The Scallion

Disclaimer: this online political & social satire webzine is not suitable for the decerebrate (translation: our illustrious bonehead, his benighted administration, neo-ultraconservative Republicans, rabid Catholics, sheep, or their sympathizers) or for readers under age 18. As satirists, we take no responsibility if what we say is dangerously close to the truth. If you're under 18, stop reading this NOW & go turn yourself in to your Mommy for a well-deserved spanking, you no-good little whelp.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Greetings, fellow Freedom FightersTM, Democracy DefendersTM, and Peace StalwartsTM!

We have a jam-packed issue for you today; just take your time and take as many sittings as you need to work your way through it. Believe us, you won't want to miss a word!

You especially won't want to miss Amy Goodman's exclusive, hour-long interview with Yoko Ono ( You also won't want to miss Amy Goodman's article "A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture" ( DN! also has a don't miss interview with “Shock Doctrine” Author Naomi Klein on State-Sanctioned Torture and
Disaster Response for the Chosen (read: post-Katrina New Orleans vs Florida or post-wildfire California).

Keep the faith and keep fighting: together, we WILL win our nation back!


Have another little piece of our mind, now won't you?

Here is a political letter from a Scallion staffer who lives in Virginia to Senator John Warner:

Mr. Warner, why did you endorse torture by voting to approve Mr. Mukasey for Attorney General? Why are you breaking your oath of office to uphold and protect OUR Constitution from all threats foreign and domestic?

I'm sure you know that torture is a patently unreliable method for gaining intelligence -- as our own military has reported for decades. Indeed, what would you do if someone held your head under water long enough to begin
the process of drowning you? Wouldn't you say anything -- the first thing that came into your head, whatever your torturers wanted to hear -- to make it stop and save your life? I'm sure you know that the only thing torture is good for is to convince the entire world -- the American people, our allies, and the enemies that we create for ourselves -- that
our government is ineffably insane ... completely beyond the power of reason ... that our government will stop at nothing to intimidate, bully, cow, and/or disappear anyone it finds inconvenient -- regardless of whether or not they have been convicted of any crime by their peers in a court of law.

I am sorry that pandering to the fascist dictator and would-be king in the Oval Office is more important to you than the welfare of our nation. And I am grateful that you plan not to run for re-election. I pray that someone who gives a damn about the American people will be elected in your stead.


A Concerned Citizen


From the mailbag

Reader T.S. sent this in:

Blow Struck Against Machine with Secret Voting Software and Invisible Ballots

Dear Friends of Open Voting:

On Halloween eve, we struck back against one of the scariest voting
machines ever produced. The Diebold TS voting machine obtained on
eBay by Open Voting Foundation met justice.

My first reaction when I found out the machine was available on
eBay June 15 of last year was "take a sledgehammer" to it! [1] It
turns out we did get the machine, but several friends talked me out
of smashing it -- for the time being. This was a good thing
because it helped us make some other points.

We examined the machine in some detail and reported on various
faults we found. In March of this year, the Associated Press cited
Open Voting Foundation in an article explaining why Diebold might
want to exit the voting system business [2].

Diebold decided to take their name off the voting machines, and we
helped them a bit with that.

Another idea was to turn the machine into a trustworthy voting
machine by adding a printer and replacing the proprietary secret
software with public software. We concluded that the machine was
just too badly designed for this to be economical.

So, back to my original idea.

The event was very well documented. Several TV and radio stations
covered it.

There is a video report on YouTube by Sebastian Kunz of 960 The Quake.

There were many still pictures taken as well. Here are a few
courtesy of Alec Bash:

Thank you and best wishes.

Alan Dechert

[1] 2006/0042.html
(the machine was one of several hundred sent back to Diebold by
Maryland after the 2004 election, but somehow got stuck in
After 1.5 years, the shipper put it on eBay along with other
[2] 2007/0022.html

From fellow blogger Dot Calm:

15 answers to creatonist nonsense:

Dot Calm also sent in the following, prefacing it with, “Can you imagine: we actually have to vote for fair elections! Is this a banana republic or what?”

Welcome to Fair Elections Action Week when activists and organizations around the country will be putting Fair and Clean Elections center stage. We have an unprecedented opportunity to advance the prospects for full public financing of all Congressional elections, so there's plenty to do this week. I hope you'll join us.

Click here to sign up for Fair Elections Action Week updates, read news stories and blog posts from around the country, and find out about events happening in your area.

Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have together given us our best opportunity yet to make headway in our efforts to ensure that congressional elections are about voters, not big money donors. In addition, a similar legislative effort in the House represents real progress in having citizen voices heard by elected officials. Senator Durbin had this to say about his committment to Fair Elections:

"As I've said many times before, changing the way we finance political campaigns in this country is one of the most important challenges I've ever undertaken. The Fair Elections Now Act, which I introduced with bipartisan support, is the way I think we should finance Congressional elections, and I truly believe it is one of the most important bills I've ever introduced.
"However, because so many monied special interests have so much at stake in the current system, Fair Elections will also be one of the most difficult bills I've ever tried to pass. To make campaign finance reform a reality, we must build momentum in neighborhoods throughout the country. That is what Fair Elections Action Week is all about. I need your help."

Help grow this campaign by being part of this national week of action. In doing so, you'll be spreading the good news that Clean Elections has worked in states and can work in our nation's capitol.

If you attend an event, please be sure and send us an email about how it went -- pictures are great too -- and
we'll post it to the blog. And if you choose to write a letter to the editor of your local paper about Fair Elections and it gets published, be sure and let us know about it too, just send it to

Thanks so much for all the work you've done with us to help bring us to this point, I look forward to hearing about and reading all the stories of events all over the country this week.

Nick Nyhart
President and CEO

P.S. Support our nationwide effort with a donation today!

Please also see Dot Calm's Page of Truth and Sedition, linked in the sidebar of The Scallion, for more news you can use!


Interesting things we found in our travels

Conyers, tell us more!

Joseph Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications, delivered a pair of twin bombshells last week, when he asserted in a court filing that the National Security Agency had approached Qwest six months before 9/11 about participating in a legally dubious program, and that after the company declined, the administration yanked hundreds of millions in government contracts. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers' (D-MI) eyebrows are firmly in the raised position. So today he wrote Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and senior Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein, who both testified before his committee last month, to inquire: "I ask that you provide the Committee with an immediate briefing on the facts behind these recent revelations, and that you then provide us with any documents concerning the nature and scope of these pre-9/11 activities and the legal basis for conducting them."

What was behind the honey bee wipe-out?


From our information clearinghouse

These are items we receive from the countless mailing lists to which The Scallion collectively subscribes. They are worth the effort of at least a good skim.


From AlterNet

Dear Reader,

We need change desperately. And one way we are going to get it is by working together, ensuring that millions of new people are registered and voting for candidates who will reflect all of our interests, not just every special interest with high paid lobbyists. I strongly urge you to support Working Assets' powerful appeal on behalf of the groups best positioned to keep our democracy healthy by getting more people to the polls.

Don Hazen
Executive Editor,

A Stick in the Eye of Bureaucrats

Our future and real change depends on you.

Will you fight with us to ensure that every single eligible voter can go to the polls?

Dear friends,

Are you so hungry for social change you can practically taste it? So many of us are now hopeful that our national nightmare may be coming to an end after long years of heartache and frustration.

But before change can happen, we have to have elections where our votes are counted. The need is especially dire for African Americans, low income people and women on their own who have historically been shut out of our democratic process. We need to ensure the most basic right for all eligible Americans: the sacred right to cast our votes without undue influence by bureaucrats and politicians who conspire in thousands of ways to determine whose vote will be counted and whose will not.

It turns out there are still a lot of people in Washington and our state capitals who are working to discourage Americans from voting.

One of our most important groups working to register and protect voters -- Project Vote -- recently released a study which documented in great detail years of voter suppression all over the country. The result is that hundreds and thousands of minority voters, many of them 'single mothers,' were purged from the rolls and deprived of their right to vote in 2004 and 2006. That is outrageous!

And if it sounds sickeningly familiar, you are right. These are the same anti-American tactics that kept people from voting in the South during the Civil Rights movement. And it has to stop.

Please join is in this monumental battle for our democracy. Step up and say there is nothing more important than the ability to vote in America.
Will you fight with us to ensure that every single eligible voter can go to the polls?

By the time Election Day comes around it will be too late. We cannot turn out voters who never made it onto the voter rolls to begin with. Early work to get voters on the rolls and make sure they stay there no matter what is crucial to our fight to take back our democracy.

Please make a contribution to support two groups who have the best track records of registering voters and getting them to the polls. These groups offer access to the ballot box to the disenfranchised -- low income people, youth, people of color, the people who are most dependent on a fair and just democracy. We guarantee you that your contribution will lead to thousands more people registered, voting, and engaged.

Our future and real change depends on it.

Thank you for working to build a better world.


Michael Kieschnick
Working Assets

Becky Bond
Political Director,
Working Assets

PS - In the next 4 weeks, your contribution will be doubled. An anonymous donor has stepped up to say he wants a healthy democracy and he wants to see if other people are willing to step up too. Let's show him! It will double your contribution.

AlterNet does not share, sell, or rent our subscribers' addresses.
Occasionally we do send out announcements or offers
we think our readers would find interesting or useful.

