Special Meditation Focus
Ensuring Fair US Elections
What follows is a special Meditation Focus suggested for Tuesday, November 2, 2004.
ENSURING FAIR US ELECTIONS
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO NOTE THE NEW MEDITATION TIMES BELOW ... Daylight Saving Time ends in North America, Europe and starts in Australia this Sunday, October 31. Therefore the current Meditation Focus #118: Protecting Democracy in America - archived at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus118.htm - will also take place at these changed times indicated below.
After years of continuous building momentum on the part of the numerous citizens' organizations across the Unites States in an effort to take back what had been stolen from everyone at the end of an agonizingly complicated electoral battle in 2000 a battle that culminated with the nomination of George W Bush by Supreme Court judges in large part appointed by his own father when he was president, the stage is set for what looks like a repeat on a much grander scale of all the dirty, often barely legal tricks that could be conjured up by a Republican political organization which must rely heavily on such tactics to succeed, so abysmally negative is the legacy of 4 years of governmental administration of its incumbent president in the eyes of all those who are not blinded by the brainwashing indoctrination of unscrupulous manipulators bent on perpetuating their clenching hold onto their unsuspecting fold.
The outrageously revulsive litany of torture and mass murder of tens of thousands of people in foreign countries, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan, the all-out attacks by governmentally hired corporate minions betrothed to the vilest and greediest human organizations ever devised against the remaining riches and critically endangered ecosystems of our agonizing planet, the huge aggravation of the lopsided wealth divide between the growing hordes of destitute humans, both in the US and abroad, and the few massively rich people who often generously contributed to support his candidacy, as well as the frontal assault on long cherished constitutional rights and freedoms of the oldest democratic country on Earth, are just some of the despicable acts of inhumanity, plunder and treason George W Bush's administration has rammed through the throat of a people and a planet unable to take four more years of such criminal abuse.
The stakes could not be higher as the direction our world will now take literally hangs in the balance and depends on the votes millions of Americans will cast next Tuesday. Yet it must be ascertained that even if George Bush's opponent, John Kerry, is proposing sensible policies and a political legitimacy the current administration never had, depending on the outcome of this election, those hoping for a significant betterment of American domestic and foreign policies will nevertheless have to remain on high alert until we can all be reasonably satisfied that, once elected, John Kerry has indeed delivered his country and the world from the choking corporate corruption and militaristic mind-set that is at the root of so much of what has gone awfully wrong in the past 4 years.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, this coming Tuesday November 2 in synchronous global attunement, for a 30 minute duration, at the new meditation times given below, and also as often and for as long as you will be innerly prompted throughout this day and in the coming days and weeks ahead, to ensure, through holding high the Light of spiritual clarity, courage and determination, that this election will be fair and completely in accordance with all due democratic and legal processes, so as to guarantee that the officially sanctioned winner does indeed duly and accurately reflects the choice of the majority of voters in this pivotal electoral contest. May the spirit of moral integrity and unbending commitment to the truth that has inspired countless people in this long campaign for the restoration of democracy in America prevail in guiding the choices and actions of all souls concerned and may the Universal Forces of Love at our side constantly assist us in accomplishing the Mission of planetary redemption we came here to do, for the Highest Good of All.
This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/SpecialFocusElections.htm
YOUR DILIGENT ASSISTANCE IS URGENTLY NEEDED TO HELP NETWORK THIS SPECIAL MEDITATION FOCUS, OR TO AT LEAST RECOMMEND TO REVIEW ITS ARCHIVED COPY AT http://www.aei.ca/~cep/SpecialFocusElections.htm ALONG WITH THE SUMMARY STATEMENT ABOVE AND MEDITATION TIMES BELOW.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
These times below will be corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT as of this Sunday, October 31:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.
1. The GOP's Shameful Vote Strategy
2. A chilling message to American voters (by bin Laden himself??)
3. 35 Objective Trends that say Kerry will Take the White House in November by a landslide 4. Will there be a war against the world after November 2?
5. The Worst Environmental President in U.S. History
6. Stolen Election? This Time Around, Lets Be Prepared
7. Open letter to US citizens on the eve of your elections
8. Plan B: 'October/November Surprise'
9. Candidates aim to scare citizens straight to the polls
10. Civilian Death Toll in Iraq Exceeds 100,000
11. U.N. Condemns Harsh Methods in Campaign Against Terror
12. Communication to United States & Interested World Servers of the Light
Worthy of Your Attention
You Are Safe: A Message from Archangel Michael through Doreen Virtue & Presidential Election Prayer Vigil
Many people are worried that the U.S. electoral process doesnt accurately reflect the peoples votes and wishes. In prayer, Doreen was directed to hold a prayer vigil on the evening prior to the U.S. Presidential election to ask for spiritual intervention to insure that the election follows Divine will, and is held in a fair, just, and honest way.
The November Election: Healing the Nation by Joy Gardner
It has been proven that prayer helps those who are ill. It has also been demonstrated that when one-tenth of the population of a given region meditate, crime goes down dramatically. (...) Americans are about to experience an extremely important election. I have my own idea about who should win, but people have prayed to their Gods for their side to win since time began. There is a much more important prayer that can be summed up in these words: "May the November election be resolved for the greatest good of all." I will share one way to visualize a healing for the nation. CLIP
Meditation for the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election
The rapidly impending American presidential election is perhaps the most critical one of our lifetime. Not only will the choice we make vitally affect us as a national entity, but it will also significantly impact the rest of the world as well, for better or worse. CLIP
Hybrid Series #27: Democracy's Eclipse in the US? (Oct 27)
Miscellaneous Subjects #208: Crunch Voting Time Fast Approaching (Oct 23)
WORLDWIDE MEDITATION: Connecting to the Divine Soul Plan!
Sunday, October 31, 2004 6pm GMT - That equals 1 pm for those on Eastern Time (NYC) and 10 am for Pacific (Los Angeles).
Election 2004 Latest polls
Kerry: 47%; Bush 47% (Reuters/Zogby)
Kerry 48%; Bush 49% (ABC/Washington Post)
Kerry: 46.7%; Bush: 48.7% (Rasumussen)
Bush campaign hurt by missing arms and Halliburton inquiry (30 October 2004)
The superheated US election campaign enters its final weekend with Democrats pounding George Bush on the missing 380 tons of explosives in Iraq, and over a potentially embarrassing FBI inquiry into the controversial oil services group Halliburton - not to mention the sudden intervention last night of Osama bin Laden. (...) However the contest remains extraordinarily fluid. Nationwide polls mostly give Mr Bush a two or three point lead, within the statistical margin of error. But the news fluctuates daily from the dozen or so swing states where the candidates are spending all their time. Mr Kerry appears to have taken a small lead in Ohio. However, the candidates are neck and neck in Pennsylvania and Michigan - previously considered safe for the Democrats. Most surprising, perhaps, polls suggest Hawaii, normally a Democratic stronghold, has entered the mix. With the state's four electoral votes apparently up for grabs, Mr Cheney has decided to make a time-consuming trip there tomorrow. Democrats countered by dispatching the former vice-president Al Gore and Mr Kerry's daughter, Alexandra, to the islands.
Springsteen Brings Out 80,000 to Cheer Kerry (28 October 2004)
Madison, Wisconsin - Rock icon Bruce Springsteen sent megastar wattage surging through John Kerry's White House campaign, whipping up a crowd of least 80,000 people at a rocking rally in swing state Wisconsin. "The Boss," famed for hits including "Born in the USA," said Kerry had lived his country's history for 50 years, and painted him as true guardian of the gritty working folk and American fables that people his songs. (...) Madison Assistant Fire Chief Carl Saxe told AFP that at least 80,000 people were in the main crowd, while, at least 20,000 more were trying to get in on sidestreets, making the rally the biggest event in Madison's history. Kerry's aides watched the show with huge smiles, no doubt thinking of the saturation local media coverage the rally will bring, as their candidate battles Bush for every vote, in a state that could conceivably break the tie in their tantalizing race for the White House.
A crisis of trust: dirty tricks on both sides mean result is likely to be decided in the courts again (30 October 2004)
Three days before America's most important election in decades, the country is praying that chaos will not ensue this time, and the world's so-called beacon of democracy will not have to ask the Supreme Court again to decide who will be President. Things have already started to go wrong. In Florida, 60,000 absentee ballots in a predominantly Democratic county have vanished without trace, and are only partly being replaced after a public outcry. In Ohio, the Republican Party is trying to have 35,000 new voters thrown off the rolls on the mere suspicion their paperwork is not ship-shape. In Nevada and Oregon, police have pulled the voter registration forms of hundreds of declared Democrats out of rubbish bins, where they were allegedly thrown by employees of a Republican consulting firm posing as a non-partisan voting rights organisation. In several states, the Republican Party intends to post thousands of vote "challengers" in polling stations, a technique historically associated with efforts to suppress the black vote in the segregationist Deep South. In Michigan, which has a huge urban black population, a Republican state senator has said: "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election." Welcome to the presidential race of 2004, where the stakes are so high and the fighting so fierce the system is starting to break down before a single vote has been counted. Unlike last time, when a nail-bitingly close race in Florida led to a 36-day legal battle, the lawyers are out in force well ahead of election day and the lawsuits are already flying - 11 in Florida alone. With them has come a torrent of accusations of vote fraud, voter suppression and abuse of power by election officials. Problems seem inevitable, not only because of the furious battles waged over the management of absentee ballots, provisional ballots, voter rolls and other bureaucratic arcana, but also because the new generation of electronic voting machines replacing the reviled old punchcards have been shown to be unreliable, unverifiable and alarmingly prone to malicious intervention. CLIP
"It Will Be Worse Than in 2000" (28 October 2004)
NAACP head Julian Bond says the GOP is going all out to suppress the black vote. Can his "Election Protection" offensive stop them? (...) Nearly 40 years after passage of the Voting Rights Act, dirty tricks and intimidation tactics against black voters are alive and well, Bond said. In Louisiana in 2002, he said, fliers were passed out in African-American neighborhoods advertising the wrong date for a U.S. Senate runoff election. In the 2003 mayoral election in Philadelphia, he added, men wielding clipboards and official-looking law enforcement insignia paroled African-American neighborhoods asking voters for identification. The NAACP and the People for the American Way Foundation have issued a report titled "The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today." Your organization will also be staffing an Election Day war room with a toll-free telephone number for voters to report irregularities or intimidation at the polls. Obviously, you think the risk of minority voters being denied their rights is serious. I do. I think it's going to be a major factor in either delaying, knowing or deciding who won. In Ohio for example, Republicans have targeted 35,000 voters [for election challenges], most of them registered in cities with large minority populations. And they do this based either on the racist assumption that minorities are inveterate cheaters or because they know that these are voters who are likely to vote against them. Either way, it's a dirty tactic, and only can be thought to slow up, gum up, mess up the whole process. And this is something they [Republicans] have consistently done in every election since the middle to late 1960s -- underhanded, tricky, illegal and immoral tactics. CLIP
And If It's a Tie? Expect 'Stark Raving Mad Chaos' for a Month (29 October 2004)
With four days to go to an election that every poll suggests is too close to call, American political scientists fear a new quirk that could threaten the country's embattled electoral system: a tie. An exact draw is possible because the president is not chosen by popular vote, but by 538 electors in the electoral college. The electors are chosen by each state and there are many ways George Bush and John Kerry could end up with 269 electors each. In fact, according to a new computer analysis quoted in the Washington Post, there are 33 different permutations that could make that happen.
