Saturday, August 2, 2008

McCain Is Either Senile or a Complete Idiot!

You Decide!

Either way, he doesn't need to take over from the psychotics we have now.

One Month After 9/11, McCain Said Anthrax ‘May Have Come From Iraq,’ Warned Iraq Is ‘The Second Phase’»

Today, the LA Times reports that the individual who may have been responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others apparently committed suicide. As Atrios recalls, shortly after 9/11, conservatives were pinning the blame for the anthrax attacks on Iraq, laying the groundwork for a subsequent invasion. John McCain was part of this fearmongering effort.

On October 18, 2001, McCain appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. When asked how the war in Afghanistan was progressing, McCain volunteered that the invasion of Iraq would be the “second phase” of the War on Terror. He preyed on the public’s fear at the time by claiming that the anthrax “may have come from Iraq”:

LETTERMAN: How are things going in Afghanistan now?

MCCAIN: I think we’re doing fine …. I think we’ll do fine. The second phase — if I could just make one, very quickly — the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don’t have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq.

LETTERMAN: Oh is that right?

MCCAIN: If that should be the case, that’s when some tough decisions are gonna have to be made.

In the interview McCain tastelessly joked, in reference to the House adjourning until the Capitol could be cleared of the anthrax threat, that Congress members should “bring out their dead!” Less than a week later, two US Postal Service employees working in a facility that sorted mail destined for the Capitol would be dead.

McCain opened the interview by asking Letterman, “What is Osama bin Laden going to be for Halloween?” “Dead!” McCain said, delivering the punchline to his joke. Nearly seven Halloweens later, Osama bin Laden remains alive and free.

Later in the interview, McCain explained his counterterrorism approach: “The more serious these people [terrorists] think we are and believe we are – and we are serious – then I think they might, you know, go back to selling camels or whatever enterprise that they might want to engage in.”

Concluding the interview, McCain warned once again that Iraq was next. “The crunch time will be if – and emphasize if – we have to go after Iraq, and then that coalition could be strained,” he said. “But nothing succeeds like success. … World power politics is very interesting. People are very friendly when they know you’re the most powerful kid on the block.”

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bush Orders Revamp Of Intel. gathering

DNI's Authority Boosted, Document Shows

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 31, 2008; A02

President Bush ordered a major restructuring of the nation's intelligence-gathering community yesterday, approving new guidelines aimed at bolstering the authority of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) as the leader of the nation's 16 spy agencies.

The long-awaited overhaul of Executive Order 12333 gives the DNI greater control over spending and priority-setting, and also over contacts with foreign intelligence services -- a responsibility that has traditionally fallen to the CIA, according to a Bush administration document describing the changes.

Executive Order 12333, which was originally issued by President Ronald Regan in 1981, established the powers and responsibilities of the major U.S. intelligence services. Administration officials have been quietly negotiating the overhaul for more than a year, seeking to modernize the law to reflect the new role of the DNI as the head of the intelligence community. The DNI was created by Congress three years ago in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but critics have charged that the agency was not given the budgetary and policy-setting authorities it needs to lead the intelligence community.

Details of the revamped order were expected to be unveiled by the White House today, but a summary of the major changes was spelled out in a White House PowerPoint presentation shared in advance with congressional oversight committees. The eight-page slide presentation was obtained by The Washington Post.

The main purpose of the reforms was to "clarify and strengthen the role of the DNI as head of the intelligence community," the presentation states. The new order gives the DNI primary authority to issue "overarching policies and procedures" and to ensure that intelligence collection is coordinated among the 16 agencies. It also conveys greater power to set spending priorities and establish standards for training and tradecraft.

In one of the more controversial changes, the new order allows the DNI to formulate policy for engaging with the intelligence agencies and security services of other countries -- a role traditionally held by the CIA. But the new policy stipulates that the CIA would "coordinate implementation" of those policies.

Left essentially unchanged is a prohibition against assassinations of foreign leaders, as well as long-standing restrictions on "human experimentation," the document states. It asserts that the intelligence community would "maintain or strengthen privacy and civil liberty protections."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Speaking of Anthrax.....