Does Bush Hate Kids?
By Scott Thill, AlterNet
Bush has a socialized health plan, yet he is against offering one to low-income kids. Find out why and how you can help overturn his veto of a children's health insurance bill.
Read more

Can We Prevent an Iran Attack?
By Peter Galbraith, The New York Review of Books and TomDispatch
Is there hope of averting another war on the Persian Gulf?
Read more

Crack Users Do More Time Than People Convicted of Manslaughter
By Jessica Pupovac, AlterNet
When crack cocaine possession means 24 years in prison and manslaughter means only 3, you know something is seriously wrong with the U.S. criminal justice system.
Read more

Summer Camp Teaches U.S. Teens To Fight Israeli Style
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Jewish-American teenagers can sign up for an eight-week training course run by the Israel Defense Forces where they fire weapons, live in military barracks and saunter around in an Israeli military uniform.
Read more

Fox (Pro)Business News Is the Latest Insult to Your Intelligence
By Danny Schechter,
How will Fox's new business channel's vigorous pro-business attitude fare during a time when pessimism about the U.S. economy is so high?
Read more

How to Address Obesity in a Fat-Phobic Society
By Courtney E. Martin, AlterNet
It's time to stop treating obesity as the problem of a lazy individual.
Read more

Moaning Lisa: A Blow-Up Doll, Upgraded
By Annalee Newitz, AlterNet
Moaning Lisa demonstrates the videogame-like properties of the female body -- to give it an orgasm you have to follow different patterns every time.
Read more

The Pro-War Undertow of the Blackwater Scandal
By Norman Solomon, AlterNet
A real hazard of preoccupations with Blackwater is that it will become a scapegoat for what is profoundly and fundamentally wrong with the U.S. effort and mission.
Read more

Bill Cosby's New Book Full of Racial Stereotypes
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet
Cosby's new book continues to tar black communities and the black poor as dysfunctional, chronic whiners, and eternally searching for a government hand-out.
Read more

Verizon Admits to Illegally Spying On Over 700 Phone Calls
By Christy Hardin Smith
In case you were wondering about the need for individual, particularized warrants for American citizens under FISA, wonder no more.
Read more

Naomi Klein on Post-9/11 Panic: "People So Scared...They Thought Giuliani Was Their Long Lost Daddy" [VIDEO]
By Adam Howard
Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine", talks with Bill Maher about her belief that corporations and politicians who seek a horrific national disaster to advance their idealogical, privatization agenda.
Read more

Dennis Kucinich Empties His Pockets for Stephen Colbert [VIDEO]
By Adam Howard
After weeks of challenges from Colbert, Kucinich finally reveals the contents of his pockets. Besides a mini-constitution and a baseball card, there are several other surprises.
Read more

The National Review: Trashing Nobel Prize Winners Since 1965
By Oliver Willis
Is it any wonder that the same publication that argued so strongly against Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King now attacks Al Gore?
Read more

11 Things the We Can Learn from the Rest of the World
Eleven lessons the West can learn that would improve our lives and create a better future for all humanity.
Read more

Is a Presidential Coup Under Way?
By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown
The Constitution is being trampled and nothing less than American democracy itself is endangered -- a presidential coup is taking place. Where is Congress?
Read more

Bush's World War III 'Solution'
By Scott Ritter, Truthdig
The stakes regarding Iran have always been high, but Bush's invocation of "World War III" as a solution has brought the threat to a dangerous new level.
Read more

Gay Republicans Go After Mitt Romney's Flip-Flops
By Deb Price, Creators Syndicate
The Log Cabin Republicans run a daring ad in Iowa, pointing out Mitt Romney's backtracking on abortion rights and gun control.
Read more

Living in Cairo Is the Same as Smoking a Pack a Day
By Leslie-Ann Boctor, IPS News
The average resident of Cairo ingests more than 20 times the acceptable level of air pollution a day, the same as a pack of cigarettes.
Read more

Prison Crisis: Will California Spend More on Jails Than Universities?
By Sasha Abramsky, In These Times
As the number of prisoners in California prisons explodes, the state may soon spend more locking up its citizens than on public university education.
Read more

Why Have the Children Been Left Behind?
By Sean Gonsalves, AlterNet
Bush's ironically-named No Child Left Behind program cheats schools out of money and time.
Read more

Edwards: "If You Actually Say Something They Call You Left Wing" [VIDEO]
By Cliff Schecter
John Edwards tells Bill Maher, "We don't need a surge in Baghdad, we need a surge in New Orleans" and "there's no better endorsement a Democrat can get than having Bill O'Reilly be against you."
Read more

Giuliani Hires Racist Campaign Chair, Secretly Supports Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
By Adam Howard
I give up. Giuliani has got to be the most sinister politician on the planet.
Read more

Ron Paul Schools Dems; Stands Up Against Terror Hysteria
By Joshua Holland
Paul offers what the mainstream of the two parties won't: a plain analysis of what the "War on Terror" frame has allowed Bush to get away with.
Read more

Bush's Response to 9/11 Was Deadlier Than the Attacks Themselves
By Chalmers Johnson,
A look at how and why the U.S. gravely failed in its response to 9/11.
Read more

Breast Cancer Sells
By Lucinda Marshall, AlterNet
October is an awareness month for breast cancer and domestic violence. Yet media coverage shows we'd rather be aware of breasts, even sick ones, than talk about abuse.
Read more

Wiretapping at Its Worst
By Brian Beutler, Media Consortium
A revolving door between the telecommunications industry and federal government ensures that the doors to your personal privacy are wide open.
Read more

Emotion Trumps Logic in the Voting Booth
By Terrence McNally, AlterNet
All logic points to Republican losses in 2008. But logic doesn't vote -- and logic doesn't win elections.
Read more

Getting Real About the Economics of Cocaine
By Bill Piper, AlterNet
President Bush's plan for battling the war on drugs will only cost taxpayers dearly and make trafficking more profitable.
Read more

NY Times Book Review Smears Katha Pollitt
By Susan J. Douglas, In These Times
The New York Times Book Review's recent nasty review of Katha Pollitt's memoir is only the latest in a long line of outlandish attacks on feminists.
Read more

When Science Attacks!
By Annalee Newitz, AlterNet
Two scandals in the sci-tech world serve as reminders that science can be done in bad faith.
Read more

Which Presidential Candidates Are Stepping It Up to Halt Climate Change?
By Bill McKibben, Grist Magazine
Three presidential candidates just got on board with the Step It Up campaign.
Read more

General Says Bush Personally Ordered Torture Tactics
By Nick Juliano
New book also says US uses "methods of the most tyrannical regimes."
Read more

Is The US Winning The War On Drugs? [VIDEO]
By Adam Howard
Should drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine be legal? Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, clashes with David Murray, chief scientist at the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Read more

Pentagon Used Independent Military Newspaper For Pro-Bush PR Campaign
By Amanda Terkel
The revelations have caused "extreme concern" among the Stars and Stripes staff.
Read more

The Tobacco Industry Targets Black America
By Marti1704
We used to pick it, now they want us to smoke it. Slick, flashy advertising for menthol cigarettes is on the rise, particularly in low-income black neighborhoods.
Read more

White House Leak: Cheney's Plan for Iran Attack Starts With Israeli Missile Strike
By Gregor Peter Schmitz, Cordula Meyer, Der Spiegel
High-ranking military experts say an attack would lead to world economic chaos, or even what Bush calls 'World War III.'
Read more

I'll Have My Cosmetics With a Side of Infertility, Please
By Heather Gehlert, AlterNet
Author Stacy Malkan reveals the dangerous truth about everyday products we put in our hair and on our skin.
Read more

What Women Aren't Told About Childbirth
By Manda Aufochs Gillespie, Mariya Strauss, AlterNet
A new survey of mothers reveals some disturbing things about hospital maternity care that may make pregnant women want to take a closer look at their options.
Read more

Where Does the Right-Wing End and the Media Begin?
By Rory O'Connor, AlterNet
Economist Paul Krugman on how the right-wing media machine is destroying social progress.
Read more

Curveball: The Iraqi Defector the Bush Team Used to Sell the War
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
A interview with the author of a new book on the Iraqi defector code-named "Curveball," whose made-up intelligence on Saddam's WMD programs was central to the Bush Administration's case for invasion.
Read more

15 Reasons to Stop Hiding from Vegetarianism
Vegetarian Times
Live longer, lower your weight, slash pollution and twelve other good reasons to start cutting meat out of your diet.
Read more

Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide
By John Dean,
The case against expanding surveillance powers for a White House that's already out of control.
Read more

Moody Is the New Bipolar
By Bruce E. Levine, Z Magazine
The author of a new book on depression shows how Big Pharma is cashing on drugs that aren't likely to help mood disorders.
Read more

Latin America's Shock Resistance
By Naomi Klein, The Nation
Recent events in Latin America show how societies can recover from extreme capitalism and become less vulnerable to externally provoked political shocks.
Read more

Have Democrats Lost Their Liberal Spirit?
By Bruce Miroff, University Press of Kansas
A new book explores the McGovern campaign and what Democrats have -- or have not -- learned from it.
Read more

Congress Should Participate in an Iran "War Game"
By Jim McDermott, AlterNet
Members of Congress should run an Iran war scenario to fully understand the casualties and consequences of an Iran military strike.
Read more

Dick Cheney's Sadistic Passion for Shooting Tame Animals
By Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Dick Cheney just spent a day shooting up pen-raised birds. Some hunters liken the sport -- killing tame animals that offer no resistance -- to having sex with a blow-up doll.
Read more

Columnists War Breaks Out at 'NYT'
By Greg Mitchell, Editor & Publisher
New York Times columnists Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman and David Brooks battle it out over Reagan and racism.
Read more

The Escalation of Girl Fights
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet
Violence is no longer just a male thing; women are joining in on brawls in increasing numbers.
Read more

Army Reiterates That Waterboarding Is Torture Since Mukasey Won't
By Satyam Khanna, Think Progress
The Army wants to "eliminate any confusion that may have arisen as a result of recent public discourse on the subject."
Read more

McCain Says Supporter's "Bitch" Query About Hillary Is "An Excellent Question"
By Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report
Candidates are usually expected to show a little class. That's apparently something that John McCain has forgotten.
Read more

Black Pastor Comes Out of the Closet, His Congregation Kicks Him Out of the Church
By Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend
Those daring to come out in the conservative black church know they risk social rejection by people that have always been their support system.
Read more

Bush Vetoes Health and Education Bill, Signs Huge Pentagon Funding Increase
By Paddy, Brave New Films
The House fell three votes short of winning a veto-proof margin as it sent the measure to Bush.
Read more

Real-Life Star Wars: The Militarization of Space
By Stan Cox, AlterNet
Space hasn't yet been weaponized but it is already highly militarized, thanks to a money-hungry arms industry and a commission started by Rumsfeld.
Read more

Edwards: If Members of Congress Won't Give Americans a Healthcare Plan, I'll Take Away Theirs
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
His campaign insists that it's not just symbolic.
Read more

Hillary Auditions to Be a Feminist John Wayne
By Susan Faludi,
Gender issues always matter in presidential campaigns, but in this one, Hillary is the only one playing to her strengths.
Read more

U.S. Falls to No. 15 in Average Worker Income
By David Francis, Christian Science Monitor
That ranking would surprise most Americans, who likely consider their nation the most prosperous in the world.
Read more

