals overflowing with the sick and injured, and enough misery to last a lifetime.

It is hard to overstate the suffering of this forgotten country. Last year Somalia tasted peace for the first time in 15 years of bloody civil war when the Islamic Courts movement drove out the warlords who had made their country a byword for anarchy and mayhem. But Washington saw the Courts as a new Taleban sympathetic to al-Qaeda, so it conspired with neighbouring Ethiopia to remove them as part of its War on Terror.

In December Ethiopia’s formidable army routed the Courts, and installed a Somalian “transitional federal government” that includes some of the very warlords the Courts had ousted, and depends for its survival on thousands of soldiers provided by Somalia’s oldest and most bitter enemy. The new Government is now battling against a growing insurgency, and legions of petrified Somalis are caught in the crossfire.

On our first afternoon in Mogadishu we were interviewing doctors at the Madina hospital when we heard explosions. Minutes later a convoy of cars, minibuses and trucks began delivering men, women and children — all civilians — with blood pouring from shrapnel wounds.

They were carried, wailing and moaning, into the casualty centre on trolleys, in people’s arms, in crude stretchers fashioned from blankets. They were laid on tables and the lino floor, soaked in their own blood and vomit. The doctors and nurses were soon struggling to cope, sweat coursing down their faces as they bandaged wounds and rigged up intravenous drips in the intense heat. But still the injured came — 30, 40, 50 of them. Amid the pandemonium a man with a stick fought to restrain a mob of frantic relatives.

Survivors said Ethiopian troops had fired three shells into a market in a neighbourhood called al-Barakah packed with women buying fresh milk. A dozen were killed outright...

In the past few days Ethiopian shells have hit a mosque, a minibus, a hospital and HornAfric, Somalia’s leading independent radio station. One night alone 73 people were killed in northern Mogadishu, and in three days last weekend the Madina treated 245 wounded civilians.

The casualties fill its foetid wards, corridors and overflow tents, and lie under trees outside. They are people like Ruqio Muse, a 22-year-old mother of three young children who said her thigh was shattered by an Ethiopian sniper’s bullet as she retrieved goods from her clothing stall in one of the city’s battlegrounds. Next to her lie two semi-comatose girls — 16-year-old cousins — whose skin was burnt from their faces by a landmine explosion. Ahmed, 14, has had a leg amputated.

...We had first visited Mogadishu early last December, five months after the Courts ousted the warlords, and found a city still rejoicing. Gone were the ubiquitous checkpoints where the warlords’ militias killed, extorted and stole. Gone were their “technicals” — Jeeps with heavy machineguns mounted in the back. Hundreds of Somalis were returning from foreign exile, businesses were reopening, and for the first time in a generation people could walk around safely amid the ruins of their once-fine capital, even at night.

The Courts’ leadership undoubtedly contained Islamic extremists with dangerous connections and intentions. They banned the narcotic qat, cinemas, Western music and dancing. But the Courts also achieved the almost impossible task of imposing order on one of the world’s most dangerous cities, and for that most Somalis were content to accept their strict Islamic codes. Today Mogadishu is a warzone once again...

An estimated 20,000 Ethiopian troops are battling against the insurgents — an alliance of Islamic Court fighters and elements of Mogadishu’s dominant Hawiye clan who control much of the outer city. The Government’s own army consists of barely 5,000 “soldiers” — former members of the warlords’ militias who inspire fear, not confidence. They man checkpoints and stand on corners in central Mogadishu, flaunting their semi-automatics. Many chew qat. Some steal and extort (we twice had to pay bribes at checkpoints).

...On Industrial Road, a major thoroughfare, we were shown trenches and barricades built to obstruct Ethiopian tanks, burnt-out Ethiopian vehicles, and the charred remains of both a charcoal market and a camp for 1,200 homeless families shelled by the Ethiopians. More than 50 died as fire raged through the camp’s rickety shelters made of wood and plastic sheeting. All that remains is an expanse of ash littered with the blackened remains of cooking pots, lamps and corrugated iron. “My family fled to the countryside,” said Hussain Ibrahim Yusef, a young boy standing alone in the devastation. “We were separated. I don’t know where to follow them.”

...Another day we drove south from Mogadishu towards Afgoye. The refugee camps started about ten miles out and went on and on — thousands upon thousands of families who are living out in the bush beneath orange tarpaulins or in the open, sheltered from the blazing sun and torrential rainstorms only by trees.

These people fled with little more than sleeping mats and the clothes they wore. Food is scarce. Vendors charge extortionate prices for water, so some refugees are drinking from dirty rivers. There is no sanitation, and relief efforts are hampered by the lack of security, poor infrastructure and harassment by government soldiers...

In five days we spoke to scores of ordinary Somalis. Overwhelmingly they loathed a government they consider a puppet of the hated Ethiopians. “As long as the Ethiopians are on Somali soil the insurgents will get support,” said Muhammad Ibrahim, a gardener now living with his wife and three children at the Lafole hospital. “In the six months the Islamic Courts were here, less than 20 people lost their lives through violence. Now that many die in ten minutes,” said Hussein Adow, a businessman waiting outside the Madina hospital. 