Monitors on prowl for election abuses (Oct 30) http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-pmonitor30oct30,0,6626441.story?coll=sfla-news-palm
Elections monitors of every stripe are as much a fact of this election as Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards signs -- and almost as ubiquitous.A sampling of who is headed to South Florida shows poll watchers representing groups ranging from the U.S. Justice Department, Global Exchange in San Francisco, and, of course, the Democratic and Republican parties, are amassing in advance of Election Day. They'll be in Palm Beach County by the hundreds or thousands. (...) Non-partisan groups say they will be at the polls to keep an eye on just that kind of behavior and to help voters navigate through a sometimes-confusing balloting system.Groups such as Election Protection, a coalition spearheaded by the People for the American Way Foundation, will be the ones outside the polls; only registered elections monitors representing the parties and candidates are supposed to be inside.
ELECTION READINESS: IT IS NEVER TOO LATE FOR TRANSPARENCY http://www.fairelection.us/observers_report1.htm
International Observers Recommend Reforms of US Electoral Processes to Boost Public Confidence In a report released Thursday, October 21, members of an unprecedented international election observation team to the United States are recommending a series of reforms that should be made at the federal, state and county levels to guarantee fair elections in the U.S. The group of veteran election observers call for non-partisan electoral administration, greater poll observation, and paper trails for touch screen voting. CLIP - Check also http://www.fairelection.us/
Ugly, tasteless, terrifying and wild... Count me in (Oct 28) http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=576704
He's been America's most unorthodox political commentator for more than 30 years. But for Dr Hunter S Thompson the Bush presidency is evil beyond belief - and judgement is nigh (...) Presidential politics is a vicious business, even for rich white men, and anybody who gets into it should be prepared to grapple with the meanest of the mean. The White House has never been seized by timid warriors. There are no rules, and the roadside is littered with wreckage. That is why they call it the passing lane. Just ask any candidate who ever ran against George Bush - Al Gore, Ann Richards, John McCain - all of them ambushed and vanquished by lies and dirty tricks. And all of them still whining about it. That is why George W Bush is President of the United States, and Al Gore is not. Bush simply wanted it more, and he was willing to demolish anything that got in his way, including the US Supreme Court. It is not by accident that the Bush White House (read: Dick Cheney & Halliburton Inc) controls all three branches of our federal government today. They are powerful thugs who would far rather die than lose the election in November.The Republican establishment is haunted by painful memories of what happened to Old Man Bush in 1992. He peaked too early, and he had no response to "It's the economy, stupid." Which has always been the case. Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous "trickle-down" theory of US economic policy. If the rich get richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow "trickle down" to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to pre-industrial America, when only white male property owners could vote. CLIP
Pentagon Suppressing the Overseas Vote (Oct 25)
The panicked emails start flooding in, untold thousands of overseas voters still have not received their ballots - and clearly won't be able to get them back in time... Activists now fear that huge numbers of Americans overseas - both military and civilian - may be as disenfranchised as they were in 2000, when (many) ballots just plain never showed up... far from helping civilians, the Federal Voting Assistance Program has dragged its feet... The GAO excoriated the agency for losing thousands of overseas votes in 2000, but the FVAP insists it has corrected its problems this year. Frustrated civilian advocates, however, say the FVAP remains biased and ineffective. Despite reforms... it still has not shaken its Pentagon roots: It spends the bulk of its energy getting out a heavily Republican vote among half a million service people - but has failed the far greater numbers of civilians who tend to vote a different way.
America's place in the world
Poll reveals world anger at Bush October 15: George Bush has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world towards America since September 11. - The world backs Kerry Leader: Millions of Americans are scratching their heads over how to vote on November 2. But the rest of the world, according to a poll we and several other newspapers publish today, has already made up its mind, backing the Democratic challenger by a margin of two to one. CLIP
Open letter to the citizens of the United States of America (10/18/2004)
Never in the history of humankind has an election had so much at stake - As a journalist who has the good fortune to write for an international journal with millions of readers around the world, I have the individual responsibility to inform you of the feeling in the international community regarding the outcome of the election on November 2nd. As citizens of the United States of America, who have the power to endorse or to dismiss the policies of the Bush regime, you have a collective responsibility not only unto yourselves, but to the world, which will hold you accountable for your decision. CLIP
Amnesty condemns US 'torture tactics' (Oct 27)
Amnesty International has accused the United States of being more concerned with getting around international laws which prohibit torture than with safeguarding human rights as it wages its "war on terror". The 200-page analysis of the practices and decisions that led to torture in Iraq, and alleged abuse in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, argues that Washington's "war mentality" led it down a slippery slope toward disregard for the rule of law. "It is tragic that in the 'war on terror', the USA has itself undermined the rule of law. Its selective disregard for the Geneva Conventions and international human rights law has contributed to torture and ill-treatment," it wrote. "The torture and ill-treatment of Iraqi detainees by US agents in Abu Ghraib prison was due to a failure of human rights leadership at the highest levels of government, sadly predictable," it continued. CLIP - See also "U.N. Condemns Harsh Methods in Campaign Against Terror" item # 11 below.
Call to Presidential Candidates to Commit to Ending Torture http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/1027-14.htm
Report: Video Shows Explosives Went Missing After War (Oct 28, 2004)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - ABC News on Thursday showed video appearing to confirm that explosives that went missing in Iraq did not disappear until after the United States had taken control of the facility where they were stored. The disappearance of the hundreds of tons of explosives from the Al Qaqaa storage facility near Baghdad has become a hotly contested issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry has charged that President Bush's administration blundered by failing to safeguard the powerful conventional explosives. CLIP
Al Qaqaa Tape Shows US Soldiers Unlocking Explosive Caches AFTER Saddam Fell
The politics of Mosh (Oct 27th, 2004)
(...) November 2nd is not depicted as an end point for the political struggle Eminem describes...it is just a beginning. It's not an answer, it's just a necessary first step. Part of which is a rebirth of oppositional culture and informed participatory democracy...and part of which is a recentering of the political process on the voices of those who have not been listened to. (...) And, finally, these two quotes which are destined to reverberate this election season and forward: And as we proceed, to mosh through this desert storm, in these closing statements, if they should argue, let us beg to differ, as we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president, for the present ... and this: If it rains let it rain, yea the wetter the better They ain't gonna stop us, they can't, we're stronger now more then ever,They tell us no we say yea, they tell us stop we say go, Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know Stomp, push up, mush, fuck Bush, until they bring our troops home. mosh the vote For me, I think the honestly and directness of this video, and the way Eminem shows himself to be forthrightly political: a figure who reads, and thinks and tries to figure things out, are startling and add to its power. The fact that it begins and ends with the public school kids. The fact that Eminem does not sugar coat the situation we are in right now. A dystopic utopia....that we need to struggle to find our way out of only makes me respect it more.In some ways as confused a political metaphor as Moshing is, it is the right one for this time and place. We do indeed have to muddle and fight our way through the fog of this moment, this dystopia...to see that the "clear eyed" leader we've been following has been anything but. We need to reject him to reclaim our damaged utopia and begin to rebuild it: Look in his eyes, it's all lies, the stars and stripes They've been swiped, washed out and wiped,And Replaced with his own face, mosh now or die. CLIP - Recommended by Star Light firstname.lastname@example.org> who wrote: From E.C. is incredible. It's like condensing all of Fahrenheit 9/11 into a single four-minute music video. Even if you hate rap, I don't think you'll notice it much because the visuals portray a compelling narrative (although the rap enhances everything if you can understand what Eminem is saying). Here's a thoughtful analysis of the video (and btw, it is the most requested video on MTV, so hopefully that means it's reaching the youth) -- To view "Eminem's Mosh Music Video" go at http://www.gnn.tv/content/eminem_mosh.html - Read also the most interesting Directors Note there as to how this historic video got produced. See also more Guerilla News Network videos at http://www.gnn.tv/videos/
Policing Is Aggressive at Bush Events (The Washington Post - 28 October 2004) http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102904D.shtml
To some, protesters' arrests recall Vietnam War Era. (...) As Bush has traveled the United States during this political campaign, the Secret Service and local police have often handled public protest by quickly arresting or removing demonstrators, free-speech advocates say. In addition, access to Bush's events has been unusually tightly controlled and people who do not support Bush's reelection have been removed. Although it's impossible to precisely measure the tactics in comparison with previous campaigns, civil liberties advocates and other experts say the treatment of dissenters is harsher this year. Several dozen protest-related arrests have been reported in recent months, in addition to the 1,800 made outside the Republican National Convention in New York, and the American Civil Liberties Union says that scores of other people have been evicted or denied entry to Bush campaign events.
Provincial Capital Near Falluja Is Rapidly Slipping Into Chaos (28 October 2004)
(The New York Times) Ramadi, Iraq - The American military and the interim Iraqi government are quickly losing control of this provincial capital, which is larger and strategically more important than its sister city of Falluja, say local officials, clerics, tribal sheiks and officers with the United States Marines. (...) Ramadi lies at the heart of rebellious Anbar Province and astride the major western supply route to Baghdad. The city, whose 400,000 residents have at best merely tolerated the foreign military presence, is seen as a crucial part of American efforts to plant a secular democracy in Iraq. But the disintegration of authority puts in jeopardy both the Bush administration's plan to stage nationwide elections by Jan. 31 and any sense of legitimacy such elections might have. It also complicates the American military's plans to invade Falluja, because of the close coordination between insurgents in the two cities. With a powerful mix of propaganda and intimidation, well-financed guerrillas have turned the people of Ramadi against the American occupiers and their allies, Iraqis and marines here say. "The provincial government is on the verge of collapse," said Second Lt. Ryan Schranel, whose platoon does 24-hour guard duty at the besieged government center opposite the main bazaar. "Just about everybody has resigned or is on the verge of resigning."
Military Assault in Falluja Is Likely, U.S. Officers Say (27 October 2004)
Camp Falluja - A military offensive by American and Iraqi forces to reclaim rebel-held Falluja is probably inevitable and would be the largest and potentially the riskiest since the end of major combat in May 2003, senior American officers say. It would also involve major operations to seize control of Ramadi, another contested Sunni Muslim city 30 miles away, and to shut Syrian border crossings to prevent foreign fighters from streaming into Iraq, Marine commanders here say. This expanded set of combat operations reflects a growing consensus among American military commanders and Iraqi government officials that the insurgencies in the two nearby cities are linked and must be quelled at the same time. CLIP
The Battle for Democracy (First of a Three Part Series) A Matter of Principle (October 25)
The shock of September 11 has put the pillars of the American system to the test. A few unremitting lawyers have taken more than two years to impose law on a reluctant power in Guantánamo. (...) Beneath his welcoming exterior, however, Tom Wilner is an angry man. His anger can be summarized in one word: Guantánamo. Twelve of his clients are detained there, twelve Kuwaiti prisoners whose case he has succeeded in bringing before the Supreme Court. In a historic decision, the Court ruled against the Bush administration on June 28, deciding that the men detained in secret by the American Army at the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba for three years have the right to be tried before American courts. However, since then, the lawyer rages, "we're still in the same place. The government obstructs and I have still not been able to see my clients. In practice, the government is in the process of defying the Supreme Court." (...) Abu Ghraib and the Supreme Court have reversed the dynamic. Hundreds of lawyers are now offering their services to defend Guantánamo detainees, gifts are flowing in to finance them, and the media is no longer silent on the subject. The last four or five months, William Taft IV's department is again allowed to have its say with respect to the United States' international obligations. People like Tom Wilner or Michael Ratner are, however, very wary of declaring victory: nothing has changed for the moment at Guantánamo, where special military tribunals have begun to convene in the greatest confusion; no high official has been sanctioned for the Abu Ghraib scandals: the great debate about torture has not taken place and the theme of civil rights has not been tackled in any of the Bush-Kerry debates. CLIP
Beware Scalia-Thomas Clones (28 October 2004)
After months of intense campaigning about Iraq, terror, taxes and jobs, the future of the Supreme Court has finally entered the public discourse. Chief Justice William Rehnquist is in the intensive care unit, after undergoing a tracheotomy for thyroid cancer. The Court issued a terse statement, saying the Chief would take the bench when the justices reconvene on Nov. 1. Unlike the detailed updates released during Ruth Bader Ginsburg's struggle with colon cancer in 1999-2000, however, we have been given no details about Rehnquist's prognosis. Just as Bush has downplayed the disappearance of 380 tons of high explosives in Iraq that U.S. forces should have secured, he has mentioned little, if anything, about Rehnquist's illness. Karl Rove, Bush's evil genius, is undoubtedly aware of the explosive nature of a dialogue about how the next commander-in-chief could shape the face of the Supreme Court for decades.
