Asunto: Re: Videotapes of GM in Mexico
De: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>
Fecha: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 08:00:20 -0500
Para: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>
CC: The Lucy Parsons Center Collective Email List <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, Guillermo Monteforte <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, Jonathan Treat <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>

Oaxaca, Saturday, September 17, 2005
Hi Mitch,

      Thanks for your posting to the Science for the People list about the films (your letter is below). The work sounds wonderful. A few thoughts come immediately to mind.

First, the Lucy Parsons Center in Boston is a fine venue for showing the films. There is a regular Wednesday night radical film showing, and there are more than a few folks who know Spanish. A brief introduction to the Lucy Parsons Center is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Grass/Boston.htm.

Second, here in Oaxaca Nancy and I are friends with excellent people in the group Ojo de Agua Comunicación (a brief introduction is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Grass/Oaxaca.htm. They do highly professional work and might conceivably be interested in preparing some of the films with English subtitles. The best contact (he's fluent in English) is Guillermo Monteforte <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]> .

Third, also in Oaxaca, a very good friend, Jonathan Treat <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]> works with students from the U.S. who come to learn about Mexico, and the films would be great for his classes. Also, the students are here to learn Spanish as part of their experience.

Now, changing gears, you'll be pleased to know that I got substantial response to my last e-mail distribution, now posted with a slight clarification in the very first paragraph (where Louis Proyect dumps on your readiness to speculate about conspiracies), all of it positive. The improved posting is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Notz/2005-09-14.htm and begins with

      Shortly after the hurricane Katrina left much of New Orleans devastated, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, one of the members of the Science for the People (SftP) discussion group, posted some speculations about possible governmental actions during the catastrophe. One of his sentences read “Well, one conceivable possibility is that a flood was inevitable and officials decided to direct it toward less expensive property.” In a response a short time later, Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, a long-time member of the SftP group, quoted that sentence and commented, “This sort of idle speculation characterizes the whole 9/11 conspiracy camp. I think we need to focus on what can be proved.”

      This began a cascade of postings regarding “conspiracy theories”, available on the SftP archives at http://list.uvm.edu/archives/science-for-the-people.html

All the best,
George
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asunto: Videotapes of GM in Mexico
De: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Fecha: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 08:17:36 -0400
Para: [log in to unmask]

Hi,

Cathryn and I are back in Brooklyn after a vivid and wonderful 2-week trip to Mexico that feels like 3 months. I've brought back with me videotapes of 12 half-hour shows on organic agriculture in Mexico (includes farming, animals, pesticide spraying, genetic engineering, destruction of the environment, water issues, resistance to corporate monocropping, etc.) made by Jorge Catalan, a young enviro Mexican who co-owns "Bee Natural" -- a small healthfood store in San Miguel de Allende. The tapes are all in Spanish; they were shown on T.V. in Mexico. Jorge was very excited when I asked for copies of the tapes and pledged to try to get them shown in the U.S.

It took quite an effort to get these duplicated. I found a fellow -- a wonderful Mexican artist, Jose luis Mendoza -- who runs a film series at the main library in San Miguel, and he tracked down the equipment needed and spent an entire night duplicating all 12 programs in real time so that they would not lose too much of their clarity. He liked them very much, said they were excellent and proposed to show them as part of his film series, possibly during our program on globalization next summer in San Miguel de Allende. To the extent that I could understand them (I do not speak Spanish) I concur. The tapes are professionally done and appear to be very, very interesting. It would be great to get and show unseen work of this high  quality in the US.

Hopefully, Jorge will mail to me a DVD version so it will be sharper (although the quality on my VHS duplicates is fine for viewing and showing in schools, as benefits for organizations, etc.).

Are any folks on this list interested in viewing, copying, and helping to distribute these tapes?

We might also need to have a native Spanish-speaker subtitle them in English and then make these available to our friends and comrades in DVD format. As no one in the US has ever seen them, this would be just great!

I'm very excited about this idea, the programs look top-notch and fascinating.

We also might think of community groups that might want to show them (without subtitles). I can certainly make them to anti GM groups for fundraising  purposes, etc. Any thoughts you have would be welcome. I'd hate to see them just sit collecting dust on my shelf .

Thanx ...

Mitchel Cohen
========================================================================= Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 13:11:51 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Videotapes of GM in Mexico Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Thanx George -- good suggestions, all of'm. I'll try to get the videos turned into DVDs, which makes it much easier to copy and transport. Translation would be, I think, a lot of work ... I guess we'd need to make written transcripts first. Aaaargh! Mitchel -----Original Message----- From: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]> Sent: Sep 17, 2005 12:05 PM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: Videotapes of GM in Mexico Re: Videotapes of GM in Mexico
Asunto: Re: Videotapes of GM in Mexico
De: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>
Fecha: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 08:00:20 -0500
Para: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>
CC: The Lucy Parsons Center Collective Email List <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, Guillermo Monteforte <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, Jonathan Treat <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>

Oaxaca, Saturday, September 17, 2005
Hi Mitch,

      Thanks for your posting to the Science for the People list about the films (your letter is below). The work sounds wonderful. A few thoughts come immediately to mind.

First, the Lucy Parsons Center in Boston is a fine venue for showing the films. There is a regular Wednesday night radical film showing, and there are more than a few folks who know Spanish. A brief introduction to the Lucy Parsons Center is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Grass/Boston.htm.

Second, here in Oaxaca Nancy and I are friends with excellent people in the group Ojo de Agua Comunicación (a brief introduction is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Grass/Oaxaca.htm. They do highly professional work and might conceivably be interested in preparing some of the films with English subtitles. The best contact (he's fluent in English) is Guillermo Monteforte <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]> .

Third, also in Oaxaca, a very good friend, Jonathan Treat <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]> works with students from the U.S. who come to learn about Mexico, and the films would be great for his classes. Also, the students are here to learn Spanish as part of their experience.

Now, changing gears, you'll be pleased to know that I got substantial response to my last e-mail distribution, now posted with a slight clarification in the very first paragraph (where Louis Proyect dumps on your readiness to speculate about conspiracies), all of it positive. The improved posting is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Notz/2005-09-14.htm and begins with

      Shortly after the hurricane Katrina left much of New Orleans devastated, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, one of the members of the Science for the People (SftP) discussion group, posted some speculations about possible governmental actions during the catastrophe. One of his sentences read “Well, one conceivable possibility is that a flood was inevitable and officials decided to direct it toward less expensive property.” In a response a short time later, Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, a long-time member of the SftP group, quoted that sentence and commented, “This sort of idle speculation characterizes the whole 9/11 conspiracy camp. I think we need to focus on what can be proved.”

      This began a cascade of postings regarding “conspiracy theories”, available on the SftP archives at http://list.uvm.edu/archives/science-for-the-people.html

All the best,
George
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asunto: Videotapes of GM in Mexico
De: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Fecha: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 08:17:36 -0400
Para: [log in to unmask]

Hi,

Cathryn and I are back in Brooklyn after a vivid and wonderful 2-week trip to Mexico that feels like 3 months. I've brought back with me videotapes of 12 half-hour shows on organic agriculture in Mexico (includes farming, animals, pesticide spraying, genetic engineering, destruction of the environment, water issues, resistance to corporate monocropping, etc.) made by Jorge Catalan, a young enviro Mexican who co-owns "Bee Natural" -- a small healthfood store in San Miguel de Allende. The tapes are all in Spanish; they were shown on T.V. in Mexico. Jorge was very excited when I asked for copies of the tapes and pledged to try to get them shown in the U.S.

It took quite an effort to get these duplicated. I found a fellow -- a wonderful Mexican artist, Jose luis Mendoza -- who runs a film series at the main library in San Miguel, and he tracked down the equipment needed and spent an entire night duplicating all 12 programs in real time so that they would not lose too much of their clarity. He liked them very much, said they were excellent and proposed to show them as part of his film series, possibly during our program on globalization next summer in San Miguel de Allende. To the extent that I could understand them (I do not speak Spanish) I concur. The tapes are professionally done and appear to be very, very interesting. It would be great to get and show unseen work of this high  quality in the US.

Hopefully, Jorge will mail to me a DVD version so it will be sharper (although the quality on my VHS duplicates is fine for viewing and showing in schools, as benefits for organizations, etc.).

Are any folks on this list interested in viewing, copying, and helping to distribute these tapes?

We might also need to have a native Spanish-speaker subtitle them in English and then make these available to our friends and comrades in DVD format. As no one in the US has ever seen them, this would be just great!

I'm very excited about this idea, the programs look top-notch and fascinating.

We also might think of community groups that might want to show them (without subtitles). I can certainly make them to anti GM groups for fundraising  purposes, etc. Any thoughts you have would be welcome. I'd hate to see them just sit collecting dust on my shelf .

Thanx ...

Mitchel Cohen
========================================================================= Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 15:49:53 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mike Brand <[log in to unmask]> Subject: LRNA Statement on Hurricane Katrina and its Aftermath MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1126986593" -------------------------------1126986593 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en =20 =20 League Statement on Hurricane Katrina and its Aftermath=20 Friends:=20 At a time of need, hunger, and crisis, our government left the poor and =20 those without means to die in the hands of Katrina=E2=80=99s fury. Our gover= nment =E2=80=93 =20 Democrats and Republicans; local, state, and federal =E2=80=93 did nothing t= o prevent the=20 death of thousands of American children, women, and men. Our rulers had no =20 plan to save anyone. Their plan was to let people die =E2=80=93 plain and s= imple.=20 No one knows how many people are dead, but the estimates are between 10,000= =20 on the low end and 30,000 on the high end. The state of Louisiana has order= ed=20 25,0000 body bags. But what is known is that 1.5 million people from New =20 Orleans, southern Louisiana, and southern Mississippi in a matter of hours =20 joined the ranks of the millions already without property, jobs or shelter.=20= =20 As with all major catastrophes and crises, the contradictions of this =20 capitalist system and its government are exposed for all to see. It was clea= rly =20 evident that the government was not concerned about the lives of the poor of= New =20 Orleans. Antagonisms of race and class were brazen. The protection of privat= e=20 property superseded the saving of lives. =20 On the other hand the American working class responded with open hearts. Th= e=20 outpouring of economic and moral support from those who possess very little=20= =20 was heartening. Americans of all colors have given us a light of hope and ar= e =20 pointing the direction, that if the government doesn=E2=80=99t care, =E2=80= =9Cwe the people=E2=80=9D=20 do. Americans are beginning to understand that the U.S. ruling class and=20 their lackeys, the politicians and government bureaucrats, betrayed the=20 inhabitants of the Gulf coast. They are ready to see that an economic syste= m that=20 is governed by profits is not the kind of system they want.=20 The current economic and political system that we have known all our lives=20 is in crisis. The current system of capitalism gave the United States one o= f=20 the highest standards of living to the American people that the world has e= ver=20 known. However, in the last ten years the gap between the rich and poor is =20 the greatest we have ever seen. The American middle class, that has been the= =20 base of the modern capitalist state, is eroding quickly. =20 We revolutionaries must ensure that the American people never forget August= =20 29, 2005. This is the date that the capitalist class, its economic system a= nd=20 its government left thousands of Americans to die. Revolutionaries need to =20 help advance the anger of the American people past Bush and the class he so=20 well represents. We must ensure that the American people no longer are dupe= d by=20 the rulers and their two-party system. The Democrats and the Republicans ar= e=20 cut with the same pair of scissors. The Republican and Democratic parties a= re=20 political parties of the capitalist class, and as such, they have no=20 interests promoting or defending the interests of the majority of Americans= . =20 The League of Revolutionaries for a new America (LRNA) is an organization=20 that devotes its resources and energies towards advancing the thinking of t= he=20 American people so that they act in their own class interests =E2=80=93 all= Americans=20 have a right to food, housing, shelter, health care, etc. The old society=20= is=20 clearly being destroyed, and a new one is going to be created. The question= .=20 is who will guide the process, and towards what? If we are going to have a=20= =20 cooperative society that puts the interests of the people first, then =20 revolutionaries have to group together into an organization that can strateg= ize, that =E2=80=99s why we formed the League.=20 If you agree with us, please get in contact with us. We=E2=80=99re an organ= ization=20 of people from all walks of life that have a vision of hope. Today there= =E2=80=99s=20 enough means and wherewithal to build a new society that values human befor= e the=20 corporations and their private property. But we cannot do it without you. I= f=20 you are a revolutionary, talk to us. If you want to do something, join us.=20 If you like what we say, make a donation. =20 For more information on the League of Revolutionaries for a New America,=20 visit our web site: _www.lrna.org_ (http://www.lrna.org/) , =20 write to us at P.O. Box 477113, Chicago, IL 60647 or [log in to unmask] (mailto:[log in to unmask]) ,=20 or call us at (773) 486-0028 or (800) 691-6888.=20 -------------------------------1126986593 Content-Type: text/html; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en

League Statement on Hurricane Katrina and its=20 Aftermath

 

 

 

Friends:

 

At a time of need, hunger, and crisis, our government left the poor= and=20 those without means to die in the hands of Katrina=E2=80=99s fury. Our gover= nment =E2=80=93=20 Democrats and Republicans; local, state, and federal =E2=80=93 did nothing t= o prevent=20 the death of thousands of American children, women, and men. Our rulers had=20= no=20 plan to save anyone. Their plan was to let people die =E2=80=93 plain and=20 simple.

 

No one knows how many people are dead, but the estimates are betwee= n=20 10,000 on the low end and 30,000 on the high end. The state of Louisiana has= =20 ordered 25,0000 body bags. But what is known is that 1.5 million people from= New=20 Orleans, southern Louisiana, and southern Mississippi in a matter of hours=20 joined the ranks of the millions already without property, jobs or shelter.=20

 

As with all major catastrophes and crises, the contradictions of th= is=20 capitalist system and its government are exposed for all to see. It was clea= rly=20 evident that the government was not concerned about the lives of the poor of= New=20 Orleans. Antagonisms of race and class were brazen. The protection of privat= e=20 property superseded the saving of lives.

 

On the other hand the American working class responded with open he= arts.=20 The outpouring of economic and moral support from those who possess very lit= tle=20 was heartening. Americans of all colors have given us a light of hope and ar= e=20 pointing the direction, that if the government doesn=E2=80=99t care, =E2=80= =9Cwe the people=E2=80=9D do.=20 Americans are beginning to understand that the=20 U.S. ruling=20 class and their lackeys, the politicians and government bureaucrats,  betrayed the inhabitants of the Gu= lf=20 coast. They are ready to see that an economic system that is governed by pro= fits=20 is not the kind of system they want.

 

The current economic and political system that we have known all ou= r=20 lives is in crisis. The current system of capitalism gave the United States=20= one=20 of the highest standards of living to the American people that the world has= =20 ever known. However, in the last ten years the gap between the rich and poor= is=20 the greatest we have ever seen. The American middle class, that has been the= =20 base of the modern capitalist state, is eroding quickly.

 

We revolutionaries must ensure that the American people never forge= t=20 August 29, 2005. This is the date that the capitalist class, its economic sy= stem=20 and its government left thousands of Americans to die. Revolutionaries need=20= to=20 help advance the anger of the American people past Bush and the class he so=20= well=20 represents. We must ensure that the American people no longer are duped by t= he=20 rulers and their two-party system. The Democrats and the Republicans are cut= =20 with the same pair of scissors. The Republican and Democratic parties are=20 political parties of the capitalist class, and as such, they have no interes= ts=20 promoting or defending the interests of the majority of Americans.

 

The League of Revolutionaries for a new Am= erica=20 (LRNA) is an organization that devotes its resources and energies towards=20 advancing the thinking of the American people so that they act in their own=20 class interests =E2=80=93 all Americans have a right to food, housing, shelt= er, health=20 care, etc.  The old society is= =20 clearly being destroyed, and a new one is going to be created. The question.= is=20 who will guide the process, and towards what? If we are going to have a=20 cooperative society that puts the interests of the people first, then=20 revolutionaries have to group together into an organization that can strateg= ize,=20 that=E2=80=99s why we formed the League.

 

If you agree with us, please get in=20= contact=20 with us. We=E2=80=99re an organization of people from all walks of life that= have a=20 vision of hope. Today there=E2=80=99s enough means and wherewithal to build=20= a new=20 society that values human before the corporations and their private property= .=20 But we cannot do it without you. If you are a revolutionary, talk to us. If=20= you=20 want to do something, join us. If you like what we say, make a=20 donation.=20

 

 

For more information on the League of Revolutionari= es for=20 a New America,

visit our web site:www.lrna.orgwrite to us at P.O. Box 477113, Chicago, IL 60647 or [log in to unmask],

or call us at (773) 486-0028 or (800) 691-6888.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------1126986593-- ========================================================================= Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 18:03:21 -0300 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Maurice Bazin <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Disrespect hurts the "left" by eroding mutual trust (=killing respect) Comments: To: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]> In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]> Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v734) Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=Apple-Mail-38-507429914 --Apple-Mail-38-507429914 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; delsp=yes; format=flowed Dear friends, Yes, Disrespect hurts Science for the People list's subscribers. If I disrespected every person I disagree with in my part of the =20 world, I would have no-one to converse with right away. "We", who read and write in the Sc f P List, are a community of =20 individuals who have a common basic attitude that most of us practice =20= within our means. We rely on a socialist perspective and that is "the =20= other possible world" we work towards. There are flaws in everyone of us certainly, and I have had to live =20= with those of the indigenous people I work for and with. I cannot =20 avoid being mad as hell at a leader who is drunk and insists on =20 taking me among the rapids of the Rio Negro to do a workshop in a =20 community up-river and does not want to know about a life jacket. I =20 look for someone else to go work with me and take the consequences of =20= the present system and the historical consequences of colonial =20 dominance and example upon individuals. I'll work for and with the =20 drunkard leader when he is sober. I am a pragmatic decolonizer; =20 learned pragmatism in the US and what colonialism is from my french =20 upbringing. If some brothers or sisters on the List get drunk on words, I may =20 "sieve them out" automatically; some may be more than drunken and =20 bent and twisted, so I "junk mail" them off. But why insult John =20 Landon? Probably none of us, even those who do psycho-work can help =20 him. We can only be sad to have to close ourselves to him to not =20 waste our time. So, please do the same thing (it can be temporary, =20 like it happened to me with Robert Mann, I think; and then, we =20 forget, or forgive; or keep believing non-stop in the deep value of =20 each human being and just push "delete" when that is clearly the only =20= thing to do with "that message". That way you are not disrespecting =20 the person as such). Disrespect is a base exercise that does not =20 combine with the ideal that moves us. Love, Maurice Maurice Bazin Florian=C3=B3polis, Brazil fone: 55 48 237 3140 On Sep 15, 2005, at 9:04 AM, George Salzman wrote: > Disrespect hurts Science for the People list, and > the =E2=80=9Cleft=E2=80=9D in general, by eroding mutual trust > by G.S. <[log in to unmask]> > September 14, 2005 > this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/=20 > Notz/2005-09-14.htm > > Shortly after the hurricane Katrina left much of New Orleans =20 > devastated, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>, one of the =20= > members of the Science for the People (SftP) discussion group, =20 > posted some speculations about possible governmental actions during =20= > the catastrophe. In a response a short time later, Louis Proyect =20 > <[log in to unmask]>, a long-time member of the SftP group posted the =20 > following: > > > Well, one conceivable possibility is that a flood was inevitable =20 > and officials decided to direct it toward less expensive property. > > This sort of idle speculation characterizes the whole 9/11 =20 > conspiracy camp. I think we need to focus on what can be proved. > > This began a cascade of postings regarding =E2=80=9Cconspiracy =20= > theories=E2=80=9D, available on the SftP archives at = http://list.uvm.edu/=20 > archives/science-for-the-people.html > > Some days later another SftP member, Laura Kamienski =20 > <[log in to unmask]>, posted an article from The Militant. Her =20 > posting was immediately disparaged by Proyect, and after a short =20 > exchange between them, I wrote to Laura in part, as follows: > > I wanted to encourage you not to withdraw (as you indicated =20 > you might) from responding to comments on the SftP list. I believe =20 > that Louis Proyect is an intelligent person (as his review of =20 > Deborah Koons Garc=C3=ADa's <[log in to unmask]> film =E2=80=9CThe = Future of =20 > Food=E2=80=9D shows), but he is contemptuous of people who he believes = =20 > know a lot less than he does. I was ticked off at his response to =20 > Mitchel Cohen, who he scorned for even considering what Proyect =20 > derides as =E2=80=9Cconspiracy theories.=E2=80=9D But Mitch responded = without =20 > surrendering through silence, and others on the list began to force =20= > Proyect into a somewhat defensive posture, which I thought was all =20 > to the good. > > Then you posted The Militant article, and that gave Proyect =20 > an =E2=80=9Cescape hatch=E2=80=9D through which he immediately climbed = in order =20 > to divert attention from his unjustified scorn for Mitch and others =20= > who are willing to think about conspiracies. The truth is that I =20 > have been put off for many years by what I see as the strident =20 > sectarian left (I consider myself an anarchist of what might be =20 > labelled =E2=80=9Cthe Kropotkin School=E2=80=9D). So at first I didn't = even =20 > bother to read The Militant article, but after Proyect's attack I =20 > looked for it. Then, when I read it, I did find it strident and was =20= > repelled by the rhetoric, but in fact I did not disagree with the =20 > assertions. Only the style, not the content repelled me. Of course =20 > I didn't read it with the fine-tooth comb that Proyect would, =20 > searching for a phrase here or there on which to nail a =20 > condemnation. I should also say that my sense is that he is =20 > probably correct in his assessment about the political significance =20= > of the Socialist Workers Party (because Herb Fox =20 > <[log in to unmask]>, who I know well, seems to agree). > > Where I think Proyect is badly mistaken is in his treating =20 > you (and Mitch) with contempt. I see that as not atypical in the so-=20= > called =E2=80=9Cleft=E2=80=9D, and regard it as enormously = destructive. How are =20 > we ever going to change people's minds if we immediately insult =20 > their intelligence. I had hoped, when I originally wrote Steve =20 > Cavrak <[log in to unmask]> suggesting the possibility of =20 > establishing the Science for the People discussion list, that it =20 > might serve to help enlighten many of us, and to facilitate our =20 > becoming active, or more active, in the ongoing struggle. I'm =20 > fairly certain that you and I strongly disagree about many =20 > theoretical questions, but there is simply no possibility of our =20 > ideas reaching each other if either of us is contemptuous of the =20 > other. > > This entire subject of how to build trust =E2=80=9Con the = left=E2=80=9D is =20 > really important, and not an easy one to tackle, I think mainly =20 > because of the way our egos are seemingly at stake. I tried to =20 > explore that problem almost four years ago in an essay, =E2=80=9CMutual = =20 > Aid and Mutual Trust=E2=80=9D, which is at = http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/=20 > salzman_g/Grass/Infra/Infra-5.htm > > Sincerely, and with best wishes, > George > P.S. I might at some time post this as an open letter to the list. > > Laura wrote back, > > I appreciate your time in writing this response. Time =20 > permitting I will take up any criticism of the articles themselves, =20= > but I will not get involved in, what I consider a ridiculous, =20 > debate about the SWP based on lies and innuendo. It serves no one. > > I am not an SWP member, but I am a supporter. One thing I =20 > find admirable about them is their refusal to involve themselves in =20= > petty squabbling. I hold that standard for myself as well. > > I'd like to respectfully suggest to you that you consider the =20= > possibility that what sounds like rhetoric is simply not the kind =20 > of rhetorical style we're all used to and subsequently think of as =20 > being somehow neutral (rhetoric free). The Militant certainly reads =20= > differently than The New York Times or academic jargon, yes. But I =20 > find this a positive, rather than a negative quality. I think we =20 > need to free ourselves from the guise of neutrality in academic and =20= > ruling class writing style that serves to cover lies, through =20 > obfuscation and half truths. As you say, there is nothing to =20 > disagree with in The Militant article. When there is, and I find a =20 > list member who's willing to discuss in good faith, then I will =20 > involve myself in a discussion. > > Best Regards, > Laura Kamienski > > And I answered, > > Hi Laura, > > I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear enough. It's not just =20 > the stridency of The Militant (and other publications of the =20 > unimaginative left) that turns me off. Its repetitious, leaden =20 > prose, written by people unable to laugh at themselves. I'm angry =20 > as a fucking hornet and don't care one bit about propriety of =20 > language. I detest academese. Shortly before writing my note to you =20= > I got an appeal from Not In Our Name for money to do something and, =20= > without reading the entire message, decided finally to get off =20 > their list. In unsubscribing, there was a place to make comments. I =20= > wrote them the following: > > =E2=80=9CI am so disgusted with what I see as your toothless =20 > adherence to so-called =E2=80=9Cprogressive=E2=80=9D behavior that I = don't want =20 > to be further irritated by your endless attempts to raise money to =20 > carry out efforts that start out from the premise that the nation-=20 > state in which we live is a legitimate institution and that the way =20= > to save ourselves (and the entire world) is by acting in accord =20 > with that belief. Advertising in the corporate press is handing =20 > resources to one of the principal ideological weapons of the =20 > fascist takeover that is occurring with terrifying speed, and you, =20 > in your determination to remain =E2=80=9Crational=E2=80=9D in the eyes = of =20 > deluded liberals, are ever busy measuring your words. I've totally =20 > given up on your organization. You should read about the =20 > Zapatistas, and the struggles in Bolivia and throughout Latin =20 > America, and learn what real struggle involves, and forget the =20 > fucking New York Times. Stop trying to be so =E2=80=9Crespectable.=E2=80= =9D Read =20 > about the behavior of most of the Jewish communities described by =20 > Hannah Arendt in Eichmann in Jerusalem and Raul Hilberg's =20 > Destruction of the European Jews and come to your senses. The time =20 > for bourgeois =E2=80=9Crespectability=E2=80=9D is long gone as the = U.S. regime =20 > deploys killers with machine guns in the streets of New Orleans. =20 > I'm desperately eager that my children's grandchildren can live =20 > half-way decent lives. To make that possible we have to get off our =20= > asses.=E2=80=9D > > =E2=80=95George Salzman > I hope, Laura, that you take a few moments to glance at damn =20 > near anything I've written and put on my website so that you can =20 > see I'm not a captive of =E2=80=9Crespectable academic rhetoric.=E2=80=9D= The =20 > fact is that the writing in The Militant is deplorably bad =E2=80=95 =20= > totally uninspired =E2=80=95 and, at least for me, it has never taught = me =20 > anything I didn't already know. One helluva lot better writer than =20 > I am is Joe Bageant <[log in to unmask]>, a man who really =20 > knows workers first hand. For Christ's sake, the self-appointed =20 > heavies who believe fatuously that they're a vanguard leading the =20 > ignorant workers to Nirvana ought to read Bageant. I give a little =20 > introduction to him in > The pageantry of Joe Bageantry, or, we > gotta get America straightened out > by G.S. <[log in to unmask]> > July 16, 2005 > this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/=20 > Discus/2005-07-16.htm > > We=E2=80=99re in deep shit, and we better face it. Mindless = flag-=20 > waving and patriotic Fourth-of-July hoopla just doesn=E2=80=99t cut = the =20 > mustard when it comes to getting a grip on what we damn well better =20= > do if we really want our children=E2=80=99s grandchildren to have any =20= > possibility of a decent life. Figuring out what to do, and then =20 > just plain doing it =E2=80=93 turning the rudder wheel of history = 180=C2=B0 =20 > around from Armageddon towards global survival =E2=80=93 needs a = gigantic =20 > effort.[1] Joe Bageant is one American guy who=E2=80=99s put his big =20= > shoulder to the wheel and is pushing hard to get the wake-up call =20 > out. There are lots of us pushing, but not yet enough. Opposing us =20 > and holding as steady a course as they can =E2=80=93 maintaining the =20= > status quo =E2=80=93 are all the forces of titanic capitalism, = foremost =20 > among them the U.S. government and its corporate media allies, each =20= > of which promotes ignorance of the terrible doomsday reality in =20 > which we are living, and especially of the damage the U.S. inflicts =20= > on the rest of humanity. > Of course no one of us really knows the answers . . . > > By the way, Laura, Bageant has a lot to say about urban =20 > intellectuals total failure to comprehend the kind of real workers =20 > who live, and whose lives are totally screwed up, in his town in a =20 > corner of Virginia, a town he calls Dickville (it's formal name is =20 > Winchester). > > All the best, > George > > All comments and criticisms are welcome. <[log in to unmask]> > If you want me to add or remove your name from my e-mail > distribution list, please let me know. > > * * * Return to the opening page of the Brief Notes sub-=20 > folder > Return to the opening page of the Strategy for Revolution folder > Return to the opening page of the Website > Last update of this page: September 14, 2005 --Apple-Mail-38-507429914 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 Dear friends,
Yes,=C2=A0Disrespect hurts Science for the People = list's subscribers.

If I disrespected every = person I disagree with in my part of the world, I would have no-one to = converse with right away.

=C2=A0"We", who read and write in the Sc f P=C2=A0 List, are = a community of individuals who have a common basic attitude that most of = us practice within our means. We rely on a socialist perspective and = that is "the other possible world" we work towards.=C2=A0=C2=A0

=


=C2=A0There are flaws in everyone of us certainly, and I have = had to live with those of the indigenous people I work for and with. I = cannot avoid being mad as hell at a leader who is drunk and insists on = taking me=C2=A0 among the rapids of the Rio Negro to do a workshop in a = community up-river and does not want to know about a life jacket. I look = for someone else to go work with me and take the consequences of the = present system and the historical consequences of colonial dominance and = example upon individuals.=C2=A0 I'll work for and with the drunkard = leader when he is sober. I am a pragmatic decolonizer; learned = pragmatism in the US and what colonialism is from my french = upbringing.


If some brothers or sisters on the List get drunk on words, I = may "sieve them out" automatically; some may be more than drunken and = bent and twisted, so I "junk mail" them off. But why insult John = Landon?=C2=A0 Probably none of us, even those who do=C2=A0psycho-work = can help him.=C2=A0 We can only be sad to have to close ourselves to him = to not waste our time.=C2=A0 So, please do the same thing (it can be = temporary, like it happened to me with Robert Mann, I think; and then, = we forget, or forgive; or keep believing non-stop in the deep value of = each human being and just push "delete" when that is clearly the only = thing to do with "that message". That way you are not disrespecting the = person as such).=C2=A0 =C2=A0Disrespect is a base exercise that does not = combine with the ideal=C2=A0that moves us.

Love,

Maurice


Maurice Bazin

Florian=C3=B3polis, = Brazil

fone:=C2=A0 55 = 48 237 3140


On Sep 15, 2005, at 9:04 AM, = George Salzman wrote:

Disrespect hurts Science for the People list, and
= the =E2=80=9Cleft=E2=80=9D in general, by eroding mutual = trust

by G.S.=C2= =A0 <george.sal= [log in to unmask]>
September 14, 2005 =

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Notz/2005-09-14.htm

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Shortly after the = hurricane Katrina left much of New Orleans devastated, Mitchel Cohen = <mitche= [log in to unmask]>, one of the members of the Science for the = People (SftP) discussion group, posted some speculations about = possible governmental actions during the catastrophe. In a response a = short time later, Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]&= gt;, a long-time member of the SftP group posted the following:


> Well, one conceivable possibility is = that a flood was inevitable and officials decided to direct it toward = less expensive property.

This sort of idle speculation = characterizes the whole 9/11 conspiracy camp. I think we need to focus = on what can be proved.


=C2=A0 =C2=A0 = =C2=A0 This began a cascade of postings regarding =E2=80=9Cconspiracy = theories=E2=80=9D, available on the SftP archives at http://l= ist.uvm.edu/archives/science-for-the-people.html

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 = =C2=A0 Some days later another SftP member, Laura Kamienski <lkamnski@buck= nell.edu>, posted an article from The Militant. Her = posting was immediately disparaged by Proyect, and after a short = exchange between them, I wrote to Laura in part, as follows:


=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 I wanted to encourage = you not to withdraw (as you indicated you might) from responding to = comments on the SftP list. I believe that Louis Proyect is an = intelligent person (as his review of Deborah Koons Garc=C3=ADa's <deborah@jfe= d.org> film =E2=80=9CThe Future of Food=E2=80=9D shows), but he = is contemptuous of people who he believes know a lot less than he does. = I was ticked off at his response to Mitchel Cohen, who he scorned for = even considering what Proyect derides as =E2=80=9Cconspiracy = theories.=E2=80=9D But Mitch responded without surrendering through = silence, and others on the list began to force Proyect into a somewhat = defensive posture, which I thought was all to the good.

=C2=A0 =C2=A0= =C2=A0 Then you posted The Militant article, and that gave = Proyect an =E2=80=9Cescape hatch=E2=80=9D through which he immediately = climbed in order to divert attention from his unjustified scorn for = Mitch and others who are willing to think about conspiracies. The truth = is that I have been put off for many years by what I see as the strident = sectarian left (I consider myself an anarchist of what might be labelled = =E2=80=9Cthe Kropotkin School=E2=80=9D). So at first I didn't even = bother to read The Militant article, but after Proyect's attack I = looked for it. Then, when I read it, I did find it strident and was = repelled by the rhetoric, but in fact I did not disagree with the = assertions. Only the style, not the content repelled me. Of course I = didn't read it with the fine-tooth comb that Proyect would, searching = for a phrase here or there on which to nail a condemnation. I should = also say that my sense is that he is probably correct in his assessment = about the political significance of the Socialist Workers Party (because = Herb Fox <herb_fox@post= .harvard.edu>, who I know well, seems to agree).

=C2=A0 =C2=A0= =C2=A0 Where I think Proyect is badly mistaken is in his treating you = (and Mitch) with contempt. I see that as not atypical in the so-called = =E2=80=9Cleft=E2=80=9D, and regard it as enormously destructive. How are = we ever going to change people's minds if we immediately insult their = intelligence. I had hoped, when I originally wrote Steve Cavrak <steve.cavrak@u= vm.edu> suggesting the possibility of establishing the Science = for the People discussion list, that it might serve to help enlighten = many of us, and to facilitate our becoming active, or more active, in = the ongoing struggle. I'm fairly certain that you and I strongly = disagree about many theoretical questions, but there is simply no = possibility of our ideas reaching each other if either of us is = contemptuous of the other.

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 This entire = subject of how to build trust =E2=80=9Con the left=E2=80=9D is really = important, and not an easy one to tackle, I think mainly because of the = way our egos are seemingly at stake. I tried to explore that problem = almost four years ago in an essay, =E2=80=9CMutual Aid and Mutual = Trust=E2=80=9D, which is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Grass/Infra/Infra-5.htm =

Sincerely, and with best wishes,
George
P.S. I might at = some time post this as an open letter to the list.


Laura wrote back,

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 I = appreciate your time in writing this response. Time permitting I will = take up any criticism of the articles themselves, but I will not get = involved in, what I consider a ridiculous, debate about the SWP based on = lies and innuendo. It serves no one.

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 I am = not an SWP member, but I am a supporter. One thing I find admirable = about them is their refusal to involve themselves in petty squabbling. I = hold that standard for myself as well.

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 I'd = like to respectfully suggest to you that you consider the possibility = that what sounds like rhetoric is simply not the kind of rhetorical = style we're all used to and subsequently think of as being somehow = neutral (rhetoric free). The Militant certainly reads differently = than The New York Times or academic jargon, yes. But I find this = a positive, rather than a negative quality. I think we need to free = ourselves from the guise of neutrality in academic and ruling class = writing style that serves to cover lies, through obfuscation and half = truths. As you say, there is nothing to disagree with in The = Militant article. When there is, and I find a list member who's = willing to discuss in good faith, then I will involve myself in a = discussion.

Best Regards,
Laura Kamienski


And I answered,

Hi Laura,

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 = =C2=A0 I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear enough. It's not just the = stridency of The Militant (and other publications of the = unimaginative left) that turns me off. Its repetitious, leaden prose, = written by people unable to laugh at themselves. I'm angry as a fucking = hornet and don't care one bit about propriety of language. I detest = academese. Shortly before writing my note to you I got an appeal from = Not In Our Name for money to do something and, without reading the = entire message, decided finally to get off their list. In unsubscribing, = there was a place to make comments. I wrote them the following:


=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =E2=80=9CI am so = disgusted with what I see as your toothless adherence to so-called = =E2=80=9Cprogressive=E2=80=9D behavior that I don't want to be further = irritated by your endless attempts to raise money to carry out efforts = that start out from the premise that the nation-state in which we live = is a legitimate institution and that the way to save ourselves (and the = entire world) is by acting in accord with that belief. Advertising in = the corporate press is handing resources to one of the principal = ideological weapons of the fascist takeover that is occurring with = terrifying speed, and you, in your determination to remain = =E2=80=9Crational=E2=80=9D in the eyes of deluded liberals, are ever = busy measuring your words. I've totally given up on your organization. = You should read about the Zapatistas, and the struggles in Bolivia and = throughout Latin America, and learn what real struggle involves, and = forget the fucking New York Times. Stop trying to be so = =E2=80=9Crespectable.=E2=80=9D Read about the behavior of most of the = Jewish communities described by Hannah Arendt in Eichmann in = Jerusalem and Raul Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews = and come to your senses. The time for bourgeois =E2=80=9Crespectability=E2= =80=9D is long gone as the U.S. regime deploys killers with machine guns = in the streets of New Orleans. I'm desperately eager that my children's = grandchildren can live half-way decent lives. To make that possible we = have to get off our asses.=E2=80=9D

=E2=80=95Geo= rge Salzman

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 I = hope, Laura, that you take a few moments to glance at damn near anything = I've written and put on my website so that you can see I'm not a captive = of =E2=80=9Crespectable academic rhetoric.=E2=80=9D The fact is that the = writing in The Militant is deplorably bad =E2=80=95 totally = uninspired =E2=80=95 and, at least for me, it has never taught me = anything I didn't already know. One helluva lot better writer than I am = is Joe Bageant <bageantjb@net= scape.net>, a man who really knows workers first hand. For = Christ's sake, the self-appointed heavies who believe fatuously that = they're a vanguard leading the ignorant workers to Nirvana ought to read = Bageant. I give a little introduction to him in
The pageantry of Joe = Bageantry, or, we
gotta get America straightened out
=
by G.S.=C2=A0 <george.sal= [log in to unmask]>
July 16, 2005

this page = is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2005-07-16.h= tm

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 We=E2=80=99re in deep = shit, and we better face it. Mindless flag-waving and patriotic = Fourth-of-July hoopla just doesn=E2=80=99t cut the mustard when it comes = to getting a grip on what we damn well better do if we really = want our children=E2=80=99s grandchildren to have any possibility of a = decent life. Figuring out what to do, and then just plain doing = it =E2=80=93 turning the rudder wheel of history 180=C2=B0 around = from Armageddon towards global survival =E2=80=93 needs a gigantic = effort.[1] Joe Bageant is one American guy who=E2=80=99s put his big = shoulder to the wheel and is pushing hard to get the wake-up call out. = There are lots of us pushing, but not yet enough. Opposing us and = holding as steady a course as they can =E2=80=93 maintaining the = status quo =E2=80=93 are all the forces of titanic capitalism, = foremost among them the U.S. government and its corporate media allies, = each of which promotes ignorance of the terrible doomsday reality in = which we are living, and especially of the damage the U.S. inflicts on = the rest of humanity.

=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Of course no one of us = really knows the answers . . .


=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 By the way, Laura, Bageant has a = lot to say about urban intellectuals total failure to comprehend the = kind of real workers who live, and whose lives are totally screwed up, = in his town in a corner of Virginia, a town he calls Dickville (it's = formal name is Winchester).

All the best,
George


All comments and criticisms are = welcome.=C2=A0 =C2=A0 <george.sal= [log in to unmask]>

If you want me to add or remove your name from = my e-mail
distribution list, please let me know.

=
*=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 *=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 *
Return to = the opening page of the B= rief Notes sub-folder
Return to the opening page of the Strate= gy for Revolution folder
Return to the opening page of the Website =

Last update of this page: September = 14, 2005
=

= --Apple-Mail-38-507429914-- ========================================================================= Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 17:23:56 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: John Landon <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Disrespect hurts the "left" by eroding mutual trust (=killing respect) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1126992236" -------------------------------1126992236 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit You preach respect, and then proceed to the silliest disrepect as to me. I am used to it, so tralala. I am sure you disagree with me, but If you are to be so dismissive in public, you have a responsibility to say why, what your beef is, and discuss the matter. I may be wrong on any given thing, but I doubt if the posts I have put up here deserve the category you put them in. What is the basis of your objection? Darwinian issues, Marxist issues, philosophic issues, sociobiology? You wouldn't be able to do even that because, I think, my posts make all too much sense, and you find that threatening at the fag end of socialist dogmas. I suspect you of resentment that the whole Science For the People program is a total failure, as evo-psych rubs you faces in the dust. I always felt an impulse to rush in and help. What a waste of time, then. But I deny you ANY categorical place on the left, after that kind of smear. Face your has been frustrations and don't fob them off on me. One reason I have persisted on this list is because I value the issues raised by socialist thought and, having studied these questions intensively, throw up my hands at the difficulty of dialogue with those who don't grasp their own subject matter. The question of Kant, Hegel, Marx and Engels is an extraordinary quagmire, and I think my perspective there could help many of those who struggle with garbled versions of Second Internationale junk marxism which has proven of no use to anyone. If it such statements as that that offend, I am sorry, but you should be grateful anyone bothers with you anymore. I think I went wrong on this list when I suggested everyone read The Black Book of Communism. Before preening your socialist feathers, remember that your lineage has broken the world record for mass murder. So I need not apologize for a still sincere, yet altogether wary, altogether wary, discourse in such an environment as this. In a message dated 9/17/2005 5:04:15 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes: If some brothers or sisters on the List get drunk on words, I may "sieve them out" automatically; some may be more than drunken and bent and twisted, so I "junk mail" them off. But why insult John Landon? Probably none of us, even those who do psycho-work can help him. We can only be sad to have to close ourselves to him to not waste our time. So, please do the same thing (it can be temporary, like it happened to me with Robert Mann, I think; and then, we forget, or forgive; or keep believing non-stop in the deep value of each human being and just push "delete" when that is clearly the only thing to do with "that message". That way you are not disrespecting the person as such). Disrespect is a base exercise that does not combine with the ideal that moves us. John Landon [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask] World History And The Eonic Effect Second Edition: _http://www.history-and-evolution.com_ (http://www.history-and-evolution.com/) Darwiniana: An Evolution Blog _http://darwiniana.com_ (http://darwiniana.com/) -------------------------------1126992236 Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
You preach respect, and then proceed to the silliest disrepect as=20 to me. I am used to it, so tralala.
I am sure you disagree with me, but  If you are to be so dismissiv= e in=20 public, you have a responsibility to say why, what your beef is, and discuss= the=20 matter.
 
I may be wrong on any given thing, but I doubt if the posts I have put=20= up=20 here deserve the category you put them in.
What is the basis of your objection? Darwinian issues, Marxist issues,=20 philosophic issues, sociobiology? 
 
You wouldn't be able to do even that because, I think, my posts make al= l=20 too much sense, and you find that threatening at the fag end of  social= ist=20 dogmas.
 
I suspect you of resentment that the whole Science For the People progr= am=20 is a total failure, as evo-psych rubs you faces in the dust. I always felt a= n=20 impulse to rush in and help.
What a waste of time, then. 
But I deny you ANY categorical place on the left, after that kind of sm= ear.=20 Face your has been frustrations and don't fob them off on me.
 
One reason I have persisted on this list is because I value the issues=20 raised by socialist thought and, having studied these questions intensively,= =20 throw up my hands at the difficulty of dialogue with those who don't grasp t= heir=20 own subject matter. The question of Kant, Hegel, Marx and Engels is an=20 extraordinary quagmire, and I think my perspective there could help many of=20 those who struggle with garbled versions of Second Internationale junk marxi= sm=20 which has proven of no use to anyone. If it such statements as that that off= end,=20 I am sorry, but you should be grateful anyone bothers with you anymore.
 
I think I went wrong on this list when I suggested everyone read The Bl= ack=20 Book of Communism. Before preening your socialist feathers, remember that yo= ur=20 lineage has broken the world record for mass murder. So I need not apologize= for=20 a still sincere, yet altogether wary, altogether wary, discourse in such an=20 environment as this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In a message dated 9/17/2005 5:04:15 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,=20 [log in to unmask] writes:
<= FONT=20 style=3D"BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" face=3DHelvetica color=3D#000000 s= ize=3D2>

If some brothers or sisters on the List get drunk on words, I may= =20 "sieve them out" automatically; some may be more than drunken and bent and= =20 twisted, so I "junk mail" them off. But why insult John Landon?  Prob= ably=20 none of us, even those who do psycho-work can help him.  We can=20= only=20 be sad to have to close ourselves to him to not waste our time.  So,=20 please do the same thing (it can be temporary, like it happened to me with= =20 Robert Mann, I think; and then, we forget, or forgive; or keep believing=20 non-stop in the deep value of each human being and just push "delete" when= =20 that is clearly the only thing to do with "that message". That way you are= not=20 disrespecting the person as such).   Disrespect is a base exerci= se=20 that does not combine with the ideal that moves=20 us.