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RE: Exxon Mobil Posts Record First Quarter Earnings

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:40 AM

Exxon Mobil Posts Record First Quarter Earnings

Eliott Rodriguez

(CBS4) As much of South Florida pays nearly $3 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, Exxon Mobil has reported record breaking first quarter earnings.

Triple-A reports the price of a gallon of gas has risen 30 cents in the last month. But even with the increase, it is still under the price it was selling for at this time last year. In Miami Dade, a gallon of regular is running on average $2.95. Last year at this time drivers were paying $2.99 on average. In Broward, regular is averaging $2.88 a gallon this year compared to $2.99 a gallon last year.

Thursday, Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company announced their net income grew 10 percent in the first quarter. The earnings of $9.3 billion were the company's highest ever for the first quarter and beat Wall Street expectations.

But it was not all good news.

While net income amounted to $1.62 per share for the January-March period, compared to $1.37 per share a year ago, analysts were looking for a profit of $1.52 per share. Also, revenue fell to $87.2 billion from $88.9 billion a year earlier, well below the $100 billion analysts had forecast. Like other major oil companies, Exxon Mobil was hurt by lower oil and natural gas prices to start 2007 compared with a year ago.

Last year, the Irving, Texas-based company posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $39.5 billion. That result topped the previous record, also by Exxon Mobil, of $36.13 billion set in 2005.

Last month, Exxon Mobil said it will spend some of that money on more than 20 new global projects in the next three years, investments expected to add 1 million oil-equivalent barrels a day to the company's volumes at peak production.

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RE: Ex-C.I.A. Chief, in Book, Assails Cheney on Iraq

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:45 AM

Ex-C.I.A. Chief, in Book, Assails Cheney on Iraq

WASHINGTON, April 26 — George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a "serious debate" about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.

The 549-page book, "At the Center of the Storm," is to be published by HarperCollins on Monday. By turns accusatory, defensive, and modestly self-critical, it is the first detailed account by a member of the president's inner circle of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the decision to invade Iraq and the failure to find the unconventional weapons that were a major justification for the war.

"There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat," Mr. Tenet writes in a devastating judgment that is likely to be debated for many years. Nor, he adds, "was there ever a significant discussion" about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.

Mr. Tenet admits that he made his famous "slam dunk" remark about the evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But he argues that the quote was taken out of context and that it had little impact on President Bush's decision to go to war. He also makes clear his bitter view that the administration made him a scapegoat for the Iraq war.

A copy of the book was purchased at retail price in advance of publication by a reporter for The New York Times. Mr. Tenet described with sarcasm watching an episode of "Meet the Press" last September in which Mr. Cheney twice referred to Mr. Tenet's "slam dunk" remark as the basis for the decision to go to war.

"I remember watching and thinking, 'As if you needed me to say 'slam dunk' to convince you to go to war with Iraq,' " Mr. Tenet writes.

As violence in Iraq spiraled beginning in late 2003, Mr. Tenet writes, "rather than acknowledge responsibility, the administration's message was: Don't blame us. George Tenet and the C.I.A. got us into this mess."

Mr. Tenet takes blame for the flawed 2002 National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq's weapons programs, calling the episode "one of the lowest moments of my seven-year tenure." He expresses regret that the document was not more nuanced, but says there was no doubt in his mind at the time that Saddam Hussein possessed unconventional weapons. "In retrospect, we got it wrong partly because the truth was so implausible," he writes.

Despite such sweeping indictments, Mr. Bush, who in 2004 awarded Mr. Tenet a Presidential Medal of Freedom, is portrayed personally in a largely positive light, with particular praise for the his leadership after the 2001 attacks. "He was absolutely in charge, determined, and directed," Mr. Tenet writes of the president, whom he describes as a blunt-spoken kindred spirit.

But Mr. Tenet largely endorses the view of administration critics that Mr. Cheney and a handful of Pentagon officials, including Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas J. Feith, were focused on Iraq as a threat in late 2001 and 2002 even as Mr. Tenet and the C.I.A. concentrated mostly on Al Qaeda.

Mr. Tenet describes helping to kill a planned speech by Mr. Cheney on the eve of the invasion because its claims of links between Al Qaeda and Iraq went "way beyond what the intelligence shows."

"Mr. President, we cannot support the speech and it should not be given," Mr. Tenet wrote that he told Mr. Bush. Mr. Cheney never delivered the remarks.

Mr. Tenet hints at some score-settling in the book. He describes in particular the extraordinary tension between him and Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, in internal debate over how the president came to say erroneously in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa.

He describes an episode in 2003, shortly after he issued a statement taking partial responsibility for that error. He said he was invited over for a Sunday afternoon, back-patio lemonade by Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state. Mr. Powell described what Mr. Tenet called "a lively debate" on Air Force One a few days before about whether the White House should continue to support Mr. Tenet as C.I.A. director.

"In the end, the president said yes, and said so publicly," Mr. Tenet wrote. "But Colin let me know that other officials, particularly the vice president, had quite another view."

He writes that the controversy over who was to blame for the State of the Union error was the beginning of the end of his tenure. After the finger-pointing between the White House and the C.I.A., he wrote, "My relationship with the administration was forever changed."