Get a load of this!

Vaccines used on U.S. soldiers, without their knowledge.

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Apparent Suicide In Anthrax Case

I wonder if this suicide is anything like The "suicide" of David kelly in Britain. If so, we now know who attempted an assassination of the leadership of the Congress.

Bruce E. Ivins
, a scientist who helped the FBI investigate the 2001 mail attacks, was about to face charges.

By David Willman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 1, 2008

A top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

Bruce E. Ivins
, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution, said people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation.

, whose name had not been disclosed publicly as a suspect in the case, played a central role in research to improve anthrax vaccines by preparing anthrax formulations used in experiments on animals.

Regarded as a skilled microbiologist, Ivins also helped the FBI analyze the powdery material recovered from one of the anthrax-tainted envelopes sent to a U.S. senator's office in Washington.

died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital after ingesting a massive dose of prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine, said a friend and colleague, who declined to be identified out of concern that he would be harassed by the FBI.

The death -- without any mention of suicide -- was announced to Ivins' colleagues at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, through a staffwide e-mail.

"People here are pretty shook up about it," said Caree Vander Linden, a spokeswoman for USAMRIID, who said she was not at liberty to discuss details surrounding the death.

The anthrax mailings killed five people, crippled national mail service, shut down a Senate office building and spread fear of further terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The extraordinary turn of events followed the government's payment in June of a settlement valued at $5.82 million to a former government scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, who was long targeted as the FBI's chief suspect despite a lack of any evidence that he had ever possessed anthrax.

The payout to Hatfill, a highly unusual development that all but exonerated him in the mailings, was an essential step to clear the way for prosecuting Ivins, according to lawyers familiar with the matter.

Federal investigators moved away from Hatfill -- for years the only publicly identified "person of interest" -- and ultimately concluded that Ivins was the culprit after FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III changed leadership of the investigation in late 2006.

The FBI's new top investigators -- Vincent B. Lisi and Edward W. Montooth -- instructed agents to reexamine leads or potential suspects that may have received insufficient attention. Moreover, significant progress was made in analyzing genetic properties of the anthrax powder recovered from letters addressed to two senators.

The renewed efforts led the FBI back to USAMRIID, where agents first questioned scientists in December 2001, a few weeks after the fatal mailings.

By spring of this year, FBI agents were still contacting Ivins' present and former colleagues. At USAMRIID and elsewhere, scientists acquainted with Ivins were asked to sign confidentiality agreements in order to prevent leaks of new investigative details.

, employed as a civilian at Ft. Detrick, earlier had attracted the attention of Army officials because of anthrax contaminations that Ivins failed to report for five months. In sworn oral and written statements to an Army investigator, Ivins said that he had erred by keeping the episodes secret -- from December 2001 to late April 2002. He said he had swabbed and bleached more than 20 areas that he suspected were contaminated by a sloppy lab technician.

"In retrospect, although my concern for biosafety was honest and my desire to refrain from crying 'Wolf!' . . . was sincere, I should have notified my supervisor ahead of time of my worries about a possible breach in biocontainment," Ivins told the Army. "I thought that quietly and diligently cleaning the dirty desk area would both eliminate any possible [anthrax] contamination as well as prevent unintended anxiety at the institute."

The Army chose not to discipline Ivins regarding his failure to report the contamination. Officials said that penalizing Ivins might discourage other employees from voluntarily reporting accidental spills of "hot" agents.

But Ivins' recollections should have raised serious questions about his veracity and his intentions, according to some of those familiar with the investigation. For instance, although Ivins said that he swabbed areas near and within his personal office, and bleached surfaces to kill any spores, and that some of the swabs tested positive, he was vague about what should have been an essential next step:

Reswabbing to check whether any spores remained.

"I honestly do not recall if follow-up swabs were taken of the area," Ivins said. "I may have done so, but I do not now remember reswabbing."

(In accordance with Title U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

U.S. Auditor: No More Money For Iraq

U.S. auditor says funding for Iraqi rebuilding should cease.

