"
True, much of the dated advice ... is now amusingly camp,
but the potential thrill of being single still saturates each page.
"


Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Another sports guy gets away with murder
Just like Alverez's son got away with microwaving his roomates parrot.


Brehm and Bowers, a junior from Robinson, were arrested after officers responded to a report that a gun was fired about 4 a.m. near Taco Cabana, 825 S. Sixth St. Officers were told that someone shot a cat, put it in a sport utility vehicle and drove away, Waco police said.

The cat, which employees dubbed Queso, hung around the restaurant in search of food and kindness, police have said.

Officers stopped Bowers' Chevrolet Tahoe and saw what appeared to be blood on the door and steering wheel, according to police reports. Police found a severed, skinned cat's head in the back of the truck beneath some clothing, along with a pellet gun, a knife and a golf club that appeared to have cat hair on it.

McLennan County jury acquitted former Baylor University baseball player Derek Brehm of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges Tuesday in the shooting and decapitation of the stray cat called Queso.

Brehm flashed a big smile in the courtroom for the first time during the two-day trial and hugged his family and friends after the verdict was read.

The county court-at-law jury deliberated 55 minutes before clearing Brehm in the March 9, 2001, incident in which he and former Baylor outfielder Clint Bowers were arrested in Brehm's vehicle with a severed, skinned cat's head, a pellet gun, a knife and a golf club with blood and cat hair on it.

After Brehm's acquittal, prosecutor Crawford Long dismissed the animal cruelty charge against Bowers.

"The reason I dismissed the charge is that the co-defendant was found not guilty by a jury and our evidence is almost identical on Bowers that was presented on Brehm except for the fact that on some elements, perhaps Brehm's evidence might be a little stronger even," Long said.

Brehm, who since has transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington, testified Tuesday that Bowers shot the cat on the patio of Taco Cabana about 4 a.m. He said he grabbed the cat, which he said was dead, drove a few blocks and he and Bowers both hit it with a 9-iron to make doubly sure it was dead.

After that, Brehm told the jury, he skinned the head and then cut the head off with a knife so he could bleach the skull and keep it like some of his cousins have done to the heads of coyotes, bobcats and deer.

After the players were arrested, the case drew nationwide attention, and animal rights groups and animal lovers wrote to District Attorney John Segrest asking that both men be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Brehm said after his acquittal that he is relieved to have the case behind him. He said he regrets his actions, but insisted that animal rights activists have "blown this all out of proportion," forcing him to go to trial when he was willing to plead guilty for a probated sentence.

The jury of three men and three women was instructed that to convict Brehm, the state had to prove that he either tortured the cat or killed an animal that belonged to someone without that person's consent.

The definition of animal as defined in the penal code and given to the jury Tuesday by Judge Mike Gassaway is a "domesticated living creature and wild living creature previously captured. Animal does not include an uncaptured wild creature or a wild creature whose capture was accomplished by conduct at issue under this section."

"We did our duty. That's all I can tell you," the presiding juror said as she left the courthouse. Two other jurors declined to discuss the verdict.

Brehm's attorney, Russ Hunt, told jurors that the cat was a stray "feral" or wild cat, was not owned by anyone and was not tortured because it was dead after Bowers shot it with the pellet gun.

Prosecutors Long and Melanie Walker alleged that Teresa Jones, the night manager at Taco Cabana, owned the cat or at least had a "greater right to possession" of the cat than Brehm. Jones told jurors Monday that she named the cat Queso because of its fondness for spicy cheese sauce.

She said she fed the cat for several months and had befriended it and another black and white cat that hung around the restaurant that she called Taco.

She testified Monday that the cat was not dead when Brehm snatched it from the patio, saying she heard it "crying" as Brehm took it away.

Hunt said he thinks Brehm was acquitted because the jury realized that the animal cruelty law was not written to pertain to wild animals. If it did, Hunt said it would be "open season" on deer hunters because people could claim that they loved the deer that had been killed and the hunter would be arrested.

"I don't feel that Derek should have ever been prosecuted because the statute obviously didn't fit the circumstances of this case," Hunt said.

Brehm testified Tuesday that he grew up on a farm in San Antonio, where he had lots of pets, including 13 or 14 cats and two dogs.

"I've always loved pets," Brehm said. "I would never shoot anybody's pet and I would never, ever torture an animal. Cats sleep in my bed at home with me all the time."

Brehm said he draws a distinction between domesticated pets and feral cats, which frequently attacked his cats at home and infected them with diseases.

Brehm testified that he performed 50 hours of community service at the Waco Animal Shelter and lost his scholarship as part of his punishment from Baylor after his arrest.

Kathy Robnett, president and co-director of Fuzzy Friends Rescue, an animal shelter in Waco, said she is sickened by the verdict.

"I find it hard to believe that this has happened," she said. "I think the jury has done a terrific disservice to that boy. He needs to be made to make some form of reparation, at least in the form of counseling. It is frightening that this 'boys-will-be-boys' attitude has been so prevalent in this case, especially in light of the research that has been done proving links between animal cruelty and future violence against humans.

"I think it is sending a message loud and clear to come on to Waco and do whatever you want to animals. Come on down," she said.

Bowers, who is from Robinson, is still a student at Baylor, although he is no longer on the baseball team. His attorney, Rod Goble, said Bowers and his family are "extremely happy with the results."

"Based on the jury's decision today, I think the action taken by the district attorney's office was appropriate and the proper thing to do," Goble said of the dismissal of charges against Bowers.

Long said he presented the best case he could to the jury.

"That was everything we had. They heard the evidence, they heard our arguments and they decided that, under the evidence, the defendant was not guilty," Long said. "There wasn't anything else we could do. It was their decision to make and they made it. We accept the jury's decision."

quesotribute.page

MESSAGE FROM QUESO

(More than just a stray)

I look on the world today
from such a better place.
Angels folded wings around me
and now I'm home and safe.

I was one of God's creations
innocent and small
for you to take my life away
made no sense at all.

They said it was not cruelty,
I was just a stray that's all.
But I found my place on earth.
You had no right to make that call.

I pray each day for you,
the judge and jury too,
as Jesus said upon the cross;
you know not what you do.

To the thousands who raised a voice
in memory of me,
Keep up the fight
the world will change.
Let Queso be.

More than just a stray.

by CeCelia Brownell


Corporate Welfare
President Bush made good use of the lame duck session to reward major contributors from the business community, in particular big energy and pharmaceutical companies.

Energy companies and other industrial polluters received one of the biggest gifts under the Christmas tree – sent directly from the Bush administration. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when few reporters were paying attention.

The EPA announced the largest rollback of the Clean Air Act in its 22 year history. New EPA rules allow factory owners higher emissions of carbon monoxide and other smog-causing pollutants, and weaken previous clean-up requirements.

The fact that El Paso Energy Corporation and Union Pacific rest high on the list of top soft money donors to the Republican party no doubt encouraged the EPA's pro-industry change of heart.

More than just sending money, energy companies provided a lush talent pool for top administration positions. First and foremost, there's ex-Halliburton chief Dick Cheney.

Fellow cabinet members Don Evans and Gayle Norton, plus National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, all have direct ties to energy industry brand names like British Petroleum, Chevron, and Tom Brown, Inc.

While the new EPA guidelines allow these corporations to reap millions in savings, under-represented citizens and the environment pay the price. Frank O'Donnell of the Clean Air Trust points to a survey indicating that 34 states plus the District of Columbia already have serious – and in most cases worsening – smog problems.

"It is deplorable that the Bush administration would weaken clean air protections and subject us to even bigger health problems," O'Donnell says. "Children with asthma, senior citizens and others with breathing problems are suffering the most."

Big drug companies were a second early beneficiary of post-election handouts. Their gift came stealthily wrapped as an amendment to the Homeland Security Act.

This rider protects the makers of vaccine preservatives from lawsuits charging that their drugs cause autism in children.

Given that the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Inc. and Eli Lilly together contributed over $3.6 million in soft money to Republicans during the 2001-2002 election cycle, few expected that the pharmaceutical industry would receive a lump of coal in its stocking this year.

But even many Senate Republicans were shocked by the callousness of the House-generated amendment.

That the Bush administration did not join in protest was hardly surprising, however, given that White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels formerly worked for Eli Lilly, the primary beneficiary of the legislation.

Even more outrageous, Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel sits as a Bush appointee on the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

The drug amendment is one example of "tort reform" – limitations on the amount of money that individuals who are injured by negligence or malpractice can collect from a company.

Since insurance and tort lobby groups poured $5.7 million in soft money into GOP coffers in 2001 alone, more of these changes are almost certainly on their way.

Ron Bonjean, spokesman for Sen. Trent Lott, says that "Tort reform is a priority for the Senate Republican leadership and will most likely be a focus of the 108th Congress."

From AlterNet




A Reminder of what true Martyrdom is all about

From AlterNet

Two works in recent years, "Veil: Modesty, Privacy and Resistance" (Berg Publishers, 1999) and "Rage Against the Veil" (Prometheus Books, 2000), offer very different but compelling perspectives on the significance of the veil in Islamic society, and its role as both an instrument of resistance and repression.

In "Veil," University of Southern California anthropology professor Fadwa El Guindi lays out a fresh but sometimes one-sided analysis of some of the multifaceted uses and meanings of the veil (and other, modest Islamic dress) in Arabic-speaking Muslim societies.

One Woman's Pain

It is in stark contrast to this more detached, academic perspective that "Rage Against the Veil" delivers its personal narrative, in the voice of the younger sister of the deceased Iranian political activist and medical doctor, Homa Darabi.

On Feb. 21, 1994, Dr. Darabi's life ended in an act of profound desperation and defiance that captured international headlines, and thrust a new spotlight on the lives of women living in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Darabi, who had been an accomplished respected female child psychiatrist in both Iran and the United States, committed one of the most painful and visually shocking forms of suicide known to humankind: Public self-immolation.

Darabi's sister Parvin recounts eyewitness testimony of her sister's suicide in a public square in a suburb of Tehran: "Several people took notice of her as she removed her scarf from her head. In the Islamic Republic she could have been arrested and beaten for such behavior ...

Witnesses said she wandered through crowds of people shouting slogans in every direction ... 'Death to tyranny! Long live freedom! Long live Iran! Several people approached her and pleaded with her to cover herself and to stop acting out. She refused."

"Eventually, she stopped walking and removed her coat. She sat down on the pavement, tipped the can onto herself, and began to soak the lower part of her body with gasoline ... When she ignited the match, she was immediately engulfed in flames.

For a few moments she bore the pain quietly and remained on her feet. In a matter of seconds, however, her head fell backward and she released an enormous shriek.

Quickly, she collapsed to the ground on her stomach. Her head and torso scratched against the pavement as she used her arms to lift her torso so that the flames would not be smothered ... Tears poured from her eyes and she continued to cry out."

Five years after this gruesome suicide, Parvin Darabi and her son, Romin Thomson, co-wrote "Rage Against the Veil" to form an unabashed critique of Iranian religious laws as they pertain to the lives of women, and to offer a compelling look at Homa's struggle for freedom and liberty in the face of insurmountable challenges.

By reconstructing the circumstances of the sisters' childhood in Iran, Parvin traces the development of Homa's compassionate and politicized perspectives on the world around her. The book's straightforward, chronological narrative brings the tight knit, interdependent relationship between the two young girls to life, just as it distills Iran's tumultuous, complex political history to a day-to-day, cultural and familial level.

Parvin does a commendable job of documenting her sister's early, outspoken role as an anti-Shah activist seeking a self-reliant, self-determined future for Iran. Although Parvin's later accounts of Homa's life as a wife and mother struggling with a controlling, domineering husband, come across in a more disjointed and emotional manner, the reader is nonetheless given a thorough understanding of
Homa's mounting struggle with the multitudinous psychological and societal pressures placed on professional Iranian women.

"Homa was appalled by the laws of hijab," writes Parvin. "Of course, these laws are often the most talked about throughout the world. They are a quickly recognizable symbol of the treatment of women in Iran.

Proponents of the rules often argue that they are designed to protect the dignity of women and to prevent the male population from some sort of 'excessive fornication.

Nevertheless, beneath the surface and beyond the laws of hijab existed nationally sanctioned rules of law which were much harder to absolve ... From the beginning, Homa protested the establishment of the Islamic Republic by participating in demonstrations with other women and speaking out.

She demanded that democracy be instituted as it had been promised."

Versatile in both languages and cultures, Homa ultimately chose to forego the relative freedom afforded to her in the United States (Parvin's adopted country) for her beloved native land. As restrictions on women's behavior and appearance grew tighter through the early 90s, Homa spoke by telephone with her sister, detailing her mounting horror at the torture and public stoning executions of women who, unintentionally or intentionally, broke the laws that dictated strict Islamic appearance and conduct.

Eventually, recounts Parvin, Homa lost both her teaching appointments and her private practice over her refusal to fully comply with mandatory rules of hijab. Gradually, Homa slipped into a dark world of depression and hopelessness from which she did not escape until the moment of her public suicide.

Readers looking for a detailed examination of the present situation facing women in modern Iranian society will not find such analysis in "Rage Against the Veil." But the real-life story of this doctor and activist – trapped and punished by her society for not obeying the strict rules of conduct and appearance – is nonetheless a valuable one.

Cultural Relativism?

Homa's story is the kind of woman's experience that "Veil" seems to avoid acknowledging, even if only to weigh it against the benefits of veiling to those women who genuinely enjoy its political symbolism and religious significance.

Even so, El Guindi has the opportunity to develop an interesting and valuable thesis, on the issue of veiling as a form of political resistance.

Unfortunately, the incomplete nature of the work leaves her premise of empowerment surprisingly weak. While she devotes more coverage to Egypt, a country that has been the focus of much of El Guindi's fieldwork, she grants a scant three paragraphs of "Veil" to Palestinian women.

As chronicled in the essays and books of such writers as Mona Rishmani, Hamida Kazi, Philippa Strum and Kitty Warnock, Palestinian women's struggles are notable not only for their use of the hijab as a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation, but also for their protest against mandatory veiling.

Palestinian feminists and many women's groups have long decried the patriarchal control exerted by Hamas in the Occupied Territories, as well as in countries like Algeria.

Yet with only a hint at the pressures and physical abuses brought upon Palestinian women by Hamas over the issue of the hijab – a struggle that was particularly heated in the late '80s – El Guindi is more comfortable highlighting the role of the veil in Algerian women's resistance to French occupation.

And in her discussion of Algerian women's struggles, El Guindi overlooks the subsequent downfall of women's rights and freedoms after national liberation. "We will not be another Algeria!" was, in point of fact, a common rallying cry of many Palestinian women's groups active in resisting both Israeli occupation and Palestinian patriarchal domination throughout the Intifada.

In a valiant and important attempt to steer the discussion of Middle Eastern and North Africa women's lives away from the more close-minded, ethnocentric viewpoint that brands veiled Muslim women as little more than oppressed victims of religious dogma, El Guindi commits a perilous error of omission.

Namely, what happens when veiling, as in Iran, goes from being a brave, revolutionary tactic to an institutionalized, enforced norm?

What kinds of societal and cultural pressures – and life-threatening punishments – are brought to bear on those women who defy those norms by accident, or by intention? What happens to women like Darabi, whose visions of self-determination, freedom and democracy compel them to make their deep-rooted convictions known to the culture around them, and to endure consequent alienation, emotional suffering, and physical punishment?

The answers require a willingness to examine the issue from a host of women's life experiences and viewpoints. Taken together, these two, distinct works contribute to an overall understanding of the issue of veiling – and legitimately contribute to a growing body of exciting Middle Eastern, feminist literature.

"Veil," an academic work, also points to the fact that the diversity of Muslim women's cultural experiences demands a more balanced and open-minded approach.

Difficult and challenging as it may be to do so, the issue of feminism – defined by and for women in Islamic societies – requires that we take a carefully considered look at the multilayered complexity of these women's lives, and of their relationship to the veil.

Even as we should recognize and respect the self-determination and religious identity of women who abide by codes of Islamic dress, the struggles and cries for justice of women like Homa Darabi cannot go unheeded.


Silja J.A. Talvi is a Santa Fe-based freelance journalist and co-editor of LiP Magazine.



What the heck is going on with Venezuela?

The Guardian

For the past year or more, Venezuela's upper and middle classes, opposed to Chavez's government, have protested in the wealthy new neighbourhoods of Caracas, while the poor (the vast majority of the city's population) have come from their shantytowns and demonstrated to defend "their" president.

Chavez celebrated his overwhelming electoral victory of four years ago at the weekend, at the end of a week-long insurrectionary strike designed to force him to resign, and so far he has displayed a Houdini-like capacity to escape from tight situations.

In April, a similar scenario led to a brief coup d'etat, from which he was rescued by an alliance between the poor and the armed forces, and this time, the president says, he will not allow himself to be surprised.

The opposition has been hoping to repeat in December what it failed to achieve in April, but the situation is no longer the same.

The armed forces are now more solidly behind the president than before. The most conservative generals no longer hold important commands; those involved in the April coup attempt have all been sent into retirement.