The United States: Bush's record
This is as much a referendum on the current administration as an election. Bush has two rare, if not unique, distinctions: he was elected even though he received fewer votes than his opponent and he is the son of a former president. His enthronement was less democratic than dynastic. The election result conferred no particular mandate on him, and certainly no endorsement for a terrible leap to the right, an imperial inflection of the international order or the militarisation of American society and foreign policy. CLIP
The Environment: NASA Expert Criticizes Bush on Global Warming Policy (October 26, 2004)
A top NASA climate expert who twice briefed Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming plans to criticize the administration's approach to the issue in a lecture at the University of Iowa tonight and say that a senior administration official told him last year not to discuss dangerous consequences of rising temperatures. The expert, Dr. James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, expects to say that the Bush administration has ignored growing evidence that sea levels could rise significantly unless prompt action is taken to reduce heat-trapping emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes. Many academic scientists, including dozens of Nobel laureates, have been criticizing the administration over its handling of climate change and other complex scientific issues. But Dr. Hansen, first in an interview with The New York Times a week ago and again in his planned lecture today, is the only leading scientist to speak out so publicly while still in the employ of the government. CLIP
White House Cover-up: Chemical Fire in Iraq Was the Worst Human Release of Sulfur Dioxide in History
A fire at an Iraq chemical plant has caused the largest recorded man-made release of sulphur dioxide (SO2). The fire, which broke out on June 24, 2003, produced more of the polluting gas than most volcanic eruptions. On average it generated about 21,000 tonnes of SO2 a day, which is half the daily emissions of the gas produced by the US. The fire, which was probably started deliberately, broke out at the Al-Mishraq state sulphured plant near Mosul. It burned for almost a month" - releasing over ONE BILLION POUNDS of SO2. "To put that figure in context, the giant eruption of the American volcano Mount Saint Helens in 1980, belched out about one million tonnes of SO2. [The fire] caused about $40 million of damage to local crops - along with respiratory problems in local people.
'George, God Here. . .'President Bush has words with the Almighty (October 22, 2004)
(...) "Look, all I'm asking is for you to show a little compassion to your fellow human beings!""I'm not going to debate this with you, God! You're beginning to sound like you belong to the reality-based community!""What the hell does that mean?""Well by the 'reality-based community', we mean people who believe that solutions emerge from their judicious study of discernible reality." "Sounds fair enough...""But, as one of my advisors told Ron Suskind of the Wall Street Journal: 'The reality-based community is not the way the world really works any more. We're an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'.""You mean...you don't give a damn, George?""I mean You speak through me, God, not the other way round! Is that clear?""Yes, Mr President."
NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate
Physicist says imaging techniques prove the president's bulge was not caused by wrinkled clothing.
Bush's one finger victory salute...
US Attack on IRAN 'Imminent" (22/10/2004)
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD410A.html OR http://www.cmaq.net/fr/node.php?id=18591
According to White House and Washington Beltway insiders, the Bush administration, worried that it could lose the presidential election to Senator John F. Kerry, has initiated plans to launch a military strike on Iran's top Islamic leadership, its nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, and key nuclear targets throughout the country, including the main underground research site at Natanz in central Iran and another in Isfahan. Targets of the planned U.S. attack reportedly include mosques in Tehran, Qom, and Isfahan known by the U.S. to headquarter Iran's top mullahs. CLIP (NOTE: THESE PLANS - IF THEY WERE REAL AT ALL! - WERE OBVIOUSLY NOT CARRIED OUT)
Special Report by the Guardian (UK) on the US Elections
Also from http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102804Y.shtml
The GOP's Shameful Vote Strategy
By Harold Meyerson - The Washington Post
27 October 2004
With Election Day almost upon us, it's not clear whether President Bush is running a campaign or plotting a coup d'etat. By all accounts, Republicans are spending these last precious days devoting nearly as much energy to suppressing the Democratic vote as they are to mobilizing their own.
Time was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by their efforts to keep African Americans from the polls. Republican consultant Ed Rollins was all but drummed out of the profession after his efforts to pay black ministers to keep their congregants from voting in a 1993 New Jersey election came to light.
For George W. Bush, Karl Rove and their legion of genteel thugs, however, universal suffrage is just one more musty liberal ideal that threatens conservative rule. Today's Republicans have elevated vote suppression from a dirty secret to a public norm.
In Ohio, Republicans have recruited 3,600 poll monitors and assigned them disproportionately to such heavily black areas as inner-city Cleveland, where Democratic "527" groups have registered many tens of thousands of new voters. "The organized left's efforts to, quote unquote, register voters -- I call them ringers -- have created these problems" of potential massive vote fraud, Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman James P. Trakas recently told the New York Times.
Let's pass over the implication that a registration drive waged by a liberal group is inherently fraud-ridden, and look instead at that word "ringers."
Registration in Ohio is nonpartisan, but independent analysts estimate that roughly 400,000 new Democrats have been added to the rolls this year. Who does Trakas think they are? Have tens of thousands of African Americans been sneaking over the state lines from Pittsburgh and Detroit to vote in Cleveland -- thus putting their own battleground states more at risk of a Republican victory? Is Shaker Heights suddenly filled with Parisians affecting American argot? Or are the Republicans simply terrified that a record number of minority voters will go to the polls next Tuesday? Have they decided to do anything to stop them -- up to and including threatening to criminalize Voting While Black in a Battleground State?
This is civic life in the age of George W. Bush, in which politics has become a continuation of civil war by other means. In Bush's America, there's a war on -- against a foreign enemy so evil that we can ignore the Geneva Conventions, against domestic liberals so insidious that we can ignore democratic norms. Only bleeding hearts with a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set still believe in voting rights.
For Bush and Rove, the domestic war predates the war on terrorism. From the first day of his presidency, Bush opted to govern from the right, to fan the flames of cultural resentment, to divide the American house against itself in the hope that cultural conservatism would create a stable Republican majority. The Sept. 11 attacks unified us, but Bush exploited those attacks to relentlessly partisan ends. As his foreign and domestic policies abjectly failed, Bush's reliance on identity politics only grew stronger. He anointed himself the standard-bearer for provincials and portrayed Kerry and his backers as arrogant cosmopolitans.
And so here we are, improbably enmeshed in a latter-day version of the election of 1928, when the Catholicism of Democratic presidential nominee Al Smith bitterly divided the nation along Protestant-Catholic and nativist-immigrant lines. To his credit, Smith's opponent (and eventual victor), Herbert Hoover, did not exploit this rift himself. Bush, by contrast, has not merely exploited the modernist-traditionalist tensions in America but helped create new ones and summoned old ones we could be forgiven for thinking were permanently interred. (Kerry will ban the Bible?)
Indeed, it's hard to think of another president more deliberately divisive than the current one. I can come up with only one other president who sought so assiduously to undermine the basic arrangements of American policy (as Bush has undermined the New Deal at home and the systems of post-World War II alliances abroad) with so little concern for the effect this would have on the comity and viability of the nation. And Jefferson Davis wasn't really a president of the United States.
After four years in the White House, George W. Bush's most significant contribution to American life is this pervasive bitterness, this division of the house into raging, feuding halves. We are two nations now, each with a culture that attacks the other. And politics, as the Republicans are openly playing it, need no longer concern itself with the most fundamental democratic norm: the universal right to vote.
As the campaign ends, Bush is playing to the right and Kerry to the center.
That foretells the course of the administrations that each would head. The essential difference between them is simply that, as a matter of strategy and temperament, Bush seeks to exploit our rifts and Kerry to narrow them. That, finally, is the choice before us next Tuesday: between one candidate who wants to pry this nation apart to his own advantage, and another who seeks to make it whole.
A chilling message to American voters
By Chris Bunting
30 October 2004
Osama bin Laden made a dramatic 11th-hour entry into the US presidential election campaign last night with a videotaped message in which he rebuked President George Bush for being slow to react on the morning of 11 September and said America's security was contingent on its safeguarding the security of the Islamic world.
It was the first time in more than a year that the fugitive al-Qa'ida leader had been seen on tape. The timing of his speech, broadcast on the Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera, was unmistakably planned for maximum impact just four days before the United States elects a new President.
Bin Laden laid into Mr Bush, saying his decision to sit vacantly in a Florida classroom on the morning of the 11 September attacks, choosing to keep listening to the story "My Pet Goat" even after he had been told two planes had hit the World Trade Centre, had given the suicide-hijackers far more time to carry out their deadly missions. "It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone," Bin Laden said. "It appeared to him [Mr Bush] that a little girl's talk about her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the required time to carry out the operations, thank God."
Addressing the American people directly and issuing a not-so-veiled threat, he added: "Despite entering the fourth year after 11 September, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened."
President Bush, campaigning in Toledo, Ohio, said that he had learned of the video's existence earlier in the day. "Let me make this very clear. Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country," he said. John Kerry, who has criticised Mr Bush for failing to do enough to capture Bin Laden, said: "We are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists ... They are barbarians and I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down and capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period."
The intervention by Bin Laden appeared designed, above all, to provoke a reaction rather than provide any cogent political critique. If nothing else, it reminded US voters that he is still at large, and as elusive as ever. But it also seemed inevitable that it would be seized upon by one campaign team or the other for any partisan advantage that could be squeezed out of them. President Bush has frequently said that he believes al-Qa'ida would prefer Mr Kerry in the White House.
Bin Laden himself offered no endorsements. America's security, he said, depended not on who was elected President but on the country's policies towards the Muslim world.
"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qa'ida. Your security is in your own hands," he said. "Each state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security."
It was not immediately clear when the tape was made, but several experts including US government officials were left in no doubt about its authenticity. Its reference to Senator Kerry meant it could be no more than a few months old, and was likely to be considerably more recent than that.
On the tape, Bin Laden appeared strong and in good health. Standing at a lectern in front of a uniform brown background, he was shown pointing his right index finger directly at the camera as he spoke. His beard appeared largely grey.
The tape contained the first direct admission of responsibility for the 11 September attacks, which killed about 3,000 people. Bin Laden has boasted about them before, but never has he given a detailed rationale for why he ordered them.