Mr. Tenet also says in the book that he had been "not at all sure I wanted to accept" the Medal of Freedom. He agreed after he saw that the citation "was all about the C.I.A.'s work against terrorism, not Iraq."

He also expresses skepticism about whether the increase in troops in Iraq will prove successful. "It may have worked more than three years ago," he wrote. "My fear is that sectarian violence in Iraq has taken on a life of its own and that U.S. forces are becoming more and more irrelevant to the management of that violence."

Mr. Tenet says he decided to write the memoir in part because the infamous "slam dunk" episode had come to define his tenure at C.I.A.

He gives a detailed account of the episode, which occurred during an Oval Office meeting in December 2002 when the administration was preparing to make public its case for war against Iraq.

During the meeting, the deputy C.I.A. director, John McLaughlin, unveiled a draft of a proposed public presentation that left the group unimpressed. Mr. Tenet recalls that Mr. Bush suggested that they could "add punch" by bringing in lawyers trained to argue cases before a jury.

"I told the president that strengthening the public presentation was a 'slam dunk,' a phrase that was later taken completely out of context," Mr. Tenet writes. "If I had simply said, 'I'm sure we can do better,' I wouldn't be writing this chapter — or maybe even this book."

Mr. Tenet has spoken rarely in public, and never so caustically, since stepping down in July 2004.

Asked about Mr. Tenet's assertions, a White House spokesman, Gordon D. Johndroe, defended the prewar deliberations on Thursday. "The president made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein for a number of reasons, mainly the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and Saddam Hussein's own actions, and only after a thorough and lengthy assessment of all available information as well as Congressional authorization," the spokesman said.

The book recounts C.I.A. efforts to fight Al Qaeda in the years before the Sept. 11 attacks, and Mr. Tenet's early warnings about Osama bin Laden. He contends that the urgent appeals of the C.I.A. on terrorism received a lukewarm reception at the Bush White House through most of 2001.

"The bureaucracy moved slowly," and only after the Sept. 11 attacks was the C.I.A. given the counterterrorism powers it had requested earlier in the year.

Mr. Tenet confesses to "a black, black time" two months after the 2001 attacks when, sitting in front of his house in his favorite Adirondack chair, he "just lost it."

"I thought about all the people who had died and what we had been through in the months since," he writes. "What am I doing here? Why me?" Mr. Tenet gives a vigorous defense of the C.I.A.'s program to hold captured Qaeda members in secret overseas jails and to question them with harsh techniques, which he does not explicitly describe.

Mr. Tenet expresses puzzlement that, since 2001, Al Qaeda has not sent "suicide bombers to cause chaos in a half-dozen American shopping malls on any given day."

"I do know one thing in my gut," he writes. "Al Qaeda is here and waiting."

David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington, and Julie Bosman from New York.

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RE: 'No one suffers more than their president and I do' ,

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Leo/FightNWO-Resisting World Government
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:46 AM

Laura Bush on Iraq: 'No one suffers more than their president and I do' ,

Raw Story | April 25, 2007 
Ron Brynaert

According to the first lady, when it comes to Iraq, "No one suffers more than their president and I do."

During an interview on NBC's Today show Wednesday concerning Malaria Awareness Day, Laura Bush talked to Ann Curry about "other challenges her husband is facing."

"You know the American people are suffering watching --," Curry said to the first lady.

"Oh, I know that very much," Laura Bush responded. "And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way."

Curry then asked, "What do you think the American public need to know about your husband?"

"Well, I hope they do know the burden, the worry that's on his shoulders every single day for our troops," Bush said. "And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are."

The first lady admitted that "it's absolutely hard" to watch her husband "in this."

"I know that what's also hard for you now is watching the real strain that your attorney general is going through," Curry said. "I know that he's a good friend of yours and has been for many years."

Laura Bush said that not only was Gonzales "a very good friend" but that also "been a very good attorney general."

"One other thing that I want to say is that nothing was done that was wrong," Laura Bush added. "Maybe there was -- it was not communicated very well. But actually, what the Justice Department did with the firing of U.S. attorneys is within the purview and the authority of both the Justice Department and the president."

Curry asked, "And if he loses his job as a result of this, if he must resign?"

"Well, I'll be very disappointed and sad," Bush said. "And it'll be a loss for the United States, I think."

A video clip from Laura Bush's NBC interview can be viewed at Americablog.

Full transcript follows:

MATT LAUER: President Bush has declared today Malaria Awareness Day in the U.S. Malaria affects more than 300 million people every year. The debilitating and often deadly disease hits children in Africa particularly hard. But the world is starting to take notice. The problem was even highlighted on last night's "American Idol." And it's just one of the subjects Ann Curry asked First Lady Laura Bush about at the White House earlier this week.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

MRS. BUSH: That's right. Every 30 seconds a baby dies in Africa with malaria. And really the reason that malaria and the eradication of malaria is so important is because it can be. It's possible.

MS. CURRY: By some estimates, 5,000 children die of malaria every day, most in Africa under the age of five. First Lady Laura Bush says this suffering should and can be stopped.

(To Mrs. Bush.) To Americans sitting at home watching this, many of them women, wondering, "But what can I do?"