Democratic Leaders Poised to Sabotage Hope for Renewable Energy
By Kelpie Wilson,
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid said that they would jettison the renewable energy provisions in both the House and Senate versions of the 2007 energy bill, in the interest of passing a bill before the Thanksgiving.
Read more

What A Fearless Journalist Looks Like
By Amy Goodman, King Features Syndicate
At 95 years old, Stud Terkel has been blacklisted, wiretapped and censored, but he hasn't lost his fighting spirit.
Read more

Bush Stands By His Dictator
By Robert Scheer, Truthdig
Bush continues to bail out Gen. Musharraf under the pretense that he's an ally in the war on terror.
Read more

Democrats May Force All-Night Filibuster on Iraq Withdrawal
By Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report
If that's the case, allow me to give the Democratic leadership some positive encouragement: this is a good idea.
Read more

Jim Hightower: Bush Administration Attacks Our Freedom to Protest [VIDEO]
By Jim Hightower, AlterNet
George W likes to claim that global terrorists are out to attack America because "They hate our freedoms." But we're learning that it's really the Bushites themselves who hate America's freedoms.
Read more

Homophobic Surgeon General Nominee Reveals Bush's Plan to Recess Appoint Him
By Amanda Terkel, Think Progress
Dr. James Holsinger has a long history of prejudice toward gays and lesbians.
Read more

Justice Dept Reopens Warrantless Wiretapping Inquiry Stymied by Bush
By Faiz Shakir, Think Progress
High professional standards were once a threat to the Gonzales-led DoJ. Hopefully, that tide is turning.
Read more


From American Freedom Campaign

When we launched the American Freedom Campaign eleven weeks ago, our goal was to build a grassroots democracy movement in support of our Constitution. We are thrilled with our progress to date and want to thank you personally for joining the movement. We hope that you are inspired by the progress report below and will forward this message along, encouraging others to join, as well.

Great news from the halls of Congress!

Let's start with some exciting news from Washington. Just two days ago, U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 (H.R. 3835). This bill is designed to reverse some of the most egregious Constitutional abuses of the past six years. We hope that you will take a moment to tell your representative in Congress to co-sponsor this legislation. To do so, just send a pre-written email from the American Freedom Campaign Web site:

The American Freedom Agenda Act would bar the use of evidence obtained through torture; require that federal intelligence gathering is conducted in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA); create a mechanism for challenging presidential signing statements; repeal the Military Commissions Act, which, among other things, denies habeas corpus to certain detainees; prohibit kidnapping, detentions, and torture abroad; protect journalists who publish information received from the executive branch; and ensure that secret evidence is not used to designate individuals or organizations with a presence in the U.S. as foreign terrorists.

Like the American Freedom Campaign itself, this bill is broad in scope but with a narrow mission of ensuring that our government's actions are guided by and consistent with the provisions of our Constitution. We hope that you will take action and spread the word about this important piece of legislation.

The Constitution and the presidential candidates

The American Freedom Campaign has been doing its part to raise awareness about the current threats to our Constitution. In fact, we have inserted this issue into the middle of the presidential campaign. Over the past two months, we succeeded in getting every Democratic presidential candidate to either sign our American Freedom Pledge or provide us with a written statement expressing his or her intent to protect and defend the Constitution. The details of this effort can be seen on the following page:

We are now shifting our attention to the Republican candidates and hope that they will be equally willing to stand up for the Constitution.

Keep yourself current

Since you have received this email, you undoubtedly have visited the American Freedom Campaign Web site at some point to give us your email address. But are you aware that our site is a great source for keeping up-to-date on news related to issues like wiretapping, torture, and executive privilege? We add new articles almost every day and make sure that they are focused on the issues you care about. The two most recent articles appear on our home page. Otherwise, you can browse our entire archive on the News page located here:

If you are interested in watching a great talk given by Naomi Wolf, one of the founders of the American Freedom Campaign, you can visit our Videos page. It is a little long (47 minutes), but I guarantee you will find it interesting. Based on her study of other nations in which democracies eventually shut down, she describes how many of the actions taken by our government over the past six years presage a dark future for our country. Click on the following link to view the video:

American Freedom Campaign increases its profile

The efforts of AFC are starting to draw significant media and online attention. Our presidential pledge campaign was prominently featured in the The Hill newspaper, on ABC's "The Note" (online), and on numerous important progressive blogs. AFC was also featured in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article entitled, "Groups on left, right ask candidates to reject Bush's wider powers." You can follow this link to read the article in the Chronicle:

Currently, the American Freedom Campaign is also one of the most "dugg" organizations in the country. Check it out at -- -- and feel free to "digg it" while you're there.

What would you pay to help save our Constitution?

OK, that headline may be a little dramatic. But AFC does need financial assistance from its supporters to keep up the fight for our democracy. If you are excited about our progress so far and want to see our campaign grow, please visit our site and make a contribution. You can donate $5, $50, $100, or whatever you want by following this link:

Thank you so much for reading this far. We appreciate your interest in our activities and look forward to being in touch.


Steve Fox
Acting Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign


From the Center for American Progress

Caring For Heroes

Thousands of Vietnam veterans will likely head to Washington, DC, this weekend to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Many of these soldiers unfortunately received a "chilly public reception" when they returned home from that highly unpopular war. But now they are now helping the nation embrace troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite low public support for the Iraq war, a Pew Research poll in March found that 77 percent of the American public has a favorable view of the military and "72 percent say the government doesn't give enough support" to returning soldiers. Indeed, despite the lessons learned from Vietnam, the Bush administration still isn't providing the services necessary to help the nation's veterans return to civilian life.

HEALTH CARE FOR 'WOUNDED WARRIORS': Seven months after the Washington Post uncovered the
deplorable conditions of "neglect" at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a September Government Accountability Office report found that "wounded warriors are still getting the runaround" from the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Wars take a heavy toll on the health of the nation's soldiers. At least "283 combat veterans who left the military between the start of the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, and the end of 2005 took their own lives," a figure "reminiscent of the increased suicide risk among returning soldiers in the Vietnam era." Additionally, more than 100,000 combat veterans have "sought help for mental illness since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001"; half of those cases were for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet the nation's health care system still isn't up to the task of caring for these veterans. A recent National Academies study found that PTSD treatments generally "lack rigorous scientific evidence that they are effective," with evidence often "assembled by pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs or by researchers with conflicts of interest in the outcome of the studies." This week, President Bush signed into law the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the VA to "develop a comprehensive program to reduce the rate of suicide among veterans."

EDUCATING THE 'NEW GREATEST GENERATION': "Members of Congress and other political leaders often say that the men and women who have served in our military since 9/11
are the 'new greatest generation'" writes Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in today's New York Times. "Well, here's a thought from two infantry combat veterans of the Vietnam era's 'wounded generation': if you truly believe that our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are like those who fought in World War II, let us provide them with the same G.I. Bill that was given to the veterans of that war." Instead of receiving full college tuition and fees, veterans today receive approximately $800 a month for college, which is about "13 percent of the cost of attending Columbia." Yet the administration continues to resist efforts to strengthen the G.I. Bill. In August, a VA official said the idea would be too "cumbersome."

A 'TSUNAMI' OF HOMELESS VETERANS: In addition to receiving medical care, veterans struggle to return to jobs, school, and even their homes. A new report released this week finds that
veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, with 1,500 homeless veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We're beginning to see, across the country, the first trickle of this generation of warriors in homeless shelters," said Phil Landis, chairman of Veterans Village of San Diego, a residence and counseling center. "But we anticipate that it's going to be a tsunami." On Wednesday, the Bush administration announced "remarkable progress" in caring for the chronic homeless. But the VA has developed just 1,780 supported housing units for veterans; the National Alliance to End Homelessness says that number needs to grow to 25,000. This week, the House "passed a bill to increase funding for a low-interest loan program that helps veterans in Oregon and four other states, including Texas, buy homes."

LEADING VETERANS AFFAIRS: When VA Secretary Jim Nicholson stepped down in July, he left behind an agency that left veterans at risk. In May 2006, Nicholson waited two weeks to notify the Justice Department and FBI of the "
largest loss of personal data in U.S. government history," and then another full week before notifying the 26.5 million affected veterans. He also awarded "$3.8 million in bonuses to top executives in fiscal 2006" -- many totaling as much as $33,000 -- despite a $1.3 billion department shortfall. Bush waited four months after Nicholson's announcement before nominating Dr. James Peake as a replacement. Jon Soltz, an Iraq war veteran and chairman of, notes the challenges for Peake if he becomes secretary: "The most pressing question here is, will Dr. Peake be a leader, or will be he be a follower? This administration has been nothing but hostile to veterans care and funding for key veterans programs. Will Dr. Peake stand up for Veterans and challenge this President, or will he just go along to get along?"

super-powerful office" that reviews all major federal regulations of "non-independent federal agencies" on a range of issues, from workplace safety to water quality. OIRA and agency representatives regularly meet with "outside stakeholders" to solicit opinions on regulations. Vice President Cheney's office has recently taken an interest in these meetings. In June, The Progress Report noted that lobbyists for major polluters visited the White House to lobby against tighter smog standards. At that time, Clean Air Watch observed how unusual it was for a representative from Cheney's office to attend that meeting. "Also sitting in on that meeting was a representative of Vice President Dick Cheney, long considered the go-to-guy for big industries opposed to tougher environmental standards," wrote Clean Air Watch. This incident was not isolated. As OMB Watch has noted, OIRA has "held more than 540 regulatory review meetings since February 2002." Prior to Feb. 2007, Cheney's office attended just three meetings; since that time, it has attended eight. In the past, Cheney has taken "full advantage of the president's cluelessness" to control the administration's environmental agenda and stop progress against global warming. Cheney likely has a sympathizer in current OIRA head Susan Dudley. In her previous job at the industry-backed Mercatus Center, Dudley opposed tougher smog standards, air bags in cars, and regulations for arsenic in drinking water.