The international situation is different, too. The US welcomed the April coup, but this time, with more important problems elsewhere, Washington is being more circumspect.

It has publicly thrown its weight behind the negotiations being conducted by Cesar Gaviria, the Colombian ex-president who leads the Organisation of American States.

Perhaps even more significant than the changing attitude of the military and of the US is the fact that the poor are more mobilised now, to such an extent that there is talk of a possible civil war.

Until the April coup, the poor had voted for Chavez repeatedly, but his revolutionary programme was directed from above, without much popular participation. After the coup, which revealed that the opposition sought to impose a regime on Pinochet lines, the people realised that they had a government that they needed to defend.

The opposition's protest marches have now conjured up a phenomenon that most of the middle and upper classes might have preferred to have left sleeping - the spectre of a class and race war.

Opposition spokesmen complain that Chavez is a leftist who is leading the country to economic chaos, but underlying the fierce hatred is the terror of the country's white elite when faced with the mobilised mass of the population, who are black, Indian and mestizo.

Only a racism that dates back five centuries - of the European settlers towards their African slaves and the country's indigenous inhabitants - can adequately explain the degree of hatred aroused. Chavez - who is more black and Indian than white, and makes no secret of his aim to be the president of the poor - is the focus of this racist rage.

The trump card of the opposition, in April as in December, has been the state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, often described as the fifth largest oil exporter in the world, and an important supplier to the US.

Nationalised more than 25 years ago, it has been run over the years for the exclusive benefit of its employees and managers - its profits being invested everywhere except Venezuela.

Before the arrival of Chavez, it was being prepared for privatisation, to the satisfaction of the engineers and directors who would have benefited. But with a block placed on privatisation by the new Venezuelan constitution, the company's middle class and prosperous elite has been happy to be used as a shock weapon by the leaders of the Pinochet-style opposition, and they have tried to bring their entire industry to a halt.

The vital task for Chavez is to bring the oil company back under government control, replacing the conservative management with the radical executives who had been forced out in earlier internal struggles. If he is to support the crews loyal to the government on tankers such as the Pilin Leon, he may yet need to impose a state of emergency to regain the upper hand.

· Richard Gott is the author of In The Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela
rwgott@aol.com


Venezuelan Majority Takes to the Streets, Coup Plotters Hide
By Al Giordano
A Narco News Breaking News Editorial
December 10, 2002


These are the hours of immediate history.

As in Eastern Europe 13 years ago, the final defeat of dictatorial power in Venezuela came last night at the doors of its “control rooms” – the TV stations.

On Monday night, the Venezuelan majority - unwilling to allow an upper-class economic coup d’etat that poses dishonestly as a “strike” to unseat its democratically elected government - took to the streets on a scale only seen once before in the nation’s modern history; as they had last April, when they turned back a military coup d’etat.

By early Tuesday morning the masses had every Commercial TV station in the nation surrounded. Their weapons were nonviolent and theatrical: pots, pans, fireworks and thousands of defiant but smiling faces.

Only at one TV installation in one of the outlying provinces - in Maracay State - did the public actually invade the facilities of a station that uses the public airwaves. Everywhere else, including at all the national TV stations in Caracas, immense restraint has been shown by the masses protesting outside of them.

The bluff of the former ruling class and its media – that their top-down imposed sabotage of the Venezuelan economy and oil industry of the past week is somehow a popular “strike” – has been called. The “strike leaders,” including corrupt oil union boss Carlos Ortega, have, in recent hours, disappeared from public view, abandoning their own supporters among the upper classes.

To make sure the coup plotters don’t flee the country, the neighbors of Simón Bolívar International Airport near Caracas have surrounded the airport as well.

The coup supporters, including the rogue ex-military officials from April’s attack on democracy who in recent days have called unsuccessfully for military coup, promptly abandoned Plaza Altamira last night, their physical base: the public stage they had occupied continuously for the past few weeks.

Coup Plotters' Plaza Altamira is Empty

Confronted with the rising of the more massive and true majority of Venezuelan Civil Society, the rogue officers and the elite of Caracas have retreated, returning to their homes to watch the conflict on TV as fireworks boom in the air all around them.

Meanwhile, the ostensible “mediator” of the conflict has cynically called for government repression against the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators assembled outside the TV stations. With that action, Cesar Gaviria has lost any illusory credibility in his aspiration to “mediate” the Venezuelan conflict. He should return to Washington immediately.

Gaviria, Go Home

Gaviria, secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), has just squandered whatever credibility the organization tenuously had as mediator in the Venezuelan conflict. He should leave Caracas immediately – where he has become a destabilizing force against democracy and constitutional rule - and cease posing as a “mediator” of a power-struggle in which he is, now transparently, a partisan player.

On the very same day – Monday, December 9th – that the permanent council of the Organization of American States (OAS), representing all nations in América, stated that “all the countries of the hemisphere ratify unanimously our support for Venezuelan democracy,” the OAS chairman, in Caracas, showed his contempt for that same Venezuelan democracy and the right of public assembly.

According to the French Press Agency (AFP), Gaviria “condemned” peaceful demonstrations by the Venezuelan people outside of pro-coup TV stations Globovision, Venevision, and other commercial media corporations. The “news coverage” of those media companies in recent days has been at extreme levels of simulation and dishonesty even for them: the people have had enough. Terming the popular assemblies as “acts of intimidation” against a “free press,” Gaviria called upon the Chávez government to use repression against the demonstrators.

“The secretary general of the OAS is deeply worried about the acts of intimidation against the installations of some of the principal media of the country such as Radio Caracas Television, the De Armas Group, Venevision and Globovision,” Gaviria stated through an OAS press release from the posh Melia Hotel in Downtown Caracas, according to AFP.

Gaviria expressed his “condemnation of such acts that put freedom of speech at serious risk,” reported AFP, and made “an urgent call upon the authorities to take immediate action to cease such threats. There can be no doubt that press freedom and free speech are two totally consistent elements with the existence of democratic principles.”

But in calling for government action against the free speech rights of the people to peaceably assemble, Gaviria revealed the false discourse of Power regarding “press freedom.” For Gaviria (and some corporate “press freedom” organizations), the libertinism of a paid press takes priority over the liberty of free speech by all the people. Nothing is more frightening to them – nor more important for Authentic Democracy – than a scenario in which the masses confront this era’s hijacking of the public airwaves by an elite minority.

For the past week, coup supporters demonstrated (as is their right, too) outside of Venezuela's public TV station, without a single word of protest from Gaviria or any "press freedom" organization, and without any repression from the Chávez government. Gaviria certainly did not term those demonstrations as "threats" or call on the State to "cease" them, as he did yesterday against the more popular demonstrations against media simulation.

The Venezuelan people have every right and duty to demonstrate outside of the commercial TV stations. Those media companies backed the failed April 2002 coup d’etat in that country with a big lie that “Chávez Resigned” when twice-elected President Hugo Chávez had not. For the past week, those commercial TV stations have nakedly attempted to provoke another coup by inventing another big lie – parroted by most of the U.S. and English-language press corps – that a management imposed work lockout in some sectors is somehow a “general strike.” Like “Chávez Resigned,” the use of the term “strike” is this week’s big lie; repeated ad nauseam in the hope that it will be believed by the gullible among us.

The problem for the Big Liars is that the Venezuelan majority didn’t buy it. The people – having watched foreign companies like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and British Petroleum lock their workers out for the imposed "strike" while the small neighborhood shopkeepers and businesses remained open – have, in this month of December of 2002, showed the world that “the big lie theory” for controlling public opinion no longer works.

Who the Hell is Cesar Gaviria?

Gaviria, the former Colombian president (1990-1994), was the chief beneficiary of the assassination of popular Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, whose elimination cleared the way for the Gaviria presidency. Gaviria was the president who allowed paramilitary death squads to gain a foothold in Colombia. It was Gaviria who sold his nation’s sovereignty to foreign powers and betrayed his own attorney general Gustavo de Greiff, after de Greiff had defied Washington by calling for drug legalization. And it was Gaviria who Washington later installed as secretary-general of the OAS in order to pave the way for Plan Colombia and military intervention in that country.

In recent days, Gaviria has ostensibly been in Venezuela as a “mediator” of the conflict between the oil-soaked oligarchy on one side and the supporters of the Constitutional democracy and the Chávez government on the other.

Washington’s discourse this week has been to feign support for democracy in Venezuela (while Spaniard intelligence operatives from Europe handled the hands-on dirty work of this most recent coup attempt) by making proclamations of support for Gaviria as mediator.

Now that Gaviria has called for State repression against the peaceful assemblies spreading like wildfire tonight throughout Venezuela, the true goals of this US-backed act of “Mediation Theater” are obvious to all reasonable observers. This was an attempted coup in strike's clothing.

Foreign powers and billionaire economic interests tried to fix the game by installing their own referee, Cesar Gaviria, in Caracas. But he’s not an umpire or referee. He’s a player for the team that has now lost the contest, an advocate for destabilization and repression, and it is time for Gaviria to get the hell out of the stadium.



winbook laptops

Got a nice discussion of what to watch out for in buying a laptop at Armed Liberal

WinBook Honored as "Laptop of the Year"

Monterey, California - October 13, 2002 - Here at the annual meeting of The State Bar of California, WinBook today was honored as "Laptop of the Year" for outstanding products and technical support.

San Francisco attorney Martin L. Dean, contributing editor of the "TECHnicalities" column appearing each month in California Lawyer and president of Essential Publishers, presented the award during his 20th annual two hour seminar reviewing the best of technology.

In conversations with WinBook officials prior to the meeting of the State Bar of California, Dean praised WinBook for "superb support," and stated that "In my experience, WinBook tech support is batting 100% for the speed, quality and relevance of answers by WinBook's tech support representatives."

"How can you even type on a 3-pound subnotebook?" Dean asked during the seminar. "Verrrrry slowly!" he answered. "The WinBook J4, with its large screen and comfortable keyboard is much better suited to the daily requirements of most attorneys than small subnotebooks," explained Dean.

"The WinBook J4 is a true portable replacement for attorneys' desktop computers," continued Dean.
"We are very pleased to be recognized for our products and technical support by Martin Dean of California Lawyer," said Richard M. Mershad, WinBook president.

"California, where WinBook has sold more notebooks than any other state, has played a critical role in WinBook's growing success," noted Mershad. "WinBook's research indicates that attorneys have bought more WinBook notebooks than any other profession or job title," said Mershad.

"We are particularly gratified by our acceptance by this especially discerning group of professionals," said Mershad.

ABOUT MARTIN L. DEAN

Martin L. Dean is an attorney in San Francisco, adjunct professor of law at The University of San Francisco School of Law and president of Essential Publishers (www.essentialpublishers.com).

WinBook J4 Critic's Reviews

PC Magazine

Desktop Replacements - December 3, 2002

"The J4 has four USB 1.1 ports (though not the faster 2.0); this is more than the other notebooks here offer, and more in line with what you'd expect for such a full-featured system. It also has one FireWire port, integrated 802.11b wireless capability, a TV-out jack, an IR interface on the back, and a combo optical drive. Though it lacks bundled multimedia software, the J4 is a good choice, especially if you're the type of person who has lots of gadgets that need to be connected."

The Detroit Free Press

Consumer Guide to Laptops - WinBook J4 Celeron 1.7 GHz - December 1, 2002

"The extra USB connectors allow for lots of peripherals and would make the WinBook serve as a good desktop replacement."

HiTechToys Television - Andy Pargh's Holiday Gift Guide

December 2002

"What are my favorite notebooks this year? WinBook. If you've followed my Gadget Guru new product reviews over the years, you know I'm a big fan of WinBook computers, and have been so for many, many years. Why? Because they're reliable. They're so reliable; you'll probably never even need their tech support."

"WinBooks are so reliable; you'll probably never even need their tech support. But you'll have the comfort of knowing that if you do, my reading is that they have the best tech support on the planet, bar none."

"This one (the J4 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 model) is a bargain price!"

The Gadget Guru's Holiday Gift Guide (from General Media)

WinBook J4 - December 2002

"Wrapped in a sleek silver exterior and equipped with a 15-inch SXGA+ screen, this notebook a true portable replacement for your desktop computer."

"Even better, if you ever need it, WinBook has the best, friendliest tech support on the planet."

The Washington Post

Second Chance: Desktop Processors in A Mobile Form Factor - WinBook J4 3.06 - October 16, 2002

"The J4 has some very unique features that allow it to rival some desktop systems."

"The J4 offers a 15" SVGA+ display with a max resolution of 1400x1050. The ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 (M9) with 64MB of video RAM feeds the display. We would rate the display quality as excellent. The Mobility Radeon in the J4 unit was clocked at 260MHz core and 200MHz RAM."

"When it comes to connections, however, the J4 is loaded with everything that you could ask for. The back of the unit includes a headphone jack, mic jack, printer port, VGA port, S-Video out, modem jack, and AC in."

"WinBook has gone the extra mile to keep the J4 well vented, as there are vents all over this system to keep it running cool."

"The J4 has a unique metal magnetic latch locking mechanism that connects the latch to the notebook unit when the lid is almost closed. This mechanism seems sturdy, and our repeated abuses of the case and lid to try to break the locking mechanism failed."

"The keyboard action was crisp and had nice travel with a good key size."

"The system monitors the battery charge capacity and adjusts accordingly. Throttling on battery power is obviously necessary due to the extremely high current draw desktop location of the CPU on the battery. In our test unit, when it was on a full charge and on battery power, the speed of the unit is reduced to 2.3GHz, which is only about 25% less than the 3.06GHz that you receive when the system is powered by AC.

We asked Matt DeLille, the Lead Engineer for the WinBook J4, what would happen if they let the CPU run at full speed, what kind of issues he thought we would see. His response was the following:

The battery pack will overheat and trip the battery thermal sensor, causing the battery to protect itself (i.e. system shutdown).
Unrestricted current draw will play havoc with the battery smart card and the battery is unable to calibrate charge levels correctly. The idea is to have a controlled discharge instead of an exponential discharge (especially when the battery charge gets close to EDV1).
Unacceptable battery life (approximately 75 to 90 minutes if unrestricted and running a heavy load; less than that if the battery protects itself).
WinBook utilizes the following methods for BIOS throttling on the battery in order to prevent these issues from happening:

If charge level is > 14%, then the system implements a 25% duty cycle. (The 3.06 would run at 75% speed or 2.3GHz.)
If charge level is < 15%, then the system implements a 50% duty cycle. (The 3.06 would run at half speed or 1.5GHz.)
WinBook selected these levels because they offer optimum performance while protecting the battery/ system."

"The J4 does everything possible to make the battery last as long as possible. WinBook also offers the user the option of turning on ATI's Power Play technology, which also helps increase battery life."

Battery Mark - Version 4.0 2:02 (hours/minutes)

"While it is obvious that WinBook cannot include all of the power saving features that the Pentium 4m offers, we found that WinBook's throttling strategy did allow the J4 to run at full speed while on battery."

"It is amazing to think that it is possible to carry a 3GHz+ chip in a mobile form factor."

"The obvious applications for a unit like this are for a user who requires the maximum power possible on a desktop in a mobile form factor."

"The J4 strikes a good balance in its performance, getting a lot of 'bang for the buck.'"

"Good performance and nice package."

"The clean, sleek, black color of the J4 is a bit more attractive than the previous J4."

"The J4 offers solid performance in a well-rounded package, and is a viable solution for travelers who remain close to a power source and aren't dependent on battery power. It offers a more than capable solution for those who want a system to carry to LAN parties, for example, or to take along on short trips."

"The J4 puts desktop performance in a desktop replacement form factor."

"The J4 indicates WinBook's attention to detail in its design, and both the CPU throttling to better extend the battery life and the excellent thermal design are features that deserve high marks."

The Washington Post

WinBook Packs Extra Might - October 17, 2002

"A-"

"Powerful processor, good video memory."

"With a Pentium 4 processor, 512M of RAM and a 40G hard drive, the WinBook J4 performed better than any other notebook reviewed to date in the GCN Lab. In our benchmark tests, it scored as high-4,878.1 on average-as some of the fastest desktop systems we've tested."

"The J4 would even be powerful enough to act as a file-and-print server on a small network, which is pretty impressive for a notebook. It shouldn't be pigeonholed for standard notebook tasks"

"It could play and eject CDs without being booted up. The speakers were above average, and there was a choice of Microsoft Windows XP operating systems."

The Columbus Dispatch

WinBook J4 1.7 - October 14, 2002

"Students will especially like its four USB 1.1 ports (for joysticks, cameras, a Zip drive, whatever), rather than the one or two found on many competitors. They're neatly tucked together on the unit's right side, for easy access."

"Consider it a digital-hub replacement for a desktop computer, but with a smaller footprint."

"Its 8-cell Lithium Ion Battery gets you almost three hours of computing time, or 2 hours of DVD watching."

Government Computer News

WinBook J4 packs a desktop-full of power - September 23, 2002

"Speed, performance, capacity make it a star among notebooks."