 
John=20 Landon
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask]
World History
And=20= The=20 Eonic Effect
Second Edition:
http://www.history-and-evolut= ion.com
Darwiniana
:=20
An Evolution Blog
http://darwiniana.com

=
-------------------------------1126992236-- ========================================================================= Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 19:38:21 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: 9th ward survivor tells her tale on video Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit http://wafb.com/Global/SearchResults.asp?qu=neville&x=0&y=0 ========================================================================= Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 11:41:02 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Religion, science and Hurricane Katrina Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084967229==_ma============" --============_-1084967229==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/sep2005/reli-s19.shtml Religion, science and Hurricane Katrina By Joseph Kay 19 September 2005 In his address to the nation from New Orleans last Thursday, Bush repeatedly invoked religion and religious organizations. The maudlin appeals to God went beyond even the president's stock-and-trade sermonizing. Speaking of those who had welcomed in evacuees, he emphasized the role of "religious congregations." He spoke of the "armies of compassion," a term that has been used with increasing frequency by the administration as a pseudonym for Christian fundamentalist organizations. These armies, Bush said, "give our reconstruction effort its humanity." He asked people to donate "to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and other good charities and religious congregations," deliberately putting an organization associated with religious ideology before the secular Red Cross. Bush declared that the devastated region would be rebuilt because of "a core of strength that survives all hurt, a faith in God no storm can take away..." He concluded with the declaration that the country would rebuild as it did after earlier natural disasters. "These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know, with the help of grace and one another," he said. "They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death, a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands." Bush declared Friday to be a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. During much of the day, the television airwaves were saturated with coverage of religious services and vigils. This was followed by Bush's weekly radio address on Saturday, which was punctuated with references to "God's grace," "God's comfort," and the "strength of the Almighty." Significantly, the official day of prayer came on the same day as a new report in the journal Science documenting the correspondence between an increase in the number of severe hurricanes and global warming. Researchers at Georgia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that the number of category four or five hurricanes has nearly doubled over the past three decades. Since 1990, the world has averaged 18 such hurricanes per year, up from 11 a year during the 1970s. When it struck Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Hurricane Katrina was a category four storm. The scientists pointed to rising surface sea temperatures as a factor in the increased incidence of severe hurricanes, with one co-author noting that the study provides "increasing confidence" that there is a connection between global warming and the greater number of intense storms. Bush's efforts to chloroform public opinion with superstition and fatalism are meant to distract attention from the actual scientific understanding of events such as Hurricane Katrina. The administration has repeatedly sought to deny, or at least call into question, the existence of global warming, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence. It has scuttled even the most limited international agreements to reduce CO2 emissions, which cause global warming and are produced mainly through the combustion of fossil fuels. In doing so, the US government has acted as an agent of the American energy industry and other corporate interests. As with many of the environmental problems the country and the world now face, the findings and warnings of scientists on global warming cut across the profit interests of dominant sections of the American ruling elite. The denial of environmental problems has disarmed the population in the face of real dangers. A serious attempt to deal with global warming would require not only a major shift in the sources and methods of energy production, but a massive investment in social infrastructure to guard against disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, something the American ruling elite is unwilling to carry out. There is, of course, a more immediate and sordid aspect of the appeal to religion. It is used to justify the funneling of federal monies to religious groups, in particular to right-wing Christian fundamentalist outfits that are close to the Republican Party and serve as a principal base of the Bush administration. Bush announced in his speech that part of the money that is being raised by former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will go to religious organizations. Increasingly, the Republican Party has sought to use religious organizations to drum up support on the basis of "moral issues" such as abortion and homosexuality. This has not been limited to the traditional churches of the Republican right. In the most recent election, the Bush campaign sought to appeal to clergymen of predominantly black congregations in an effort to increase the Republican vote among African-Americans. Earlier in the month, it was revealed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) included prominently among its list of recommended charities Operation Blessing, an organization with links to Pat Robertson, the right-wing evangelist who recently called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Of the dozens of organizations that FEMA recommended, the vast majority were religious outfits of one form or another. The administration sees the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to push its efforts to integrate church and state and to promote government financing of "faith-based" groups in place of social programs for those most severely crushed by the workings of the capitalist system. Aside from these more immediate political calculations, the administration's relentless promotion of religion serves the long-range goal of undermining science and polluting the public consciousness with superstition and backwardness. To the extent that mystification of both natural and social processes gains the upper hand, the masses of people who are victimized by the policies of the government and the financial elite are ideologically and politically disarmed. Invocations of God serve to impede a serious examination of the causes of the Katrina disaster-above all, those which arise not from nature, but from the dysfunctional and socially destructive workings of the capitalist system, and the role of the parties, media organs, and government institutions that uphold that system. Where did this disaster that has befallen the people of Louisiana and Mississippi come from? It was not primarily the product of blind natural forces, an "act of God." It not only could have been foreseen, it was foreseen. Engineers, scientists and others had warned for decades that the city of New Orleans, lying below sea level and protected from the surrounding water by an inadequate levee system, was not safeguarded from a category four or five hurricane. With global warming increasing the number of such hurricanes, it was inevitable that the region would eventually be struck, and there have been several close calls over the past decade. But no preparations were made. None of the measures required to protect the city and the entire region were implemented, even though doing so would have cost a fraction of the outlays required to address, even in the most rudimentary way, the devastation caused by Katrina and the government's failure to respond. Nothing was done because over the past several decades the American ruling class, under administrations of both political parties, has sought to systematically cut all social spending, including spending on public infrastructure. Bound up with deregulation, privatization and the dismantling of social programs, this policy was designed to enrich a tiny minority of the population at the expense of the American people as a whole. In this, it has succeeded to the point where the United States is the most socially polarized of all the major industrialized countries. Hurricane Katrina has laid bare the ugly face of American capitalist society-the enormous social inequality, the impoverishment of broad sections of the population, and the looting of society by a financial oligarchy. These are the realities that the sanctimonious invocations of God and religion are meant to obscure. In championing religion, Bush is speaking not merely to his own right-wing constituency. To the hundreds of thousands of people who have been affected by the hurricane, and the millions more who have looked on with shock and horror, he is saying: Do not look to society and politics for the cause, or the solution, to your problems. Do not look to me and the interests I represent for an explanation or accounting, let alone restitution. Look to God. In the guise of providing conciliation to those who are suffering, this shameless purveyor of lies and wars is pointing to the heavens to defend the most earthly and material of social interests. --============_-1084967229==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Religion, science and Hurricane Katrina
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/sep2005/reli-s19.shtml

Religion, science and Hurricane Katrina
By Joseph Kay
19 September 2005

In his address to the nation from New Orleans last Thursday, Bush repeatedly invoked religion and religious organizations. The maudlin appeals to God went beyond even the president's stock-and-trade sermonizing.

Speaking of those who had welcomed in evacuees, he emphasized the role of "religious congregations." He spoke of the "armies of compassion," a term that has been used with increasing frequency by the administration as a pseudonym for Christian fundamentalist organizations. These armies, Bush said, "give our reconstruction effort its humanity." He asked people to donate "to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and other good charities and religious congregations," deliberately putting an organization associated with religious ideology before the secular Red Cross.

Bush declared that the devastated region would be rebuilt because of "a core of strength that survives all hurt, a faith in God no storm can take away..." He concluded with the declaration that the country would rebuild as it did after earlier natural disasters. "These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know, with the help of grace and one another," he said. "They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death, a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands."

Bush declared Friday to be a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. During much of the day, the television airwaves were saturated with coverage of religious services and vigils. This was followed by Bush's weekly radio address on Saturday, which was punctuated with references to "God's grace," "God's comfort," and the "strength of the Almighty."

Significantly, the official day of prayer came on the same day as a new report in the journal Science documenting the correspondence between an increase in the number of severe hurricanes and global warming.

Researchers at Georgia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that the number of category four or five hurricanes has nearly doubled over the past three decades. Since 1990, the world has averaged 18 such hurricanes per year, up from 11 a year during the 1970s. When it struck Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Hurricane Katrina was a category four storm.

The scientists pointed to rising surface sea temperatures as a factor in the increased incidence of severe hurricanes, with one co-author noting that the study provides "increasing confidence" that there is a connection between global warming and the greater number of intense storms.

Bush's efforts to chloroform public opinion with superstition and fatalism are meant to distract attention from the actual scientific understanding of events such as Hurricane Katrina. The administration has repeatedly sought to deny, or at least call into question, the existence of global warming, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence. It has scuttled even the most limited international agreements to reduce CO2 emissions, which cause global warming and are produced mainly through the combustion of fossil fuels.

In doing so, the US government has acted as an agent of the American energy industry and other corporate interests. As with many of the environmental problems the country and the world now face, the findings and warnings of scientists on global warming cut across the profit interests of dominant sections of the American ruling elite.

The denial of environmental problems has disarmed the population in the face of real dangers. A serious attempt to deal with global warming would require not only a major shift in the sources and methods of energy production, but a massive investment in social infrastructure to guard against disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, something the American ruling elite is unwilling to carry out.

There is, of course, a more immediate and sordid aspect of the appeal to religion. It is used to justify the funneling of federal monies to religious groups, in particular to right-wing Christian fundamentalist outfits that are close to the Republican Party and serve as a principal base of the Bush administration. Bush announced in his speech that part of the money that is being raised by former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will go to religious organizations.

Increasingly, the Republican Party has sought to use religious organizations to drum up support on the basis of "moral issues" such as abortion and homosexuality. This has not been limited to the traditional churches of the Republican right. In the most recent election, the Bush campaign sought to appeal to clergymen of predominantly black congregations in an effort to increase the Republican vote among African-Americans.

Earlier in the month, it was revealed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) included prominently among its list of recommended charities Operation Blessing, an organization with links to Pat Robertson, the right-wing evangelist who recently called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Of the dozens of organizations that FEMA recommended, the vast majority were religious outfits of one form or another.

The administration sees the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to push its efforts to integrate church and state and to promote government financing of "faith-based" groups in place of social programs for those most severely crushed by the workings of the capitalist system.

Aside from these more immediate political calculations, the administration's relentless promotion of religion serves the long-range goal of undermining science and polluting the public consciousness with superstition and backwardness. To the extent that mystification of both natural and social processes gains the upper hand, the masses of people who are victimized by the policies of the government and the financial elite are ideologically and politically disarmed.

Invocations of God serve to impede a serious examination of the causes of the Katrina disaster-above all, those which arise not from nature, but from the dysfunctional and socially destructive workings of the capitalist system, and the role of the parties, media organs, and government institutions that uphold that system.

Where did this disaster that has befallen the people of Louisiana and Mississippi come from? It was not primarily the product of blind natural forces, an "act of God." It not only could have been foreseen, it was foreseen.

Engineers, scientists and others had warned for decades that the city of New Orleans, lying below sea level and protected from the surrounding water by an inadequate levee system, was not safeguarded from a category four or five hurricane. With global warming increasing the number of such hurricanes, it was inevitable that the region would eventually be struck, and there have been several close calls over the past decade.

But no preparations were made. None of the measures required to protect the city and the entire region were implemented, even though doing so would have cost a fraction of the outlays required to address, even in the most rudimentary way, the devastation caused by Katrina and the government's failure to respond.

Nothing was done because over the past several decades the American ruling class, under administrations of both political parties, has sought to systematically cut all social spending, including spending on public infrastructure. Bound up with deregulation, privatization and the dismantling of social programs, this policy was designed to enrich a tiny minority of the population at the expense of the American people as a whole. In this, it has succeeded to the point where the United States is the most socially polarized of all the major industrialized countries.

Hurricane Katrina has laid bare the ugly face of American capitalist society-the enormous social inequality, the impoverishment of broad sections of the population, and the looting of society by a financial oligarchy. These are the realities that the sanctimonious invocations of God and religion are meant to obscure.

In championing religion, Bush is speaking not merely to his own right-wing constituency. To the hundreds of thousands of people who have been affected by the hurricane, and the millions more who have looked on with shock and horror, he is saying: Do not look to society and politics for the cause, or the solution, to your problems. Do not look to me and the interests I represent for an explanation or accounting, let alone restitution. Look to God.

In the guise of providing conciliation to those who are suffering, this shameless purveyor of lies and wars is pointing to the heavens to defend the most earthly and material of social interests.
--============_-1084967229==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 11:47:45 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Bird flu could cause global economic catastrophe Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084966828==_ma============" --============_-1084966828==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Scary stuff: Also see Mike Davis' article on this=20 issue in the latest International Socialist=20 Review:=20 http://www.isreview.org/issues/43/avianflu.shtml.=20 --PG http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/article313485.ece Bird flu could cause global economic catastrophe By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor Published: 18 September 2005 Bird flu threatens to cause a "catastrophic"=20 economic crash in Britain and around the world,=20 unprecedented in modern times, according to new=20 research. Two studies from Nottingham University and the=20 Bank of Montreal in Canada show that a flu=20 pandemic - described by the World Health=20 Organisation last week as inevitable - would=20 slash at least =A395bn from British GDP, extinguish=20 at least 900,000 jobs and create a global=20 depression to rival that of the 1930s. They come as world leaders attending the United=20 Nations summit last week began to recognise the=20 scale of the potential threat from the influenza=20 virus, codenamed H5N1, which has reached the=20 borders of Europe. President George Bush has launched an=20 International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic=20 Influenza, under which countries - including the=20 US, Britain, Australia, Canada, China and Russia=20 - and UN agencies will pool resources and=20 expertise to try to head it off. His=20 administration announced that health ministers=20 from around the world would shortly meet in=20 Canada to back the initiative. Bird flu, which originated in China and=20 South-east Asia, is being spread by migrating=20 wildfowl, infecting domestic poultry. The UN's=20 =46ood and Agriculture Organisation warned this=20 month that it will reach every continent. Last=20 week Russia reported a third outbreak among=20 chickens in Chelyabinsk in the Urals, on Europe's=20 doorstep. So far about 60 people are known to have died=20 from the virus, about half of those infected.=20 Experts fear that it will mutate to spread=20 rapidly among people, killing tens - perhaps=20 hundreds - of millions worldwide. Last week Dr=20 Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World=20 Health Organisation, said the mutation was=20 inevitable and "just an issue of timing".=20 Publicly the Government says that more than=20 50,000 people are likely to die in Britain, but=20 privately it is preparing for up to 750,000=20 deaths. Earlier this year Professor Hugh=20 Pennington, one of the country's experts, said=20 that the British death toll could reach two=20 million. The Nottingham University study was commissioned=20 for an edition of the ITV programme Tonight with=20 Trevor McDonald, which will be screened tomorrow=20 and features The Independent on Sunday's=20 campaigning coverage of the issue. The study used a giant computer model of the=20 British economy. It found that even a relatively=20 mild pandemic, with 50,000 deaths, would cut=20 Britain's GDP by a staggering 8 per cent or=20 =A395bn, cost 941,000 jobs, and "affect every=20 aspect of life in Britain". Professor Thea Sinclair, who led the research,=20 says that a more serious pandemic, killing=20 hundreds of thousands or millions of Britons,=20 would have "truly catastrophic" effects on the=20 economy. --============_-1084966828==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Bird flu could cause global economic catastrophe
Scary stuff: Also see Mike Davis' article on this issue in the latest International Socialist Review: http://www.isreview.org/issues/43/avianflu.shtml. --PG


http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/article313485.ece

Bird flu could cause global economic catastrophe
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Published: 18 September 2005

Bird flu threatens to cause a "catastrophic" economic crash in Britain and around the world, unprecedented in modern times, according to new research.

Two studies from Nottingham University and the Bank of Montreal in Canada show that a flu pandemic - described by the World Health Organisation last week as inevitable - would slash at least =A395bn from British GDP, extinguish at least 900,000 jobs and create a global depression to rival that of the 1930s.

They come as world leaders attending the United Nations summit last week began to recognise the scale of the potential threat from the influenza virus, codenamed H5N1, which has reached the borders of Europe.

President George Bush has launched an International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, under which countries - including the US, Britain, Australia, Canada, China and Russia - and UN agencies will pool resources and expertise to try to head it off. His administration announced that health ministers from around the world would shortly meet in Canada to back the initiative.

Bird flu, which originated in China and South-east Asia, is being spread by migrating wildfowl, infecting domestic poultry. The UN's =46ood and Agriculture Organisation warned this month that it will reach every continent. Last week Russia reported a third outbreak among chickens in Chelyabinsk in the Urals, on Europe's doorstep.

So far about 60 people are known to have died from the virus, about half of those infected. Experts fear that it will mutate to spread rapidly among people, killing tens - perhaps hundreds - of millions worldwide. Last week Dr Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World Health Organisation, said the mutation was inevitable and "just an issue of timing". Publicly the Government says that more than 50,000 people are likely to die in Britain, but privately it is preparing for up to 750,000 deaths. Earlier this year Professor Hugh Pennington, one of the country's experts, said that the British death toll could reach two million.

The Nottingham University study was commissioned for an edition of the ITV programme Tonight with Trevor McDonald, which will be screened tomorrow and features The Independent on Sunday's campaigning coverage of the issue.

The study used a giant computer model of the British economy. It found that even a relatively mild pandemic, with 50,000 deaths, would cut Britain's GDP by a staggering 8 per cent or =A395bn, cost 941,000 jobs, and "affect every aspect of life in Britain".
Professor Thea Sinclair, who led the research, says that a more serious pandemic, killing hundreds of thousands or millions of Britons, would have "truly catastrophic" effects on the economy.
--============_-1084966828==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 13:52:14 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Carmelo Ruiz <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Antimicrobial peptides MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit --- Carmelo Ruiz <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 > Subject: Antimicrobial peptides > > The article in the link below has been submitted on > behalf of the Independent Science Panel to the > Niigata > Prefecture in Japan, in support of legal action > taken > by 12 Japanese citizens seeking to halt the trial of > transgenic rice producing antimicrobial peptides. > Please circulate widely and send to your elected > representatives. > > http://www.i-sis.org.uk/NTROTPWAP.php > > No to Releases of Transgenic Plants with > Antimicrobial > Peptides > Professor Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho > > The evolution of resistance to antimicrobial > peptides > will severely compromise both the natural defence of > the human immune system against disease and the > possibilities of effective therapies emerging in the > wake of the disaster of widespread antibiotic > resistance. As versions of the peptides also provide > defence against pathogens in other animals and > plants, > the ecological impact of resistant pathogens could > be > devastating. > > Another factor adding to the hazards to health and > the > environment is that the synthetic transgenes code > for > peptides that are significantly different from the > natural versions. This may itself be responsible for > toxic or other harmful effects that cannot be known > unless thoroughly tested. > ====== You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire. Once the flame begins to catch, the wind will blow it higher. -Peter Gabriel http://carmeloruiz.blogspot.com/ Haciendo Punto en Otro Blog http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/ PROYECTO DE BIOSEGURIDAD ______________________________________________________ Yahoo! for Good Donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate3/ ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 08:55:12 +0200 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Antimicrobial peptides MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Hey, Carmelo, I'm interested as to why you have a quote from Biko at the end of your messages? Mandi ----- Original Message ----- From: "Carmelo Ruiz" <[log in to unmask]> To: <[log in to unmask]> Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 10:52 PM Subject: Antimicrobial peptides --- Carmelo Ruiz <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 > Subject: Antimicrobial peptides > > The article in the link below has been submitted on > behalf of the Independent Science Panel to the > Niigata > Prefecture in Japan, in support of legal action > taken > by 12 Japanese citizens seeking to halt the trial of > transgenic rice producing antimicrobial peptides. > Please circulate widely and send to your elected > representatives. > > http://www.i-sis.org.uk/NTROTPWAP.php > > No to Releases of Transgenic Plants with > Antimicrobial > Peptides > Professor Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho > > The evolution of resistance to antimicrobial > peptides > will severely compromise both the natural defence of > the human immune system against disease and the > possibilities of effective therapies emerging in the > wake of the disaster of widespread antibiotic > resistance. As versions of the peptides also provide > defence against pathogens in other animals and > plants, > the ecological impact of resistant pathogens could > be > devastating. > > Another factor adding to the hazards to health and > the > environment is that the synthetic transgenes code > for > peptides that are significantly different from the > natural versions. This may itself be responsible for > toxic or other harmful effects that cannot be known > unless thoroughly tested. > ====== You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire. Once the flame begins to catch, the wind will blow it higher. -Peter Gabriel http://carmeloruiz.blogspot.com/ Haciendo Punto en Otro Blog http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/ PROYECTO DE BIOSEGURIDAD ______________________________________________________ Yahoo! for Good Donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate3/ ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 20:28:20 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Mike Davis on Katrina's aftermath Comments: To: [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084849192==_ma============" --============_-1084849192==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/558/558_04_MikeDavis.shtml Mike Davis on Katrina's aftermath: The struggle over the future of New Orleans September 23, 2005 | Pages 4 and 5 THE POOR of New Orleans--especially poor African Americans--suffered the brunt of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in the city, thanks to the criminal neglect of authorities at every level of government. Now, the wealthy elite wants to rebuild on its terms--and prevent large numbers of Katrina's victims from ever returning. But the politicians and business interests will face a fight--in a city with a rich tradition of resistance. MIKE DAVIS is an author and activist whose books include City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, The Ecology of Fear and the forthcoming The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu. He spoke to Socialist Worker's LEE SUSTAR about the political impact of Hurricane Katrina. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - THE CATASTROPHE on the Gulf Coast was the most widely anticipated "natural disaster" in U.S. history. Yet the response of the U.S. government was universally condemned as a failure. What happened? HURRICANE KATRINA occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act--the culmination of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It provides a kind of tragic measure of the degree to which the civil rights revolution has been turned back. Not only in exposing the degree of criminal neglect and social Darwinism on the part of the Bush administration, but if you look at the event in detail, it will also tell you about the appalling contradictions of power and inequality in U.S. cities. First of all, everybody has known for generations the vulnerability of New Orleans to large hurricanes. This became even clearer after the near miss of 1998. Since then, there have been computer studies and analyses that have shown in exacting detail--not just one, but a whole series that corroborated each other--that a direct hit by a Category Five hurricane would kill between 85,000 and 100,000 people in New Orleans. And even if the impact were moderate, parts of the city would be devastated. Last year, you had Hurricane Ivan, and the evacuation of the city. So the death of New Orleans has been utterly foretold in unprecedented detail. Despite the unparalleled foreknowledge that this was the single-biggest disaster scenario and should have been the absolute priority of the so-called Department of Homeland Security, the Republicans--with little Democratic opposition--have cut back spending on levee improvement in New Orleans designed to help protect the city from a storm surge event. At the very same time, of course, they were spending money to fortify the border with Mexico. So you had this obscenity of undersized and sinking levees in New Orleans, and this gigantic triple wall between San Diego and Tijuana. I'm sure there are a lot of folks in New Orleans who wish they had had a wall that big. Precisely at the time that you have a unanimity of warning about the danger of the situation, you're cutting back and reducing expenditure. Secondly, within the existing system of levees in New Orleans, roughly three-quarters are designed to protect the city from the two lakes that surround it. The only levee built to a high enough standard is the one that lines the Mississippi River. Within this levee system, which is something like 25 miles long, there have always been glaring inequalities. In the eastern, forgotten part of New Orleans--including both the upper and lower Ninth Wards, bordering the Industrial Canal--the levees are lower and far worse maintained than those that protect the central parts of the city, with the large tourist assets. Even within the city's defenses, you had very unequal provision, reflecting the economic and political clout of different neighborhoods. And of course, land values have always been on the basis that the highest values are on the land with natural levees, while working class, and particularly poor Black populations, were located on the back swamps of New Orleans. The third point--and the one we know from a variety of different journalistic sources--is that every time the question of evacuating the homeless, the elderly and the poor people of New Orleans came up, it was ignored and passed over in silence. There are actually two crucial levels of disaster planning--one that's handled by the federal government and the state government, and one that's handled by the city. On both these levels, this question was passed over, despite the fact that everybody knew exactly what the problem would be. There was a very accurate estimate of how many people would be stuck in the city. During Hurricane Ivan, in September 2004, the city was evacuated, except for the poorest population, which was left behind. The Times-Picayune, the city's major paper, ran a very bitter article about immense anger in the neighborhoods about being totally abandoned. In fact, in that case, they were reluctant to open the Superdome, because the mayor was reportedly worried about damage that people might do to it. People were, in a sense, criminalized in advance. And there is no way to get around a cynical, criminal abandonment--way in advance--of any safeguards on behalf of the population that was living in those low-lying areas of the city. That extends from Bush down to the mayor, Ray Nagin. Which then brings us to a fourth point: Why was there such neglect--seemingly racist neglect--of people in a city that has been governed by legatees of the civil rights movement since the mid-1970s? Part of the answer is the way power works in New Orleans. You have a Black political class that governs in junior partnership with one of the most ruthless white local business establishments in the South, and maybe in the country. Ever since the collapse of the economy in the oil recession of the 1980s, their strategy has basically been to push as many poor people--and especially poor Black people--out of New Orleans as possible. There has been a kind of policy of triage, where you tear down two of the largest public housing projects in the city--the famous Desire project and St. Thomas in the Warehouse District--to make room for a Wal-Mart and gentrification. You re-house only a portion of the population--a minority--and the other residents are basically thrown out onto the streets, with the expectation that they would leave the city. The city's working-class Black population--the people who are the very soul of the city, and who created its culture and made it famous--is now largely seen as the major obstacle to the city's economic recovery. A portion of them is necessary to be service workers in casinos and hotels. But the bigger idea has been to shrink the Black population and push the poor out of the city. This is seen is the absolute condition, not just for gentrification, but for the ideal that the Black political elite and the white business class in Audubon Park are agreed on--literally turning New Orleans into a theme park of its history, but without the people who actually created that history and culture. It's hard not to believe that such a ruthless attitude toward the poor didn't also inform some of the planning for a disaster in New Orleans. Of course, this opens the way to the statement by a Republican congressman from Baton Rouge that the housing projects were finally cleaned up--we couldn't do it, but God did. All kinds of extravagant claims have been reported about how the city can use this to its advantage--about how New Orleans might even become a Republican city as the result of the silver lining that the French Quarter, the Convention Center, the Garden District and Audubon Park are all high and dry, and therefore safe. So the flood becomes part of an ethnic cleansing, basically. City politics has been aiming at that for the last 20 or 25 years. The elites are talking now about abandoning whole parts of the city--and that will probably be given an ecological gloss. The housing destruction is enormous. The poor areas of New Orleans--where most people are renters, and where slumlords for generations neglected maintenance of housing--were infested by tropical termites for the last few years. That caused immense damage to the housing stock. Now all this rotten housing has just been washed away or rendered irreparable. You are going to see the loss of tens of thousands of units of housing, which will be used by local elites as a fait accompli to keep people out of the city. Some people give the impression that there is a wider policy of dispersing evacuees. Whether deliberately or not, it further serves the purpose of basically encouraging people not to return to the city. Disasters in American history have almost always been theaters of class struggle and racial struggle. This is class struggle on an extraordinary scale. In the meantime, I think, there is a huge opportunity in the sense that New Orleans neighborhoods have rich traditions of resistance and rank-and-file leadership. I don't think people are going to accept their forced evacuation from the city. They are going to fight to return to the city, and that provides an opportunity to build very broad unity around the right of people to return to decent housing and jobs, particularly over the way the administration and local elites have handled the question. IS THE agenda underway in New Orleans a concentrated version of the agenda playing out in a lot of U.S. cities in terms of gentrification and development? IT ALSO was, of course, housing policy under [former President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development] Henry Cisneros to tear down big public housing projects and re-house only the part of the population that met the specifications of being law-abiding and orderly. There ended up being a reduction of public housing stock and a triage of the projects as they got rid of so-called problem families--who were just basically thrown out on the street. That occurred all over the country. But New Orleans' version of this is much more ruthless. The intent of the agenda is transparent--for example, tearing down St. Thomas, which was a major obstacle in creating a completely gentrified strip along the river between the Garden District and the French Quarter, and replacing it with a Wal-Mart and turning the rest over to private developers. The political history of New Orleans over the last 30 years is very intricate. But the bottom line is that the Black political elite--or rather elites, because there are competing elements--has worked hand-in-glove with the white power structure of the city. The payment is taking the form of both illegal graft and enough patronage and business opportunities to create a small Black middle class that has in some ways turned its back on the city. The current mayor is the most clear-cut example of this. He was basically elected with the swing vote--which was the white vote and the elite vote. He is a Democrat who supported the re-election of President Bush. City Hall failed to comprehend the Katrina crisis, as did FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. All the city's communications went down for lack of 15 gallons of diesel fuel for their generators. At every level, there is an enormous vacuum in competence. We now see that the whole Homeland Security state has gone through the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars, with very little oversight, and the net result of dramatically reducing the capacity of organizations like FEMA to respond to disasters. HOW DO we put forward a pro-working class agenda in this context? FIRST OF all, we should be very wary. The Democrats in Louisiana tend to be very conservative Democrats. Most Republicans in Louisiana are Democratic turncoats. Despite the governor's and the mayor's anger at the Bush administration in the short run, my fear is you are going to see a convergence on the plan for reconstruction. Colin Powell or someone will be appointed reconstruction czar, and this will go with the grain of the fact that the Democratic Party governs New Orleans hand-in-glove with white wealth and white Republicans. My fear is that, at least on the local level, reconstruction will just accelerate the ethnic cleansing in the city. That leaves, of course, a huge scope to demand a popular rebuilding of the city. The fundamental issue has to be, from the beginning, the assertion of the right of everyone to insist on right of return to decent homes and a decent job. Louisiana and New Orleans have a very radical history in the civil rights movement, ranging from the Deacons of Defense in Bogalusa to the Black Panthers in the Desire housing project in the 1970s. These neighborhoods, which are described in the press as lawless jungles, had intricate social organizations, including [secret societies for parades known as] Mardi Gras krewes. They were, in a way, some of the closest-knit neighborhoods in the country. So I think there are tremendous resources for self-organization in the Black working class of New Orleans. This will, I think, be the basis for labor unions, the left and progressives broadly to support an alternative program. The danger, of course, is that reconstruction will work on the same basis as public housing policies. A certain segment of people will be offered inducements. Some people will be allowed to return, and probably be given equity in decent homes--for the purpose of keeping larger numbers of people from returning. Confronting that, I think, will require a strategy that sticks emphatically to the principle of the right of return. In the long run, however, this may be a pyrrhic victory for the elites. Overhanging New Orleans is a kind of Galveston scenario, where the city never really recovers--a city that becomes a kind of theme park. There have already been articles in the papers about how Houston is gloating over seizing what remains of the oil service industry from New Orleans. New Orleans has always been cursed by the fact that, unlike the port of Houston, goods just go through it. They aren't processed or manufactured. There is no value added. That is one of things that contributed to the catastrophic unemployment in New Orleans. There will be all kinds of efforts to divide people, but on the other hand, I think New Orleans has great movement capital--if such a term is possible--in terms of its traditions of rank-and-file leadership and in terms of people's affinity with their streets and neighborhoods. But as I said, the indication is that the reconstruction process will try to eliminate those identities wholesale, not just by not rebuilding units of housing, but by not rebuilding whole neighborhoods in the city. CAN THE crisis set in a motion debate about the whole framework of politics in the U.S.? ABSOLUTELY. The big question for African Americans is: Do we have any reliable allies? Part of the social devastation in New Orleans was the degree of racist backlash that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, and the flight of the white population, including the white blue-collar population, to Jefferson Parish and other suburbs. In one, Metaire, David Duke was elected to the state legislature as an open Nazi in 1989. One of the issues raised by the crisis is that white working-class areas have also been very hard-hit. There are some interesting questions about whether you might see a return to some of the class unity that sporadically exists in Louisiana and New Orleans history. The question that Black folks have to ask is: Who are our allies at this moment? Because in a way, New Orleans has been totally surrounded by white anger and backlash in the same way as Detroit. In some ways, New Orleans is the Southern version of Detroit--far more than a city like Atlanta. But it again raises all the fundamental questions that the left has been debating for 100 years--about the possibility of African American liberation in a capitalist country, where racism is now the foundation of Republican hegemony in the South, just as it was earlier for the Democratic Party. Studies have shown that in Southern Louisiana, David Duke was the most effective organizer of the Republican vote in years. HOW WILL Katrina effect politics nationally? CLEARLY, REPUBLICAN proposals like abolishing the estate tax and cutting expenditures might be put on hold. But what needs to be understood is that the right-wing agenda is shared in large part by both parties, particularly and above all as it applies to poor African Americans and Latinos and the poorest parts of the population in the inner cities and the countryside. There is more unity between the two parties than there are differences. And the Democrats share large parts of the responsibility for the state of New Orleans. The danger is always that you will have a kind of cosmetic restoration of civil rights and New Deal themes without any substance. That's why the demands that are raised have to be so unambiguous--not just for partial re-housing, but for the right of people to return to the city that they created, particularly in decent homes and with decent jobs. Although there are subsidiary fights over things like the Davis Bacon Act [the law requiring government contractors to pay the prevailing wage that was waived following the disaster by Bush], the fact is that the Bush administration seems to be turning the Gulf Coast into a new Iraq, with Bechtel and Halliburton and even Blackwater Security. Corporate looters have appeared in large numbers. There are all kinds of issues like that which people will have to fight about. But there needs to be an overarching common program that builds on principles that are essentially non-negotiable. Reconstruction can't be used to further divide the people of New Orleans and to physically evict people from the city. That, in effect, is what's going on. The Republicans want to use this as a massive experiment in conservative social engineering. The Democrats may oppose pieces of it, but they will undoubtedly accept the larger contours of a shrunken, more streamlined city with less poor Black people. This shows in dramatic relief the policies that have just eviscerated inner-city America for the last 25 years, under both Republicans and Democrats. --============_-1084849192==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Mike Davis on Katrina's aftermath
http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/558/558_04_MikeDavis.shtml
Mike Davis on Katrina's aftermath:
The struggle over the future of New Orleans

September 23, 2005 | Pages 4 and 5

THE POOR of New Orleans--especially poor African Americans--suffered the brunt of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in the city, thanks to the criminal neglect of authorities at every level of government. Now, the wealthy elite wants to rebuild on its terms--and prevent large numbers of Katrina's victims from ever returning. But the politicians and business interests will face a fight--in a city with a rich tradition of resistance.

 MIKE DAVIS is an author and activist whose books include City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, The Ecology of Fear and the forthcoming The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu. He spoke to Socialist Worker's LEE SUSTAR about the political impact of Hurricane Katrina.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
THE CATASTROPHE on the Gulf Coast was the most widely anticipated "natural disaster" in U.S. history. Yet the response of the U.S. government was universally condemned as a failure. What happened?

 HURRICANE KATRINA occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act--the culmination of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

 It provides a kind of tragic measure of the degree to which the civil rights revolution has been turned back. Not only in exposing the degree of criminal neglect and social Darwinism on the part of the Bush administration, but if you look at the event in detail, it will also tell you about the appalling contradictions of power and inequality in U.S. cities.

 First of all, everybody has known for generations the vulnerability of New Orleans to large hurricanes. This became even clearer after the near miss of 1998. Since then, there have been computer studies and analyses that have shown in exacting detail--not just one, but a whole series that corroborated each other--that a direct hit by a Category Five hurricane would kill between 85,000 and 100,000 people in New Orleans. And even if the impact were moderate, parts of the city would be devastated.

Last year, you had Hurricane Ivan, and the evacuation of the city. So the death of New Orleans has been utterly foretold in unprecedented detail.

Despite the unparalleled foreknowledge that this was the single-biggest disaster scenario and should have been the absolute priority of the so-called Department of Homeland Security, the Republicans--with little Democratic opposition--have cut back spending on levee improvement in New Orleans designed to help protect the city from a storm surge event.

 At the very same time, of course, they were spending money to fortify the border with Mexico. So you had this obscenity of undersized and sinking levees in New Orleans, and this gigantic triple wall between San Diego and Tijuana. I'm sure there are a lot of folks in New Orleans who wish they had had a wall that big.

 Precisely at the time that you have a unanimity of warning about the danger of the situation, you're cutting back and reducing expenditure.

Secondly, within the existing system of levees in New Orleans, roughly three-quarters are designed to protect the city from the two lakes that surround it. The only levee built to a high enough standard is the one that lines the Mississippi River.

Within this levee system, which is something like 25 miles long, there have always been glaring inequalities. In the eastern, forgotten part of New Orleans--including both the upper and lower Ninth Wards, bordering the Industrial Canal--the levees are lower and far worse maintained than those that protect the central parts of the city, with the large tourist assets.

Even within the city's defenses, you had very unequal provision, reflecting the economic and political clout of different neighborhoods. And of course, land values have always been on the basis that the highest values are on the land with natural levees, while working class, and particularly poor Black populations, were located on the back swamps of New Orleans.

 The third point--and the one we know from a variety of different journalistic sources--is that every time the question of evacuating the homeless, the elderly and the poor people of New Orleans came up, it was ignored and passed over in silence.

There are actually two crucial levels of disaster planning--one that's handled by the federal government and the state government, and one that's handled by the city. On both these levels, this question was passed over, despite the fact that everybody knew exactly what the problem would be.

There was a very accurate estimate of how many people would be stuck in the city. During Hurricane Ivan, in September 2004, the city was evacuated, except for the poorest population, which was left behind. The Times-Picayune, the city's major paper, ran a very bitter article about immense anger in the neighborhoods about being totally abandoned. In fact, in that case, they were reluctant to open the Superdome, because the mayor was reportedly worried about damage that people might do to it.

 People were, in a sense, criminalized in advance. And there is no way to get around a cynical, criminal abandonment--way in advance--of any safeguards on behalf of the population that was living in those low-lying areas of the city. That extends from Bush down to the mayor, Ray Nagin.

 Which then brings us to a fourth point: Why was there such neglect--seemingly racist neglect--of people in a city that has been governed by legatees of the civil rights movement since the mid-1970s?

Part of the answer is the way power works in New Orleans. You have a Black political class that governs in junior partnership with one of the most ruthless white local business establishments in the South, and maybe in the country. Ever since the collapse of the economy in the oil recession of the 1980s, their strategy has basically been to push as many poor people--and especially poor Black people--out of New Orleans as possible.

 There has been a kind of policy of triage, where you tear down two of the largest public housing projects in the city--the famous Desire project and St. Thomas in the Warehouse District--to make room for a Wal-Mart and gentrification. You re-house only a portion of the population--a minority--and the other residents are basically thrown out onto the streets, with the expectation that they would leave the city.

 The city's working-class Black population--the people who are the very soul of the city, and who created its culture and made it famous--is now largely seen as the major obstacle to the city's economic recovery.

A portion of them is necessary to be service workers in casinos and hotels. But the bigger idea has been to shrink the Black population and push the poor out of the city.

 This is seen is the absolute condition, not just for gentrification, but for the ideal that the Black political elite and the white business class in Audubon Park are agreed on--literally turning New Orleans into a theme park of its history, but without the people who actually created that history and culture.

 It's hard not to believe that such a ruthless attitude toward the poor didn't also inform some of the planning for a disaster in New Orleans. Of course, this opens the way to the statement by a Republican congressman from Baton Rouge that the housing projects were finally cleaned up--we couldn't do it, but God did.

 All kinds of extravagant claims have been reported about how the city can use this to its advantage--about how New Orleans might even become a Republican city as the result of the silver lining that the French Quarter, the Convention Center, the Garden District and Audubon Park are all high and dry, and therefore safe.

 So the flood becomes part of an ethnic cleansing, basically. City politics has been aiming at that for the last 20 or 25 years.

 The elites are talking now about abandoning whole parts of the city--and that will probably be given an ecological gloss.

The housing destruction is enormous. The poor areas of New Orleans--where most people are renters, and where slumlords for generations neglected maintenance of housing--were infested by tropical termites for the last few years. That caused immense damage to the housing stock. Now all this rotten housing has just been washed away or rendered irreparable. You are going to see the loss of tens of thousands of units of housing, which will be used by local elites as a fait accompli to keep people out of the city.

 Some people give the impression that there is a wider policy of dispersing evacuees. Whether deliberately or not, it further serves the purpose of basically encouraging people not to return to the city.

Disasters in American history have almost always been theaters of class struggle and racial struggle. This is class struggle on an extraordinary scale.

In the meantime, I think, there is a huge opportunity in the sense that New Orleans neighborhoods have rich traditions of resistance and rank-and-file leadership. I don't think people are going to accept their forced evacuation from the city. They are going to fight to return to the city, and that provides an opportunity to build very broad unity around the right of people to return to decent housing and jobs, particularly over the way the administration and local elites have handled the question.

IS THE agenda underway in New Orleans a concentrated version of the agenda playing out in a lot of U.S. cities in terms of gentrification and development?

 IT ALSO was, of course, housing policy under [former President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development] Henry Cisneros to tear down big public housing projects and re-house only the part of the population that met the specifications of being law-abiding and orderly. There ended up being a reduction of public housing stock and a triage of the projects as they got rid of so-called problem families--who were just basically thrown out on the street. That occurred all over the country.

 But New Orleans' version of this is much more ruthless. The intent of the agenda is transparent--for example, tearing down St. Thomas, which was a major obstacle in creating a completely gentrified strip along the river between the Garden District and the French Quarter, and replacing it with a Wal-Mart and turning the rest over to private developers.

 The political history of New Orleans over the last 30 years is very intricate. But the bottom line is that the Black political elite--or rather elites, because there are competing elements--has worked hand-in-glove with the white power structure of the city.

 The payment is taking the form of both illegal graft and enough patronage and business opportunities to create a small Black middle class that has in some ways turned its back on the city. The current mayor is the most clear-cut example of this. He was basically elected with the swing vote--which was the white vote and the elite vote. He is a Democrat who supported the re-election of President Bush.

 City Hall failed to comprehend the Katrina crisis, as did FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. All the city's communications went down for lack of 15 gallons of diesel fuel for their generators. At every level, there is an enormous vacuum in competence.

 We now see that the whole Homeland Security state has gone through the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars, with very little oversight, and the net result of dramatically reducing the capacity of organizations like FEMA to respond to disasters.

HOW DO we put forward a pro-working class agenda in this context?

 FIRST OF all, we should be very wary. The Democrats in Louisiana tend to be very conservative Democrats. Most Republicans in Louisiana are Democratic turncoats.

Despite the governor's and the mayor's anger at the Bush administration in the short run, my fear is you are going to see a convergence on the plan for reconstruction. Colin Powell or someone will be appointed reconstruction czar, and this will go with the grain of the fact that the Democratic Party governs New Orleans hand-in-glove with white wealth and white Republicans.

 My fear is that, at least on the local level, reconstruction will just accelerate the ethnic cleansing in the city.

 That leaves, of course, a huge scope to demand a popular rebuilding of the city. The fundamental issue has to be, from the beginning, the assertion of the right of everyone to insist on right of return to decent homes and a decent job.

Louisiana and New Orleans have a very radical history in the civil rights movement, ranging from the Deacons of Defense in Bogalusa to the Black Panthers in the Desire housing project in the 1970s. These neighborhoods, which are described in the press as lawless jungles, had intricate social organizations, including [secret societies for parades known as] Mardi Gras krewes.

 They were, in a way, some of the closest-knit neighborhoods in the country. So I think there are tremendous resources for self-organization in the Black working class of New Orleans. This will, I think, be the basis for labor unions, the left and progressives broadly to support an alternative program.

 The danger, of course, is that reconstruction will work on the same basis as public housing policies. A certain segment of people will be offered inducements. Some people will be allowed to return, and probably be given equity in decent homes--for the purpose of keeping larger numbers of people from returning.

 Confronting that, I think, will require a strategy that sticks emphatically to the principle of the right of return.

 In the long run, however, this may be a pyrrhic victory for the elites. Overhanging New Orleans is a kind of Galveston scenario, where the city never really recovers--a city that becomes a kind of theme park.

 There have already been articles in the papers about how Houston is gloating over seizing what remains of the oil service industry from New Orleans. New Orleans has always been cursed by the fact that, unlike the port of Houston, goods just go through it. They aren't processed or manufactured. There is no value added. That is one of things that contributed to the catastrophic unemployment in New Orleans.

There will be all kinds of efforts to divide people, but on the other hand, I think New Orleans has great movement capital--if such a term is possible--in terms of its traditions of rank-and-file leadership and in terms of people's affinity with their streets and neighborhoods.

 But as I said, the indication is that the reconstruction process will try to eliminate those identities wholesale, not just by not rebuilding units of housing, but by not rebuilding whole neighborhoods in the city.

CAN THE crisis set in a motion debate about the whole framework of politics in the U.S.?

 ABSOLUTELY. The big question for African Americans is: Do we have any reliable allies?

 Part of the social devastation in New Orleans was the degree of racist backlash that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, and the flight of the white population, including the white blue-collar population, to Jefferson Parish and other suburbs. In one, Metaire, David Duke was elected to the state legislature as an open Nazi in 1989.

 One of the issues raised by the crisis is that white working-class areas have also been very hard-hit. There are some interesting questions about whether you might see a return to some of the class unity that sporadically exists in Louisiana and New Orleans history.

 The question that Black folks have to ask is: Who are our allies at this moment? Because in a way, New Orleans has been totally surrounded by white anger and backlash in the same way as Detroit. In some ways, New Orleans is the Southern version of Detroit--far more than a city like Atlanta.

 But it again raises all the fundamental questions that the left has been debating for 100 years--about the possibility of African American liberation in a capitalist country, where racism is now the foundation of Republican hegemony in the South, just as it was earlier for the Democratic Party. Studies have shown that in Southern Louisiana, David Duke was the most effective organizer of the Republican vote in years.

HOW WILL Katrina effect politics nationally?

 CLEARLY, REPUBLICAN proposals like abolishing the estate tax and cutting expenditures might be put on hold. But what needs to be understood is that the right-wing agenda is shared in large part by both parties, particularly and above all as it applies to poor African Americans and Latinos and the poorest parts of the population in the inner cities and the countryside.

 There is more unity between the two parties than there are differences. And the Democrats share large parts of the responsibility for the state of New Orleans.

 The danger is always that you will have a kind of cosmetic restoration of civil rights and New Deal themes without any substance. That's why the demands that are raised have to be so unambiguous--not just for partial re-housing, but for the right of people to return to the city that they created, particularly in decent homes and with decent jobs.

 Although there are subsidiary fights over things like the Davis Bacon Act [the law requiring government contractors to pay the prevailing wage that was waived following the disaster by Bush], the fact is that the Bush administration seems to be turning the Gulf Coast into a new Iraq, with Bechtel and Halliburton and even Blackwater Security. Corporate looters have appeared in large numbers.

There are all kinds of issues like that which people will have to fight about. But there needs to be an overarching common program that builds on principles that are essentially non-negotiable.

Reconstruction can't be used to further divide the people of New Orleans and to physically evict people from the city. That, in effect, is what's going on. The Republicans want to use this as a massive experiment in conservative social engineering. The Democrats may oppose pieces of it, but they will undoubtedly accept the larger contours of a shrunken, more streamlined city with less poor Black people.