(But then the Bushites couldn't continue to rob us

and the Iraqis blind.)

With burgeoning oil income and unspent money from previous budgets, the war-torn nation can meet its own needs, the special inspector general says.
By Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 30, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Rising production and skyrocketing prices could more than double the Iraqi government's expected bonanza in oil revenue this year, leading a top U.S. government auditor to call for an end to American funding of Iraqi reconstruction projects.

The Iraqi government had projected 2008 oil revenue of about $35 billion. But a U.S. report to be issued today by the special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction will say that oil production in the second quarter of the year hit 2.43 million barrels per day, a post-invasion record.

"With oil now hovering around $125 per barrel -- about five times what it was five years ago -- and Iraq's oil production at record levels, SIGIR estimates that oil revenues for 2008 could exceed $70
billion," the report states.

The report by the independent audit agency provides potent backing to critics of the Bush administration in what has become a highly charged political issue. Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing the administration to pressure the Iraqi government to fund its own infrastructure projects through rising oil revenue.

In the most recent war funding bill, lawmakers inserted a requirement that all U.S. funding for projects not related to Iraqi security be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by Iraqi government spending.

In response, administration officials have urged patience, noting that Iraqi spending for reconstruction has risen sharply and that the American contribution would gradually diminish.

U.S. funding for Iraqi reconstruction has declined over the last four years. In 2008, the new report projects, the $4.2 billion appropriated by Congress for rebuilding will be less than a third of the $13.1 billion that Iraq itself is expected to spend.

But Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general, said in an interview that he favored ending U.S. participation entirely, because the Iraqi oil windfall plus unspent funds from earlier budgets are more than adequate to meet the country's reconstruction needs.

Bowen said that Barham Salih, the deputy Iraqi prime minister in charge of reconstruction, earlier this month had insisted that Iraq did not need additional foreign funding for reconstruction.

"They certainly have the resources to invest in their infrastructure program," Bowen said. "I think we ought to just take them at their word on that and focus on helping Iraq carry out its own program funded by its own money."

According to the report, cumulative Iraqi funding for reconstruction caught up with total U.S. spending within the last three months. Each government has appropriated more than $50 billion since 2003.

The audit emphasizes, however, that the Iraqi government continues to struggle to spend the money it is accumulating. Because of government inexperience and bureaucratic bottlenecks, the Iraqi government had spent only 2.7% of its capital budget by March 2008, the latest figures available.

The report notes that the Iraqi government has improved in this regard, spending 63% of its capital budget last year, compared with 22% in 2006. But Bowen said the U.S. should focus its reconstruction efforts on helping the Iraqis improve those rates.

"A lot of that money is going to be left unspent," Bowen said.

At the start of July, Iraq had already brought in $33.1 billion in 2008 oil revenue, according to the report. Production levels were up 2% over the first quarter of the year and 16% over last year. The audit notes that production is approaching prewar levels, which averaged 2.58 million barrels per day from 1998 through 2002.

A portion of the increase is credited to a drop in pipeline attacks. The report estimates that an additional 350,000 to 500,000 barrels every month now make it to market because of "pipeline exclusion zones," a system of berms, fences and guardhouses built around major pipelines in the country.

Bowen said that corruption remained a problem within Iraq, however, and that he was concerned the huge windfall in oil funds could end up in the wrong hands. Iraq's own government auditing agency, the Board of Supreme Audit, has repeatedly found corruption at many of Iraq's ministries.

"Given that was going on earlier this year and that we have this massive windfall occurring, inevitably there has to be concerns about corruption with regards to those funds," Bowen said.

As Iraq's oil industry has regained its footing, the government has attempted to attract private foreign investment to upgrade its decaying infrastructure. Last month, it announced that it was opening bidding to 35 foreign oil companies for long-term contracts on six of its key fields in hopes of increasing output to 4.5 million barrels a day.

The move followed an earlier decision to offer separate, short-term contracts to five U.S. and European companies -- ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Shell and BP -- on a noncompetitive basis.

