Albion Monitor Issue 137 AUGUST 2005

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When is science news? - Do newspapers have a future? 404 reports
Cindy Sheehan photo: © Nathan Diebenow/The Lone Star Iconoclast
Bush photo: Eric Draper/White House
The contrasts could not be greater: On his secluded ranch, the president sets a record for most time away from the White House on vacation as he races his bicycle through fields of sunflowers with friends and celebrities. Just a couple of miles away, a grieving mother sits in a roadside ditch waiting for the great man to come out and speak to her for a few moments. "I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son?'"

Cindy Sheehan has become an icon for a peace movement that has struggled with focus, often fighting with Democratic politicians who seek to exit the Iraq War with compromise. To them, Sheehan asks the same question: "What did my son die for?"

You can tell in five minutes channel surfing how Cindy Sheehan frightens the pro-war crowd, with the hellhounds of the Right barking in venomous unison. But she is castigated in the press, by mainstream liberals as well as mad-dog rightists, for not leaving any wriggle-room on this central point. She uncomfortably keeps saying the same thing: "Bring the troops home right now."

 + Repubs Attack, Demos Duck Cindy Sheehan

 + Will Democrats Get In Step Behind Cindy Sheehan?
 + Cindy Sheehan's Unexpected Allies FREE!

 + Sheehan Repudiates Bush -- and Howard Dean

 + The Day Casey Sheehan Died
 + Cindy Sheehan's Growing Crusade

Pedaling Away From Principle FREE!
Lance Armstrong speeds away from his values

Demos Still Won't Oppose Iraq War
Only Sen. Feingold calls for pullout, but just as a "target"

Bush VFW Speech Showed Serious Disconnect
Message intended to counter Cindy Sheehan: More U.S. soldiers must die

Public Opinion Turns Against Bush's War
Polls, media, and fellow Repubs discover there may be no good way out

Raging Grannies Confront Army Recruiters
5 "grannies" arrested for causing scene at Tucson U.S. Army recruiting office

Pentagon Lawyers Warned About Prisoner Abuse Before Iraq Invasion
Warned Justice Dept. in March 2003 of public outrage if tactics became known

Rights, Not Treatment, Is Key Issue For Gitmo Prisoners, Expert Says
Chicken dinners, free Korans nothing to do with secret courts and secret evidence

In South America, War On Terror Looks Like The "Dirty War"
"Rendering" enemies fundamentally no different from "disappearing" foes

Tensions escalate with Venezuela
Pat Robertson caught flack for calling for "covert operatives" to "take out" Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, but the televangelist was only taking his cue from Bush, who has rattled swords in the direction of Venezuela for years. The U.S. applauded a coup attempt against the democratically elected leader, and then endorsed a recall election that Chavez easily won. Tensions rose in July from DEA agents allegedly running drug strings in his country, which led Chavez to threaten cutoff of oil sales to the U.S. The fifth largest petroleum producer in the world, Venezuela sells half of its oil to the United States.

But broadcaster Pat Robertson joins Bush in seeing Chavez as dangerous competition. On July 25, Venezuela launched the satellite television network, Telesur, an effort to counter North American cultural influence over Latin American media. Also backed by Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, the station reaches an estimated two million viewers across South America. Is the U.S. worried? A week before Telesur's first broadcast, the House "coincidentally" authorized $9 million annually for American propaganda broadcasts to Venezuela

 + Bush Silent On Call To Assassinate Chavez FREE!

 + Chavez: U.S. Oil Cutoff Possible Unless Relations Improve

 + Chavez's TV Network Hits The Air

 + Congress Votes To Fund Anti-Chavez Media Attacks

 + Chavez Calls U.S. Propaganda Plans "Desperate"
 + What to Do About Hugo? FREE!