ETHICS -- NAVY INSTRUCTOR: 'WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE,' SHOULD BE BANNED: Testifying to the House Judiciary subcommittee yesterday, Malcom Wrightson Nance, a former Navy instructor of prisoner of war and terrorist hostage survival programs, unequivocally stated, "
Waterboarding is torture, period." Nance called the technique a "terrifying, painful, and humiliating tool" and said that it often results in subjects lying to interrogators to make the torture stop. "Contrary to popular opinion, it is not a simulation of drowning. It is drowning," he said. The subcommittee had also called on Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor, to testify about his observations of interrogations at the prison camp, but Pentagon counsel WIlliam Haynes blocked his testimony at the last minute. Nevertheless, following the hearing, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the subcommittee chairman, and Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA) introduced a bill mandating that all U.S. interrogations -- including those run by the CIA -- conform to the Army Field Manual on Interrogation, which explicitly bans waterboarding and other forms of torture.

RADICAL RIGHT -- RIGHT WING TRUMPETS TV WEATHERMAN'S GLOBAL WARMING DENIAL: On Wednesday, Weather Channel founder John Coleman wrote an
article for the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment project, a right-wing climate change skeptic site, arguing that the claim of man-made global warming "is the greatest scam in history." He backed up his statement by asserting, "I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it." Conservative bloggers heralded Coleman's junk science yesterday, with Newsbusters, Red State, Qando, Sister Toldjah, and the Free Republic all approvingly linking to the piece. Unfortunately for the right wing, Coleman's credentials are limited to weather, not climate change science. In fact, The Weather Channel -- which he refers to as his "baby" -- would be unlikely to hire Coleman today, since the station has taken up the "mandate" of fighting against global warming. Hedi Cullen, the channel's climate change expert, wrote last year that the American Meteorological Society should not give its "seal of approval" to any meteorologist who "can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change."

"Rudy Giuliani refused to say if he'd consider pardoning his old friend Bernie Kerik -- who was indicted Thursday on federal corruption charges -- if elected President." "It
wouldn't be fair to ask that question at this point," Giuliani said.

In a
53-40 vote last night, the Senate confirmed Judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general, despite criticism of his refusal to explicitly call waterboarding torture. Six Democrats voted for Mukasey.

Michael Hirsh writes in Newsweek, "Condoleezza Rice is, by her own admission, not 'that self-reflective.' But in an interview in her office on Thursday the secretary of state took a moment to contemplate the improved security situation in Iraq." "I'm sure there are
lots of things we might have done better," she said.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the "economy was going to get worse before it got better, a message that
received a chilly reception from both Wall Street and politicians." He said the economy was about to "slow noticeably," adding inflation was likely to "increase overall."

"House leaders are pressing the Senate Democrats to force Republicans to stage more filibusters" when they use procedural maneuvers to block passage of bills. "That is the only way you can give Americans
a clear view of who is obstructing change," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said.

Pakistani security officials barricaded former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto inside her home "
behind barbed wire, concrete blocks and armored cars on Friday morning," thwarting her planned protest rally. Bhutto's party -- the Pakistan Peoples Party -- claims as many as 5,000 party workers had been arrested across the country over the last three days.

"An internal investigation into a fake news conference staged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during last month's California wildfires found that the
agency's press secretary directed aides to pose as reporters, secretly coached them during the briefing and ended the event after a final, scripted question was asked, according to a senior FEMA official."

More than 100 Stanford University students demonstrated against Donald Rumsfeld's appointment as a visiting fellow at the school's Hoover Institution. "To date, nearly
4,000 Stanford faculty, students and alumni have signed a petition begun by a faculty member to reject Rumsfeld's appointment."

And finally: "One thing is for certain about the post-presidency of George W. Bush: 'Under no circumstances' will first lady Laura Bush spend her retirement years living at the much-ballyhooed Texas ranch that she and the president have been 'escaping' to for the past seven years." The Washington Times reports that the Bush family
will settle down in Dallas and visit the Crawford ranch for weekend getaways.

"The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is reversing course and has
begun taking steps to enforce a 1993 law that's intended to make it easier for poor minorities to register to vote."

CALIFORNIA: Container ship crashes into a bridge, spilling 58,000 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay.

NEW JERSEY: State "still needs more women in politics."

MASSACHUSETTS: State legislature approves "the nation's strictest state law" keeping protesters 35 feet away from abortion clinics.

THINK PROGRESS: Pentagon Counsel William Haynes bars Guantanamo Bay prosecutor from testifying about torture.

BLOG OF LEGAL TIMES: Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to receive $40,000 to speak in Florida.

TPM MUCKRAKER: Civil rights groups seek to stop Florida voter purge law.

EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Reporter who witnessed waterboarding in Vietnam says, "Yes, it is torture."

"The text of our amendment contained nothing -- nothing -- that could be construed as a green light for an attack on Iran."
-- Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT),
11/8/07, on criticism of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment


"Use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy" against Iran.
-- Text of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment,

(c) Center for American Progress Action Fund


From “Democracy Now!”

* EXCLUSIVE: Yoko Ono on the New Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, Art &
Politics, the Peace Movement, Government Surveillance and the Murder of John
Lennon *

Today, we spend the hour with Yoko Ono: artist, musician, peace activist.
She joins us in the firehouse studio just days after returning from Iceland,
where she unveiled a project 40 years in the making -- the Imagine Peace
Tower. Dedicated to her late husband John Lennon, the tower shoots light
into the sky and bears the inscription “Imagine Peace.” It will light up
every year between October 9th, the day of Lennon's birth, and December 8th,
the day of his death.


Note: an earlier digest email today had a link that may have been too long - here is one that should work:

Imagine Peace - A Ray of Light in Dark Times

See also Yoko Ono's site devoted to the Imagine Peace Tower:

* Headlines for October 16, 2007 *

- Verizon Admits It Handed Over Records 94,000 Times to Gov't
- ACLU: Pentagon Used National Security Letters to Obtain Records
- Turkey Seeks Authorization to Invade Northern Iraq
- Gen. Abizaid on Iraq War: "Of Course It's About Oil"
- IAEA: No Information on Syrian Nuclear Reactor
- EU Widens Sanctions Against Burma
- Gap Between America's Richest and Poorest Widens


* Turkish Military Shells Northern Iraq & Amasses 60,000 Troops on Border as
U.S.-Turkey Relations Deteriorate Over House Vote on Armenian Genocide *

Turkey's top general warned this weekend that US-Turkey relations would
"never be the same again" if the United States House votes to declare the
World War I-era mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians a genocide. Despite
President Bush's plea, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 27-21
Wednesday to call the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks "systematic,"
"deliberate," and amounting to "genocide."


* Dahr Jamail: "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded
Journalist in Occupied Iraq" *

As the UN calls for a vigorous investigation into a U.S. air raid that
killed at least 15 women and children in Iraq, we speak to Dahr Jamail about
his new book, the 2004 attack on Fallujah, the U.S. use of white phosphorous
weapons, the role of Iran in Iraq and more.


* Headlines for October 15, 2007 *

- Military Junta Detains Four Prominent Burmese Dissidents
- Turkish Troops Shell Northern Iraq
- Washington Post Journalist Killed In Baghdad
- Former U.S. General: War in Iraq is "Nightmare With No End In Sight"
- Al Gore: Global Warming Is "Planetary Emergency"
- Report: Bush Administration Sought Phone Records Before 9/11
- Justice Department Official: "Minorities Don't Become Elderly"
- Iraq War Veteran Returns War Medals To Protest War


* Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey Defends Bush Admin on Post-9/11
Measures, But Vows Independence *

The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee appears set to back Attorney
General nominee Michael Mukasey, following his first day of confirmation
hearings. On Wednesday, Mukasey defended many of President Bush's most
controversial post-9/11 policies, including holding prisoners without charge
and denying them habeus corpus. We get reaction from Michael Ratner,
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights.


* “They Protect People's Lives” -- One Month After Baghdad Killings, Bush
Defends Blackwater USA *

One month after the Baghdad mass shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians,
President Bush has defended Blackwater USA, saying they provide “a valuable
service” and “protect people's lives.”


* Meeting Resistance: New Doc Follows Iraqis Fighting U.S. Occupation of
Their Country *

What would you do if your country was invaded? “Meeting Resistance” is a new
documentary on the Iraq war from a perspective that few in the West ever
see. It turns the spotlight on Iraqi men and women who choose to resist the
military occupation of their country. We speak with the film's co-directors,
Molly Bingham and Steve Connors.


* Headlines for October 18, 2007 *

- Senate Leaders Agree to Telecom Immunity for Domestic Spying
- Bush Warns of “World War III” in Iran Standoff
- FCC Chair Proposes to Undo Media Ownership Rules
- Turkish Parliament Approves Iraq Incursion
- Officials: State Won't Renew Blackwater Contract
- UN Suspends Food Aid in Mogadishu
- Burmese Victims Speak Out on Junta Crackdown
- Bolivia Marks Black October Anniversary With Extradition Calls
- Study: Remittances Dwarf Foreign Aid From Rich Donors


* Despite Waterboarding Stance, Senate Committee Approves Mukasey's Attorney
General Nomination *

Michael Mukasey ultimately owed his approval by the Committee to the two
Democrats who broke with their party to support him: Chuck Schumer of New
York and Dianne Feinstein of California. His confirmation had been in doubt
after he refused to condemn waterboarding as a form of torture. Now his
nomination is expected to go to the Senate floor by next week, where he is
virtually assured to win confirmation.


* “Shock Doctrine” Author Naomi Klein on State-Sanctioned Torture and
Disaster Response for the Chosen *

Author and journalist Naomi Klein reacts to the Senate Judiciary Committee's
approval of Michael Mukasey, which she calls an endorsement of state
torture. And she turns to California, where in last month's wildfires a
spate of new companies offered privatized solutions to emergency management
-- only for those rich enough to afford it.


* Headlines for November 7, 2007 *

- 2007 is Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq
- 60 Killed in Afghan Suicide Bombing
- Pakistan Police Vow Crackdown on Mass Protest
- Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Mukasey
- Lawmakers Approve $459B Military Spending Bill
- Judge OKs Torture Suit Against U.S. Contractor
- Nicaraguans Win Damages for Dole Pesticide Spraying
- Yahoo Officials Defend Role in Chinese Journalist Jailing
- Illinois High School Students Face Expulsion for Anti-War Protest



From Democracy for America

Dear DFA Member,

Veterans Day is an important day to reflect on our veterans, and their sacrifices. I've done some reflecting myself.

My name is Elliot Anderson, I'm a marine Afghanistan vet and I first started volunteering with Democracy for America when I attended the Nevada training in February of this year.