"We fought you because we are free ... and want to regain freedom for our nation," he said. "As you undermine our security we undermine yours."
He said he was first inspired to attack the US by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which towers and buildings in Beirut were destroyed. "While I was looking at these destroyed towers in Lebanon, it sparked in my mind that the tyrant should be punished with the same and that we should destroy towers in America, so that it tastes what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women," he said.
The Latest Bin Laden Video Tape Is A Fraud
Excerpts from Bin Laden's speech
Study: Terror Warnings Up Approval Ratings (10/26/04)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- When the government issues a terror warning, the president's approval rating increases an average of nearly three points, a Cornell University sociologist says. "The social theories predict it, and anecdotally we know it to be true. Now we have statistical science to confirm it," said Robb Willer, assistant director of Cornell's Sociology and Small Groups Laboratory. On average, a terror warning prompted a 2.75 point increase in President George Bush's approval rating the following week, said Willer, who published his study in Current Research in Social Psychology, a peer-reviewed online journal. CLIP
Al Qaeda American warns US streets will run red with blood (10/29/04)
A MAN claiming to be an American member of al Qaeda has apparently warned that the US will be attacked "at any moment" and "the streets of America will run red with blood".Hidden by a headscarf and holding a gun, he issued the warning on a 75-minute video tape, obtained by ABC News. The network said it obtained the tape last Friday from a source known to have Taliban and al Qaeda contacts in Pakistan. CLIP
No Direct Evidence of Plot To Attack Around Elections (23 October 2004)
The Washington Post - On Sept. 15, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and John E. McLaughlin, then acting director of the CIA, brought a special note of concern to their daily briefing with President Bush. Fresh intelligence had arrived pointing to plans for a mass-casualty terrorist attack before Election Day, bolstering previous indications that such an assault was possible on U.S. soil, according to accounts of the briefing provided to Mueller's and McLaughlin's subordinates. What's more, intelligence officials told Bush, there was reason to believe that the plotters may already have arrived in the United States, according to the accounts. The new information led the FBI and other agencies across the government to launch a well-publicized campaign aimed at foiling potential plots before the elections, including hundreds of interviews in immigrant neighborhoods and aggressive surveillance of suspected terrorist sympathizers. But five weeks after the effort began, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials say they have found no direct evidence of an election-related terrorist plot. Authorities also say that a key CIA source who had claimed knowledge of such plans has been discredited, casting doubt on one of the earliest pieces of evidence pointing to a possible attack.
MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND HOPE-STIRRING ANALYSIS
Forwarded by "David Fiske" email@example.com> On Oct 29
35 Objective Trends that say Kerry will Take the White House in November by a landslide.
1) According to historical record of previous elections, the incumbent Bush must lead by at least 4% by November 1st if he is to have any hope for four more years.
2) The 'Cell Phone Polling' Phenomenon - - Traditional polling relies almost exclusively on landline telephone. Unfortunately, according to Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, as much as 18% of the electorate - especially the younger voters - don't have land lines and instead rely exclusively on cell phones.
The Hill gives us a little something about this demographic - - In-Stat.MDR, a wireless market-research firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz., conducted a survey of wireless users in February of this year. Of the 970 people questioned, 14.4 percent were cell-phone-only users, the majority of whom were single Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, living in mostly urban areas.
Anyone care to venture a guess as to how this demographic overwhelmingly votes?
According to Newsweek (10/16/04), Young voters (18-29) favor Kerry/Edwards by 9 points.
In 2000, 104 million people voted. Due to an enormous push to register new voters it is believed that 120 million people will vote this election. The majority of the new voters are young and ethnic all of whom favor Kerry.
All this points to an unexpected landslide for Kerry, .
3) Zogby is the Most Accurate Pollster - - Zogby, which touts the most accurate polls for the last two presidential elections, calls for a very strong Kerry victory. He has referred to the race as "Kerry's to lose."
In 2000, Zogby was one of several pollsters that was only two cumulative percentage points off from the actual, but it was the only one in that group to actually choose Gore as the popular vote winner (which we all know he was).
In 1996, Zogby hit the nail right on the head. Many predicted a Clinton victory, but Zogby predicted the exact percentage totals for Clinton, Dole...and even Perot at 8%.
4) Kerry Has Large Lead in Swing States - - Kerry is doing extremely well where it matters most, leading Bush by 10% in the swing states, according to the Washington post.
5) P A Goes to Kerry - - Pennsylvania is NOT in play! (and neither is New Jersey. Don't let the GOP Poll 'Strategic Vision' fool you.) That leaves Ohio and Florida as the next target.
6) Seniors Favor Kerry - - Among Registered Voters in a 3-way matchup, seniors favor Kerry over Bush by a large margin. According to Newsweek, Seniors (65+) favor Kerry/Edwards by 15 points, 54-39. The 65+ Category is particularly important in Florida where this age group make up a disproportionately large percentage of the voting population.
7) Kerry Appeals to Independents in the Debates - - Polls showed that Kerry gained favor from swing voters as a result of his performance. Many more people had increased positive perceptions of Kerry as a result of the debates than the number of people who an increased positive perception for Bush. Conversely the number of those whose perception of Kerry grew more negative was less than the number of those whose perception of Bush grew more negative as a result.
8) Kerry Appeals to independents - - In polling, self-proclaimed independents favor Kerry/Edwards by 11 points, 51-40.
9) New Standard for GOTV - - GOTV efforts were allocated $25 million by the DNC in the 2000 election cycle. This year they will commit about the same. The difference, however, comes with a new 527group called America Coming Together, a group that will be devoting at least $125 million toward the GOTV effort. They will also be adding an expertise, coordination and organization unseen in prior years.
10) Democrats Won the Registration Wars - - Voter Registrations have heavily favored the Democratic party this cycle. Dems have made significant gains on Republicans in numbers of party affiliated registrations in practically every swing state.
The Debate Effect
11) Kerry Erased Doubts About Himself - - The Debates erased many of the doubts held by undecideds as Kerry showed a man that was poised, consistent, tough, intelligent, able to think on his feet and keep his cool. He was a man with a plan for everything. He was 'presidential'...and he didn't need a hidden ear transmitter to pull it off. Kerry was also successful in countering the nonsense charges of 'flip-flopping'.
12) Bush Increased Doubts About Himself - - The debates raised doubts about Bush. He was clearly more inept, incoherent, repetitive, negative, inconsistent and lacking in identity. He was unable to defend his record and unable to conjure any meaningful new attacks on Kerry. Bush did succeed in one facet of the debates. He succeeded in spurring two rumors that might explain his dubious debate performances. One, that he was "hooked up" to his handlers via a transmitter hidden under his suit coat. And two. That he had suffered a mild stroke or some sort of onsetting dementia.
Now (Election 2004) vs. Then (Election 2000)
13) Ralph Nader: Nader is less of an issue this year, although he could still quite probably throw some swing states to the evil one. In any event, Nader is on the ballot in fewer states (but still on in Florida) than in 2000, and hopefully most Naderites will realize by Nov 2 that four more years of Bush will finish the job of destroying everything that they claim to hold dear.
14) Howard Dean - - The Dean Revolution has given rise to a new generation of Democratic voters and activists. It has given hope to a previously undercounted, underappreciated and underestimated demographic. It has rewritten the book on how elections are played. Long live Howard Dean. Yaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrhhh!!!
15) Michael Moore - - The 'Moore Effect' and Fahrenheit 911. Love it or leave it, polls show that the film had significant influence on the impressions that 'uncommitted' voters had of Bush. In addition, most anecdotal evidence suggests that those self-proclaimed independents who saw it were 'disgusted and disturbed' with Bush - not exactly words of likely Bush voters.
16) George Soros - - The Republicans have always had their sugar daddies to fund all their wacky pet projects -- Scaife, Coors, the Waltons, and others. Now we have one that, if not funding all our wacky pet projects, is at least putting his considerable resources toward the same goals. Thank you George Soros.
17) The 527's - - The Joint Victory Campaign 2004, a consortium of organizations including Moveon.org, America Coming Together, the Media Fund, America Votes, and the Thunder Road Group along with others have turned this election cycle into one where Democrats have been able to manage a virtual and unprecedented financial parity with the GOP. At the same time, these groups have supplied Democrats with an enormous, talented, organized ground army as well as attack dogs that are able to proxy for the Dems when they couldn't involve themselves directly.
18) Newspaper endorsements: - - Not that they mean much by themselves, but as a group, an interesting phenomenon is occurring that might cause people to take notice. It seems that those newspapers across the nation that endorsed Gore are now endorsing Kerry - and those papers that endorsed Bush are now endorsing.....! uh...well, some are endorsing Bush and some are now endorsing Kerry. Seems quite one-sided. Of course, I'm not suggesting that the editorial pages of America's newspapers represent Joe and Jane voter. But, the fact that prior Bush supporters, whomever they should be, are moving into the Kerry camp, while none of the Gore supporters are turning to Bush seems at least a tad bit telling.
19) The New Progressive Media - - Beginnings of a true progressive media: The addition, since the 2000 election, of such institutions as Air America, the Center for American Progress, the Rockridge Institute, and Media Matters, along with the rise of the "progressive web" (Blogs, news and opinion sites, and headline aggregators) have given a new voice and a new outlet with which to air it. This emerges from the cloud of trash emanating from right-wing hate radio, Fox News, the Washington Times, the NY Post, etc. Of course this is just the beginning.
20) Better Informed Public - - Voter fraud and intimidation has come under greater scrutiny. Hopefully this will cause the GOP to pause when they enact their schemes.
21) Better Educated Florida Electorate - - Florida Voters are more aware and informed. Hopefully, that means that there will be fewer overvotes and undervotes. Hopefully people will know what to do if they feel they are a victim of voter intimidation. Hopefully Jewish seniors won't vote for Pat Buchanan. Hopefully, counties won't dabble in 'Butterfly' ballots.
22) Log Cabin Republicans - - Log Cabin Republicans have abandoned Bush. This administration's flagrant and disgraceful bigotry targeted at gays has led the primary GOP organization for gays to forego any endorsement. This means that the group, instead of sending out literature urging their members to vote for Bush, will be sending out information explaining that the administration's push to amend the constitution to define them as a second class citizenry has forced them to suggest that members stay home on election day. In 2000, one million self-described gays and lesbians voted for Bush (Most were not members of the Log Cabin Republicans organization). Nevertheless, the impact of this refusal to endorse Bush was felt across the demographic.
True, this doesn't mean that Bush will automatically lose one million votes, but consider this. Suppose 95% of those who voted for Bush in 2000 are likely to show up in 2004 as well. Now suppose only 30% of those are fed up enough not to vote (A reasonable, if not conservative estimate). That means 95% x 30% x 1,000,000 = 285,000 fewer votes will make it into Bush's electoral coffers than would otherwise have made it. To counter this effect, one might consider the increased number of votes from Bush's bigoted constituency, those who support the gay marriage amendment and who would not otherwise vote but for this issue.
23) Arab Americans: Arab Americans are abandoning Bush - - This demographic went solidly for Bush in 2000. He will not receive their votes this year.
"In just the four battleground states we're polling, over 200,000 Arab American voters have switched from the Republican to the Democratic column," said Jim Zogby, senior analyst for Zogby International, which specializes in Muslim and Arab polling.