MRS. BUSH: Well, there are things we can do, and that's very exciting. There's a website, MalariaNoMore, that people can go to. A child in the United States who can give $10 to buy a bed net can save a child in Africa. And there's something very personal and direct about that for children.

MS. CURRY: Mrs. Bush wrote the forward to a book for children about malaria called "Nets Are Nice."

MRS. BUSH: We were able to eradicate malaria from much of the world, but it is still a very, very serious problem in Africa.

MS. CURRY: In your efforts to raise awareness about Africa, you went to Rwanda in 2005 and you went to the genocide museum. What do you hope your husband will be able to do about the genocide in Darfur?

MRS. BUSH: I know that the president will insist with the president of the Sudan to come to the table, to work. But it's very important that if that doesn't happen, that the U.S. will enforce some sanctions to try to stop the genocide.

MS. CURRY: I also asked Mrs. Bush about other challenges her husband is facing.

(To Mrs. Bush.) You know the American people are suffering watching --

MRS. BUSH: Oh, I know that very much. And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way.

MS. CURRY: What do you think the American public need to know about your husband?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I hope they do know the burden, the worry that's on his shoulders every single day for our troops. And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are.

MS. CURRY: It must be hard for you to watch him in this.

MRS. BUSH: Well, it's hard. I mean, of course, it's absolutely hard.

MS. CURRY: I know that what's also hard for you now is watching the real strain that your attorney general is going through.

MRS. BUSH: It is.

MS. CURRY: I know that he's a good friend of yours and has been for many years.

MRS. BUSH: He is a very good friend. But besides that, he's been a very good attorney general. One other thing that I want to say is that nothing was done that was wrong. Maybe there was -- it was not communicated very well. But actually, what the Justice Department did with the firing of U.S. attorneys is within the purview and the authority of both the Justice Department and the president.

MS. CURRY: And if he loses his job as a result of this, if he must resign?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I'll be very disappointed and sad. And it'll be a loss for the United States, I think.

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RE: UN accuses Iraq of withholding civilian death figures

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:46 AM

UN accuses Iraq of withholding civilian death figures

BAGHDAD -- UN officials accused Iraq yesterday of withholding civilian death figures to try to deflect attention from escalating violence and a worsening humanitarian crisis despite the US-led Baghdad security crackdown.

Those conclusions by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq drew a sharp rebuke from the Iraq's political leadership, which called the report "unbalanced" and said it raised questions about the credibility of the UN staff in Iraq.

The clashing views over the document -- which covered three months ending March 31 -- reflect a wider debate that goes beyond attempts to tally the bloodshed: whether the Baghdad security operation has made any lasting progress since the crackdown was launched in mid-February.

While some measures suggest the capital is less violent -- such as apparent Shi'ite death squad killings reportedly on the decline -- bombings blamed on Sunni insurgents have continued with deadly frequency.

"Armed groups from all sides continued to target the civilian population," said the 30-page report.

The report avoided any judgment of the military effectiveness of the drive to regain control of Baghdad.

But it took issue with tactics used against Iraqi civilians in the city -- alleging, for example, that whole families were often taken into custody at random during security sweeps.

"The government of Iraq continued to face immense security challenges in the face of growing violence and armed opposition to its authority and the rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis," the report said.

It added that "the use of torture and other inhumane treatment" in government detention centers "continues to be of utmost concern." The report did not give specific locations, however.

In the report, the UN mission noted that government officials had claimed "an initial drop" in the number of killings in late February following the launch of the Baghdad security plan. But the report said the number of casualties "rose again in March."

That finding was based on Iraqi and foreign media reports of attacks, the UN said.

The report was unable to provide official, comprehensive death figures because the Iraqi government refused to release them.

During a press conference, UN human rights officer Ivana Vuco said the government did not give an official reason for refusing to release the numbers. But she said the government was apparently "becoming increasingly concerned about the figures being used to portray the situation as very grim."

"Unofficially, however, in a number of follow-up meetings to their decision, we were told that there were concerns that the people would construe the figures to portray the situation negatively and that would further undermine their efforts to establish some kind of security and stability in the country," she said.

In a statement, the Iraqi government expressed deep reservations about the report, terming it "inaccurate in presenting information" and lacking "credibility in many of its points."

"The publication of this unbalanced report . . . puts the credibility of the UN office in Iraq at stake and it aggravates the humanitarian crisis in Iraq instead of solving it," the government said.

The statement offered no explanation for withholding casualty figures, and did not provide any numbers.

But government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told the Associated Press that the system for tabulating casualty figures "is not easy" because "in the recent period, the number of casualties increased."

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RE: America Since 1980: A Right Turn Leading to a Dead End

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:48 AM

America Since 1980: A Right Turn Leading to a Dead End

By Dean Baker, AlterNet
Posted on April 27, 2007, Printed on April 27, 2007

Editor's note: this is adapted from Dean Baker's new book, The United States since 1980 (The World Since 1980).