"The WinBook J4, one of the first notebooks with a Pentium 4 processor, packs plenty of power in a desktop replacement format."

"With a Pentium 4 processor, 512M of RAM and a 40G hard drive, the WinBook J4 performed better than any other notebook reviewed to date in the GCN Lab. On our Alterion benchmark suite, it scored as high-4,878.1 on average-as some of the fastest desktop systems we've tested."

"The J4 would even be powerful enough to act as a file-and-print server on a small network, which is pretty impressive for a notebook. It shouldn't be pigeonholed for standard notebook tasks"

"Best of all, the four Universal Serial Bus ports were located on the side, so the J4 could get away with only one CardBus controller."

"It could play and eject CDs without being booted. The speakers were above average, and there was a choice of Microsoft Windows XP operating systems."

RaveGames.com

WinBook J4: J is for Joy - September 23, 2002

"From the out-of-the-box sexiness, with its sleek wannabe-Mac Titanium look, to the mouth-watering options available (everything from wireless modems to 12 cell Lithium Ion batteries), the J4 did nothing short of turn us on. If it sounds like Geek Sex, it is - this is one of the best damned laptops we've ever seen."

"The WinBook display was also candy for the old opticals. With an ATI Radeon 7500 Chip Set (I had to save money for almost a month just to buy a 7500 All in Wonder for my PC, and it's standard in this laptop), and a 64mb Framebuffer, not to mention the simultaneous LCD/CRT support, you won't have any complaints for your peepers. The standard 1 GB of memory (two 512 144-pin SODIMMs) also helps speed things along."

"The ergonomic layout of the WinBook was equally satisfying, so much so that you may find yourself having a cigarette and making pillow talk after using it."

"An 88-Key keyboard with inverted-T cursor keys grace the front and the ports include PCMCIA, Parallel, USB, 15-pin VGA, Firewire, 1 SIR/FIR, V.1.1 compliant IRDA, and S-Video video out, and 1 RJ-45 Ethernet jack. That is one fully-loaded, built like a brick house, PC sexy mama."

"There are a ton of other options that you can get for the WinBook, including CDRW-DVD combo drives, built-in wireless antennas, and sound cards. The core processor is a desktop class Pentium 4 2.4 GHz package, so even stripped down the J4 is awesome."

"Perfect for system administrators who need a quick, mobile fix when one of the office workstations are down."

"A fast and visually powerful desktop that can be easily moved when the need arises."

"There's not much more to say - buy one if you've got the bills. They're not cheap (the model we tested was just under three g's, although a cheaper 1.7 GHz model was just under a grand), but they are well worth the money."

PC Magazine

First Looks: WinBook J4 - September 17, 2002

"With the hottest components and the best of everything, the WinBook J4 sets a new standard for desktop replacement notebooks and gaming on the go."

"Built around Intel's 2.4-GHz desktop Pentium 4 processor with 512MB of RAM, the J4 scored 46.2 on our Business Winstone 2001 tests, compared with 42.3 for the Dell Inspiron 8200, which uses the 2.0-GHz Mobile Pentium 4-M-currently the fastest mobile processor."

"The J4 delivered smooth motion and excellent background detail on three popular video games, as well as second-to-none DVD playback."

"The gray, brushed aluminum case provides room for such mobile creature comforts as a responsive keyboard with 19.6-mm keyboard (with a touch pad as well as a pointing stick) and audio CD controls that can operate with the system off."

"A stunning 15.1-inch screen, an ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics accelerator, a whopping 64MB of video memory, a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, a 40GB hard drive, and 512MB of RAM make the J4 better equipped than other notebooks and many desktops."

"Still, despite all its high-powered equipment, the J4 Is surprisingly quiet and cool."

"It's a good choice for those who want a portable that can handle the rigors of game play."

"The WinBook J4 has a stunning 15.1-inch screen and the hardware for compelling 3-D gaming."

Gear Magazine

WinBook J4 - September 2002

"Presenting the WinBook J4, the first laptop to run a Pentium 4 with no less oomph than a desktop."

"What does it mean to you, the layman? It means higher processing speeds and vastly superior graphics."

"Several Gear editors were invited to a demonstration and, friend, it was like what the sixties must have been. Colors, sound, everything just whirling and intermingling at supersonic speeds. What was it they used to say? It blew our heads? No, it blew our minds. That's right. It blew our minds."

USA Today

Pick a Laptop: The Perfect Accessory for College - WinBook J4 Celeron 1.7 GHz - August 14, 2002

"Price-sensitive parents, this one's for you: At $1,148, the WinBook comes in considerably cheaper than its better-known rivals."

"The WinBook J4 beats them all (Apple iBook, Dell SmartStep 200N, IBM ThinkPad R32) on price."

"…more than adequate for basic student tasks."

"The WinBook has a nice 14-inch screen, 256 MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive. While there's no FireWire port, it does include four USBs, double the number of its competitors."


He is a regular contributor to the "TECHnicalities" column which appears each month in California Lawyer Magazine. Dean is also author of numerous articles on technology which have appeared in a more than a dozen legal publications and Web sites. He has been lecturing for more than 20 years to attorneys on technology topics.

ABOUT CALIFORNIA LAWYER

California Lawyer (www.dailyjournal.com/CaLawyer) is a monthly magazine that combines hard-hitting legal news, case commentary, and coverage of technology and corporate counsel trends.

Each issue includes news, reviews, profiles, and opinion. California Lawyer brings together concise legal information and practical advice with entertaining features.

ABOUT WINBOOK

WinBook is the leading American direct computer systems company to focus exclusively on portable computing products including notebook computers, DVD players and LCD flat panel displays.

WinBook products have been recognized by the press with nearly 400 awards, including awards from BusinessWeek.com, CNET, PC Magazine; PC World, The Robb Report, Smart Computing and ZDNet. WinBook notebook computers are sold directly at www.winbook.com.

In addition, selected WinBook models are sold through value-added resellers and a growing number of retailers, including Micro Electronics' twenty-one Micro Center stores.






Anna's Belligerent Bunnies
thanks to A Voyage to Arcturus for the link to Belligerent Bunnies. I love the pictures - scroll down to see all the pictures.


Animal Tests Get Green Light

A federal court order has temporarily scuttled ALDF's challenge to an EPA program that could needlessly expose millions of animals to toxic substances.

Intended to identify chemicals that pose a threat to the human endocrine system, the program could require extensive testing of nearly 87,000 substances.

According to some estimates, as many as 1.2 million animals could be used as test subjects for every 1,000 chemicals the EPA analyzes.

"At the moment, about 20 million animals are used as test subjects each year. This program would quadruple that figure," says ALDF Executive Director Joyce Tischler. "We can't stand by and watch that happen."

Last year, ALDF challenged the EPA's plan for implementation of the program by filing a complaint on behalf of PETA, the Doris Day Animal League, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and other concerned parties.

The complaint contended that the EPA failed to investigate the full range of necessary tests — including alternatives to animal testing — within a timeframe set by Congress.

The complaint also charged that the EPA failed to consult with other federal agencies on its testing protocols (as mandated by Congress) and submitted animal and non-animal tests to differing levels of review, increasing the likelihood that animal tests would ultimately be implemented.

In December, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed the complaint. That doesn't mean the challenge to the EPA's testing protocols is over, however. ALDF and its clients are currently reviewing the possibility of an appeal.

And Bruce Wagman, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs on behalf of ALDF, says there might be more chances to intervene once the EPA finalizes its plans for the program.

"The EPA is just using the same old animal model they've been using for years without acknowledging that there are valid alternatives," says Wagman, an ALDF member attorney and partner in the San Francisco firm Morgenstein & Jubelirer.

"If the EPA doesn't take its time and really consider some of the alternatives to animal testing, there's going to be a lot of needless pain and suffering."




Police Brutality
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Courts, Cops and Canines

Police officers pledge to serve and protect, and most of them do. But animal advocates have noticed a disturbing trend recently. Some cops - a small minority, to be sure, but a growing one - aren't serving or protecting companion animals. They're shooting them.

Bradley Woodall, who tracks animal cruelty cases from ALDF's Portland, Ore. office, has seen a sharp increase in reports of police officers shooting dogs.

"I used to get one or two calls about this every month," says Woodall. "Now I'm getting one or two a week."

Fortunately, efforts to combat this trend have been bolstered by an important new ruling by a federal court. In October, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania policeman who shot and killed a dog named Immi in 1998.

Immi's human companions, Kim and David Brown, were preparing to move from their home in Reading, Pa., when Immi escaped from the couple's backyard due to a defective latch. An officer in a passing patrol car spotted the 3-year-old Rottweiler, stopped, confronted her and drew his gun.

According to Kim Brown, when she saw what was happening from her house, she screamed and called out to the officer, "That's my dog! Don't shoot!"

But witnesses say the policeman shot anyway, firing five rounds — four of them after Immi was already on the ground, struggling to crawl away.

The decision not only helps Immi's guardians in their quest for justice, but sets an important precedent for other victims far beyond the Keystone State. And it sends a clear message that dogs are not "fair game" for trigger-happy cops.

"It's very very difficult to prosecute anyone in law enforcement for animal cruelty because some district attorneys are going to assume that an officer did the right thing," says Barbara Newell, who co-authored ALDF's friend-of-the-court briefs in the case. "That's why it's so important that a civil case like this one has been allowed to proceed. It gives people a way to seek justice on their own."

Through ALDF, the Browns hooked up with attorney Deirdre Agnew, who filed a lawsuit on their behalf alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress and a violation of the couple's civil rights.

A federal judge dismissed the suit in May 2000, writing in his decision that under Pennsylvania law "a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress cannot be predicated upon harm to a family pet."

But the Browns appealed, backed by ALDF briefs on the strong emotional bonds between humans and animals, and the court agreed, noting "the strength of community sentiment against… animal abuse and the substantial emotional investment that pet owners frequently make in their pets."

Though the court was ruling on Pennsylvania law, its decision is likely to be cited in future decisions elsewhere, potentially extending new protections to animals across the country. And, says Newell, it's especially noteworthy when a U.S. appeals court recognizes animals as more than mere property.

"They've affirmed that animals aren't just insignificant chattel, and that you can expect someone to suffer from severe emotional distress if you violently kill their animal companion," she explains. "That's an important breakthrough."

Daton Fullard, a retired TV news producer in south Florida, could be one of the first to take advantage of that breakthrough. He's considering a lawsuit after discovering how difficult it can be to find justice — or even reasonable explanations — when a cop needlessly shoots a dog.

Late one night last year, a Miami-Dade officer walked onto Fullard's property, where his 11-year-old Alaskan malamute, Lord Atka, was chained. Fullard says the officer fired seven rounds at the animal, hitting him three times. Lord Atka survived, but eventually had to be euthanized due to the grievous injuries he suffered.

After more than seven months — and continuous prodding from Fullard — the police department finally released a report on the incident. According to its internal investigation, Lord Atka was threatening the officer, who believed he had to use deadly force to protect himself.

The department never said what the officer was doing on Fullard's property at the time, or why it took so many shots to subdue a chained Alaskan malamute, a famously friendly breed the Columbia Encyclopedia calls "by nature a gentle and devoted companion."

Fullard says the police report is "total hogwash." He recently began reviewing his legal options with an ALDF member attorney. He's not sure if he'll take the case to court, but he is sure of one thing: There was no reason Lord Atka had to die.

"I have friends in the police department who are very professional and do a good job. And it's a very difficult job.

That I understand," Fullard says. "But I have a problem with someone who would behave like this. If this guy is going to do this to a dog, what does he do with people? In my mind, he's a threat to the entire community."

Fortunately, the 3rd Circuit Court ruling could make it easier for ALDF and other animal advocates to seek damages when such tragedies occur, thus forcing police departments and city councils to address what has become a serious problem.

"It's really important to bring these bad apples to justice," says Newell.

"If they're allowed to escape punishment, it's not fair to all the other people in law enforcement who work so hard to protect animals and uphold cruelty laws. And it's certainly not fair to the animals."



Small Minds
"Bright Lights, Small Villages" by Nicholas Thompson and Ricardo Bayon

This article just infuriates me. Another argument to fund their work as opposed to someone else cloaked in rhetoric. Who has heard the blame America first argument that we are only a small % of the worlds population but use most of the world's resources? We all have.

This article argues that it is better to "help" (read fund) Africa go solar than to help U.S. citizens get off the grid. This argument is presented by researchers making over $60,000.00 a year.

How come there are no articles on what and why it would be good to help the U.S. go solar? Remember Jimmy Carter's weatherization program? CETA crews (picked from the unemployed and disadvantaged) would be trained (and paid) and then would go to low income houses and install and caulk decent storms and screens.

The current "weatherization" program gives the utility companies money to subsidize their unnecessarily high charges that low income people cannot pay during the winter months. All it does is disguise the fact that they are looting America.It does nothing to solve the energy problem.

We don't want those gas and electric CEO's to suffer.

I wrote the Midwest Alternative Energy Coalition and asked what tax benefits were available to a homeowner who wanted to get off the grid. Silence. Thanks, Mr. non-profit educational alternative energy organization.

Why can't I, in Wisconsin, get tax credits for building a house that runs on solar and geothermal energy? Why can't I get full tax credit or a grant to put a windmill on a farm like the Midwest Alternative Energy Coalition did??

Why can't the government sponsor teams to install solar on low income roofs in America?


Monday, December 30, 2002 Monday, December 30, 2002
Intellectual Comics
Salon Directory


And now even torture is OK in the name of security

© 2002 The Washington Post Company.......

The Israeli High Court of Justice in 1999 struck down the policy that the State Department had described as "often [leading] to excesses." But the United States -- suddenly engaged in a struggle against Islamic terrorism -- now has detained thousands of suspected Islamic terrorists abroad. And suddenly, practices that bear a striking resemblance to the old Israeli policy are taking on an American face.

That, at least, is the concern induced by an eye-opening story by Post staff writers Dana Priest and Barton Gellman. They report that CIA interrogations of captured al Qaeda and Taliban fighters employ tactics such as depriving them of sleep, forcing them to assume "awkward, painful positions," and "softening them up" with beatings by military police and soldiers. Interrogators may threaten to turn over noncooperative detainees to brutal foreign intelligence services, and in some instances they have actually done so. Interrogators have also selectively withheld pain medication from those already wounded when captured, the story reports.

But unlike the Israelis, for whom moderate physical pressure was open public policy, the new tactics -- whatever they may be -- are being kept secret. The government, in fact, denies it is torturing anyone, insisting that all detainees are being held in a manner consistent with the principles of international law. But what, then, to make of anonymous comments from officials involved in the detentions? One is quoted in the story as saying, "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job"? Another says that "our guys may kick them around a little bit in the adrenaline of the immediate aftermath" of their capture. And while the government denies that its purpose in transferring prisoners to foreign custody is so that other intelligence services can torture them, still another official says, "We don't kick the [expletive] out of them, we send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them."

Al Qaeda terrorists mean America great harm, and it is essential that intelligence operatives obtain as much information as possible from them. That process, at times, will not be easy. These grillings may not be governed by the same rules that cover domestic criminal investigative interrogations. Foreigners detained abroad fighting against the United States are not entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, after all.

But there are certain things democracies don't do, even under duress, and torture is high on the list. Some of the alleged tactics, while aggressive, may be legitimate: deceptions, for example, or psychological pressure. Others -- bright lights and lengthy interrogations that interfere with sleep -- straddle the line between acceptable and unacceptable conduct. Without knowing more about what exactly is happening, it's hard to judge. But beating prisoners is entirely out of bounds. The critical first step is for the administration to clarify what tactics it is using and which are still off limits. If administration officials have decided that moderate physical pressure -- once an abuse -- is now to be the norm in terrorism cases, the American people ought to know and ought to be able to respond through their representatives and through individual and organizational voices. It shouldn't be the administration's unilateral call.



Sunday, December 29, 2002 Sunday, December 29, 2002
The Fat Lawsuits
McSpotlight: press cutting

Think the lawsuit by fat people against the fast food McDamnYooos are just "ridiculous" and show a lack of "common" sense? Click above and educate yourself instead of repeating the big business line over and over, like it is your own idea.


Saturday, December 28, 2002 Saturday, December 28, 2002
cobwebs

I was watching a birthday tribute to Ladybird Johnson and She was talking about the drought, and saying she didn't like to see the land suffer. That is how it is for her , the connection with nature is visceral.

I was reminded again how much I personally have to thank them both for- Lyndon for the war on poverty that gave me my first job, a CETA job.

And as far as I am concerned, Mrs. Johnson started the Environmental Movement.

She always knew how important Nature is to Spirit. How much nature gives to everyone. She talked about clean air, clean water and the natural native flowers and grasses. So she made it her business to make sure everybody had some along all the highways of America. They made fun of her saying in her southern voice ... "Give what you can, a treeeee, a sur rrrhurb or a buuush"

They always ridicule that which is beyond their grasp.