A Zogby poll of the four states in September projected a turnout of 510,000 Arab American voters. That includes 120,000 in Florida and 85,000 in Ohio - both of which went to Bush in 2000, along with their combined 46 electoral votes. The poll showed Kerry leading Bush in these states, 47 percent to 31.5 percent, with 9 percent backing independent candidate Ralph Nader.
A second Zogby poll of 1,700 Muslim voters nationwide conducted for Georgetown University showed Kerry leading Bush, 68 percent to 7 percent, with 11 percent backing Nader.
Zogby and other analysts estimate the Muslim electorate at around 2 million voters.
24) Cuban Americans - - Bush owes much to the Cuban-American voters, particularly in Florida. Cubans are the only Latin American demographic which clearly favor Republicans and they are a voting force in Florida -- a necessary constituency if Bush hopes to pull Florida out of the bag once again. Recently, the Cuban American Commission for Family Rights announced their disfavor with the administration's policies in the following statement:
President Bush's new Cuban sanctions policy creates more hardship for Cuban Americans, his voting constituency, than to the Cuban government and opens itself up to serious discriminatory legal actions, aside from loss of votes. This is the first time in the history of U.S. reunification policies that such policy goes against family reunification, discouraging visits and redefining the definition of who is family.
25) Senate Races - - NON-incumbent Democrats are running uncharacteristically strong in traditionally conservative strongholds. Dems are favored in such right-wing bastions as Alaska, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oklahoma. And now we can add Kentucky to that list. The same is NOT true for NON-incumbent Republicans in traditional democratic strongholds.
26) Conservative Strongholds - -: Some conservative strongholds are in play, offering Kerry some nontraditional electoral opportunities including Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Colorado.
27) Vote Banking - - Vote banking, voting prior to November 2nd (Not all states allow this), helped Gore take Iowa in 2000 and continues to help Kerry. This also helps alleviate long lines that typically occur in heavily populated Urban areas (i.e. Democratic Strongholds) on November 2nd and theoretically ensures that your vote gets counted. 'Irregularities ' can be addressed prior to election day and voter intimidation is a more difficult prospect for the GOP during this period. Reports indicate that Vote Banking is in full stride, far outpacing any prior year.
Along these lines, early voters, favor Kerry/Edwards by 9, 52-43 (Meaning those voters who voted prior to the official election day).
28) The 50% Rule - - If an incumbent is experiencing approval ratings below 50%, he or she usually loses. The latest CBS News/NY Times poll gave Bush only a 44% approval rating. The average of the last 5 polls shows Bush's job approval even further below 50%:
* Approve: 46% * Disapprove: 48.1%
29) Right Track, Wrong Track - - Polls say that more people think the country is on the wrong track than those who say the right track. This can hardly work in Bush's favor. People believe the nation under Bush is headed in the wrong direction. The average of the last 11 polls citing whether the nation is heading in the Right/Wrong direction heavily disfavors Bush:
* Right direction: 42% * Wrong Direction: 52%
30) Incumbent Rule - - 'Undecideds' break at least 60-40% for the challenger. Also, an incumbent president rarely gets even more than 1% of the popular vote than the final polls show. If an incumbent is polling, 47%, 48% just before the election, that is probably what he will get. In contrast, the challenger always does much better than the final polls indicate!
31) Reelect - -: Bush's Reelect numbers are terrible. The average of the last 6 independent polls shows Bush's reelect numbers at: * Yes: 46.7% * No: 49.2%
Fire in the Belly
32) Rocketing Gas and Energy Prices - -: The price of gas serves as a constant reminder of Bush's failures in both foreign and domestic policy. Common wisdom says that people vote their pocketbook. Indeed, nobody cares what the price is for a barrel of oil ... unless it filters into higher gas and energy prices. This week the national average for one gallon of gas is $2.04
This is a material impact on their pockets of average Americans and even if some won't admit it, they blame the problem, at least in part, on the government (currently headed by George W. Bush) People also understand that the invasion of Iraq has 'something' to do with these prices. Sure, Bush supporters are unlikely to vote for Kerry because of this, but it might subconsciously give reason for some to find themselves just a touch too busy to make it to the polls on election day.
33) The Bush Draft - -: The administration and its minions are trying desperately to quash the spreading speculation of a 'Bush Draft'. Despite their best efforts, the word continues to spread -- and with very ill effects for Bush. Bush is helping us to get out the 'cell-phone-only' demographic - people aged ! 18-24.
34) Expatriates - -: Non-military expatriates are motivated to remove Bush (as are the majority non-career military personnel). These are the people who have had to deal directly with the lashback from the rampant, Bush-inspired anti-Americanism that has flourished during the last four years.
35) The left is fired up!: This is the key ingredient to ensure maximum turnout by the left on election day. This is one thing we can all thank Bush for. The left is so outraged and disgusted with the policies, lies and crimes of this administration, that we wouldn't stay home on election day if it was raining darts (which is something I'm sure the GOP is working on.)
The bottom line is that Kerry will win on November 2nd - by a landslide!!
THE PLANETS HAVE MADE UP THEIR MIND: KERRY WINS (Reuters - October 29, 2004)
NEW DELHI - Surveys in the United States may be showing the race for president as too close to call but top Indian astrologers say the planets have clearly made up their mind: John Kerry will win. Planets governing President Bush are eclipsed and in an uncomfortable position, making his tenure controversial and his re-election bid unsuccessful, the soothsayers said on Friday, four days before the vote.On the other hand, the planets of Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry were in the ascendant, ensuring him success in competitions. CLIP
IMPORTANT REALITY CHECK FROM A FABLED UK JOURNALIST
Will there be a war against the world after November 2?
By John Pilger
10/28/04 -- There is a surreal quality about visiting the United States in the last days of the presidential campaign. If George W Bush wins, according to a scientist I met, who escaped Nazi-dominated Europe, America will surrender many of its democratic trappings and succumb to its totalitarian impulses. If John Kerry wins, according to most Democrat voters, the only mandate he will have is that he is not Bush.
Never have so many liberal hands been wrung over a candidate whose only memorable statements seek to out-Bush Bush. Take Iran. One of Kerry's national security advisers, Susan Rice, has accused Bush of 'standing on the sidelines while Iran's nuclear programme has been advanced'. There is not a shred of evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, yet Kerry is joining in the same orchestrated frenzy that led to the invasion of Iraq. Having begun his campaign by promising another 40,000 troops for Iraq, he is said to have a 'secret plan to end the war' which foresees a withdrawal in four years. This is an echo of Richard Nixon, who in the 1968 presidential campaign promised a 'secret plan' to end the war in Vietnam.
Once in office, he accelerated the slaughter and the war dragged on for six and a half years. For Kerry, like Nixon, the message is that he is not a wimp. Nothing in his campaign or his career suggests he will not continue, even escalate, the 'war on terror', which is now sanctified as a crusade of Americanism like that against communism. No Democratic president has shirked such a task: John Kennedy on the cold war, Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam.
This presents great danger for all of us, but none of it is allowed to intrude upon the campaign or the media 'coverage'. In a supposedly free and open society, the degree of censorship by omission is staggering.The New York Times, the country's liberal standard-bearer, having recovered from a mild bout of contrition over its abject failure to challenge Bush's lies about Iraq, has been running tombstones of column inches about what-went-wrong in the 'liberation' of that country.
It blames mistakes: tactical oversights, faulty intelligence. Not a word suggests that the invasion was a colonial conquest, deliberate like any other, and that 60 years of international law make it 'the paramount war crime', to quote the Nuremberg judges. Not a word suggests that the American onslaught on the population of Iraq was and is systematically atrocious, of which the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was merely a glimpse.
The coming atrocity in the city of Fallujah, in which British troops, against the wishes of the British people, are to be accessories, is a case in point. For American politicians and journalists - there are a few honourable exceptions - the US marines are preparing for another of their "battles". Their last attack on Fallujah, in April, provides a preview. Forty-ton battle tanks and helicopter gunships were used against slums. Aircraft dropped 500lb bombs: marine snipers killed old people, women and children; ambulances were shot at. The marines closed the only hospital in a city of 300,000 for more than two weeks, so they could use it as a military position.
When it was estimated they had slaughtered 600 people, there was no denial. This was more than all the victims of the suicide bombs the previous year. Neither did they deny that their barbarity was in revenge for the killing of four American mercenaries in the city; led by avowed cowboys, they are specialists in revenge. John Kerry said nothing; the media reported the atrocity as 'a military operation', against 'foreign militants' and 'insurgents', never against civilians and Iraqis defending their homes and homeland.
Moreover, the American people are almost totally unaware that the marines were driven out of Fallujah by heroic street fighting. Americans remain unaware, too, of the piracy that comes with their government's murderous adventure. Who in public life asks the whereabouts of the 18.46 bn dollars which the US Congress approved for reconstruction and humanitarian aid in Iraq?
As Unicef reports, most hospitals are bereft even of pain-killers, and acute malnutrition among children has doubled since the 'liberation'. In fact, less than 29m dollars has been allocated, most of it on British security firms, with their ex-SAS thugs and veterans of South African apartheid. Where is the rest of this money that should be helping to save lives? Non-wimp Kerry dares not ask.
Neither does he nor anybody else with a public profile ask why the people of Iraq have been forced to pay, since the fall of Saddam, almost 80m dollars to America and Britain as 'reparations'. Even Israel has received an untold fortune in Iraqi oil money as compensation for its 'loss of tourism' in the Golan Heights - part of Syria it occupies illegally. As for oil, the 'o-word' is unmentionable in the contest for the world's most powerful job. So successful is the resistance in its campaign of economic sabotage that the vital pipeline carrying oil to the Turkish Mediterranean has been blown up 37 times. Terminals in the south are under constant attack, effectively shutting down all exports of crude oil and threatening national economies. That the world may have lost Iraqi oil is enveloped by the same silence that ensures Americans have little idea of the nature and scale of the blood-letting conducted in their name.
The most enduring silence is that which guards the system that has produced these catastrophic events. This is Americanism, though it dares not speak its name, which is strange, as its opposite, anti-Americanism, has long been successfully deployed as a pejorative, catch-all response to critical analysis of an imperial system and its myths. Americanism, the ideology, has meant democracy at home, for some, and a war on democracy abroad.
From Guatemala to Iran, from Chile to Nicaragua, to the struggle for freedom in South Africa, to present-day Venezuela, American state terrorism, licensed by both Republican and Democrat administrations, has fought democrats and sponsored totalitarians. Most societies attacked or otherwise subverted by American power are weak and defenceless, and there is a logic to this. Should a small country succeed in breaking free and establish its own way of developing, then its good example to others becomes a threat to Washington.
And the serious purpose behind this? Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton's secretary of state, once told the United Nations that America had the right to 'unilateral use of power' to ensure 'uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources'. Or as Colin Powell, the Bush-ite laughably promoted by the media as a liberal, put it more than a decade ago: "I want to be the bully on the block." Britain's imperialists believed exactly that, and still do; only the language is discreet.
That is why people all over the world, whose consciousness about these matters has risen sharply in the past few years, are 'anti-American'. It has nothing to do with the ordinary people of the United States, who now watch a Darwanian capitalism consume their real and fabled freedoms and reduce the 'free market' to a fire-sale of public assets. It is remarkable, if not inspiring, that so many reject the class and race based brainwashing, begun in childhood, that such a class and race based system is called 'the American dream'.