U.S. politics took a sharp turn to the right in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan as president. Domestically, Reagan touted an agenda that would lead to a sharp upward redistribution of income. Internationally, Reagan explicitly rejected the "détente" framework for engaging the Soviet Union that had been accepted by the leadership of both major parties since the beginning of the Cold War. In its place, Reagan put forward a doctrine of U.S. unilateralism in which the United States basically claimed the right to do whatever it wanted, unconstrained by allies or international institutions.

The welfare state in the United States was always weaker than in West Europe, but in 1980 it was reasonable to believe that West Europe presented a model that the United States would follow. Medicare and Medicaid were still relatively new programs, having been established just 14 years earlier. Having recently seen a massive expansion of publicly provided healthcare coverage, many people believed that it would not be long before healthcare coverage was extended to the entire population. Other features of European welfare states, such as long vacations, short work weeks, and paid parental leave (generally maternity leave at the time), also seemed feasible political goals.

Reagan's election changed the political reality. His agenda was rolling back the welfare state, and his budgets included a wide range of cuts for social programs. He was also very strategic about the process. One of his first targets was Legal Aid. This program, which provides legal services for low-income people, was staffed largely by progressive lawyers, many of whom used it as a base to win precedent-setting legal disputes against the government. Reagan drastically cut back the program's funding. He also explicitly prohibited the agency from taking on class-action suits against the government -- law suits that had been used with considerable success to expand the rights of low- and moderate-income families.

The Reagan administration also made weakening the power of unions a top priority. The people he appointed to the National Labor Relations Board were qualitatively more pro-management than appointees by prior Democratic or Republican presidents. This allowed companies to ignore workers' rights with impunity. Reagan also made the firing of strikers an acceptable business practice when he fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Many large corporations quickly embraced the practice. Also, his high dollar policy in the mid-'80s was a severe blow to manufacturing unions, who suddenly had to compete against low-cost imports that were essentially subsidized by an overvalued dollar.

The net effect of these policies was that union membership plummeted, going from nearly 20 percent of the private sector workforce in 1980 to just over 7 percent in 2006. Inequality soared, as the vast majority of the gains from economic growth over the next quarter century went to high-end wage earners (e.g., doctors, lawyers, CEOs) and profits. The wages of typical workers increased little from 1980 to 2006.

On the international side, Reagan followed through on his campaign promise to reject the arms control agreements that previous administrations had negotiated with the Soviets. He insisted on going back to the drawing board and negotiating proposals for arms reduction, not just freezes. While Reagan eventually found a more accommodating enemy than he had anticipated when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union, his belligerence towards the Soviet Union was a deliberate break with prior administrations.

Reagan was also willing to act aggressively, and often alone, in other foreign policy matters. For example, throughout his presidency he sustained a guerilla war against the democratically elected government in Nicaragua. This war often put the United States at odds with its allies in West Europe. When Reagan invaded the tiny island nation of Grenada in 1983 (population @100,000), he couldn't even enlist the support of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, his conservative political soul mate.

The United States has largely continued Reagan's policy of unilateralism through subsequent administrations. It has consistently refused to be bound by important international agreements regarding issues such as human rights, war crimes, and greenhouse gas emissions. And of course, the fact that United Nations would not support an invasion of Iraq did not deter the Bush administration or even prompt the Democratic leadership in Congress to oppose the invasion.

But, the right-turn path may be reaching a dead end. In terms of the economy, we have had a quarter century of top heavy growth in which the vast majority of economic gains have gone to the richest 10 percent of the population. While the economy has generally been boosted by a virtuous cycle in which productivity growth lead to wage growth, which in turn lead to consumption growth and then further productivity and wage growth, the key stimulus for growth in the last decade has been financial bubbles, first in the stock market and more recently in the housing market. With the latter bubble beginning to unwind, the economy's prospects do not look bright.

Internationally, the days when the United States was the biggest boy on the block are rapidly coming to an end. The United States is still the world's largest economy, but China's economy is almost 80 percent of its size and growing very rapidly. It will not be long before China's economy is larger than our economy. As its economy begins to surpass the size of the U.S. economy, its military strength will likely soon exceed that of the United States as well.

Even barring any military conflict with China, which is highly unlikely, the ability of the United States to impose its will on China is very limited at this point, as it has very few cards to play. In fact, the ability of the United States to impose its will on much of the world has been sharply constrained by the fact that it is now a huge debtor nation that is borrowing $800 billion a year and that it has most of its military bogged down in the Iraq War.

This is a bad situation for a bully to be in. After a quarter century of not caring about the concerns of other countries, the United States is facing a situation where other countries may not care much about our plight. We may soon wish that we had spent more effort building up meaningful international institutions when we had the opportunity.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Labels: ,


RE: Take ONE MINUTE to support Cheney's impeachment!!!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:58 AM

Thanks to: Jennifer, ♥ Angel ♥ ™, TimeBomb, HECKTOR DANGUS, ESQ. , and Ignoring 9/11 Truth = Supporting Empire, Impeach!!



to send a letter to your State Rep supporting Impeachment! It only takes a minute to act against fascism/tyranny/injustice!!