Too bad that damn war ruined it all for the Johnsons, but maybe that is the only way they got to have 4 years together before he died. He died alone. She has macular degeneration - she is blind now.

Thank You Mrs. Johnson, may your path be filled with the wild flowers you love and may all the colors come back to you again because you gave them all to us.


Douglas and Solar Energy


Home Power Magazine - Your Small Scale Renewable Energy (RE) Source

Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.

And these impositions will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed only by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

Frederick Douglas


Thursday, December 26, 2002 Thursday, December 26, 2002
Snowmobiling = Cigarette smokers = Speedboater = ATV drivers: People who do not respect the earth or the other.
Protesters target park sleds
Rebecca Huntington
12/20/02, Jackson Hole News


Protesters wearing paper respirators waved signs and whooped at passing cars Wednesday just north of Jackson to protest the continued use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park.

More than a dozen protesters gathered Wednesday to make their point on the day Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks officially open to winter visitors. The protesters gathered at the south entrance sign to Grand Teton on Highway 89.

While some protesters wore respirators, one woman donned a green, foam Statue of Liberty crown. They held up a white sheet with a slogan spray painted in red that stated: “Read our lips! No more snowmobiles in our parks!!”

The protesters supported a phase-out of snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton that had been approved by the Clinton administration. The Bush administration revisited and reversed the ban as part of a legal settlement with snowmobile manufacturers.

Environmental standards should not change with political parties, the protesters said. The controversy has swirled around air pollution, noise, and how snowmobiles disrupt wildlife.

Yellowstone is one of the nation’s last sanctuary’s for wildlife and should be protected to the highest standard, the protesters said.

“There are times when you have to draw the line,” said Jackson Hole resident Ernie LaBelle. “It’s not that snowmobiles don’t have anyplace to go.”

Likewise, fellow protester Walt Farmer said: “Our national parks do not owe (snowmobile manufacturers) a living.”

Farmer said he is a member of the Fund for Animals and a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit filed this month to stop the Bush administration from overturning the ban. The Fund opposes grooming trails in Yellowstone because bison use the packed surfaces to walk out of the park to their slaughter.

The protesters were citizens who support the snowmobile ban in the park; they were not affiliated with any particular environmental organization, organizer Heather Smith said.

Smith got into an impromptu debate with Jackson Hole resident Adrienne Ward, who showed up to support the right of snowmobilers to use the parks.

Ward brought two signs that read: “Yellowstone is for everyone. Sledheads are taxpayers, too.” and “Ban the ban. Another point of view.”

Smith challenged Ward’s support for snowmobiles, saying that allowing the machines to remain in the park compromises Yellowstone’s pristine values.

Ward questioned Smith’s goal of no pollution in Yellowstone, pointing out that snowcoaches and cars also pollute the park. Ward asked if Smith planned to ban cars and snowcoaches next.

Ward, who said she didn’t snowmobile, said: “I don’t mind the snowmobilers. I think they have a right to be there.”

But protesters countered that snowmobilers ruin the experience of visiting a natural Yellowstone by creating blue haze and noise.

In reversing the ban, the Bush administration ignored public comment, the vast majority of which supported a ban, said Florida resident Kennan Ferguson, who was in Jackson Hole visiting his family for the holidays. The National Park Service received nearly 245,000 comments favoring a ban.

Ferguson held a sign that read: “dirty politics=dirty environment.”


Quark Soup
Quark Soup

December 19, 2002

THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON

My housemate tells me that her 3-year old nephew was just given a model of the Nativity Scene. He immediately proceeded to remove all the figurines, drove his Tonka trucks into the barn, and added his Bart Simpson dolls around the outside.

At least someone understands the spirit of the season.

"Christmas is forced upon a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press; on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred."
-- George Bernard Shaw

While the White House is going to spend an initial $19 billion on a weapons systems that won't work , isn't needed, doesn't target current or likely future threats, and in part doesn't even yet exist, it's cutting medical payments for senior citizen health care. Does it get any more stark than that, people?

Bush's missile defense, as was Reagan's, is about only one thing: enriching the major defense contractors. The program is being rushed through and test results are intentionally misleading or being kept secret.

We all know that no a terrorist group or rogue nation is going to target the U.S. with long-range missiles, when so many other simpler and cheaper terrorism alternatives exist. This isn't the 1950s anymore. It's not even 1985.

What a horrible scam. While people who can't get the cold war out of their heads are ready to spend a hundred billion dollars on something the country does not need, the government is cutting medical benefits for the elderly.

I hope that every elderly voter who voted for Bush, in all those red, rural states where plenty of people rely on Medicare, is happy with the tradeoff.

I think it stinks


Don't Blame the Democracts
Seeing The Forest

Dec 16......Here's how the right manages to have such an infrastructure in place, while progressives and moderates are left struggling with each other and barely getting their messages out to the public.

There's a lot of money out there on the right, but there's also a lot of moderate and progressive money out there. The difference is that the right uses its money to provide general operating funding to organizations that exist to come up with ways to convince the public to vote Republican.

The moderates and progressives have traditionally provided money for specific programs with the intent of doing good in specific ways. This is a huge difference.

The idea is that this program money is more results oriented, but look at the results.

The right uses this machine to get politicians elected that carry out their agenda, which involves dismantling almost everything that the moderates and progressives have been funding.

When this happens, the moderate and progressive money is wasted.


Ethel Blogs
This Ethel and (Eco)Logical are my favorite blogs. See, and I thought there was no one in the world I could stand to relate to for more than 6 minutes. And here are two people plus Rex. All hope is not lost yet.

Ethel the Blog

Observations (and occasional brash opining) on science, computers, books, music and other shiny things that catch my mind's eye. There's a home page with ostensibly more permanent stuff.

This is intended to be more functional than decorative. I neither intend nor want to surf on the bleeding edge, keep it real, redefine journalism or attract nyphomaniacal groupies (well, maybe a wee bit of the latter).

The occasional cheap laugh, raised eyebrow or provocation of interest are all I'll plead guilty to in the matter of intent. Bene qui latuit bene vixit.

The usual copyright stuff applies, but I probably won't get enraged until I find a clone site with absolutely no attribution (which, by the way, has happened twice with some of my other stuff).

Finally, if anyone's offended by anything on this site then please do notify me immediately. I like to keep track of those times when I get something right.

Another place to check out for something totally different to amuse yourself for hours. 3 Rivers Tech Review

And this onemay puzzle or shock you or both.


Scientific American Journal

Science to Save the World

Economist Jeffrey D. Sachs thinks the science and technology of resource-rich nations can abolish poverty, sickness and other woes of the developing world

His extensive travels have led him to realize the importance of geography, he informs me as we wait for his first appointment on a brilliant September morning.

"It isn't possible to do good economic development thinking without understanding the physical environment, deeply, in which economic development is supposed to take place," he says. He complains that this "physical framing" is hardly considered by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, nor is it taught to graduate students in economics.

As a result, "the physical scientists inherently feel that public policy somehow passes them by," Sachs remarks.

"They feel politicians neglect a lot of the important messages or don't understand the risks, say, of anthropogenic climate change or of biodiversity depletion." Yet he has often encountered a resistance among social scientists, who believe everything is at root a political problem.....more



Math=Truth=Beauty

You've always suspected that, deep down, mathematics rules the world.

As you read this, ex-physicists are probably devising ever more sophisticated ways to wager your pension fund on Wall Street, and no doubt five geniuses in a government agency that does not officially exist are developing data-mining algorithms that will calculate the likelihood your baby sister is a terrorist.

But there was little to no popular media coverage of the Aug. 20 announcement of the Fields Medals, the highest honor in mathematics. Given every four years to the best mathematicians under the age of 40, this year's prizes were awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing. No doubt you didn't even know they were getting together.

The medals went to Laurent Lafforgue of the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, in Bures-sur-Yvette, France, and to Vladimir Voevodsky of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. The 2002 Nevanlinna Prize, one of the highest honors in computer science, went to Madhu Sudan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Speaking by e-mail, Lafforgue said: "When non-mathematicians ask me what I work on, I don't try to explain it to them because I believe that this is nearly impossible. The same with mathematicians who work in other fields." Voevodsky is traveling and could not be reached. But Sudan has been successful, he said, in explaining his work to his 3-year old daughter. If she can get it, so can we.

Let us recognize that mathematicians are not like you or me. We the many can detect some beauty in the paintings of Titian, feel a certain sad hope in a Chopin sonata, recognize the grace in Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. But, most likely, the isomorphism between a modified motivic cohomology of an algebraic variety and the modified singular cohomology of its natural topological space does little for us.

Which is, really, a shame. For there is a beauty in mathematics, which you may have glimpsed that day in first grade when it struck you how peculiar zero was: that you could add it to any other number -- any number at all! -- and the number would stay the same. Or maybe you've encountered a slick little thing called the square root of -1. There are men who have this number engraved on their tombstones.....more, click above.



More interesting news from the (Eco)Logical Blog
Dec 13...........Parents protest U.S. schools irradiated meat plan - 12/13/2002 - ENN.com WASHINGTON ? The Bush administration's plan to allow irradiated meat to be served to millions of U.S. school children is raising the ire of some concerned parents.

Irradiation, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, exposes food to low doses of electrons or gamma rays to destroy deadly microorganisms such as E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella.

Under the U.S. farm subsidy law enacted in May, the U.S. Agriculture Department must allow government-approved food safety technology such as irradiation to be used in commodities purchased by the federal school lunch program. Some 27 million schoolchildren receive free or low-cost meals daily in the program.........................more.
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Dec. 13 entry ...Court clears way for Clinton ban on forest roads - 12/13/2002 - ENN.com Washington, D.C. -- Environmental groups claimed victory Thursday after a federal appeals court effectively reinstated a Clinton-era ban on road construction on nearly 60 million acres of U.S. forest land, overturning a preliminary injunction obtained by Boise Cascade Corp. last year.

In a sweeping 55-page decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said repealing the ban would open federal forests to logging, mining, and other activities, harming some pristine wilderness lands........................more

____________________________________________________________

Dec. 14...........Some months ago I posted on the attempt by officials in Canada to create a legal option for large predator (wolf and cougar) hunting on Vancouver Island -- really for tourism and votes -- in the name of "saving the deer population." To this end, there may also have been some real concern to save a deer population for hunters as well.

As I pointed out then, while the idea that the wolves and cougars hunt deer, and thereby limit their numbers, is absolutely true, the idea that they were hunting them to the point of extinction would be highly irregular. If such a process really were happening, it would point more towards some other underlying factor that was affecting deer health and reproduction, creating an unnaturally large population of cullable deer, and thereby greatly increasing the number of kills wolves or cougars were making. The emphasis would be away from wolves and cougars, then, because they would be the end part of the process and not the underlying cause.

However, it was my opinion that the data on the issue was completely inconclusive and there was no real evidence that deer population was indeed in the grave danger that was being predicted. Well, I'm happy to report an unexpected victory in this matter, with the caveat that now they are trying to go after large predators in the name of the marmot:...........................more

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Dec. 16...............Global Environmental Histories

Part of an ecological understanding of things is that everything is in relation and is changing over time systematically. Thus, it does some good -- but ultimately not enough -- if we change things in Ohio, but all the surrounding states don't update their own environmental activities and statutes.

The same holds true on the world stage. One of the big projects of our time will be the piecing together and attempting to understand the total environmental history of the planet.

When we have this, then we will finally be able to see the real nature of planetary development and its corresponding effects. The following essays -- one brand new from Finland -- are part of a free H-net series in global environmental history.

Some interesting topics.........more




Wednesday, December 25, 2002 Wednesday, December 25, 2002
I oppose hunting but support our right to own guns: here is why


Why I'm a Democrat With Guns
by an American-in-Exile-at-Home (guest contributor)

I'm a liberal in most ways, but not all. Enough to at least put me solidly in the "left-leaning Moderate" category. Now, I'm solid Dem, I think I cast one Repug vote in the last two even-year elections.

Since impeachment and the stolen election I'm so firmly in the Democratic camp you couldn't pry me out with a crowbar. And I don't mind worrying about the few issues that I do have disagreements with my party because quite obviously the alternative is a horror show.

An issue, like guns. Now I don't want to rave or argue about gun control. It's a difficult issue and clearly something must be done, but nobody knows what. Further, I'm not a huge fan of them.

I don't think I've shot one of mine in close to six years (better remember to oil them), but I'm happy they're there because I'm also a Jew. That means that I have strong feelings about fascism, and I quail when I watch people go without a fight to their doom. 12,000,000 Non-Jews and Jews perished like that.


Because my grandparents escaped Russia in 1920, I was spared that horror and raised an American. And I'm afraid I have a typically American male, macho view of that type of situation. When I used to fantasize as a kid, it would often be about being one of those brave little Warsaw Ghetto rats, fighting and fighting and killing Nazis among the rubble, so that when I grew up, I learned gun safety, purchased a couple guns, and stowed them away largely. In the back of my mind, as ridiculous as it often seemed then, I said to myself, "because I don't want to go down quietly if the Nazis come. I want to be able to run away and join the Resistance."

Now, relax a moment, I'm not going on a shooting spree. Even the fraudulent theft of the election is not a signal for all-out revolution. Far from it. Mostly our lives are very good, even now. Democracy isn't dead, it's only injured and defiled. If enough people speak loud enough in 2002 and 2004, maybe it can go back to "serious, but stable" condition. But my ironclad belief that "it could never happen here" has been severely shaken, perhaps stricken forever...though I hope not. ....more



War Women
"War Dames"

Since the Gulf victory in 1991, a series of largely unnoticed policy changes have opened new opportunities for women to fight alongside, and even to lead, front-line troops.

The Navy and Air Force, with some fanfare, allowed women into the cockpits of fighters and bombers. But less well known is how vastly the Army has expanded the role of women in ground-combat operations.

Today, women command combat military police companies, fly Apache helicopters, work as tactical intelligence analysts, and even serve in certain artillery units--jobs that would have been unthinkable for them a decade ago.

In any war in Iraq, these changes could put thousands of women in the midst of battle, far more than at any time in American history.

This new role for female U.S. troops is the product of three different forces. One is congressional pressure to integrate the military by gender as it previously had been integrated by race.

Another is the ongoing enlistment shortage; the military remains reluctant to admit women yet is unable to recruit enough competent men to staff an all-volunteer Army.

But the most important reason has been pressure from women within the Army who need combat experience to advance their careers, nearly all of them in the officer corps. And yet this experiment has been conducted largely below the threshold of public awareness. ... more


Pizza

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pizza

Radicchio and Parmesan Cheese Pizza

Zucchini Pizza with Feta

Seaweed Pizza

Pizza is an Italian "poor" food that has become one of the most popular and loved dishes in the world. Peasant families in Southern Italy used to make it with bread dough and garnished it with tomatoes and seasonal vegetables from their garden.

That's why pizza is such a versatile and complete dish: you can put on it every ingredient you like ("sweet pizza" is quite popular today, with its chocolate or mascarpone cream topping, sugar and nuts), according to your imagination and your taste.

Here, we offer you four vegetarian recipes, simple and mouth-watering, perfect for a summer dinner or party. They are just delicious, light and healty. Try the Seaweed Pizza and you'll never miss seafood or tuna pizza again!

Note: Using the extra vergin olive oil (possibly Italian) to season your pizza will enhance the flavour and nutritional value of the recipe. A little luxury you won't regret.



Earth Justice: Law Policy Center

OK, OK, I love this law site and I appreciate the work of this law center but please spare me the party line. And by that I mean the party line of lawyers.

"Tradition of an Independent Judiciary" - objective judges - this is a crock of lies fed to people outside the profession. The U.S. does not now and never did have an independant judiciary.

All judges have bias-most are very wealthy and come from wealthy families. They are ambitious. They are authoritarian. They are vicious in their methods of controlling their opponents. They silence people in their courts, in their profession and they attempt to silence their critics in the broader political arena. They use punishment and contempt.

Judges use words like civility to silence those who criticize or draw attention to their biases. They say they cannot discuss THEIR RECORD or their politics when they run for the bench. They ignore the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that those seeking appointment to the bench can and should discuss past cases they decided and that others decided. Judicial candidates even refuse to discuss the politics of organizations they belong to, such as the Federalist Society. They refuse to answer questions like "do you believe Roe v. Wade is a constitutionally correct decision? And the media agrees because it is too expensive to hire a legal researcher.

Sheep Sheep We behave like sheep and accept their lies in a civil manner.

Judges are biased on behalf of their own class and kind and they hide behind the need to be/appear unbiased. The Earth Justice Law Center below knows this. Like every lawyer they forum shop, wanting to appear before judges who are known to be liberal as opposed to conservative judges. They are using the party line to attempt to gain public support-your support. They lie and know they lie in service of a higher cause.

Their whole message below is that they will oppose the appointment of Bush's boys to the court.

I believe progressive people will continue to lose as long as we accept and promote the oppressor's values. We should be developing our own vocabulary, defining alternative values and exposing the lies that are commonly accepted as truths.