U.S.-Backed Political Group On Trial In Venezuela
Group who met with Bush in May charged with conspiracy to overthrow democracy

Video Shows London Police Had No Reason To Kill Brazilian Man
Was sitting on train when police pounced on him

The End Of Londonistan
No more 'peace pact' between Brits, radical Islamists

British Banks Target Muslims
Testing roundabout ways to disguise paying interest, banned by Islamic law
Terrorism Insurance Set To Expire At End Of Year FREE!
Federal insurance never used, but available in case of major attack

Police Radio Breakdown On 9/11 Led To Deaths
Still no federal money to fix problem

Heads Roll In Iraq Oil-For-Food Probe
$35 million investigation turns up $150,000 in alleged cash bribes

"Debt Relief" Could Start New Cycle Of Borrowing
World Bank write-off would allow countries to get new loans

Want UN Reform? Expand Security Council
Opposed by U.S. as leader of 'the permanent five'

Israeli pullout from Gaza
An Israeli colonist watches his home burn before leaving Gaza August 17, 2005 PHOTO: Alquds
The pullout of Israeli colonists from the Gaza Strip presents two contrasting pictures of two very differently placed people. While the Israelis are looking at comfortable compensation packages, thousands of Palestinians face the threat of starvation as a result of the Israeli pullout. The average compensation packet for an Israeli settler home is around a quarter of a million dollars. But to that has been added a bonus payment, two years free rent at the new location, help to set it up, removals expenses, compensation for loss of land and redundancy compensation. For some families the compensation package is closer to half a million dollars. On the other hand, the World Food Program (WFP) has been busy stocking food to make sure that poor Palestinians in Gaza do not starve as the settlers move out.

 + Egypt Wary Of New Role As Gaza Border Cop

 + Gaza Humanitarian Crisis Even Before Israeli Pullout Complete

 + Many Palestinians Fear Gaza Will Be "One Big Prison"

 + Gaza Humanitarian Crisis Even Before Israeli Pullout Complete

 + U.S. Aid Leaves Gaza Along With Israelis

 + Gaza Pullout Masks Israel's Expansion In W Bank

 + Gaza Israelis Begin Moving Out

FREE! Israel's Wall has severely disrupted and profoundly encumbered daily life and has undermined and wretchedly destroyed the social and economic fabric of Palestinian civil society. To make room for its path, entire orchards and olive groves have been uprooted, and thousands of Palestinian homes -- over 42,165 in the West Bank -- have been demolished by the Israeli military. Life in the Occupied Territories of Palestine has been reduced generally to an utterly debased form of collective imprisonment. Checkpoints and road-blocks obstruct Palestinians' unfettered access to schools, health clinics, and work. Families have been physically separated; and, in one instance, a house was purportedly divided in half. In Qalqilya, the wall rises to such a height that, it is said, one can no longer see the sun set. The aim of all this, which Ariel Sharon has admitted quite candidly, is to prevent Gaza from having any external contact with the outside world by land, by air, and by sea

Presbyterians Seek Boycott Of Companies Aiding Israel's Occupation Tools
Churches used divestment as part of a successful campaign against apartheid

In W Bank Town, Homeland Means Humiliation
Conditions for Palestinians in Nablus have steadily declined in last 5 years

U.S. Nuclear Deal With India Blocks Deal For Iran Pipeline
Part of the Great Game to control Mideast oil, while making country dependent on U.S.

Commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, the report examines the likely consequences of the impending global peak, projecting a date anywhere from 2005 to 2037 as the moment when global oil production will reach its all-time maximum and begin its inevitable descent. A crash program initiated twenty years ahead of the event will offer "the possibility" of avoiding a fuel shortfall. The report emphasizes repeatedly that both supply- and demand- side mitigation options will take many years to implement and will cost "literally trillions of dollars;" it also notes that "the world has never faced a problem like this." Yet, six months since its release, discussion of the Hirsch report is conspicuously absent from the press and the halls of Congress

Groups Seek ExxonMobil Boycott FREE!
ANWR drilling, unpaid Exxon Valdez bill, global warming disinformation among reasons

Bush Springs Recess UN Appointment Of Bolton
Even though a third of Senate begged him to not do it

Bush Woos African-Americans With Corporate Funds
Getting major corporate foundations to underwrite religious charities that can't get federal money

AFL-CIO Out Of Touch, Departing Workers Say
Want more attention on building membership, not political activism

Unions United, Unions Broken Asunder FREE!
Change is good and far from uncommon in the tumultuous history of organized labor, but with the 2006 and 2008 elections on the horizon and the Bush agenda marching on, the timing stinks