Labels: , , , ,


RE: After Moyers Iraq Documentary, DCReporters in Damage-Control

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 10:53 AM

After Moyers Iraq Documentary, DC Reporters in Damage-Control Mode

By David Sirota,
Posted on April 27, 2007, Printed on April 27, 2007

In the lead up to and wake of Bill Moyers' much-anticipated mega-dunk on the Washington press corps this week, we are seeing the ugliest side of Beltway culture -- the meltdown, damage-control freak out. Only what's new is that instead of politicians melting down, it's reporters themselves. And never underestimate the desperation that comes when Establishment Washington unifies to try to defend itself.

Over here we have professional power-worshiper Chris "It Doesn't Matter Where Political Money Comes From" Cillizza attempting to defend Tim Russert, and in the process insulting the recently deceased journalistic hero David Halberstam.

Yes, Cillizza -- clearly begging for an invite on a Meet the Press panel -- is out there saying that "modern journalists are doing their very best to emulate that sort of reporting" that came from Halberstam, and that "Tim Russert is one of the best examples of that kind of accountability journalism." I guess turning over NBC's airwaves to a Vice President spewing lies, ignoring the solid reporting of Knight Ridder that debunked those lies, and having panel discussions laughing hysterically with fellow pundit friends over predictions for when the war would start is, under Cillizza's warped Beltway definition, "accountability journalism" from Russert (who, I'm sure, Cillizza would also have us believe is just a "blue collar guy from Buffalo," despite Russert's multi-million-dollar salary and quaint Nantucket summers).

Over at CBS, White House reporter Mark Knoller's acrobatic attempts at defense make Rodney Dangerfield's "Triple Lindy" from "Back to School" look like a simple somersault. Knoller actually claims that the now-famous pre-war press conference where reporters fell all over themselves to compliment the president for his leadership was actually a scene of journalistic bravery. Atrios does the takedown of Knoller, showing the full transcript of that press conference, but if you don't want to read that, please just remember what New York Times White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller said to defend the media's behavior at the event:

"We were very deferential becauseÖit's live, it's very intense, it's frightening to stand up there. Think about it, you're standing up on prime-time live TV asking the president of the United States a question when the country's about to go to war. There was a very serious, somber tone that evening, and no one wanted to get into an argument with the president at this very serious time."

Moyers piece is important not just because it has exposed the entire sham that was pre-war Beltway journalism, but also because he has finally exacted a price -- in this case, humiliation -- from the reporters whose power-worshiping, must-stay-on-the-cocktail-party-circuit tendencies led them to aggressively push this country into war. And we can hope that fear of future humiliation will help prevent another gross abdication of responsibility next time around.

David Sirota is the author of Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government--and How We Take It Back (Crown, 2006).

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RE: Feds threaten Texas over superhighway funds plan

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 11:18 AM

Thanks To : Philo-sophia

Feds threaten Texas over superhighway funds plan
Transportation Department opposes bills delaying NAFTA project

By Jerome R. Corsi

Go to Original

The Federal Highway Administration has threatened Texas with the loss of federal highway funds if the state continues with its legislative plan for a two-year funding moratorium on construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor.

In the 4-page letter, FHWA Chief Counsel James D. Ray advises Michael Behrens, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, some of the pending legislative proposals, if signed into law, "could affect the State's eligibility for receiving Federal-aid highway funds."

Ray praises Texas for being "the nation's leader in developing new transportation facilities through public private partnerships."

(Story continues below)

But the letter expresses concern that the Texas Legislature is nearing passage of a two-year moratorium blocking planned Trans-Texas Corridor toll-road projects.

"We do not see the benefit of a moratorium if the State has already committed to legislation for a continuation of the program," Ray wrote, adding, "If Texas looses (sic) the initiative it now has, private funds now flowing to Texas will go elsewhere."

"We stand ready to work with Texas officials to ensure continued compliance with all of the applicable Federal laws and regulations. We wish to make sure that Texas can continue to receive the full benefits available under the Federal-aid Highway Program," he concluded.

David Stall, co-founder of the website, alerted WND the federal agency was preparing the letter.

During a Wednesday morning teleconference, James Ray, chief counsel and acting deputy director of the FHWA, reportedly told the Trans-Texas Corridor Citizens Advisory Committee that the federal agency was preparing a letter to place the Texas Department of Transportation on notice that the proposed action by the Texas Legislature would jeopardize access to federal highway funds.

The Trans-Texas Corridor Citizens Advisory Committee is a group of citizens organized by the state transportation department to offer advice on projects concerning the Trans-Texas Corridor.

The federal agency did not respond to WND requests for comment, but Stall had an opinion.

"As you might guess, we greatly object to federal interference in state affairs and the attempt to influence public policy at the state level," Stall told WND via e-mail.

Stall told WND that Ray's letter was prompted by a request from Texas Rep. Mike Krusee, Williamson County, who sent a note to the FHWA asking for an opinion specifically on HB1892, the House version of the moratorium.

Krusee, a Republican, is a long-time supporter of the TTC toll-road project. In November 2006, he was re-elected with barely 50 percent of the vote in a campaign in which his TTC support was contested.

WND has reported previously that two different bills have passed the Texas House and Senate, and both are aimed at imposing a two-year moratorium on all public-private partnerships that would involve construction of new toll roads financed and operated by private foreign investment groups.