__________________________________________________________________________

Earth Justice: Post-Election Analysis: November 2002

It is hard to imagine what America would look like today if it were not for a series of groundbreaking environmental laws that passed in the 1970s and 1980s and for the judges willing to enforce them.

However, the American tradition of an independent judiciary as a core part of democracy, and the fundamental right of citizens to enforce environmental laws are both now at risk. Following the recent election, anti-environmental interests are now in charge of the White House and Congress.

It has therefore become more important than ever to oppose lifetime judicial nominations that would tip the balance in the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts and rollback environmental laws.

The current administration has capitulated to lawsuits brought by industry, refused to appeal rulings striking down environmental protections, and interpreted new rulings to limit environmental laws. The administration is continuing to advance this court strategy by nominating lifetime judges with a record of hostility to environmental protections.

At the same time, Earthjustice's role has become more important than ever, as the environmental community will have to rely on the courts to enforce the law and to reject efforts to rollback the clock on environmental safeguards.

More than two dozen federal courts of appeals' nominees, reportedly including two who were rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee, will soon be submitted to the Senate for approval.

In addition, by the end of the Supreme Court's session in June 2003, it is likely that one, and possibly two, Justices will retire, followed immediately by a Bush administration announcement of its nominee(s). A vote by the full Senate will follow.

Earthjustice's joint Judging the Environment project with Community Rights Counsel opposes the confirmation of anti-environmental activists to the federal bench.

In 2003, we will step up our research into the background of nominees, apply public pressure to discourage the administration from appointing judges with demonstrated hostility to environmental protections and work in conjunction with a broad coalition of environmental and other public interest groups to oppose judicial nominees with egregious records.

Vacancies in the next two years mean that the current administration could shape the judiciary for years to come by tipping the balance in the Supreme Court and in virtually every federal court of appeals.





Tuesday, December 24, 2002 Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Helga's Cowches

Please visit her site and see her cow soft sculptures

Here is an excerpt from a long essay she wrote telling about each of the cows living in the cow sanctuary she supports from the sale of her cow cowches......

Apple lives to eat. She got her name because she was tamed with an apple. Little did I realize at the time that she would eat almost anything. One day I was peeling an orange, and she came nibbing around. I held out the piece of peel for her to smell, thinking she would see it wasn't anything she was interested in.

She gobbled it up and begged for more. She ended up eating the whole orange. I regularly bring home bruised apples from the local orchard, for cow treats. Once they had soft peaches, and I brought them too, just to see what the cows would do.

Everyone ignored them, except Apple, who devoured the entire half bushel. Same story with tomatoes and beans. After everyone is done eating, Apple carefully checks the mangers for any leftovers, and cleans them up. When I put out straw for them to lie in, she eats some of that too. Needless to say, she is the fattest cow.

Oblainka didn't grow up with the other cows. She is an old, blind cow whose first owner was a rodeo cowboy that practiced bulldogging on her when she was a calf. Struggling against him was how she lost one eye, and all trust in humans. The other eye clouded over as a result of pinkeye.

The herd that she belonged to was pastured in a field very close to my cows. Their owner was going through some hard times, and didn't look in on them very often. When winter came, and the grass died, he didn't bring them any hay. They could see me feeding my animals, and would moo like crazy when the hay truck went by.

I couldn't watch them go hungry in the snow, so I started to feed them too. I noticed that one cow with white eyes was being pushed out by the others. She must not have been completely blind, or maybe she could tell with her hearing, but when I set a flake of hay down far away from where the other cows were eating, she came right to it and chowed down.

By the third day she didn't even try to fight her way into the main pile of hay, she just waited and followed me. That's how she and I became friends.

After about a month, her owner finally started feeding his cows, but when I went by, she still came running over. I'd give her a little grain, which she ate out of my hand. We did this through the winter. One day the man came with his livestock trailer. "That old blind cow isn't bred," he said. "Guess I'll beef her."

I asked him what she was worth. "$.60 a pound" he told me. I gave him the money, and she joined our family.

Cows are pregnant for nine months, just like humans. Eight months and three weeks later, she gave birth to Charlie!

Cows have an extremely strong maternal instinct. They really love their calves, a lot. I knew that Oblainka must have had at least nine or ten calves already, and that they had all been stolen from her, so I was happy for her that she was able to keep this last one.

She was determined to keep him, too, unaware that he wasn't in danger. For the next six months, if anyone except me came into the pasture she would position herself between Charlie and the intruder, head down, ready to charge, pawing the ground and throwing clods of dirt high into the air with her hooves.

Somehow she communicated to him that he was not to trust any humans, and he didn't let me touch him until he was three months old, even though she continued to eat out of my hand every day. Eventually she let him share the grain she was taking from me, and soon after that he decided that being scratched all over felt wonderful.

Oblainka still worried though, and would jump up the moment I entered the shelter, nudging Charlie to get up too, and be ready to run, if necessary.

As Charlie got older, she became less alarmed, and would let me move about the other cows without getting up, provided that I didn't come close to her and her son. The breakthrough came when Charlie was just over a year old. I came into the shelter late one night, to check on the cows before I went to bed. Oblainka and Charlie were lying down in a back corner.

I could hear that there was something wrong with her breathing. It was very loud and wheezy. I moved closer, slowly, so as not to disturb her. When I got right next to her and she didn't get up, I was sure that there was something seriously wrong. Pneumonia, I thought. Kneeling by her side, I tried to listen for the tell tale gurgle in her wheezing.

Then she woke up, and the terrible wheezing stopped. Oblainka had been snoring! When she sniffed me, and stayed lying down, I knew that at long last she trusted.

Every cow has a story . . . a number of stories. Not just mine, but each one of the billions and billions served. Every pot of beef stew was once a cow-person. Please think about it before you decide what to have for dinner.


Hospital-Insurance-Drug Complex: The REAL Axis of Evil

Is there any human being left who does not know that the cause of the high cost of health care is the same as the cause of the high cost of utilities? I will name it, that high cost cause is theft and corruption engineered by the owners and CEO's.

The Insurance Industry, Pharmaceutical Companies and Hospital Owners (often religious charities and churches) are making and stealing tremendous amounts of money from ill and dying people. And they are cooking the accounting books so that their theft is hidden.

Do you know the daily charges for bed and board only in a hospital is minimally seven thousand dollars a day?

Why?

You can hire a nurse and three aides for less than seven thousand a day.

Why can't America develop a network of smaller nursing homes around hospitals?

Then you do not need all the administrators and receptionists and big ticket items.

Do you know that the Drug Company's so called high costs of research and development is often done by our universities and by tax funded federal grants? The majority of the cost is subsidized by working people who get nothing in return, not even an education at those universities?

Do you realize most insurance companies will not pay claims nor insure those individuals who make claims or who have "pre-existing conditions? Do you know what their profits were for 2001? Do you know the salaries and benefit packages of the CEOs? That will be hard to figure out as the Insurance Companies have a bizarre system of ownership that makes it difficult to discover who actually controls your particular division or subsidiary.

The reason you do not know the answers to these questions is that the agencies and boards set up to regulate this Hospital-Drug-Insurance Complex are staffed by people who work for those companies.

There is no answer except the simple one. Don't feel guilty that you cannot spend what little time you have left in futile monitoring and comparison of policies. Do not be drawn into debates over the "fairest" alternative system. The multi-billion dollar medical-insurance-drug complex spends a lot of money devising accounting methods, and public relations campaigns to deceive their customer/patients. They have never been fair with us and never will be. Give up on the Citizen's Utility Board joke monitoring agencies.

Just start demanding that those you elect nationalize the rip off Hospital, Insurance and Drug industry complex. Don't be fooled again. This is the evil axis that threatens us with mass destruction. And don't wait till you or your child gets cancer to do something about it.


Contacts for the Federal Government
The Activist

To Contact the White House: www.whitehouse.gov
To Contact your Senator: www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm .
To Contact your Congressperson: www.house.gov
Don't know who your Congressperson is? Click on "Write your Representative" then enter your state and zip code. Voila!
For information on Congressional activity: thomas.loc.gov


Abortion and the Bush adm respect for a woman's right to choose

Keep talking about women in the middle east while you spit all over women in the US.

Joan Ryan: Pre-emptive strike on Roe vs. Wade, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 1, 2002

President Bush's secretary of health and human services [is spearheading] the move that, by next month, will redefine a fetus as a child eligible for federally funded health care under the Children's Health Insurance Program. This is the first time that any federal policy has defined childhood as beginning at conception. It flies in the face of the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that 'person,' as used in the 14th Amendment, 'does not include the unborn.'"


An Anthology of the Best Political Opinion and Commentary on the Progressive Internet

CrisisPapers

Nations, like families, can die of too many lies. The founders of our republic knew this, and gave us the First Amendment so America would be safe for second opinions that challenge official lies.

Because all of us are capable of deceiving ourselves, each of us needs a personal First Amendment operating within that would protect the quiet, fragile voice that occasionally rises uninvited to say, 'that's just not so -- that's not the truth.'...

"Beneath the distortion and deception of life in America today there is hard reality: the earth is threatened with pollution, nuclear weapons have been accumulating worldwide..., yet our public mind is filled with an image of America where the vending machines are always full, the wounded always recover, and the bills never come due.

We seem to prefer a comfortable lie to the uncomfortable truth. We punish those who point out reality, and reward those who provide us with the comfort of illusion.

Reality is fearsome .. but experience tells us that more fearsome yet is evading it."


Monday, December 23, 2002 Monday, December 23, 2002
A work by Melissa Huff: Chado - The Way of Tea

http://portalmarket.com/ceremony.html

Harmony

between ourselves and nature
between all the different aspects
of our surroundings
between nature's seasons and our
man-made environment
between us and other people
Harmony never means that everything becomes alike.
The point is to achieve a balanced relationship, not
between things which are identical, but between
things which are complementary.
... Harmony with contrast,
as in the black ink of
the words and the
space of the
white paper.
Harmony weaves everything together
into an intricate,
yet oh-so-simple web.

Respect

for the moment
for each person
for time
for ourselves
for the objects we use
for nature
Respect could
be defined as
the act of giving
particular attention
to the recipient.
In showing respect, we demonstrate
our understanding of the
interconnectedness of all things.
And having shown respect, we
understand even better
why it is valued.

Purity

of mind
(like the clear stream)
of purpose
(has everything unnecessary been swept away?)
of action
(at any one moment, we should be completely
focused on the action of that moment)
of vision
(do I see my goal clearly?...)

To be pure is to contain nothing
that does not properly belong;
so that we are not weighed down
or distracted by that which
contributes nothing to the good
of the whole.

Tranquility

the state of being free from agitation of mind
and spirit.

If we are in harmony with
our surroundings and if we
respect the moment and what
it brings us, then we can
achieve purity of mind, purpose
and action, and thus carry
with us a state of tranquility.

Tranquility

through the practice of
Harmony
Respect and
Purity
is ours to choose,
and ours to create
within ourselves.



Friday, December 20, 2002 Friday, December 20, 2002
Technical Difficulties

please stand by


Wednesday, December 18, 2002 Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Wisconsin DNR gets 1.7 million dollars to fight CWD


Wisconsin is broke. We are billions of dollars in the hole. Services are being cut. The legislature used all the tobacco settlement funds to "balance" the budget.

The DNR asks for 1.7 million dollars to kill deer and it magically appears although hunting revenue does not equal the taxes from one Milwaukee corporation.

The hunting culture is the last refuge of male machismo and they treat it as a sacred thing to be defended with every resource available.


Tuesday, December 17, 2002 Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Kenneth Dombeck who shot my 5 month old kittens, wounding one and killing the other with a bullet in the spine got his offense bargained down to a Disorderly Conduct and was fined about $700.00 dollars.


Make animal abuse an aggravated felony

I WOULD SIGN THIS PETITION (LINKED ABOVE) BUT REMEMBER - GOOD LAWS DO NOT MEAN A THING WHEN KILLERS ARE ELECTED TO ENFORCE THEM.

WISCONSIN IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE WONDERFUL LAWS. SO WHAT?

CLICK ON THE TABLE OF CONTENTS UNDER THIS ENTRY AND READ MY EARLY ENTRIES DESCRIBING WHAT ANIMAL ABUSE OFFENDERS RECEIVED AS SENTENCES IN WISCONSIN.

CHARGES CAN BE BARGAINED DOWN BY BRAIN DEAD DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.

CALLOUS PROPERTY RIGHTS ORIENTED JUDGES CAN GIVE NO PUNISHMENT AT ALL SAYING, EVEN THOUGH YOU WERE PREVENTED FROM CROSSING A PROPERTY LINE TO GET YOUR KITTEN, YOU ARE JUST AS BAD AS THE KILLER BECAUSE YOU LET YOUR CAT GO OUTSIDE.

Make Aggravated Animal Cruelty a Felony

On August 21, 2002, 17-year old Russell Watson, savagely beat a 1-year old pitbull, Rahkim, with a baseball bat. The beating was recorded by a security camera in a laundromat in which the puppy went into seeking refuge from Watson.

The video shows the pup entering the site limping and bloodied from Watson attacking him and hiding behind a row of washing machines. Watson can then be seen walking in dangling a baseball bat. The next thing the tape shows is sickening. Watson finds the pup, lines up the bat, and delivers several crushing blows to Rahkim’s head and rendering him unconscious. Watson then drags Rahkim out of the laundromat by his legs and abandons him a block away, leaving Rahkim to die.

Rahkim sustained severe injuries and on August 22, 2002, Rahkim’s owners/family had him euthanized. The puppy belonged to 10-year old Alexis Broadway who lives only a few blocks from where the attack took place. See Photo of Man Attacking Dog Released and Arrest Made; Beaten Dog Dies below.

Under Pennsylvania law, Watson will only be charged with a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor which sentencing is at least $1,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment. Pennsylvania is on of 21 states that do not recognize Aggravated Animal Cruelty as a felony. See State Legislature on Animal Cruelty below.

I understand that these 21 states may not recognize animal life to be as valuable as human life, hence, the misdemeanor statutes. However, tests show that violence towards animals is often linked to violence towards humans including family violence, school shootings, and serial killings. See Cruelty to Animals and Family Violence and Animal Cruelty: warning sign for other violence.

Unfortunately, animals can not speak up for themselves. The animals are counting on you to volunteer. Please sign this petition to ensure that people that commit such acts of extreme animal cruelty will be charged as felons and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The battle to make America a humane country is just beginning. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN IF YOU ARE UNDER 18.

*Photos in article will not be visible due to restrictions of this site.

This Petition requests that the laws of Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming are amended as follows:

Photo of Man Attacking Dog Released
MANTUA-August 21, 2002 — Philadelphia police hope someone can identify a man captured on video tape. He severely beat a dog with a baseball bat in Philadelphia's Mantua section.
A one-year-old pit bull named Rakim is clinging to life at SPCA headquarters with serious injuries following a vicious attack at the hands of a bat-wielding man.
Here is a surveillance photo of the man police say beat the dog senseless for no apparent reason other than he was walking down the street after getting loose.
The pit bull was in such poor shape, he didn't even have the energy to move when an officer tried to untie him from the wall.
Sgt. Roland Lee/Philadelphia Police: "He was lying there, had a broken jaw, multiple injuries and lacerations. He was taken to the SPCA. He was in very bad shape."
This is a picture (above right)of the alleged attacker police are looking for, armed with the baseball bat, as captured by a surveillance camera inside a laundromat at 35th & Spring Garden Streets. Steven Ngyen and his boss, Mr. Lee, say the dog was already bleeding when he ran inside the laundromat to escape his attacker.
Steven Ngyen/witness: "He beat like this and also me and Mr. Lee told him, 'Don't do it, don't do it.' But still he kept doing it."
Ngyen says as far as he could tell, the dog didn't attack anyone. He just happened to be walking down the street when he encountered his attacker. The dog is the pet of 10-year-old Alexis Broadway who lives a few blocks up the street.
Alexis Broadway/pet owner: "We would take him to the park and I would get in the wagon and he would pull me."
One-year-old pitbull Rakim is currently in grave condition at the SPCA. His leg may have to be amputated.
Alexis' father says the dog somehow got loose early Wednesday morning from his chain in the backyard, and he is devastated that someone would do this to their pet.
Ed Broadway/pet owner: "I could understand that if the dog was in the middle of attacking someone and he felt like he was in the middle of saving somebody's life, I could understand him saving somebody's life, but he just deliberately abused the dog."
Chances are one of our viewers knows who this man is, and police are asking that you take a good look at him.
He is described as a light skinned African-American male, last seen wearing a red shirt, jean shorts and carrying a baseball bat. It's likely he lives or frequents the area around 35th & Spring Garden. If you have any information on who this man is or his whereabouts, please call Southwest Detectives at (215) 686-3183.
(Copyright 2002 by WPVI-TV 6. All rights reserved.)

Last Updated: Aug 21, 2002
Arrest Made; Beaten Dog Dies
One-year-old pitbull Rakim was put to sleep on Thursday.