This shows in dramatic relief the policies that have just eviscerated inner-city America for the last 25 years, under both Republicans and Democrats.
--============_-1084849192==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 20:49:20 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: EASY ACTION--They're after the organic standards again Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; delsp=yes; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) needs your immediate help to stop Congress and the Bush administration from seriously degrading organic standards. After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards. Now, large corporations such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, & Dean Foods -- aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are moving to lower organic standards by allowing a Bush appointee to create a list of synthetic ingredients that would be allowed organic production. Even worse, these proposed regulatory changes will reduce future public discussion and input and take away the National Organic Standards Board's (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting standards. What this means, in blunt terms, is that USDA bureaucrats and industry lobbyists, not consumers, will now have more control over what can go into organic foods and products. Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20, acting in haste and near-total secrecy, the U.S. Senate will vote on a "rider" to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that will reduce control over organic standards from the National Standards Board and put this control in the hands of federal bureaucrats in the USDA (remember the USDA proposal in 1997-98 that said that genetic engineering, toxic sludge, and food irradiation would be OK on organic farms, or USDA suggestions in 2004 that heretofore banned pesticides, hormones, tainted feeds, and animal drugs would be OK?). For the past week in Washington, OCA has been urging members of the Senate not to reopen and subvert the federal statute that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production Act - OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and the National Organic Standards resolve our differences over issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then proceed to a open public comment period. Unfortunately most Senators seem to be listening to industry lobbyists more closely than to us. We need to raise our voices. In the past, grassroots mobilization and mass pressure by organic consumers have been able to stop the USDA and Congress from degrading organic standards. This time, Washington insiders tell us that the "fix is is already in." So we must take decisive action now. We need you to call your U.S. Senators today. We need you to sign the following petition and send it to everyone you know. Thank you for your support. Together we will take back citizen control over organic standards and preserve organic integrity. Take action here: http://www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/oca/ campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=1242 Take action now, at: http://www.democracyinaction.org/oca/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=1242 ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 20:58:41 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: A World Turned Upside Down by George Monbiot Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; delsp=yes; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=57&ItemID=8777 A World Turned Upside Down The corporations are demanding regulation, and the government is refusing to give it to them by George Monbiot September 20, 2005 Climate change denial has gone through four stages. First the fossil fuel lobbyists told us that global warming was a myth. Then they agreed that it was happening, but insisted it was a good thing: we could grow wine in the Pennines and take Mediterranean holidays in Skegness. Then they admitted that the bad effects outweighed the good ones, but claimed that it would cost more to tackle than to tolerate. Now they have reached stage 4. They concede that it would be cheaper to address than to neglect, but maintain that it's now too late. This is their most persuasive argument. Today the climatologists at the Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado will publish the results of the latest satellite survey of Arctic sea ice(1). It looks as if this month's coverage will be the lowest ever recorded. The Arctic, they warn, could already have reached tipping point: the moment beyond which the warming becomes irreversible(2). As ice disappears, the surface of the sea becomes darker, absorbing more heat. Less ice forms, so the sea becomes darker still, and so it goes on. Last month, New Scientist reported that something similar is happening in Siberia. For the first time on record, the permafrost of western Siberia is melting(3). As it does so, it releases the methane stored in the peat. Methane has 20 times the greenhouse warming effect of carbon dioxide. The more gas the peat releases, the warmer the world becomes, and the more the permafrost melts. Two weeks ago, scientists at Cranfield University discovered that the soils in the UK have been losing the carbon they contain: as temperatures rise, the decomposition of organic matter accelarates, which causes more warming, which causes more decomposition. Already the soil in this country has released enough carbon dioxide to counteract the emissions cuts we have made since 1990(4). These are examples of positive feedback: self-reinforcing effects which, once started, are hard to stop. They are kicking in long before they were supposed to. The intergovernmental panel on climate change, which predicts how far the world's temperature is likely to rise, hasn't yet had time to include them in its calculations. The current forecast - of 1.4 to 5.8 degrees this century - is almost certainly too low. A week ago, I would have said that if it is too late, then one factor above all others is to blame: the chokehold big business has on economic policy. By forbidding governments to intervene effectively in the market, the corporations oblige us to do nothing but stand by and watch as the planet cooks. But on Wednesday I discovered that it isn't quite that simple. At a conference organised by the Building Research Establishment, I witnessed an extraordinary thing: companies demanding tougher regulations, and the government refusing to grant them(5). Environmental managers from BT and John Lewis (which owns Waitrose) complained that without tighter standards that everyone has to conform to, their companies put themselves at a disadvantage if they try to go green. "All that counts", the man from John Lewis said, "is cost, cost and cost." If he's buying eco-friendly lighting and his competitors aren't, he loses. As a result, he said, "I welcome the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, as it will force retailers to take these issues seriously."(6) Yes, I heard the cry of the unicorn: a corporate executive, welcoming a European directive. And from the government? Nothing. Elliot Morley, the minister for climate change, proposed to do as little as he could get away with. The officials from the Department of Trade and Industry, to a collective groan from the men in suits, insisted that the measures some of the companies wanted would be "an unwarranted intervention in the market". It was unspeakably frustrating. The suits had come to unveil technologies of the kind which really could save the planet. The architects Atelier Ten had designed a cooling system based on the galleries of a termite mound. By installing a concrete labyrinth in the foundations, they could keep even a large building in a hot place - like the arts centre they had built in Melbourne - at a constant temperature without air conditioning(7). The only power they needed was to drive the fans pushing the cold air upwards, using 10% of the electricity required for normal cooling systems. The man from a company called PB Power explained how the 4 megawatts of waste heat poured into the Thames by the gas-fired power station in Barking could be used to warm the surrounding homes. A firm called XCO2 has designed a virtually silent wind turbine, which hangs, like a clothes hoist, from a vertical axis. It can be installed in the middle of a city without upsetting anyone(8). These three technologies alone could cut millions of tonnes of emissions without causing any decline in our quality of life. Like hundreds of others, they are ready to deploy immediately and almost universally. But they won't be widely used until the government acts: it remains cheaper for companies to install the old technologies. And the government won't act because to do so would be "an unwarranted intervention in the market". This was not, I now discover, the first time that the corporations have demanded regulation. In January the chairman of Shell, Lord Oxburgh, insisted that "Governments in developed countries need to introduce taxes, regulations or plans ... to increase the cost of emitting carbon dioxide."(9) He listed the technologies required to replace fossil fuels, and remarked that "none of this is going to happen if the market is left to itself." In August the heads of United Utilities, British Gas, Scottish Power and the National Grid joined Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace in calling for "tougher regulations for the built environment"(10). So much for the perpetual demand of the thinktanks to "get government off the backs of business". Any firm which wants to develop the new technologies wants tough new rules. It is regulation that creates the market. So why won't the government act? Because it is siding with the dirty companies against the clean ones. Deregulation has become the test of its manhood: the sign that it has put the bad old days of economic planning behind it. Sir David Arculus, the man appointed by Blair to run the government's Better Regulation Task Force, is also deputy chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, the shrillest exponents of the need to put the market ahead of society. It is hard to think of a more blatant conflict of interest. I don't believe it is yet too late to minimise climate change. Most of the evidence suggests we could still stop the ecosystem from melting down, but only by cutting greenhouse gases by around 80% by 2030. I'm working on a book showing how this can be done, technically and politically. But it has now become clear to me that the obstacle is not the market but the government, waving a dog-eared treatise which proves some point in a debate the rest of the world has forgotten. www.monbiot.com References: 1. This was reported by Steve Connor, 16th September 2005. Global warming 'past the point of no return'. The Independent. But the centre has just announced that its results won't be published until the end of the month. http://nsidc.org/news/ 2. Steve Connor, ibid. 3. Fred Pearce, 11 August 2005. Climate warning as Siberia melts. New Scientist. 4. John Pickrell, 7th September 2005. Soil may spoil UK’s climate efforts. New Scientist. 5. Resource '05, 13th-15th September 2005. BRE, Watford. 6. Bill Wright, energy and environment manager, John Lewis Partnership. 7. See http://www.atelierten.com/ourwork/profiles/0513-federation-square.pdf 8. Quiet Revolution 6kW. Brochure from XCO2. Offord St, London. 9. Lord Oxburgh, 27th January 2005. Quoted in Greenpeace press release: Shell Chair urges government to act now on climate change. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/climate/ climate.cfm?ucidparam=20050210110220 10. Tony Juniper et al, 1st August 2005. Letter to Margaret Beckett and other ministers. Available on request from Friends of the Earth. ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 22:02:58 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Church of the Spaghetti Monster In-Reply-To: <000601c5be64$496f38c0$a6e41645@Jeff> Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/Related; boundary="============_-1084843514==_mr============" ; type="text/html" --============_-1084843514==_mr============ Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084843514==_ma============" --============_-1084843514==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" OPEN LETTER TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD: DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF THE CHURCH OF THE SPAGHETTI MONSTER Venganza.org I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design. Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I'm writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I'm sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith. Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don't understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this . He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease. I'm sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don't. You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature. In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence. Sincerely Yours, Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen. P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures. --============_-1084843514==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Church of the Spaghetti Monster
OPEN LETTER TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD:
DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF THE CHURCH OF THE SPAGHETTI  MONSTER
 
Venganza.org
 
I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution.  I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them.  I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.
 
Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.  It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel.  We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.
 
It is for this reason that I'm writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action.
 
I'm sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.
 
Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs.  We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.  None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it.
 
We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power.  Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing.  We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. 
 
What these people don't understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is.  For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. 
 
But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.  We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this . He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.
 
I'm sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory.  It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
 
Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia.  I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long.  The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don't.
 
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years.  As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.
 
In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs.  I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students.
 
We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory.  I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken.
 
 
I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.
 
Sincerely Yours,
Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.
 
P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures.
 
 
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UUAJSUUVQBRRRQwCiiipAKKKKACiiigAooooAKKKKACg9KKKAG0UUVIAelNooqigoooo AKKKKACiiigkKKKKACiiigD/2Q== --============_-1084843514==_mr============-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 23:41:11 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084837622==_ma============" --============_-1084837622==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/science/20doce.html September 20, 2005 Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back By CORNELIA DEAN ITHACA, N.Y. - Lenore Durkee, a retired biology professor, was volunteering as a docent at the Museum of the Earth here when she was confronted by a group of seven or eight people, creationists eager to challenge the museum exhibitions on evolution. They peppered Dr. Durkee with questions about everything from techniques for dating fossils to the second law of thermodynamics, their queries coming so thick and fast that she found it hard to reply. After about 45 minutes, "I told them I needed to take a break," she recalled. "My mouth was dry." That encounter and others like it provided the impetus for a training session here in August. Dr. Durkee and scores of other volunteers and staff members from the museum and elsewhere crowded into a meeting room to hear advice from the museum director, Warren D. Allmon, on ways to deal with visitors who reject settled precepts of science on religious grounds. Similar efforts are under way or planned around the country as science museums and other institutions struggle to contend with challenges to the theory of evolution that they say are growing common and sometimes aggressive. One company, called B.C. Tours "because we are biblically correct," even offers escorted visits to the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Participants hear creationists' explanations for the exhibitions. So officials like Judy Diamond, curator of public programs at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, are trying to meet such challenges head-on. Dr. Diamond is working on evolution exhibitions financed by the National Science Foundation that will go on long-term display at six museums of natural history from Minnesota to Texas. The program includes training for docents and staff members. "The goal is to understand the controversies, so that people are better able to handle them as they come up," she said. "Museums, as a field, have recognized we need to take a more proactive role in evolution education." Dr. Allmon, who directs the Paleontological Research Institution, an affiliate of Cornell University, began the training session here in September with statistics from Gallup Polls: 54 percent of Americans do not believe that human beings evolved from earlier species, and although almost half believe that Darwin has been proved right, slightly more disagree. "Just telling them they are wrong is not going to be effective," he said. Instead, he told the volunteers that when they encounter religious fundamentalists they should emphasize that science museums live by the rules of science. They seek answers in nature to questions about nature, they look for explanations that can be tested by experiment and observation in the material world, and they understand that all scientific knowledge is provisional - capable of being overturned when better answers are discovered. "Is it against all religion?" he asked. "No. But it is against some religions." There is more than one type of creationist, he said: "thinking creationists who want to know answers, and they are willing to listen, even if they go away unconvinced" and "people who for whatever reason are here to bother you, to trap you, to bludgeon you." Those were the type of people who confronted Dr. Durkee, a former biology professor at Grinnell College in Iowa. The encounter left her discouraged. "It is no wonder that many biologists will simply refuse to debate creationists or I.D.ers," she said, using the abbreviation for intelligent design, a cousin of creationism. "It is as if they aren't listening." Dr. Allmon says even trained scientists like Dr. Durkee can benefit from explicit advice about dealing with religious challenges to science exhibitions. "There is an art, a script that is very, very helpful," he said. A pamphlet handed out at the training session provides information on the scientific method, the theory of evolution and other basic information. It offers suggestions on replying to frequently raised challenges like "Is there lots of evidence against evolution?" (The answer begins, simply, "No.") When talking to visitors about evolution, the pamphlet advises, "don't avoid using the word." Rehearse answers to frequently asked questions, because "you'll be more comfortable when you sound like you know what you're talking about." Dr. Allmon told his audience to "be firm and clear, not defensive." The pamphlet says that if all else fails, and docents find themselves in an unpleasant confrontation, they excuse themselves by saying, "I have to go to the restroom." Eugenie C. Scott, who directs the National Center for Science Education and is conducting training sessions for Dr. Diamond's program, said that within the last year or so efforts to train museum personnel and volunteers on evolution and related topics had substantially increased. "This seems to be a cottage industry now," Dr. Scott said. Robert M. West, a paleontologist and former science museum director who is now a consultant to museums, said several institutions were intensifying the docents' training "so they are comfortable with the concepts, not just the material but the intellectual, philosophical background - and they know their administrations are going to support them if someone criticizes them." At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the staff and docents often encounter groups from B.C. Tours, which for 15 years has offered tours of the museum based on literal readings of the Bible. The group embraces young-earth creationism, the view that the earth and its plants, animals and people were created in a matter of days a few thousand years ago. "We present both sides from an objective perspective and let the students decide for themselves," said Rusty Carter, an operator of the group. Mr. Carter praised the museum, saying it had been "very professional and accommodating, even though they do not support us." A typical group might have 30 or 40 people, he added. Kirk Johnson, a paleontologist who is the chief curator at the museum, was philosophical about the group. "It's interesting to walk along with them," he said. Participants pay the admission fee and have as much right as anyone else to be in the museum, Dr. Johnson said, but sometimes "we have to restrain our docents from interacting with them." John G. West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, whose researchers endorse intelligent design, said he was not aware of organized efforts to challenge museum exhibitions on evolution. He added, "It is not unheard of for museum exhibits to be wrong scientifically." Dr. Scott, who trained as a physical anthropologist, said that in training docents she emphasized "how the public understands or misunderstands evolution and some of the misconceptions they come in with." She hopes to combat the idea that people must choose between science and faith - "that you are either a good Christian creationist or an evil atheist evolutionist." "It's your job," she told docents, "not to slam the door in the face of a believer." At the American Museum of Natural History, which is about to open what it describes as "the most in-depth exhibition ever" on Darwin and his work, curators and other staff members instruct volunteer "explainers" on the science behind its exhibitions, according to Stephen Reichl, a spokesman. If visitors challenge the presentations, the explainers are instructed to listen "and then explain the science and the evidence." Sarah Fiorello, an environmental educator at the Finger Lakes State Parks Region who took part in the Ithaca training session in August, said she was now prepared to take the same approach. When she describes the region's geological history on tours of its gorges, visitors often object - as even a member of her family once did - that "it does not say that in the Bible." Now, she said, she will tell them, "The landscape tells a story based on geological events, based on science." Dr. Durkee also said she found the session helpful. "When you are in a museum, you can't antagonize people," she said. "Your job is to help them, to explain your point of view, but respect theirs. "I like the idea of stressing that this is a science museum, and we deal with matters of science." --============_-1084837622==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/science/20doce.html

September 20, 2005
Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back
By CORNELIA DEAN

ITHACA, N.Y. - Lenore Durkee, a retired biology professor, was volunteering as a docent at the Museum of the Earth here when she was confronted by a group of seven or eight people, creationists eager to challenge the museum exhibitions on evolution.

They peppered Dr. Durkee with questions about everything from techniques for dating fossils to the second law of thermodynamics, their queries coming so thick and fast that she found it hard to reply.

After about 45 minutes, "I told them I needed to take a break," she recalled. "My mouth was dry."

That encounter and others like it provided the impetus for a training session here in August. Dr. Durkee and scores of other volunteers and staff members from the museum and elsewhere crowded into a meeting room to hear advice from the museum director, Warren D. Allmon, on ways to deal with visitors who reject settled precepts of science on religious grounds.

Similar efforts are under way or planned around the country as science museums and other institutions struggle to contend with challenges to the theory of evolution that they say are growing common and sometimes aggressive.

One company, called B.C. Tours "because we are biblically correct," even offers escorted visits to the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Participants hear creationists' explanations for the exhibitions.

So officials like Judy Diamond, curator of public programs at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, are trying to meet such challenges head-on.

Dr. Diamond is working on evolution exhibitions financed by the National Science Foundation that will go on long-term display at six museums of natural history from Minnesota to Texas. The program includes training for docents and staff members.

"The goal is to understand the controversies, so that people are better able to handle them as they come up," she said. "Museums, as a field, have recognized we need to take a more proactive role in evolution education."

Dr. Allmon, who directs the Paleontological Research Institution, an affiliate of Cornell University, began the training session here in September with statistics from Gallup Polls: 54 percent of Americans do not believe that human beings evolved from earlier species, and although almost half believe that Darwin has been proved right, slightly more disagree.

"Just telling them they are wrong is not going to be effective," he said.

Instead, he told the volunteers that when they encounter religious fundamentalists they should emphasize that science museums live by the rules of science. They seek answers in nature to questions about nature, they look for explanations that can be tested by experiment and observation in the material world, and they understand that all scientific knowledge is provisional - capable of being overturned when better answers are discovered.

"Is it against all religion?" he asked. "No. But it is against some religions."

There is more than one type of creationist, he said: "thinking creationists who want to know answers, and they are willing to listen, even if they go away unconvinced" and "people who for whatever reason are here to bother you, to trap you, to bludgeon you."

Those were the type of people who confronted Dr. Durkee, a former biology professor at Grinnell College in Iowa. The encounter left her discouraged.

"It is no wonder that many biologists will simply refuse to debate creationists or I.D.ers," she said, using the abbreviation for intelligent design, a cousin of creationism. "It is as if they aren't listening."

Dr. Allmon says even trained scientists like Dr. Durkee can benefit from explicit advice about dealing with religious challenges to science exhibitions.

"There is an art, a script that is very, very helpful," he said.

A pamphlet handed out at the training session provides information on the scientific method, the theory of evolution and other basic information. It offers suggestions on replying to frequently raised challenges like "Is there lots of evidence against evolution?" (The answer begins, simply, "No.")

When talking to visitors about evolution, the pamphlet advises, "don't avoid using the word." Rehearse answers to frequently asked questions, because "you'll be more comfortable when you sound like you know what you're talking about."

Dr. Allmon told his audience to "be firm and clear, not defensive." The pamphlet says that if all else fails, and docents find themselves in an unpleasant confrontation, they excuse themselves by saying, "I have to go to the restroom."

Eugenie C. Scott, who directs the National Center for Science Education and is conducting training sessions for Dr. Diamond's program, said that within the last year or so efforts to train museum personnel and volunteers on evolution and related topics had substantially increased. "This seems to be a cottage industry now," Dr. Scott said.

Robert M. West, a paleontologist and former science museum director who is now a consultant to museums, said several institutions were intensifying the docents' training "so they are comfortable with the concepts, not just the material but the intellectual, philosophical background - and they know their administrations are going to support them if someone criticizes them."

At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the staff and docents often encounter groups from B.C. Tours, which for 15 years has offered tours of the museum based on literal readings of the Bible. The group embraces young-earth creationism, the view that the earth and its plants, animals and people were created in a matter of days a few thousand years ago.

"We present both sides from an objective perspective and let the students decide for themselves," said Rusty Carter, an operator of the group.

Mr. Carter praised the museum, saying it had been "very professional and accommodating, even though they do not support us." A typical group might have 30 or 40 people, he added.

Kirk Johnson, a paleontologist who is the chief curator at the museum, was philosophical about the group. "It's interesting to walk along with them," he said.

Participants pay the admission fee and have as much right as anyone else to be in the museum, Dr. Johnson said, but sometimes "we have to restrain our docents from interacting with them."

John G. West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, whose researchers endorse intelligent design, said he was not aware of organized efforts to challenge museum exhibitions on evolution. He added, "It is not unheard of for museum exhibits to be wrong scientifically."

Dr. Scott, who trained as a physical anthropologist, said that in training docents she emphasized "how the public understands or misunderstands evolution and some of the misconceptions they come in with." She hopes to combat the idea that people must choose between science and faith - "that you are either a good Christian creationist or an evil atheist evolutionist."

"It's your job," she told docents, "not to slam the door in the face of a believer."

At the American Museum of Natural History, which is about to open what it describes as "the most in-depth exhibition ever" on Darwin and his work, curators and other staff members instruct volunteer "explainers" on the science behind its exhibitions, according to Stephen Reichl, a spokesman. If visitors challenge the presentations, the explainers are instructed to listen "and then explain the science and the evidence."

Sarah Fiorello, an environmental educator at the Finger Lakes State Parks Region who took part in the Ithaca training session in August, said she was now prepared to take the same approach. When she describes the region's geological history on tours of its gorges, visitors often object - as even a member of her family once did - that "it does not say that in the Bible."

Now, she said, she will tell them, "The landscape tells a story based on geological events, based on science."

Dr. Durkee also said she found the session helpful. "When you are in a museum, you can't antagonize people," she said. "Your job is to help them, to explain your point of view, but respect theirs.
"I like the idea of stressing that this is a science museum, and we deal with matters of science."
--============_-1084837622==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 09:00:57 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Faulty design, not dynamite, explains concrete levee breach Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed NY Times, September 21, 2005 Design Shortcomings Seen in New Orleans Flood Walls By CHRISTOPHER DREW and ANDREW C. REVKIN NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 20 - Along the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, great earthen levees were ample to hold off much of the surging water propelled by Hurricane Katrina. But concrete flood walls installed over the last several decades along the drainage and barge canals cutting into New Orleans were built in a way that by Army Corps of Engineers standards left them potentially unstable in a flood, according to government documents and interviews. The walls collapsed in several places during the storm. A corps engineering manual cautions that such flood walls "rarely exceed" seven feet because they can lose stability as waters rise. But some of the New Orleans canal walls rose as high as 11 feet above dirt berms in which they were anchored. As a result of federal budget constraints, the walls were never tested for their ability to withstand the cascades of lake water that rushed up to, or over, their tops as storm waves pulsed through the canals on Aug. 29, corps and local officials say. Hurricane Katrina was the first serious test of the flood walls, said Stevan Spencer, chief engineer for the Orleans Levee District, and it "just overwhelmed the system." Since the storm, corps officials have said that there is a simple explanation for the devastation: Hurricane Katrina was a Category 4 storm and Congress authorized a flood control system to handle only a Category 3 storm. "Anything above that, all bets are off," said Al Naomi, a senior project manager in the corps's New Orleans district. But federal meteorologists say that New Orleans did not get the full brunt of the storm, because its strongest winds passed dozens of miles east of the city. While a formal analysis of the storm's strength and surges will take months, the National Hurricane Center said the sustained winds over Lake Pontchartrain reached only 95 miles per hour, while Category 3 storms are defined by sustained winds of 111 to 130 m.p.h. This raises a series of questions about how the walls that failed were designed and constructed, as well as whether the soil in some spots was too weak to hold them. Investigations by federal engineers and outside experts are just now beginning. One factor could be height, said Robert G. Bea, a former corps engineer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is part of a National Science Foundation inquiry into the flood controls failures. The higher the wall, Professor Bea said, the greater the risk it could tip under the ever greater pressure of rising waters. The 2000 edition of the Army Corps of Engineers manual "Design and Construction of Levees" says that the height of flood walls built on levees is an important factor in their ability to withstand a flood. For that reason, the manual says walls like those used in New Orleans "rarely exceed" seven feet. But on two of the three canals where breaks occurred - the 17th Street and London Avenue canals - the concrete sections rise 11 feet above the dirt berms. Each wall resembles a row of teeth set in a jaw. Individual slabs are anchored to a continuous steel sheet buried in the dirt, giving the wall its strength. Above a short foundation, the slabs are linked only by rubbery gaskets that allow the concrete to expand and contract without cracking. Hassan S. Mashriqui, an engineering professor at Louisiana State University and an expert on storm surges, said the segmented nature of the walls could be an additional problem, since any weak point could cause a catastrophic failure. "Since they're not tied together you get a little bit of a gap and that's what water needs to make it fail," Dr. Mashriqui said. Other questions surround the walls' design, known as an "I-wall" for its slim cross section that fits easily into densely developed areas. The corps manual for flood control construction suggests a different design for walls higher than seven feet - walls shaped like an inverted T, with the horizontal section buried in the dirt for extra stability. But that option was never considered, corps engineers said, because "T walls" were more expensive, required a broad base of dense soil for support and were not necessarily stronger. The corps and local levee authorities also never tested whether the chosen I-wall design could survive if water flowed over the top and cascaded onto dirt embankments below. Corps officials said they were proscribed from considering stronger wall designs for the canals both by the tight quarters and by federal law, which requires that they seek and study only the level of flood control authorized by Congress. "Our hands are tied as to looking at higher-level events," Mr. Naomi said. Mr. Naomi said that the recommendations in the flood control engineering manual were "general guidance," and that conditions at a particular site could justify deviations. He defended the walls, saying: "The flood walls have functioned over the years very successfully and without incident. The design works. It has worked in other locales. And will likely continue to be used as long as you do not subject it to pressures that it was not designed to handle." The broken walls, which were long seen as a second choice to earthen levees, are testament to 40 years of fiscal and political compromises made by elected officials, from local levee boards to Congress and several presidential administrations, as they balanced costs and environmental concerns with the need to protect a city that lies largely below sea level and is still subsiding. Ever since Hurricane Betsy flooded parts of New Orleans in 1965, the federal government has financed a hurricane defense system designed to guard against an equivalent storm. But as the threat of a more intense hurricane became better understood in recent years, government financing for flood prevention in New Orleans did not keep pace with a growing alarm among many local residents, scientists and even the corps's own engineers. Standing next to the shattered remains of one of the concrete walls last week, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, a New Orleans councilwoman, said, "In my opinion, they were playing Russian roulette with people's lives." "Do you realize that if those walls had held, we'd have just had a little cleaning job?" said Ms. Hedge-Morrell, whose district between downtown and the lakefront was covered with 10 feet of water from the breaks of flood walls. "We would not have this massive loss of life and destruction." On Tuesday, streams of dump trucks hurriedly dumped loads of gravel into the breaches in New Orleans's flood defenses, in case Hurricane Rita shifts toward here later this week. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a surge from Lake Pontchartrain poured into the main parts of the city through breaks on the walls lining the 17th Street and London Avenue canals, which normally carry runoff pumped out of the city into the lake. A separate surge from the Gulf of Mexico overwhelmed the walls along the Industrial Canal, inundating the Lower Ninth Ward. Officials say that break may have been caused by a barge that broke loose from its moorings. When the hurricane hit, the only earthen levees that failed in a way that produced substantial flooding were on the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a man-made ship canal east of the city. These levees, which were not as high as those on the river or Lake Pontchartrain, let in the floodwaters that ravaged eastern New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. A surge from Lake Pontchartrain was the catastrophic situation that the corps had been guarding against since Hurricane Betsy 40 years ago. Initially, the corps wanted to build a giant barrier to keep water from the Gulf of Mexico from reaching Lake Pontchartrain and flooding the canals. That project was delayed by lawsuits from environmental groups that contended the corps had failed to study ecological effects. By the late 1970's, the corps abandoned that approach and began raising levees along the lake and the Mississippi and adding flood walls on the canals. In the mid-1990's, engineering professors at Louisiana State began publicizing computer models that showed how a Category 5 storm could kill tens of thousands of people and flood the French Quarter. Corps officials in Louisiana pushed local officials to help seek more money from Congress, both to finish existing upgrades and to start bolstering the city against bigger threats. Joseph Suhayda, who was one of the Louisiana State professors, said corps officials privately urged him to "raise the consciousness" about the dire threats. But upgrading the flood control system never became a major priority for corps officials in Washington, local and federal officials say. Corps veterans said it was not surprising that federal engineers did not issue more vocal warnings. "I don't think it was culturally in the system for the corps to say 'this is crazy,' " said William F. Marcuson III, the former director of the Waterways Experiment Station for the corps in Vicksburg, Miss., and president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers. "The corps works for Congress," Mr. Marcuson said, "and when the boss says design for a Category 3 storm, culturally the corps is not going to go back and say this is wrong." Investigations into how the walls failed are just now beginning. Col. Richard Wagenaar, commander of the corps district in New Orleans, said the soil behind the flood walls could have been weakened after they were topped by the storm surge, or the walls could have simply given way as the water - and the pressure - mounted against them. Indeed, as several engineers said, while a dirt levee of similar height might eventually be topped as well, and possibly eroded, only the walls were vulnerable to a sudden collapse. The determination of how the walls fell will bear on how officials decide to remake the flood control system. Max Hearn, executive director of the Orleans Levee District, said that if the federal government was now ready to pay for Category 5 protection, it seemed unlikely that the flood wall system could be upgraded to that level. But Mr. Hearn said the only answer might be the construction of flood gates designed to limit a hurricane surge in Lake Pontchartrain - the same idea that was considered and dropped in the 1970's. Christopher Drew reported from New Orleans for this article and Andrew C. Revkin from New York. -- www.marxmail.org ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 13:50:59 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mike Brand <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Fwd: CIVIL DEFENSE: Cuba's disaster plans praised MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127325059" -------------------------------1127325059 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit ----------------- Forwarded Message: Subj: Fwd: CIVIL DEFENSE: Cuba's disaster plans praised Date: 9/16/2005 8:32:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: _Visionarybirt_ (mailto:Visionarybirt) To: _Fleetfleet_ (mailto:Fleetfleet) CC: _MikeNOC_ (mailto:MikeNOC) ----------------- Forwarded Message: Subj: FWD: CIVIL DEFENSE: Cuba's disaster plans praised Date: 9/16/2005 5:20:22 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: [log in to unmask] (mailto:[log in to unmask]) To: [log in to unmask] (mailto:[log in to unmask]) Sent from the Internet _(Details)_ (aolmsg://06ffb660/inethdr/3) >===== Original Message From "Dario Machado" <[log in to unmask]> ===== _____ CIVIL DEFENSE: Cuba's disaster plans praised BY SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN ST. PETERSBURG TIMES September 12, 2005 Before Hurricane Ivan whipped Cuba last year with 160 m.p.h. winds, the government evacuated nearly 2 million people. The result: not a single death or serious injury. Although it is a small, poor country in the heart of hurricane alley, Cuba is widely acknowledged to do an exemplary job of protecting its 11.3 million residents from natural disasters. Its record is even more impressive in light of the catastrophic loss of life that the United States -- the world's richest and most technologically advanced nation -- is experiencing from Hurricane Katrina. "Cuba has not only an evacuation plan but an overall plan for hurricanes and other disasters that is very well developed and organized," said Dusan Zupka, who works in disaster planning for the United Nations. "I would dare to say that Cuba is a good example for other countries in terms of preparedness and prevention." Cuba's form of government -- communist and authoritarian -- undoubtedly helps it to quickly mobilize in emergencies. But the real key to success is a "culture of safety" in which people at all levels of government and society are committed to reducing risks and saving lives, according to a study by Oxfam, a charity that works in ravaged areas worldwide. "The single most important thing about disaster response in Cuba is that people cooperate en masse," the study found. As Hurricane Georges approached in 1998, a foreign aid worker living in Havana was astonished by the attention to preparedness, she told Oxfam. "We had a steady stream of neighbors ... counseling us to fill the bathtub with water, tape the windows, unplug all electrical items, get batteries or candles and put the car in the garage." Instruction in disaster preparedness begins in grade school. Under a 1976 law, every adult receives civil defense training. Before a new hurricane season starts on June 1, authorities review and revise disaster plans based on the prior year's experience. In May, the entire country goes through a two-day hurricane drill, called Meteoro. Most important, all those living in high-risk areas know beforehand where to take refuge -- in sturdy homes on high ground or in group shelters, usually schools. All forms of transportation -- buses, helicopters, even horse carts -- are pressed into service to get people to shelter. Every shelter is stocked with food, water and medical supplies. When a hurricane threatens, Cuba mobilizes under National Civil Defense, which coordinates preparedness from the federal level on down. There are continuous storm updates broadcast on radio and television from the country's meteorology institute. Cuba revamped its civil defense system after a 1963 hurricane killed more than 1,000 people. Since then, disaster planning has been so finely honed that just 16 lives were lost between 1996 and 2002, despite six hurricanes. Copyright (c) 2005 Detroit Free Press Inc. -------------------------------1127325059 Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
 =20
 

-----------------
Forwarded Message:
Subj: Fwd: CIVIL DEFENSE: Cuba's disaster plans=20 praised  Date: 9/16/2005 8:32:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: Visionarybirt To: Fleetfleet CC: MikeNOC
 
 

-----------------
Forwarded Message:
Subj: FWD: CIVIL DEFENSE: Cuba's disaster plans=20 praised  Date: 9/16/2005 5:20:22 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: [log in to unmask] u To: [log in to unmask]<= /TD> Sent from the Internet (Details)<= /I>
 
>=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Original Message From "Dario Machado"=20 <[log in to unmask]> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
  _____


C= IVIL DEFENSE:=20 Cuba's disaster plans praised


BY SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN
ST.=20 PETERSBURG TIMES

September 12, 2005

Before Hurricane Ivan whip= ped=20 Cuba last year with 160 m.p.h. winds, the
government evacuated nearly 2=20 million people. The result: not a single
death or serious=20 injury.

Although it is a small, poor country in the heart of hurrican= e=20 alley,
Cuba is widely acknowledged to do an exemplary job of protecting=20 its
11.3 million residents from natural disasters. Its record is even=20 more
impressive in light of the catastrophic loss of life that the=20 United
States -- the world's richest and most technologically advanced=20 nation
-- is experiencing from Hurricane Katrina.

"Cuba has not on= ly=20 an evacuation plan but an overall plan for hurricanes
and other disasters= =20 that is very well developed and organized," said
Dusan Zupka, who works i= n=20 disaster planning for the United Nations.

"I would dare to say that C= uba=20 is a good example for other countries in
terms of preparedness and=20 prevention."

Cuba's form of government -- communist and authoritarian= --=20 undoubtedly
helps it to quickly mobilize in emergencies. But the real key= to=20 success
is a "culture of safety" in which people at all levels of governm= ent=20 and
society are committed to reducing risks and saving lives, according t= o=20 a
study by Oxfam, a charity that works in ravaged areas=20 worldwide.

"The single most important thing about disaster response i= n=20 Cuba is that
people cooperate en masse," the study found.

As Hurri= cane=20 Georges approached in 1998, a foreign aid worker living in
Havana was=20 astonished by the attention to preparedness, she told Oxfam.

"We had=20= a=20 steady stream of neighbors ... counseling us to fill the
bathtub with wat= er,=20 tape the windows, unplug all electrical items, get
batteries or candles a= nd=20 put the car in the garage."

Instruction in disaster preparedness begi= ns=20 in grade school. Under a
1976 law, every adult receives civil defense=20 training.

Before a new hurricane season starts on June 1, authorities= =20 review and
revise disaster plans based on the prior year's experience. In= =20 May, the
entire country goes through a two-day hurricane drill, called=20 Meteoro.

Most important, all those living in high-risk areas know=20 beforehand
where to take refuge -- in sturdy homes on high ground or in=20 group
shelters, usually schools.

All forms of transportation -- bu= ses,=20 helicopters, even horse carts --
are pressed into service to get people t= o=20 shelter. Every shelter is
stocked with food, water and medical=20 supplies.

When a hurricane threatens, Cuba mobilizes under National C= ivil=20 Defense,
which coordinates preparedness from the federal level on down. T= here=20 are
continuous storm updates broadcast on radio and television from=20 the
country's meteorology institute.

Cuba revamped its civil defen= se=20 system after a 1963 hurricane killed
more than 1,000 people. Since then,=20 disaster planning has been so finely
honed that just 16 lives were lost=20 between 1996 and 2002, despite six
hurricanes.

Copyright (c) 2005=20 Detroit Free Press Inc.

-------------------------------1127325059-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 10:50:53 +1300 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> Subject: routine ad Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" Nature Contents: 22 September 2005 Volume 437 Number 7058, pp 451-594 2005 Nature Publishing group --------------------------------------------------------------------- This alert is supported by Ozgene Ozgene: Your Partner in Functional Genomics and Drug Target Validation We produce genetically modified (GM) mice and rats for global markets. Services include the generation of lentiviral RNAi, knockout, knockin, humanised and transgenic lines. A company by scientists for scientists, visit us at http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eU710BhdwI0Ch0BVg0ES ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 10:54:36 +1300 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> Subject: pre-emptive PR strike Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" Value-free nanotech? Efforts to gauge public attitudes to nanotechnology reveal concerns that can be readily addressed. http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eU710BhdwI0Ch0mht0Eg ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 11:17:53 +1300 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Swooping for biotech Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084695013==_ma============" --============_-1084695013==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" ---------------------- BUSINESS ---------------------- Swooping for biotech Big pharmaceutical companies are moving swiftly to acquire biotechnology companies - especially if they can snap them up on the cheap. Meredith Wadman reports. http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eU710BhdwI0Ch0mib0EP One of Z.E Goldsmith's last good capers at The Ecologist before he relinquished control to his playboy nephew Zac was the gloomy whole-cover pic of the suavely-dressed GM-gambler looking downcast at a revolver on the the green baize table. The gene-tampering bubble was bound to burst, argued Z.E whose connections with big money have caused some stupid ignorant clowns to confuse him with the forces of destruction his late brother Jimmy was murkily tied up with. Any technology based on junk science will fail to deliver significant techniques that work as promised. See the bubble bursting. It's in slow motion; how many stockmarket gurus have issued predictions of the time-scale of the bursting? What would they know anyhow? Fill in the following questionnaire and send to Monsanto, Dow etc PR depts (from which such corporations are largely run). GENE-TAMPERING BUBBLE BURST TIME to lose 95% of Sep 2005 stockmarket value which stock prices to average in - to be determined a. 5 y b. 2 y c. 1 y d. 3 mo. e. 3 wk. ===== 95% of the GM-corporations to lose 99% of Sep 2005 stockmarket value --============_-1084695013==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Swooping for biotech

----------------------
BUSINESS
----------------------

Swooping for biotech

Big pharmaceutical companies are moving swiftly to acquire
biotechnology companies - especially if they can snap them
up on the cheap.  Meredith Wadman reports.
http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eU710BhdwI0Ch0mib0EP


        One of Z.E Goldsmith's last good capers at The Ecologist  before he relinquished control to his playboy nephew Zac was the gloomy whole-cover pic of the suavely-dressed GM-gambler looking downcast at a revolver on the the green baize table.  The gene-tampering bubble was bound to burst, argued Z.E whose connections with big money have caused some stupid ignorant clowns to confuse him with the forces of destruction his late brother Jimmy was murkily tied up with.
        Any technology based on junk science will fail to deliver significant techniques that work as promised.
        See the bubble bursting.  It's in slow motion; how many stockmarket gurus have issued predictions of the time-scale of the bursting?  What would they know anyhow?  Fill in the following questionnaire and send to Monsanto, Dow etc PR depts (from which such corporations are largely run).


                GENE-TAMPERING  BUBBLE  BURST  TIME

        to lose 95% of Sep 2005 stockmarket value
        which stock prices to average in  -  to be determined

a.  5 y
b.   2 y
c.   1 y
d.   3 mo.
e.   3 wk.

=====
       
95% of the GM-corporations to lose 99% of Sep 2005 stockmarket value
--============_-1084695013==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 11:55:45 +1300 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> Subject: how to avoid obstruction of GMO deployments Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084692263==_ma============" --============_-1084692263==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Correspondence Nature 437, 476 (22 September 2005) | doi: 10.1038/437476c How synthetic biology can avoid GMO-style conflicts Mark Tepfer ICGEB Biosafety Outstation, Via=20 Piovega 23, 31056 Ca' Tron di Roncade, Italy Sir: Your News story "Synthetic biologists=20 face up to security issues" (Nature 436, 894-895;=20 2005), defines synthetic biology as the ability=20 "to create complete genomes from scratch and to=20 introduce new characteristics into viruses and=20 bacteria". But the second half of this=20 definition has already been applied for decades=20 to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and=20 particularly to modified viral genomes. The=20 present discussion about regulation of synthetic=20 biology should carefully consider how and why=20 GMOs are regulated, in order to avoid regulatory=20 chaos. The US and Canadian systems for GMO regulation=20 are based on the properties of the organisms=20 produced, < a gross deceit: they're declared=20 Substantially Equivalent without any study of=20 many important properties; and even when=20 significant differences are found in e.g=20 amino-acid composition, such differences are=20 assumed negligible. whereas the European system is based more on techniques. < couldn't allow any credit for influence=20 from informed public opinion, could we? The incompatibility between product-based and=20 technique-based systems is the source of much of=20 the transatlantic tension regarding GMOs. < Is this a fair characterisation of the Eur system? North American scientists are calling for=20 technique-based regulation of synthetic biology.=20 But for products of synthetic biology that bear=20 novel genes and thus are also GMOs, which type of=20 regulation should prevail: technique- or=20 product-based? If the former, one would quickly=20 encounter the situation where equivalent=20 organisms, synthetic or classic GM, would be=20 regulated using drastically different strategies=20 and criteria. If the latter, the most=20 potentially dangerous products of synthetic=20 biology would simply be regulated as GMOs. If the=20 United States and/or Canada go forward with=20 technique-based regulation of synthetic biology,=20 a minimum of coherence would require them also to=20 shift to technique-based regulation of GMOs - a=20 major policy change. I believe that the first step to reassure the=20 public about synthetic biology should be to cool=20 the rhetoric. < good one - tell it ter Val Giddings,=20 Conner, Vivian Moses, and the dozens of mercenary=20 liars in the PR depts of Monsanto, Dow, etc. The present situation is reminiscent of 30 years=20 ago, when some of the pioneers in the then-new=20 field of genetic engineering made unrealistic=20 claims about what was feasible; this was one of=20 the major early sources of public uneasiness=20 about GMOs. < Why the implication that those early=20 claims of prospective benefits were worse than=20 routinely issued lately from those PR liars?=20 =46ertile imaginations, less inhibited by standards=20 of truthfulness among scientists, have produced=20 far more numerous, and arguably more lurid=20 'benefit' images than they could in, say, the=20 latter half of the 1970s. I say the wild=20 exaggeration of benefits has prevailed throughout=20 the sordid history of gene-jiggering. He claims=20 the quality of deceit has lifted somewhat. I=20 was actively involved from the mid-70s; was=20 Tepfer? There should be a bit more modesty in claims=20 both about what can be achieved by synthetic=20 biology in the foreseeable future, < To this extent Tepfer agrees with=20 gene-jockey prof Pat Brown's warnings - which=20 have largely gone unheeded. and about what could be achieved by additional regulatory supervision. < A pleasing symmetry in the language=20 conceals a deceit. Tepfer seems to advocate that=20 far less good should be expected from GM -=20 smaller claims issued of benefit, and presumably=20 less expected by the public & stockholders -=20 and this downsized GM market should be allowed at=20 least as much licence as has prevailed so far in=20 the USA. < Even if benefit claims were throttled=20 back say 95% in number and degree - which would=20 abolish the apparent market value of all or=20 nearly all GM-corporations - payoff times & $=20 would likely be disappointing to investors even=20 among the 'reputable' remnant. Look at Genesis=AE=20 - real scientist founder, popular, plausible;=20 sold to Yanks a developing psoriasis drug (which=20 later turned out a dud) but otherwise little or=20 nothing saleable after many y. < I'm reminded of gene-jockey Peter=20 Bergquist who said in his 1977 seminar on GM in=20 the Auckland medical research club "the benefits=20 and the hazards are equally speculative". I=20 believe this was false even then, in that some=20 hazards had been pointed out and in a sense ackn=20 at the Asilomar confab etc; whereas the benefits=20 (nitrogen-fixing pine trees etc) were much less=20 plausible, much less founded in sound science. how to avoid obstruction of GMO deployments
Correspondence

Nature 437, 476 (22 September 2005) | doi: 10.1038/437476c

How synthetic biology can avoid GMO-style conflicts

Mark Tepfer
           ICGEB Biosafety Outstation, Via Piovega 23, 31056 Ca' Tron di Roncade, Italy

Sir:
    Your News story "Synthetic biologists face up to security issues" (Nature 436, 894-895; 2005), defines synthetic biology as the ability "to create complete genomes from scratch and to introduce new characteristics into viruses and bacteria".  But the second half of this definition has already been applied for decades to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and particularly to modified viral genomes. The present discussion about regulation of synthetic biology should carefully consider how and why GMOs are regulated, in order to avoid regulatory chaos.

The US and Canadian systems for GMO regulation are based on the properties of the organisms produced,
       
        < a gross deceit: they're declared Substantially Equivalent without any study of many important properties; and even when significant differences are found in e.g amino-acid composition, such differences are assumed negligible.


whereas the European system is based more on techniques.

        < couldn't allow any credit for influence from informed public opinion, could we?


 The incompatibility between product-based and technique-based systems is the source of much of the transatlantic tension regarding GMOs.

        < Is this a fair characterisation of the Eur system?


North American scientists are calling for technique-based regulation of synthetic biology.  But for products of synthetic biology that bear novel genes and thus are also GMOs, which type of regulation should prevail: technique- or product-based?  If the former, one would quickly encounter the situation where equivalent organisms, synthetic or classic GM, would be regulated using drastically different strategies and criteria.  If the latter, the most potentially dangerous products of synthetic biology would simply be regulated as GMOs. If the United States and/or Canada go forward with technique-based regulation of synthetic biology, a minimum of coherence would require them also to shift to technique-based regulation of GMOs - a major policy change.

I believe that the first step to reassure the public about synthetic biology should be to cool the rhetoric. 

        < good one  -  tell it ter Val Giddings, Conner, Vivian Moses, and the dozens of mercenary liars in the PR depts of Monsanto, Dow,  etc. 