I think it's high time we stop making combat veterans and disabled veterans unnecessarily. In Iraq, it's high time to let the civil war we are mediating run its course, and get our troops out of the crossfire. Here at home it's high time to stop the drum beat of war with Iran. It isn't helping veterans to send them overseas into un-just wars.

Most importantly on Veterans Day we must reflect and realize that we are not taking care of the people who we sent to war to the extent they need. Recent reports have shown damning evidence on the results of years of neglect of the Veterans Administration. It has been estimated that over 25% of the homeless are veterans.

Why is that?

Just because you are suffering doesn't mean it is your own fault. For a lot of our homeless veterans they have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and are unemployable. In the meantime because of the neglect of the veterans administration there is a backlog for claims which can take up to 6 months to fix. So what is an unemployable veteran supposed to do for 6 months? The answer, of course, is end up on the streets.

Let's resolve this Veterans Day to remember our veterans 365 days a year and unlike the right wing, continue to put our money where our mouth is. Everyday you can make a difference in a veteran's life. May I suggest a fantastic organization which gets vets off the streets and rehabilitates them?

You can help today at:

Do what you can to help veterans 365 days a year. If not at the link above, find out where you can make a difference for veterans in your neighborhood and take action. When helping out, let it be known what you think. Tell everyone you meet, "Though I oppose un-just wars, I fully support our veterans." There won't be any doubt who puts their money where their mouth is.

Semper Fi to our veterans and those who tangibly support them,


Elliot Anderson
Afghanistan Veteran
Nevada DFA Member


From Hallelujah Acres

Big Pharma Corruption and Fraud

(Pages 122-138) “Corruption and fraud are mainstays of the pharmaceutical business. Drug companies routinely defraud state Medical programs, bilking taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars. On the rare occasions when they are caught and charged with fraud, they conveniently settle out of court, avoiding prosecution that would bar them from further sales to states and even the federal government.

“The U.S. Department of Justice found that some states paid more than 50,000 percent of the honest street price for certain drugs. The most common con uses ‘price fixing,’ and here’s how it works:

1. Drug companies sell drugs at deeply discounted prices to buyers like Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and other retailers.

2. When the same drugs are sold to state Medicaid programs, drug companies use the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) sheet - an industry-wide sheet with almost no correlation to the wholesale prices charged to public companies. The AWP billing states astronomical fees for common drugs. A $2.25 bottle of dextrose, for example, which is basically sugar, magically becomes a $928.51 bottle of dextrose when sold to the state of Alabama.

3. Markups of 500 percent, 1000 percent and even higher are common. Some drugs were found to be marked up as much as 54,199 percent.

4. States that catch drug companies in the con have to sue the companies to recover the lost funds. Faced with years of costly litigation, most states choose to settle lawsuits out of court. Such settlements are structured to allow the companies to pay a fine without admitting guilt—allowing the corporations to remain on the ‘approved’ list for selling products to state and federal governments.

5. Who foots the final bill while drug company executives and shareholders line their pockets with stolen money? THE TAXPAYERS, OF COURSE. . .


“In stark contrast to its best efforts to project a noble public image, the drug industry remains mired in corruption, scientific fraud, price-fixing scams, disease mongering propaganda, human experimentation and other unscrupulous tactics designed to boost profits no matter what the real cost to society. . . .

“Americans pay the highest prices for prescription drugs anywhere in the world. This is accomplished through the Big Pharma / FDA conspiracy that:

*Violates free-market economics by attempting to ban cost-effective online pharmacies, prescription drug sales from Canada, drug tourism to Mexico, etc.

*Creates obstacles for the introduction of generic drugs that would compete with brand-name drug sales. . . .

*Distorts science to create any outcome desired through fraudulent clinical trials and cherry-picking trial results. . . .

“Drug companies justify these monopolistic and anti-competitive practices by dangling the ‘cure carrot’ in front of consumers, claiming they need these profiteering prices in order to fund research to find so-called cures for devastating diseases. It’s all a con, of course. . . .

“There is absolutely no sensible justification for the idea that Americans alone should subsidize the profits of pharmaceutical companies. The ‘cure carrot’ dangled in front of U.S. lawmakers and consumers is little more than a clever marketing gimmick—a trick designed to distract people from the very real fact that they are getting ripped off by drug company profiteering.

“I find it amazing that when a local gas station raises gas prices by 20 percent following some national disaster, people go crazy with accusations of profiteering. Yet when drug companies mark up their drugs 30,000 percent or more over the cost of ingredients, the public seems more than happy to go along with it, repeating the propaganda line, ‘They need that money to fund tomorrow’s cures!’ Or, maybe they just need it to pay massive CEO salaries and keep investors happy. The drug companies spend more on advertising and marketing than research, . . .

“Thus if we, the American consumers, ever want to have the cure for these diseases, we must be willing to pony up 30,000 percent markups (or even higher) on prescription drugs so that the drug companies can afford to do their all-important research.


“’But we have to charge enough money to pay for all the R&D!’ That’s what drug companies proclaim while they’re price gouging consumers and taxpayers with the world’s highest prices for prescription drugs. . . .

“Most people don’t know that prescription drugs cost mere pennies to manufacture. But they’re sold for dollars—sometimes hundreds of dollars. Here’s a closer look at the markups found on many popular prescription drugs, as reported by the Life Extension Foundation:

Norvasc - Consumer Price: $188.29 per 100 tabs - Cost of Ingredients $0.14
Prevacid - Consumer Price: $344.77 per 100 tabs - Cost of Ingredients $0.11
Prozac - Consumer Price: $247.47 per 100 tabs - Cost of Ingredients $0.11
Zanax - Consumer Price: $136.79 per 100 tabs - Cost of Ingredients $0.02

“So drug companies put together ingredients that cost a few pennies, they find a disease or symptom that can be altered by the chemicals, then they acquire FDA approval and start marketing the chemicals as ‘medicine’ with markups that may exceed 100,000 percent.

“And then, to add insult to injury, . . . (the government) ‘negotiates’ a Medicare Benefit Program that claims to be saving health consumers millions of dollars by offering them 15 percent discounts on brand-name drugs.

“Clever. Only in America can people be convinced to believe they’re getting a bargain while they’re paying 100,000 percent over cost for chemicals that will actually harm them. . . .


With the FDA/Big Pharma conspiracy enforcing a monopoly drug market in the United States, and with drug companies further bilking state Medicaid programs out of countless millions through fraudulent billing practices, billions of dollars are disappearing from the pockets of consumers and taxpayers.

The drug companies claim the money is going to find cures for disease. If that’s the case, then why are drug company CEOs raking in the dough with multimillion dollar salaries while our nation’s elderly are starving because they spent their food money on prescription drugs demanded by their doctor? . . . .

A look at where the money is going . . . . Pfizer (NYSE symbol PFE) CEO: Henry A. McKinnell (announced retirement July 2006) He received: $78 million total from 2001-2005 ($15.5 million/year average) $83 million pension package SEC 10-Q Filings, August 2006, for 6 months ending June 30, 2006 Marketing and Administration: $7,276,000,000 (that’s billion) Research and Development: $3,285.000.000

3.9 billion more on marketing than research in 6 months! . . . .


“If you think that paying sky-high prices for prescription drugs is bad enough, prepare to be shocked: Americans actually pay for drugs three times.

“After buying the drug at the pharmacy and taking it, you get to ‘pay’ yet again thanks to the side effects caused by these drugs. Almost all pharmaceuticals, when used long-term, create toxic side effects that harm internal organs: heart, liver, kidneys, brain—these organs are all inevitably harmed by prescription drugs and even many over-the counter drugs. . . .”


The Bible has this to say regarding drugs in Revelation 18:23: “…FOR THY MERCHANTS WERE THE GREAT MEN OF THE EARTH; FOR BY THY SORCERIES [DRUGS] WERE ALL NATIONS DECEIVED.” A good concordance will reveal that the word ‘sorceries’, comes from the Greek word ‘PHARMA-KEIA,’ which in today’s English is translated ‘DRUGS.’

Some words taken from this root Greek word would include:
*PHARMA-CY – “The art and science of preparing and dispensing drugs . . .
*PHARMA-CIST – “A person licensed to prepare and dispense drugs . . .
*PHARMA-COLOGY – “The science dealing with the preparation, uses, and esp. the effects of drugs.”

I find it so interesting (and so very sad) that when it comes to the DRUGS called marijuana, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, nicotine, etc., we teach our young people to JUST SAY “NO.” Yet when it comes to a prescription DRUG or an over-the-counter DRUG, we have been programmed to JUST SAY “YES!” Friends, there is not a SAFE DRUG on planet earth! EVERY DRUG is a foreign and toxic substance within the body, that has an adverse effect upon it, and yet, not only are the “nations” being “deceived” with these drugs, but the Christian Community as well. HOW SAD!

Here at Hallelujah Acres, we teach that the body is almost always capable of healing itself without drugs when we bring conditions conducive to health about within, so that the body can do what God designed it to do – HEAL ITSELF! How the body does just that can be found in Health Tip #517. Health Tip #517 is available in the archives at . From the home page, in the upper right hand corner, click on the “Hallelujah Health Tip” box, then at the top left, click “Go to Archives”, then “2007”, then Health Tip #517.

If you are not already on The Hallelujah Diet, may I encourage you to give it a try! Hallelujah Acres is a Christian Ministry that teaches health from a Biblical perspective! Hallelujah Acres is trying to help the Christian community (as well as anyone else who will listen) realize that God's ORIGINAL diet, as given by God in the Bible, in Genesis 1:29, was God's perfect plan for the proper nourishment of His human creation. Multitudes have made this diet change that we teach here at Hallelujah Acres, and experienced normalization of weight, as well as the elimination of almost all their physical problems. For more information, visit our website at or call (704) 481-1700.

Send E-mail to Rev. Malkmus



Congressional switchboard flooded by impeachment calls
Let's keep up the momentum!

"We need to run newspaper ads in the major national and regional papers to energize and recruit concerned persons. This needs lots of money.We need your help now. Click to make an urgently needed donation right now."
- Ramsey Clark

The impeachment movement is at a critical moment. In response to Congressman Dennis Kucinich's attempt to force a discussion and vote on the impeachment of Dick Cheney, the Congressional switchboard was overwhelmed by a flood of calls from impeachment supporters. We must maintain this high level of activity. You can help. ImpeachBush wholeheartedly supports the impeachment of Dick Cheney (House Resolution 333), as well as George W. Bush and all other high officials guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Below is a recap of yesterday's impeachment showdown on the House floor.