Beaten Dog Dies; Arrest Made
Russell Watson (left) is the 17-year old accused of beating a pitbull dog with a baseball bat. The images and the story have sparked quite a response across the region. Today the dog, a 1-year old pit bull named Rahkim, was put to sleep at the request of the owner.
A teenager accused of injuring a dog with a baseball bat in a beating recorded by a security camera was found on a corner and apprehended in an alley after a short chase, police said.
Officials said the suspect was a 17-year-old male and wouldn't release additional details. He was in custody and was charged with cruelty to animals and possession of narcotics, Sgt. Roland Lee said.
Police had released the videotape from a coin-operated laundry security camera and appealed for the public's help in finding a suspect. Officers apprehended the youth about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday after receiving an anonymous telephone tip, Lee said Thursday.
The graphic tape shows the pit bull, already battered, limping into the laundry and trying to hide behind a row of washing machines.
A man follows, dangling the bat from one hand. Moments later he can be seen carefully lining up with the bat and bringing several crushing blows down on the dog. He then drags the bloodied dog outside and out of camera view.
Police said the dog was found a block away suffering from severe injuries, including a broken foot and broken jaw. It had escaped from a yard at a neighborhood home, police said. Investigators estimated it had been struck at least 15 times.
The dog was being treated at a veterinary hospital run by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Police said the dog was conscious and its condition had been stabilized, but they were uncertain whether it would survive.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) Action News, the SPCA and even the police have been flooded with calls offering donations to help pay Rakim's medical bills.
If you'd like to make a donation, call (215) 426-6305, ext. 211 or 213.
(Copyright 2002 by WPVI-TV 6 and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2002

ANIMAL ABUSE AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

The following studies have explored the extent to which individuals who are cruel to animals are also cruel to their children and/or partners.
In relation to child abuse and animal cruelty:

Walker (1979) examined the records of families who had been reported to child protection agencies and those who had been reported to animal protection agencies in Pennsylvania and discovered that 9% of the families had been reported to both agencies.

• Hutton’s (1981) study in the UK focused on 23 families who were investigated by the RSPCA for animal cruelty and found that 82% of these families were known to social services as having ‘children at risk’.

• Deviney et al (1983) conducted a study in New Jersey of 53 families where abuse or neglect of children had been substantiated and who had pets. They discovered that 88% of these families had abused pets. They also found that 2/3 of the abusers were male adults and 1/3 of the abusers were children.

In relation to domestic violence and animal cruelty:

• In Arkow’s (1995) study, 24% of battered women seeking refuge, and 11% of 1175 women seeking restraining orders or counseling because of domestic violence, had observed cruelty to animals in the home by their abusers.

• Quinlisk (1995) found that of 72 women in a refuge, 86% had animals in the home and in 80% of these homes the reported abuser had been violent to pets.

• Ascione (1996) discovered that 71% of 38 women in a refuge who had pets at home had observed male partners threatening or actually harming or killing pets.

• Renzetti (1992) discovered an overlap between violence to pets and to partners by women in lesbian relationships.


The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Animal cruelty: warning sign for other violence - Thursday, May 3, 2001

A year-long study in the United States reveals that animal cruelty is a warning sign for other violence.
Animal cruelty is a warning sign that an individual, particularly a child, could be involved in other violent crimes, says the Humane Society of the United States. Such individuals could pose a risk to family members as well as to the community, the society warns.

The Humane Society has released the findings of a year-long study on animal cruelty in the United States as part of its "First Strike Campaign." This educational initiative was launched by the society in 1997 to increase public and professional awareness of the connection between animal cruelty and human violence.

Nearly a third of the intentional cruelty cases studied involved actions committed by male teens younger than 18. Many of these cases of cruelty to animals also involved some form of family violence whether domestic violence, child abuse or elder abuse, the researchers found.

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 7 million members, is the first organization to conduct a national study examining the prevalence of human violence as it relates to animal cruelty.

Cases studied were drawn from well-documented sources such as media reports and local humane societies. The HSUS compiled information from more than 1,600 cases nationwide that occurred between in the year 2000.

Girls and women are rarely responsible for animal cruelty. In the cases studied, 94 percent of intentionally cruel acts to animals were committed by males.

Thirty-one percent of the incidents involved perpetrators age 18 and younger. Four percent of those were younger than 12.

Family violence was part of 21 percent of the animal cruelty incidents.

"The high percentage of male teen-agers perpetrating intentional acts of cruelty against animals, and the large number of cruelty cases in which animal cruelty and family violence coexisted, should be a red flag to anyone concerned about reducing violence in our society," said Claire Ponder, HSUS First Strike campaign manager.

This kitten, whose eyes had be removed, was found tortured and abandoned in a Virginia field.
"You don't have to be an animal lover to see that animal cruelty is a warning sign that an individual could be involved in other violent crimes and could pose a risk to family members as well as the larger community," she said.

Many criminals, from youngsters responsible for shootings at schools to the most notorious serial killers, have had a history of cruelty to animals before acting violently against people.

Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school in 1979, killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, setting their tails on fire.

Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler" who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes in his youth. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer impaled the heads of dogs, frogs and cats on sticks.

More recently, investigators found that Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, the two teens responsible for the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, mutilated animals.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began to see a connection between cruelty to animals and other violent behavior in the late 1970s, according to agent Alan Brantley, who works in the bureau's behavioral science unit. Agents conducted a study of serial killers and found that most had killed or tortured an animal as children or adolescents.

The FBI now uses animal abuse as one of the indicators of possible violent behavior against humans.

Special Agent Brantley said: "Animal cruelty is not a harmless venting of emotion in a healthy individual. This is a warning sign that this individual is not mentally healthy and needs some sort of intervention. Abusing animals does not dissipate those violent emotions, it may fuel them."


Copyright 2001, Environmental News Network
All Rights Reserved


Source http://www.api4animals.org/doc.asp?ID=47#States



Thursday, December 12, 2002 Thursday, December 12, 2002
Hunters:Their Brains were Small and then they Died
Demographic shift threatens NRA, outdoors groups

By Evan Osnos
Tribune national correspondent

December 2, 2002

YARMOUTH, Maine -- Once or twice a week this fall, high school freshman Davis Asherman dons a kid-size camouflage jacket, pulls a warm hat over his dyed-green hair, and heads out with his dad to hunt for ducks.

Asherman, 15, is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but new statistics indicate that his children might not.

In a trend with broad political consequences, government data show a distinct decline in the number of American hunters, the outspoken outdoorsmen who helped turn the National Rifle Association into one of the nation's most powerful lobbying groups.

"Hunters have traditionally been the mainstay of the pro-gun movement," said professor Robert Spitzer, a gun-politics expert at the State University of New York at Cortland. "But if this decline continues, and there isn't much reason to believe it won't, over the next couple of decades there is going to be a major shift in the base and nature of gun practices in America."

The American population soared in the past decade, yet the number of adult hunters fell by 7 percent to 13 million nationwide, according to a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

More important, according to hunting boosters and analysts, the pool of young hunters such as Asherman is not deep enough to offset the loss of older devotees leaving the sport or dying.

"Everything is going in the same direction. License sales are down. Total hunters are down," said George Smith, head of the Sportsmen's Alliance of Maine, the state's powerful hunting association. "We have got the Youth Hunting Days, and those have been a success. But we're still not rebuilding hunter numbers. The demographics just aren't there."

Amid the national downturn, hunting maintains solid footholds in parts of the country, and it even grew measurably in a dozen states, such as South Dakota, Minnesota and Alaska, which retain vast rural stretches. Still, from Maine to Georgia and Illinois to California, America's busiest hunting grounds are facing declining turnout.

The trend is reshaping political debate in traditionally gun-friendly states, draining the coffers of wildlife agencies that depend on license fees, and spawning cultural standoffs between hunters and suburbanites, many of whom resent guns in their parks and wooded lands.

NRA reshaping itself

The trend is spurring the 4-million-member NRA to redefine its image as a more conservative voice of urban gun owners and 2nd Amendment advocates.

"Hunting is a very important segment of our membership, but people own guns for a variety of reasons, and the No. 1 reason is self-defense," said Chris Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.

The drop reflects many currents in American life from the spread of suburbs into rural land to the rise of year-round youth athletic seasons.

Loyalists see its decline as the death of a rugged, simpler way of life in which fathers took their children out to open lands to hone their shooting skills and possibly bag dinner.

Critics such as the Fund for Animals say killing animals for sport simply has failed to attract significant interest beyond its core of aging white males in a country that is more diverse every day.

Many in Yarmouth, a coastal town in Maine, still recall the time, a generation ago, when students would store their shotguns in the principal's office after an early morning bird hunt. But these days, many students are no more likely to hunt than their big-city counterparts.

"If I'm going to get up two hours early before school, it's going to be to play hockey," said Rob Kurtz, a Yarmouth High School senior. "I tried hunting once as a kid, but it never did it for me. I never got into it."

Groups target youth market

The gun industry and sportsmen's groups have launched aggressive recruitment efforts, ranging from hunting-themed toys to outings, in hopes of snaring younger and more diverse adherents.

Since 1990, the National Wild Turkey Federation, a hunters group in Edgefield, S.C., has invited 9,000 urban youths to its annual conventions to learn about the outdoors. The non-profit Becoming an Outdoors-Woman organization has grown since 1991 to offer weekend workshops for 20,000 women each year nationwide. For less-energetic newcomers, the Buckmasters brand Deer Huntin' video game is encased in a plastic toy rifle that lets users peer into a plastic scope and shoot at digital deer.

Despite these recruitment efforts, the number of hunters continues to decline. The largest drops have occurred in states with fast-growing suburbs, including Massachusetts, California, Delaware and Illinois. The Fish and Wildlife Service study, based on phone surveys, shows the number of Illinois hunters is down 31 percent since 1991, to 310,000. State figures, based on license sales, show a drop of 12 percent. Even so, officials say, that dip has cut license revenues by $500,000 to $6 million last year.

"When you have revenue falling at that rate, it's a major concern," said Tim Schweizer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "That is the revenue you use to pay biologists and to do the work of wildlife management, so when that falls, it is a major problem."

The effects also ripple through rural restaurants, equipment suppliers and other businesses that depend on hunters. In Wisconsin this year, a dearth of hunters--deterred by the deer-borne illness known as chronic wasting disease--is threatening to sap $100 million from the state's tourism industry.

Wildlife officials in Georgia expect hunter numbers there to fall 52 percent between 2006 and 2025.

Strongholds face standoffs

As hunting fades, the sport is encountering political opposition in some of its traditional strongholds. Six towns in Maine have passed or considered hunting restrictions in the past two years, limiting where, when and how animals can be killed.

Town leaders in Yarmouth suspended hunting last fall in a 250-acre wooded park amid concerns that cross-country skiers and dog walkers could be shot accidentally. The ban sparked soul-searching in the town and, ultimately, hunting was allowed to resume this fall, albeit with stricter rules.

To Smith, of the Sportsmen's Alliance, the debate hinted at more standoffs to come.

"In my 53 years in Maine, we have never been so challenged by anti-hunters," he said.

Nationally, advocates on both sides of gun issues say the sag in hunting will have a more gradual impact in Congress than in state legislatures, particularly regarding gun control. With both houses of Congress and the White House in Republican hands, gun-control activists say they do not expect success in the near future. In its most recent survey, Fortune magazine last year declared the NRA the country's most powerful lobbying group.

Gun-control lobby pleased

Still, many gun-control advocates celebrate the decline of hunting as a long-term factor in their favor. As the NRA seeks new supporters among conservatives, the gun-control lobby sees a chance to persuade moderate gun owners to back "sensible gun control."

"As the NRA sheds its hunters, they are left with the hard-core members," said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control group.

To some pro-gun lawmakers, however, fewer hunters in Congress already means fewer allies.

"You get people coming to Congress now who don't know a shotgun from a rifle, or a bolt-action from a semiautomatic," said Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), an opponent of gun control and founder of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. "It's obvious when they make speeches about guns that they don't know what they're talking about."


Copyright (c) 2002, Chicago Tribune




800 MILLION DOLLARS; EVERYBODY MAKING MONEY ON THE BACKS OF USA CITIZENS: Int'l Narcotics and Law Enforcement
The Assistant Sec of State in charge of Int'l Narcotics and Law Enforcement testified in front of the House Govt Reform Committee.

17 MILLION DOLLARS PAID TO THE DRUG COMPANIES for spray to eradicate heroin poppies in Columbia.

Then there is money for training pilots (take 6 or more months),money for airplanes parts, "premium payments to contractors", the military personnel and their bases, and the other countries like Equator----

The payments to families when they shoot down and kill missionaries and innocent pilots - --

Payment for training of the kill pilots.

They lost more aircraft in Columbia then they lost in desert storm.

731 Million dollars total. 439 Million for Columbia;--- the rest for Peru, Equator, and Bolivia.

SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY ONE MILLION DOLLARS AND THEY SAY THERE IS NO MONEY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY.

Republican Mica wants more money so they can go into Mexico and do the same thing there - the drug companies favored by the Bush family will make a killing.

There are additionally not included in the above budget, the salaries of DEA agents and their expenses, and their administrator's salaries and their expenses.

Then there is the MICRO HERBICIDE PROGRAM that Rep John Mica Republican from corrupt Florida wants more money to implement.

BUT NO MONEY TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FOR UNEMPLOYED US CITIZENS.

ONE OTHER WITNESS TESTIFIED. Adam Isacson, Senior Associate for the Center for International Policy.

Democracts requested this witness yet none of them showed up for the hearing to ask questions.
And they wonder why they are in the minority.

Herbicide/fumigation is ineffective - an annual that grows in 120 days - is hard to find.

Spraying since 1976 coca in Columbia has tripled production.

When crops are sprayed, the income is taken away from farmers - no income replaces it - the farmers join the guerrillas. Opposition hardens.

Herbicides destroy the eco-system - here Republican John Mica laughed, and defended herbicides.

Isacson continued ---- Replacement industries is the solution not spraying.

He shows that securing a pipeline is the real goal.

Ginny Rose Predicts: This is Viet Nam all over again - this is the way it started - no one paid any attention - that is the way it will end.


Monday, December 9, 2002 Monday, December 9, 2002
In every state -non-hunters threatened by hunters - property rights ignored! USE THE PETITION IN THIS ENTRY
Almost every state in the Union has let hunters get totally out of control through the enactment of hunter harassment laws. Why? Because the states think they are making a lot of money off hunting.

And it turns out they also lied about the economic value of hunting to Wisconsin. All we heard for years was the great economic value of hunting to Wisconsin but the Nov. 17th Journal Sentinel did an excellent analysis of the actual economic benefit of hunting to Wisconsin. To sum it up, "everything that hunters spend money on, from guns to clothing to travel to land use , amounts to one third of the revenue generated by Briggs & Stratton", a local Corporation.

So they have allowed their Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) to be staffed by hunters and those who support hunting to the exclusion of all other activities. The DNR and like depts. in other states are very limited mentally and killing is their solution to everything.

The DNR ridicules the idea of animal birth control although it has been used successfully to control deer on islands where hunting is not allowed.

Our Wisconsin DNR:
Kills swans;
Advises people to kill stray cats;
Support staff who club starving cats to death;
Built the wild deer herd for hunters until we now have 1.5 million deer in Wisconsin;
Now advocates year round hunting to exterminate the entire herd in its' "kill zone".

Wisc DNR publicized the fact that it had to exterminate all deer in their " kill zone " so CWD would not spread to the rest of the state deer herd;
and demanded millions from the government to do it.

Most of the farmers and retired vets and biologists in the "kill zone" fought the DNR in an organization called CAIDS but it was hopeless. Well not quite hopeless: "As of September 5th, over 70,000 acres are being protected. CAIDS volunteers are now organizing the eastern half of the area with a goal of creating over 100,000 acres of protected territory."

Meanwhile, the DNR praised their killers like this " Yeah, we got some great citizens out here really doing their duty. Yeah, some of 'em killed as many as 60 deer and fawn this year. They are really helping - really great people"

The legislators follow the DNR like sheep. Most of them are hunters, even the women.

During the last hunt the DNR found CWD in other parts of the state outside the "kill zone".

Now there is absolute silence from the bright lights at the DNR.

Killers are stupid. That is just the way it is.

My question is, what is wrong with the rest of us that we keep letting them lead us deeper and deeper into the swamp? The "hunting/butcher culture has loosed these killers on all the rest of us and the killers are made bold by those who tell them killing for sport is a legitimate pastime.

They are showing their killer hunting videos on television now. You can hear them praising each other for killing---- whew boy that was a great shot - you got him --- whoo terrific hit man -- see him jump and twist whoo I couldn't tell if you got him but you got 'em gooood! Children are with them - Children are watching on TV ---Their tolerance for killing, approval of killing for fun , is teaching children to be cruel and insensitive. These children grow up and we meet them on dark streets and in parking lots late at night.