Those contracts have been delayed, however, after Democratic criticism of possible State Department involvement in developing the contracting process.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Time Is Running Out

People keep talking about 2020. That's too late. Anyone still dependent on ordinary sources of energy by 2012, is in deep-do-do, as Poppy Bush would say.

The final countdown

Time is fast running out to stop irreversible climate change, a group of global warming experts warns today. We have only 100 months to avoid disaster. Andrew Simms explains why we must act now - and where to begin

Planet earth

Planet earth viewed from space. Photograph: Corbis

If you shout "fire" in a crowded theatre, when there is none, you understand that you might be arrested for irresponsible behaviour and breach of the peace. But from today, I smell smoke, I see flames and I think it is time to shout. I don't want you to panic, but I do think it would be a good idea to form an orderly queue to leave the building.

Because in just 100 months' time, if we are lucky, and based on a quite conservative estimate, we could reach a tipping point for the beginnings of runaway climate change. That said, among people working on global warming, there are countless models, scenarios, and different iterations of all those models and scenarios. So, let us be clear from the outset about exactly what we mean.

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere today, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, is the highest it has been for the past 650,000 years. In the space of just 250 years, as a result of the coal-fired Industrial Revolution, and changes to land use such as the growth of cities and the felling of forests, we have released, cumulatively, more than 1,800bn tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Currently, approximately 1,000 tonnes of CO2 are released into the Earth's atmosphere every second, due to human activity. Greenhouse gases trap incoming solar radiation, warming the atmosphere. When these gases accumulate beyond a certain level - often termed a "tipping point" - global warming will accelerate, potentially beyond control.

Faced with circumstances that clearly threaten human civilisation, scientists at least have the sense of humour to term what drives this process as "positive feedback". But if translated into an office workplace environment, it's the sort of "positive feedback" from a manager that would run along the lines of: "You're fired, you were rubbish anyway, you have no future, your home has been demolished and I've killed your dog."

In climate change, a number of feedback loops amplify warming through physical processes that are either triggered by the initial warming itself, or the increase in greenhouse gases. One example is the melting of ice sheets. The loss of ice cover reduces the ability of the Earth's surface to reflect heat and, by revealing darker surfaces, increases the amount of heat absorbed. Other dynamics include the decreasing ability of oceans to absorb CO2 due to higher wind strengths linked to climate change. This has already been observed in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and adding to climate change.

Because of such self-reinforcing positive feedbacks (which, because of the accidental humour of science, we must remind ourselves are, in fact, negative), once a critical greenhouse concentration threshold is passed, global warming will continue even if we stop releasing additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If that happens, the Earth's climate will shift into another, more volatile state, with different ocean circulation, wind and rainfall patterns. The implications of which, according to a growing litany of research, are potentially catastrophic for life on Earth. Such a change in the state of the climate system is often referred to as irreversible climate change.

So, how exactly do we arrive at the ticking clock of 100 months? It's possible to estimate the length of time it will take to reach a tipping point. To do so you combine current greenhouse gas concentrations with the best estimates for the rates at which emissions are growing, the maximum concentration of greenhouse gases allowable to forestall potentially irreversible changes to the climate system, and the effect of those environmental feedbacks. We followed the latest data and trends for carbon dioxide, then made allowances for all human interferences that influence temperatures, both those with warming and cooling effects. We followed the judgments of the mainstream climate science community, represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on what it will take to retain a good chance of not crossing the critical threshold of the Earth's average surface temperature rising by 2C above pre-industrial levels. We were cautious in several ways, optimistic even, and perhaps too much so. A rise of 2C may mask big problems that begin at a lower level of warming. For example, collapse of the Greenland ice sheet is more than likely to be triggered by a local warming of 2.7C, which could correspond to a global mean temperature increase of 2C or less. The disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet could correspond to a sea-level rise of up to 7 metres.

In arriving at our timescale, we also used the lower end of threats in assessing the impact of vanishing ice cover and other carbon-cycle feedbacks (those wanting more can download a note on method from But the result is worrying enough.