What will happen if the nightmare in Iraq goes on? Perhaps those millions of worried Americans, who are currently paralysed by wanting to get rid of Bush at any price, will shake off their ambivalence, regardless of who wins on
2 November. Then, will a giant awaken, as it did during the civil rights campaign and the Vietnam war and the great movement to freeze nuclear weapons? One must trust so; the alternative is a war on the world.
John Pilger is currently a visiting professor at Cornell University, New York. His latest book is Tell Me No Lies: investigative journalism and its triumphs (Jonathan Cape)
Bush Wants $70 Billion More for Iraq, Bringing Total Cost of Iraq and Afghanistan to over $300 BILLION
(...) Of this $300 Billion, so far, the lion's share has gone to US corporations, one way or the other, with the second chunk going to our troops (who should be first) and the smallest chunk to reconstructions (which should have been second).
The Worst Environmental President in U.S. History
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr. - The Orlando Sentinel
27 October 2004
For 20 years as an environmental activist, I've been careful about being bipartisan; there's no such thing as Democratic or Republican children and it would be tragic if the environment becomes the province of one political party.
But you can't speak honestly about the environment without speaking critically about this president. George W. Bush is the worst environmental president in American history. In three-and-a-half years, this White House has promoted more than 400 major environmental rollbacks intended to eviscerate 35 years of environmental law.
The White House uses crafty stealth tactics to mask its radical agenda from the American people - including Orwellian rhetoric; when it turns our national forests over to the timber industry, the administration calls it the "Healthy Forests Act;" and when it dismantles our clean air laws, it is called "Clear Skies." Most insidiously, the administration put polluters in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution - a famously rapacious timber industry lobbyist now runs the forest service. Our public lands are administered by a mining-industry lobbyist who believes that public lands are unconstitutional. A utility lobbyist runs the EPA's air division.
To run Superfund, President Bush appointed a woman whose last job was advising polluters how to evade Superfund, and he named a Monsanto lobbyist as second in command of the EPA. The pattern holds throughout the myriad regulatory agencies in the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Justice and the EPA, where industry lobbyists now run the very agencies charged with regulating their industries. These individuals have not entered public service for the public interest, but specifically to subvert the very laws they are now charged with enforcing. Under their management, Superfund has gone bankrupt, America's waterways have gotten more polluted for the first time since 1970, the Dead Zone in Lake Erie is growing again, and acid rain is increasing.
Three weeks ago, the EPA announced that in 19 states, including Florida, all freshwater fish are now unsafe to eat regularly due to mercury contamination. In 48 states, at least some water bodies are similarly contaminated. The mercury comes mostly from 1,100 antiquated coal-burning power plants that could remove it cheaply and easily. One of every six American women carries so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for a grim inventory of diseases - autism, blindness, brain damage, heart, lung and liver disease. My own mercury levels, tested recently, are so high - just from eating fish - that I've been told by a national authority on mercury contamination that children born to a woman with similar concentrations would suffer permanent IQ losses of over five points. Today, 630,000 American children are born every year having been exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in their mothers' wombs.
Recognizing its grave threat to our nation's health, president Bill Clinton reclassified mercury as a hazardous pollutant under the Clean Air Act, triggering a requirement that those plants remove 90 percent of their mercury discharges within three-and-a-half years - an effort that would have cleaned up America's water bodies and cost a miniscule 1 percent of plant revenues.
But this industry donated more than $100 million to this President and the Republican Party since 2000; and to return the favor, eight weeks ago, the White House announced it would scrap the Clinton EPA regulations and substituted instead regulations, written by utility lobbyists, that include loopholes designed to allow the industry to never have to clean up its mercury.
The White House has ordered the Justice Department and EPA to drop dozens of lawsuits against deadly pollution by coal-burning utilities and giant industrial hog farms. Similarly, the White House has revised the Clean Air Act to allow coal-burning plants to discharge asthma-causing ozone and particulates that were supposed to have been removed 15 years ago. That decision, according to the EPA, kills 24,000 Americans - up to eight times the number killed by the World Trade Center attacks - every year. It has opened millions of acres of public lands and national forests to destructive developers and smashed the Clean Water Act as a favor to mountaintop mining conglomerates who will now flatten an area of the Appalachians the size of Delaware.
While waging an ineffective war against foreign terrorists, the administration has allowed its industry cronies to poison America's air and waterways and to plunder our public lands. If a foreign nation committed these crimes, we would consider it an act of war, yet the White House is allowing these assaults on our national security by its corporate contributors, which include the worst polluters in America.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council and author of 'Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy.' He wrote this commentary for the Orlando Sentinel.
Aid agencies' warning on climate (Oct 20)
The effects of global warming have been "critically overlooked"The greenhouse effect could wreck attempts to lift the world's poorest people out of poverty and reverse human progress, campaigners say. A report by a coalition of environment and aid agencies calls for urgent action to avert the threat. The Working Group on Climate Change and Development says industrialised countries must cut carbon emissions massively by mid-century. They must also help developing nations adapt to climate change, it argues. The impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and the poor Dr RK Pachauri, The Energy and Resources Institute A report by the coalition, Up In Smoke, says global warming threatens to make the Millennium Development Goals unattainable. They are the internationally agreed targets for halving world poverty by 2015. The report says the warming could "even reverse human development achievements". CLIP
Audubon blames habitat losses for drop in bird populations (October 19, 2004)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The feathered creatures winging across North America have an obvious gift that land-bound humans lack, but their survival is threatened by earthly concerns. Almost 30 percent of bird populations on the continent are facing a "significant decline," The National Audubon Society said in its first "The State of the Birds" report Tuesday. The group studied data from 1966 to 2003 for 654 bird species that live in grasslands, shrublands, forests, waterways and urban settings. Most dire was the finding that 70 percent of the species in grasslands -- such as the Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Short-eared owl and Greater Prairie-Chicken -- are doing poorly. CLIP
Stolen Election? This Time Around, Lets Be Prepared
October 25, 2004
by Medea Benjamin
After months of traveling from swing state to swing state, I have been astounded by the number of people who are furious with the war president George Bush, and have dedicated enormous energy to registering, educating, cajoling, and exhorting people to vote. Californians have invaded Nevada, New Yorkers have flooded into Pennsylvania, folks from Massachusetts have adopted New Hampshire, and here in Florida, there is a deluge of activists from all over the country. These anti-Bush organizers, many of whom have no formal connection with the Democratic Party, will be out in full force on November 2, knocking on doors, chauffeuring voters to the polls and guarding polling places. It is likely that a massive turnout among young people, single women, African Americans, and newly registered and infrequent voters will make Kerry the winner.
The real question is: Will the election be free and fair or will we see a replay of 2000, with voting in key swing states like Florida and Ohio marred by significant fraud? Unfortunately, too many signs are pointing towards a replay of 2000. But this time, theres a big difference: Well be ready!
In November 2000, disenfranchised voters, victims of butterfly ballots and hanging chads, and others angry at the states refusal to count every vote spontaneously started to protest. Black ministers were preparing parishioners to engage in non-violent civil disobedience to affirm their voting rights. Unwitting Jews for Buchanan were marching on the streets of West Palm Beach demanding a recount. Union reps, civil rights leaders and even Green Party members like myself converged on Florida to join the movement that proclaimed: Every Vote Counts, Count Every Vote.
But the leadership of the Democratic Party put the kabosh on our organizing efforts. This matter will not be determined by rabblerousers in the streets, they said, but by professional lawyers in the courts. We saw the outcome of that strategy: four disastrous years of an unelected president.
Our right to vote is too preciousand precarious--to be left in the hands of lawyers, judges and Democratic Party chiefs. This time around, its up to us, the people, to defend our democracy.
A new coalition, made up of peace, women, labor, civil rights, religious and environmental groups, has set up an Urgent Response Network to be activated in event of a stolen election. On the groups website, http://www.nov3.us, tens of thousands of people have already signed a pledge saying that they remember the fraud-ridden presidential election of 2000 and that if the election is stolen again, they will join nationwide protests starting on November 3rd--either in their local communities, in the states where the fraud occurred, or in Washington DC. The pledge signers include personalities such as Michael Moore, Jesse Jackson, and Dolores Huerta, as well as representatives from groups such as the AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, United for Peace and Justice, Global Exchange, CodePink, and the Feminist Majority.
On election night, after getting feedback from electoral experts throughout the country, the coalition will decide whether to activate the network. If so, protests, including non-violent civil disobedience, will be organized at local election offices, polling places, government buildings, or political party headquarters. And the protests will not last for one day or two days, but until every vote is counted. If it takes camping out at government offices for several weeks, so be it. Its a small price to pay compared to those who fought and died to bequeath us the right to vote.
So while we hope, pray and work for a clean election with a clear winner, lets not let down our guard. In 2000 we were tricked into thinking that our government institutions would uphold electoral justice. This time, lets be clear that the only ones who can effectively demand that our votes be counted are we, the people.
Medea Benjamin is co-founder of the peace group CodePink (http://www.codepinkalert.org) and the human rights group Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thousands of lawyers massing for Election Day battle
Lawyers on both sides of the political divide are armed for legal battle leading up to Election Day and thereafter in a state where the lawsuits have already piled up.
Florida Computers Snatch Thousands of Votes from Kerry
CONGRATULATIONS, MR. PRESIDENT! FLORIDA'S COMPUTERS HAVE ALREADY COUNTED THOUSANDS OF VOTES FOR GEORGE W. BUSH - Before one vote was cast in early voting this week in Florida, the new touch-screen computer voting machines of Florida started out with a several-thousand vote lead for George W. Bush. That is, the mechanics of the new digital democracy boxes "spoil" votes at a predictably high rate in African-American precincts, effectively voiding enough votes cast for John Kerry to in a tight race, keep the White House safe from the will of the voters. CLIP
MANY MORE RELATED STORIES AT http://omega.twoday.net/stories/382704/
Date: 18 Oct 2004
From: Glenn Ashtonekogaia@iafrica.com>
Subject: Open letter to US citizens on the eve of your elections
Open letter to US citizens on the eve of your Presidential Elections in November, 2004.
18 October 2004.
Now that John Kerry has demonstrated himself to the American people as rational and statesmanlike leader, especially compared to the histrionic, contorted and ugly evasions evinced by President Bush during the three debates that were his to loose, hopefully we have embarked on a journey that will culminate in a change of government in the USA.
Just as the rest of the world sits amazed at the malaise that has seized America since Bush took office and which has manifested itself in more extreme forms since he entered into an ill defined and unwinnable war against terror, so too are many Americans evidently staggered by the enormity of the mendacious lies that they have been sold by a deceitful leadership, further distorted by an unquestioningly compliant media.
Seymour Hersh, the veteran journalist responsible for exposing the Pentagon Papers, the Mai Lai massacre and many other low points of recent American intervention and mismanagement in the world, is himself as shocked as any man can be. Hersh, who recently blew open the details of the Abu Ghraib story, has gone on to detail how the Republic of the United States of America has been taken to the cleaners by a small band of neo-conservative extremists with no sense of shame, no sense of remorse nor any degree of guilt at their traitorous self indulgence.
This rotten clan has created a private fiefdom for their friends to feast at an Iraqi pork barrel of unprecedented taxpayer largesse. The war that was supposedly meant to free Iraqis has instead benefited insider organisations like the Carlyle Group with its close associations with both the extended Bush Family and more specifically, its incumbent Presidents inner circle. It has also inordinately benefited Halliburton, the company vice president Dick Cheney headed up before taking his present post, not to mention a slew of others associated with well-connected conservative Washington Beltway insiders. Tax breaks abound for this coterie while the average American citizen sinks ever deeper into a morass of national debt that threatens to destabilise the entire international financial system.