The present situation is reminiscent of 30 years ago, when some of the pioneers in the then-new field of genetic engineering made unrealistic claims about what was feasible; this was one of the major early sources of public uneasiness about GMOs.
       
        < Why the implication that those early claims of prospective benefits were worse than routinely issued lately from those PR liars?  Fertile imaginations, less inhibited by standards of truthfulness among scientists, have produced far more numerous, and arguably more lurid 'benefit' images than they could in, say, the latter half of the 1970s.  I say the wild exaggeration of benefits has prevailed throughout the sordid history of gene-jiggering.  He claims the quality of deceit has lifted somewhat.   I was actively involved from the mid-70s; was Tepfer?


  There should be a bit more modesty in claims both about what can be achieved by synthetic biology in the foreseeable future,
       
        < To this extent Tepfer agrees with gene-jockey prof Pat Brown's warnings  -  which have largely gone unheeded.


 and about what could be achieved by additional regulatory supervision.

        < A pleasing symmetry in the language conceals a deceit.  Tepfer seems to advocate that far less good should be expected from GM  -  smaller claims issued of benefit, and presumably less expected by the public & stockholders  -  and this downsized GM market should be allowed at least as much licence as has prevailed so far in the USA.
        < Even if benefit claims were throttled back say 95% in number and degree  -  which would abolish the apparent market value of all or nearly all GM-corporations  -  payoff times & $ would likely be disappointing to investors even among the 'reputable' remnant.  Look at Genesis=AE  -  real scientist founder, popular, plausible; sold to Yanks a developing psoriasis drug (which later turned out a dud) but otherwise little or nothing saleable after many y.

        < I'm reminded of gene-jockey Peter Bergquist who said in his 1977 seminar on GM in the Auckland medical research club "the benefits and the hazards are equally speculative".  I believe this was false even then, in that some hazards had been pointed out and in a sense ackn at the Asilomar confab etc; whereas the benefits (nitrogen-fixing pine trees etc) were much less plausible, much less founded in sound science.
        <Tepfer wants gene-jockeys to tone down the bullshit claims of benefit.  So do we all.  But he implies that they should be no more controlled than they have been, i.e almost uncontrolled.  We are supposed to give this concession  -  refraining from cracking down on hazards  -  in gratitude for having to put up with somewhat less exaggerated claims of benefit.

        <It's a lousy deal.

R
--============_-1084692263==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 10:48:05 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mike Brand <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Fwd: [league-discuss] sharon olds & laura bush MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="part1_2b.7c1091a1.30656fa5_boundary" --part1_2b.7c1091a1.30656fa5_boundary Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127486885" -------------------------------1127486885 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit -------------------------------1127486885 Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
 
-------------------------------1127486885-- --part1_2b.7c1091a1.30656fa5_boundary Content-Type: message/rfc822 Content-Disposition: inline Return-Path: <[log in to unmask]> Received: from rly-yh05.mx.aol.com (rly-yh05.mail.aol.com [172.18.180.69]) by air-yh01.mail.aol.com (v107.10) with ESMTP id MAILINYH11-2cc43337f64fa; Fri, 23 Sep 2005 00:07:05 -0400 Received: from n7.bulk.dcn.yahoo.com (n7.bulk.dcn.yahoo.com [216.155.201.60]) by rly-yh05.mx.aol.com (v107.10) with ESMTP id MAILRELAYINYH56-2cc43337f64fa; Fri, 23 Sep 2005 00:07:00 -0400 Comment: DomainKeys? See http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws; s=lima; d=yahoogroups.com; b=iQCubi75dK6t8dId0zHj/hXqNOcPeElOvtU2/lyGLtUSj19X3QH/L4bTKFaFrD49RJR0gK4ZhvKebhSbFV+GaW4wTE2atPcnjVn47vBnvylolL2CBfeq0tdkqyz7xjvA; Received: from [216.155.201.64] by n7.bulk.dcn.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 23 Sep 2005 04:06:56 -0000 Received: from [66.218.69.4] by mailer1.bulk.dcn.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 23 Sep 2005 04:06:56 -0000 Received: from [66.218.66.61] by mailer4.bulk.scd.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 23 Sep 2005 04:06:55 -0000 X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: groups-email X-Sender: [log in to unmask] X-Apparently-To: [log in to unmask] Received: (qmail 72246 invoked from network); 23 Sep 2005 03:26:10 -0000 Received: from unknown (66.218.66.217) by m35.grp.scd.yahoo.com with QMQP; 23 Sep 2005 03:26:10 -0000 Received: from unknown (HELO hotmail.com) (64.4.61.34) by mta2.grp.scd.yahoo.com with SMTP; 23 Sep 2005 03:26:10 -0000 Received: from mail pickup service by hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC; Thu, 22 Sep 2005 20:26:00 -0700 Message-ID: <[log in to unmask]> Received: from 64.4.61.204 by by102fd.bay102.hotmail.msn.com with HTTP; Fri, 23 Sep 2005 03:26:00 GMT X-Originating-Email: [[log in to unmask]] X-Sender: [log in to unmask] To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask] X-OriginalArrivalTime: 23 Sep 2005 03:26:00.0594 (UTC) FILETIME=[85173720:01C5BFEE] X-Originating-IP: 64.4.61.34 X-eGroups-Msg-Info: 1:12:0:0 From: "Steve Miller" <[log in to unmask]> Sender: [log in to unmask] MIME-Version: 1.0 Mailing-List: list [log in to unmask]; contact [log in to unmask] Delivered-To: mailing list [log in to unmask] List-Id: Precedence: bulk List-Unsubscribe: Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 20:26:00 -0700 Subject: [league-discuss] sharon olds & laura bush Reply-To: [log in to unmask] Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-AOL-IP: 216.155.201.60 X-Mailer: Unknown (No Version) The Nation, October 10, 2005 issue No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame This article can be found on the web at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/olds No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame by SHARON OLDS For reasons spelled out below, the poet Sharon Olds has declined to attend the National Book Festival in Washington, which, coincidentally or not, takes place September 24, the day of an antiwar mobilization in the capital. Olds, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and professor of creative writing at New York University, was invited along with a number of other writers by First Lady Laura Bush to read from their works. Three years ago artist Jules Feiffer declined to attend the festival's White House breakfast as a protest against the Iraq War ("Mr. Feiffer Regrets," November 11, 2002). We suggest that invitees to this year's event consider following their example.------The Editors Laura Bush First Lady The White House Dear Mrs. Bush, I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House. In one way, it's a very appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers. And the concept of a community of readers and writers has long been dear to my heart. As a professor of creative writing in the graduate school of a major university, I have had the chance to be a part of some magnificent outreach writing workshops in which our students have become teachers. Over the years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a women's prison, several New York City public high schools, an oncology ward for children. Our initial program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged, has been running now for twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships between young MFA candidates and their students--long-term residents at the hospital who, in their humor, courage and wisdom, become our teachers. When you have witnessed someone nonspeaking and almost nonmoving spell out, with a toe, on a big plastic alphabet chart, letter by letter, his new poem, you have experienced, close up, the passion and essentialness of writing. When you have held up a small cardboard alphabet card for a writer who is completely nonspeaking and nonmoving (except for the eyes), and pointed first to the A, then the B, then C, then D, until you get to the first letter of the first word of the first line of the poem she has been composing in her head all week, and she lifts her eyes when that letter is touched to say yes, you feel with a fresh immediacy the human drive for creation, self-expression, accuracy, honesty and wit--and the importance of writing, which celebrates the value of each person's unique story and song. So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country--with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism--the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to. I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing--against this undeclared and devastating war. But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration. What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us. So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it. Sincerely, SHARON OLDS ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Fair play? Video games influencing politics. Click and talk back! Click Here! --------------------------------------------------------------------~-> Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/league-discuss/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [log in to unmask] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ --part1_2b.7c1091a1.30656fa5_boundary-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:22:10 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: No way out for the poor in Houston Comments: To: [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084611953==_ma============" --============_-1084611953==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_stuck_in_houston_hk1 No Way Out: Many Poor Stuck in Houston By DEBORAH HASTINGS, AP National Writer Fri Sep 23, 1:45 PM ET Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only they would pick up their phones. "I done called for a shelter, I done called for help. There ain't none. No one answers," she said, standing in blistering heat outside a check-cashing store that had just run out of its main commodity. "Everyone just says, 'Get out, get out.' I've got no way of getting out. And now I've got no money." With Hurricane Rita breathing down Houston's neck, those with cars were stuck in gridlock trying to get out. Those like Skinner - poor, and with a broken-down car - were simply stuck, and fuming at being abandoned, they say. "All the banks are closed and I just got off work," said Thomas Visor, holding his sweaty paycheck as he, too, tried to get inside the store, where more than 100 people, all of them black or Hispanic, fretted in line. "This is crazy. How are you supposed to evacuate a hurricane if you don't have money? Answer me that?" Some of those who did have money, and did try to get out, didn't get very far. Judie Anderson of La Porte, Texas, covered just 45 miles in 12 hours. She had been on the road since 10 p.m. Wednesday, headed toward Oklahoma, which by Thursday was still very far away. "This is the worst planning I've ever seen," she said. "They say, 'We've learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina.' Well, you couldn't prove it by me." On Bellaire Boulevard in southwest Houston, a weeping woman and her young daughter stood on the sidewalk, surrounded by plastic bags full of clothes and blankets. "I'd like to go, but nobody come get me," the woman said in broken English. When asked her name, she looked frightened. "No se, no se," she said: Spanish for "I don't know." Her daughter, who appeared to be about 9, whispered in English, "We're from Mexico." Census figures show Harris County had 3.6 million people in 2004, of whom 14.7 percent lived below the poverty level while 8.7 percent of households lacked a vehicle, both percentages slightly higher than national figures. More than one-third spoke a language other than English at home. For the poor and the disenfranchised, the mighty evacuation orders that preceded Rita were something they could only ignore. Eddie McKinney, 64, who had no home, no teeth and a torn shirt, stood outside the EZ Pawn shop, drinking a beer under a sign that said, "No Loitering." "We got no other choice but to stay here. We're homeless and we're broke," he said. "I thought about going to Dallas, but now it's too late. I got no way to get there." Where will he stay? "A nice white man gave me a motel room for three days. Just walked up and said, 'Here.' So my buddy and me will stick it out," he said, pointing to another homeless man. "We got a half-gallon of whiskey and a room." In Deer Park, a working-class suburb of refineries south of Houston, Stacy and Troy Curtis, waited for help outside the police station. Less than three weeks ago, the couple left New Orleans after it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. With no vehicle, and little money, they tried to get their lives together while staying at a hotel in Deer Park. Stacy Curtis, a nursing assistant in New Orleans, had a job interview scheduled for Thursday. But most businesses had shut down because the neighborhood will likely flood if the hurricane hits Galveston Bay. The streets were empty Thursday afternoon. "We're stuck here," Stacy Curtis said. "Got no other place to go." An emergency official eventually sent a van to take the couple to a shelter at a recreation center. Monica Holmes, who has debilitating lupus, sat in her car at a Houston gas station that had no gas. "We can't go nowhere," she said, tapping a fingernail against the dashboard fuel gauge. "Look here," she said. "I'm right on E." Her husband, a security guard, had a paycheck, but no way to cash it. "We were going to try to go to Nacogdoches" in east Texas, not far from the Louisiana border, she said. "But even if we could get on the road, we're not going to get out. These people that left yesterday, they're still on the beltway. They haven't even got out of Houston." So she and her husband will hunker down in their Missouri City home, just to the south. "We'll be fine," she said. "You can't be scared of what God can do. I'm covered." As always, there were those who chose to stay, no matter how dire the warnings. John Benson, a 47-year-old surfer and lifelong Galveston resident, said he thinks his town "is going to take on a lot of water. But as far as the winds, I think here on the island, it will be a little bit less than they anticipated." Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Wednesday for the area. Benson said he planned to use his surfboard as transportation after the hurricane. "The main thing is you have a contingency plan," he said, and thumped his board. "You got buoyancy." Skinner, accompanied by her 6-year-old grandson, Dageneral Bellard, would settle for a bus. "They got them for the outlying areas, for the Gulf and Galveston, but they ain't made no preparations for us in the city, for the poor people here. There ain't no (evacuation) buses here. I got nowhere to go." ___ EDITOR'S NOTE - Associated Press writers Pam Easton in Galveston and Tim Whitmire in Deer Park contributed to this report. --============_-1084611953==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" No way out for the poor in Houston
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_stuck_in_houston_hk1

No Way Out: Many Poor Stuck in Houston

By DEBORAH HASTINGS, AP National Writer
Fri Sep 23, 1:45 PM ET

Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only they would pick up their phones.

"I done called for a shelter, I done called for help. There ain't none. No one answers," she said, standing in blistering heat outside a check-cashing store that had just run out of its main commodity. "Everyone just says, 'Get out, get out.' I've got no way of getting out. And now I've got no money."

With Hurricane Rita breathing down Houston's neck, those with cars were stuck in gridlock trying to get out. Those like Skinner - poor, and with a broken-down car - were simply stuck, and fuming at being abandoned, they say.

"All the banks are closed and I just got off work," said Thomas Visor, holding his sweaty paycheck as he, too, tried to get inside the store, where more than 100 people, all of them black or Hispanic, fretted in line. "This is crazy. How are you supposed to evacuate a hurricane if you don't have money? Answer me that?"

Some of those who did have money, and did try to get out, didn't get very far.

Judie Anderson of La Porte, Texas, covered just 45 miles in 12 hours. She had been on the road since 10 p.m. Wednesday, headed toward Oklahoma, which by Thursday was still very far away.

"This is the worst planning I've ever seen," she said. "They say, 'We've learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina.' Well, you couldn't prove it by me."

On Bellaire Boulevard in southwest Houston, a weeping woman and her young daughter stood on the sidewalk, surrounded by plastic bags full of clothes and blankets. "I'd like to go, but nobody come get me," the woman said in broken English. When asked her name, she looked frightened. "No se, no se," she said: Spanish for "I don't know."

Her daughter, who appeared to be about 9, whispered in English, "We're from Mexico."

Census figures show Harris County had 3.6 million people in 2004, of whom 14.7 percent lived below the poverty level while 8.7 percent of households lacked a vehicle, both percentages slightly higher than national figures. More than one-third spoke a language other than English at home.

For the poor and the disenfranchised, the mighty evacuation orders that preceded Rita were something they could only ignore.

Eddie McKinney, 64, who had no home, no teeth and a torn shirt, stood outside the EZ Pawn shop, drinking a beer under a sign that said, "No Loitering."

"We got no other choice but to stay here. We're homeless and we're broke," he said. "I thought about going to Dallas, but now it's too late. I got no way to get there."

Where will he stay?

"A nice white man gave me a motel room for three days. Just walked up and said, 'Here.' So my buddy and me will stick it out," he said, pointing to another homeless man. "We got a half-gallon of whiskey and a room."

In Deer Park, a working-class suburb of refineries south of Houston, Stacy and Troy Curtis, waited for help outside the police station. Less than three weeks ago, the couple left New Orleans after it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

With no vehicle, and little money, they tried to get their lives together while staying at a hotel in Deer Park. Stacy Curtis, a nursing assistant in New Orleans, had a job interview scheduled for Thursday.

But most businesses had shut down because the neighborhood will likely flood if the hurricane hits Galveston Bay. The streets were empty Thursday afternoon.

"We're stuck here," Stacy Curtis said. "Got no other place to go."

An emergency official eventually sent a van to take the couple to a shelter at a recreation center.

Monica Holmes, who has debilitating lupus, sat in her car at a Houston gas station that had no gas. "We can't go nowhere," she said, tapping a fingernail against the dashboard fuel gauge. "Look here," she said. "I'm right on E."

Her husband, a security guard, had a paycheck, but no way to cash it.

"We were going to try to go to Nacogdoches" in east Texas, not far from the Louisiana border, she said. "But even if we could get on the road, we're not going to get out. These people that left yesterday, they're still on the beltway. They haven't even got out of Houston."

So she and her husband will hunker down in their Missouri City home, just to the south. "We'll be fine," she said. "You can't be scared of what God can do. I'm covered."

As always, there were those who chose to stay, no matter how dire the warnings.

John Benson, a 47-year-old surfer and lifelong Galveston resident, said he thinks his town "is going to take on a lot of water. But as far as the winds, I think here on the island, it will be a little bit less than they anticipated."

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Wednesday for the area.

Benson said he planned to use his surfboard as transportation after the hurricane. "The main thing is you have a contingency plan," he said, and thumped his board. "You got buoyancy."

Skinner, accompanied by her 6-year-old grandson, Dageneral Bellard, would settle for a bus.

"They got them for the outlying areas, for the Gulf and Galveston, but they ain't made no preparations for us in the city, for the poor people here. There ain't no (evacuation) buses here. I got nowhere to go."

___
EDITOR'S NOTE - Associated Press writers Pam Easton in Galveston and Tim Whitmire in Deer Park contributed to this report.
--============_-1084611953==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 20:29:14 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Global warming's smoking gun Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084589939==_ma============" --============_-1084589939==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article314510.ece This is global warming, says environmental chief As Hurricane Rita threatens devastation, scientist blames climate change By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor Published: 23 September 2005 Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the "smoking gun" of global warming, one of Britain's leading scientists believes. The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming." In a series of outspoken comments - a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, Sir John hit out at neoconservatives in the US who still deny the reality of climate change. Referring to the arrival of Hurricane Rita he said: "If this makes the climate loonies in the States realise we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation." As he spoke, more than a million people were fleeing north away from the coast of Texas as Rita, one of the most intense storms on record, roared through the Gulf of Mexico. It will probably make landfall tonight or early tomorrow near Houston, America's fourth largest city and the centre of its oil industry. Highways leading inland from Houston were clogged with traffic for up to 100 miles north. There are real fears that Houston could suffer as badly from Rita just as New Orleans suffered from Hurricane Katrina less than a month ago. Asked what conclusion the Bush administration should draw from two hurricanes of such high intensity hitting the US in quick succession, Sir John said: "If what looks like is going to be a horrible mess causes the extreme sceptics about climate change in the US to reconsider their opinion, that would be an extremely valuable outcome." Asked about characterising them as "loonies", he said: "There are a group of people in various parts of the world ... who simply don't want to accept human activities can change climate and are changing the climate." "I'd liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer." With his comments, Sir John becomes the third of the leaders of Britain's scientific establishment to attack the US over the Bush government's determination to cast doubt on global warming as a real phenomenon. Sir John's comments follow and support recent research, much of it from America itself, showing that hurricanes are getting more violent and suggesting climate change is the cause. A paper by US researchers, last week in the US journal Science, showed that storms of the intensity of Hurricane Katrina have become almost twice as common in the past 35 years. Although the overall frequency of tropical storms worldwide has remained broadly level since 1970, the number of extreme category 4 and 5 events has sharply risen. In the 1970s, there was an average of about 10 category 4 and 5 hurricanes per year but, since 1990, they have nearly doubled to an average of about 18 a year. During the same period, sea surface temperatures, among the key drivers of hurricane intensity, have increased by an average of 0.5C (0.9F). Sir John said: "Increasingly it looks like a smoking gun. It's a fair conclusion to draw that global warming, caused to a substantial extent by people, is driving increased sea surface temperatures and increasing the violence of hurricanes." --============_-1084589939==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Global warming's smoking gun
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article314510.ece

This is global warming, says environmental chief

As Hurricane Rita threatens devastation, scientist blames climate change
By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Published: 23 September 2005

Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the "smoking gun" of global warming, one of Britain's leading scientists believes.

The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming."

In a series of outspoken comments - a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, Sir John hit out at neoconservatives in the US who still deny the reality of climate change.

Referring to the arrival of Hurricane Rita he said: "If this makes the climate loonies in the States realise we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation." As he spoke, more than a million people were fleeing north away from the coast of Texas as Rita, one of the most intense storms on record, roared through the Gulf of Mexico. It will probably make landfall tonight or early tomorrow near Houston, America's fourth largest city and the centre of its oil industry. Highways leading inland from Houston were clogged with traffic for up to 100 miles north.

There are real fears that Houston could suffer as badly from Rita just as New Orleans suffered from Hurricane Katrina less than a month ago.

Asked what conclusion the Bush administration should draw from two hurricanes of such high intensity hitting the US in quick succession, Sir John said: "If what looks like is going to be a horrible mess causes the extreme sceptics about climate change in the US to reconsider their opinion, that would be an extremely valuable outcome."

Asked about characterising them as "loonies", he said: "There are a group of people in various parts of the world ... who simply don't want to accept human activities can change climate and are changing the climate."

"I'd liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer."

With his comments, Sir John becomes the third of the leaders of Britain's scientific establishment to attack the US over the Bush government's determination to cast doubt on global warming as a real phenomenon.

Sir John's comments follow and support recent research, much of it from America itself, showing that hurricanes are getting more violent and suggesting climate change is the cause.

A paper by US researchers, last week in the US journal Science, showed that storms of the intensity of Hurricane Katrina have become almost twice as common in the past 35 years.

Although the overall frequency of tropical storms worldwide has remained broadly level since 1970, the number of extreme category 4 and 5 events has sharply risen. In the 1970s, there was an average of about 10 category 4 and 5 hurricanes per year but, since 1990, they have nearly doubled to an average of about 18 a year. During the same period, sea surface temperatures, among the key drivers of hurricane intensity, have increased by an average of 0.5C (0.9F).
Sir John said: "Increasingly it looks like a smoking gun. It's a fair conclusion to draw that global warming, caused to a substantial extent by people, is driving increased sea surface temperatures and increasing the violence of hurricanes."
--============_-1084589939==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 20:50:46 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit truthout http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/092305S.shtml Original http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/olds No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame By Sharon Olds The Nation Monday 19 September 2005 For reasons spelled out below, the poet Sharon Olds has declined to attend the National Book Festival in Washington, which, coincidentally or not, takes place September 24, the day of an antiwar mobilization in the capital. Olds, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and professor of creative writing at New York University, was invited along with a number of other writers by First Lady Laura Bush to read from their works. Three years ago artist Jules Feiffer declined to attend the festival's White House breakfast as a protest against the Iraq War ("Mr. Feiffer Regrets," November 11, 2002). We suggest that invitees to this year's event consider following their example. - Editors, The Nation Laura Bush First Lady The White House Dear Mrs. Bush, I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House. In one way, it's a very appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents - all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers. And the concept of a community of readers and writers has long been dear to my heart. As a professor of creative writing in the graduate school of a major university, I have had the chance to be a part of some magnificent outreach writing workshops in which our students have become teachers. Over the years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a women's prison, several New York City public high schools, an oncology ward for children. Our initial program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged, has been running now for twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships between young MFA candidates and their students - long-term residents at the hospital who, in their humor, courage and wisdom, become our teachers. When you have witnessed someone nonspeaking and almost nonmoving spell out, with a toe, on a big plastic alphabet chart, letter by letter, his new poem, you have experienced, close up, the passion and essentialness of writing. When you have held up a small cardboard alphabet card for a writer who is completely nonspeaking and nonmoving (except for the eyes), and pointed first to the A, then the B, then C, then D, until you get to the first letter of the first word of the first line of the poem she has been composing in her head all week, and she lifts her eyes when that letter is touched to say yes, you feel with a fresh immediacy the human drive for creation, self-expression, accuracy, honesty and wit - and the importance of writing, which celebrates the value of each person's unique story and song. So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country - with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain - did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism - the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to. I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness - as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing - against this undeclared and devastating war. But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration. What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us. So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it. Sincerely, Sharon Olds ------- (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. t r u t h o u t has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is t r u t h o u t endorsed or sponsored by the originator.) ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 20:54:12 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: A Message to the Anti-war Demonstrators from Revolution, the voice of the revolutionary communist party,usa Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit AND ACTION--at http://worldcantwait.org Sign Call, download flyers, and civil disobedience on Nov. 2 http://rwor.org/a/015/bush-regime-message-to-antiwar.htm A Message to the Anti-war Demonstrators What Will It Take? What Will You Do? Revolution #015, September 25, 2005, posted at revcom.us Guantanamo. . . “shock and awe”. . . “collateral damage”. . . Fallujah. . . Abu Ghraib. Behind the words stand the cities reduced to rubble, the bodies in the streets, the hooded prisoners, the kicked-down doors, and the children—crying in terror or silently watching the humiliation of their parents. All justified by outrageous lies. The horror grinds on, every day. Iraq cannot wait. Iraq cannot wait for “pendulum swings.” Iraq cannot wait for possible resolutions to set “reasonable” deadlines for hypothetical timetables. Iraq cannot wait for the 2006 U.S. elections—especially (but not only) when the major Democrats all oppose withdrawal from Iraq, and some even support more troops being sent. Nor will Bush be swayed simply by public opinion turning against him, or the war. Bush himself seems to believe he’s on a “mission from God” and the pack of neo-conservatives, Christian fascists and kluckers who surround him have demonstrated their intent to hold on to power. What do the 2000 elections tell us, after all, if not that? Iraq—and the world—cannot wait. We cannot tolerate three more years of slaughter and lies and madness. The war and occupation of Iraq is not going away. Indeed, it will almost certainly grow more intense in the weeks and months to come, with more Fallujahs and more Abu Ghraibs. All that is what has brought people back into the streets again, demonstrating against the war. This is important and good and necessary. But the question we all have to face is this: how to act in a way that truly corresponds to the urgency and scale of the situation? People have said to us, “we’ve protested, we’ve voted, but what’s going to make a difference?” The Bush Package Before getting into that—and as part of answering it—let’s step back for a minute. Bush is not the first U.S. president to launch an imperialist war. Not by a long shot. Nor is he the first U.S. president to militarily occupy another country in the name of democracy, or to grease the way to war with one lie after another. At the same time, the Bush regime has taken the “standard operating procedure” further. They’ve declared a new “doctrine” that gives them the right to invade another country without even the pretense of an “imminent threat.” They’ve claimed the right to hold a person without charges, indefinitely, merely because the president says the person may be a “terrorist”—and this has now been upheld by the courts. The Bush regime instituted, and in so many words, justified the widespread torture of prisoners of war. If all this were the only outrage of the Bush regime, it would be enough to declare it illegitimate. But look as well at their callous and murderous racism in the face of Hurricane Katrina, coming on top of a whole history of antagonism to the rights of Black people and an unprecedented polarization of rich and poor. Look at how they have packed the courts, including the Supreme Court, with fascist judges. Look at their use of the state to support extreme fundamentalist Christian-ity. Look at the relentless attempts to deny women the right to control their own reproduction; look at the way they demonize gay people and deny them equal rights. Look at how Bush himself, as well as his administration, trumpets ignorance —suppressing findings on global warming, stopping stem cell reseearch, and declaring himself in favor of teaching “intelligent design.” This is a whole package. This package is the product of a system, imperialism. And even the “normal workings” of that system are a horror for the majority—the vast majority—of the people on this planet. A handful of highly developed capitalist countries violently subordinate whole peoples and nations to the relentless drive of profit, leaving starvation and misery in their wake while fighting among themselves for superiority. The war in Iraq is essentially an attempt by the U.S. to dominate the whole Gulf region and the Middle East beyond it—at terrible expense to the people there, and in competition with their rivals in Europe and Japan. Bush himself represents a section of the imperialists in the U.S. which believes that the huge changes in society—the emergence of the U.S. as the sole superpower, the socio-economic turbulence of globalization, the changes in the way people think and relate to each other within the U.S. itself—make necessary radical changes in the way in which U.S. imperialism enforces its will in the world and is ruled at home. When Dick Cheney talked after 9/11 about a “new normalcy” lasting for a generation, he was talking about the kind of thing represented by the war in Iraq and a much more highly repressive—a fascist —form of rule domestically. They have made huge strides in this since 9/11, and they are continuing this, relentlessly. It’s not for nothing that people talk about not wanting to live in a “new Rome”—or that older generation European immigrants make analogies to Hitler. Again, what we have here is a package, a whole direction that has to be repudiated and opposed. Bush (and his regime) is not the whole of what’s wrong with this system. Again, they are creatures of a system —responding to what they see as the underlying needs of that system as it faces uncertainty around the world and in its home base. And we should be clear as well that they are setting the terms for the whole ruling class and don’t face any serious opposition within the ruling class, whether around the war or repression (note that the Patriot Act was recently unani-mously renewed by the Senate). They are an extreme concentration of the system. They are not the whole of it—but what they represent is something ex-tremely vicious and dangerous and the whole direction must be repudiated. The Bush regime must be driven from office. Nothing less will do. Again, this is a whole package, a whole dynamic, and must be fought as such. That, and nothing short of that, is what will make a difference. And that is why you need to throw in with the effort to drive out the Bush regime—and in particular, the call for massive demonstrations around that demand on November 2. Reversing the Dynamic For some time now there has been a very bad dynamic going on. Millions of people have been deeply disturbed and outraged by all this, but they have not found a way to act. But, as the Call for November 2 has put it, “silence and paralysis are not acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn—or be forced—to accept.” And people have come forward now to pose a challenge to those who do see or sense the stakes. Again, from the Call: “We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush’s outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime’s program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history.” This plan is visionary. It is bold. It is audacious. But here’s the main thing: it actually corresponds to the danger we face; and nothing else can unlock the potential energy among literally tens of millions of people that still remains dammed up. It can make a difference. Thus, in its boldness and audacity lies its strength. Yes, it will be hard. The Bush crew will not go without a struggle. And the people who have to do this—in their millions—are going to have make big leaps in their level of organization and militance in order to do this. No way around that. But there IS something to build on. For one thing, there is a network of activists and cores of people that have begun to take shape around this bold call. There is beginning organization. And there is the embryo of a new spirit that all this can mesh with and build on and make still more powerful. Cindy Sheehan’s brave protest in Crawford against the war in Iraq, in the face of personal and political attack, struck a chord and unleashed tens of thousands of people to take a stand. Millions of people found Bush’s outrageous inaction—and action—around Hurricane Katrina intolerable; it called into question anew his very legitimacy and raised huge questions about the whole history and structure of society. These people want—and need—more. This is an opening, but that’s all it is—an opening—and it has to be seized upon—quickly!--and turned into something bigger. If not, these people—Bush and Cheney and Rove and the rest—will find the ways to recoup their position and reinforce their fascist agenda, and to suppress and take revenge on the opposition that does exist. And What If We Succeed? Some people say, no one has ever done this sort of thing before. Well, yeah. But if that were taken as the argument for what should or could be done at any time, then nothing new would ever come into being. There’s a lot of truth to the adage that necessity is the mother of invention—and with this much necessity staring us in the face we better be damn inventive and quit dwelling on what (supposedly) can’t be done. Right now even right-wing columnists openly worry about the current political terms “bursting open.” We who want progressive social change should be at least as keen to seize on the possibility and think big. As the Call for November 2 points out, “history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US.” And think about it: what if we succeed? What if we really do pull together and launch something new on November 2? What if people, through their united and diverse actions on that day, create a new dynamic in society, where there is a growing movement uncompromisingly demanding the Bush regime’s ouster and taking increasingly determined, mass action to bring that into being? What if people across a whole broad spectrum are able to unite in action and debate the future they do want, as they are struggling against the one that is being clamped down? What if there is a new ethos in society—one in which “the right side” of things responds with whip-like speed and sharpness when women are denied birth control, when radical professors come under fire, or when there is an obscenity like the exploitation of Terri Schiavo? We’re not talking about some big day that takes place in the same overall context—we’re talking about changing the context itself through mounting powerful outpourings of protest on November 2. But again—let yourself think it—what if people succeed, in both launching this dynamic and then carrying it through? Even here, we should be sober. For one thing, there is still the larger battle to replace this whole system. And if the people do drive Bush from office, it is almost certain that the forces in the government, the military and society at large that share Bush’s agenda would be fighting like hell to reassert their position and their whole agenda. So, yes, in very important ways even getting rid of Bush would be only the beginning. But what a beginning it would be! Three huge differences would stand out from today. First, an independent mass movement of the people would have inflicted a major political defeat against the vicious agenda now in command, with its major representative brought down and the whole ruling class in a scramble, quarreling among themselves. Second, there would be a politically energized and unleashed people, ready and able to take the struggle further and seize on the openings created. Yes, the struggle would get sharper—but for the first time it would actually be two-sided. And third, many more people would be actively debating a different future, and as part of that, checking out and coming over to a revolutionary communist understanding, program, and organization. “Come Out of the Stands and Get Into the Game” There is right now a tremendous amount of work to do to realize the immediate goal of truly setting in motion this dynamic. Even with beginning advances, the people are far from where they need to be on this. From here out, every day must count for the massive outpouring that must come on November 2, uniting all kinds of people to powerfully raise the slogan of “The World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!” For one thing: people need to change their lives, now, to make this happen. Put it this way: the fans have to get beyond cheering and booing, and come down out of the stands and onto the field to make sure the right team wins. If you quit your job or left school to work for Howard Dean—even though his program fell far short of what you wanted—now is the time to sacrifice for something that you actually believe in! If you hated the war and threw everything into getting Kerry elected—even though he supported the war—now is the time to work your hearts out for the things you actually support! If you grow heartsick watching the footage from Katrina or the pictures from Abu Ghraib but tell yourself that “the most that I can do about it is to just try to do good in my own little corner”—think about what you’re saying! How can that be a response to torture, or to any of the other outrages that, not too long ago, you told yourself you’d never accept?!? And to those of you who have taken up the challenge to end this war—going on the road with Cindy Sheehan, or taking on other forms of activity—by all means continue and intensify your efforts. But now is the time to link these efforts to November 2, throwing in all you have to make that day a powerful motive force in ending this war. To those of you who left your jobs and homes to go to New Orleans, or otherwise supported the people—yes, keep that up and intensify it, but do more as well—take that same spirit and energy and put it toward building resistance not only to that outrage but to this whole regime on November 2. Anything less will not cut it. And, again—one more time—think of what it would mean to succeed! Tell The Truth Above all, November 2 is based on the truth of what is needed. The truth about this war; the truth about this regime and how really dangerous it is; and the truth about what it will take to stop it. And to those who have begun to step forward to take up November 2, including many people new to political activity, remember this: at the beginning, truth is always in the hands of a minority; but if you persist in it—if you find the ways to deepen your understanding of it and connect it to people with conviction and imagination—you will be able to win people to understand it . . . and act on it. And then, organize. Organize. Organ-ize. Build committees where you work, where you live, where you go to school. Hook up to the national website of World Can’t Wait. Reach out to people who’ve never acted before, and reach out to those already in organizations. Get out the call for November 2, everywhere you go. Over the past few weeks, as those of us who support the RCP have sold Revolution, and as we and others have taken out the Call for November 2, many people have said that they think the mood is changing and that there are millions ready to act. We think that is true; the mood is changing. But someone has to bring the vision that can inspire those millions. Someone has to take responsibility. Someone has to change their life, determined to be part of making it all happen. Be that someone. To Musicians, Actors, Lecturers, Preachers, and Others in the Public Eye You have an audience. Use your ability to reach a broad audience to fulfill a great need—to mobilize MILLIONS for November 2, 2005 to take a massive first step in a powerful movement to force Bush out. When you are in front of a mike, on stage, on a podium, and on TV/radio talk shows, read this key section from the call “The World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!” “...Silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn—or be forced—to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it.” “And there is a way. We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush’s outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime’s program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history.” “To that end, on November 2, the first anniversary of Bush’s ’re-election,’ we will take the first major step in this by organizing a truly massive day of resistance all over this country. People everywhere will walk out of school, they will take off work, they will come to the downtowns and town squares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to JOIN US. They will repudiate this criminal regime, making a powerful statement: ’NO! THIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT!’” Get in touch with World Can’t Wait at worldcantwait.org This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution Online http://revcom.us Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497 ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 21:02:29 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Sunrise from the West--Million Solar Roofs bill is not dead Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit truthout http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/092305EC.shtml original http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2005/9/21/17309/6650 Sunrise from the West By David Hochschild Grist.org Wednesday 21 September 2005 The defeat in the California legislature of the bipartisan Million Solar Roofs bill earlier this month was a big blow, but the initiative - and the broader spirit behind it - are carrying on, says David Hochschild, director of policy at Vote Solar Initiative, a nonprofit working to bring solar energy into the mainstream. Here, Hochschild shares his take in an op-ed written for Grist: Late on the night of Thursday, Sept. 8, California's Million Solar Roofs bill died when the California legislature ended the 2005 session. Originally proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger with bipartisan support in 2004, the $2.5 billion bill would have created ten years of incentives to help Californians install up to one million rooftop solar energy systems on homes and businesses. The autopsy report is not long. The blame falls squarely on the rising political tensions between the governor and the legislature and on the inability of various labor interests and advocates for this bill to reach a fair consensus that would help reduce the cost of solar energy. Nevertheless, solar advocates have good reason for optimism. The California Public Utilities Commission, which created the nation's largest solar incentive program in 2001, is moving to establish the Million Solar Roofs program on its own. Under California law, the CPUC has wide authority to enact the key provisions contained in the failed Million Solar Roofs bill, the most important of which is the funding. A final ruling by the CPUC to increase and expand California's current solar rebate program for ten years, now funded at $125 million a year, is expected in the next three months. CPUC President Michael Peevey, a strong solar supporter, has been leading this effort. If he is successful, the majority of Californians will be grateful. According to a recent Field Poll, 77% of Californians want the Million Solar Roofs program implemented. In the din of America's sensationalist political culture, it can be easy to lose sight of why state leadership on renewable energy matters so much. This summer, just six months after the Kyoto global warming treaty took effect with the support of 141 nations, President Bush signed into law a 1,700-page federal energy bill chock-full of subsidies for coal and oil. That America has rejected the only international protocol intended to fight global warming and instead adopted an energy policy that accelerates, rather than alleviates, the problem is unacceptable. But by failing to lead in the development of the clean-energy technologies of tomorrow like solar power, the US is also sacrificing an enormous economic leadership opportunity to countries like Japan. The world's solar industry today is undergoing changes that are similar to what happened in television manufacturing over the last few decades. Once dominated by American companies like RCA and GE, television manufacturing was transformed after Japan moved aggressively to establish itself as the industry leader. The company names on most television sets in American households today tell the rest of the story. Today, Japan, among other nations, is having enormous success doing the same thing with solar energy, another technology born in the United States. In 1994, the Japanese government established a solar program similar to the model California is now considering, with rebates given to customers who install rooftop solar energy systems. In just ten years, Japanese solar companies like Sharp, Kyocera, Mitsubishi, and Sanyo emerged as the titans of the world's solar industry and the average cost of a Japanese residential solar energy system declined by 72%. That America's economic counterparts are bringing solar into the mainstream is good news from an environmental perspective. Largely as a result of pro-solar policies implemented in Japan and Germany, the world's solar industry grew by 62% last year, surpassing wind energy to become the fastest-growing source of energy in the world. This is encouraging news. But without the meaningful participation of the United States, it is unlikely to be enough to make a dent in climate change. The leading contributor of the CO2 emissions that cause global warming is pollution from power plants. And the cost of solar has to come down another order of magnitude to make an impact on this problem. The most important factor determining which nation will lead the solar revolution in the decade ahead is not annual sunlight but pro-solar policies. Both Japan and Germany, which together represent 69% of the world's solar market, receive only about two-thirds of the annual sunlight of the United States. Meanwhile, America, and California in particular, is the Saudi Arabia of sunlight but without the right policies to encourage us to take full advantage of this clean resource. For the next few years, it seems likely that renewable energy will remain a national priority without national leadership. That makes the pioneering efforts of state governments all the more important. If California does succeed in implementing the Million Solar Roofs program this fall, it will be national victory that can help America become the political and economic incubator that brings solar energy into the mainstream. But whether or not California gets the job done, the responsibility to keep fighting for it falls to us all. ------- (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. t r u t h o u t has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is t r u t h o u t endorsed or sponsored by the originator.) ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 21:09:47 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Getting Apollo off the Ground--San Francisco Community Power Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=8878 Getting Apollo off the Ground -- A Guest Commentary September 23, 2005 — By Steven J. Moss, San Francisco Community Power Energy and labor are intimately related. After all, energy is by and large a replacement for labor – most energy-using devices save time. Washing machines replaced stone-slapping methods of clothes cleaning; cars substitute for slower modes of manual transport. This historical relationship has recently formed the basis for a counter-movement lead by labor unions and environmental groups – the Apollo Alliance. Apollo seeks to change the energy-labor relationship into one in which cleaner energy sources create jobs, rather than eliminates them. So far Apollo has been closer to a delayed space shuttle launch than a successful trip to the moon. While energy efficiency, solar power, and “demand-response” have made steady gains in state and federal energy policies, the linkage between energy and economic development hasn’t. Still, despite the lack of policy reform, there’s ample evidence that well-crafted community-based energy management programs can provide multiple benefits, including reduced polluting air emissions, job creation, and economic development. San Francisco Community Power is one example of how energy and employment can be successfully linked, as well as the challenges of doing so. SF Power was originally funded by power plant mitigation monies. The organization trained unemployed residents of San Francisco neighborhoods where aging power plants are located to install energy saving equipment at low income households and small businesses. The work itself was not particularly complicated – literally screwing in compact fluorescent light bulbs or installing motion sensors – but it required patience, care, and “handyman” level competence. Virtually every worker hired by SF Power had “issues,” before and after their training. The training itself was the first time some of them had been in an adult classroom setting, and many did not have study skills, or even know how to behave respectfully towards the teachers or one another. Most of them, including the women, had their wages garnished for back child care liabilities, reducing their incentive to work. And throughout their employment work-disrupting situations emerged for all of them. Girlfriends or family members got sick, and had to be taken care of; cars broke down or were stolen entirely; addictions re-emerged, with individuals simply disappearing for days, weeks, or forever. Still, and without the full-range of social support resources typical of many back-to-work programs, the job got done. Thousands of households or businesses were provided with devices that tangibly reduced their energy bills, as well as lessened reliance on the locally polluting power plants. Less money for utility bills meant more dollars in consumers and businesses pockets, with concomitant benefits to the local economy, including, undoubtedly, more job creation. And every person employed in the program expressed pride in their work to help improve their community’s environment. The outcome was precisely what the Apollo Alliance wants to achieve. When the mitigation monies, which were administrated by the City and County of San Francisco, ran out, SF Power successfully turned to the local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, for funding support. A version of the program continued, including relying on community residents to do the work. But PG&E, as governed by the California Public Utility Commission, did not have the same interest in bundling energy saving efforts with job creation and economic development. The utility’s direction from its regulators was to obtain cost-effective energy savings as soon as possible. As a result, it had less patience for the slower work pace caused by newly refurbished workers, and no funding for the extra staff time required to make community residents workforce-ready. It was difficult to get the resources necessary, or even obtain access, to support training opportunities. Still again, the PG&E-funded program has proved successful, employing two-dozen community members and cumulatively serving close to fifteen thousand homes and businesses cost-effectively. But the need to wage a “permanent war” to attract, train, manage, and replace low income workers has taken its toil on SF Power. It’s not clear, four years after its launch that this type of effort can effectively compete against private sector companies whose only motivation is the bottom line, and who are willing to hire fewer individuals from outside the community being served to do more work at lower pay. And that’s why Apollo needs to get off the ground. While utility ratepayers may not have an interest in job creation, environmental justice, or even economic development, society does. And it just so happens that society members and ratepayers are one and the same. Energy regulators -- as well as other one-issue government agencies, for that matter – should abandon their single-minded focus on achieving a solitary goal. Instead we should use our scarce resources to get as many “two-fers” as possible. A dollar spent buying someone a light bulb will get some energy savings. Spending a dollar and a “bit” having that same bulb screwed in by a rehabilitated worker who lives in the neighborhood will not only save energy, it will create it as well: previously under-utilized human energy. Steven Moss is the publisher of the Neighborhood Environmental Newswire. He serves as Executive Director of San Francisco Community Power, www.sfpower.org. ========================================================================= Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 00:26:46 -0500 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Chuck0 <[log in to unmask]> Organization: Infoshop News Subject: Don't Eat That Fish! More Mercury Will be the Legacy of New Coal-Burning Plants MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Don't Eat That Fish! More Mercury Will be the Legacy of New Coal-Burning Plants By Kari Lydersen Infoshop News (news.infoshop.org) September 22, 2005 A young Mexican girl stood staring into a plastic white bucket entranced, watching the plump catfish and trout writhing in a shallow pool of blood. She repeatedly lifted one of the fish out by the length of fishing line still stuck in its jaw, giggling as it dropped back in the pail with a fleshy splash. Are you going to eat the fish, she was asked. She nodded, with a big smile. She and her family probably had no idea that the young girl and their other children risked serious neurological effects and other health risks from eating the fish, caught in the Fox River near Green Bay, Wisconsin, literally in the shadow of a coal-burning power plant across the water. The river is one of the country’s most contaminated waterways with PCBs, because of paper mills in the area, and like all bodies of water in this region it is likely to have a high mercury content from coal-burning power plants and other sources. Children and women of child-bearing age are only supposed to eat one fish per month in the Great Lakes region because of the risk of poisoning from mercury, a powerful neurotoxin known to cause arrested brain development in fetuses and young children and heart and kidney problems in adults. “You are not supposed to eat catfish in any way, shape or form from the Fox River,” said US EPA Region Five senior health and science advisor Milton Clark after observing the family fishing. But there is no sign at this popular fishing spot, and signs and pamphlets in general throughout the region are rare. 45 states have mercury advisories, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that 30-50 percent of women of child-bearing age aren’t aware of mercury exposure risks. And the limits must also be applied to store-bought fish – a recent study by the group Illinois PIRG showed dangerous mercury levels in swordfish and tuna purchased in grocery stores around the country. Before its risks were known, mercury was commonly used for everything from killing fungus and filling thermometers to tanning beaver pelts – that’s how the term Mad Hatter came about. Since its dangers became known the government has worked to take mercury out of distribution by conducting buybacks and exchanges of school thermometers, dental equipment, dairy monometers and other implements. Mercury is in some ways a mysterious contaminant in that it exists in different forms that interact with and are disbursed through the environment in very different ways. Elemental mercury, the kind in thermometers of old, isn’t water soluble. But another form, oxidized mercury, converts to methylmercury in water, which becomes more highly concentrated as it moves up the food chain. Mercury can travel great distances through the atmosphere, and it has been shown that a significant amount of mercury contamination in Midwestern waterways actually originates from industry in Asia. Doubts about the origin of mercury contamination were central to debate over the country’s first mercury emission standards released in March. Dave Michaud, a scientist with the Wisconsin power company We Energies, pointed this out in response to concerns about mercury contamination from We Energies’ coal-burning power plants. “Mercury is everywhere, it’s a natural pollutant,” said Michaud. “You might think the power plant right here (on the Fox River) is spewing mercury into Lake Michigan, but it’s not as clear as it seems. Utilities represent a small percent of what’s falling from the sky, and coal burned in Wisconsin emits elemental mercury which wouldn’t fall locally or regionally.” However a recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that coal-burning power plants in the US are in fact the major source of domestic mercury contamination. The study found that 16 of the top 25 sources of mercury in the Great Lakes are coal-burning power plants, some of them from Nevada and Texas but most in Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. “I get miffed at graphs showing [US] power plants being a small sector of the whole world[‘s mercury emissions],” said Clark. “You’ve got to hit mercury at every level to get rid of these fish advisories and reduce human exposure.” Environmentalists and public health advocates say the new federal mercury emissions standards don’t do near enough to protect Americans from mercury, since they give polluters over a decade to reduce their emissions, with a 2018 deadline to reduce emissions by 70 percent. And the plan includes an emissions credit trading program which allows heavy emitters to buy “credits” from lighter emitters. The effects of mercury are especially significant given that even though they may seem like a relic of the industrial past, coal-burning power plants are actually the major focus of the country’s energy plan for the next two decades. Government reports released last summer included specific plans for 94 new coal-burning power plants in 36 states, and a goal of 1,300 new coal-burning plants by 2020. The main way mercury is known to enter the human body is through fish who absorb it in the water. The body is eventually able to clear mercury from the system, so it is considered safe to consume one fish per month. However the one-fish limit has not been effectively publicized or ingrained in the public, especially across ethnic and language lines, as the family fishing the Fox River showed. And for many people in the Midwest and other areas with mercury contamination, fishing is an affordable source of protein and/or a cultural and family tradition they are unwilling to sacrifice. While originally mercury was mainly thought to be a risk to children and fetuses, at least one study has recently shown a link between mercury and heart disease in adults. Meanwhile mercury isn’t the only concern raised by coal-burning plants. Numerous studies have now linked them to respiratory problems including asthma and emphysema. A 2001 study by the Harvard School of Public Health blamed two coal-burning plants in Chicago, the Fisk and Crawford plants run by the company Midwest Generation, for causing an estimated 41 premature deaths, 2,800 asthma attacks and 550 emergency room visits per year. Nationally, a study by the group National Campaign Against Dirty Power showed 24,000 lives are cut short by an average of 14 years because of respiratory and heart problems and cancer exacerbated or likely caused by coal-burning power plants. Low-income and minority communities bear the brunt of these health effects, since the plants are normally located in or near lower-income areas. A 2002 study by the National Campaign Against Dirty Power found that 71 percent of African-Americans lived in counties that violated air pollution standards, compared to 58 percent of white Americans. African-Americans were also hospitalized for asthma attacks at three times the rate of white Americans. Reports by that group also found that seven of 10 Latinos in the U.S. are breathing air that violates federal standards, and 71 percent of Latinos live in counties that violate Clean Air Act standards. Proposed coal-burning plants have raised intense community opposition in some places, like in Manistee, Michigan, where residents organized to defeat a proposed coal-burning power plant last year by persuading town officials to decide not to make zoning changes needed for the construction. But Tondu, the company proposing the plant, has filed a lawsuit seeking to override the town’s decision. Residents of South Bend, Indiana are also currently fighting a proposed plant by Tondu, arguing that it will pollute their air and eat up public funds through promised tax breaks and subsidies. In southeastern Wisconsin, environmentalists recently lost a battle to prevent We Energies from constructing a new coal-burning plant with a controversial “open system” cooling structure that will suck in a billion gallons of Lake Michigan water per day, potentially killing massive amounts of plankton and small fish and warming the surrounding water by about 15 degrees. The cooling system would be considered illegal for a new structure, but it is being allowed under what critics call a loophole in federal New Source Review provisions that allow the new plant’s construction to be considered part of an existing adjacent facility. In response to complaints about the new We Energies facility, Michaud pointed out that something needs to be done to meet the spiraling energy needs of Wisconsin consumers, mirroring the situation in metropolises across the country. Chuck Ledin, senior chief of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is among those pointing out that “we’re not doing enough on the demand side” – meaning both individual lifestyle choices and large-scale corporate consumption. “There are a lot of market-based things we need to look at,” Ledin said. “For example the biggest electric consumers pay the lowest rates – is that an incentive to conservation?” Links: National Campaign Against Dirty Power: www.cleartheair.org/dirtypower PERRO (anti-pollution/ environmental racism group in Chicago): www.pilsenperro.org Illinois PIRG: www.illinoispirg.org Clean Wisconsin: www.cleanwisconsin.org American Lung Association: www.lungusa.org ### ========================================================================= Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 08:58:34 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Alexander Guerrero <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: A Message to the Anti-war Demonstrators from Revolution, the voice of the revolutionary communist party,usa In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit From the Jurasic Park!!!! ------------------------------------ Alexander Guerrero E. Economista, PhD (London) [log in to unmask] Caracas, Venezuela tel2:00584126252186 mobile: 00584166352186 ------------------------------------ -----Original Message----- From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wren Osborn Sent: viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2005 23:54 To: [log in to unmask] Subject: A Message to the Anti-war Demonstrators from Revolution, the voice of the revolutionary communist party,usa AND ACTION--at http://worldcantwait.org Sign Call, download flyers, and civil disobedience on Nov. 2 http://rwor.org/a/015/bush-regime-message-to-antiwar.htm A Message to the Anti-war Demonstrators What Will It Take? What Will You Do? Revolution #015, September 25, 2005, posted at revcom.us Guantanamo. . . "shock and awe". . . "collateral damage". . . Fallujah. . . Abu Ghraib. Behind the words stand the cities reduced to rubble, the bodies in the streets, the hooded prisoners, the kicked-down doors, and the children-crying in terror or silently watching the humiliation of their parents. All justified by outrageous lies. The horror grinds on, every day. Iraq cannot wait. Iraq cannot wait for "pendulum swings." Iraq cannot wait for possible resolutions to set "reasonable" deadlines for hypothetical timetables. Iraq cannot wait for the 2006 U.S. elections-especially (but not only) when the major Democrats all oppose withdrawal from Iraq, and some even support more troops being sent. Nor will Bush be swayed simply by public opinion turning against him, or the war. Bush himself seems to believe he's on a "mission from God" and the pack of neo-conservatives, Christian fascists and kluckers who surround him have demonstrated their intent to hold on to power. What do the 2000 elections tell us, after all, if not that? Iraq-and the world-cannot wait. We cannot tolerate three more years of slaughter and lies and madness. The war and occupation of Iraq is not going away. Indeed, it will almost certainly grow more intense in the weeks and months to come, with more Fallujahs and more Abu Ghraibs. All that is what has brought people back into the streets again, demonstrating against the war. This is important and good and necessary. But the question we all have to face is this: how to act in a way that truly corresponds to the urgency and scale of the situation? People have said to us, "we've protested, we've voted, but what's going to make a difference?" The Bush Package Before getting into that-and as part of answering it-let's step back for a minute. Bush is not the first U.S. president to launch an imperialist war. Not by a long shot. Nor is he the first U.S. president to militarily occupy another country in the name of democracy, or to grease the way to war with one lie after another. At the same time, the Bush regime has taken the "standard operating procedure" further. They've declared a new "doctrine" that gives them the right to invade another country without even the pretense of an "imminent threat." They've claimed the right to hold a person without charges, indefinitely, merely because the president says the person may be a "terrorist"-and this has now been upheld by the courts. The Bush regime instituted, and in so many words, justified the widespread torture of prisoners of war. If all this were the only outrage of the Bush regime, it would be enough to declare it illegitimate. But look as well at their callous and murderous racism in the face of Hurricane Katrina, coming on top of a whole history of antagonism to the rights of Black people and an unprecedented polarization of rich and poor. Look at how they have packed the courts, including the Supreme Court, with fascist judges. Look at their use of the state to support extreme fundamentalist Christian-ity. Look at the relentless attempts to deny women the right to control their own reproduction; look at the way they demonize gay people and deny them equal rights. Look at how Bush himself, as well as his administration, trumpets ignorance -suppressing findings on global warming, stopping stem cell reseearch, and declaring himself in favor of teaching "intelligent design." This is a whole package. This package is the product of a system, imperialism. And even the "normal workings" of that system are a horror for the majority-the vast majority-of the people on this planet. A handful of highly developed capitalist countries violently subordinate whole peoples and nations to the relentless drive of profit, leaving starvation and misery in their wake while fighting among themselves for superiority. The war in Iraq is essentially an attempt by the U.S. to dominate the whole Gulf region and the Middle East beyond it-at terrible expense to the people there, and in competition with their rivals in Europe and Japan. Bush himself represents a section of the imperialists in the U.S. which believes that the huge changes in society-the emergence of the U.S. as the sole superpower, the socio-economic turbulence of globalization, the changes in the way people think and relate to each other within the U.S. itself-make necessary radical changes in the way in which U.S. imperialism enforces its will in the world and is ruled at home. When Dick Cheney talked after 9/11 about a "new normalcy" lasting for a generation, he was talking about the kind of thing represented by the war in Iraq and a much more highly repressive-a fascist -form of rule domestically. They have made huge strides in this since 9/11, and they are continuing this, relentlessly. It's not for nothing that people talk about not wanting to live in a "new Rome"-or that older generation European immigrants make analogies to Hitler. Again, what we have here is a package, a whole direction that has to be repudiated and opposed. Bush (and his regime) is not the whole of what's wrong with this system. Again, they are creatures of a system -responding to what they see as the underlying needs of that system as it faces uncertainty around the world and in its home base. And we should be clear as well that they are setting the terms for the whole ruling class and don't face any serious opposition within the ruling class, whether around the war or repression (note that the Patriot Act was recently unani-mously renewed by the Senate). They are an extreme concentration of the system. They are not the whole of it-but what they represent is something ex-tremely vicious and dangerous and the whole direction must be repudiated. The Bush regime must be driven from office. Nothing less will do. Again, this is a whole package, a whole dynamic, and must be fought as such. That, and nothing short of that, is what will make a difference. And that is why you need to throw in with the effort to drive out the Bush regime-and in particular, the call for massive demonstrations around that demand on November 2. Reversing the Dynamic For some time now there has been a very bad dynamic going on. Millions of people have been deeply disturbed and outraged by all this, but they have not found a way to act. But, as the Call for November 2 has put it, "silence and paralysis are not acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn-or be forced-to accept." And people have come forward now to pose a challenge to those who do see or sense the stakes. Again, from the Call: "We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history." This plan is visionary. It is bold. It is audacious. But here's the main thing: it actually corresponds to the danger we face; and nothing else can unlock the potential energy among literally tens of millions of people that still remains dammed up. It can make a difference. Thus, in its boldness and audacity lies its strength. Yes, it will be hard. The Bush crew will not go without a struggle. And the people who have to do this-in their millions-are going to have make big leaps in their level of organization and militance in order to do this. No way around that. But there IS something to build on. For one thing, there is a network of activists and cores of people that have begun to take shape around this bold call. There is beginning organization. And there is the embryo of a new spirit that all this can mesh with and build on and make still more powerful. Cindy Sheehan's brave protest in Crawford against the war in Iraq, in the face of personal and political attack, struck a chord and unleashed tens of thousands of people to take a stand. Millions of people found Bush's outrageous inaction-and action-around Hurricane Katrina intolerable; it called into question anew his very legitimacy and raised huge questions about the whole history and structure of society. These people want-and need-more. This is an opening, but that's all it is-an opening-and it has to be seized upon-quickly!--and turned into something bigger. If not, these people-Bush and Cheney and Rove and the rest-will find the ways to recoup their position and reinforce their fascist agenda, and to suppress and take revenge on the opposition that does exist. And What If We Succeed? Some people say, no one has ever done this sort of thing before. Well, yeah. But if that were taken as the argument for what should or could be done at any time, then nothing new would ever come into being. There's a lot of truth to the adage that necessity is the mother of invention-and with this much necessity staring us in the face we better be damn inventive and quit dwelling on what (supposedly) can't be done. Right now even right-wing columnists openly worry about the current political terms "bursting open." We who want progressive social change should be at least as keen to seize on the possibility and think big. As the Call for November 2 points out, "history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US." And think about it: what if we succeed? What if we really do pull together and launch something new on November 2? What if people, through their united and diverse actions on that day, create a new dynamic in society, where there is a growing movement uncompromisingly demanding the Bush regime's ouster and taking increasingly determined, mass action to bring that into being? What if people across a whole broad spectrum are able to unite in action and debate the future they do want, as they are struggling against the one that is being clamped down? What if there is a new ethos in society-one in which "the right side" of things responds with whip-like speed and sharpness when women are denied birth control, when radical professors come under fire, or when there is an obscenity like the exploitation of Terri Schiavo? We're not talking about some big day that takes place in the same overall context-we're talking about changing the context itself through mounting powerful outpourings of protest on November 2. But again-let yourself think it-what if people succeed, in both launching this dynamic and then carrying it through? Even here, we should be sober. For one thing, there is still the larger battle to replace this whole system. And if the people do drive Bush from office, it is almost certain that the forces in the government, the military and society at large that share Bush's agenda would be fighting like hell to reassert their position and their whole agenda. So, yes, in very important ways even getting rid of Bush would be only the beginning. But what a beginning it would be! Three huge differences would stand out from today. First, an independent mass movement of the people would have inflicted a major political defeat against the vicious agenda now in command, with its major representative brought down and the whole ruling class in a scramble, quarreling among themselves. Second, there would be a politically energized and unleashed people, ready and able to take the struggle further and seize on the openings created. Yes, the struggle would get sharper-but for the first time it would actually be two-sided. And third, many more people would be actively debating a different future, and as part of that, checking out and coming over to a revolutionary communist understanding, program, and organization. "Come Out of the Stands and Get Into the Game" There is right now a tremendous amount of work to do to realize the immediate goal of truly setting in motion this dynamic. Even with beginning advances, the people are far from where they need to be on this. From here out, every day must count for the massive outpouring that must come on November 2, uniting all kinds of people to powerfully raise the slogan of "The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!" For one thing: people need to change their lives, now, to make this happen. Put it this way: the fans have to get beyond cheering and booing, and come down out of the stands and onto the field to make sure the right team wins. If you quit your job or left school to work for Howard Dean-even though his program fell far short of what you wanted-now is the time to sacrifice for something that you actually believe in! If you hated the war and threw everything into getting Kerry elected-even though he supported the war-now is the time to work your hearts out for the things you actually support! If you grow heartsick watching the footage from Katrina or the pictures from Abu Ghraib but tell yourself that "the most that I can do about it is to just try to do good in my own little corner"-think about what you're saying! How can that be a response to torture, or to any of the other outrages that, not too long ago, you told yourself you'd never accept?!? And to those of you who have taken up the challenge to end this war-going on the road with Cindy Sheehan, or taking on other forms of activity-by all means continue and intensify your efforts. But now is the time to link these efforts to November 2, throwing in all you have to make that day a powerful motive force in ending this war. To those of you who left your jobs and homes to go to New Orleans, or otherwise supported the people-yes, keep that up and intensify it, but do more as well-take that same spirit and energy and put it toward building resistance not only to that outrage but to this whole regime on November 2. Anything less will not cut it. And, again-one more time-think of what it would mean to succeed! Tell The Truth Above all, November 2 is based on the truth of what is needed. The truth about this war; the truth about this regime and how really dangerous it is; and the truth about what it will take to stop it. And to those who have begun to step forward to take up November 2, including many people new to political activity, remember this: at the beginning, truth is always in the hands of a minority; but if you persist in it-if you find the ways to deepen your understanding of it and connect it to people with conviction and imagination-you will be able to win people to understand it . . . and act on it. And then, organize. Organize. Organ-ize. Build committees where you work, where you live, where you go to school. Hook up to the national website of World Can't Wait. Reach out to people who've never acted before, and reach out to those already in organizations. Get out the call for November 2, everywhere you go. Over the past few weeks, as those of us who support the RCP have sold Revolution, and as we and others have taken out the Call for November 2, many people have said that they think the mood is changing and that there are millions ready to act. We think that is true; the mood is changing. But someone has to bring the vision that can inspire those millions. Someone has to take responsibility. Someone has to change their life, determined to be part of making it all happen. Be that someone. To Musicians, Actors, Lecturers, Preachers, and Others in the Public Eye You have an audience. Use your ability to reach a broad audience to fulfill a great need-to mobilize MILLIONS for November 2, 2005 to take a massive first step in a powerful movement to force Bush out. When you are in front of a mike, on stage, on a podium, and on TV/radio talk shows, read this key section from the call "The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!" "...Silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn-or be forced-to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it." "And there is a way. We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history." "To that end, on November 2, the first anniversary of Bush's 're-election,' we will take the first major step in this by organizing a truly massive day of resistance all over this country. People everywhere will walk out of school, they will take off work, they will come to the downtowns and town squares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to JOIN US. They will repudiate this criminal regime, making a powerful statement: 'NO! THIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT!'" Get in touch with World Can't Wait at worldcantwait.org This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution Online http://revcom.us Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497 ========================================================================= Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 11:52:45 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mike Brand <[log in to unmask]> Subject: PT/TP 2005 Health care: Is the fix on? MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127577165" -------------------------------1127577165 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en =20 =20 September, 2005 / Online Edition: _Index_=20 (http://lrna.org/league/PT/PT.2005.9/PT.2005.9.0.html) =20 =20 =20 Health care: Is the fix on? By People=E2=80=99s Tribune Staff At a time when the demand for true health reform is going public in a big=20 way, some folks think it=E2=80=99s time to go behind our backs again. The =20 state-by-state demand for universal health coverage=E2=80=94something akin =20= to Medicare for all=E2=80=94 has grown so great that even the mainstream media has had to recognize it,=20= and=20 its righteousness.=20 =E2=80=9CA push for universal health coverage is being rekindled in some st= ates by=20 the soaring cost of health care and the lack of political support in=20 Washington for federal change,=E2=80=9D wrote the Associated Press in a sto= ry picked up by=20 USA Today July 9.=20 =E2=80=9CAdvocates of a single-payer system=E2=80=94where the government wo= uld collect=20 taxes and cover everyone, similar to programs in Canada and across Europe= =E2=80=94have =20 introduced bills in at least 18 state legislatures,=E2=80=9D the AP story s= aid.=20 The AP singled out the Single-Payer Action Network (SPAN) ballot initiative= =20 in Ohio as perhaps the most advanced. =E2=80=9CThere=E2=80=99s no other sol= ution out there,=E2=80=9D=20 it quoted a Cleveland member of the United Auto Workers (which has endorse= d=20 the ballot measure). =E2=80=9CThe system we have now is immoral, it=E2=80= =99s foundering,=20 and it=E2=80=99s on its last legs.=E2=80=9D=20 The support the Ohio initiative and others are gathering may explain why=20 major players in the healthcare industry and in organizations that supposed= ly =20 represent America=E2=80=99s working-class majority have been holding secret=20= meetings=20 on a healthcare =E2=80=9Creform.=E2=80=9D=20 In what was apparently a well-orchestrated =E2=80=9Cleak,=E2=80=9D the New=20= York Times=20 reported May 29 that =E2=80=9C24 ideologically disparate leaders representi= ng the=20 healthcare industry, corporations and unions, and conservative and liberal=20= groups=20 have been meeting secretly for months to seek a consensus on proposals to=20 provide coverage for the growing number of people with no health insurance.= =E2=80=9D =20 The Political Agenda=20 The participants in these undemocratic talks range from the right-wing=20 Heritage Foundation and the big-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce to =20 representatives of the AFL-CIO. And they include health-industry biggies Jo= hnson &=20 Johnson, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Health Group.=20 Also at the table are the American Medical Association and the American=20 Hospital Association, the National Governors Association and National Conf= erence=20 of State Legislators, and the politically powerful AARP (American=20 Association of Retired Persons).=20 Why do these groups need to meet in secret? If the Times report is true,=20 universal health care is not on their agenda. But outflanking popular=20 initiatives for universal health care that truly includes everyone, either=20= at the =20 State or national level, apparently is.=20 A May 18 op-ed piece commissioned by the same newspaper suggested that=20 defining health care as an issue in the 2008 presidential election may be a= key=20 part of the secretly meeting group=E2=80=99s plan. And key to that are corp= orate =20 America=E2=80=99s chief executive officers (CEOs).=20 =E2=80=9CWashington will offer zero leadership on health reform until 2009,= =E2=80=9D said=20 the op-ed piece. =E2=80=9CThe only way we=E2=80=99ll get serious action the= n is if the=20 campaign in 2008 centers on health. The only way that will happen is if gr= oundwork=20 is laid in advance. And the only way this groundwork will get traction is i= f=20 America=E2=80=99s CEOs make it their mission.=E2=80=9D=20 Are the secret meetings laying the groundwork in advance? Take a look at ho= w=20 they got started. According to the Times, the two people who organized the=20= =20 meetings were the head of Families USA, a major liberal think-tank in=20 Washington, and the CEO of United Health Group (UNH on the New York Stock E= xchange =E2=80=94=20 and up by almost two-thirds in the last 12 months).=20 Though you may never have heard of it, UNH is the largest corporate health=20 provider in the United States. Amazingly, it insures 64 million Americans =20 through more than 250,000 corporate customers.=20 Through their HMOs and PPOs, UNH has control of nearly a quarter of all=20 Americans with health insurance. (They=E2=80=99re not in it for the money,=20= of course. The=20 CEO only took home $125 million last year.) Naturally, UNH will not agree=20 to any scheme that does not maintain, if not increase, its profit, and if=20 taxpayers can be made to pay for that, all the better.=20 There is a Better Way=20 Frankly, these meetings are taking place out of fear of demands for health=20 care reform and the changes they could bring to American politics if workin= g =20 Americans stand up on their back legs and organize for what they know in=20 their hearts is right.=20 When the Labor Party, convened by working people both in and outside of=20 trade unions, developed a Just Health Care (JHC) campaign five years ago, f= or =20 example, there was little mass motion for reform. Now, as proposals for=20 single-payer health reform begin to get serious on a state level, national=20= proposals=20 are beginning to gain real support again.=20 This is an attempt at a political end-run around a growing social movement=20 that cannot accept anything less than real reform. This movement is not=20 arising from the bowels of a boardroom but in the heart of America. It is=20= rising=20 from a deep moral indignation that both of the main political parties have=20= =20 allowed profiteering from sickness and death. No agenda that skirts this fa= ct=20 will result in real reform.=20 =20 =20 -------------------------------1127577165 Content-Type: text/html; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en