We found that, given all of the above, 100 months from today we will reach a concentration of greenhouse gases at which it is no longer "likely" that we will stay below the 2C temperature rise threshold. "Likely" in this context refers to the definition of risk used by the IPCC. But, even just before that point, there is still a one third chance of crossing the line.

Today is just another Friday in August. Drowsy and close. Office workers' minds are fixed on the weekend, clock-watching, waiting perhaps for a holiday if your finances have escaped the credit crunch and rising food and fuel prices. In the evening, trains will be littered with abandoned newspaper sports pages, all pretending interest in the football transfers. For once it seems justified to repeat TS Eliot's famous lines: "This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper."

But does it have to be this way? Must we curdle in our complacency and allow our cynicism about politicians to give them an easy ride as they fail to act in our, the national and the planet's best interest? There is now a different clock to watch than the one on the office wall. Contrary to being a counsel of despair, it tells us that everything we do from now matters. And, possibly more so than at any other time in recent history.

It tells us, for example, that only a government that was sleepwalking or in a chemically induced coma would countenance building a third runway at Heathrow, or a new generation of coal-fired power stations such as the proposed new plant at Kingsnorth in Kent. Infrastructure that is fossil-fuel-dependent locks in patterns of future greenhouse gas emissions, radically reducing our ability to make the short- to medium-term cuts that are necessary.

Deflecting blame and responsibility is a great skill of officialdom. The most common strategies used by government recently have been wringing their hands and blaming China's rising emissions, and telling individuals to, well, be a bit more careful. On the first get-out, it is delusory to think that countries such as China, India and Brazil will fundamentally change until wealthy countries such as Britain take a lead. And it is wildly unrealistic to think that individuals alone can effect a comprehensive re-engineering of the nation's fossil-fuel-dependent energy, food and transport systems. The government must lead.

In their inability to take action commensurate with the scale and timeframe of the climate problem, the government is mocked both by Britain's own history, and by countries much smaller, poorer and more economically isolated than we are.

The challenge is rapid transition of the economy in order to live within our environmental means, while preserving and enhancing our general wellbeing. In some important ways, we've been here before, and can learn lessons from history. Under different circumstances, Britain achieved astonishing things while preparing for, fighting and recovering from the second world war. In the six years between 1938 and 1944, the economy was re-engineered and there were dramatic cuts in resource use and household consumption. These coincided with rising life expectancy and falling infant mortality. We consumed less of almost everything, but ate more healthily and used our disposable income on what, today, we might call "low-carbon good times".

A National Savings Movement held marches, processions and displays in every city, town and village in the country. There were campaigns to Holiday at Home and endless festivities such as dances, concerts, boxing displays, swimming galas, and open-air theatre - all organised by local authorities with the express purpose of saving fuel by discouraging unnecessary travel. To lead by example, very public energy restrictions were introduced in government and local authority buildings, shops and railway stations. This was so successful that the results beat cuts previously planned in an over-complex rationing scheme. The public largely assented to measures to curb consumption because they understood that they were to ensure "the fairest possible distribution of the necessities and comforts of daily life".

Now, 2008, we face the fallout from the credit crisis, high oil and rising food prices, and the massive added challenge of having to avert climate change.

Does a war comparison sound dramatic? In April 2007, Margaret Beckett, then foreign secretary, gave a largely overlooked lecture called Climate Change: The Gathering Storm. "It was a time when Churchill, perceiving the dangers that lay ahead, struggled to mobilise the political will and industrial energy of the British Empire to meet those dangers. He did so often in the face of strong opposition," she said. "Climate change is the gathering storm of our generation. And the implications - should we fail to act - could be no less dire: and perhaps even more so."

In terms of what is possible in times of economic stress and isolation, Cuba provides an even more embarrassing example to show up our national tardiness. In a single year in 2006 Cuba rolled-out a nationwide scheme replacing inefficient incandescent lightbulbs with low-energy alternatives. Prior to that, at the end of the cold war, after losing access to cheap Soviet oil, it switched over to growing most of its food for domestic consumption on small scale, often urban plots, using mostly low-fossil-fuel organic techniques. Half the food consumed in the capital, Havana, was grown in the city's own gardens. Cuba echoed and surpassed what America achieved in its push for "Victory Gardening" during the second world war. Back then, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, between 30-40% of vegetables for domestic consumption were produced by the Victory Gardening movement.