This cabal has eroded twenty years of improved environmental governance, cocked a snook at the rest of the world and United Nations which it cynically and ironically attempts to court in a cackhanded sort of way - and has gone on a rampage, striking out in every which direction, not only forgetting why or who it first set out to get, but more importantly that it has created a far more unstable world than it inherited, difficult as that is to comprehend.
These extremists, this junta who failed to achieve even a democratic majority, has eroded the US constitution more seriously in the past 4 years than any other government in the previous 229 years of the existence of the USA, including during the time of the American Civil War, in what was arguably Americas darkest hour. The Patriot Act, rushed through congress in the middle of the night shortly after the panic of 9/11 and instituted by the fundamentalist Attorney General John Ashcroft, has swept away rights that have long been considered basic and inviolate. Despite creating Big Brother, the Patriot Act has not secured one single indictment. The real indictment rests upon Ashcroft and his political masters.
The worlds people have a special place in their hearts for America, its ideals and its people. Sadly the land of the free and the brave has been subjected to what amounts to a coup by unscrupulous and unconstrained extremists of the most dangerous sort. If Americans give these guys a look in at four more years, it will mean the end of the world, as we know it.
The global majority wishes to reach out to our friends in America, of whom we know we have many, and call for calm and strength. The time ahead is of far more importance for the world than 9/11 or the war on terror; or even, as is whispered in the corridors of the White House between prayer sessions, the rapture, the rapture, otherwise known as Armageddon.
We know that these particular lunatics in charge of the asylum would be only too happy to do His word (a sexist concept if ever there was!) and engage this Armageddonite rapture. These fruitcakes unquestionably consider themselves amongst those selected to ascend straight to heaven when this rapture descends on the rest of us mere mortals, be it nuclear, chemical or biological or some hexed up combination. The certainty is that the rapture will be of their very making, in one way or another, if we end up with another four years of this corrupt plutocracy. When these dudes accuse others of possessing WMDs, there is some serious projection going on!
In the face of this clannish dementia it is up to rational humans around the world to embrace the interim compromise of a President Kerry and to help steer this sadly stumbling superpower back to its path of goodness so that it can again stand tall again amongst all nations. No nation becomes great simply by projecting power. Power comes with responsibility.
The world wishes to co-operatively rehabilitate this once great nation that has lost its way after being taken on a magical mystery tour of psychedelic proportions by misguided and irrational extremists of the most dangerous sort; its very own leadership.
These are - after all - the very men who created both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden; their actions now spawn armies of enemies far more threatening than these earlier, evil incarnations. They have spawned legion enemies, literally.
There is a distinctly psychopathic tendency in how Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and Bush individually, jointly and severally refuse to take any responsibility for the mess they have made and are making; instead they revel in a perverse war-against-everything, from terror to the environment, from their political foes to anyone who questions them. Please, we must stop them not just for the sake of America but for all of us.
Americans, we call you to your senses and extend a hand of friendship in extracting you from the quagmire not only of Iraq, but also from the nightmare of geopolitical reality you have allowed us all to be sucked into.
Together we really can create a better world for all; we can do it with difficulty without America but it would not be the same. Come; stand again on the side of what is good and right, with the global democratic majority. Lets get on with building this world together.
I can say with complete confidence that the rest of the world would welcome President Kerry as a worthy representative of America. I cannot say the same for Bush.
American people, please try to save us from yourselves!
God save America and God save us all!
Completely and utterly sincerely,
A free country, outside the USA.
Glenn Ashton is a freelance South African writer and researcher. He spent over a year and a half visiting the USA during the 80s and 90s and maintains close ties with friends who visit and live there. He still likes Americans even if its no longer fashionable.
Please circulate to anyone who you think may either benefit from reading this or may perhaps simply enjoy it. No copyright.
Plan B: 'October/November Surprise'
By Robert Parry
October 27, 2004
Back in the sunnier days of September, George W. Bushs political team was hoping that his lead would grow, as John Kerry was bedeviled by Swift boat ads questioning his Vietnam heroism and by taunting chants of flip-flop. But Bushs clunky debate performances and weakening poll numbers mean its time for Plan B.
Bushs Plan B looks to be a kind of "October/November Surprise," a coordinated strategy to suppress the vote in battleground states like Ohio and especially in Democratic strongholds. The heart of the plan will be to swarm the polls with Republican activists who will use challenges against individual voters to tie up the process, lengthen voting lines and cause time-strapped voters to give up and go home.
To some political historians, the scheme has the offensive smell of Jim Crow tactics used during the days of the segregationist South to keep African-Americans from voting. But the strategy has a more recent precedent, the disruption of recounts in Florida in November 2000 as Bush was clinging to a tiny lead.
To make sure that the recounts didnt change that result, the Bush campaign flew in Republican activists from Washington to stage noisy disruptions. One demonstration in Miami became known as "the Brooks Brothers riot," for the preppie clothes the rioters wore. With Republican demonstrators roughing up Democrats and storming the doors of the Dade County canvassing board on Nov. 22, 2000, the vote counters hastily abandoned their recount plans, effectively throwing out 10,750 uncounted ballots.
After their storm-trooper-style victory, the rioters celebrated at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Crooner Wayne Newton sang Danke Schoen, German for thank you very much. Another highlight of the evening was a thank-you conference call from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who joked about the successful riot, according to the Wall Street Journal. [Nov. 27, 2000]
The tab for renting the hotel $35,501.52 was paid by the Bush-Cheney recount committee. [For details, see Consortiumnews.coms Bush's Conspiracy to Riot at http://www.consortiumnews.com/2002/080502a.html
In preceding decades, there also has been a rich history of Republican October Surprise operations that have undercut the Democrats.
In 1968, for instance, historical records show that Richard Nixon condoned back-channel contacts with South Vietnamese leaders, promising them a better deal if they boycotted Paris peace talks called by President Lyndon Johnson. As South Vietnamese negotiators stayed away and Johnson's peace talks floundered in the days before the 1968 election, Nixon narrowly beat Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
Though Johnson was livid when he learned of Nixons subterfuge, the Democrats kept quiet to avoid further dividing the country, according to former Johnson administration officials. The Vietnam War dragged on another four years as tens of thousands of more U.S. soldiers died as did hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. [For an account of the 1968 case, see Robert Parrys Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq at http://www.secrecyandprivilege.com/]
Nixons success in 1968 may have contributed to his decision to undercut the Democrats again in 1972, when his political operatives waged a clandestine campaign to drive the strongest Democrats out of the race and to spy on the partys strategies. Nixon overreached, however, when a team of his burglars was caught planting bugs at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building.
Despite Nixon's ouster over the Watergate scandal -- the one time the GOP paid any serious price for a dirty trick -- the Republicans were back at it in 1980. This time, the Republicans were concerned that President Jimmy Carter might pull off his own October Surprise by managing to free 52 American hostages in Iran right before the election.
The evidence is now overwhelming that this fear led to a Republican operation which included then-vice presidential candidate George H.W. Bush to establish clandestine contacts with Iran's Islamic leaders. Those contacts, in turn, appear to have culminated in a secret deal for the American hostages to be released only after Carter lost to Ronald Reagan. [For details on this 1980 October Surprise case, including new incriminating evidence, see Secrecy & Privilege.]
In 1992, in a tough fight for reelection, the elder George Bush couldn't resist the temptation to try another October Surprise. Trailing Bill Clinton in the polls, Bush ranted to his staff about the need to find information that would discredit Clinton. Under this White House pressure, State Department officials pawed through Clintons passport file, looking for a rumored letter in which Clinton supposedly sought to renounce his citizenship.
Though no such letter turned up, assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Tamposi drafted a baseless criminal referral, suggesting that a Clinton associate might have tampered with the file to remove damaging material. The criminal referral to the FBI was then leaked to the news media, enabling Bush to raise doubts about Clintons loyalty.
Some Bush supporters went so far as to suggest that Clinton had been recruited by the Soviet KGB while a Rhodes scholar traveling in Eastern Europe over Christmastime 1969. But the Bush administration's passport gambit backfired, sparking an embarrassing campaign scandal that became known as Passportgate. [For details, see Consortiumnews.coms Bushes Play the Traitor Card.]
The common thread through all these "October Surprise" cases is the determination of the Republicans to grab or hold onto power even if they must break the rules to do so. "First win and then worry about the consequences," their motto seems to be.
The Republicans also have found that the Democrats are hesitant to call them to account for campaign abuses that do come to light. The Democrats are either afraid of sore-loser charges or they believe that disclosure of the dirty tricks would undermine the American peoples faith in the democratic process.
A key difference in the 2004 case, however, is that George W. Bushs campaign is being forced to reveal its plans before the election. As Kerry pulls even or ahead in some polls, the Bush campaign is finding itself with little choice other than to conduct this years "October/November Surprise" out in the open.
Already, Republicans have challenged the eligibility of 35,000 voters in closely contested Ohio. The Republicans also have announced plans to send 8,000 activists to Ohio polling places to challenge newly registered voters. [Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2004]
The prospect is for these Election Day challenges to gum up the balloting, stopping not just questionable voters but also lengthening lines and extending wait times so many voters will grow discouraged and head home. Similar aggressive strategies to whittle down the Democratic vote have surfaced in Florida, another top battleground state.
Yet while these hardball tactics may succeed in depressing the Democratic vote, they also run the risk of reminding voters across the country about Bushs tainted victory in 2000. And unlike the Florida recount battle in November-December 2000, American voters can do something about what the Republicans are planning for this election: the voters can go to the polls on Nov. 2 and make the Republicans pay a price for what looks like voter suppression.
Indeed, maybe the only way to stop the GOP's historic pattern of October Surprise gambits is for American voters to demonstrate, once and for all, that messing with the peoples right to vote won't be tolerated.
Robert Parry, who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek, has written a new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. It can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com.
Candidates aim to scare citizens straight to the polls
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Then go vote.
That's the prevalent theme these days in the presidential campaign. >From President Bush's insinuations in a television commercial that a John Kerry win would invite terrorists to prowl America like a pack of wolves, to Kerry's charges that Bush will gut Social Security and reinstate the draft, the two have utterly ghastly views of what the other's victory would mean.
In truth, neither man is as dangerous as his rival would have voters believe. The scare tactics are transparent attempts to exploit the public's post-9/11 terrorism fears and economic anxieties.
But in an odd way, all of this negativism is having a positive effect: Voters are really paying attention to this election.
Many political analysts predict that this year's turnout could increase by more than 10 million people over 2000. That's a 10% gain. Some predict that 60% of eligible voters will cast ballots, a number not seen since 1968, the last election when voters had to be at least 21 years of age.
Just as interesting as the heightened interest in the campaign is what people say about why they intend to vote. In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll released Monday, 90% said the stakes are higher this year than in previous elections; 76% said they would be afraid if their candidate lost. To paraphrase pop singer Huey Lewis, it's hip to be scared.
To some degree, this is just a marker of the times. Some of the highest turnouts in past elections came during periods of national threat - the lead-up to World War II and the Cold War elections from 1952 to 1968. In some cases, the winning candidate was the one who generated the most fear about his opponent - most notably in 1964, when President Johnson portrayed opponent Barry Goldwater as a trigger-happy zealot who would lead the nation into nuclear war.