We need your help now.
Click this link to make an urgently needed donation.

When Congressman Dennis Kucinich attempted to force a discussion on impeachment yesterday, it at first seemed that both the Republican Party and the Democratic leadership would agree to table the resolution. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to shirk her constitutional duties and assert that impeachment is "off the table."

But in a surprise move, knowing that the Democratic Party leadership did not want to take responsibility for impeachment -- even though its base constituency supports it -- the Republican Party conducted a parliamentary maneuver and changed their vote to help defeat the motion to table. The motion to table the impeachment resolution failed! By day's end, the anti-impeachment Democrats were able to maneuver out of an open discussion of Kucinich's resolution. Instead they were able to pass a motion that required Kucinich's resolution go to the House Judiciary Committee "for further study."

Kucinich's resolution said that Cheney, "in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of vice president," had "purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the U.S. Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests." The 11-page resolution also charged that Cheney intentionally deceived the country about a supposed relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida and has "openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States."

Impeachment is on the move. The movement is making progress that was out of reach just a few months ago.
Make an urgently needed donation right now to help the movement continue to move forward. As Ramsey Clark said in his last email, "We need to run newspaper ads in the major national and regional papers to energize and recruit concerned persons. This needs lots of money.We need your help now." Click this link to make an urgently needed donation right now."

Washington Post reports:
flying surveillance devices at Sept. 15 Mass March and Die-in

The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, UPI and other national and international media have carried major articles about the government's creation of small flying surveillance devices that look somewhat like dragonflies. As the article below discusses, there have been credible independent reports about sightings at the recent September 15 Mass March on Washington of 100,000 people. According to the article, the government has been working through many agencies to perfect this spy technology. As also mentioned below, the Partnership for Civil Justice has recently filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with different government agencies regarding use and deployment against the public.

New reports in the past week have revealed how extensive the illegal spying operations conducted by the Bush administration on the people of this country have been -- and it started within five weeks of Bush taking office. Quest telecommunications CEO for instance, revealed that the administration had demanded the phone records of US citizens starting six months before the September 11 attack. The mass violations of civil rights and civil liberties carried out by this administration has outraged people across the United States. The movement for impeachment is demanding that Bush and Cheney be held accountable for their gross violations of the constitution. Impeachment is an imperative.

Vanessa Alarcon, who was working backstage at the September 15 Lafayette Park rally, and who is quoted in the Washington Post article, reported that the strange-looking devices were hovering above the backstage area where speakers were waiting to take the stage and organizers were holding meetings in preparation for the mass march and die-in. Others reported that they saw the devices elsewhere at the demonstration.

The government's efforts to surveille the growing movement against the war in the United States are neither new nor are they effective in preventing the antiwar movement from gaining momentum everywhere. The government fined organizers $40,000 for putting up antiwar posters, suppressed and arrested the speakers at a pre-march press conference, spent large amounts of money to mobilize right-wing pro-Bush supporters, and yet all of these efforts failed to stop an exceptionally powerful action from taking place on Sept. 15 in support of impeachment and to end the war now. The protest culminated in a die-in of thousands led by Iraq war veterans and 200 arrested by riot police.

While there are those who would like to dismiss the implications of such spying, the fact is that if the government is intentionally conducting secret photographic or audio surveillance targeting people because they are engaged in public protest and First Amendment-protected activities, this would be a significant constitutional rights violation.

It is important to keep in perspective this kind of government action. The government's efforts at surveillance of the progressive movement are also intended to chill public participation in political action; they seek to intimidate their opponents. The purpose of surveillance against the anti-war movement is not to "protect" the country. Rather it is evidence that the Bush administration fears the mobilization of the people of the United States who have seen through the lies and blatantly illegal conduct of the government itself. In fact, it is unmistakable evidence that shows that the Bush White House fears the power of the people.

While we do not know that such bizarre spy technology was deployed at the September 15 demonstration, if anyone saw these "dragonflies," we'd like to hear from you. Please contact us at with your reports.

Take a stand against government repression. Help this movement grow. We will not be intimidated.We will be in the streets across the country on October 27 demanding an end to the war in Iraq and the necessary impeachment of Bush, Cheney and other responsible officials for high crimes and misdemeanors. is mobilizing people all over the country for this day of action. Please join us on October 27 at one of the regional demonstrations (see the website) and bring your impeachment signs and banners. If you cannot join the demonstration but can make a contribution,
please make an urgently needed donation today.

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The story below is available at:

Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs.

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month.

"I heard someone say, 'Oh my god, look at those,' " the college senior from New York recalled. "I look up and I'm like, 'What the hell is that?' They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects."

Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too.

"I'd never seen anything like it in my life," the Washington lawyer said. "They were large for dragonflies. I thought, 'Is that mechanical, or is that alive?' "

That is just one of the questions hovering over a handful of similar sightings at political events in Washington and New York. Some suspect the insectlike drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Others think they are, well, dragonflies -- an ancient order of insects that even biologists concede look about as robotic as a living creature can look.

No agency admits to having deployed insect-size spy drones. But a number of U.S. government and private entities acknowledge they are trying. Some federally funded teams are even growing live insects with computer chips in them, with the goal of mounting spyware on their bodies and controlling their flight muscles remotely.

The robobugs could follow suspects, guide missiles to targets or navigate the crannies of collapsed buildings to find survivors.

The technical challenges of creating robotic insects are daunting, and most experts doubt that fully working models exist yet.

"If you find something, let me know," said Gary Anderson of the Defense Department's Rapid Reaction Technology Office.

But the CIA secretly developed a simple dragonfly snooper as long ago as the 1970s. And given recent advances, even skeptics say there is always a chance that some agency has quietly managed to make something operational.

"America can be pretty sneaky," said Tom Ehrhard, a retired Air Force colonel and expert in unmanned aerial vehicles who is now at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonprofit Washington-based research institute.

Robotic fliers have been used by the military since World War II, but in the past decade their numbers and level of sophistication have increased enormously. Defense Department documents describe nearly 100 different models in use today, some as tiny as birds, and some the size of small planes.

All told, the nation's fleet of flying robots logged more than 160,000 flight hours last year -- a more than fourfold increase since 2003. A recent report by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College warned that if traffic rules are not clarified soon, the glut of unmanned vehicles "could render military airspace chaotic and potentially dangerous."

But getting from bird size to bug size is not a simple matter of making everything smaller.

"You can't make a conventional robot of metal and ball bearings and just shrink the design down," said Ronald Fearing, a roboticist at the University of California at Berkeley. For one thing, the rules of aerodynamics change at very tiny scales and require wings that flap in precise ways -- a huge engineering challenge.

Only recently have scientists come to understand how insects fly -- a biomechanical feat that, despite the evidence before scientists' eyes, was for decades deemed "theoretically impossible." Just last month, researchers at Cornell University published a physics paper clarifying how dragonflies adjust the relative motions of their front and rear wings to save energy while hovering.

That kind of finding is important to roboticists because flapping fliers tend to be energy hogs, and batteries are heavy.

The CIA was among the earliest to tackle the problem. The "insectothopter," developed by the agency's Office of Research and Development 30 years ago, looked just like a dragonfly and contained a tiny gasoline engine to make the four wings flap. It flew but was ultimately declared a failure because it could not handle crosswinds.

Agency spokesman George Little said he could not talk about what the CIA may have done since then. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service also declined to discuss the topic.

Only the FBI offered a declarative denial. "We don't have anything like that," a spokesman said.

The Defense Department is trying, though.

In one approach, researchers funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are inserting computer chips into moth pupae -- the intermediate stage between a caterpillar and a flying adult -- and hatching them into healthy "cyborg moths."

The Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems project aims to create literal shutterbugs -- camera-toting insects whose nerves have grown into their internal silicon chip so that wranglers can control their activities. DARPA researchers are also raising cyborg beetles with power for various instruments to be generated by their muscles.

"You might recall that Gandalf the friendly wizard in the recent classic 'Lord of the Rings' used a moth to call in air support," DARPA program manager Amit Lal said at a symposium in August. Today, he said, "this science fiction vision is within the realm of reality."

A DARPA spokeswoman denied a reporter's request to interview Lal or others on the project.

The cyborg insect project has its share of doubters.

"I'll be seriously dead before that program deploys," said vice admiral Joe Dyer, former commander of the Naval Air Systems Command, now at iRobot in Burlington, Mass., which makes household and military robots.

By contrast, fully mechanical micro-fliers are advancing quickly.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have made a "microbat ornithopter" that flies freely and fits in the palm of one's hand. A Vanderbilt University team has made a similar device.

With their sail-like wings, neither of those would be mistaken for insects. In July, however, a Harvard University team got a truly fly-like robot airborne, its synthetic wings buzzing at 120 beats per second.

"It showed that we can manufacture the articulated, high-speed structures that you need to re-create the complex wing motions that insects produce," said team leader Robert Wood.

The fly's vanishingly thin materials were machined with lasers, then folded into three-dimensional form "like a micro-origami," he said. Alternating electric fields make the wings flap. The whole thing weighs just 65 milligrams, or a little more than the plastic head of a push pin.

Still, it can fly only while attached to a threadlike tether that supplies power, evidence that significant hurdles remain.

In August, at the International Symposium on Flying Insects and Robots, held in Switzerland, Japanese researchers introduced radio-controlled fliers with four-inch wingspans that resemble hawk moths. Those who watch them fly, its creator wrote in the program, "feel something of 'living souls.' "

Others, taking a tip from the CIA, are making fliers that run on chemical fuels instead of batteries. The "entomopter," in early stages of development at the Georgia Institute of Technology and resembling a toy plane more than a bug, converts liquid fuel into a hot gas, which powers four flapping wings and ancillary equipment.

"You can get more energy out of a drop of gasoline than out of a battery the size of a drop of gasoline," said team leader Robert Michelson.

Even if the technical hurdles are overcome, insect-size fliers will always be risky investments.

"They can get eaten by a bird, they can get caught in a spider web," said Fearing of Berkeley. "No matter how smart you are -- you can put a Pentium in there -- if a bird comes at you at 30 miles per hour there's nothing you can do about it."