WISCONSIN

GINNY'S STORY

I was victimized by hunter killers who used my kittens for target practice, hitting one in the spine and another in the neck -- all my cats have bullets in them. The "neighbors" were convicted but the Judge was sympathetic to them. I was then prosecuted for "allowing my cats to go in their yard". I had been forbidden to cross the property line to get my cats when they ran there. I received a sentence 10 times harsher than the killers received. I had to move as the Judge threatened to kill my cats if they went in the killers yard again. He said he would "impound" them based on nothing but the word of the killers, who lied constantly and tried to run me over on the street in front of my house.

They were excused for everything and assisted by the police. I believe this is because of the hunting culture and the hunting brotherhood. It is entirely out of hand and normal people better wake up. There is a brotherhood of child molesters, animal abusers and killers out there and they protect and cover up for one another. They are powerful and we better get organized. You think you are safe? You are not!

TEXAS

Found your article---We live in the rural area of Texas and year after year the problem with hunters is increasing. We do not lease our land for hunting. Our closest neighbor has decided to become lazy and live off deer hunters. Friday afternoon they begin to shoot at our house and we called the law. They were shooting deer on a wheat field beside our house and land, it looked like a slaughter house.

Last week they wounded a deer and it came through our back yard, if we say anything to them we are
afraid they will get us for hunter harassment. Also, our neighbor has informed everyone in the neighborhood that he is in control of them and we are to mind our own business.

Our local game warden and sheriff do not like these hunters, they have fined them for numerous offenses, spot lighting and kill deer at night. Fences and gates mean nothing to these hunters. This neighbor has about 20 of them on his 3,000 acres, which is way too many.

They drive by our farm to market road and throw out beer cans. Scary thought, rifle in one hand and drink in other. We need to paint COW,HORSE, and BULL on our livestock. Deer blinds: They have tied them to boundary fences and some of them are turned toward another man's land-----he doesn't lease either. Then we discover that they have a M14 assault weapon and are using the clip, repeated 75 times. Sounds like a WAR Zone.

We have mule deer and white-tail, they graze in front of my house every afternoon, but unfortunately
they do go other places.

No laws or regulations about shooting toward highways, market roads,
dwellings in our county. What do we need to do in order to get some regulations to protect us? We
need help. Our county has many of the large ranches in it, they seem to bring in more and more hunters each year.

Next to these large ranches are many small farms/rural homes. Got a call from one of the small farmers this morning. He has a job in the day and trys to do some of his farming in the afternoons and on weekends. Well, here's the problem----hunters across the fence told him they would file harassment charges because the tractor he was plowing with was making too much noise.

Guess he can go back to the old days of horse and plow. Also, he has small children--lives in the country and is concerned with the fact that these hunters can carry any weapon into this county without any check.

At this time the only game warden we have is taking care of several counties. We need our own.

We are also a county of many dirt roads, these hunters are costing the county major bucks. They have large 4-wheel trucks---these either leave deep, deep ruts in the mud or get stuck, then the county road graders have to try fix the roads.

I think before this hunting season is over there will be many more concerned citizens. We will work on some meetings. I hope we have a few rights left.



LOUISIANA

REX'S STORY

We were here exactly six months and after the six months, they set-up this hunting club all around the town of Arcadia practically in our front door, 130 yards!

We believe the timber companies; Willamette and the smaller timber companies started these hunting leases, as of this year being bought out by Weyerhauser(probably spelled wrong).

Anyway they are owned by Georgia-Pacific based in Georgia a conglomerate of monopolized billions destroying the environment with papermills that emit dioxin into the air and water.

The paint peels off of the vehicles and homes immediately surrounding these paper mills. Who knows what this does to the peoples' lungs in Monroe,La.?

And the odor of the papermill in Monroe, almost turns a persons stomach.

Sorry I got off on a tangent, one cause and effect after another in Louisiana.

We too despise hunting animals especially in hunting clubs a.k.a. known as garbage dumps, because they dump lead shot which contaminates the water supply!

We found your article is a carbon copy of the negligent State of Louisiana with governor Mike Foster who proudly supports the slaughter of innocent and defenseless Wildlife referred to as "hunting".

Happy to learn this is his last year and cannot run for re-election again! Foster also ignores the thousands of Non-hunters' and does not acknowledge Non-hunters' being shot at, threatened, and/or slandered by certain criminal hunters' that drive by, shooting in front of peoples' home and then run like cowards!

Yes, this is the "real" Louisiana hunters that target animals and people, a very thin line!

The millions of dollars received from hunters that unfortunately frequent this State does not support education, highways, nor victims of Gun Violence from hunters! These millions of dollars are used to breed more Wildlife simply to supply hunters more wildlife to slaughter!

Hunters are unfortunately "protected" by Local Law Enforcement, because the laws in Louisiana protect hunters NOT non-hunting citizens who pay billions of dollars in taxes to support the State of Louisiana.

Local Law Enforcement denies that HUNTERS:
drive by shooting in front of peoples' homes,
shoot over neighbors heads,
ricochet bullets off of neighboring trees,
cut private posted property wire fences,
build Deer "stands" on private posted property,
damage private vehicles,
dump Deer torsos in neighboring ditches,
dump Deer heads of Doe Deer in the parking lots in Wendys drive in restaurants(two heads were found during hunting "season" in Monroe, Louisiana),
stop in front of neighboring homes urinating (at 7:25 p.m.,1/11/5/02 in front of our home),
shoot assault weapons day & night
and never be prosecuted for their malicious malevolent crimes!

Because local Law Enforcement never prosecutes the criminal members of hunting clubs!


Yet, they have a law against "Harassing Hunters In Louisiana" > 648.1? What about the harassment of Non-hunters' when the stupid gun blast echoes through your home when people are attempting to live in peace.
Dec. 16, 2002

Just got through talking with the deputy here, we had another drive by shooting, they drove by from the woods while we were getting groceries out of the trunk of our car (they could not see our vehicle, we parked it behind our home and no lights were on), and shot six times across our new driveway we had just drove in at about 10 - 12 minutes before the shooting.

This black or navy blue Ford Ranger club cab small pickup turned off his lights as he drove by, turned around at the stop sign, came back down the road and shot six times with a pistol, semi-automatic, revolvers don't have a recoil that fast.

He pulled the trigger as fast as it would shoot, he shot towards the flea mkt approximately 1000 yards away! There are merchants, about 25 or 45 over there packing up their sale items fixing to leave. They fled towards the woods while I was standing there by the road they fired one more shot as they travelled towards the other direction towards the woods.

INDIANA

Indiana Hunter Harassment
BOB'S STORY 11/30/2002 8:37:00 AM (FROM THE FUND FOR ANIMALS WEBSITE)

As a private landowner with 250ft of lake front, the IDNR told me if I do anything on my property that disturbs duck hunters or any hunter I can be arrested and subject to property confiscation. ie… fire a gun, mow my grass or anything they (the hunters) think is scaring off wildlife.

The officer also told me it would be best if I stayed out of my front yard until the hunters left around 10am (for the entire hunting season), the hunters told him that’s when they’d be done each day.

What are my rights as a land owner?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PETITION

The Non Hunter's Right to Safe Space Petition is being circulated by the Non Hunters Legal Defense Fund (NHLDF) which can be reached at:Rex Stuart nrghtsco_2000@yahoo.com

Here is a copy of the petition - duplicate it and circulate it in your state or just click the link above and sign it on the web. Send copies of completed petitions to the NHLDF c/o Rex Stuart above for eventual use in the passage of federal legislation.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

This petition is circulated to demand that the State require that all citizens have a safe space between them and private and public land where hunting is allowed.

We the undersigned herein demand that our elected Representative introduce and work diligently for the passage of legislation regulating land used for hunting.

The state should require landowners to keep a safe space around the border of their property where hunting is not allowed. This safe space should be the length of the trajectory of the most powerful weapon allowed on that land for any purpose.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the bottom of the petition have the name and address of the person that circulated the petition. That person should know the people who signed or have seen ID from everyone they do not know who signed. If people sign by web, the website should have the e-mail address of every person who signed over a website.

When you have at least 35% of the population in your representative's district signed up; deliver it to the STATE senator and representative and send copies to Rex at the NHLDF.

_____________________________________________________________





Saturday, December 7, 2002

Body and Soul: A Blog by Jeanne d'arc
I want to read The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xiran and The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell but I have no money to buy it so I was perusing blogs in search of content heavy material and found an interview on Lefty Directory that satisfied me.

It was about a woman sharing power with other women - something you do not see that often. I read an interview this woman did and then went to read her. I was pleasantly surprised which sure has not happened in a long time. I needed this. Go to her blog. Read something that feels like those all night talks we used to have. One of the best things she does is turn you on to THE READER where you can find good old fashioned hard core feminist rant on the return of the Girly Kulture in corpo(rat)e America (Dec. 4th Disposable Women).

Seeing a female hand on the boss's knee under the conference table bodes ill for all the men and women who live by a code of working hard and playng fair.

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves (Part 2)
Jeanne d'arc http://bodyandsoul.blogspot.com/

I got an amusing e-mail this morning from a reader who was offended by the very idea of a "sexist list" of women bloggers.

Well, as somebody more articulate than me once said (I can't remember who, probably either Winston Churchill, Dorothy Parker, or Mark Twain -- between the three of them, they seem to have said pretty much everything worth saying): What's the point of writing if you can't offend someone?

The kicker was the remark that men don't make an issue of things like this. You'd never hear a male blogger say that he was putting someone on his blogroll just because he was a man. Men are above that sort of nonsense.

(By the way, does anybody remember Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady," singing the hilarious ode to clueless misogyny, "A Hymn To Him," perhaps better known by its refrain: "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like a Man?" -- I don't know what made that pop into my head.) Men never complain about unfairness.

Honey, give me more than my fair share and I promise I won't complain about it either. Word of honor -- I'll take it like a man.

Now the truth is, I'm not adding a lot of women to my list because they're women. I'm adding them because they're good, interesting writers who I enjoy reading. In fact, a lot of them stayed off my list longer than they should have because even though I started writing this blog thinking I would write about nearly everything that interested me, at some point I realized that I had an audience that was primarily interested in politics, and while some of the women I'm adding are purely or mostly political writers (and some of them pretty gender-neutral in their writing), a lot mix political, personal, spiritual and a lot of other issues together -- as I do, but with a different balance. They didn't seem to quite fit on my blogroll.

There was a element of sexism in my sense that they didn't fit. Sexism isn't just flat out hatred of women. It involves all kinds of subtle ways we devalue women's lives and contributions. We all grow up so immersed in sexism that it effects everyone. Including women. And including women who define themselves as feminists.

And when I thought some styles of women's writing "didn't fit," what I was thinking, I realized, is that because a lot of women tend to approach things from a very different angle than men, there was something not quite right about it.

Different, therefore wrong. Even though I liked it.

But eventually I realized it's my blogroll, I can do whatever I want with it. (I grew up in a time when women -- at least poor, Irish Catholic women -- didn't think, let alone say, "I can do whatever I want" with anything, so sometimes it takes me awhile to find those words -- another little legacy of sexism.)

If my blogroll's got people on it who write about needlepoint and church suppers and decorating and volunteer work and fat and chocolate and two-year-olds' temper tantrums and homeschooling and why John Ashcroft is one of the poorest excuses for a human being God ever made, and that's not what most people (especially male people) expect when they read a political blog, well, that's what it is. That's the way a lot of women write and think -- valuing experience and interesting connections, not argument.

Men just aren't used to it because it's the way we talk to each other, not to them. (Most of them anyway. I do know a few wonderful men who are in on the secret.) Maybe if we start, they'll get used to it. Maybe we'll change the way people think about political discourse. (Believe me, there's a lot of overlap between politics and cleaning up after small children.)

So, diatribe completed, here is my latest batch of first-rate women bloggers. I hope they are especially offensive and blatantly female today. If they're not, I m..........

And she gives a whole list of women bloggers.

And if you want to know more about her, she does an interview about herself here.


Macho Wisconsin-Great for Killers; Bad for Women

From the Janesville Gazette Nov. 19, 2002, page 1:

A report released Nov. 2002, by the Institute for Women's Policy Research in Wash. D C, gave the state an F for reproductive rights and marginal grades for political participation, economic status and overall health.

The Woman's Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation co-published the study. The study used Federal Census, Labor Bureau, Health and other statistics for its research.

For women Wisconsin was ranked:

15th for political participation

20th for employment and earnings

19th for social and political autonomy

48th for reproductive rights

18th for health and well being

Sex education and insurance coverage of birth control expenses help women gain control over the timing and circumstances of having children. Women having this control are more likely to prosper financially and socially.

Yet Wisconsin women are almost the worse off (48th) when it comes to sex education, access to safe abortion, payment for birth control;

Although 69% of women voted in 2000, only 25% of state legislators are female;

Wisconsin women earn 2/3 of what men do;women's median average wages were $26,000 compared to $37,200 for men;

Only 25% of Wisc. businesses are owned by women;

1/3 of single mothers earn below the federal poverty guidelines of $15,020 for a family of three;

Wisconsin was ranked 3rd for women in the workforce (68%) but only 37th for women in management or professional positions;

Black women hold only 4% of executive and management positions and the state imprisons black women at a higher rate than any other state.

Welfare to work has been great at removing women from welfare and useless as far as training them for employment that can actually support their families. As a result they work at jobs that pay slightly above the minimum wage and must hold two jobs just to pay the bills.

IN THE MEANTIME, I LOOKED UP THE WISCONSIN WOMEN'S COUNCIL, WHO USED TO DO GREAT RESEARCH ON THE PROBLEMS HAMPERING WOMEN FROM ADVANCEMENT IN WISCONSIN. THEY NOW, AFTER 10 REPUBLICAN YEARS, RUN A CHARITY COLLECTING OLD CLOTHES TO PASS ON TO WOMEN GOING FROM WELFARE TO WORK.

THE WHITE MIDDLE CLASS LADIES BOUNTIFUL SOCIETY WOMEN'S COUNCIL.

-----Original Message-----
From: Virginia Rose [mailto:raylaw@greenconsciousness.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 11:52 AM
To: info@wwc.state.wi.us
Subject: publish the minutes


I think the woman's council should put the minutes of their meetings on their site. It does not seem as if they do anything now.


----- Original Message -----
From: Mnuk, Katie
To: 'Virginia Rose'
Cc: Anderson, Jessica
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2002 5:35 PM
Subject: RE: publish the minutes


Dear Virginia:

Thank you for your interest in the Wisconsin Women's Council, and for your suggestion regarding the Council's web site. We are currently considering re-designing the web site and may make several changes in the coming months. I appreciate your suggestion regarding the minutes, and will add it to the list of options and additions under consideration. In the mean time, if you send us your mailing address we will add it to our mailing list so that you receive copies of future meeting minutes.

You may be interested in some of our recent projects, many of which are featured on the web site. They include the Financial Education Blueprint, a tool kit that includes an extensive list of financial education resources for groups to use in providing financial education to women throughout Wisconsin.

In addition, we've developed and maintain a list of organizations throughout Wisconsin that accept and disseminate used clothing to lower-income women, and will be working with Wisconsin Women in Government on a used clothing drive in May, 2003.

We also publish a directory listing women's resources throughout Wisconsin; please let me know if you'd like us to mail you a copy of the current edition.

Again, thank you for your interest in the Wisconsin Women's Council.

Sincerely,
Katie Mnuk, Executive Director
Wisconsin Women's Council
phone: 608 266-2219
fax: 608 261-2432


Dear Ms. Mnuk:

Thank You for your thorough response to my letter.

I saw those 2 projects but you are not supposed to be a charity group or a hotline resource for other groups.

The task force was established to investigate and expand the rights of women, if it is necessary in any particular area.

I do not want the minutes mailed to me. I want them on the site so all can read them. I also think the mission statement might be a good thing to have on the site.

Sincerely,

Ginny Rose



Hershey, Rex and Sister
Rex tells Hershey's Story:

I gave my Sister a beautiful black Rabbit four years ago, just got news that "Hershey" died the other evening.

My sister rescued a Wild Rabbit that was injured by some domestic Animals on the loose. She had surgery done on her Wild Rabbit. Miss Rabbit died of kidney failure 9 years later, a long time for a wild Rabbit.

Hershey was a Rabbit that I rescued from a traveling fair in Georgia four years ago. Our vehicle stalled in the parking lot where the fair was to take place and I saw the Rabbits. So I walked over looking at them and asked if I could purchase one without having to "win" one. My sister' Rabbit had died the year before. I told him, I would like to purchase one for my Sister to kinda fill the void in her life, she missed her Rabbit so much.

He said no at first, however,while I was working on my vehicle he walked over to me and gave me one.

He said,"pick out anyone you want". I thought he was joking, however he wasn't.

So he gave me one of the black pair (only two black ones, the others were white; approximately 20 white ones).

I offered him some money ($5.00) but he wouldn't take it!

Hershey was the only Rabbit that, while holding her,she would grab a pen out of my shirt pocket and throw it to the floor. She would do this over and over as many times as I replaced the pen! We didn't teach her that either, don't know how she learned. She was very tiny when we rescued her from the fair. Hershey was a special Rabbit; at least she had a good life for awhile.