September,=20= 2005 /=20 Online Edition: In= dex

 

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Health care: Is th= e fix=20 on?

 <= /SPAN>

By People=E2=80= =99s Tribune=20 Staff

 <= /SPAN>

At a time when the= =20 demand for true health reform is going public in a big way, some= =20 folks think it=E2=80=99s time to go behind our backs again. The=20 state-by-state demand for universal health coverage=E2=80=94some= thing akin=20 to Medicare for all=E2=80=94has grown so great that even the mai= nstream=20 media has had to recognize it, and its=20 righteousness.

 <= /SPAN>

=E2=80=9CA push fo= r universal=20 health coverage is being rekindled in some states by the soaring= =20 cost of health care and the lack of political support in Washing= ton=20 for federal change,=E2=80=9D wrote the Associated Press in a sto= ry picked up=20 by USA Today July 9.

 <= /SPAN>

=E2=80=9CAdvocates= of a=20 single-payer system=E2=80=94where the government would collect t= axes and=20 cover everyone, similar to programs in Canada and across Europe= =E2=80=94have=20 introduced bills in at least 18 state legislatures,=E2=80=9D the= AP story=20 said.

 <= /SPAN>

The AP singled out= the=20 Single-Payer Action Network (SPAN) ballot initiative in Ohio as=20 perhaps the most advanced. =E2=80=9CThere=E2=80=99s no other sol= ution out there,=E2=80=9D it=20 quoted a Cleveland member of the United Auto Workers (which has=20 endorsed the ballot measure). =E2=80=9CThe system we have now is= immoral,=20 it=E2=80=99s foundering, and it=E2=80=99s on its last legs.=E2= =80=9D

 <= /SPAN>

The support the Oh= io=20 initiative and others are gathering may explain why major player= s in=20 the healthcare industry and in organizations that supposedly=20 represent America=E2=80=99s working-class majority have been hol= ding secret=20 meetings on a healthcare =E2=80=9Creform.=E2=80=9D

 <= /SPAN>

In what was appare= ntly a=20 well-orchestrated =E2=80=9Cleak,=E2=80=9D the New York Times rep= orted May 29 that=20 =E2=80=9C24 ideologically disparate leaders representing the hea= lthcare=20 industry, corporations and unions, and conservative and liberal=20 groups have been meeting secretly for months to seek a consensus= on=20 proposals to provide coverage for the growing number of people w= ith=20 no health insurance.=E2=80=9D

 <= /SPAN>

The Politi= cal=20 Agenda

 <= /SPAN>

The participants i= n=20 these undemocratic talks range from the right-wing Heritage=20 Foundation and the big-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce to=20 representatives of the AFL-CIO. And they include health-industry= =20 biggies Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, a= nd=20 United Health Group.

 <= /SPAN>

Also at the table=20= are=20 the American Medical Association and the American Hospital=20 Association, the National Governors Association and National=20 Conference of State Legislators, and the politically powerful AA= RP=20 (American Association of Retired Persons).

 <= /SPAN>

Why do these group= s need=20 to meet in secret? If the Times report is true, universal health= =20 care is not on their agenda. But outflanking popular initiatives= for=20 universal health care that truly includes everyone, either at th= e=20 State or national level, apparently is.

 <= /SPAN>

A May 18 op-ed pie= ce=20 commissioned by the same newspaper suggested that defining healt= h=20 care as an issue in the 2008 presidential election may be a key=20= part=20 of the secretly meeting group=E2=80=99s plan. And key to that ar= e corporate=20 America=E2=80=99s chief executive officers (CEOs).

 <= /SPAN>

=E2=80=9CWashingto= n will offer=20 zero leadership on health reform until 2009,=E2=80=9D said the o= p-ed piece.=20 =E2=80=9CThe only way we=E2=80=99ll get serious action then is i= f the campaign in=20 2008 centers on health. The only way that will happen is if=20 groundwork is laid in advance. And the only way this groundwork=20= will=20 get traction is if America=E2=80=99s CEOs make it their=20 mission.=E2=80=9D

 <= /SPAN>

Are the secret mee= tings=20 laying the groundwork in advance? Take a look at how they got=20 started. According to the Times, the two people who organized th= e=20 meetings were the head of Families USA, a major liberal think-ta= nk=20 in Washington, and the CEO of United Health Group (UNH on the Ne= w=20 York Stock Exchange =E2=80=94 and up by almost two-thirds in the= last 12=20 months).

 <= /SPAN>

Though you may nev= er=20 have heard of it, UNH is the largest corporate health provider i= n=20 the United States. Amazingly, it insures 64 million Americans=20 through more than 250,000 corporate customers.=

 <= /SPAN>

Through their HMOs= and=20 PPOs, UNH has control of nearly a quarter of all Americans with=20 health insurance. (They=E2=80=99re not in it for the money, of c= ourse. The=20 CEO only took home $125 million last year.) Naturally, UNH will=20= not=20 agree to any scheme that does not maintain, if not increase, its= =20 profit, and if taxpayers can be made to pay for that, all the=20 better.

 <= /SPAN>

There is a= =20 Better Way

 <= /SPAN>

Frankly, these mee= tings=20 are taking place out of fear of demands for health care reform a= nd=20 the changes they could bring to American politics if working=20 Americans stand up on their back legs and organize for what they= =20 know in their hearts is right.

 <= /SPAN>

When the Labor Par= ty,=20 convened by working people both in and outside of trade unions,=20 developed a Just Health Care (JHC) campaign five years ago, for=20 example, there was little mass motion for reform. Now, as propos= als=20 for single-payer health reform begin to get serious on a state=20 level, national proposals are beginning to gain real support=20 again.

 <= /SPAN>

This is an attempt= at a=20 political end-run around a growing social movement that cannot=20 accept anything less than real reform. This movement is not aris= ing=20 from the bowels of a boardroom but in the heart of America.  It is rising from a de= ep=20 moral indignation that both of the main political parties have=20 allowed profiteering from sickness and death. No agenda that ski= rts=20 this fact will result in real reform.

    =20
 

<= /TD>

 

 

-------------------------------1127577165-- ========================================================================= Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 23:48:21 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: FDA Head Resigns Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084491592==_ma============" --============_-1084491592==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/24/politics/24fda.html September 24, 2005 Leader of the F.D.A. Steps Down After a Short, Turbulent Tenure By ROBERT PEAR and ANDREW POLLACK WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 - Lester M. Crawford, the commissioner of food and drugs, resigned abruptly on Friday, causing further upheaval at an agency that has been in turmoil for more than a year. Dr. Crawford, who was confirmed just two months ago, on July 18, after serving as acting commissioner for more than a year, did not say why he was stepping down. Senior officials at the Food and Drug Administration said they were stunned to learn of the resignation in an e-mail message from Dr. Crawford, who also sent a letter to President Bush stating that he was resigning "effective immediately." A government official said the resignation was related to the fact that Dr. Crawford had not fully disclosed information about his finances to the Senate before his confirmation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing Dr. Crawford's privacy. Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, accepted the resignation and thanked Dr. Crawford for his service. Christina Pearson, a spokeswoman for Mr. Leavitt, refused to say whether Bush administration officials had asked for the resignation. "I can't comment," Ms. Pearson said. "This is a personnel issue." In recent weeks, consumer advocates and scientists inside and outside the agency had said scientific decisions were being warped by politics. On Thursday, a commentary in The New England Journal of Medicine titled "A Sad Day for Science at the F.D.A." said that "recent actions of the F.D.A. leadership have made a mockery of the process of evaluating scientific evidence," disillusioned many scientists, "squandered the public trust and tarnished the agency's image." Mr. Bush said he intended to name Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute, to be acting commissioner of food and drugs. Dr. Crawford, a veterinarian and expert on food safety, was named deputy commissioner of the agency in early 2002 before his tenure as acting commissioner. In that time the agency has been rocked by disputes over many issues, including the safety of painkillers like Vioxx, the regulation of heart defibrillators and other devices, and delays in deciding whether to allow over-the-counter sales of an emergency contraceptive. The director of the agency's Office of Women's Health, Dr. Susan F. Wood, resigned three weeks ago to protest delays in approving over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill Plan B. Critics, including members of Congress from both parties, say the agency has not provided the public with enough information about the risks of drugs and devices. "In recent years the F.D.A. has demonstrated a too-cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and an attitude of shielding rather than disclosing information," said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, said the agency had been "politicized and degraded" under Dr. Crawford, whose leadership she described as "tepid and passive." Before the Senate confirmed Dr. Crawford, a Senate committee looked into accusations that he was having an affair with a woman who worked in his office and that he had wasted government money by taking her on official trips when she was not needed. An anonymous letter also suggested that Dr. Crawford had helped the woman secure a promotion to a higher-paying job. An inquiry by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services found some contradictions in statements by Dr. Crawford and the woman. Investigators found a close personal relationship between them but no evidence of an extramarital affair. The committee chairman, Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, said at the time that the inspector general had found no merit to the charges leveled at Dr. Crawford. No senator wanted to pursue the issue then. In his message to colleagues on Friday, Dr. Crawford said that after three and a half years in top positions at the agency, "it is time, at the age of 67, to step aside." Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who voted against Dr. Crawford's nomination, said Friday: "The Food and Drug Administration is facing nothing short of a crisis in leadership. The controversy surrounding Vioxx and other pharmaceuticals has exposed weak oversight, conflict of interest and poor management at the F.D.A." Ira Loss, senior health analyst at Washington Analysis, which studies federal issues for investors, said he had been told by someone in the White House that Dr. Crawford had been asked to resign for a reason not yet known to the public. "Something new has arisen that has led to this," Mr. Loss said. It was not the controversy over the morning-after pill, he said, because Dr. Crawford "did what they wanted on Plan B." Under Dr. Crawford, the agency was buffeted by fierce debates over drug safety. Critics, including many in Congress, said the agency had tried to stifle one of its own scientists who had found evidence that the use of antidepressants could cause children and teenagers to become more suicidal. The agency was also criticized as slow to recognize that Vioxx and similar pain medicines could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market a year ago and is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who say they were harmed by the drug. Under pressure, Dr. Crawford and the agency have started to release more information about potential safety problems of drugs and devices, rather than waiting, as in the past, until they had a fuller picture. "I think he started to lift the veil on how the F.D.A. does business, which was long overdue," said Peter Pitts, a former associate commissioner under Dr. Crawford. While many critics say drugs are approved too quickly, the F.D.A. has also come under fire from pharmaceutical companies and some patient advocates for not approving drugs quickly enough. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies had generally welcomed Dr. Crawford's appointment, partly because of his long experience at the agency, but also because they wanted a full-time commissioner. Many industry officials say that under an acting commissioner, the agency tends to put off difficult decisions. The agency has had a full-time commissioner for only about 18 months out of the four and a half years that President Bush has been in office. The president's first appointee, Dr. Mark B. McClellan, did not take office until November 2002 and then left about 16 months later to run the Medicare program. It now appears that the agency will be without a permanent commissioner for some time. Experience shows that it is difficult for any nominee to obtain broad support in the Senate, because the agency handles so many volatile issues. Dr. von Eschenbach has been director of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, since January 2002. Before that, he had a long career as a doctor and executive at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. James C. Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents biotech companies, described Dr. von Eschenbach as an "excellent choice" who would provide strong leadership. Mr. Greenwood had no comment on Dr. Crawford's resignation. Nor did the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents big drug companies. --============_-1084491592==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" FDA Head Resigns
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/24/politics/24fda.html

September 24, 2005

Leader of the F.D.A. Steps Down After a Short, Turbulent Tenure
By ROBERT PEAR and ANDREW POLLACK

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 - Lester M. Crawford, the commissioner of food and drugs, resigned abruptly on Friday, causing further upheaval at an agency that has been in turmoil for more than a year.

Dr. Crawford, who was confirmed just two months ago, on July 18, after serving as acting commissioner for more than a year, did not say why he was stepping down.

Senior officials at the Food and Drug Administration said they were stunned to learn of the resignation in an e-mail message from Dr. Crawford, who also sent a letter to President Bush stating that he was resigning "effective immediately."

A government official said the resignation was related to the fact that Dr. Crawford had not fully disclosed information about his finances to the Senate before his confirmation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing Dr. Crawford's privacy.

Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, accepted the resignation and thanked Dr. Crawford for his service.

Christina Pearson, a spokeswoman for Mr. Leavitt, refused to say whether Bush administration officials had asked for the resignation.

"I can't comment," Ms. Pearson said. "This is a personnel issue."

In recent weeks, consumer advocates and scientists inside and outside the agency had said scientific decisions were being warped by politics.

On Thursday, a commentary in The New England Journal of Medicine titled "A Sad Day for Science at the F.D.A." said that "recent actions of the F.D.A. leadership have made a mockery of the process of evaluating scientific evidence," disillusioned many scientists, "squandered the public trust and tarnished the agency's image."

Mr. Bush said he intended to name Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute, to be acting commissioner of food and drugs.

Dr. Crawford, a veterinarian and expert on food safety, was named deputy commissioner of the agency in early 2002 before his tenure as acting commissioner. In that time the agency has been rocked by disputes over many issues, including the safety of painkillers like Vioxx, the regulation of heart defibrillators and other devices, and delays in deciding whether to allow over-the-counter sales of an emergency contraceptive.

The director of the agency's Office of Women's Health, Dr. Susan F. Wood, resigned three weeks ago to protest delays in approving over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill Plan B.

Critics, including members of Congress from both parties, say the agency has not provided the public with enough information about the risks of drugs and devices.

"In recent years the F.D.A. has demonstrated a too-cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and an attitude of shielding rather than disclosing information," said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, said the agency had been "politicized and degraded" under Dr. Crawford, whose leadership she described as "tepid and passive."

Before the Senate confirmed Dr. Crawford, a Senate committee looked into accusations that he was having an affair with a woman who worked in his office and that he had wasted government money by taking her on official trips when she was not needed. An anonymous letter also suggested that Dr. Crawford had helped the woman secure a promotion to a higher-paying job.

An inquiry by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services found some contradictions in statements by Dr. Crawford and the woman. Investigators found a close personal relationship between them but no evidence of an extramarital affair.

The committee chairman, Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, said at the time that the inspector general had found no merit to the charges leveled at Dr. Crawford. No senator wanted to pursue the issue then.

In his message to colleagues on Friday, Dr. Crawford said that after three and a half years in top positions at the agency, "it is time, at the age of 67, to step aside."

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who voted against Dr. Crawford's nomination, said Friday: "The Food and Drug Administration is facing nothing short of a crisis in leadership. The controversy surrounding Vioxx and other pharmaceuticals has exposed weak oversight, conflict of interest and poor management at the F.D.A."

Ira Loss, senior health analyst at Washington Analysis, which studies federal issues for investors, said he had been told by someone in the White House that Dr. Crawford had been asked to resign for a reason not yet known to the public.

"Something new has arisen that has led to this," Mr. Loss said. It was not the controversy over the morning-after pill, he said, because Dr. Crawford "did what they wanted on Plan B."

Under Dr. Crawford, the agency was buffeted by fierce debates over drug safety.

Critics, including many in Congress, said the agency had tried to stifle one of its own scientists who had found evidence that the use of antidepressants could cause children and teenagers to become more suicidal.

The agency was also criticized as slow to recognize that Vioxx and similar pain medicines could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market a year ago and is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who say they were harmed by the drug.

Under pressure, Dr. Crawford and the agency have started to release more information about potential safety problems of drugs and devices, rather than waiting, as in the past, until they had a fuller picture.

"I think he started to lift the veil on how the F.D.A. does business, which was long overdue," said Peter Pitts, a former associate commissioner under Dr. Crawford.

While many critics say drugs are approved too quickly, the F.D.A. has also come under fire from pharmaceutical companies and some patient advocates for not approving drugs quickly enough.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies had generally welcomed Dr. Crawford's appointment, partly because of his long experience at the agency, but also because they wanted a full-time commissioner. Many industry officials say that under an acting commissioner, the agency tends to put off difficult decisions.

The agency has had a full-time commissioner for only about 18 months out of the four and a half years that President Bush has been in office.

The president's first appointee, Dr. Mark B. McClellan, did not take office until November 2002 and then left about 16 months later to run the Medicare program.

It now appears that the agency will be without a permanent commissioner for some time. Experience shows that it is difficult for any nominee to obtain broad support in the Senate, because the agency handles so many volatile issues.

Dr. von Eschenbach has been director of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, since January 2002. Before that, he had a long career as a doctor and executive at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