Protesters might even nab one with a net -- one of many reasons why Ehrhard, the former Air Force colonel, and other experts said they doubted that the hovering bugs spotted in Washington were spies.

So what was seen by Crane, Alarcon and a handful of others at the D.C. march -- and as far back as 2004, during the Republican National Convention in New York, when one observant but perhaps paranoid peace-march participant described on the Web "a jet-black dragonfly hovering about 10 feet off the ground, precisely in the middle of 7th avenue . . . watching us"?

They probably saw dragonflies, said Jerry Louton, an entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Washington is home to some large, spectacularly adorned dragonflies that "can knock your socks off," he said.

At the same time, he added, some details do not make sense. Three people at the D.C. event independently described a row of spheres, the size of small berries, attached along the tails of the big dragonflies -- an accoutrement that Louton could not explain. And all reported seeing at least three maneuvering in unison.

"Dragonflies never fly in a pack," he said.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice said her group is investigating witness reports and has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with several federal agencies. If such devices are being used to spy on political activists, she said, "it would be a significant violation of people's civil rights."

For many roboticists still struggling to get off the ground, however, that concern -- and their technology's potential role -- seems superfluous.

"I don't want people to get paranoid, but what can I say?" Fearing said. "Cellphone cameras are already everywhere. It's not that much different."


From Greg Palast

Mrs. Clinton's forgotten fling with the Killer of Karachi

by Greg Palast

November 13th, 2007-
He was the other man in Hillary's life. But it's over now. Or is it?

You've seen all those creepy photos of George Bush rubbing up against Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, the two of them grinning and giggling like they're going to the senior prom. So it's hard to remember that it was Hillary and Bill who brought Pervez to the dance in the first place.

How that happened, I'll tell you in a moment.

But first, let's get our facts straight about the man in the moustache. Musharraf, according to George Bush, The New York Times, NPR and the rest of press puppies is, "our ally in the War on Terror." That's like calling Carmine Gambino, "Our ally in the War on Crime."

Musharraf's the guy who helped the Taliban take power in Afghanistan in 1996. And, through his ISI, Pakistan's own KGB, he is still giving the Taliban secret protection.

And this is the same Musharraf who let Khalid Sheik Muhammed, Osama's operations chief for the September 11 attack, hang out in Quetta, Pakistan, in the open, until Khalid embarrassed his host by giving a boastful interview to Al Jazeera television from his Pakistan hang-out.

And this is the same Musharraf who permitted his nation's own Dr. Strangelove, A.Q. Khan, to sell nuclear do-it-yourself bomb kits to Libya and North Korea. When the story off the flea-market in fissionable materials was exposed, Musharraf (and Bush) both proclaimed their shock - shock! - over the bomb sales. Musharraf didn't know? Sure. Those tons of lethal hardware must have been shipped by flying pig.

But, unlike Saddam and Osama, creations of Ronald Reagan's and George Bush Sr.'s Frankenstein factories, Musharraf was a Clinton special.

And it all began with an unpaid electricity bill. In 1998, Pakistan wouldn't pay up millions, and they owed billions, to British and American electricity companies. And for good reason: the contracts called for paying insanely high prices. It smelled of payola - and ultimately, the government of Pakistan filed charges against power combine executives and canceled the contracts. That's the rule under international law: companies can't collect on contracts they obtained by pay-offs.

But these weren't just any companies. One was a Tony Blair favorite, Britain's National Power. The other was Entergy International, a sudden big-time player in the international power market based out of, oddly, Little Rock, Arkansas. Despite the Clinton Administration's claim to fight foreign corruption, this was an exception. Clinton and Blair voted to cut off Pakistan's funding from the IMF. Pay-up the power pirates, they told Pakistan, or starve.

Why was President Clinton so determined to crush Pakistan because of an unpaid bill to some Little Rock company. This was not just any company. But that wasn't much. More important, Entergy and its partners, the Riady Family of Indonesia had just paid about half a million dollars to Hillary's old Rose Law Firm partner Webster Hubbell. Odd that, hiring Hubbell. Why would Entergy pay big bucks to a Hubbell as a "consultant" when he was on his way to jail for a felony. Hubbell was doing time because he refused to testify against Ms. Rodham.

Did President Clinton know about the payment to Hubbell? Clinton denied it to the press,but under oath, to the FBI, Bill said he, "wouldn't be surprised" if the Riadys told him about the payoff to Hubbell in one of Bill's several private meetings with
them in the Oval Office.

Was there a connection between Entergy's kindness to Hillary and her law partner and the power company's extraordinary sway with the Administration? From inside information on energy policies to favor requested of Tony Blair's office by Hillary's office, Entergy could do no wrong. Certainly, their consortium's executives wouldn't have to stand trial in Pakistan.

And Entergy got its money. On December 22, 1998, Pakistan's military, at the direction of General Pervez Musharraf, sent thirty thousand troops into the nation's power stations. At the time, Entergy's partners told me, "A lot changed since the army moved in. Now we have a situation where we can be paid. They've found a way to collect from the man in the street." Yes: at gunpoint, according to Abdul Latif Nizamani, a labor union leader who spoke with me after Musharraf's gang had arrested him.

With Pakistan's army in control of thenation's infrastructure, and acting as guarantor of payment to the US and UK power giants, General Musharraf's final takeover of the entire government nine months later - a "surprise" coup to the Western press - was, a forgone conclusion. And the Clintons, complicit, like Bush today, could say little.

Just months before he left office President Clinton paid a sudden visit to Musharraf. Congressional Democrats were stunned. Musharraf had quickly shown himself to be a Taliban-loving, unbalanced dictator who violated US treaty terms by exploding a nuke and threatening to incinerate our ally India. Notably, the Ambassador with Clinton made payments to the electric companies a top item on his

Favors done; favors repaid. Nothing new under the sun, but it's a dangerous game, Senator Clinton.

All right, maybe you can say that President Clinton's blessing of the radioactive dictator can't be blamed on Hillary despite the smelly money chain going from Arkansas to Karachi. But, be honest, the lady sure as heck ain't running on her record as a Senator; her whole pitch is, "Re-elect Clinton."

And I'd rather tell you this story before you hear it from President Giuliani.

Nevertheless, let's not lose sight of the current danger. While the Clinton's may have handed us the Lunatic of Lahore, it's George Bush who leaves mints on his pillow. I have no information that Clinton knew of the sales to North Korea. The Bush Administration did and, we discovered at BBC, blocked the CIA investigation that could have exposed it in 2001. And that, Mr. Bush, is a very, very dangerous game. The problem of creating Frankensteins, whether an Osama or a Saddam or a Musharraf, is that these creatures are often known to rise and turn on their creators.

But I'm sure we'll correct the error. Four years ago, as Bush was proclaiming victory over the Butcher of Baghdad, I wrote, "Given our experiences with Saddam and Osama, our monsters tend to get out of control after about 11 years. Therefore, we can expect, in the year 2013, that President Jeb Bush will have to order the 82d Airborne into Pakistan to remove Musharraf, the Killer of Karachi."

Unfortunately, we may not have that long.

BURN BABY BURN The California Celebrity Fires
The Boo ain t no N.O.
Plus: George Bush, Flame Retard
By Greg Palast

What color is your disaster? It makes a difference. A life and death difference.


Population of San Diego fire evacuation zone: 500,000
Population of the New Orleans flood evacuation zone: 500,000

White folk as a % of evacuees, San Diego: 66%
Black folk as % of evacuees, New Orleans: 67%

Size counts, too. Size of your wallet, that is:

Evacuees in San Diego, in poverty: 9%
Evacuees in New Orleans, in poverty: 27%

The numbers would be even uglier, though more revealing, if I included evacuees of the celebrity fire in Malibu.

The President didn t do a photo-strafing of the scene from 1700 feet this time. Instead, we have the photo op of George, feet on the ground, hanging with Arnold the Action Man. (However, I m informed that the President was a bit disappointed that he didn t get to wear one of those neat fireman hats like Rudi G got at Ground Zero.)

In 2005, while the bodies were still being fished out of flooded homes in New Orleans, Republican Congressman Richard Baker praised The Lord for his mercy. We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn t do it, but God did, he said about the removal of the poor from the project near the French Quarter much coveted by speculators.

But as this week s flames spread, no Republican Congressman cried, Burn baby burn! to praise the Lord for cleaning up the Boo, the sin-and-surf playground of Hollywood luvvies.

In New Orleans, God s covenant with real estate developers has been very profitable. Over 70,000 families remain, two years after the waters receded, in mobile home concentration centers far away from the N.O. re-building boom. Let s see how long it takes to get Tom Hanks back on his beach towel.

Standing next to Governor Schwarzenegger, a smug little Bush said, It makes a big difference when you have someone in the statehouse willing to take the lead a snide attack on the former Democratic Governor of Louisiana on whom the White House successfully dumped the blame for the horror show in New Orleans.

Mr. Bush never mentioned and the media would never give away his secret that 15 hours before the levees broke, the White House and FEMA knew the flood barriers were cracking, yet failed to inform the Governor and state police. Nor did Mr. Bush mention that his Department of Homeland Security s FEMA trolls took away evacuation planning from the state and gave it to a crew of crony contractors who, for a million bucks, came up with a plan that came down to, If a hurricane comes, get in your car and drive like hell.

In California, plans were in place, money poured down with the flame retardant, and no one is suggesting that Mel Gibson move his swastika collection to a FEMA trailer.

Not comparable, the Boo and the N.O.? You can say that again. But as a kid who grew up in the ass end of Los Angeles, I can tell you that disaster apartheid applies on the local scale as well. Look at the tarry filth of Compton and Long Beach shores versus the panicked reaction when a bit of garbage or oil sheen hits Malibu sands. (I remember, standing on the crude-covered shore of an Alaska Native village in March, 1991, the day Exxon announced it would end the clean-up from the Exxon Valdez spill. That same day, the papers showed the careful scouring that week of every pebble on Malibu beaches hit by dinky spill incident.)

Please don t get the idea I m slap-happy about the California inferno. My parents live in San Diego - and one of my favorite Air America hosts had to evacuate from her Del Mar hot tub, poor dear. (I ve heard, however, that billionaires well done taste just like chicken.)