So what can our own government do to turn things around today? Over the next 100 months, they could launch a Green New Deal, taking inspiration from President Roosevelt's famous 100-day programme implementing his New Deal in the face of the dust bowls and depression. Last week, a group of finance, energy and environmental specialists produced just such a plan.

Addressed at the triple crunch of the credit crisis, high oil prices and global warming, the plan is to rein in reckless financial institutions and use a range of fiscal tools, new measures and reforms to the tax system, such as a windfall tax on oil companies. The resources raised can then be invested in a massive environmental transformation programme that could insulate the economy from recession, create countless new jobs and allow Britain to play its part in meeting the climate challenge.

Goodbye new airport runways, goodbye new coal-fired power stations. Next, as a precursor to enabling and building more sustainable systems for transport, energy, food and overhauling the nation's building stock, the government needs to brace itself to tackle the City. Currently, financial institutions are giving us the worst of all worlds. We have woken to find the foundations of our economy made up of unstable, exotic financial instruments. At the same time, and perversely, as awareness of climate change goes up, ever more money pours through the City into the oil companies. These companies list their fossil-fuel reserves as "proven" or "probable". A new category of "unburnable" should be introduced, to fundamentally change the balance of power in the City. Instead of using vast sums of public money to bail out banks because they are considered "too big to fail", they should be reduced in size until they are small enough to fail without hurting anyone. It is only a climate system capable of supporting human civilisation that is too big to fail.

Oil companies made profits when oil was $10 a barrel. With the price now wobbling around $130, there is a huge amount of unearned profit waiting for a windfall tax. Money raised - in this way and through other changes in taxation, new priorities for pension funds and innovatory types of bonds - would go towards a long-overdue massive decarbonisation of our energy system. Decentralisation, renewables, efficiency, conservation and demand management will all play a part.

Next comes a rolling programme to overhaul the nation's heat-leaking building stock. This will have the benefit of massively cutting emissions and at the same time tackling the sore of fuel poverty by creating better insulated and designed homes. A transition from "one person, one car" on the roads, to a variety of clean reliable forms of public transport should be visible by the middle of our 100 months. Similarly, weaning agriculture off fossil-fuel dependency will be a phased process.

The end result will be real international leadership, removing the excuses of other nations not to act. But it will also leave the people of Britain more secure in terms of the food and energy supplies, and with a more resilient economy capable of weathering whatever economic and environmental shocks the world has to throw at us. Each of these challenges will draw on things that we already know how to do, but have missed the political will for.

So, there, I have said "Fire", and pointed to the nearest emergency exit. Now it is time for the government to lead, and do its best to make sure that neither a bang, nor a whimper ends the show.

· Andrew Simms is policy director and head of the climate change programme at NEF (the new economics foundation). The material on climate models for this article was prepared by Dr Victoria Johnson, researcher at NEF on climate change. For regular suggestions for what individuals and groups can do to take action, and links to a wide range of organisations supporting the focus on the 100 months countdown, go to: The Green New Deal can be downloaded at

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Is It Possible?

I, like many of my friends and colleagues, have been frustrated with the Democratic Congress for not doing more to reign in the Bush administration, put them on trial in the House, hold more hearings....whatever.

(I might add that I'm not all that unhappy about the telecoms immunity from civil lawsuit. Better hold off and try the decision makers. It won't do any good, and probably much harm, to sue the telecoms, unless everyones wants their rates to go up. The companies who are sued just pass the cost along to the shareholders and their customers. The CEO ands other officers won't see their exobitant salaries reduced. The real way to go after all of them is criminally.)

Nevertheless, I am beginning to wonder if there isn't a method to the congress-critters seeming madness. Several times I have heard various Congress-critters say that they are gathering information for the record. Several people have helped with various books and some testimony before various committees.