James C. Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents biotech companies, described Dr. von Eschenbach as an "excellent choice" who would provide strong leadership.
Mr. Greenwood had no comment on Dr. Crawford's resignation. Nor did the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents big drug companies.
--============_-1084491592==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 00:54:03 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: A Mother's Denial, a Daughter's Death Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084487650==_ma============" --============_-1084487650==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-me-eliza24sep24,1,1546664.story A Mother's Denial, a Daughter's Death By Charles Ornstein and Daniel Costello Times Staff Writers September 24, 2005 Christine Maggiore was in prime form, engaging=20 and articulate, when she explained to a Phoenix=20 radio host in late March why she didn't believe=20 HIV caused AIDS. The HIV-positive mother of two laid out=20 matter-of-factly why, even while pregnant, she=20 hadn't taken HIV medications, and why she had=20 never tested her children for the virus. "Our children have excellent records of health,"=20 Maggiore said on the Air America program when=20 asked about 7-year-old Charlie and 3-year-old=20 Eliza Jane Scovill. "They've never had=20 respiratory problems, flus, intractable colds,=20 ear infections, nothing. So, our choices, however=20 radical they may seem, are extremely=20 well-founded." Seven weeks later, Eliza Jane was dead. The cause, according to a Sept. 15 report by the=20 Los Angeles County coroner, was AIDS-related=20 pneumonia. These days, given advances in HIV care, it's=20 highly unusual for any young child to die of=20 AIDS. What makes Eliza Jane's death even more=20 striking is that her mother is a high-profile,=20 charismatic leader in a movement that challenges=20 the basic medical understanding and treatment of=20 acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Even now, Maggiore, a 49-year-old former clothing=20 executive from Van Nuys, stands by the views she=20 has espoused on "The Ricki Lake Show" and ABC's=20 "20/20," and in Newsweek and Mothering magazines.=20 She and her husband, Robin Scovill, said they=20 have concerns about the coroner's findings and=20 are sending the report to an outside reviewer. "I have been brought to my emotional knees, but=20 not in regard to the science of this topic," said=20 Maggiore, author of an iconoclastic book about=20 AIDS that has sold 50,000 copies. "I am a=20 devastated, broken, grieving mother, but I am not=20 second-guessing or questioning my understanding=20 of the issue." One doctor involved with Eliza Jane's care told=20 The Times he has been second-guessing himself=20 since the day he learned of the little girl's=20 death. Dr. Jay Gordon, a Santa Monica pediatrician who=20 had treated Eliza Jane since she was a year old,=20 said he should have demanded that she be tested=20 for human immunodeficiency virus when, 11 days=20 before she died, Maggiore brought her in with an=20 apparent ear infection. "It's possible that the whole situation could=20 have been changed if one of the doctors involved=20 - one of the three doctors involved - had=20 intervened," said Gordon, who himself=20 acknowledges that HIV causes AIDS. "It's=20 hindsight, Monday-morning quarterbacking,=20 whatever you want to call it. Do I think I'm=20 blameless in this? No, I'm not blameless." Mainstream AIDS organizations, medical experts=20 and ethicists, long confounded and distressed by=20 this small but outspoken dissident movement, say=20 Eliza Jane's death crystallizes their fears. The=20 dissenters' message, they say, is not just wrong,=20 it's deadly. "This was a preventable death," said Dr. James=20 Oleske, a New Jersey physician who never examined=20 Eliza Jane but has treated hundreds of=20 HIV-positive children. "I can tell you without=20 any doubt that, at the outset of her illness, if=20 she was appropriately evaluated, she would have=20 been appropriately treated. She would not have=20 died. "You can't write a more sad and tragic story," Oleske said. It is a story not just about Maggiore and her=20 family but about failures among child welfare=20 officials and well-known Los Angeles County=20 doctors. Among the physicians involved in Eliza Jane's=20 care was Dr. Paul Fleiss, a popular if sometimes=20 unconventional Los Feliz pediatrician who gained=20 some publicity in the 1990s as the father of the=20 notorious Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. He was=20 sentenced to three years' probation for=20 conspiring to shield the profits from his=20 daughter's call-girl ring from the IRS, among=20 other things. "I don't understand it," Fleiss said of Eliza=20 Jane's death, "because I've never seen her sick=20 or with anything resembling what she supposedly=20 died of=8A. I don't believe I could have done=20 anything to change this outcome." =46leiss, who said he could be "convinced either=20 way" on whether HIV causes AIDS, has known the=20 family since before Eliza Jane was born. In 2000,=20 the county Department of Children and Family=20 Services investigated Maggiore and Scovill after=20 a tipster complained that Charlie was in danger=20 because he hadn't been tested for HIV and was=20 breast-fed. The department found no evidence of neglect,=20 based partly on reassurances from Fleiss,=20 according to an official report reviewed by The=20 Times. Now, with the death of Eliza Jane, authorities say they are poised to act. Los Angeles police are investigating the couple=20 for possible child endangerment, said Lt. Dennis=20 Shirey, the officer in charge of the child=20 protection section. DCFS officials say they have=20 opened an investigation to determine whether the=20 parents should be forced to test Charlie, now 8. Maggiore said that she has spoken with police and=20 expects to meet with the child welfare agency=20 early next week. Scovill would not comment in=20 detail. Before Eliza Jane's death, Maggiore said she had=20 tested neither of her children. Since then, in=20 anticipation of the visit by child welfare=20 officials, she has had Charlie tested three=20 times, and he was negative each time, she said. "Would I redo anything based on what happened?"=20 she asked rhetorically during an interview this=20 week. "I don't think I would. I think I acted=20 with the best information and the best of=20 intentions with all my heart." 'Doing a Good Thing' Maggiore said she once bought the standard line. HIV would evolve into AIDS. And AIDS, she firmly believed, would kill her. =46or months after her condition was diagnosed in=20 1992, she was depressed and reclusive. Then she=20 plunged into AIDS volunteer work: at AIDS Project=20 Los Angeles, L.A. Shanti and Women at Risk. Her background commanded attention. A=20 well-spoken, middle-class woman, she owned her=20 own clothing company, with annual revenue of $15=20 million. Soon she was being asked to speak about=20 the risks of HIV at local schools and health=20 fairs. "At the time," said Maggiore, a slight=20 woman who looks years younger than her age, "I=20 felt like I was doing a good thing." All that changed two years later, she said, when=20 she spoke to UC Berkeley biology professor Peter=20 Duesberg, whose well-publicized views on AIDS -=20 including that its symptoms can be caused by=20 recreational drug use and malnutrition - place=20 him well outside the scientific mainstream. Intrigued, Maggiore began scouring the literature=20 about the underlying science of HIV. She does not=20 know how she became HIV-positive, but she came to=20 believe that flu shots, pregnancy and common=20 viral infections could lead to a positive test=20 result. She later detailed those claims in her=20 book, "What If Everything You Thought You Knew=20 About AIDS Was Wrong?" Maggiore started Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives,=20 a nonprofit that challenges "common assumptions"=20 about AIDS. Her group's website and toll-free=20 hotline cater to expectant HIV-positive mothers=20 who shun AIDS medications, want to breast-feed=20 their children and seek to meet others of like=20 mind. One of her tips: Mothers should share their=20 wishes only with trusted family members and=20 doctors who will support their decision to avoid=20 HIV/AIDS drugs and interventions. She has stayed healthy, she said, despite a=20 cervical condition three years ago that would=20 qualify her for an AIDS diagnosis. In a 2002=20 article for Awareness magazine, she facetiously=20 refers to it as "my bout of so-called AIDS,"=20 saying it coincided "perfectly with the orthodox=20 axiom that we get a decade of normal health=20 before our AIDS kicks in." During a March interview in her orderly,=20 well-lighted home, Maggiore seemed, if anything,=20 an exceptionally devoted mother. She served=20 homegrown vegetables and fresh pasta to Eliza=20 Jane, listening attentively as the=20 healthy-looking little girl chattered happily=20 about her two imaginary friends. At one point,=20 when Eliza Jane wanted to swipe away a spider,=20 her mother urged respect for the tiny creature.=20 "He is part of our family," she said. What set Maggiore apart became clear only when=20 she talked about her views on medicine. She didn't vaccinate either child, believing the=20 shots did more harm than good. She rejected AZT=20 and other anti-AIDS medications as toxic. "I see=20 no evidence that compels me that I should have=20 exposed a developing fetus to drugs that would=20 harm them," she said. Maggiore hired a midwife and gave birth to her=20 children at home; Charlie was born in an=20 inflatable pool on her living room floor. She=20 wanted to avoid being tested for HIV or pressured=20 to use AZT in a hospital, although technically=20 neither is required by California law. She breast-fed both children, although research=20 indicates that it increases the risk of=20 transmission by up to 15%. Scovill apparently shares her beliefs. Last year,=20 he produced and directed a contrarian=20 documentary, "The Other Side of AIDS," which won=20 a special jury prize at the AFI Los Angeles=20 International Film Festival. Maggiore estimates that 50 HIV-positive women=20 have come around to her point of view. The Times=20 interviewed nine who said she helped them plot=20 medical and legal strategies to avoid being=20 forced to have their children tested. Lori Crawford, a child welfare worker in Tempe,=20 Ariz., said Maggiore helped her avoid an HIV test=20 in North Carolina when she was pregnant with her=20 daughter three years ago. Crawford said Maggiore=20 informed her that North Carolina didn't have=20 mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women and=20 suggested she decline the test if health=20 authorities in that state recommended it. "Christine and her book saved my life," said Crawford. A Big Victory In the 25-year history of AIDS, there have been=20 many advances but few victories. Prevention of=20 infections and deaths among young children is one. "This is one of the biggest public health and=20 medical successes in the United States," said=20 Margaret Lampe, a health education specialist=20 with the division of HIV/AIDS prevention at the=20 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of children found to have AIDS=20 continues to plummet, even as the overall number=20 of new AIDS cases in the United States remains=20 stuck at more than 40,000 per year. In 2003, only 59 children under age 13 nationally=20 were found to have AIDS, according to the CDC.=20 That's down from 952 cases in 1992, officials=20 said. Health officials attribute the decline to regular=20 testing of pregnant women and the use of=20 antiretroviral drugs, such as AZT, during=20 pregnancy and childbirth. A 1994 study found that one quarter of pregnant=20 HIV-positive women passed the virus to their=20 babies when they did not take AZT. Subsequent=20 studies found that the risk could be lowered to=20 less than 2% when mothers received prenatal care,=20 took a combination of antiretroviral drugs during=20 pregnancy and labor, and allowed their infants to=20 be given AZT in their first six weeks. =46ederal health officials and AIDS experts say=20 that HIV unquestionably causes AIDS, although it=20 can take more than a decade to develop. HIV tests=20 detect antibodies to the virus and are accurate=20 predictors of who is infected, they say. Dr. Peter Havens, a professor of pediatrics and=20 epidemiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin,=20 said that contrarian HIV theories promoted on=20 about 400 websites are "bogus baloney." "It's all pseudoscience," he said. "They choose=20 one paper and deny the existence of 100 others." Crumpled Like a Doll The first hint that Eliza Jane was ill came at=20 the end of April, when she developed a runny nose=20 with yellow mucus, Maggiore told a coroner's=20 investigator. On April 30, Maggiore took her daughter to a=20 pediatrician covering for Fleiss. That doctor=20 found the girl had clear lungs, no fever and=20 adequate oxygen levels, the coroner's report said. =46ive days later, Maggiore sought a second opinion=20 from Gordon. In an interview, Gordon said he=20 suspected an ear infection but believed it could=20 be resolved without antibiotics. In a follow-up=20 call, he said, Eliza Jane's parents told him she=20 was getting better. Maggiore then asked Denver physician Philip=20 Incao, who was visiting Los Angeles for a=20 lecture, to examine her, the mother told the=20 coroner's investigator. He found fluid in Eliza=20 Jane's right eardrum. On May 14, Incao examined her again and=20 prescribed amoxicillin, Maggiore told the coroner. Incao is not licensed to practice medicine in California. The next day, Eliza Jane vomited several times=20 and her mother noticed she was pale. While=20 Maggiore was on the phone with Incao, the little=20 girl stopped breathing and "crumpled like a paper=20 doll," the mother told the coroner. She died=20 early the next morning, at a Van Nuys hospital. =46leiss, Gordon and Incao all are known for their=20 unconventional approaches to medicine. Gordon and=20 Incao are staunch opponents of mandatory=20 vaccination of children; Fleiss is a vocal critic=20 of male circumcision. Incao did not return=20 repeated phone calls this week. Alerted to the case by The Times, several medical=20 experts said that doctors who knew Maggiore's=20 circumstances - that she was HIV-positive, hadn't=20 been treated during pregnancy and had breast-fed=20 her children - should have pushed for the child=20 to be tested. If she refused, they should have referred the matter to authorities. According to interviews and records, Gordon and=20 =46leiss have long known Maggiore's HIV status and=20 that she breast-fed her children. Experts also said that when the girl became ill,=20 any doctor who saw her should have treated her as=20 if she were HIV-positive. That would have meant=20 giving her a stronger antibiotic, such as=20 Bactrim, instead of the relatively low-powered=20 amoxicillin. "If you look away from something you're supposed=20 to be looking for, that's called willful=20 blindness," said Michael Shapiro, an ethicist and=20 law professor at USC, "and willful blindness is=20 one aspect of determining the negligence." In an interview this week, Fleiss said it would=20 have been wrong to force Maggiore to test her=20 daughter. "This is a democracy," said Fleiss, who=20 has treated the daughter of pop star Madonna. Gordon said he wishes he had tested Eliza Jane=20 when she was ill in early May, but he doesn't=20 believe he had sufficient reason to test her=20 earlier. "When it comes to HIV testing, I think that it's=20 still legally a gray area," he said, depending on=20 whether one believes the child's life is in=20 danger. In Eliza Jane's case, he said, he did not. David Thornton, executive director of the Medical=20 Board of California, said his agency probably=20 would investigate to determine whether the=20 doctors erred, for example, in failing to report=20 potential child neglect. "If I would punish anybody," said Nancy Dubler,=20 bioethics director at Montefiore Medical Center=20 in New York, who learned of the case from The=20 Times, "I would punish the pediatricians." The Focus Turns Now that authorities have settled on the cause of=20 Eliza Jane's death, the focus has turned to the=20 parents and their remaining child, Charlie. Even when a child dies because he or she did not=20 receive adequate medical treatment, the law is=20 not at all clear about who, if anyone, should be=20 held responsible. There are few precedents, and=20 courts traditionally give parents and doctors=20 wide discretion. In two U.S. cases involving HIV-positive mothers=20 who refused testing and treatment - neither of=20 which involved a child who died - the courts=20 appear to have issued conflicting opinions. "There's no easy answer," said Dubler. What is clear is that child welfare authorities=20 had been told that Maggiore was HIV-positive in=20 2000 and that her son was at risk for the virus,=20 according to agency records. An investigator from the Department of Children=20 and Family Services visited the home, according=20 to a copy of the case report reviewed by The=20 Times, but she did not have Charlie tested for=20 HIV or talk to outside experts. She instead=20 relied on her own observations and the assurances=20 of Fleiss. "Parents appear appropriate and extremely focused=20 on child's well-being in every aspect,"=20 caseworker Rebecca McCauley wrote in February=20 2000. Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director for the DCFS,=20 acknowledged that his department may have erred. He said the caseworker tried to do her job but=20 relied entirely on Fleiss because the department,=20 at the time, did not have its own medical experts=20 to consult. But even with Eliza Jane's death,=20 Sophy said, it's not entirely clear that Charlie=20 is being neglected. Legal experts said the problem lies in the official definition of neglect. "DCFS is used to your prototypical neglect case=20 where the house is filthy and the mother doesn't=20 care," said Thomas Lyon, a USC law professor and=20 expert in child abuse litigation. "They're just=20 not accustomed to the kind of neglect where you=20 have an otherwise healthy, good parent." Word Is Getting Out Since Eliza Jane's death, Maggiore and her=20 husband have kept a relatively low profile, her=20 friends said. But word is slowly reaching HIV=20 dissidents around the country. Though shaken, most of them say they continue to=20 support Maggiore and her contention that HIV is=20 not the cause of AIDS. =46or her part, Maggiore said that her daughter's=20 death has taken a toll on her health; she's had=20 trouble eating, sleeping and, this past summer,=20 simply breathing. She's treated her symptoms with=20 Chinese herbs, walked five miles a day and=20 practiced yoga, and is now feeling better, she=20 said. She went to a sympathetic doctor, she said. "If I=20 had gone to a regular AIDS doctor and told them I=20 was HIV-positive, I have no doubt they would have=20 blamed it on that." In the weeks after Eliza Jane's death, her=20 parents created a website,=20 http://www.ejlovetour.com , in her memory.=20 Maggiore wrote lovingly of her daughter, wavering=20 between despair at her loss and acceptance that=20 Eliza Jane had simply chosen, as Maggiore put it,=20 to "go home." She struggled most with the whys. "Why our child - so appreciated, so held, so=20 carefully nurtured - and not one ignored, abused=20 or abandoned?" she wrote. "How come what we=20 offered was not enough to keep her here when=20 children with far less - impatient distracted=20 parents, a small apartment on a busy street,=20 extended day care, Oscar Mayer Lunchables - will=20 happily stay?" --============_-1084487650==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable A Mother's Denial, a Daughter's Death
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-me-eliza24sep24,1,1546664.story
A Mother's Denial, a Daughter's Death
By Charles Ornstein and Daniel Costello
Times Staff Writers

September 24, 2005

Christine Maggiore was in prime form, engaging and articulate, when she explained to a Phoenix radio host in late March why she didn't believe HIV caused AIDS.

The HIV-positive mother of two laid out matter-of-factly why, even while pregnant, she hadn't taken HIV medications, and why she had never tested her children for the virus.

"Our children have excellent records of health," Maggiore said on the Air America program when asked about 7-year-old Charlie and 3-year-old Eliza Jane Scovill. "They've never had respiratory problems, flus, intractable colds, ear infections, nothing. So, our choices, however radical they may seem, are extremely well-founded."

Seven weeks later, Eliza Jane was dead.

The cause, according to a Sept. 15 report by the Los Angeles County coroner, was AIDS-related pneumonia.

These days, given advances in HIV care, it's highly unusual for any young child to die of AIDS. What makes Eliza Jane's death even more striking is that her mother is a high-profile, charismatic leader in a movement that challenges the basic medical understanding and treatment of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Even now, Maggiore, a 49-year-old former clothing executive from Van Nuys, stands by the views she has espoused on "The Ricki Lake Show" and ABC's "20/20," and in Newsweek and Mothering magazines. She and her husband, Robin Scovill, said they have concerns about the coroner's findings and are sending the report to an outside reviewer.

"I have been brought to my emotional knees, but not in regard to the science of this topic," said Maggiore, author of an iconoclastic book about AIDS that has sold 50,000 copies. "I am a devastated, broken, grieving mother, but I am not second-guessing or questioning my understanding of the issue."

One doctor involved with Eliza Jane's care told The Times he has been second-guessing himself since the day he learned of the little girl's death.

Dr. Jay Gordon, a Santa Monica pediatrician who had treated Eliza Jane since she was a year old, said he should have demanded that she be tested for human immunodeficiency virus when, 11 days before she died, Maggiore brought her in with an apparent ear infection.

"It's possible that the whole situation could have been changed if one of the doctors involved - one of the three doctors involved - had intervened," said Gordon, who himself acknowledges that HIV causes AIDS. "It's hindsight, Monday-morning quarterbacking, whatever you want to call it. Do I think I'm blameless in this? No, I'm not blameless."

Mainstream AIDS organizations, medical experts and ethicists, long confounded and distressed by this small but outspoken dissident movement, say Eliza Jane's death crystallizes their fears. The dissenters' message, they say, is not just wrong, it's deadly.

"This was a preventable death," said Dr. James Oleske, a New Jersey physician who never examined Eliza Jane but has treated hundreds of HIV-positive children. "I can tell you without any doubt that, at the outset of her illness, if she was appropriately evaluated, she would have been appropriately treated. She would not have died.

"You can't write a more sad and tragic story," Oleske said.

It is a story not just about Maggiore and her family but about failures among child welfare officials and well-known Los Angeles County doctors.

Among the physicians involved in Eliza Jane's care was Dr. Paul =46leiss, a popular if sometimes unconventional Los Feliz pediatrician who gained some publicity in the 1990s as the father of the notorious Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. He was sentenced to three years' probation for conspiring to shield the profits from his daughter's call-girl ring from the IRS, among other things.

"I don't understand it," Fleiss said of Eliza Jane's death, "because I've never seen her sick or with anything resembling what she supposedly died of=8A. I don't believe I could have done anything to change this outcome."

=46leiss, who said he could be "convinced either way" on whether HIV causes AIDS, has known the family since before Eliza Jane was born. In 2000, the county Department of Children and Family Services investigated Maggiore and Scovill after a tipster complained that Charlie was in danger because he hadn't been tested for HIV and was breast-fed.

The department found no evidence of neglect, based partly on reassurances from Fleiss, according to an official report reviewed by The Times.

Now, with the death of Eliza Jane, authorities say they are poised to act.

Los Angeles police are investigating the couple for possible child endangerment, said Lt. Dennis Shirey, the officer in charge of the child protection section. DCFS officials say they have opened an investigation to determine whether the parents should be forced to test Charlie, now 8.

Maggiore said that she has spoken with police and expects to meet with the child welfare agency early next week. Scovill would not comment in detail.

Before Eliza Jane's death, Maggiore said she had tested neither of her children. Since then, in anticipation of the visit by child welfare officials, she has had Charlie tested three times, and he was negative each time, she said.

"Would I redo anything based on what happened?" she asked rhetorically during an interview this week. "I don't think I would. I think I acted with the best information and the best of intentions with all my heart."

'Doing a Good Thing'

Maggiore said she once bought the standard line.

HIV would evolve into AIDS. And AIDS, she firmly believed, would kill her.

=46or months after her condition was diagnosed in 1992, she was depressed and reclusive. Then she plunged into AIDS volunteer work: at AIDS Project Los Angeles, L.A. Shanti and Women at Risk.

Her background commanded attention. A well-spoken, middle-class woman, she owned her own clothing company, with annual revenue of $15 million. Soon she was being asked to speak about the risks of HIV at local schools and health fairs. "At the time," said Maggiore, a slight woman who looks years younger than her age, "I felt like I was doing a good thing."

All that changed two years later, she said, when she spoke to UC Berkeley biology professor Peter Duesberg, whose well-publicized views on AIDS - including that its symptoms can be caused by recreational drug use and malnutrition - place him well outside the scientific mainstream.

Intrigued, Maggiore began scouring the literature about the underlying science of HIV. She does not know how she became HIV-positive, but she came to believe that flu shots, pregnancy and common viral infections could lead to a positive test result. She later detailed those claims in her book, "What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?"

Maggiore started Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, a nonprofit that challenges "common assumptions" about AIDS. Her group's website and toll-free hotline cater to expectant HIV-positive mothers who shun AIDS medications, want to breast-feed their children and seek to meet others of like mind. One of her tips: Mothers should share their wishes only with trusted family members and doctors who will support their decision to avoid HIV/AIDS drugs and interventions.

She has stayed healthy, she said, despite a cervical condition three years ago that would qualify her for an AIDS diagnosis. In a 2002 article for Awareness magazine, she facetiously refers to it as "my bout of so-called AIDS," saying it coincided "perfectly with the orthodox axiom that we get a decade of normal health before our AIDS kicks in."

During a March interview in her orderly, well-lighted home, Maggiore seemed, if anything, an exceptionally devoted mother. She served homegrown vegetables and fresh pasta to Eliza Jane, listening attentively as the healthy-looking little girl chattered happily about her two imaginary friends. At one point, when Eliza Jane wanted to swipe away a spider, her mother urged respect for the tiny creature. "He is part of our family," she said.

What set Maggiore apart became clear only when she talked about her views on medicine.

She didn't vaccinate either child, believing the shots did more harm than good. She rejected AZT and other anti-AIDS medications as toxic. "I see no evidence that compels me that I should have exposed a developing fetus to drugs that would harm them," she said.

Maggiore hired a midwife and gave birth to her children at home; Charlie was born in an inflatable pool on her living room floor. She wanted to avoid being tested for HIV or pressured to use AZT in a hospital, although technically neither is required by California law.

She breast-fed both children, although research indicates that it increases the risk of transmission by up to 15%.

Scovill apparently shares her beliefs. Last year, he produced and directed a contrarian documentary, "The Other Side of AIDS," which won a special jury prize at the AFI Los Angeles International =46ilm Festival.

Maggiore estimates that 50 HIV-positive women have come around to her point of view. The Times interviewed nine who said she helped them plot medical and legal strategies to avoid being forced to have their children tested.

Lori Crawford, a child welfare worker in Tempe, Ariz., said Maggiore helped her avoid an HIV test in North Carolina when she was pregnant with her daughter three years ago. Crawford said Maggiore informed her that North Carolina didn't have mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women and suggested she decline the test if health authorities in that state recommended it.

"Christine and her book saved my life," said Crawford.

A Big Victory

In the 25-year history of AIDS, there have been many advances but few victories. Prevention of infections and deaths among young children is one.

"This is one of the biggest public health and medical successes in the United States," said Margaret Lampe, a health education specialist with the division of HIV/AIDS prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of children found to have AIDS continues to plummet, even as the overall number of new AIDS cases in the United States remains stuck at more than 40,000 per year.

In 2003, only 59 children under age 13 nationally were found to have AIDS, according to the CDC. That's down from 952 cases in 1992, officials said.

Health officials attribute the decline to regular testing of pregnant women and the use of antiretroviral drugs, such as AZT, during pregnancy and childbirth.

A 1994 study found that one quarter of pregnant HIV-positive women passed the virus to their babies when they did not take AZT. Subsequent studies found that the risk could be lowered to less than 2% when mothers received prenatal care, took a combination of antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and labor, and allowed their infants to be given AZT in their first six weeks.

=46ederal health officials and AIDS experts say that HIV unquestionably causes AIDS, although it can take more than a decade to develop. HIV tests detect antibodies to the virus and are accurate predictors of who is infected, they say.

Dr. Peter Havens, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said that contrarian HIV theories promoted on about 400 websites are "bogus baloney."

"It's all pseudoscience," he said. "They choose one paper and deny the existence of 100 others."

Crumpled Like a Doll

The first hint that Eliza Jane was ill came at the end of April, when she developed a runny nose with yellow mucus, Maggiore told a coroner's investigator.

On April 30, Maggiore took her daughter to a pediatrician covering for =46leiss. That doctor found the girl had clear lungs, no fever and adequate oxygen levels, the coroner's report said.

=46ive days later, Maggiore sought a second opinion from Gordon. In an interview, Gordon said he suspected an ear infection but believed it could be resolved without antibiotics. In a follow-up call, he said, Eliza Jane's parents told him she was getting better.

Maggiore then asked Denver physician Philip Incao, who was visiting Los Angeles for a lecture, to examine her, the mother told the coroner's investigator. He found fluid in Eliza Jane's right eardrum.

On May 14, Incao examined her again and prescribed amoxicillin, Maggiore told the coroner.

Incao is not licensed to practice medicine in California.

The next day, Eliza Jane vomited several times and her mother noticed she was pale. While Maggiore was on the phone with Incao, the little girl stopped breathing and "crumpled like a paper doll," the mother told the coroner. She died early the next morning, at a Van Nuys hospital.

=46leiss, Gordon and Incao all are known for their unconventional approaches to medicine. Gordon and Incao are staunch opponents of mandatory vaccination of children; Fleiss is a vocal critic of male circumcision. Incao did not return repeated phone calls this week.

Alerted to the case by The Times, several medical experts said that doctors who knew Maggiore's circumstances - that she was HIV-positive, hadn't been treated during pregnancy and had breast-fed her children - should have pushed for the child to be tested.

If she refused, they should have referred the matter to authorities.

According to interviews and records, Gordon and Fleiss have long known Maggiore's HIV status and that she breast-fed her children.

Experts also said that when the girl became ill, any doctor who saw her should have treated her as if she were HIV-positive. That would have meant giving her a stronger antibiotic, such as Bactrim, instead of the relatively low-powered amoxicillin.

"If you look away from something you're supposed to be looking for, that's called willful blindness," said Michael Shapiro, an ethicist and law professor at USC, "and willful blindness is one aspect of determining the negligence."

In an interview this week, Fleiss said it would have been wrong to force Maggiore to test her daughter. "This is a democracy," said Fleiss, who has treated the daughter of pop star Madonna.

Gordon said he wishes he had tested Eliza Jane when she was ill in early May, but he doesn't believe he had sufficient reason to test her earlier.

"When it comes to HIV testing, I think that it's still legally a gray area," he said, depending on whether one believes the child's life is in danger. In Eliza Jane's case, he said, he did not.

David Thornton, executive director of the Medical Board of California, said his agency probably would investigate to determine whether the doctors erred, for example, in failing to report potential child neglect.

"If I would punish anybody," said Nancy Dubler, bioethics director at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, who learned of the case from The Times, "I would punish the pediatricians."

The Focus Turns

Now that authorities have settled on the cause of Eliza Jane's death, the focus has turned to the parents and their remaining child, Charlie.

Even when a child dies because he or she did not receive adequate medical treatment, the law is not at all clear about who, if anyone, should be held responsible. There are few precedents, and courts traditionally give parents and doctors wide discretion.

In two U.S. cases involving HIV-positive mothers who refused testing and treatment - neither of which involved a child who died - the courts appear to have issued conflicting opinions.

"There's no easy answer," said Dubler.

What is clear is that child welfare authorities had been told that Maggiore was HIV-positive in 2000 and that her son was at risk for the virus, according to agency records.

An investigator from the Department of Children and Family Services visited the home, according to a copy of the case report reviewed by The Times, but she did not have Charlie tested for HIV or talk to outside experts. She instead relied on her own observations and the assurances of Fleiss.

"Parents appear appropriate and extremely focused on child's well-being in every aspect," caseworker Rebecca McCauley wrote in =46ebruary 2000.

Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director for the DCFS, acknowledged that his department may have erred.

He said the caseworker tried to do her job but relied entirely on =46leiss because the department, at the time, did not have its own medical experts to consult. But even with Eliza Jane's death, Sophy said, it's not entirely clear that Charlie is being neglected.

Legal experts said the problem lies in the official definition of neglect.

"DCFS is used to your prototypical neglect case where the house is filthy and the mother doesn't care," said Thomas Lyon, a USC law professor and expert in child abuse litigation. "They're just not accustomed to the kind of neglect where you have an otherwise healthy, good parent."

Word Is Getting Out

Since Eliza Jane's death, Maggiore and her husband have kept a relatively low profile, her friends said. But word is slowly reaching HIV dissidents around the country.

Though shaken, most of them say they continue to support Maggiore and her contention that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.

=46or her part, Maggiore said that her daughter's death has taken a toll on her health; she's had trouble eating, sleeping and, this past summer, simply breathing. She's treated her symptoms with Chinese herbs, walked five miles a day and practiced yoga, and is now feeling better, she said.

She went to a sympathetic doctor, she said. "If I had gone to a regular AIDS doctor and told them I was HIV-positive, I have no doubt they would have blamed it on that."

In the weeks after Eliza Jane's death, her parents created a website, http://www.ejlovetour.com , in her memory. Maggiore wrote lovingly of her daughter, wavering between despair at her loss and acceptance that Eliza Jane had simply chosen, as Maggiore put it, to "go home."

She struggled most with the whys.
"Why our child - so appreciated, so held, so carefully nurtured - and not one ignored, abused or abandoned?" she wrote. "How come what we offered was not enough to keep her here when children with far less - impatient distracted parents, a small apartment on a busy street, extended day care, Oscar Mayer Lunchables - will happily stay?"
--============_-1084487650==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 12:06:45 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Mary Midgley: Moral missionary Comments: To: [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084447287==_ma============" --============_-1084447287==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1573499,00.html Mary Midgley: Moral missionary One of Britain's foremost philosophers publishes her autobiography this month at the age of 86. She once fell out dramatically with Richard Dawkins but, she tells John Crace, that doesn't mean she is 'anti-science' John Crace Tuesday September 20, 2005 Guardian The only really dangerous ground in philosophy is the middle ground. Arguing the esoteric and contentious defines you as a star player, while striving for consensus tends to mark you out as thoroughly second division. By rights, then, Mary Midgley ought to have spent most of her career on the sidelines: instead, she has spent much of her career as one of this country's foremost moral philosophers. Even now, at 86 and long since retired from lecturing at Newcastle University, she's still a regular star turn on the international seminar circuit. "I get about one invitation a month," she says, "but I don't accept them all. I won't go to America any more as I can't handle the jet lag and I only go to those seminars in Europe that I think will be interesting. I don't much like airports and at my age it becomes increasingly difficult to listen to other people talking - especially when you know what they're going to say anyway." That may be, but she still gets out a great deal more than most of us. Midgley is something of a one-off. Her mission has always been to arbitrate between extremes. That should have been enough to guarantee anonymity, but she's also made a habit of specialising in unfashionable areas that other philosophers choose to avoid. "I prefer to think that I just happened to be interested in things the others weren't," she says. What Midgley was most interested in were real-life problems - something with which most philosophers were singularly reluctant to engage in the prewar and early postwar years. "Philosophy had become peculiarly self-referential," she says. "Emotivism and prescriptivism were the order of the day, and traditional moral philosophy had become a formal debate about what moral judgments were. The prevailing view was that descriptive language, such as good and bad, was little more than saying boo and hooray, and as such was of little value. Gradually, people came round to accepting moral judgments as providing direction, but it wasn't until John Rawls published his Theory of Justice in the early 1970s that philosophy began to engage with the real world." War effort It was almost inevitable that Midgley would become a philosopher - her father was a pacifist rector who used to give a resounding "no" to any member of the congregation who asked whether everything in the Bible was true - but it initially suited her to keep her counsel on the sidelines. She had gone up to Oxford in the late 30s to study mods and greats - "I'd read a bit of Plato and he captured my imagination" - and on graduation in 1942 had signed up to do her bit for the war effort by joining the civil service and working in the Ministry of Production. "It was fascinating work," she recalls. "My job was to weigh up the competing demands from the three armed services for raw materials. Each service was supposed to rank its need on a scale of A to C. But no one ever followed the rules; everyone listed their priorities a A, A* or A**." It was an object lesson for any philosophy student, but it wasn't long before Midgley found herself teaching classics at a boys' public school - an experience over which she prefers to draw a veil. "Nothing was quite as it seemed," she remarks cryptically. With the war over she returned to Oxford to continue her studies, with Iris Murdoch among others, and vividly remembers a guest lecture from Wittgenstein. "I got almost nothing from it," she laughs. "He was a painfully shy man with a halting, almost impenetrable delivery so that in person he was almost as hard to understand as he was in print. I suppose that his Cambridge students got used to it, but I never did. However, he did have an undoubted charisma: you couldn't fail to be aware that you were in the presence of a force of nature. And he was a force for good. It was through Witt's focus on language that we began to break through the Cartesian solitude of cogito ergo sum." Midgley started teaching at Reading University, but when she met and married another philosopher - Geoff Midgley - she chose to follow him up to Newcastle, where she has remained ever since. "I knew I wanted children," she says, "and I knew I wanted to take time out from my career to look after them. And the north-east seemed the ideal place to start a family." Three sons and a spell reviewing books for the New Statesman later, she started lecturing at the university. Her time bringing up three children proved to be time well spent. "I had become fascinated by the works of Konrad Lorenz and Jane Goodall on animal behaviour," she says. "They seemed to argue quite coherently that there were sophisticated comparisons that could be made between human and animal behaviour, but in 1967 the debate got sensationalised when Desmond Morris published The Naked Ape, which suggested humans were nothing more than animals." This provoked a backlash of human exceptionalism - the idea that no comparison between humans and animals is possible because culture makes human life entirely different - and it was into this debate about the concept of human nature that Midgley took her first steps into the philosophical big league. "The idea that humans were a tabula rasa at birth on which society, family and culture imprinted a nature - a view favoured largely by the left - seemed inherently absurd," she says. "Having brought up three sons, all of whom clearly demonstrated they had their own personalities from birth, made it self-evident to me that there was such a thing as human nature. "It also struck me that a great deal of the concern that people felt about having an inherent nature that might be comparable to animal nature was based on a misunderstanding of how animals actually behaved. Writers were dealing with mythologies, such as the savage lion and vicious rat, that were nothing more than human projections. The reality was that animals behaved in a far less crude fashion. So people had become frightened of their animal nature in a way they didn't need to; by misjudging animals, they misjudged themselves." Midgley's steps into the middle ground of socio-biology got her noticed by the Americans and she was invited to speak at Cornell University. As a result, her first book, Beast and Man, was published in 1978. For Midgley, this was just a natural extension of her moral philosophy - "Rawls had brought philosophy back into the human sphere: I took it further into animal and environmental concerns" - but it was a route that was to take her to a head-on clash with one of the country's foremost evolutionary biologists, Richard Dawkins; a spat that still survives today. In 1979, in response to the publication of Dawkins's The Selfish Gene, Midgley wrote what was, by any standards, a remarkably intemperate critique in the journal Philosophy. "The notion of selfishness suggests an extreme determinism," she says. "It also trades on people's simplistic notions of human motivation. Selfishness cannot explain either altruism or self-destruction, both of which quite clearly exist." Scientists - including Dawkins - were not slow to respond, accusing her of failing to grasp the concept. While Midgley concedes that she should have been a bit more measured in her response, she remains surprisingly consistent in her antagonism. "I'm not anti-science," she maintains. "What I object to is improper science sold as science. I understand Dawkins thinks he was talking about the survival potential of certain lines rather than the motives of the genes themselves, but I believe he is mistaken. Scientists in this country have little cultural overlap with the arts and humanities and ... they are unaware of when they start bringing their own political and psychological views into the argument. There's nothing wrong with scientists having such views as long as they are aware of what they are doing ... Dawkins may argue that he is using selfishness as a metaphor but he must have been aware of how the concept might be interpreted and used. And Dawkins has to take some responsibility for that." Midgley went on to expand these ideas in her book Evolution as a Religion, which was published in 1985. Although her arguments have been refined, her views have remained broadly unchanged. However, constancy is not a virtue that she applauds in others. "AJ Ayer spent most of his professional life gradually retracting the more strident parts of his major work, Language, Truth and Logic," she says. "I admit it would have been hard for Dawkins to do the same. He had published the Selfish Gene when he was quite young and was instantly heralded as the prophet of the age." Midgley argues that her own consistency is a product of her age. "My first book was not published until I was well into my 50s," she says. "By that time I had had time to develop and carefully consider my views. One of the current curses of university life is the pressure put on academics to publish early and often. What's more, it's often not just a question of how many publications an academic can produce but how many pages. Such a system cannot possibly be conducive to quality or intellectual rigour." Midgley retired from Newcastle University in 1980, having got an unwelcome whiff of the way the wind was blowing. "Margaret Thatcher never trusted philosophers," she says, "and it was inevitable that many philosophy departments would close under her plans for the increased marketisation of higher education. I knew our department's days were numbered and chose to leave before we closed." Not that Midgley has ever stopped working. If anything, she has become more productive the older she gets. In recent years, she has become one of the strongest advocates of Gaian theory - the notion of the world as a self-containing system where the living and non-living work together to maintain the conditions of life - she has appeared on the Moral Maze and this month sees the publication of her autobiography, The Owl of Minerva. Philosophy is not some idle distraction, but a subject that comes into its own when things get dark and difficult. It is a necessity, not a luxury. And as long as anyone is happy to listen, Midgley is happy to talk. Curriculum vitae Name: Mary Midgley Age: 86 Educated: at Downe House School, Berkshire; Somerville College, Oxford Former jobs: lecturer, Reading University; senior lecturer, Newcastle University Publications: Beast and Man, 1978; Animals and Why They Matter, 1983; Wickedness 1984; Evolution as a Religion, 1985; Science and Salvation, 1992; The Ethical Primate, 1994; Science And Poetry 2001; Gaia, the Next Big Idea, 2001; Myths We Live By, 2003; The Owl of Minerva, 2005 Likes: swimming, walking, painting watercolours Dislikes: working late at night Widowed: with three sons --============_-1084447287==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Mary Midgley: Moral missionary
http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1573499,00.html
Mary Midgley: Moral missionary

One of Britain's foremost philosophers publishes her autobiography this month at the age of 86. She once fell out dramatically with Richard Dawkins but, she tells John Crace, that doesn't mean she is 'anti-science'
John Crace
Tuesday September 20, 2005
Guardian

The only really dangerous ground in philosophy is the middle ground. Arguing the esoteric and contentious defines you as a star player, while striving for consensus tends to mark you out as thoroughly second division. By rights, then, Mary Midgley ought to have spent most of her career on the sidelines: instead, she has spent much of her career as one of this country's foremost moral philosophers. Even now, at 86 and long since retired from lecturing at Newcastle University, she's still a regular star turn on the international seminar circuit.

"I get about one invitation a month," she says, "but I don't accept them all. I won't go to America any more as I can't handle the jet lag and I only go to those seminars in Europe that I think will be interesting. I don't much like airports and at my age it becomes increasingly difficult to listen to other people talking - especially when you know what they're going to say anyway." That may be, but she still gets out a great deal more than most of us.

Midgley is something of a one-off. Her mission has always been to arbitrate between extremes. That should have been enough to guarantee anonymity, but she's also made a habit of specialising in unfashionable areas that other philosophers choose to avoid. "I prefer to think that I just happened to be interested in things the others weren't," she says.

What Midgley was most interested in were real-life problems - something with which most philosophers were singularly reluctant to engage in the prewar and early postwar years. "Philosophy had become peculiarly self-referential," she says. "Emotivism and prescriptivism were the order of the day, and traditional moral philosophy had become a formal debate about what moral judgments were. The prevailing view was that descriptive language, such as good and bad, was little more than saying boo and hooray, and as such was of little value. Gradually, people came round to accepting moral judgments as providing direction, but it wasn't until John Rawls published his Theory of Justice in the early 1970s that philosophy began to engage with the real world."

War effort

It was almost inevitable that Midgley would become a philosopher - her father was a pacifist rector who used to give a resounding "no" to any member of the congregation who asked whether everything in the Bible was true - but it initially suited her to keep her counsel on the sidelines. She had gone up to Oxford in the late 30s to study mods and greats - "I'd read a bit of Plato and he captured my imagination" - and on graduation in 1942 had signed up to do her bit for the war effort by joining the civil service and working in the Ministry of Production. "It was fascinating work," she recalls. "My job was to weigh up the competing demands from the three armed services for raw materials. Each service was supposed to rank its need on a scale of A to C. But no one ever followed the rules; everyone listed their priorities a A, A* or A**."

It was an object lesson for any philosophy student, but it wasn't long before Midgley found herself teaching classics at a boys' public school - an experience over which she prefers to draw a veil. "Nothing was quite as it seemed," she remarks cryptically. With the war over she returned to Oxford to continue her studies, with Iris Murdoch among others, and vividly remembers a guest lecture from Wittgenstein. "I got almost nothing from it," she laughs. "He was a painfully shy man with a halting, almost impenetrable delivery so that in person he was almost as hard to understand as he was in print. I suppose that his Cambridge students got used to it, but I never did. However, he did have an undoubted charisma: you couldn't fail to be aware that you were in the presence of a force of nature. And he was a force for good. It was through Witt's focus on language that we began to break through the Cartesian solitude of cogito ergo sum."

Midgley started teaching at Reading University, but when she met and married another philosopher - Geoff Midgley - she chose to follow him up to Newcastle, where she has remained ever since. "I knew I wanted children," she says, "and I knew I wanted to take time out from my career to look after them. And the north-east seemed the ideal place to start a family."

Three sons and a spell reviewing books for the New Statesman later, she started lecturing at the university. Her time bringing up three children proved to be time well spent. "I had become fascinated by the works of Konrad Lorenz and Jane Goodall on animal behaviour," she says. "They seemed to argue quite coherently that there were sophisticated comparisons that could be made between human and animal behaviour, but in 1967 the debate got sensationalised when Desmond Morris published The Naked Ape, which suggested humans were nothing more than animals."

This provoked a backlash of human exceptionalism - the idea that no comparison between humans and animals is possible because culture makes human life entirely different - and it was into this debate about the concept of human nature that Midgley took her first steps into the philosophical big league. "The idea that humans were a tabula rasa at birth on which society, family and culture imprinted a nature - a view favoured largely by the left - seemed inherently absurd," she says. "Having brought up three sons, all of whom clearly demonstrated they had their own personalities from birth, made it self-evident to me that there was such a thing as human nature.

"It also struck me that a great deal of the concern that people felt about having an inherent nature that might be comparable to animal nature was based on a misunderstanding of how animals actually behaved. Writers were dealing with mythologies, such as the savage lion and vicious rat, that were nothing more than human projections. The reality was that animals behaved in a far less crude fashion. So people had become frightened of their animal nature in a way they didn't need to; by misjudging animals, they misjudged themselves."

Midgley's steps into the middle ground of socio-biology got her noticed by the Americans and she was invited to speak at Cornell University. As a result, her first book, Beast and Man, was published in 1978. For Midgley, this was just a natural extension of her moral philosophy - "Rawls had brought philosophy back into the human sphere: I took it further into animal and environmental concerns" - but it was a route that was to take her to a head-on clash with one of the country's foremost evolutionary biologists, Richard Dawkins; a spat that still survives today.

In 1979, in response to the publication of Dawkins's The Selfish Gene, Midgley wrote what was, by any standards, a remarkably intemperate critique in the journal Philosophy. "The notion of selfishness suggests an extreme determinism," she says. "It also trades on people's simplistic notions of human motivation. Selfishness cannot explain either altruism or self-destruction, both of which quite clearly exist." Scientists - including Dawkins - were not slow to respond, accusing her of failing to grasp the concept. While Midgley concedes that she should have been a bit more measured in her response, she remains surprisingly consistent in her antagonism.

"I'm not anti-science," she maintains. "What I object to is improper science sold as science. I understand Dawkins thinks he was talking about the survival potential of certain lines rather than the motives of the genes themselves, but I believe he is mistaken. Scientists in this country have little cultural overlap with the arts and humanities and ... they are unaware of when they start bringing their own political and psychological views into the argument. There's nothing wrong with scientists having such views as long as they are aware of what they are doing ... Dawkins may argue that he is using selfishness as a metaphor but he must have been aware of how the concept might be interpreted and used. And Dawkins has to take some responsibility for that."

Midgley went on to expand these ideas in her book Evolution as a Religion, which was published in 1985. Although her arguments have been refined, her views have remained broadly unchanged. However, constancy is not a virtue that she applauds in others. "AJ Ayer spent most of his professional life gradually retracting the more strident parts of his major work, Language, Truth and Logic," she says. "I admit it would have been hard for Dawkins to do the same. He had published the Selfish Gene when he was quite young and was instantly heralded as the prophet of the age."

Midgley argues that her own consistency is a product of her age. "My first book was not published until I was well into my 50s," she says. "By that time I had had time to develop and carefully consider my views. One of the current curses of university life is the pressure put on academics to publish early and often. What's more, it's often not just a question of how many publications an academic can produce but how many pages. Such a system cannot possibly be conducive to quality or intellectual rigour."

Midgley retired from Newcastle University in 1980, having got an unwelcome whiff of the way the wind was blowing. "Margaret Thatcher never trusted philosophers," she says, "and it was inevitable that many philosophy departments would close under her plans for the increased marketisation of higher education. I knew our department's days were numbered and chose to leave before we closed."

Not that Midgley has ever stopped working. If anything, she has become more productive the older she gets. In recent years, she has become one of the strongest advocates of Gaian theory - the notion of the world as a self-containing system where the living and non-living work together to maintain the conditions of life - she has appeared on the Moral Maze and this month sees the publication of her autobiography, The Owl of Minerva. Philosophy is not some idle distraction, but a subject that comes into its own when things get dark and difficult. It is a necessity, not a luxury. And as long as anyone is happy to listen, Midgley is happy to talk.
Curriculum vitae
Name: Mary Midgley
Age: 86
Educated: at Downe House School, Berkshire; Somerville College, Oxford
Former jobs: lecturer, Reading University; senior lecturer, Newcastle University
Publications: Beast and Man, 1978; Animals and Why They Matter, 1983; Wickedness 1984; Evolution as a Religion, 1985; Science and Salvation, 1992; The Ethical Primate, 1994; Science And Poetry 2001; Gaia, the Next Big Idea, 2001; Myths We Live By, 2003; The Owl of Minerva, 2005
Likes: swimming, walking, painting watercolours
Dislikes: working late at night
Widowed: with three sons
--============_-1084447287==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 12:22:55 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: ARTICLE: US army plans to bulk-buy anthrax Comments: To: [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084446318==_ma============" --============_-1084446318==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8044 US army plans to bulk-buy anthrax * 10:00 24 September 2005 * NewScientist.com news service * David Hambling THE US military wants to buy large quantities of anthrax, in a controversial move that is likely to raise questions over its commitment to treaties designed to limit the spread of biological weapons. A series of contracts have been uncovered that relate to the US army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. They ask companies to tender for the production of bulk quantities of a non-virulent strain of anthrax, and for equipment to produce significant volumes of other biological agents. Issued earlier this year, the contracts were discovered by Edward Hammond, director of the Sunshine Project, a US-German organisation that campaigns against the use of biological and chemical weapons. One "biological services" contract specifies: "The company must have the ability and be willing to grow Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain at 1500-litre quantities." Other contracts are for fermentation equipment for producing 3000-litre batches of an unspecified biological agent, and sheep carcasses to test the efficiency of an incinerator for the disposal of infected livestock. Major concern Although the Sterne strain is not thought to be harmful to humans and is used for vaccination, the contracts have caused major concern. "It raises a serious question over how the US is going to demonstrate its compliance with obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention if it brings these tanks online," says Alan Pearson, programme director for biological and chemical weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington DC. "If one can grow the Sterne strain in these units, one could also grow the Ames strain, which is quite lethal." The US renounced biological weapons in 1969, but small quantities of lethal anthrax were still being produced at Dugway as recently as 1998. It is not known what use the biological agents will be put to. They could be used to test procedures to decontaminate vehicles or buildings, or to test an "agent defeat" warhead designed to destroy stores of chemical and biological weapons. Highly provocative There are even fears that they could be used to determine how effectively anthrax is dispersed when released from bombs or crop-spraying aircraft. "I can definitely see them testing biological weapons delivery systems for threat assessment," says Hammond. Whatever use it is put to, however, the move could be seen as highly provocative by other nations, he says. "What would happen to the Biological Weapons Convention if other countries followed suit and built large biological production facilities at secretive military bases known for weapons testing?" A spokesperson for Dugway said the anthrax contract is still at the pre-solicitation stage, and the base has not yet acquired the agent. They refused to say what it will be used for. Related Articles * US 'war on terror' has public health cost * http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7976 * 09 September 2005 * Milk supplies at risk from terrorist toxin * http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7601 * 29 June 2005 * Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks by Ed Lake * http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18624972.300 * 30 April 2005 Weblinks * Dugway Proving Ground, US Army * https://www.dugway.army.mil/ * Sunshine Project * http://www.sunshine-project.org/ * Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation * http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/ --============_-1084446318==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" ARTICLE: US army plans to bulk-buy anthrax
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8044

US army plans to bulk-buy anthrax

    * 10:00 24 September 2005
    * NewScientist.com news service
    * David Hambling

THE US military wants to buy large quantities of anthrax, in a controversial move that is likely to raise questions over its commitment to treaties designed to limit the spread of biological weapons.

A series of contracts have been uncovered that relate to the US army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. They ask companies to tender for the production of bulk quantities of a non-virulent strain of anthrax, and for equipment to produce significant volumes of other biological agents.

Issued earlier this year, the contracts were discovered by Edward Hammond, director of the Sunshine Project, a US-German organisation that campaigns against the use of biological and chemical weapons.

One "biological services" contract specifies: "The company must have the ability and be willing to grow Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain at 1500-litre quantities." Other contracts are for fermentation equipment for producing 3000-litre batches of an unspecified biological agent, and sheep carcasses to test the efficiency of an incinerator for the disposal of infected livestock.
Major concern

Although the Sterne strain is not thought to be harmful to humans and is used for vaccination, the contracts have caused major concern.

"It raises a serious question over how the US is going to demonstrate its compliance with obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention if it brings these tanks online," says Alan Pearson, programme director for biological and chemical weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington DC. "If one can grow the Sterne strain in these units, one could also grow the Ames strain, which is quite lethal."

The US renounced biological weapons in 1969, but small quantities of lethal anthrax were still being produced at Dugway as recently as 1998.

It is not known what use the biological agents will be put to. They could be used to test procedures to decontaminate vehicles or buildings, or to test an "agent defeat" warhead designed to destroy stores of chemical and biological weapons.
Highly provocative

There are even fears that they could be used to determine how effectively anthrax is dispersed when released from bombs or crop-spraying aircraft. "I can definitely see them testing biological weapons delivery systems for threat assessment," says Hammond.

Whatever use it is put to, however, the move could be seen as highly provocative by other nations, he says. "What would happen to the Biological Weapons Convention if other countries followed suit and built large biological production facilities at secretive military bases known for weapons testing?"