What I m saying is: Besides the flames, there s a class war raging in America. Or, should I say, Class Massacre. Because only one side is taking all the bullets. Malibu, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica are incorporated communities islands of privilege politically fenced off from the riff-raff sea of Los Angeles. These self-incorporated Bantustans of the wealthy have their own fire departments and schools. The money islands are relieved of having to pay for the schools and hospitals of the city where their gardeners live. (I can t tell which is the worst disaster that can befall an Angelino a fire, an earthquake or the LA public school system.)

Now, it s easy to say it s just George Bush who s the class clown of the class war. But it s an old story. When a flood took out the tony homes at Westhampton Dunes, the Clinton Administration picked up the full tab for rebuilding these summer hideaways of investment bankers. While today, death-by-poison stalks the environment of Black townships of Louisiana (the FEMA guests are parked in a zone called Cancer Ally), Al Gore can t be found. But when speaking of rising sea levels that can take out the homes of his buddies in Boo or the Hamptons, Gore goes ga-ga.

The one thing I ll say in favor of that vile little Louisiana Republican cheering the drowning of public housing residents, at least he's honest about how the system works. He s not afraid to remind us of the gods -honest truth: disaster response is class war by other means.

So let me not forget to report the war s body count:

New Orleans flood deaths: 1,577.
California celebrity fire deaths: 5.

Tonight and this weekend, listen to The Fire Next Time, on the Palast Report, aired each week on Air America s Clout with Richard Greene, on the Nova M network with Cynthia Black (from KPHX), on the Solution Zone with Christiane Brown (KJFK) and live, in Chicago, this weekend, for, The Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and WCPT, Chicago s Progressive Talk and, on this Sunday morning on the Bree Show, KTLK Los Angeles, with host/evacuee Bree Walker, slightly charred (or is that a tan?) but undaunted.

Greg Palast is the author the New York Times bestselling book, Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans - Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.

Sign up for Palast s investigative reports at


From Planned Parenthood

What if Congress passed a law that did this to your grocery bill?

Well, a recent law is doing the exact same thing to the cost of birth control, and soon millions of women may not be able to afford birth control.

You can help. Write to Congress today!

What if Congress passed a law that made the price of your groceries go up by 900 percent? There would be an instant uproar... Rioting in the streets...

... And you can bet the problem would be fixed, pronto.

So why is Congress dragging their feet when one of their recent laws just made the price of birth control skyrocket to an unaffordable level for millions of women?

There is no excuse for this delay. Millions of women need our help today.
Please write to Congress today to demand that they fix their mistake NOW.

Here's the whole story: Last year's Congress made a technical error writing a new law, and the cost of birth control in many clinics is rising to almost 900 percent what it was just months ago. Women who were paying $5 to $10 per month are now paying $40 to $50 for birth control. For the college students and low-income women who will be affected by this cost hike, that's no small matter.

This delay adds insult to injury in a year when Planned Parenthood and the women we serve have endured multiple attacks on access to birth control. First the fight to open our Aurora, Illinois, health center; then the appointment of radically anti-birth control Susan Orr to lead the U.S. family planning program; then the attempt by anti-choice radicals to block much-needed federal funding for our health centers. It's unfair and shocking that Congress is becoming part of this anti-birth control trend. But hopeless? Not if Planned Parenthood has anything to say about it...

Here's what we're doing:

  • First of all, here at Planned Parenthood, we are making every effort to keep offering birth control pills at the old (discounted) price and, when possible, to make up the difference ourselves.

  • Secondly, we are leading a massive effort to get Congress to restore this much-needed benefit to the Medicaid budget.

This is our plan, but the power of your voice today is what can make our efforts that much more effective. All it will take is for Congress to agree to pass the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act to immediately make birth control more accessible to millions of women who need it.

Please, write to your member of Congress today!

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us make birth control available to ALL women who need it. Your actions aren't just sending a message to Congress they're sending a powerful message of support to every woman who is struggling to cover the cost of her birth control.


Cecile Richards
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


From Brave New Films

The REAL Rudy

Dear activists, colleagues and friends,

We have been deep in research, interviews and editing (23 versions!) about Rudy's failure to fix the radios the firemen used to communicate on 9/11. It is as deeply troubling a story as we have seen. Rudy is running for office on how he handled 9/11 and here we have proof positive that firemen were killed because his administration did not fix the long-standing (since 1993!) problems with the radios.

Watch the video:

This BNF investigative report calls attention to four key questions about Rudy's handling of the broken radios from firemen's families and experts:

  • Why was nothing done to improve FDNY radio performance for seven years after a clear need was demonstrated in the 1993 World Trade Center attack?

  • When new radios were finally ordered, why did the city block other companies besides Motorola from bidding on the contract?

  • Once Motorola was given the contract, why did its cost jump from $1.4 million to $14 million?

  • Why were these new radios never tested?

These questions should and must be investigated. New York City councilman Eric Gioia has the power to begin an investigation. If we can garner enough attention and signers, we have a major opportunity to help launch an investigation.

Sign the petition:

Please take a careful look at your email address book and see how many people you can send this onto with a note from you. This is democracy in action and we need each and every one of you to help.

Robert Greenwald, Cliff Schecter, Jason Zaro and everyone at Brave New Films

-- Brave New Films is located at 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 and

FOX's PORN Site—what FOX shows during prime time is banned once collected into documentary form!

"Can you quote us so not giving a shit?"

1. Watch the video 2. Sign the pledge 3. Call FOX's advertisers

That was FOX's classy response to the half a million viewers who saw our
FOX Attacks: Decency video.

Looks like we got to FOX this time, and it wasn't a debate about policy in Iran that did it, or a video displaying their racism, or even our coverage of their abject hypocrisy on environmental issues.

No, what got the attack dogs at FOX hungry and looking for flesh was none other than an exposé of their smut peddling! It makes sense in a way, because advertisers tend not to like their products being promoted between segments of soft porn. And a large part of their conservative base hates this as well, which might be why one Christian organization compared the way women were dressed on FOX to the manner in which "hookers" are attired.

So what did we do?

With the News Hounds help, we found enough FOX lasciviousness for a whole porn site!!

Really, we did. And it wasn't that hard to do. In fact, if you thought FOX Attacks: Decency was a glimpse into the lustful thoughts of your favorite FOX anchor, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Watch the video:

Satire and parody aside, we think this is extremely objectionable, misogynistic content. We still don't understand how FOX is allowed to call this "news." So let's make this campaign count, and hit FOX where it hurts -- their Fair and Balance Sheet.

Many of you have been helping to create a massive database of local FOX advertisers. Now it's time to start calling them. Pick one or two to call and ask them to please not advertise on a channel that shows Girls Gone Wild during prime time, and exploits women 24/7. Let them know in very personal terms why this matters to you.

Click for a list of FOX advertisers near you:

And please let us know how it goes! When you click on the 'call' or 'email' advertiser link, you'll get an example script, and a form where you can describe what happened. Fill it out so we can all share information on how advertisers are reacting to the campaign. Plus, others will be inspired to act and we can keep the pressure on these merchants of immorality. Be creative make it personal and express how you feel.

Robert Greenwald, Cliff Schecter, and the Brave New Films team.

P.S. It's getting close to gift-giving time, so we've put together a special edition DVD of Outfoxed with all the FOX Attacks videos and other bonus features. The perfect stocking stuffer for that special conservative in your life. Get one for $12.95 or a 5 pack for $50.

--- Brave New Films creates videos and campaigns for social change. We are located at 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 and You can get us on
iTunes and Facebook.


From Act Blue

I remember watching Nancy Pelosi sworn in as the first female Speaker of the House. What a moment, as the new Speaker surrounded herself with children and gaveled in what we thought would be new direction for America. While I knew that Democrats would have problems passing legislation, I didn't realize that the Democratic leadership would capitulate so consistently to a President with a 24% approval rating without putting up a better fight. I thought impeachment was unlikely, but I didn't realize they would expand his wiretapping authority, provide hundreds of billions of dollars of blank check war funding, and even approve of torture. But they did.

And so now it's our time to show them that frustration is real, that we're not going to be quietly taken for granted, and that Democrats must stand for the values on which they were elected or they will be removed from office. And that's where Pelosi comes in, because she's actively making the caucus worse.

Donna Edwards is a progressive primary challenger running to knock of a conservative Democrat named Al Wynn in Maryland's fourth district, a heavily Democratic district. Wynn backed the Bankruptcy Bill, the Bush Energy Bill, and the war, and was a prime mover behind eliminating net neutrality and the estate tax. Last year, Donna nearly beat Wynn, losing by only 3 percentage points. This year, she is going to put the "better" into "more and better Democrats."

Even with this clear progressive taking on an incumbent in a Democratic district, on Saturday, Nancy Pelosi held a fundraiser for Al Wynn.

A number of blogs - Dailykos, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake among others, and, are raising $100K for Donna to counter Pelosi's embrace of Wynn. So far, 1,969 people have given $89,757 to send a message to the Democratic leadership that they need to do their job. We just need a few more people to chip in to meet the goal. Would you put in $30 to build a better Democratic party?

I ran into Speaker Pelosi at an event yesterday, and when I mentioned this fundraiser, she turned her back on me. She is feeling pressure from this, real pressure that she cannot avoid. It's not like the emails and phone calls we send to Congress.

Please chip in a few bucks if you can. This is working.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to email me at


Matt Stoller, Blogpac


From WaPo

By 12 former Army captains
Tuesday, October 16, 2007; 12:00 AM

Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The inability to govern is exacerbated at all levels by widespread corruption. Transparency International ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And, indeed, many of us witnessed the exploitation of U.S. tax dollars by Iraqi officials and military officers. Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq's oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq's reconstruction. Yet holding people accountable has proved difficult. The first commissioner of a panel charged with preventing and investigating corruption resigned last month, citing pressure from the government and threats on his life.

Against this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents' cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet -- moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.

U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much "battle space," are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks -- on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.

Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we're gone.

This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war -- and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It's time to make a choice.

This column was written by 12 former Army captains: Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004. Former Capt. Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006. Former Capt. Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004. Former Capt. Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Former Capt. Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003. Former Capt. Luis Carlos Montalv? served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005. Former Capt. William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Former Capt. Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006. Former Capt. William "Jamie" Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004. Former Capt. Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Former Capt. Gary Williams served in Baghdad in, 2003.


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