So anyway, I made a Sympathy card poem for my sister in remembrance of Hershey and any other Animal that is missed by family members. Your kitten's lives that were taken from you, this poem is for them too.

After I wrote this poem, and every time I read it, it helps my feelings about Hershey.

In Memory of Hershey and All Companion Animals,

Rex's Thoughts:

Life hands us a challenge
of some kind
every day
We strive to overcome them
in thoughtful ways.

Life goes by
too fast,
We try, try,
to make good times
last.

When our companion's
destiny is beyond our control,
In our hearts
we know,
we must console.

Hershey Speaks:

I know a void
in your life
there will be.
But when you get lonely
you can think
of me.

You really loved me
for who
I was.
Rescuing
another
like me
would be
a good cause.

I said Goodbye
that very sad day
But in my tiny world
I always
want to play.

When you look at the rivers, the forest,
or streams,
I want
to be forever
remembered
in your dreams.

Though letting
me go
is hard to do,
you know
I remain
a part of you too

By rescuing me
and saving my life
You fed me, you housed me
protected me from strife.

I knew,
it was time to depart,
Protecting me from harm,
you have done your part.

In my last thoughts
when I looked up at you
the protector
one of
the remaining
but growing few.



Friday, December 6, 2002 Friday, December 6, 2002
More Wisdom from the DNR on CWD Hunting; Chain of Fools
I am not making this up!

Below is a Headline from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 3, 2002, page 7B.

DNR PLEASED AS GUN-DEER SEASON RANKS AS 5th SAFEST
2 HUNTERS SHOT TO DEATH:ONE SUFFERED HEAD INJURIES IN A FALL

Three hunters died during the gun-deer season that ended Sunday-one of the safest seasons in Wisconsin. ....There were 17 accidental shootings that injured hunters. A 13 year old girl who shot herself in the foot and a 14 year old boy shot himself in the buttocks. 10 hunters were struck by bullets fired by their hunting partners.

A 14 year old boy shot a man when a deer jumped between them; a 13 year old boy shot his father in the back; a 30 year old man shot "something brown" which turned out to be a man wearing brown pants; 3 hunters shot at one deer, and hit a 61 year old man in the head.

Another man died when he fell out of his tree stand but since the DNR only counts shootings, that man's death was not included in the hunting deaths tally.

A total of 618,000 people purchased licenses, 10% fewer than 2001.

Last year 5 died but one was a homicide and one was a suicide, according to "authorities".

The Non-Hunters Rights Group found the below hunting statistics collected by the Bear Interest Group.


According to the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA), hunters shot 1038 to 1780 people per year in the US and Canada during 1987 to 1997.

The IHEA listed the situations for 822 of the shootings in 1997 as follows:

193 victims were mistaken for game.

143 victims were obscured by vegetation or were in their homes or vehicles.

140 victims were not noticed as the hunter quickly swung and shot at game.

28 victims moved into the line of fire.

318 were victims of firearms accidentally discharging. Accidents occurred whether the hunters were hunting deer, bears, foxes, raccoons, crows, turkeys, or other game.

Weapons were shotguns (70%), rifles (25%), other firearms (4%), and bow and arrow (1%).

Many of the shooters were careful, experienced hunters who had taken hunter safety courses.

Bullets ricocheted, traveled for miles, or ripped through leaves to hit someone out of sight.

Alcohol, Trespassing, and inexperience were occasionally factors.

Shooters were as young as 8 years old.

Anxious hunters shot partners wearing blaze orange who they knew were there, and they shot people they glimpsed wearing a brown jacket or a grey cap.

Victims of stray bullets were sitting in their homes, out taking walks, or driving.

Other victims were pets and livestock.

Much more on their site; just click on the link above.


Thursday, December 5, 2002 Thursday, December 5, 2002
Januska's Blog

From:Januska's Blog Nov. 19, 2002, making the same connections as we all are; an intelligently written entry.

I listen to CNN all day long and it struck me the other day that I was hearing a lot about abortion and the new bankruptcy bill. Of course it made me pause for a moment and wonder......WTF?!? Apparently the bankruptcy bill that is still being hashed out would allow people that have been fined for illegally protesting outside facilities that perform the above-mentioned medical procedure to include that debt in a bankruptcy. Now anyone that knows me know I am an advocate of choice, however, this just seems ridiculous on both ends. Why would the Republicans include this in the bill? And why would the Democrats hold up a bill based on a small number of people and in the grand scheme of things, a small amount of money?

The other, Homeland Security & Autism.......this bill is all over the place if you ask me, but from my perspective the Republicans are trying to do a few favors for those that have contributed so generously to their campaign funds. Pharmaceutical companies being some huge contributors, one in particular who manufactures Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative that use to be used in vaccines that medical professionals now believe may cause Autism in children. If the Homeland Security bill passed today it would shield the company that makes Thimerosal from being sued by the parents of children with Autism who received these vaccines. I understand the idea behind shielding the pharmaceutical......

................for more click above on Januska's Blog


Wednesday, December 4, 2002 Wednesday, December 4, 2002
Heroes fight to free American children from the Arab slave states; American Law Firms represent Slavers

Just one comment: I have absolutely no conflicts about where I stand on Islamic or Arab Culture: Slave Religion, Slave Culture. I will dance on the grave of all patriarchies. For those of you who worry about invading Iraq or the war on Afghanistan, here is a reasoned discourse on the subject of multiculturism.

I believe, if I find rape, genital mutilation, submission and lack of choice oppressive to me, I had better not justify it for other women in the name of cultural differences. For that is betrayal of those women who are desperately waiting for the less oppressed to help them.

And as for waiting for those women to object before I speak out against their slavery, I understand that death and torture without refuge will silence even the bravest of us. If we could collect honest suicide and homicide statistics in Arab countries, that would document their protest but -hey no stats - no problems..

PLEASE E-MAIL C-SPAN AND ASK THEM TO RE-RUN ALL HEARINGS HELD for 3 days between June 12 and Oct 3rd, 2002, by Indiana Republican Representative Dan Burton, House Government Reform Committee Chairman, on the issue of American children kidnapped by Saudi Arabian fathers and held in slavery in Saudi Arabia.

PLEASE ASK C-SPAN TO RE-RUN THE HEARING HELD TODAY DECEMBER 4TH, 2002, by Indiana Republican Dan Burton, House Government Reform Committee Chairman, on the misnamed "custody" issue.

When the abducted girls are 16 they are sold to other families in slave "marriages". Some mothers have been fighting for their children since 1984. I remember trying to publicize their cases in the 1980's but it was hopeless. Now that the fascist Arab slave-holding nation has produced terrorists who killed Americans just as they routinely kill Israelis, more attention is being given to these abducted children.

It turns out that our State Dept. worked with the Saudi's to betray these mothers and American women who had married Saudi's and were being held as slaves in Saudi Arabia.

One American wife of a Saudi who managed to escape to the American embassy with her children was turned out of the embassy by the marines and given over to the Saudi religious police.

Our government encouraged US citizens to hire and pay Saudi "attorneys" to regain custody of their kidnapped children in Islamic courts when the State Department knew those attorneys could not help those mothers even if they wanted to help, which they did not. These Saudi "attorneys" had nothing but contempt for the unsubmissive western mothers (and in fact all women). They treated the mothers sadistically telling them they were being punished for going to the press.

Saudi lobbyist Law Firms, Dutton and Dutton and Patton and Bogs of Washington D.C. get $200,000.00 a month to obstruct these mothers and keep these children slaves in Saudi Arabia. The mothers called Saudi public relation firms, Hill and Nolton and Korvis Corporation, and the Gallenger Group, torture lobbyists for Saudi Arabia.

Indiana Republican Representative Dan Burton is an absolute hero for women and should be honored and supported by all of us till the day he dies and then he will remain honored in my soul until I die. When all legislators ignored us and refused to admit that what the Saudis do to women is criminal, regardless of their culture or religion, he called the slavery of women in Saudi Arabia criminal.

Slavery is criminal and no religion or cultural practice justifies it. And our State Department protected the Saudis, not our children. They sold the Arabs our children, and worse, sold female children to receive in return cheap oil and the favor of Saudi princes.

Sold our female children to a nation that gives women 40 blows with a whip if their face shows too much from behind a veil, 40 blows while the woman holds the Koran under her armpits. They cannot drop the Koran or the beating starts all over again. Count to 40 slowly - how does it feel? Now, what if it was your daughter?

And one of the interesting facts that came out in this hearings, is that when the wife of the Saudi ambassador was found to be funding terrorists, Barbara Bush and Alma Powell called the princess to offer her their full support. The Bush family and Colin Powell's wife, their hands dirty, offering our country's support and protection on a silver platter to their wealthy slave masters while Bush, puppet of the slave nations, talks cowboy tough on television about "no child left behind".

Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln has agreed to work with the House Committee and is lobbying Biden and Luger to hold hearing on Saudi child abductions in the Senate. Please e-mail Luger and Biden to ask for hearings on Saudi child abductions and our U.S. State Department's complicity and active co-operation in the kidnappings.

Moreover U.S. citizens are being held as slave wives by Saudi men who lured them into the country for "short vacations" and then refused to allow the women to leave.
These women, now slaves, have been denied sanctuary in U S Embassies and turned back over to the Saudis for punishment.

Democrat District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has been active on the House Govt. Reform Committee on this issue and spoke out against the Saudi ambassador and the Saudi power structure's lies and evasions. She warned the Saudis that this would be a bi-partisan issue. I think she is wrong. You understand, now that Bush and the Republicans are in the majority, Burton will be removed as the Chair of this committee and the Republicans will silence this issue for their Saudi friends. Only your protests will keep the issue alive.


House Reform Committee member Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney from New York spoke urging the passage of HR 5715 which expands the list of people who can be denied visas to include the extended families of abductors. She said the more Saudis inconvenienced by these abductions, the less popular will be the continued enslavement of the children.



Tuesday, December 3, 2002 Tuesday, December 3, 2002
(Eco)Logical Warns of Hartz Flea Drops Recall - Thousands of Cat Deaths!

I went to this excellent web site to get the e-mail address and LOOK what I found.

I say anyone still forcing their animals to wear flea collars is a sadistic idiot. If you do not believe me, YOU wear one for 60 minutes. I DID IT. You will be sick at the end of 30 min. - if you wear it an hour you will vomit and/or have a headache that will not go away.

BUT DO NOT BUY OVER THE COUNTER DROPS.
GO TO THE VET AND GET FRONTLINE OR REVOLUTION.
AND BUY NOTHING FROM HARTZ.

Go to the Vet and get Frontline or Revolution (one of them will not kill ticks - I always forget which one)
A little dab in the shoulderblades and it is over for a month. Not perfect but better than a flea collar.

Pesticides Recalled After Killing Cats

Thousands of illnesses and deaths in cats and kittens have led to a recall of some flea and tick products, along with new warning labels and other protective measures.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said last week that safety concerns stemming from use of two flea and tick control products for cats and kittens, led the agency to persuade the Hartz Mountain Corp. to enact measures to reduce potential risks to pets from using these products.

Under an agreement with the EPA, Hartz has ceased the sale and distribution of Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops Plus for Cats and Kittens and Hartz Advanced Care Brand Once-a-Month Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens. The company will recall these products, and repackage and re-label its existing stock of the pesticides to educate consumers about their risks.

MUCH MORE ABOUT THIS ON HIS WEBSITE - go read it



Messages from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)
Begin communique

At 2:00 AM on November 26, 2002, anonymous cells of the A.L.F. and the
E.L.F. visited the Mindek Brothers Fur Farm (4200 Shannon Road) in
Harborcreek, Pennsylvania. Before disappearing into the night, a large
fire was set which completely destroyed the farms feed barn and it's
contents, causing extensive financial loss.

The A.L.F. is also claiming responsibility for releasing 200 breeding
mink in May and 50+ in September from the same farm.

Working together, cells from A.L.F. & E.L.F. demolished this feed
facility due to it's role in the systematic torture and killing of
thousands of innocent creatures yearly - animals which possess the same
complex emotional/physiological traits as loved household pets, yet are
denied all reasonable consideration and confined to a miserable
"existence" in tiny wire cages hardly large enough to turn around in.

Imprisoned in fur factories, these solitary creatures are forced to
endure intensive confinement for the entirety of their lives, next to,
or not uncommonly, packed into the same excrement and disease laden
cages as their doomed relatives. In their natural state, these animals
maintain a vast territory encompassing several miles. However, on fur
farms such as this one, most of these semi-aquatic animals "enjoy" less
than 24 inches of space, living on chicken wire, exposed to incredible
levels of disease, cannibalism, and weather extremes. With what is
essentially still a wild animal, these squalid conditions produce a
perpetual state of chronic distress, unimaginable to human beings. This
stress leads to severe psychosomatic illness, causing disturbing
behaviors like self-mutilation, cannibalism, and incessant pacing and
scratching in attempts to escape from their prison.

After experiencing the blistering heat, filth, intensive confinement,
and other amenities of the mink shed for half of a year, they are either
gassed, electrocuted, or have their necks snapped. If they are
genetically superior, they often stay on the ranch indefinitely in such
conditions, only to be killed in the same manner when they lose their
usefulness.

These cells have witnessed all of these things and more just as
disturbing, first hand at this farm, and feel that they must pose this
question to the public.

Would this deplorable situation be allowed to continue if the animals
happened to be cats, or puppies perhaps, rather than their canine
relative the North American Mink? Clearly, it would not. Brutality is
brutality - these animals are no less deserving of basic "rights" than
the animals we call our friends, and the law protects as such. Thus it
is, in the face of this glaring hypocrisy, with their very real
suffering in mind, that we take the justice and mercy that the law fails
to provide into our own hands, and provide it for those who cannot act
in their own defense.

The economic value of a dead body or a frivolous luxury item can not be
compared to the inherent value of a life - thus unnecessary killing is
absolutely unjust. This has been recognized by much of the rest of the
world, and in multiple cases, fur farming has been completely banned by
other "first-world" governments. It is time for the worlds most
accomplished and proven terrorist, the United States, to respond and
follow suit. If it does not, this inexorable struggle on behalf of
innocent life will continue.

*****

The E.L.F. took part in this action on behalf of the Earth, due to the
targets extreme pollution of surrounding streams and groundwater with
excrement and offal runoff. The fur trade's co-dependant relationship
with the ecological nightmare of factory farming and other such
nefarious forms of animal agriculture alone, completely necessitate our
action in defense of life on Earth. If the owners of the destroyed
facility wish to be left alone, they should permanently close their
operation, providing clear proof that they have done so. If this is done
immediately, and this communique is released to the public UNALTERED,
individual members from each of the cells responsible for this action
will turn themselves in. If this is not done, the rest of the mink ranch
WILL be demolished. Other components of the mink ranch operation may
also be targeted.

In defense of life,
A.L.F. / E.L.F.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In June of 2002, another anonymous cell visited the Lawrence Dana Fox
Ranch in Erie, PA (9129 Station Road). Breeding information was removed
and the entire breeding stock was released. None of the foxes were
recovered.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additionally, the A.L.F. is claiming responsibility for releasing dozens
of breeding stock mink and destroying breeding information at the Main
Mink Ranch (RR 2/Route 60) in Gerry, NY. in September.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On behalf of another anonymous cell of the Earth Liberation Front, we
are also claiming responsibility for the destruction of two GMO corn
test/demonstration crops in northwestern Pennsylvania. Both crops (BT
and Roundup-Ready) were destroyed beyond usefulness, and kept from
producing seed for future planting.
The proliferation of Genetically Modified Organisms, and the increased
deployment of toxic pesticides in our bioregion presents an unrivaled
threat to the biological integrity and diversity of our ecosystem, and
has begun to be met with appropriate resistance. ANY GMO/GE crops
planted in this area from this day forth may be targeted by
eco-activists.

end communique

The North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office and the Animal
Liberation Front Press Office are legal, above-ground news services
dedicated to exposing the political and social motives behind the covert
direct actions of the underground Earth Liberation Front & Animal
Liberation Front.

-30-


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Sunday, December 1, 2002 Sunday, December 1, 2002
The (Eco)Logical Weblog strikes again

An exerpt from one of the best blogs on the web

That said, the idea that the American people are being kept down by a "lack of information" is dubious and dumb. If anything, the American people have far too much information -- so much so that they can't decide how to navigate it, put it into a meaningful context beyond spectacle and fascination, and make ethical commitments to society based upon it.

For while the majority of Americans may not yet have satellite television and internet access, a near majority does. Those that do not are surrounded by newspapers, radio, commercial programming, and indirectly are involved in the global news world by being surrounded by an audience that is involved in the same.

Again, it is a staggering truth that the average American news gatherer can receive a wealth of information on the Bush administration, local and international murders, and stock prices but fail to receive the message that within 30 years upwards of 40% of life on Earth could be extinct.

But this is not to say that the message does not get out there in one form or another -- from oilspills to stories on singular extinctions to pieces on global warming -- and if one has the Internet and/or satellite television one can easily be barraged with a wealth of news on virtually any topic.


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