A spokesperson for Dugway said the anthrax contract is still at the pre-solicitation stage, and the base has not yet acquired the agent. They refused to say what it will be used for.
Related Articles

    * US 'war on terror' has public health cost
    * http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7976
    * 09 September 2005
    * Milk supplies at risk from terrorist toxin
    * http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7601
    * 29 June 2005
    * Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks by Ed Lake
    * http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18624972.300
    * 30 April 2005

Weblinks

    * Dugway Proving Ground, US Army
    * https://www.dugway.army.mil/
    * Sunshine Project
    * http://www.sunshine-project.org/
    * Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
    * http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/
--============_-1084446318==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 15:35:39 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: John Landon <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Mary Midgley: Moral missionary MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127676939" -------------------------------1127676939 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit In a message dated 9/25/2005 3:07:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes: http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1573499,00.html Mary Midgley: Moral missionary One of Britain's foremost philosophers publishes her autobiography this month at the age of 86. She once fell out dramatically with Richard Dawkins but, she tells John Crace, that doesn't mean she is 'anti-science' The suggestion that anyone who disagrees with Richard Dawkins might be anti-science is a finalist for joke of the week. John Landon [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask] World History And The Eonic Effect Second Edition: _http://www.history-and-evolution.com_ (http://www.history-and-evolution.com/) Darwiniana: An Evolution Blog _http://darwiniana.com_ (http://darwiniana.com/) -------------------------------1127676939 Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
In a message dated 9/25/2005 3:07:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,=20 [log in to unmask] writes:
<= FONT=20 style=3D"BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" face=3DArial color=3D#000000 size= =3D2>
http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1573499,00.html
=
Mary Midgley: Moral missionary

One of Britain's foremos= t=20 philosophers publishes her autobiography this month at the age of 86. She=20= once=20 fell out dramatically with Richard Dawkins but, she tells John Crace, that= =20 doesn't mean she is 'anti-science'
The suggestion that anyone who disagrees with Richard Dawkins mig= ht=20 be anti-science is a finalist for joke of the week.
 
John=20 Landon
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask]
World History
And=20= The=20 Eonic Effect
Second Edition:
http://www.history-and-evolut= ion.com
Darwiniana
:=20
An Evolution Blog
http://darwiniana.com

=
-------------------------------1127676939-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 11:05:08 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: John Landon <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Watching the Darwin Debate: WashPost Kickoff on Dover Trial Comments: To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask] MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127833508" -------------------------------1127833508 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en _Article in Washington Post_=20 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/25/AR200509250= 1177.html) =20 =20 New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory Pa. Trial Will Ask Whether =E2=80=98Alternatives=E2=80=99 Can Pass as Scien= ce=20 By Rick Weiss and David Brown Washington Post Staff Writers Monday, September 26, 2005;=20 John Landon [log in to unmask] _http://www.history-and-evolution.com_ (http://www.history-and-evolution.com= )=20 As the Dover trial gets under way, the Hype campaign starts, and the Darwin=20= =20 blogosphere starts cheering. I hold no brief for the ID contingent who will=20= =20 probably lose their incompetent case. But the Darwinists don't deserve to wi= n. =20 Enough's enough. If half-educated religionists from the Bible Belt are our=20 only protection against Darwin propaganda, heaven help us. =20 Thus an otherwise fascinating article in the Washington Post appears =20 suspiciously on Day One of the Dover trial promoting new proofs of Darwin's=20= theory.=20 If it were any other day than the first day of the new Scopes Trial I would= =20 adjourn for some fascinating study. =20 If Darwin was right, for example, then scientists should be able to =20 perform a neat trick. Using a mathematical formula that emerges from =20 evolutionary theory, they should be able to predict the number of harmful m= utations in=20 chimpanzee DNA by knowing the number of mutations in a different species' D= NA=20 and the two animals' population =20 "That's a very specific prediction," said Eric Lander, a geneticist a= t=20 the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and a leader in=20= =20 the chimp pr=20 [snip]=20 Their analysis was just the latest of many in such disparate fields as =20 genetics, biochemistry, geology and paleontology that in recent years have =20= added=20 new credence to the central tenet of evolutionary theory: That a smidgeon o= f=20 cells 3.5 billion years ago could -- through mechanisms no more extraordina= ry=20 than random mutation and natural selection -- give rise to the astonishing=20 tapestry of biological diversity that today thrives on Earth. Yeah, yeah. The central tenet of evolutionary theory? What's that? More =20 illuminating evidence for descent, no final conclusion about natural selecti= on. =20 In fact, the language always gets conveniently scrambled. =20 The vagueness of language, without any references that I could find, =20 adjourning after a few paragraphs to the usual boilerplate about the triumph= s of =20 Darwin and claims for evolution and the evils of ID, leaves the article =20 stranded. These articles use the 'stun gun' approach for the opening shot. T= he =20 reader, even if knowledgeable, is on the defensive paragraph one, new resear= ch, =20 proclamations of the experts, tough math noone understands, put the reader i= n =20 'take your word for it' mode, too tricky to challenge, fold your cards one m= ore =20 time. Then cut to the inability of ID to produce testable predictions. In =20 reality, this is our failed champion population genetics, beefed up with som= e =20 interesting genomic claims, a subject incapable of fully explaining evolutio= n. =20 That a mechanism driven by random events should result in perfectly =20 adapted organisms -- and so many different types -- seems illo =20 "Even today a good many distinguished minds seem unable to accept or =20 even to understand that from a source of noise, natural selection alone and=20= =20 unaided could have drawn all the music of the biosphere," Jacques Monod, a =20 French biologist and Nobel Prize winner, wrote in 1970 in the book "Chance a= nd =20 Neces =20 Natural selectioreally hard to accept in Darwin's day. But it has=20 become easier with the discovery of genes, DNA and techniques that have mad= e it=20 possible to watch natural selection happen. It is illogical! And still really hard to accept, because it is probably =20 wrong. Why should evolution proceed from a source of noise? We should on the= =20 alert that reductionists are forcing evolution into their scientific box, an= d =20 eliminating something essential. But if they could prove this, that would be= the=20 end of it. But look closely, smoke and mirrors at the crucial points.=20 It is now clear from fossil and molecular evidence that certain patterns of=20= =20 growth in multicellular organisms appeared about 600 million years ago. Thos= e =20 patterns proved so useful that versions of the genes governing them are =20 carried by nearly every species that has arisen since.=20 I would be the first to acknowledge the complexity of the Cambrian, and =20 resist misusing it, but Darwinists do essentially this by ignoring the =20 implications of their own data. This evidence clearly conceals the problem =20= Darwinists=20 are having, for it shows a turning point in evolution, which shouldn't be=20 there, the achievement of a series of basic structures in a relatively sho= rt=20 interval from which a great diversity in unity appeared. We are not require= d by=20 the evidence to take this as confirmation of Darwin's theory. The fossil=20 record is skewed with a hump, a level of progression achieved. To simply an= nex=20 this to Darwinian theory is missing the obvious. The evidence suggests we a= re=20 in the presence of an elusive key we know nothing about yet. To put it=20 plainly, the record suggests much more reasonably a complex evolutionary =20 directionality, one that realizes a possible teleology ( a dangerous term th= at should be=20 buffered by empirical statements about directionality) by moving in a step=20 function progression (not the same as progress, necessarily) of some sort.=20= In=20 any case we are free to take the Cambrian interval as evidence of non-rando= m=20 patterning in the record (such statements avoiding like the plague that=20 probably false claims for design here, that have driven Darwinists into the= ir=20 foxhole). At the end of this non-random pattern interval, we see toolkits c= ome=20 into existence! Come on. Stop destroying all common sense. I know design=20 theorists are trying to steal the Darwinists' lunch here. But there's a sou= rce of=20 counterevidence here, and it keeps getting covered up. =20 The article thus proceeds to the question of evo-devo, which probably =20 resolves, or could resolve, many of the confusions, but which so far has bee= n =20 pressed into service in Darwin mode, when it should be grounds for liberatin= g =20 theory from Darwin. The strong suggestion of teleological mechanisms in DNA=20= =20 processes, these reduced to mutations in regulatory genes to generalize out=20= of =20 existence the question of macroevolution, is surely grounds for dissent. =20 Darwinists are changing their story here. And a complex factor of regulation= =20 doesn't even strike them as discordant with their original claims. The whole= thing=20 is thrown into the Darwin stew. To suddenly find toolkit genes, the =20 antithesis of pure natural selection, described in the very language of desi= gn, and=20 marry this to natural selection, using the 'testable predictions' in isolat= ed=20 cases, and be unable to account for such genes arising, ought to at least g= ive=20 someone pause to reflect. But the momentum of the Hype machine is =20 unstoppable. Everyone has become so confused by the Darwin debate it is imp= ossible to=20 make any sense of it. Contra Darwin, powerful evidence has emerged from the= =20 genetic revolution for teleological processes of a natural kind in the real= m of=20 DNA structures. That should make us wonder if something equivalent is not=20 present in the non-genetic range of full evolution. =20 Thus, with respect the whole article's claims, Darwinists are producing =20 more evidence for the claims of microevolution. This is now sitting ambiguo= usly=20 with the new discoveries of developmental biology. The missing element, mo= re=20 than probably a factor of macroevolution (which should be more than=20 speciation, evolutionary directionality), is simply unmentioned in the disc= ussion,=20 because it is not supposed to exist. But the question of the Cambrian, most= =20 probably, powerfully suggests it. But the most important case is that of th= e=20 descent of man, where we now know that the Darwin scenario won't work. Firs= t=20 they claimed natural selection explained (away) macroevolution. Now they cl= aim=20 that natural selection/mutation in regulatory genes does this job, without=20 pointing out they have changed their story, and without the correct proof.=20= =20 You know what? I think a harmful mutation in Lamarck's original two level =20 theory produced a degenerate ideological version of evolution adapted to =20 Darwinian Whigs, attempting to survive as classical liberals. As S. J. Gould= =20 pointed out (without quite doing him justice) in Structures of Evolutionary=20= Theory,=20 Lamarck, his nonsense about adaptation in giraffe's necks apart, had the=20 correct form in potential for a true theory of evolution, which requires a =20 two-level approach that avoids the hopelessly confusing one-level monism of=20= Darwin=20 and his descendants. Moral: mutants may well prove viable, but real =20 evolution will have to pick up from the beginning and leapfrog a dead end me= ss. =20 Thus population genetics has never been shown to really explain the =20 phenomenon of evolution, which is well established, but whose full mechani= sm defies=20 simple or complete understanding so far. Note that claims for microevolutio= n=20 do establish the fact of evolution. The critics of Darwin in the =20 creationist/Id camp make life easy for Darwin defenders. All they have to do= is show the=20 clear evidence for microevolution, then change the subject. A true theory=20 must explore the context of these genetic events, and show the sole efficac= y of=20 natural selection for the total organism, over the whole stretch of time, a= nd=20 show that speciation, not just in one, but in all, cases, follows the =20 adaptational scenario. Microevolution could be simply the bass note in a bro= ader =20 picture where evolutionary directionality or other factors are at work. =20 But decoding chimpanzees' DNA allowed scientists to do more than just refin= e=20 their estimates of how similar humans and chimps are. It let them put the=20 very theory of evolution to some tough new tests. It is undoubtedly true, and fascinating that the DNA of chimps and man are =20 very similar, a powerful argument for the reality of descent, but not an =20 argument for the mechanism of natural selection. Man and chimpanzee are bret= hren =20 in evolution, fine, a point I find cheering, but they are also dramaticall= y=20 different species, in their potential and realization, and the similarity i= n=20 their DNA gets suspicious. So what? Something is missing in the whole=20 methodology of genetics if it can't explicate any of these differences. Thi= s isn't a=20 funny question. The issue of ethical man is so amputated by this approach=20 that we know almost sight unseen something is goofy here. They must account= for=20 the emergence of an ethical agent, whose potential to act transcends =20 adaptation, almost by definition. They simply declare this problem beyond th= e realm=20 of science. But then science cannot account for the evolution of man.=20 Thus reductionists routinely deny aspects of man that don't square with the=20= =20 futile effort to produce one-dimensional continuity. If that's their game,=20 fine, but they should be quarantined from the public and not be allowed to=20= usurp=20 the issue of evolution.=20 In fact, a theory of microevolution is unable to explain why one or selected= =20 lines of simians became hominids, or why one or selected lines of hominids =20 became homo sapiens, while all the other branches remained relatively stati= c.=20 Microevolution was constant through all of this, predictably so, we have th= e=20 Seven Daughters of Eve data, but behind all this a massive change in =20 evolutionary direction occurred that noone has even documented, let alone e= xplained=20 in a theory. =20 Thus bashing ID/creationism for lack of testable predictions is par for the=20= =20 course, but fails to consider that most of the claims for Darwinian accounts= =20 of the descent of man make testable predictions that can't really be tested= .=20 Did language evolve by random mutation and natural selection? At least=20 discipline the argument to acknowledge the evidence is so far insufficient.= =20 Students of the _eonic effect_ (http://www.history-and-evolution.com/) kno= w=20 the hogwash lurking in such claims, btw. We know almost certainly now that,= =20 as far as the descent of man is concerned, purely genetic evolutionary theo= ry=20 is insufficient.=20 It is an understandable wish to define the problem as one of science, but =20 even that won't work. What is a science of evolution? As we look at the sequ= ence=20 chimps/man we find the transition from evolution to history emerging, and =20 the adaptational scenario is highly problematical as evolution closes on the= =20 present. We know already that a science of history gets into contradictions,= =20 that evolution and formally defined history overlap, and that therefore the=20 same doubt about a theory of evolution for man, at least, is going to exist= . And=20 the evidence is there, almost. =20 The data of the eonic model predicts that something like an eonic effect is= =20 going to appear in the earlier evolution/history of man, and sure enough it= =20 is there in the evidence for the Great Explosion. Such statements, we must= be=20 honest where Darwinists are not, are not yet at a critical threshold in=20 early evolution. But the evidence exists in recorded history. The point bri= ngs=20 home that Darwinian claims on the descent of man make a host of claims=20 'testable in the abstract' but never verified in practice, and probably fal= se. The=20 whole scenario of microevolution goes on and on, but is not likely to accou= nt=20 for the emergence of man from chimpanzees. If that is not true, at least=20 provide some proof. Or have the humility to stand back and say you don't ha= ve a=20 real theory yet. =20 It is not enough to force evolution in a scientific standard. To say that =20 something isn't science might mean that the claim so made means a science of= =20 evolution is not possible for that data. The assumption that there is a full= =20 science of evolution is itself under trial. That doesn't justify going off t= he =20 deep end with metaphysical design claims, but it does remind us that the ver= y =20 gesture of doing science can restrict the domain of discourse to the point=20 where the phenomenon in question is shrouded in reductionist confusions, fa= r=20 short of its full scope. =20 One might note in closing that the article nicely references Wallace, for =20 once. Let it be noted that Wallace actually beat Darwin to the gun, and was=20= the =20 first to publish a theory of natural selection. The record got rigged by=20 Darwin and his cronies to highlight Darwin's priority. Apart from that, Wal= lace=20 had the honesty later in life to renounce natural selection in the emergenc= e=20 of man, because he could see that it won't work. His confusions over spirit= ual=20 explanation harmed his case, but his basic point is clear. Man has a comple= x=20 potential (which might be embryonically present in chimps, we don't know)=20 that could never have emerged from selectionist scenarios. The point is cl= ear =20 from the simplest attempt to account for the evolution of ethical man. To=20 sweep this into the category of random mutation/selection is a sign of eith= er =20 reductionist obsession or complete stupidity. But to claim that a real theor= y=20 of evolution exists as yet is the height of brazen distortions. =20 All this talk about testable predictions and evidence confirming natural =20 selection as a macro agent. It isn't there. It won't work on the descent of=20= man. =20 Students of the eonic effect are aware of evidence of the one thing=20 Darwinists dread most, the full scale context behind the low gear microevol= ution of =20 genetics. The real evolution of man is secondarily genetic. Real evolution,=20= at =20 least in the human case, shows a complexity and range beyond anything=20 Darwinists could imagine. =20 _http://www.history-and-evolution.com/evodocs/washpost.htm_=20 (http://www.history-and-evolution.com/evodocs/washpost.htm) =20 Article: =20 _http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/25/AR200509250= 11 77.html_=20 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/25/AR200509250= 1177.html) =20 John Landon [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask] World History=20 And The Eonic Effect Second Edition: _http://www.history-and-evolution.com_=20 (http://www.history-and-evolution.com/)=20 Darwiniana: =20 An Evolution Blog _http://darwiniana.com_ (http://darwiniana.com/)=20 -------------------------------1127833508 Content-Type: text/html; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en
 
 Article=20 in Washington Post
 

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory<= BR>Pa.=20 Trial Will Ask Whether =E2=80=98Alternatives=E2=80=99 Can Pass as Science<= /FONT>
By Rick Weiss and David Brown
Washington Post Staff=20 Writers
Monday, September 26, 2005;

John Landon
[log in to unmask]
http://www.history-and-evolu= tion.com

As the Dover trial gets under way, the Hype campaign starts, and the Darw= in=20 blogosphere starts cheering. I hold no brief for the ID contingent who will=20 probably lose their incompetent case. But the Darwinists don't deserve to wi= n.=20 Enough's enough. If half-educated religionists from the Bible Belt are our o= nly=20 protection against Darwin propaganda, heaven help us.

Thus an otherwise fascinating article in the Washington Post appears=20 suspiciously on Day One of the Dover trial promoting new proofs of Darwin's=20 theory. If it were any other day than the first day of the new Scopes Trial=20= I=20 would adjourn for some fascinating study.

If Darwin was right, for example, then scientists should be able=20= to=20 perform a neat trick. Using a mathematical formula that emerges from=20 evolutionary theory, they should be able to predict the number of harmful=20 mutations in chimpanzee DNA by knowing the number of mutations in a differ= ent=20 species' DNA and the two animals' population sizes.

"That's a very specific prediction," said Eric Lander, a genetici= st=20 at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and a leade= r in=20 the chimp project.

[snip]

Their analysis was just the latest of many in such disparate fields as=20 genetics, biochemistry, geology and paleontology that in recent years have= =20 added new credence to the central tenet of evolutionary theory: That a=20 smidgeon of cells 3.5 billion years ago could -- through mechanisms no mor= e=20 extraordinary than random mutation and natural selection -- give rise to t= he=20 astonishing tapestry of biological diversity that today thrives on=20 Earth.

Yeah, yeah. The central tenet of evolutionary theory? What's that? More=20 illuminating evidence for descent, no final conclusion about natural selecti= on.=20 In fact, the language always gets conveniently scrambled.

The vagueness of language, without any references that I could find,=20 adjourning after a few paragraphs to the usual boilerplate about the triumph= s of=20 Darwin and claims for evolution and the evils of ID, leaves the article=20 stranded. These articles use the 'stun gun' approach for the opening shot. T= he=20 reader, even if knowledgeable, is on the defensive paragraph one, new resear= ch,=20 proclamations of the experts, tough math noone understands, put the reader i= n=20 'take your word for it' mode, too tricky to challenge, fold your cards one m= ore=20 time. Then cut to the inability of ID to produce testable predictions. In=20 reality, this is our failed champion population genetics, beefed up with som= e=20 interesting genomic claims, a subject incapable of fully explaining evolutio= n.=20

That a mechanism driven by random events should result in perfect= ly=20 adapted organisms -- and so many different types -- seems illogical.=20

"Even today a good many distinguished minds seem unable to accept= or=20 even to understand that from a source of noise, natural selection alone an= d=20 unaided could have drawn all the music of the biosphere," Jacques Monod, a= =20 French biologist and Nobel Prize winner, wrote in 1970 in the book "Chance= and=20 Necessity."

Natural selection was really hard to accept in Darwin's da= y.=20 But it has become easier with the discovery of genes, DNA and techniques t= hat=20 have made it possible to watch natural selection happen.

It is illogical! And still really hard to accept, because it is probably=20 wrong. Why should evolution proceed from a source of noise? We should on the= =20 alert that reductionists are forcing evolution into their scientific box, an= d=20 eliminating something essential. But if they could prove this, that would be= the=20 end of it. But look closely, smoke and mirrors at the crucial points.

It is now clear from fossil and molecular evidence that certain pattern= s of=20 growth in multicellular organisms appeared about 600 million years ago. Th= ose=20 patterns proved so useful that versions of the genes governing them are=20 carried by nearly every species that has arisen since.

I would be the first to acknowledge the complexity of the Cambrian, and=20 resist misusing it, but Darwinists do essentially this by ignoring the=20 implications of their own data. This evidence clearly conceals the problem=20 Darwinists are having, for it shows a turning point in evolution, which=20 shouldn't be there,  the achievement of a series of basic structures in= a=20 relatively short interval from which a great diversity in unity appeared. We= are=20 not required by the evidence to take this as confirmation of Darwin's theory= .=20 The fossil record is skewed with a hump, a level of progression achieved. To= =20 simply annex this to Darwinian theory is missing the obvious. The evidence=20 suggests we are in the presence of an elusive key we know nothing about yet.= To=20 put it plainly, the record suggests much more reasonably a complex evolution= ary=20 directionality, one that realizes a possible teleology ( a dangerous term th= at=20 should be buffered by empirical statements about directionality) by moving i= n a=20 step function progression (not the same as progress, necessarily) of=20= some=20 sort. In any case we are free to take the Cambrian interval as evidence of=20 non-random patterning in the record (such statements avoiding like th= e=20 plague that probably false claims for design here, that have driven Darwinis= ts=20 into their foxhole). At the end of this non-random pattern interval, we see=20 toolkits come into existence! Come on. Stop destroying all common sense. I k= now=20 design theorists are trying to steal the Darwinists' lunch here. But there's= a=20 source of counterevidence here, and it keeps getting covered up.

The article thus proceeds to the question of evo-devo, which probably=20 resolves, or could resolve, many of the confusions, but which so far has bee= n=20 pressed into service in Darwin mode, when it should be grounds for liberatin= g=20 theory from Darwin. The strong suggestion of teleological mechanisms in DNA=20 processes, these reduced to mutations in regulatory genes to generalize out=20= of=20 existence the question of  macroevolution, is surely grounds for dissen= t.=20 Darwinists are changing their story here. And a complex factor of regulation= =20 doesn't even strike them as discordant with their original claims. The whole= =20 thing is thrown into the Darwin stew. To suddenly find toolkit genes, the=20 antithesis of pure natural selection, described in the very language of desi= gn,=20 and marry this to natural selection, using the 'testable predictions' in=20 isolated cases, and be unable to account for such genes arising, ought to at= =20 least give someone pause to reflect. But the momentum of the Hype machine is= =20 unstoppable. Everyone has become so confused by the Darwin debate it is=20 impossible to make any sense of it. Contra Darwin, powerful evidence has eme= rged=20 from the genetic revolution for teleological processes of a natural kind in=20= the=20 realm of DNA structures. That should make us wonder if something equivalent=20= is=20 not present in the non-genetic range of full evolution.

Thus, with respect the whole article's claims,  Darwinists are produ= cing=20 more evidence for the claims of microevolution. This is now sitting=20 ambiguously with the new discoveries of developmental biology.  The mis= sing=20 element, more than probably a factor of macroevolution (which should=20= be=20 more than speciation, evolutionary directionality), is simply unmentioned in= the=20 discussion, because it is not supposed to exist. But the question of the=20 Cambrian, most probably, powerfully suggests it. But the most important case= is=20 that of the descent of man, where we now know that the Darwin scenario won't= =20 work. First they claimed natural selection explained (away) macroevolution.=20= Now=20 they claim that natural selection/mutation in regulatory genes does this job= ,=20 without pointing out they have changed their story, and without the correct=20 proof.

You know what? I think a harmful mutation in Lamarck's original two level= =20 theory produced a degenerate ideological version of evolution adapted to=20 Darwinian Whigs, attempting to survive as classical liberals. As S. J. Gould= =20 pointed out (without quite doing him justice) in Structures of Evolutiona= ry=20 Theory, Lamarck, his nonsense about adaptation in giraffe's necks apart,= had=20 the correct form in potential for a true theory of evolution, which requires= a=20 two-level approach that avoids the hopelessly confusing one-level monism of=20 Darwin and his descendants. Moral: mutants may well prove viable, but real=20 evolution will have to pick up from the beginning and leapfrog a dead end me= ss.=20

Thus population genetics has never been shown to really explain the=20 phenomenon of evolution,  which is well established, but whose full=20 mechanism defies simple or complete understanding so far. Note that claims f= or=20 microevolution do establish the fact of evolution. The critics of Darwin in=20= the=20 creationist/Id camp make life easy for Darwin defenders. All they have to do= is=20 show the clear evidence for microevolution, then change the subject. A true=20 theory must explore the context of these genetic events, and show the sole=20 efficacy of natural selection for the total organism, over the whole stretch= of=20 time, and show that speciation, not just in one, but in all, cases, follows=20= the=20 adaptational scenario. Microevolution could be simply the bass note in a bro= ader=20 picture where evolutionary directionality or other factors are at work.

But decoding chimpanzees' DNA allowed scientists to do more than just=20 refine their estimates of how similar humans and chimps are. It let them p= ut=20 the very theory of evolution to some tough new tests.

It is undoubtedly true, and fascinating that the DNA of chimps and man=20= are=20 very similar, a powerful argument for the reality of descent, but not an=20 argument for the mechanism of natural selection. Man and chimpanzee are bret= hren=20 in evolution, fine, a point I find cheering,  but they are also=20 dramatically different species, in their potential and realization, and the=20 similarity in their DNA gets suspicious. So what? Something is missing in th= e=20 whole methodology of genetics if it can't explicate any of these differences= .=20 This isn't a funny question. The issue of ethical man is so amputated by thi= s=20 approach that we know almost sight unseen something is goofy here. They must= =20 account for the emergence of an ethical agent, whose potential to act transc= ends=20 adaptation, almost by definition. They simply declare this problem beyond th= e=20 realm of science. But then science cannot account for the evolution of man.=20

Thus reductionists routinely deny aspects of man that don't square with t= he=20 futile effort to produce one-dimensional continuity. If that's their game, f= ine,=20 but they should be quarantined from the public and not be allowed to usurp t= he=20 issue of evolution.

In fact, a theory of microevolution is unable to explain why one or selec= ted=20 lines of simians became hominids, or why one or selected lines of hominids=20 became homo sapiens, while all the other branches remained relatively= =20 static. Microevolution was constant through all of this, predictably so, we=20= have=20 the Seven Daughters of Eve data, but behind all this a massive change in=20 evolutionary direction occurred that noone has even documented, let alone=20 explained in a theory. 

Thus bashing ID/creationism for lack of testable predictions is par for t= he=20 course, but fails to consider that most of the claims for Darwinian accounts= of=20 the descent of man make testable predictions that can't really be tested. Di= d=20 language evolve by random mutation and natural selection? At least disciplin= e=20 the argument to acknowledge the evidence is so far insufficient.

Students of the eoni= c=20 effect know the hogwash lurking in such claims, btw. We know almost=20 certainly now that, as far as the descent of man is concerned, purely geneti= c=20 evolutionary theory is insufficient.

It is an understandable wish to define the problem as one of science, but= =20 even that won't work. What is a science of evolution? As we look at the sequ= ence=20 chimps/man we find the transition from evolution to history emerging,= and=20 the adaptational scenario is highly problematical as evolution closes on the= =20 present. We know already that a science of history gets into contradictions,= =20 that evolution and formally defined history overlap, and that therefore the=20= same=20 doubt about a theory of evolution for man, at least, is going to exist. And=20= the=20 evidence is there, almost.

The data of the eonic model predicts that something like an eonic=20 effect is going to appear in the earlier evolution/history of man, and s= ure=20 enough it is there  in the evidence for the Great Explosion. Such=20 statements, we must be honest where Darwinists are not, are not yet at a=20 critical threshold in early evolution. But the evidence exists in recorded=20 history. The point brings home that Darwinian claims on the descent of man m= ake=20 a host of claims 'testable in the abstract' but never verified in practice,=20= and=20 probably false. The whole scenario of microevolution goes on and on, but is=20= not=20 likely to account for the emergence of man from chimpanzees. If that is not=20 true, at least provide some proof. Or have the humility to stand back and sa= y=20 you don't have a real theory yet. 

It is not enough to force evolution in a scientific standard. To say that= =20 something isn't science might mean that the claim so made means a science of= =20 evolution is not possible for that data. The assumption that there is a full= =20 science of evolution is itself under trial. That doesn't justify going off t= he=20 deep end with metaphysical design claims, but it does remind us that the ver= y=20 gesture of doing science can restrict the domain of discourse to the point w= here=20 the phenomenon in question is shrouded in reductionist confusions, far short= of=20 its full scope.

One might note in closing that the article nicely references Wallace, for= =20 once. Let it be noted that Wallace actually beat Darwin to the gun, and was=20= the=20 first to publish a theory of natural selection. The record got rigged by Dar= win=20 and his cronies to highlight Darwin's priority. Apart from that, Wallace had= the=20 honesty later in life to renounce natural selection in the emergence of man,= =20 because he could see that it won't work. His confusions over spiritual=20 explanation harmed his case, but his basic point is clear. Man has a complex= =20 potential (which might be embryonically present in chimps, we don't know) th= at=20 could never have emerged from selectionist scenarios.  The point is cle= ar=20 from the simplest attempt to account for the evolution of ethical man. To sw= eep=20 this into the category of random mutation/selection is a sign of either=20 reductionist obsession or complete stupidity. But to claim that a real theor= y of=20 evolution exists as yet is the height of brazen distortions.

All this talk about testable predictions and evidence confirming natural=20 selection as a macro agent. It isn't there. It won't work on the descent of=20= man.=20 Students of the eonic effect are aware of evidence of the one thing Darwinis= ts=20 dread most, the full scale context behind the low gear microevolution of=20 genetics. The real evolution of man is secondarily genetic. Real evolution,=20= at=20 least in the human case, shows a complexity and range beyond anything Darwin= ists=20 could imagine.

http://ww= w.history-and-evolution.com/evodocs/washpost.htm

Article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/= 09/25/AR2005092501177.html

John=20 Landon
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask]
World History
And=20= The=20 Eonic Effect
Second Edition:
http://www.history-and-evolut= ion.com
Darwiniana
:=20
An Evolution Blog
http://darwiniana.com

=
-------------------------------1127833508-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:15:18 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Newest Round in Evolution Debate Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084259574==_ma============" --============_-1084259574==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/26/AR2005092600817_pf.html Pa. Case Is Newest Round in Evolution Debate 'Intelligent Design' Teaching Challenged By Michael Powell Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 27, 2005; A03 HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 26 -- New barrages sounded in the evolution war Monday as lawyers for a group of parents challenged the teaching of "intelligent design" as nothing more than an old argument for God's hand wrapped in fancy new cloth. "This clever tactical repackaging of creationism does not merit consideration," Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union and a lawyer for the parents, told U.S. District Judge John E. Jones in opening arguments. "Intelligent design admits that it is not science unless science is redefined to include the supernatural." This is, he added, "a 21st-century version of creationism." Eleven parents from Dover, in central Pennsylvania, are seeking to block their school board from requiring that high school biology teachers read a four-paragraph statement to students that casts doubt on Darwin's theory of evolution. This mandatory statement notes that intelligent design offers an alternative theory for the origin and evolution of life -- namely, that life in all of its complexity could not have arisen without the help of an intelligent hand. The foremost advocates of intelligent design are silent on whether that intelligent hand belongs to God or some other intelligent force, even including a space alien. The school board, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative, religiously grounded nonprofit firm, took the position that the case was about freedom of speech. "There is in fact a controversy over Darwin's theory," Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the law center, said afterward during an impromptu news conference on the courthouse steps. "Clearly both theories have religious implications. But this is not about God." Last year, however, Dover school board members -- who voted 6 to 3 for the new policy -- made it clear that they believed that the origin of life was guided by a heavenly hand. Several of them suggested that their views on evolution are far closer to Young Earth Creationism, which holds that God created the world 6,000 years ago and that Noah's flood covered Earth, than to intelligent design. One board member told a public meeting -- in a remark he has since tried to deny -- that the nation "was founded on Christianity, and our students should be taught as such." The war over the teaching of evolution is almost a century old, the first great shot having been fired in Dayton, Tenn., in the famous 1925 Scopes "monkey trial," in which the ACLU defended a teacher convicted of teaching evolution. Former presidential candidate and prairie populist Williams Jennings Bryan represented the school board. Another shot sounded in 1987, when the Supreme Court prohibited the teaching of creationism in public schools, ruling that it was not science but religion and violated the separation of church and state. Shortly after that Supreme Court ruling, intelligent design began to appear on the lecture circuit, championed by a small band of scientists and academics. Intelligent design advocates tend to concentrate their criticism on Darwinian theory; they have been far less successful at laying a foundation for a new scientific theory, which by definition must be testable. This was a point hammered at Monday as the ACLU called its first witness, Kenneth R. Miller, a Brown University biology professor and author of a biology textbook used in nearly half the schools in the nation -- including in Dover. Miller noted that virtually every prominent scientific organization in the United States has upheld Darwin's theory of evolution as an unshakable pillar of science. Intelligent design, he emphasized, has not fared nearly as well. "Intelligent design is inherently religious. It is a form of creationism," Miller said during four hours of testimony that often resembled an extended college seminar. "If you invoke a spiritual force in science, I can't test or replicate it. "Scientific theories are not hunches," he added. "When we say 'theory,' we mean a strong, overarching explanation that ties together many facts and enables us to make testable predictions." The school board's attorneys countered by arguing that several of the leading intelligent design theorists are respected scientists and professors. And they said the school board merely makes students aware of another viewpoint. The board also mandated the placement in the school library of the book "Of Pandas and People." The book makes the case for intelligent design, and the school board's attorneys made the case that it was sort of an alternative textbook. But Miller rejoined in his testimony that it was nothing of the sort. He pointed out many examples of outdated or distorted science in the book. He said the errors were so numerous as to amount to an intentional misreading of science, designed to drive unwary students to reject evolutionary theory. "The errors in the book are systematic," Miller said. Both sides plan to call a long line of witnesses, from scientists to philosophers to local teachers and parents. And, in a rare moment of agreement, they said the case is likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court. --============_-1084259574==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Newest Round in Evolution Debate
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/26/AR2005092600817_pf.html

Pa. Case Is Newest Round in Evolution Debate
'Intelligent Design' Teaching Challenged

By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; A03

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 26 -- New barrages sounded in the evolution war Monday as lawyers for a group of parents challenged the teaching of "intelligent design" as nothing more than an old argument for God's hand wrapped in fancy new cloth.

"This clever tactical repackaging of creationism does not merit consideration," Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union and a lawyer for the parents, told U.S. District Judge John E. Jones in opening arguments. "Intelligent design admits that it is not science unless science is redefined to include the supernatural."

This is, he added, "a 21st-century version of creationism."

Eleven parents from Dover, in central Pennsylvania, are seeking to block their school board from requiring that high school biology teachers read a four-paragraph statement to students that casts doubt on Darwin's theory of evolution. This mandatory statement notes that intelligent design offers an alternative theory for the origin and evolution of life -- namely, that life in all of its complexity could not have arisen without the help of an intelligent hand.

The foremost advocates of intelligent design are silent on whether that intelligent hand belongs to God or some other intelligent force, even including a space alien. The school board, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative, religiously grounded nonprofit firm, took the position that the case was about freedom of speech.

"There is in fact a controversy over Darwin's theory," Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the law center, said afterward during an impromptu news conference on the courthouse steps. "Clearly both theories have religious implications. But this is not about God."

Last year, however, Dover school board members -- who voted 6 to 3 for the new policy -- made it clear that they believed that the origin of life was guided by a heavenly hand. Several of them suggested that their views on evolution are far closer to Young Earth Creationism, which holds that God created the world 6,000 years ago and that Noah's flood covered Earth, than to intelligent design.

One board member told a public meeting -- in a remark he has since tried to deny -- that the nation "was founded on Christianity, and our students should be taught as such."

The war over the teaching of evolution is almost a century old, the first great shot having been fired in Dayton, Tenn., in the famous 1925 Scopes "monkey trial," in which the ACLU defended a teacher convicted of teaching evolution. Former presidential candidate and prairie populist Williams Jennings Bryan represented the school board. Another shot sounded in 1987, when the Supreme Court prohibited the teaching of creationism in public schools, ruling that it was not science but religion and violated the separation of church and state.

Shortly after that Supreme Court ruling, intelligent design began to appear on the lecture circuit, championed by a small band of scientists and academics. Intelligent design advocates tend to concentrate their criticism on Darwinian theory; they have been far less successful at laying a foundation for a new scientific theory, which by definition must be testable.

This was a point hammered at Monday as the ACLU called its first witness, Kenneth R. Miller, a Brown University biology professor and author of a biology textbook used in nearly half the schools in the nation -- including in Dover. Miller noted that virtually every prominent scientific organization in the United States has upheld Darwin's theory of evolution as an unshakable pillar of science.

Intelligent design, he emphasized, has not fared nearly as well.

"Intelligent design is inherently religious. It is a form of creationism," Miller said during four hours of testimony that often resembled an extended college seminar. "If you invoke a spiritual force in science, I can't test or replicate it.

"Scientific theories are not hunches," he added. "When we say 'theory,' we mean a strong, overarching explanation that ties together many facts and enables us to make testable predictions."

The school board's attorneys countered by arguing that several of the leading intelligent design theorists are respected scientists and professors. And they said the school board merely makes students aware of another viewpoint. The board also mandated the placement in the school library of the book "Of Pandas and People." The book makes the case for intelligent design, and the school board's attorneys made the case that it was sort of an alternative textbook.

But Miller rejoined in his testimony that it was nothing of the sort. He pointed out many examples of outdated or distorted science in the book. He said the errors were so numerous as to amount to an intentional misreading of science, designed to drive unwary students to reject evolutionary theory.

"The errors in the book are systematic," Miller said.
Both sides plan to call a long line of witnesses, from scientists to philosophers to local teachers and parents. And, in a rare moment of agreement, they said the case is likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court.
--============_-1084259574==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:46:59 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Science and politics: a dangerous mix Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084257674==_ma============" --============_-1084257674==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" from the September 27, 2005 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0927/p11s02-bogn.html Science and politics: a dangerous mix 'Twisted science' may endanger America's future, one journalist warns. By Gregory M. Lamb The Republican War on Science lives up to its incendiary title. The book will undoubtedly raise hackles among conservatives and spawn sharp-tongued counterattacks. But the real test of its efficacy may be whether or not it persuades independents and moderate Republicans that without a new approach toward science America is headed for what the author calls "economic, ecological, and social calamity." As a good polemicist, Chris Mooney, a journalist who specializes in writing about science and politics, knows to protect his argument by first making two concessions. First, not all Republicans have been antiscience. Teddy Roosevelt was a great early conservationist. Dwight Eisenhower was the first president to recognize that the White House needed a science adviser. Ronald Reagan's surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, weighed scientific evidence "dispassionately" on subjects like AIDS and the health effects of abortion and declared, "I am the nation's surgeon general, not the nation's chaplain." Even the first President Bush was largely regarded by scientists as "a friend," Mr. Mooney says. And today, a few GOP mavericks like Sen. John McCain speak the truth on issues like global warming. Secondly, Mooney wisely - albeit briefly - acknowledges that liberals have also sometimes twisted science for their own political ends. Some of the alarm over genetically modified foods has exceeded what science shows; animal rights activists have argued that animal testing isn't necessary when most scientists disagree; and some Democratic politicians have overstated the likelihood that stemcell research will produce quick cures. But these transgressions, Mooney says, pale in comparison with the breathtaking audacity of Mr. Bush's "New Right" in its cynical manipulation of science. In a kind of Orwellian newspeak, they label conventional science as "junk science" and seek to replace it with what they call "sound science" - in other words, questionable, fringe science that conveniently props up the interests of big industry and conservative Christians. All sides might agree that science should inform policy, not make it. Other considerations may trump it. But what irks Mooney is when, in his eyes, science is distorted to defend a policy. In this regard, Mooney contrasts the Clinton and Bush administrations in their approaches to needle-exchange programs for drug addicts. Numerous reputable scientific studies show that needle-exchange programs reduce the transmission of AIDS without encouraging drug abuse. The Clinton administration acknowledged these findings, but simply decided to ignore them, apparently unwilling to take an unpopular political stance. The Bush administration also opposed needle-exchange programs but "twisted the science," Mooney says, by insisting that some scientists doubted the findings. Yet when the press followed up, the scientists cited by the White House said they had no such doubts. A key GOP tactic, Mooney says, has been "magnifying uncertainty" - finding a few dissenting voices on the scientific fringe and calling for "more research" to forestall action - a tactic the tobacco industry used for decades, he says. Chapter by chapter, Mooney picks through the hot-button issues - global warming, creationism, intelligent design, stem cells - and finds conservatives politicizing and distorting the science involved. He rejects the idea of even "teaching the controversy" over these issues in schools, arguing that the far right has invented the controversy itself by ginning up a kind of faux science alternative that has no solid basis. He isn't even willing to move the controversy out of science classes into social studies or current events. Mooney does offer a brief list of solutions. Congress should revive the Office of Technology Assessment "or a close equivalent," which once offered nonpartisan scientific advice to lawmakers. The White House should restore its science adviser from his peripheral position now to the president's inner circle, where the office resided under President Kennedy. Journalists should resist slick PR campaigns and "spin" on science-related stories. (According to Mooney, although a "powerful consensus" exists among scientists that global climate change is under way, that has not been reflected in the mainstream press, which feels compelled for reasons of "balance" to report as though the issue were still in doubt.) "Our future relies on our intelligence ... nourishing disturbing anti-intellectual tendencies - cannot deliver us there successfully or safely," Mooney warns. For those who have felt even vaguely disturbed by their government's attitude toward science, this book is likely to bring those concerns into sharp focus. * Gregory M. Lamb is on the Monitor staff. The Republican War on Science By Chris Mooney Basic Books336 pp., $24.95 --============_-1084257674==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Science and politics: a dangerous mix
from the September 27, 2005 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0927/p11s02-bogn.html
Science and politics: a dangerous mix

'Twisted science' may endanger America's future, one journalist warns.

By Gregory M. Lamb

The Republican War on Science lives up to its incendiary title. The book will undoubtedly raise hackles among conservatives and spawn sharp-tongued counterattacks. But the real test of its efficacy may be whether or not it persuades independents and moderate Republicans that without a new approach toward science America is headed for what the author calls "economic, ecological, and social calamity."

As a good polemicist, Chris Mooney, a journalist who specializes in writing about science and politics, knows to protect his argument by first making two concessions.

First, not all Republicans have been antiscience. Teddy Roosevelt was a great early conservationist. Dwight Eisenhower was the first president to recognize that the White House needed a science adviser. Ronald Reagan's surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, weighed scientific evidence "dispassionately" on subjects like AIDS and the health effects of abortion and declared, "I am the nation's surgeon general, not the nation's chaplain."

Even the first President Bush was largely regarded by scientists as "a friend," Mr. Mooney says. And today, a few GOP mavericks like Sen. John McCain speak the truth on issues like global warming.

Secondly, Mooney wisely - albeit briefly - acknowledges that liberals have also sometimes twisted science for their own political ends. Some of the alarm over genetically modified foods has exceeded what science shows; animal rights activists have argued that animal testing isn't necessary when most scientists disagree; and some Democratic politicians have overstated the likelihood that stemcell research will produce quick cures.

But these transgressions, Mooney says, pale in comparison with the breathtaking audacity of Mr. Bush's "New Right" in its cynical manipulation of science. In a kind of Orwellian newspeak, they label conventional science as "junk science" and seek to replace it with what they call "sound science" - in other words, questionable, fringe science that conveniently props up the interests of big industry and conservative Christians.

All sides might agree that science should inform policy, not make it. Other considerations may trump it. But what irks Mooney is when, in his eyes, science is distorted to defend a policy.

In this regard, Mooney contrasts the Clinton and Bush administrations in their approaches to needle-exchange programs for drug addicts. Numerous reputable scientific studies show that needle-exchange programs reduce the transmission of AIDS without encouraging drug abuse. The Clinton administration acknowledged these findings, but simply decided to ignore them, apparently unwilling to take an unpopular political stance.

The Bush administration also opposed needle-exchange programs but "twisted the science," Mooney says, by insisting that some scientists doubted the findings. Yet when the press followed up, the scientists cited by the White House said they had no such doubts.

A key GOP tactic, Mooney says, has been "magnifying uncertainty" - finding a few dissenting voices on the scientific fringe and calling for "more research" to forestall action - a tactic the tobacco industry used for decades, he says.

Chapter by chapter, Mooney picks through the hot-button issues - global warming, creationism, intelligent design, stem cells - and finds conservatives politicizing and distorting the science involved.

He rejects the idea of even "teaching the controversy" over these issues in schools, arguing that the far right has invented the controversy itself by ginning up a kind of faux science alternative that has no solid basis. He isn't even willing to move the controversy out of science classes into social studies or current events.

Mooney does offer a brief list of solutions. Congress should revive the Office of Technology Assessment "or a close equivalent," which once offered nonpartisan scientific advice to lawmakers. The White House should restore its science adviser from his peripheral position now to the president's inner circle, where the office resided under President Kennedy. Journalists should resist slick PR campaigns and "spin" on science-related stories.

(According to Mooney, although a "powerful consensus" exists among scientists that global climate change is under way, that has not been reflected in the mainstream press, which feels compelled for reasons of "balance" to report as though the issue were still in doubt.)

"Our future relies on our intelligence ... nourishing disturbing anti-intellectual tendencies - cannot deliver us there successfully or safely," Mooney warns.

For those who have felt even vaguely disturbed by their government's attitude toward science, this book is likely to bring those concerns into sharp focus.

* Gregory M. Lamb is on the Monitor staff.