Everyone says that Junior will simply pardon himself and everyone else before he walks out of the White House. A pardon, when no crime has yet even been alleged, officially, by the House Judiciary Committee, would have to be written the same way Nixon's was, naming no specific crime he committed, rather absolving him of all crimes he may have committed. If such a pardon is accepted, it is an admission of guilt for any number of crimes. A president can pardon a person and they are off the hook in the U.S., but a presidential pardon means nothing at the Hague and this bunch has been caught seriously considering and committing international war crimes of a most heinous type.

If pardons do go out and are accepted by Bushites, it is time for a major citizens arrest, if neccessary, extraordinary rendition.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Activist Judge Alert: Rules Bush Advisors NOT Immune from Congress Subpoenas

Judge John G. Bates of the US District Court ofor the District of Columbia has ruled against Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton, saying they have no immunity when it comes to testifying before Congress about the firings of US Attorneys. I suppose the Bush appointed judge, a US Attorney himself once upon a time, respects US Attorney independence.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Well, look to the right wingers to hammer Judge John G. Bates of the US District Court for District of Columbia. He’s made a ruling against the claims by Bush advisors that they hold immunity from Congressional subpoenas. Of course, the Bushies will appeal. They’re likely going to hope that the US Supremes will find in their favor, as so many of them were appointed by Bush, or are sympathetic to him. From the New York Times:

The House Judiciary Committee wants to question the president’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former legal counsel Harriet Miers, about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys. But President Bush says they are immune from such subpoenas. They say Congress can’t force them to testify or turn over documents.

U.S. District Judge John Bates disagreed. He said there’s no legal basis for that argument. He said that Miers must appear before Congress and, if she wants to refuse to testify, she must do so in person.

“Harriet Miers is not immune from compelled congressional process; she is legally required to testify pursuant to a duly issued congressional subpoena,” Bates wrote.

He said that both Bolten and Miers must give Congress all non-privileged documents related to the firings.

But wait, wait! According to his biography, Judge John G. Bates was appointed in December of 2001. That would mean he was appointed by Dubya himself! So is he an activist judge or not? I’m thinking the guy is merely following the law. Perhaps this is Bush incompetence at its finest, where they can’t even appoint judges who will consistently rule in their favor, thus cover for their crimes.

A note by Marty: If a crime is suspected and can be duly shown to a judge in this light, there is no kind of privilege that can keep Congress from seeing documents and questioning aides under oath. That is part of the balance of powers between the three branches of government. Of course there is separation of power, but balance of power is of more importance if a crime is suspected of having been committed by anyone in the executive, and this goes all the way to the top echelons. There is enough evidence already known for impeachment, quite frankly. Now it is only a matter of finding out who all was involved. It is against the law for the president or anyone else, for that matter, to use any agency of the executive for purposes of partisan electoral politics. The DOJ is the worst possible agency for people like Karl Rove to punish and file false charges against Democrats for political reasons. When people lose faith in their social institutions, LOOK OUT! It's a very bad sign for a society.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Cheney and Co. Think Of Ways To Insitgate War With Iran

Thanks God, cooler heads prevailed; uh, at least less psychotic brains prevailed.

EXCLUSIVE: To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran. During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected...

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

If Cummunist China Can Do It Why Can't We?

China's 'rapid renewables surge'
By Mark Kinver
Science and nature reporter, BBC News

China's rapid investment in low carbon technologies has catapulted the nation up the global renewable energy rankings, a report shows.

The Climate Group study said China invested $12bn (£6bn) in renewables during 2007, second only to Germany.

However, it was expected to top the table by the end of 2009, it added.

The findings have been published as China faces criticism over its air quality ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games, which begin on 8 August.

The report, China's Clean Revolution, brings together the latest data on the country's burgeoning renewables sector in one publication.

Co-author Changhua Wu, The Climate Group's China director, said the rapid rise in investment was, in part, the result of the government realising that the western model of industrialisation was unsustainable.