Similarities Between Today's Minutemen And '90s Militia Movement
Media has virtually ignored racism, illegality of vigilante border movement

U.S. Jewish Groups Seek Immigration Limits
More aligning with neo-cons and xenophobes
UK Blood Donors Told They May Carry Human Mad Cow Disease FREE!
Of the 150 who have died from vCJD in the UK to July 1, 4 had suspect transfusions

Scientists Worry Global Warming At "Tipping Point"
Crucial rise of 2 degrees C

Western Nations Hoarding Limited Stocks Of Bird Flu Vaccine
Asian countries most at risk have none at all

Bird Flu Spreading Across Russia
Among wild birds that reach Europe, even east coast of U.S.
Emotional Ads Win Over Skeptics, Study Shows FREE!
Targets consumers who don't consider ads worth processing

Muslim Single Moms Demand Rights
As Islamists want single pregnant women stoned to death to "set an example"

Pakistan Province Passes Taliban Law
Extremists begin defacing billboards with pictures of women, music banned on public transit

Pakistan Has No Control Over Most Extreme Islamic Schools
Crackdown attempts on madrassas since 9/11 proved futile

Pakistan Facing Civil War Threat From Islamic Militants
Blowback from ties to Afghanistan Taliban
Rise Of The Neo-Taliban FREE!
Loose coalition of supporters seek to undermine Afghanistan

Iraq News
anti constitution rally
Iraqi rally against draft constitution August 23, 2005 PHOTO: © IRIN
Iraqis Give Up On Constitution Compromise
Despite extended deadlines and intense U.S. pressure

Iraqis Move Closer To Civil War In Constitution Clash
Sunni minority vs. Kurd and Shiite factions seeking to control Iraq
U.S. Spending $12 billion To Repair Iraq Oil Industry Sabotage FREE!
Money could have funded 1 in 3 planned reconstruction projects

Publication Of New Abuse Photos Could Spark Riots, General Says
Gen. Myers: Pictures so horrific that they could "put the lives of American soldiers and officials at risk"

Iraq's Oil-Rich Kurdistan Hires PR Firm
Spin experts tied to GOP, talk radio

Neo-Con Polices Driving Iraq Closer To Iran
Happy, democratic Iraqis were supposed to inspire revolution in Iran

July 5 anti-Japanese protest in Samawa   (EPA)
Reporter Who Told "Other Side" Of Iraq Invasion Killed
Refused to "embed" with U.S. troops to capture day-to-day life as Iraqis lived it

U.S. Forces Iraq To Shun International Criminal Court
Quickly reversed agreement to endorse treaty that could prosecute Bush admin
Iraq Oil Minister Plans To Create World's 3rd Largest Oil Co FREE!
That is, if attacks end on Iraq's oil infrastructure
Unrest In "Calm" Samawa Bodes Ill For Iraq Handover FREE!
Unexpected and massive demonstration against occupation forces

Take Iraq "Nation Building" Off Back Burner, Task Force Warns
Council on Foreign Relations task force says core mission must change

Politics As Usual
The Tricky Path Of The Pre-Presidential Candidate
GOP critics ignore that Hillary in same position as Bush in '98

GOP Apologizes For Ignoring Blacks Over Last 40 Years
Bush ducks NAACP, but tells Indiana Black Expo that Blacks doing great
Energy Bill Passes After Five Years FREE!
Bill "hands over billions in subsidies to oil companies but does nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil"

Energy Bill Did Nothing To Solve Energy Problems
Another lost opportunity for Bush to deal with real crisis

Congress Faces Parade Of Controversial Votes After Recess
Including anti-torture provisions in mammoth defense bill

Ralph Reed Political Plans Tripped Up By Abramoff Scandal
Abramoff hired Reed, a longtime public opponent of gambling, to run interference for casino plans

Big Pharma's $800 Million In Political Spending
"No other interest has spent more money to sway public opinion"