The large margins by which the moratorium bills have been approved suggest the legislature has the votes to override an anticipated veto by Gov. Rick Perry.

Labels: ,


RE: It’s time to fire the puppeteer. Eh, Mr. Rove?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Apr 27, 2007 11:35 AM

Don't Fire Gonzales

by Greg Palast
Go to Original

Before President Bush fired his sorry ass, US Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico, in a last sad attempt to suck up to his Republican padrones, allowed his chief mouthpiece, Norm Cairns, to speak with me.  He shouldn't have.

That was two years back, while I was investigating strange doings in New Mexico and Arizona, where, simultaneously, state legislators, Republicans all, claimed they had evidence of "voter fraud."  Psychiatrists call this kind of mutual delusional behavior folie a deux.  I suspected something else: I smelled Karl Rove.

In the New Mexico legislature, a suburban Albuquerque political hackette, Justine Fox-Young (her real name), claimed to have "several" specific cases of vote identity rustling.  Like Joe McCarthy waving his list of "Communists," she waived documents of "evidence" of illegal voting on the floor of the Legislature.  I called Ms. Fox-Young and asked her to send me the papers.

The "evidence" never arrived. Maybe her fax machine was broken. I called Justine.

Q. Justine, you've uncovered criminals!  Did you turn their names over to the US Attorney?

A. Well, no, but someone did.

Whose initials are Karl Rove?

She swore to me that US Attorney Iglesias would back up her story: he was investigating the evil voters and was about to indict them.

So I got Iglesias' guy Norm on the phone.  Was Iglesias prosecuting, or actively investigating, one single real case of voter fraud?

Norm went into a lengthy swirly-whirly river of diving, ducking bullshit. I dove in.

Me: In other words, you can't back her story?

Norm: Well, yeah, uh, I guess you'd say that's true.

I guess I will say that, Norm.  Fox-Young had just plain made it up; fibbed, lied, faked the evidence.

There was a multi-state con in operation.  But what was it?  Each of these bogus claims of voter fraud was attached to a sales pitch for a state law to tighten voter ID requirements — to prevent these ne'er-do-wells from voting twice.  In Arizona, one crack-pot Republican legislator, the Hon. Russell Pearce, claimed he had evidence that five million Mexicans had illegally crossed the border to vote.

The point: Rove knew that a "challenge" operation by the Republican Party, run from his office, knocked out 300,000 voters — mainly poor ones, voters of color.  His crew wanted to hike that higher.

The notable thing about this crime of voter identity theft is that it doesn't happen.  You are more likely to encounter ballot boxes that spontaneously combust.  I found cases of voters struck by lightening — but out of 120 million votes cast, I couldn't find a dozen criminal cases of a bandit stealing someone's identity to vote.

Since the Republicans couldn't find such criminals, they had to make them up.  Force prosecutors to bring false charges against innocent voters (one did just that in Wisconsin) or at least claim they were hot on the trail of the fraudulent voters.

Iglesias, though a Republican, wouldn't bring bogus charges.  And he wouldn't lie about active investigations that didn't exist except in Rove's imagination.

That was his mistake.

Rove's right-hand hit-man, Tim Griffin, added Iglesias to the hit list of prosecutors who were cut down on December 7, 2006.

Griffin himself, after the December 7 firings, was appointed by Attorney General Gonzales, at Rove's personal request, to one of the newly-vacated slots as US Attorney for Arkansas.  The sleeper cell of Rove-bot US attorneys is now in place to bless voter suppression games in 2008.

I've previously reported for BBC that Griffin was the Man in the Memos who directed the massive, wrongful purge of African-American soldiers in 2004 — the 'caging' list scam. Based on that expose, voting rights lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said, "Griffin and Rove should be in jail, not in office."  That, too is another story — But the important thing to pick up here is:

1. It's all about the 2008 election.
2. It's not about Gonzales.

We've been here before.  Gonzales is getting Libby'd.  Takes the bullet for Karl Rove and the White House.  If you wondered why the Republican jackals like the sinister Senator Specter piled on Gonzales — it's because they were told to.

These guys learned from Richard Nixon.  In 1973, when Nixon was getting hammered over Watergate, he threw the Senate Committee his Attorney General, a schmuck named Kleindeist.  Famously, Nixon's own Rove, a devious creep named John Erlichman, told Nixon to leave the Attorney General, "twisting slowly in the wind."

Rove and Bush are doing the Nixon Twist on Gonzales.

Look, I have no sympathy for Alberto the Doomed.  He's guilty of a crime I employed in racketeering cases: "Willful failure to know."  It's a kind of fraud; Alberto was going way out of his way to not know what he had to know, that Rove and the President were toying with prosecutors.

Gonzales is their glove-puppet.  Why fire him?  The nation watches these hearings and wants to kill something.  But why shoot the puppet?  It's time to fire the puppeteer.  Eh, Mr. Rove?

This is based on "The Theft of 2008″ from the new, expanded edition of Armed Madhouse: From New Orleans to Baghdad - Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild, released this week by Penguin. Get it here.