But what's good for campaign politics may not be good for post-election policy.
No one expects a repeat of the Johnson landslide. And neither party will dominate Congress the way the Democrats held at least one chamber for 40 years. In all likelihood, the winner will have a narrow margin of victory and will face major fights getting his legislative agenda enacted.
Neither Bush nor Kerry has laid the necessary groundwork to make this any easier. To effectively govern, they need something beyond reasons not to vote for the other guy. While both have positions on everything from health care to dealing with North Korea, neither has woven these into a package that inspires voters and creates a mandate of the sort Johnson or Ronald Reagan enjoyed.
Instead, fear - more than hope, peace or prosperity, more than compassionate conservatism, lockboxes or flat taxes - is getting people to exercise civic responsibility.
On Nov. 2, many may hail the rush to the polls as a revival of American democracy. It would be. But the value of a resurgence will be limited as long as each new ad conveys the sense that the wolves are at the door.
Trust that Bush won't bring back the draft? Bad idea (October 21, 2004)
Civilian Death Toll in Iraq Exceeds 100,000
By Patricia Reaney - Reuters
28 October 2004
London - Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the U.S.-led invasion last year, American public health experts have calculated in a report that estimates there were 100,000 "excess deaths" in 18 months.
The rise in the death rate was mainly due to violence and much of it was caused by U.S. air strikes on towns and cities.
"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," said Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a report published online by The Lancet medical journal.
"The use of air power in areas with lots of civilians appears to be killing a lot of women and children," Roberts told Reuters.
The report came just days before the U.S. presidential election in which the Iraq war has been a major issue.
Mortality was already high in Iraq before the war because of United Nations sanctions blocking food and medical imports but the researchers described what they found as shocking.
The new figures are based on surveys done by the researchers in Iraq in September 2004. They compared Iraqi deaths during 14.6 months before the invasion in March 2003 and the 17.8 months after it by conducting household surveys in randomly selected neighborhoods.
Previous estimates based on think tank and media sources put the Iraqi civilian death toll at up to 16,053 and military fatalities as high as 6,370.
By comparison about 849 U.S. military were killed in combat or attacks and another 258 died in accidents or incidents not related to fighting, according to the Pentagon.
Very Bad for Iraqi Civilians
The researchers blamed air strikes for many of the deaths.
"What we have evidence of is the use of air power in populated urban areas and the bad consequences of it," Roberts said.
Gilbert Burnham, who collaborated on the research, said U.S. military action in Iraq was "very bad for Iraqi civilians".
"We were not expecting the level of deaths from violence that we found in this study and we hope this will lead to some serious discussions of how military and political aims can be achieved in a way that is not so detrimental to civilians populations," he told Reuters in an interview.
The researchers did 33 cluster surveys of 30 households each, recording the date, circumstances and cause of deaths.
They found that the risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher than before the war.
Before the war the major causes of death were heart attacks, chronic disorders and accidents. That changed after the war.
Two-thirds of violent deaths in the study were reported in Falluja, the insurgent held city 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad which had been repeatedly hit by U.S. air strikes.
"Our results need further verification and should lead to changes to reduce non-combatant deaths from air strikes," Roberts added in the study.
Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, said the research which was submitted to the journal earlier this month had been peer-reviewed, edited and fast-tracked for publication because of its importance in the evolving security situation in Iraq.
"But these findings also raise questions for those far removed from Iraq - in the governments of the countries responsible for launching a pre-emptive war," Horton said in an editorial.
Scientists Estimate 100,000 Iraqis May Have Died in War - Far More Than Previous Estimates (Oct 28, 2004)
LONDON (AP) - A survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many
as 100,000 more people may have died throughout the country in the 18 months
since the U.S.-led invasion than would be expected based on the death rate
before the war.There is no official figure for the number of Iraqis killed since the
conflict began, but some non-governmental estimates range from 10,000 to
30,000. As of Wednesday, 1,081 U.S. servicemen had been killed, according to
the U.S. Defense Department. CLIP
Also from http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102904B.shtml
U.N. Condemns Harsh Methods in Campaign Against Terror
By John H. Cushman Jr. - The New York Times
28 October 2004
Washington - The United Nations official charged with monitoring compliance with international prohibitions against torture has sharply criticized several practices adopted by the Bush administration in its campaign against terrorism, the United Nations said Wednesday.
Theo van Boven, director of reports on torture, without singling out the United States by name, denounced any attempt to justify practices like holding prisoners in secret locations, moving them from country to country, holding people in painful positions, or depriving them of sleep for long periods.
His report, presented on Wednesday to the humanitarian committee of the General Assembly, expressed "serious concern" over "allegations of attempts to circumvent the absolute nature of the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill treatment in the name of countering terrorism, particularly in relation to the interrogation and conditions of detention of prisoners."
The report seemed to be aimed squarely at the Bush administration's attempts to justify its practices, and was presented just days after disclosures in news reports that administration lawyers had permitted the C.I.A. to move some prisoners from Iraq to other places, circumventing provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
"The absolute nature of the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill treatment means that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture," the report said.
"No executive, legislative, administrative or judicial measure authorizing recourse to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment can be considered as lawful under international law."
Mr. van Boven rejected arguments that some harsh interrogation methods should not be considered torture, and said that the detentions of thousands of people since Sept. 11, if they were held in solitary confinement, could be torture.
He said the use of secret detention sites should be a punishable crime.
US's Iraq POW scandal
The scandal of Iraqi "ghost detainees", prisoners not officially recorded by the United States, has links to top levels at the White House.
Iraq transfers war crimes : An international law expert from Harvard Law School says the U.S. government is guilty of war crimes for moving prisoners from Iraq to other countries.
Date: 27 Oct 2004
From: "Rev. Dr. Joseph Contrada" email@example.com>
Subject: Institute for Global Spirituality Communication October 2004
INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL SPIRITUALITY
Communication to United States & Interested World Servers of the Light
27 October 2004
"Warrior am I and from the battle I emerge triumphant."
-- The keynote for the spiritual server related to the sign Scorpio,
as given by Master Djwhal Khul in Esoteric Astrology
Dear friends of Freedom and responsible government,
At this stage of world history, there are a good number of intelligent, caring people who esteem the ethical superiority of the few remaining progressive governments; and, perhaps as well, place their faith in the ability of the United Nations, as it is today constituted, to provide the beginnings of responsible international government. From abroad they look upon the current U.S. government and the mass culture that dominates this nation with disdain, as does much of the intelligent, cultured stratum of American society. This is understandable to us as a natural reaction to the above-average hypocrisy of U.S. politicians, with the rhetoric of freedom and democracy masking the true intentions of those truly holding the reins of power as well as the concrete daily actions of the U.S. government. This is also understandable as a natural reaction to the artificiality and insipidness of mass American culture.
This disdain disserves these people and their nations when it is combined with a smug superiority, however, for we have sometimes noted they are blind, or turn a blind eye, to the activities of these same forces in their own countries. What is at work in America today also plays a role in all the countries of the world to varying degrees. It might be more hidden and/or it might find less garish forms of expression, but no country is free of it. And these same forces are largely determining the successes and failures of many major international institutions and their projects.
The thinking of such people is often characterized by a sentimental concern for poorer nations and the plight of their downtrodden populations, but woefully little real effort is made by many individuals and groups to demand more than passing attention and small (relative to the scale of true need) charitable actions from their own governments and international institutions. There is also little willingness to analyze the shortcomings of the national governments and of the leadership in those countries most deprived of (relative) economic and political freedom.
Without such clear-minded analyses, no real improvements can take place, either in the collective or in the individual lives. This applies equally to the richer and the poorer countries. Clearly, all this will not do if we want real, lasting change for the better for the many.
In our lifetimes, we have witnessed increased subjugation of political and cultural life to financial interests and the pursuit of business. This has taken place not only in what we see taking place on the physical plane, but also in the prevailing landscape of contemporary thought. Whether it is in the United States, in other nations, or in international institutions, until those who continue to dominate the material world are known for who they are, we can expect no fundamental, far-reaching improvements in the plight of nations and their citizens.
Certain concessions can be won, nationally and internationally, as has been the case historically during more enlightened times in various civilizations; for a time these create new educational, employment and recreational opportunities, and serve to improve the quality of the lives of a greater percentage of the people. However, we note the cyclic nature of alternating periods of greater and lesser economic and political justice for the many. On the one hand, the periods of greater economic and political freedom have been demanded and acquired by the majority, wrested from the established institutions of the wealthy and politically powerful. The periods of lesser freedom have come about as those who had fought and won grew old and tired, and the young took the hard-won benefits for granted and allowed them to be surreptitiously undermined over time. On the other hand, there has often been a concomitant warming of hearts and a clarifying of minds among the ruling class, an expansive phenomenon that has facilitated reforms resulting in greater economic and political justice during some periods. During less favorable times, there is a subjective contraction among them, a return to greater self-centeredness and selfish, greedy pursuit of the individual good to the detriment of the general good.
The above-mentioned cycles are determined, to some extent, by our reaction to the energies and forces impacting humanity and the whole of planetary life from solar-systemic and zodiacal sources, great Lives of to us unimaginable grandeur. This is the basis for esoteric astrology and esoteric psychology being applied, as a burgeoning science, to shed light more fully on the causes of historical events as well as to identify future trends.
At this time of national and global emergency, let us call upon the spirit of a great man, an American leader who both inspired the awe and elicited the sympathies and affections of others; so much so that to this day, approximately one hundred years later, teddy bears continue to be the beloved companions of many of the world's children. Just as naturally, such a one awakens antipathies among those with cold, hardened hearts and calculating, devious minds. In spite of his magnanimity, he sometimes makes enemies as he goes about the practical work of serving the Light.
The battle that Theodore Roosevelt consciously waged is the same battle with which we are faced today. The progenitors of many of the same few families and small groups bound together by common selfish interest today control as never before. This is what the economic globalization phenomenon, the emerging (inter-)national security state, and the global mass information and entertainment industry is all about. The tyranny of money or Mammon drives a sick social system, one in which economic injustices increase in scale and scope, in which the principles of sound political philosophy have been forgotten, and in which cultural enterprise, as an expression of higher realities with an essential and vital contribution to make to the civilization of the day, dies a slow death.
Indeed, there are visionary thinkers and people of action who are working on initiatives and projects that are serving as the seeds of a brighter political, economic and cultural future. However, until that which impedes and hinders is destroyed or driven into exile in other worlds, these seeds will not receive proper nourishment, and will either die prematurely or never fully grow and develop in fulfillment of their potential. Such initiatives and projects are tolerated by the present governing individuals and institutions so long as they do not pose any real perceived threat to the established order of economic and political injustices. In fact, they are often instrumentalized to maintain the illusion of political, economic and cultural freedom. And so long as this illusion is maintained, most people's thoughts do not turn to rebellion, sane and sensible or otherwise.
In our view, participation in this battle for freedom cannot be avoided as many seem to secretly hope. The dark forces are not going to relinquish their control willingly and vacate positions of power of their own accord. Just as those serving the dark agenda have their allies in the superphysical realms, otherwise termed higher dimensions, so too do we have the support of the Spiritual Hierarchy, filling us with strength and wisdom proportionate to our ability to express these energies with love, clear-sight and skill-in-action.
CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2004/ContradaOct2704.htm
Also recommended to your attention:
Certain Fundamental Propositions of Esoteric Wisdom
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