"China has been experiencing similar problems during its industrial revolution that western nations saw during their period of rapid growth - pollution, environmental damage and resource depletion," she told BBC News.

"Domestically, we are being constrained in many ways; we do not have that many natural resources anymore.

"We have to rely on the international markets, so there is a big security concern there."

Uncertainty over future energy supplies has seen global fuel prices reach record levels, which has resulted in renewable technologies becoming a more attractive option.

The report said China's $12bn investment in renewables during 2007 was only just behind top-of-the-table Germany, which spent $14bn.

In order to meet its target of increasing the percentage of energy from low carbon technologies from 8% in 2006 to 15% by 2020, China is expected to invest an average of $33bn annually for the next 12 years.

This was going to result in China becoming the leading investor by the end of 2009, Ms Wu forecast.

Figures within the report showed that China was already the leading producer in terms of installed renewable generation capacity.

It has the world's largest hydroelectricity capacity since the controversial Three Gorges project began producing electricity, and the fifth largest fleet of wind turbines on the planet.

Although its installed capacity of photovoltaic (PV) panels is still relatively low, it is already the leading manufacturer of solar panels.

Ms Wu explained that the rapid growth of the sector was being driven by both government and business.

"In order to really drive towards a low carbon economy, policy incentives are crucial; but it is not always the case," she said.

"The wind sector's fast growth was mainly a result of domestic policies, because the government offered incentives to developments so that private and public sector entrepreneurs would jump on it.

"But the solar PV sector benefitted mainly from the international market, such as demand from the US and EU.

"Even today, the policy incentives are still not there, yet it still has grown to the level it is now."

Lingering legacy

However, despite the advances in low carbon technology, the legacy of rapid economic growth, which was primarily fuelled by burning coal, has been soaring greenhouse gas emissions.

In the final days before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, there has been growing international concern over the air quality in the Chinese capital as the world's top athletes begin to arrive.

Organisers of the Games had promised that the city's notorious pollution would be cleaned up, so failure to deliver would be seen as an embarrassing environmental shortcoming.

City officials said that they would introduce emergency measures, such as banning the use of private cars and closing some factories, if conditions did not improve.

Although Beijing's troubles are currently under the media spotlight, air quality is a nationwide problem. According to figures from the World Bank, 20 of the planet's 30 most polluted cities are in China.

"In terms of total emissions, China is already the world's biggest emitter," Ms Wu said. "That's publicly available information, even the government is not denying it anymore.

"But if you look at emissions on a per capita basis, we are not the biggest emitters because we have 1.3bn people."

The report suggests that if China's population emitted as much as US citizens, its total emissions would be roughly equivalent to those of the entire planet's human activity.

"But just looking at numbers does not help tackle global climate change," Ms Wu added.

"In China, we are concerned about the speed of growth in emissions; it is really scary."

The report showed that China was only responsible for about 7% of greenhouse gases emitted in the period before 2002, when more than 90% of emissions from human activity were released.

But since the turn of the century, it added, China's portion has been growing steadily and now accounts for 24% of the global total.

The government is looking to stabilise its emissions by 2020, primarily through greater energy efficiency and the expansion of the nation's renewable energy infrastructure, including electric cars.

Ms Wu added that within the international climate negotiations, the Chinese were looking to developed nations to prove that they were serious about tackling climate change, such as delivering the mandatory cuts in emissions outlined in the Kyoto Protocol.

"If they are not able to do it with the technology available to them, then is it reasonable to expect China and India to do it?

"China does not commit itself to a number and then not deliver," she said, referring to whether China would sign up to legally binding targets in the ongoing UN climate negotiations about what system should replace the current Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

"If they commit, then they are very, very serious about; so they have to figure out what is possible."

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(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Jimmy Carter: This is not the Real America

No kidding, Mr President.

And just think of all that has been revealed since Nov. 2005, starting with Domestic Spying.

Archive for Monday, November 14, 2005

This isn’t the real America

IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements – including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of “preemptive war,” an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation’s tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of “You are either with us or against us!” has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment” on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America’s reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of “first use” of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation’s global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America’s working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world’s only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.