Labels: ,


RE: Various 9/11 Videos

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: NY 9/11 Truth
Date: Apr 27, 2007 11:52 AM

David Shaylor, former British MI5 agent, speaks on 9/11


9/11 Hero William Rodriguez on BBC

Former NYPD Officer and 9/11 First Responder Craig Bartmer

Craig's on Myspace...drop in and let him know you support him!

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on 9/11 Truth


9/11 Truth in 10 minutes with Jim Marrs


Charlie Sheen questions 9/11 on the Alex Jones Show


To see the best films about 9/11 visit our blog.

Labels: ,


RE: DOVV: Calling all Sons and Daughters of War

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ♥ Angel ♥ ™
Date: Apr 27, 2007 11:55 AM

Thanks to:
DOVV: Impeach!

First, please call the Veterans Committee as often as you can.
202.224.9126 Please tell them your story. Tell them you want your generation home now! Tell them no more poisoning our own men and women with depleted uranium. No more lies!

This is from a family who lost their Dad due to depleted uranium. Please read:

Dear concerned citizens of the United States of America,

My main reason for writing this report is to bear witness to my own father’s contamination and death as a result of depleted uranium (DU) exposure during his participation in Gulf War I. I take great offense in the fact that the US government (now through three administrations) refuses to properly educate their personnel of the hazards of using DU weapons and cease usage of such weapons of mass destruction. The main purpose of this report is to inform the reader of the history of depleted uranium munitions and the effects of using the weapons realized since Gulf War I. The greatest limitation I experienced while writing this report is the fact that the pentagon and Department of Defense have been covering up the adverse effects of DU exposure for liability reasons. Due to the cover-up, large quantities of government documents portray a subdued, misleading account of the detrimental effects of DU contamination. However, when one looks to the scientific community, the evidence overwhelmingly verifies the dangers associated with DU munitions. My quotations from several interviews with Dr. Rokke provide the greatest validity to my report. Dr. Rokke is the former director of the US Army depleted uranium project and was responsible for producing the official military depleted uranium training video and overseeing the contamination cleanup attempts after Gulf War I. Having seen a third of his cleanup crew (about 30 out of 100) die from DU exposure in the decade and a half since their 1992 cleanup mission, Dr. Rokke boldly summarizes the effects of using depleted uranium munitions saying, “This whole thing is a crime against God and humanity” (Johnson). Throughout my report, I will systematically validate his claim that DU munitions are indeed a crime against humanity and that the longevity of their adverse effects make using DU weapons stand out even amongst the most heinous of war-crimes in the extensive disgusting history of war.

Abraham Hooker

You can read my article here:

A Study on the Feasibility of Using Depleted Uranium Weapons … d=18281764

Our father (a Gulf War veteran) died from depleted uranium exposure. You can view his obituary here: … d=18281764

Note that it says, "He has served 29 years in the US Army and was a veteran of the Gulf War serving with the 82nd Airborne Division."

We hope this adds a little validity to the danger of depleted uranium munitions.

We have diligently researched into this subject, just as family members of 9/11 victims research the events that took place at the WTC. If you want more information, here is a list of significant sources: … ;menuId=16 … 8dec06.htm … ndex2.html … 2/abstract … WBib01.pdf … ontent.208

Video interview of Dr. Doug Rokke, former Director of the Pentagon's Depleted Uranium Project:

Please help to spread the awareness.


Dear activists, colleagues, and friends,

It's almost May 1st. Who can forget the so-called "Mission Accomplished"
from four years ago? Who can forget the pomp and circumstance, the
primping and posturing in a staged photo-op built on the backs of those
destroyed by the war. The mission has not been accomplished.
1. Watch the film

2. Sign the petition
3. Enter the contest

In honor of all those who have been killed, whose lives have been
destroyed in this terrible war of choice, we have been working hard on a
short film that will not let that horrific day go unnoticed.

Watch the film and spread it far and wide:

We've also got a contest looking for what SHOULD have been on the
"mission accomplished" banner. Submit your banner and the winning one
will be on car bumpers all over the country! (You'll get some cool stuff
too) For more details, and to enter:

The spoken word performance in the video was done by a wonderfully
talented young man, Steven Connell, who's been in feature films on HBO,
Showtime and MTV. He is a strong, creative, and articulate voice in
reaching a young and diverse audience. We are grateful for his time and
effort, and to Norman Lear who first found and called Steven to the
attention of a wider audience.

Go on, watch it!

1. Watch the film

2. Sign the petition
3. Enter the contest


Just days before this video and website was to go online, an American
soldier serving in Afghanistan wrote an op-ed which has since stirred up
a national debate. The soldier questioned why we do not lower the flag
to half-staff when a soldier dies at war. We at Brave New Foundation
were so inspired by his question that we decided to begin a petition to
amend the US Flag Code.

Sign the petition to have flags lowered for a day each time an American
service member dies at war:

Please forward this on far and wide -- to your friends, schools,
churches, to any local television or radio. We must not let this day go
unnoticed. We must make our voices and passions heard.

Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Foundation team

P.S. We have been overwhelmed with your ideas, enthusiasm and support
since we asked for your input on our future projects. We're carefully
looking through everything, and will have more to share on my blog soon.

Brave New Foundation
10510 Culver Blvd / Culver City, CA 90232 / 800-525-8212 /
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