CAFTA trade deal becomes law
With a 217-215 House vote, and only after considerable White House arm twisting, the Bush administration won passage of the controversial trade pact with Latin America. But critics are encouraged by the narrow margin of approval, pointing out that CAFTA required last-minute "procedural stunts" even after weeks of Bush's personal attention, a rare presidential visit to Congress on the day of the vote, months of Republican leadership "threats and goodies," and an army of corporate lobbyists to push the economically modest deal

 + Weak CAFTA Approval Shows Waning Interest In Free Trade Deals

 + CAFTA Spotlights Salvador Gangs As Terror Threat

 + CAFTA Allows Big Pharma To Block Generic Medicines

 + CAFTA Won't Stem Flow Of Cheap Chinese Clothes, Labor Groups Say

U.S. Food Aid Mostly Agribiz Entitlement Program
Also only country besides S Korea that sells food aid instead of giving it away

New Zealand Promotes Maori Ritual As Tourism
Natives make up 15 percent of the country's population

Fearing Invasion, Burma Junta Plans To Move Capitol
New inland location which many Burmese are already calling 'escape city'
Haiti Regime Pursues Aristide Supporters To Other NationsFREE!
FBI assists in arrest of man legally living with family in the Dominican Republic

Haiti Near Anarchy Despite Presence Of UN Forces
Amnesty report says little progress in disarming militants

Tsunami Aid Being Used To Replace Fishing Villages With Resorts
Money going to underwrite big business redevelopment for tourism

Burma Source Of Spread Of Asian AIDS
Following trail of heroin and prostitution

Trapped Between King And Rebels, Nepal Goes Without Food
"There is no rice in the market. There is no oil. People are panicking"

Russian Orphanages Overflow Amid Rumors Of Child Trafficking
Charges by politicians and media that children being "bought" and abused by foreigners

Vietnam A Major Center For Human Trafficking
Up to 400,000 Vietnamese women and children have been trafficked overseas

"Comfort Women" Still Await Japanese Apology
New history text books have dropped reference to sex slavery

Hiroshima Bomb Was Also Study In Media Censorship
Media in U.S. and occupied Japan avoided reporting human impact of bombs

Malaysia's Islamic Hardliners Attack The Teapot Cult
Quirky commune just latest among religious groups declared deviant and banned

The Peter (Jennings) Principle FREE!
A rare TV journalist with first-hand knowledge of the world's trouble spots


Do Animals Have Expressions?
Darwin authored book to show that differences between man and animal subtle

Suzie Pena Killing Should Unite, Not Divide Blacks - Latinos
Muffled response of blacks to the police shooting of a Latino toddler shows the distrust and tension

Time To End Lifetime Appointments To Supreme Court
Would create a modest turnover and ensure one party doesn't monopolize the process

The Soldier's War With The Neo-Cons
Pushing back against the academics and experts whose advice led to torture scandals

 + Judy Miller: When Journalism Goes Bad
 + Bush's Nuclear Saber-Rattling Over Iran
 + Mortgaged to the House of Saud
 + A Milestone In Fighting Sweatshops

 } Robert Scheer

 + Will The Media Help Bush Exploit 9/11 Again?
 + The Iraq War And MoveOn
 + Bob Novak Takes A Walk

 } Norman Solomon

 + Bush Hardly The Stricken President
 + Who's The Real Martyr: Judy Miller Or Jim DeFede?

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + An Open Letter To Cindy From The Lords Of Loud
 + Who's Behind The Attacks On Cindy Sheehan?
 + Why The Wheels Are Coming Off
 + Democracy Alliance Shouldn't Forget Those Who Brung 'Em This Far
 } Steve Young


FREE! Psychiatric researchers recently estimated that half of the American population has had or will have a mental disorder at some time in their life. A generation ago, by contrast, only a small percentage of the American population was considered mentally ill. Are we all going mad? Freud started this. He made us suspicious that any behavior was potentially rife with psychopathology. As a neurologist, he used the medical language of pathology to suggest that the demands of civilization on our fragile human nature were such as to make all of us somewhat neurotic. Because there are no biological tests, markers or known causes for most mental illnesses, who is counted as ill depends almost entirely on frequently changing checklists of behaviors, and we keep getting higher estimates of mental disorders in part because the American Psychiatric Assn keeps adding new disorders and more behaviors to the manual

Albion Monitor
Issue 137

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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