The Republican War on Science
By Chris Mooney
Basic Books336 pp., $24.95
--============_-1084257674==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 18:01:22 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: EVENT: Voices of a People's History of the US Comments: To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084253211==_ma============" --============_-1084253211==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" Get tickets early by calling box office! Please circulate Readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn When: Wednesday, October 5th ~ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Where: George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles An evening of dramatic readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. Voices is the long-awaited primary- source companion volume to Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States. It features the words of rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past -- and present. Featuring Howard Zinn (narrator) & Anthony Arnove (narrator), with actors Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Maria Bello, Josh Brolin, Leslie Silva, Marisa Tomei, Alfre Woodard, Sandra Oh, Viggo Mortensen and others to be announced ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre 244 South San Pedro Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets) in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles * tickets now on sale* $15 balcony/ $25 back orchestra / $30 front orchestra in advance through the theater box office at the door The George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre Box Office Hours Monday to Saturday:12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: show days only Evening shows until intermission Phone (213) 680-3700 Fax (213) 680-1872 Email [log in to unmask] There are several parking lots directly across from the JACCC http://www.jaccc.org/ http://www.howardzinn.org http://www.sevenstories.com/ Sponsored by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change For more information: Phone: 323-692-8338 E-mail: [log in to unmask] --============_-1084253211==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" EVENT: Voices of a People's History of the US
Get tickets early by calling box office!  Please circulate


Readings from

Voices of a People's History of the United States
by Howard Zinn

When: Wednesday, October 5th ~ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Where: George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre

244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles
 
An evening of dramatic readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States,
edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. Voices is the long-awaited primary-
source companion volume to Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States.
It features the words of rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past -- and present.

Featuring Howard Zinn (narrator) & Anthony Arnove (narrator),
with actors Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Maria Bello, Josh Brolin,
Leslie Silva, Marisa Tomei, Alfre Woodard, Sandra Oh,
Viggo Mortensen and others to be announced ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre
244 South San Pedro Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets)
in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles


* tickets now on sale*

$15 balcony/ $25 back orchestra / $30 front orchestra
in advance through the theater box office at the door

The George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre

Box Office Hours
Monday to Saturday:12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: show days only
Evening shows until intermission

Phone (213) 680-3700
Fax (213) 680-1872
Email [log in to unmask]

There are several parking lots directly across from the JACCC

http://www.jaccc.org/
http://www.howardzinn.org
http://www.sevenstories.com/

Sponsored by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change

For more information:

Phone: 323-692-8338
--============_-1084253211==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 22:26:57 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: John Landon <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Watching the Darwin Debate: WashPost Kickoff on Dover Trial Comments: To: [log in to unmask] MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127874417" -------------------------------1127874417 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit I was not actually dismissive of your interest in teleology, only wary of the interpretations will give to it, and the way in which, if you mention teleology, that will trigger each person's associations, leaving behind the reason you mentioned it at all. I have an experience specifically illustrating that, which I may share here later. So I tend in my 'eonic model' to restrict discussion to the specific directionality I have discovered using a particular model. Then, on the basis of that one can proceed to consider teleological interpretations of that as explicit, perhaps speculative extensions. Using teleology in my eonic model requires sticking to the rules then, and seeing the dilemma of teleological ideology. The basic problem is that an immersed historical observer short of the 'end state' of the system he is theorizing about, could not easily makes statements about that end state to come! He still has the option to change his mind and do something else! That's no joke. Look at the crypto-teleology in Marxist theories of revolution, and the way it hopelessly confused people like Lenin and others at the crucial point. Was the Communist future teleologically inevitable? If so, one will end to let it happen'. Or is it the result of struggle, a decision to make it happen, etc... That dilemma created horrific confusions. Actually I pursued your bibliography and references at some length, sorry I didn't say so at the time. I took out a half day to explore your list of books at Columbia stacks. Broom's book was missing! That's rare at Columbia, only evolution books critiquing Darwin suffer that fate in my experience. Someone misshelved it. The others I was rerouted to Union Seminary! Which was it? I don't have your email/biblio, but it was a dignified theological text from the thirties. Interesting stuff, I like browsing different libraries, and mental modes. Anyway, try again with your approach. The experience I was referring to can be understood if you read the preface of my second edition (_http://eonix.8m.com/2nd/preface.htm_ (http://eonix.8m.com/2nd/preface.htm) There I say I will start referring to teleology in the second edition, instead of the stricter style of the first, but warn that the moment you do so people will go off the deep end on 'Teilhardian' fugues, running away with the idea. Etc.. So what happened? My earlier essay, posted here, on the New Republic article was taken up by the Yahoo groups on Teilhard! Someone wrote a nice essay using my idea but annexing it to Teilhard's teleology! What a dilemma for me. I get mostly rank hatred from many directions. Sudden interest, on condition of toeing the theological line, was painfully tempting. So the result was to throw away a group of readers' interest, because one thing is sure, they will screw it up, and I will be responsible for misleading people. I will post more on this to make the interaction clear. So with that warning we can discuss Aristotle, teleology, and much else. What sounded like my criticism was really a suggestion that the Kantian approach to reviving Aristotle is worth the added difficulty of his thinking because it takes into account modern science. More on this later. I will be out of town tommorrow, maybe by Thursday Check out my blog, _http://darwiniana.com_ (http://darwiniana.com) In a message dated 9/27/2005 8:45:44 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes: >As the Dover trial gets under way, the Hype campaign starts, and the Darwin blogosphere starts cheering. I hold no brief for the ID contingent who will probably lose their incompetent case. But the Darwinists don't deserve to win. Enough's enough. If half-educated religionists from the Bible Belt are our only protection against Darwin propaganda, heaven help us. >(etc) Dear John Landon, I've read with interest your commentary. It seems to me essentially correct regarding neoDarwinism's failure of explanation, let alone prediction. Yes, teleology is in resurgence - and so much the better. But to insist that evolution & history are non-random is hardly flamefront stuff! When I got in touch with you previously, you immediately tossed off a dismissive aggressive remark 'you have been poking around in Aristotle'. Well, I've continued to do so, and I continue to deny the gratuitously polemical insult that to take from Aristotle his Categories of Cause idea is in any way suspect or a ground of criticism. I've therefore pursued my Causes writing further; but instead of showing you suppressed MSS from that more recent work, I attach a paper from a symposium I organised a half-decade ago, incl a simplified but satisfactory application of '4 categories' causation to evolution. The other attachment is by a close collaborator who particularly emphasizes, as you do, Dawkins' constant misuse of purpose-laden language. And finally, a pic of the scholars we were honouring in that symposium - leagues ahead of petty poseurs like Dembski. Does your email address imply you're in the fabled Ivy League? Are you like Broom & me, unqualified in philosophy, or are you qualified? Hoping for some considered exchanges John Landon [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask] World History And The Eonic Effect Second Edition: _http://www.history-and-evolution.com_ (http://www.history-and-evolution.com/) Darwiniana: An Evolution Blog _http://darwiniana.com_ (http://darwiniana.com/) -------------------------------1127874417 Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
I was not actually dismissive of your interest in teleology, only wary=20= of=20 the interpretations will give to it, and the way in which, if you mention=20 teleology, that will trigger each person's associations, leaving behind the=20 reason you mentioned it at all. I have an experience specifically illustrati= ng=20 that, which I may share here later.
So I tend in my 'eonic model' to restrict discussion to the specific=20 directionality I have discovered using a particular model.
Then, on the basis of that one can proceed to consider teleological=20 interpretations of that as explicit, perhaps speculative extensions.
Using teleology in my eonic model requires sticking to the rules then,=20= and=20 seeing the dilemma of teleological ideology.
The basic problem is that an immersed historical observer short of the=20= 'end=20 state' of the system he is theorizing about, could not easily makes statemen= ts=20 about that end state to come!  He still has the option to change his mi= nd=20 and do something else!
That's no joke. Look at the crypto-teleology in Marxist theories of=20 revolution, and the way it hopelessly confused people like Lenin and others=20= at=20 the crucial point. Was the Communist future teleologically inevitable? If so= ,=20 one will end to let it happen'. Or is it the result of struggle, a decision=20= to=20 make it happen, etc... That dilemma created horrific confusions.
 
Actually I pursued your bibliography and references at some length, sor= ry I=20 didn't say so at the time. I took out a half day to explore your list of boo= ks=20 at Columbia stacks. Broom's book was missing! That's rare at Columbia, only=20 evolution books critiquing Darwin suffer that fate in my experience. Someone= =20 misshelved it.
The others I was rerouted to Union Seminary! Which was it? I don't have= =20 your email/biblio, but it was a dignified theological text from the thirties= .=20 Interesting stuff, I like browsing different libraries, and mental modes.
Anyway, try again with your approach.
 
The experience I was referring to can be understood if you read the pre= face=20 of my second edition (http://eonix.8m.com/2nd/preface= .htm
There I say I will start referring to teleology in the second edition,=20 instead of the stricter style of the first, but warn that the moment you do=20= so=20 people will go off the deep end on 'Teilhardian' fugues, running away with t= he=20 idea. Etc..
 
So what happened? My earlier essay, posted here, on the New Republic=20 article was taken up by the Yahoo groups on Teilhard! Someone wrote a nice e= ssay=20 using my idea but annexing it to Teilhard's teleology!
What a dilemma for me. I get mostly rank hatred from many directions.=20 Sudden interest, on condition of toeing the theological line, was painfully=20 tempting.
So the result was to throw away a group of readers' interest, because o= ne=20 thing is sure, they will screw it up, and I will be responsible for misleadi= ng=20 people. I will post more on this to make the interaction clear.
 
So with that warning we can discuss Aristotle, teleology, and much else= .=20 What sounded like my criticism was really a suggestion that the Kantian appr= oach=20 to reviving Aristotle is worth the added difficulty of his thinking because=20= it=20 takes into account modern science.
 
More on this later. I will be out of town tommorrow, maybe by Thursday=20
 
Check out my blog, http://darwiniana.com
 
 
In a message dated 9/27/2005 8:45:44 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,=20 [log in to unmask] writes:
<= FONT=20 style=3D"BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" face=3DArial color=3D#000000 size= =3D2>

>As the Dover trial gets under way= , the=20 Hype campaign starts, and the Darwin blogosphere starts cheering. I hold n= o=20 brief for the ID contingent who will probably lose their incompetent=20 case.  But the Darwinists don't deserve to win.  Enough's=20 enough.  If half-educated religionists from the Bible Belt are our on= ly=20 protection against Darwin propaganda, heaven help us.

>(etc)
       =20
       =20
Dear John Landon,
       =20            = =20 I've read with interest your commentary.  It seems to me essentially=20 correct regarding neoDarwinism's failure of explanation, let alone=20 prediction. 
        Yes,=20 teleology is in resurgence  -  and so much the better.  But= to=20 insist that evolution & history are non-random is hardly flamefront=20 stuff! 

        When I= got=20 in touch with you previously, you immediately tossed off a dismissive=20 aggressive remark 'you have been poking around in Aristotle'.  Well,=20= I've=20 continued to do so, and I continue to deny the gratuitously polemical insu= lt=20 that to take from Aristotle his Categories of Cause idea is in any way sus= pect=20 or a ground of criticism.
        I've=20 therefore pursued my Causes writing further; but instead of showing you=20 suppressed MSS from that more recent work, I attach a paper from a symposi= um I=20 organised a half-decade ago, incl a simplified but satisfactory applicatio= n of=20 '4 categories' causation to evolution.
        The ot= her=20 attachment is by a close collaborator who particularly emphasizes, as you=20= do,=20 Dawkins' constant misuse of purpose-laden language. 
        And fi= nally,=20 a pic of the scholars we were honouring in that symposium  - =20 leagues ahead of petty poseurs like Dembski.

        Does y= our=20 email address imply you're in the fabled Ivy League?  Are you like Br= oom=20 & me, unqualified in philosophy, or are you qualified? 


Hoping for some considered=20 exchanges
 
John=20 Landon
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask]
World History
And=20= The=20 Eonic Effect
Second Edition:
http://www.history-and-evolut= ion.com
Darwiniana
:=20
An Evolution Blog
http://darwiniana.com

=
-------------------------------1127874417-- ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 09:40:11 +0200 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Watching the Darwin Debate: WashPost Kickoff on Dover Trial MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0101_01C5C410.9F08C4C0" This is a multi-part message in MIME format. ------=_NextPart_000_0101_01C5C410.9F08C4C0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable "All this talk about testable predictions and evidence confirming = natural selection as a macro agent. It isn't there. It won't work on the = descent of man. Students of the eonic effect are aware of evidence of = the one thing Darwinists dread most, the full scale context behind the = low gear microevolution of genetics. The real evolution of man is = secondarily genetic." The descent of *man*? The real evolution of *man*? Haven't we fought = this fight before? Mandi ------=_NextPart_000_0101_01C5C410.9F08C4C0 Content-Type: text/html; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
 

"All this talk about testable predictions and evidence confirming = natural=20 selection as a macro agent. It isn't there. It won't work on the = descent of=20 man. Students of the eonic effect are aware of evidence of the one = thing=20 Darwinists dread most, the full scale context behind the low gear=20 microevolution of genetics. The real evolution of man is secondarily=20 genetic."

The descent of *man*? The real evolution of *man*? Haven't we = fought this=20 fight before?

Mandi

------=_NextPart_000_0101_01C5C410.9F08C4C0-- ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 11:45:01 EDT Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Mike Brand <[log in to unmask]> Subject: PT/TP Sept 2005 Fight in California over privatization of public sector: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-----------------------------1127922301" -------------------------------1127922301 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en =20 =20 (http://lrna.org/2-pt/pt.html) (http://lrna.org/2-pt/pt.html) =20 =20 September, 2005 / Online Edition: _Index_=20 (http://lrna.org/league/PT/PT.2005.9/PT.2005.9.0.html) =20 =20 =20 Fight in California over privatization of public sector: It=E2=80=99s what=E2=80=99s happening across America By Steven Miller One hundred years ago, this month, in 1905, the hottest book in America was= =E2=80=9C The Jungle,=E2=80=9D by Upton Sinclair. This book described, in terrible an= d=20 shocking detail, the squalor of the Chicago Stockyards, where America=E2= =80=99s meat was=20 produced. The public was horrified at a system of exploitation that drove=20 workers so fast that their severed fingers and hands fell into giant vats o= f meat.=20 The huge outcry at adulterated meat was only half the story. The public was= =20 outraged at the picture of absolute corporate dominance of society, where=20 every decision about community life was made by the so-called private sect= or.=20 Few people recognized that government had any responsibility for the public= =20 welfare.=20 America in that era was, in fact, almost completely privatized. Wealth was=20 highly polarized. If you didn't pay for it, you couldn=E2=80=99t get it.=20 By next June, 1906, a startled government was stumbling to respond to an=20 outraged public. The federal government was forced to pass one of the very=20= first=20 laws acknowledging that the public had any voice in anything at all. They =20 quickly passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, which acknowledged that public=20 rights over health issues were superior to corporate rights. This was the=20 beginning of the powerful push for public rights that was known as the Prog= ressive=20 Era, where public regulation of corporations was first asserted=20 .=20 In California, this movement was guided by a vision of =E2=80=9Cpublic work= s, public=20 schools, public land, public rights and public access.=E2=80=9D Unlike the=20= East =20 Coast, for example, beaches could no longer be privatized. This impulse=20 consciously tried to extend the idea of =E2=80=9CThe Public=E2=80=9D to its=20= greatest limits.=20 Fast Forward to 2005=20 Under the mantra of =E2=80=9Cfree trade,=E2=80=9D corporations are once aga= in pushing a=20 hidden agenda to turn public property into private property. Free trade, of= =20 course, means that Mom and Pop stores are =E2=80=9Cfree=E2=80=9D to go head= to head with =20 WalMart any time they want.=20 Corporations around the world are forcing local governments into privatizin= g=20 their functions, especially the pro-people functions. The result is that =20 billions of dollars in public money becomes privatized =E2=80=94 perhaps the= largest=20 transfer of wealth from the public to corporate hands in history.=20 The whole push is to maximize the rights of corporations over our lives. Th= e=20 goal is to make the idea of =E2=80=9CThe Public=E2=80=9D extinct, driven ov= er the brink by =20 hoards of corporate lawyers with a Mission.=20 The same agenda is being played out at every level of government and in=20 every state: corporate taxes are frozen and then cut. Suddenly governments=20= face =20 bankruptcy. The cry goes out to privatize all human services (even though t= he=20 cost of corporate pollution, for example, is supposed to be born by the=20 public). This is what the capitalist pundit, Grover Norquist, means when he= says=20 it is now time to drown governments like a baby in a bathtub.=20 Nowhere in the country is this process being driven faster than in=20 California, led by the Governator.=20 California is on the brink of the most important election in the state's=20 history. Schwarzenegger is forcing the state to spend at least $100 million= on=20 an election that the public doesn=E2=80=99t want.=20 Last year, Arnold changed the Constitution to all but eliminate Workmans'=20 Comp and end the state's responsibility to provide medical care to injured=20= =20 workers. Then he tried to privatize the state's pensions for teachers, nurs= es,=20 fire fighters, police and state workers. Massive public outrage forced him=20= to=20 temporarily abandon this one.=20 The Corporate Agenda=20 Arnold=E2=80=99s special election hosts a variety of =E2=80=9CConstitutiona= l Amendments=E2=80=9D=20 that paves the way to further privatization of state services:=20 Prop 74 =E2=80=94 Raises the time necessary for teacher tenure from two to=20= five =20 years=20 Tenure is simply the right to due process and freedom of speech. How exactl= y=20 does amending the state constitution address the financial crisis? Bill =20 Hauck, president of the California Business Roundtable, who also chairs Arn= old=E2=80=99s=20 election campaign, states, =E2=80=9CIdeally we would have no tenure and no=20 collective bargaining.=E2=80=9D=20 Prop 75 =E2=80=94 The so-called =E2=80=9CPaycheck Protection=E2=80=9D Amen= dment=20 This one requires unions to get permission from every single member to spen= d=20 one cent of union money in a political campaign. This, of course, prevents=20= =20 unions from mounting a campaign, as did the Nurses, to force the Governator= 's=20 hands off the pensions. In California, corporations outspend unions 24 to 1= =20 in political campaigns. Nobody requires their workers to give their=20 permission first.=20 Prop 76 =E2=80=94 The so-called =E2=80=9CLive Within Our Means=E2=80=9D Am= endment=20 This guts the floor for guaranteed state spending on public education=20 established in 1988. As the state=E2=80=99s schools fell from first to wors= t, the people=20 amended the constitution to give investing in children and the future the =20 highest priority. It also allows any governor to make unilateral cuts in th= e=20 budget four times a year whenever there is a =E2=80=9Cfinancial crisis.=E2= =80=9D=20 Prop 77 =E2=80=94 Redraws the state congressional districts next year, five= years =20 ahead of the usual date.=20 It also takes this power from the Legislature and gives it to a panel of=20 three retired judges. Karl Rove has stated that the best thing Republicans=20= can=20 do to win in 2008 is to redistrict Texas, Florida and California.=20 Dueling Visions=20 Arnold is right about one thing: the system is not working. But the=20 so-called budget crisis is carefully manufactured. What else can you call i= t when =20 insurance corporations pay Zero (that's $000.00) income tax in the state? T= he=20 Governator says he won't raise taxes (certainly not on corporations) yet=20 California is the only energy producing state without an excise tax! This i= s a tax=20 on companies that extract natural resources that can never be replaced=20 again, like oil, gas or coal.=20 There=E2=80=99s plenty of money, but it is being redirected away from anyth= ing that=20 benefits the public. Privatizing Social Security, public pensions, public=20 water and public schools is now routinely discussed. These steps are promo= ted=20 as positive reforms, yet they really represent attacks on public power. No=20= one=20 should forget how ENRON and other energy companies looted the state for $40= =20 billion by deregulating public control of California=E2=80=99s electricity.= =20 The real fight is the fight for which direction society will take. The=20 resources of the world will increasingly be directed to become corporate ho= ldings.=20 Or we can rally around a vision of a new world where the public has =20 universal access to housing, culture, income, quality medical care and educ= ation. It=E2=80=99 s either private, corporate property or it=E2=80=99s public property.=20 Steve Miller is available to speak through Speakers for a New America. Call= =20 800-691-6888 or email [log in to unmask] (mailto:[log in to unmask]) .=20 =20 -------------------------------1127922301 Content-Type: text/html; charset="UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en

 

 

 

 

September,=20= 2005 /=20 Online Edition: In= dex

 

=

=

=

Fight in Californi= a over=20 privatization of public sector:

It=E2=80=99s what= =E2=80=99s happening=20 across America

 <= /SPAN>

By Steven=20 Miller

 <= /SPAN>

One hundred years=20= ago,=20 this month, in 1905, the hottest book in America was =E2=80=9CTh= e Jungle,=E2=80=9D=20 by Upton Sinclair. This book described, in terrible and shocking= =20 detail, the squalor of the Chicago Stockyards, where America=E2= =80=99s meat=20 was produced. The public was horrified at a system of exploitati= on=20 that drove workers so fast that their severed fingers and hands=20= fell=20 into giant vats of meat.

 <= /SPAN>

The huge outcry at= =20 adulterated meat was only half the story. The public was outrage= d at=20 the picture of absolute corporate dominance of society, where ev= ery=20 decision about community life was made by the so-called private=20 sector. Few people recognized that government had any responsibi= lity=20 for the public welfare.

 <= /SPAN>

America in that er= a was,=20 in fact, almost completely privatized. Wealth was highly polariz= ed.=20 If you didn't pay for it, you couldn=E2=80=99t get it.

 <= /SPAN>

By next June, 1906= , a=20 startled government was stumbling to respond to an outraged publ= ic.=20 The federal government was forced to pass one of the very first=20= laws=20 acknowledging that the public had any voice in anything at all.=20= They=20 quickly passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, which acknowledged th= at=20 public rights over health issues were superior to corporate righ= ts.=20 This was the beginning of the powerful push for public rights th= at=20 was known as the Progressive Era, where public regulation of=20 corporations was first asserted

.

In California, thi= s=20 movement was guided by a vision of =E2=80=9Cpublic works, public= schools,=20 public land, public rights and public access.=E2=80=9D Unlike th= e East=20 Coast, for example, beaches could no longer be privatized. This=20 impulse consciously tried to extend the idea of =E2=80=9CThe Pub= lic=E2=80=9D to its=20 greatest limits.

 <= /SPAN>

Fast Forwa= rd to=20 2005

 <= /SPAN>

Under the mantra o= f=20 =E2=80=9Cfree trade,=E2=80=9D corporations are once again pushin= g a hidden agenda to=20 turn public property into private property. Free trade, of cours= e,=20 means that Mom and Pop stores are =E2=80=9Cfree=E2=80=9D to go h= ead to head with=20 WalMart any time they want.

 <= /SPAN>

Corporations aroun= d the=20 world are forcing local governments into privatizing their=20 functions, especially the pro-people functions. The result is th= at=20 billions of dollars in public money becomes privatized =E2=80= =94 perhaps the=20 largest transfer of wealth from the public to corporate hands in= =20 history.

=  

The whole push is=20= to=20 maximize the rights of corporations over our lives. The goal is=20= to=20 make the idea of =E2=80=9CThe Public=E2=80=9D extinct, driven ov= er the brink by=20 hoards of corporate lawyers with a Mission.

=  

The same agenda is= being=20 played out at every level of government and in every state:=20 corporate taxes are frozen and then cut. Suddenly governments fa= ce=20 bankruptcy. The cry goes out to privatize all human services (ev= en=20 though the cost of corporate pollution, for example, is supposed= to=20 be born by the public). This is what the capitalist pundit, Grov= er=20 Norquist, means when he says it is now time to drown governments= =20 like a baby in a bathtub.

=  

Nowhere in the cou= ntry=20 is this process being driven faster than in California, led by t= he=20 Governator.

 <= /SPAN>

California is on t= he=20 brink of the most important election in the state's history.=20 Schwarzenegger is forcing the state to spend at least $100 milli= on=20 on an election that the public doesn=E2=80=99t want.

=  

Last year, Arnold=20 changed the Constitution to all but eliminate Workmans' Comp and= end=20 the state's responsibility to provide medical care to injured=20 workers. Then he tried to privatize the state's pensions for=20 teachers, nurses, fire fighters, police and state workers. Massi= ve=20 public outrage forced him to temporarily abandon this=20 one.

 <= /SPAN>

The Corpor= ate=20 Agenda

 <= /SPAN>

Arnold=E2=80=99s s= pecial=20 election hosts a variety of =E2=80=9CConstitutional Amendments= =E2=80=9D that paves=20 the way to further privatization of state=20 services:

 <= /SPAN>

Prop 74=20= =E2=80=94 Raises=20 the time necessary for teacher tenure from two to five=20 years

 <= /SPAN>

Tenure is simply t= he=20 right to due process and freedom of speech. How exactly does=20 amending the state constitution address the financial crisis? Bi= ll=20 Hauck, president of the California Business Roundtable, who also= =20 chairs Arnold=E2=80=99s election campaign, states, =E2=80=9CIdea= lly we would have no=20 tenure and no collective bargaining.=E2=80=9D<= /P>

 <= /SPAN>

Prop 75=20= =E2=80=94 The=20 so-called =E2=80=9CPaycheck Protection=E2=80=9D=20 Amendment

 <= /SPAN>

This one requires=20= unions=20 to get permission from every single member to spend one cent of=20 union money in a political campaign. This, of course, prevents=20 unions from mounting a campaign, as did the Nurses, to force the= =20 Governator's hands off the pensions. In California, corporations= =20 outspend unions 24 to 1 in political campaigns. Nobody requires=20 their workers to give their permission first.<= /P>

 <= /SPAN>

Prop 76=20= =E2=80=94 The=20 so-called =E2=80=9CLive Within Our Means=E2=80=9D=20 Amendment

 <= /SPAN>

This guts the floo= r for=20 guaranteed state spending on public education established in 198= 8.=20 As the state=E2=80=99s schools fell from first to worst, the peo= ple amended=20 the constitution to give investing in children and the future th= e=20 highest priority. It also allows any governor to make unilateral= =20 cuts in the budget four times a year whenever there is a =E2=80= =9Cfinancial=20 crisis.=E2=80=9D

 <= /SPAN>

Prop 77=20= =E2=80=94=20 Redraws the state congressional districts next year, five years=20 ahead of the usual date.

 

It also takes this= power=20 from the Legislature and gives it to a panel of three retired=20 judges. Karl Rove has stated that the best thing Republicans can= do=20 to win in 2008 is to redistrict Texas, Florida and=20 California.

 <= /SPAN>

Dueling=20 Visions

 <= /SPAN>

Arnold is right ab= out=20 one thing: the system is not working. But the so-called budget=20 crisis is carefully manufactured. What else can you call it when= =20 insurance corporations pay Zero (that's $000.00) income tax in t= he=20 state? The Governator says he won't raise taxes (certainly not o= n=20 corporations) yet California is the only energy producing state=20 without an excise tax! This is a tax on companies that extract=20 natural resources that can never be replaced again, like oil, ga= s or=20 coal.

 <= /SPAN>

There=E2=80=99s pl= enty of money,=20 but it is being redirected away from anything that benefits the=20 public. Privatizing Social Security, public pensions, public wat= er=20 and public schools is now routinely discussed. These steps are=20 promoted as positive reforms, yet they really represent attacks=20= on=20 public power. No one should forget how ENRON and other energy=20 companies looted the state for $40 billion by deregulating publi= c=20 control of California=E2=80=99s electricity.

 <= /SPAN>

The real fight is=20= the=20 fight for which direction society will take. The resources of th= e=20 world will increasingly be directed to become corporate holdings= . Or=20 we can rally around a vision of a new world where the public has= =20 universal access to housing, culture, income, quality medical ca= re=20 and education. It=E2=80=99s either private, corporate property o= r it=E2=80=99s=20 public property.

 <= /SPAN>

Steve Miller is=20 available to speak through Speakers for a New America. Call=20 800-691-6888 or email sandy@speakersf= oranewamerica.com.

    
 

<= /TD>

 

-------------------------------1127922301-- ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 16:48:43 +0000 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Laura Kamienski <[log in to unmask]> Subject: BBC E-mail: Arctic ice 'disappearing fast' MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Laura Kamienski saw this story on BBC News Online and thought you should see it. ** Arctic ice 'disappearing fast' ** The area covered by Arctic sea ice has shrunk for a fourth consecutive year, according to a new study. < http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/4290340.stm > ** BBC Daily E-mail ** Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail < http://www.bbc.co.uk/dailyemail/ > ** Disclaimer ** The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified. If you do not wish to receive such e-mails in the future or want to know more about the BBC's Email a Friend service, please read our frequently asked questions. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/4162471.stm ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 10:07:15 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List [log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: 25 Questions about the Murder of NO Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084195258==_ma============" --============_-1084195258==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=24875 Tomgram: Davis, 25 Questions about the Murder of New Orleans Mike Davis (whose most recent book is Monster at our Door, The Global Threat of Avian Flu) and architect Anthony Fontenot have just returned from New Orleans. They rode out Rita in southern Louisiana and talked with numerous people involved in local Katrina rescue efforts. The city is now, Davis says, a huge crime scene that may never be properly investigated. After Hurricane Ivan turned away from the Big Easy in 2004, Davis wrote a singularly prophetic piece, Poor, Black and Left Behind, about the car-less, unevacuated poor of that city. The arrival of Hurricane Katrina, which did not spare New Orleans, essentially proved for the poor a horrifying replay of the previous year. Nothing had changed for the better. The main question Davis and Fontenot raise below -- for an investigative body that may never exist -- is just how deliberate, from top to bottom, the neglect of the obvious was in New Orleans. Right now, we're watching the ridiculous spectacle of the woefully incompetent former FEMA head Michael Brown being thrown to the Republican wolves in the House of Representatives, while the two national figures most in charge of the Katrina debacle, Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, remain remarkably untouched by their acts. The man who couldn't wait to invade Iraq couldn't figure out how to get a soldier into New Orleans. It's a sorry record. Here, then, are some of the disturbing questions on the minds of those Davis and Fontenot met in New Orleans -- questions from the frontlines of an American shock-and-awe disaster of epic proportions. Tom The Mysteries of New Orleans Twenty-five Questions about the Murder of the Big Easy By Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot We recently spent a week in New Orleans and Southern Louisiana interviewing relief workers, community activists, urban planners, artists, and neighborhood folks. Even as the latest flood waters from Hurricane Rita recede, the city remains submerged in anger and frustration. Indeed, the most toxic debris in New Orleans isn't the sinister gray sludge that coats the streets of the historic Creole neighborhood of Treme or the Lower Ninth Ward, but all the unanswered questions that have accumulated in the wake of so much official betrayal and hypocrisy. Where outsiders see simple "incompetence" or "failure of leadership," locals are more inclined to discern deliberate design and planned neglect -- the murder, not the accidental death, of a great city. In almost random order, here are twenty-five of the urgent questions that deeply trouble the local people we spoke with. Until a grand jury or congressional committee begins to uncover the answers, the moral (as opposed to simply physical) reconstruction of the New Orleans region will remain impossible. 1. Why did the floodwalls along the 17th Street Canal only break on the New Orleans (majority Black) side and not on the Metairie (largely white) side? Was this the result of neglect and poor maintenance by New Orleans authorities? 2. Who owned the huge barge that was catapulted through the wall of the Industrial Canal, killing hundreds in the Lower Ninth Ward -- the most deadly hit-and-run accident in U.S. history? 3. All of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish east of the Industrial Canal were drowned, except for the Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District along Chef Menteur Highway. Why was industrial land apparently protected by stronger levees than nearby residential neighborhoods? 4. Why did Mayor Ray Nagin, in defiance of his own official disaster plan, delay twelve to twenty-four hours in ordering a mandatory evacuation of the city? 5. Why did Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff not declare Katrina an "Incident of National Significance" until August 31 -- thus preventing the full deployment of urgently needed federal resources? 6. Why wasn't the nearby U.S.S. Bataan immediately sent to the aid of New Orleans? The huge amphibious-landing ship had a state-of-the-art, 600-bed hospital, water and power plants, helicopters, food supplies, and 1,200 sailors eager to join the rescue effort. 7. Similarly, why wasn't the Baltimore-based hospital ship USS Comfort ordered to sea until August 31, or the 82nd Airborne Division deployed in New Orleans until September 5? 8. Why does Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld balk at making public his "severe weather execution order" that established the ground rules for the military response to Katrina? Did the Pentagon, as a recent report by the Congressional Research Service suggests, fail to take initiatives within already authorized powers, then attempt to transfer the blame to state and local governments? 9. Why were the more than 350 buses of the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority -- eventually flooded where they were parked -- not mobilized to evacuate infirm, poor, and car-less residents? 10. What significance attaches to the fact that the chair of the Transportation Authority, appointed by Mayor Nagin, is Jimmy Reiss, the wealthy leader of the New Orleans Business Council which has long advocated a thorough redevelopment of (and cleanup of crime in) the city? 11. Under what authority did Mayor Nagin meet confidentially in Dallas with the "forty thieves" -- white business leaders led by Reiss -- reportedly to discuss the triaging of poorer Black areas and a corporate-led master plan for rebuilding the city? 12. Everyone knows about a famous train called "the City of New Orleans." Why was there no evacuation by rail? Was Amtrak part of the disaster planning? If not, why not? 13. Why were patients at private hospitals like Tulane evacuated by helicopter while their counterparts at the Charity Hospital were left to suffer and die? 14. Was the failure to adequately stock food, water, potable toilets, cots, and medicine at the Louisiana Superdome a deliberate decision -- as many believe -- to force poorer residents to leave the city? 15. The French Quarter has one of the highest densities of restaurants in the nation. Once the acute shortages of food and water at the Superdome and the Convention Center were known, why didn't officials requisition supplies from hotels and restaurants located just a few blocks away? (As it happened, vast quantities of food were simply left to spoil.) 16. City Hall's emergency command center had to be abandoned early in the crisis because its generator supposedly ran out of diesel fuel. Likewise many critical-care patients died from heat or equipment failure after hospital backup generators failed. Why were supplies of diesel fuel so inadequate? Why were so many hospital generators located in basements that would obviously flood? 17. Why didn't the Navy or Coast Guard immediately airdrop life preservers and rubber rafts in flooded districts? Why wasn't such life-saving equipment stocked in schools and hospitals? 18. Why weren't evacuee centers established in Audubon Park and other unflooded parts of Uptown, where locals could be employed as cleanup crews? 19. Is the Justice Department investigating the Jim Crow-like response of the suburban Gretna police who turned back hundreds of desperate New Orleans citizens trying to walk across the Mississippi River bridge -- an image reminiscent of Selma in 1965? New Orleans, meanwhile, abounds in eyewitness accounts of police looting and illegal shootings: Will any of this ever be investigated? 20. Who is responsible for the suspicious fires that have swept the city? Why have so many fires occurred in blue-collar areas that have long been targets of proposed gentrification, such as the Section 8 homes on Constance Street in the Lower Garden District or the wharfs along the river in Bywater? 21. Where were FEMA's several dozen vaunted urban search-and-rescue teams? Aside from some courageous work by Coast Guard helicopter crews, the early rescue effort was largely mounted by volunteers who towed their own boats into the city after hearing an appeal on television. 22. We found a massive Red Cross presence in Baton Rouge but none in some of the smaller Louisiana towns that have mounted the most impressive relief efforts. The poor Cajun community of Ville Platte, for instance, has at one time or another fed and housed more than 5,000 evacuees; but the Red Cross, along with FEMA, has refused almost daily appeals by local volunteers to send professional personnel and aid. Why then give money to the Red Cross? 23. Why isn't FEMA scrambling to create a central registry of everyone evacuated from the greater New Orleans region? Will evacuees receive absentee ballots and be allowed to vote in the crucial February municipal elections that will partly decide the fate of the city? 24. As politicians talk about "disaster czars" and elite-appointed reconstruction commissions, and as architects and developers advance utopian designs for an ethnically cleansed "new urbanism" in New Orleans, where is any plan for the substantive participation of the city's ordinary citizens in their own future? 25. Indeed, on the fortieth anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, what has happened to democracy? Mike Davis is the author of many books including City of Quartz, Dead Cities and Other Tales, and the just published Monster at our Door, The Global Threat of Avian Flu (The New Press) as well as the forthcoming Planet of Slums (Verso). Anthony Fontenot is a New Orleans architect and community-design activist, currently working at Princeton University. Copyright 2005 Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - posted September 27, 2005 at 8:58 pm --============_-1084195258==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" 25 Questions about the Murder of NO
http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=24875

Tomgram: Davis, 25 Questions about the Murder of New Orleans

Mike Davis (whose most recent book is Monster at our Door, The Global Threat of Avian Flu) and architect Anthony Fontenot have just returned from New Orleans. They rode out Rita in southern Louisiana and talked with numerous people involved in local Katrina rescue efforts. The city is now, Davis says, a huge crime scene that may never be properly investigated. After Hurricane Ivan turned away from the Big Easy in 2004, Davis wrote a singularly prophetic piece, Poor, Black and Left Behind, about the car-less, unevacuated poor of that city. The arrival of Hurricane Katrina, which did not spare New Orleans, essentially proved for the poor a horrifying replay of the previous year. Nothing had changed for the better. The main question Davis and Fontenot raise below -- for an investigative body that may never exist -- is just how deliberate, from top to bottom, the neglect of the obvious was in New Orleans.

Right now, we're watching the ridiculous spectacle of the woefully incompetent former FEMA head Michael Brown being thrown to the Republican wolves in the House of Representatives, while the two national figures most in charge of the Katrina debacle, Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, remain remarkably untouched by their acts. The man who couldn't wait to invade Iraq couldn't figure out how to get a soldier into New Orleans. It's a sorry record. Here, then, are some of the disturbing questions on the minds of those Davis and Fontenot met in New Orleans -- questions from the frontlines of an American shock-and-awe disaster of epic proportions. Tom
    The Mysteries of New Orleans
    Twenty-five Questions about the Murder of the Big Easy
    By Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot

    We recently spent a week in New Orleans and Southern Louisiana interviewing relief workers, community activists, urban planners, artists, and neighborhood folks. Even as the latest flood waters from Hurricane Rita recede, the city remains submerged in anger and frustration.

    Indeed, the most toxic debris in New Orleans isn't the sinister gray sludge that coats the streets of the historic Creole neighborhood of Treme or the Lower Ninth Ward, but all the unanswered questions that have accumulated in the wake of so much official betrayal and hypocrisy. Where outsiders see simple "incompetence" or "failure of leadership," locals are more inclined to discern deliberate design and planned neglect -- the murder, not the accidental death, of a great city.

    In almost random order, here are twenty-five of the urgent questions that deeply trouble the local people we spoke with. Until a grand jury or congressional committee begins to uncover the answers, the moral (as opposed to simply physical) reconstruction of the New Orleans region will remain impossible.

    1. Why did the floodwalls along the 17th Street Canal only break on the New Orleans (majority Black) side and not on the Metairie (largely white) side? Was this the result of neglect and poor maintenance by New Orleans authorities?

    2. Who owned the huge barge that was catapulted through the wall of the Industrial Canal, killing hundreds in the Lower Ninth Ward -- the most deadly hit-and-run accident in U.S. history?

    3. All of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish east of the Industrial Canal were drowned, except for the Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District along Chef Menteur Highway. Why was industrial land apparently protected by stronger levees than nearby residential neighborhoods?

    4. Why did Mayor Ray Nagin, in defiance of his own official disaster plan, delay twelve to twenty-four hours in ordering a mandatory evacuation of the city?

    5. Why did Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff not declare Katrina an "Incident of National Significance" until August 31 -- thus preventing the full deployment of urgently needed federal resources?

    6. Why wasn't the nearby U.S.S. Bataan immediately sent to the aid of New Orleans? The huge amphibious-landing ship had a state-of-the-art, 600-bed hospital, water and power plants, helicopters, food supplies, and 1,200 sailors eager to join the rescue effort.

    7. Similarly, why wasn't the Baltimore-based hospital ship USS Comfort ordered to sea until August 31, or the 82nd Airborne Division deployed in New Orleans until September 5?

    8. Why does Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld balk at making public his "severe weather execution order" that established the ground rules for the military response to Katrina? Did the Pentagon, as a recent report by the Congressional Research Service suggests, fail to take initiatives within already authorized powers, then attempt to transfer the blame to state and local governments?

    9. Why were the more than 350 buses of the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority -- eventually flooded where they were parked -- not mobilized to evacuate infirm, poor, and car-less residents?

    10. What significance attaches to the fact that the chair of the Transportation Authority, appointed by Mayor Nagin, is Jimmy Reiss, the wealthy leader of the New Orleans Business Council which has long advocated a thorough redevelopment of (and cleanup of crime in) the city?

    11. Under what authority did Mayor Nagin meet confidentially in Dallas with the "forty thieves" -- white business leaders led by Reiss -- reportedly to discuss the triaging of poorer Black areas and a corporate-led master plan for rebuilding the city?

    12. Everyone knows about a famous train called "the City of New Orleans." Why was there no evacuation by rail? Was Amtrak part of the disaster planning? If not, why not?

    13. Why were patients at private hospitals like Tulane evacuated by helicopter while their counterparts at the Charity Hospital were left to suffer and die?

    14. Was the failure to adequately stock food, water, potable toilets, cots, and medicine at the Louisiana Superdome a deliberate decision -- as many believe -- to force poorer residents to leave the city?

    15. The French Quarter has one of the highest densities of restaurants in the nation. Once the acute shortages of food and water at the Superdome and the Convention Center were known, why didn't officials requisition supplies from hotels and restaurants located just a few blocks away? (As it happened, vast quantities of food were simply left to spoil.)

    16. City Hall's emergency command center had to be abandoned early in the crisis because its generator supposedly ran out of diesel fuel. Likewise many critical-care patients died from heat or equipment failure after hospital backup generators failed. Why were supplies of diesel fuel so inadequate? Why were so many hospital generators located in basements that would obviously flood?

    17. Why didn't the Navy or Coast Guard immediately airdrop life preservers and rubber rafts in flooded districts? Why wasn't such life-saving equipment stocked in schools and hospitals?

    18. Why weren't evacuee centers established in Audubon Park and other unflooded parts of Uptown, where locals could be employed as cleanup crews?

    19. Is the Justice Department investigating the Jim Crow-like response of the suburban Gretna police who turned back hundreds of desperate New Orleans citizens trying to walk across the Mississippi River bridge -- an image reminiscent of Selma in 1965? New Orleans, meanwhile, abounds in eyewitness accounts of police looting and illegal shootings: Will any of this ever be investigated?

    20. Who is responsible for the suspicious fires that have swept the city? Why have so many fires occurred in blue-collar areas that have long been targets of proposed gentrification, such as the Section 8 homes on Constance Street in the Lower Garden District or the wharfs along the river in Bywater?

    21. Where were FEMA's several dozen vaunted urban search-and-rescue teams? Aside from some courageous work by Coast Guard helicopter crews, the early rescue effort was largely mounted by volunteers who towed their own boats into the city after hearing an appeal on television.

    22. We found a massive Red Cross presence in Baton Rouge but none in some of the smaller Louisiana towns that have mounted the most impressive relief efforts. The poor Cajun community of Ville Platte, for instance, has at one time or another fed and housed more than 5,000 evacuees; but the Red Cross, along with FEMA, has refused almost daily appeals by local volunteers to send professional personnel and aid. Why then give money to the Red Cross?

    23. Why isn't FEMA scrambling to create a central registry of everyone evacuated from the greater New Orleans region? Will evacuees receive absentee ballots and be allowed to vote in the crucial February municipal elections that will partly decide the fate of the city?

    24. As politicians talk about "disaster czars" and elite-appointed reconstruction commissions, and as architects and developers advance utopian designs for an ethnically cleansed "new urbanism" in New Orleans, where is any plan for the substantive participation of the city's ordinary citizens in their own future?

    25. Indeed, on the fortieth anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, what has happened to democracy?

    Mike Davis is the author of many books including City of Quartz, Dead Cities and Other Tales, and the just published Monster at our Door, The Global Threat of Avian Flu (The New Press) as well as the forthcoming Planet of Slums (Verso).

    Anthony Fontenot is a New Orleans architect and community-design activist, currently working at Princeton University.
Copyright 2005 Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot

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posted September 27, 2005 at 8:58 pm
--============_-1084195258==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 15:29:22 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Review of Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit truthout http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/092705C.shtml original http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0927/p11s02-bogn.html Science and Politics: A Dangerous Mix By Gregory M. Lamb The Chrisitan Science Monitor Tuesday 27 September 2005 'Twisted science' may endanger America's future, one journalist warns. The Republican War on Science lives up to its incendiary title. The book will undoubtedly raise hackles among conservatives and spawn sharp-tongued counterattacks. But the real test of its efficacy may be whether or not it persuades independents and moderate Republicans that without a new approach toward science America is headed for what the author calls "economic, ecological, and social calamity." As a good polemicist, Chris Mooney, a journalist who specializes in writing about science and politics, knows to protect his argument by first making two concessions. First, not all Republicans have been anti-science. Teddy Roosevelt was a great early conservationist. Dwight Eisenhower was the first president to recognize that the White House needed a science adviser. Ronald Reagan's Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, weighed scientific evidence "dispassionately" on subjects like AIDS and the health effects of abortion and declared, "I am the nation's surgeon general, not the nation's chaplain." Even the first President Bush was largely regarded by scientists as "a friend," Mr. Mooney says. And today, a few GOP mavericks like Sen. John McCain speak the truth on issues like global warming. Secondly, Mooney wisely - albeit briefly - acknowledges that liberals have also sometimes twisted science for their own political ends. Some of the alarm over genetically modified foods has exceeded what science shows; animal rights activists have argued that animal testing isn't necessary when most scientists disagree; and some Democratic politicians have overstated the likelihood that stem-cell research will produce quick cures. But these transgressions, Mooney says, pale in comparison with the breathtaking audacity of Mr. Bush's "New Right" in its cynical manipulation of science. In a kind of Orwellian newspeak, they label conventional science as "junk science" and seek to replace it with what they call "sound science" - in other words, questionable, fringe science that conveniently props up the interests of big industry and conservative Christians. All sides might agree that science should inform policy, not make it. Other considerations may trump it. But what irks Mooney is when, in his eyes, science is distorted to defend a policy. In this regard, Mooney contrasts the Clinton and Bush administrations in their approaches to needle-exchange programs for drug addicts. Numerous reputable scientific studies show that needle-exchange programs reduce the transmission of AIDS without encouraging drug abuse. The Clinton administration acknowledged these findings, but simply decided to ignore them, apparently unwilling to take an unpopular political stance. The Bush administration also opposed needle-exchange programs but "twisted the science," Mooney says, by insisting that some scientists doubted the findings. Yet when the press followed up, the scientists cited by the White House said they had no such doubts. A key GOP tactic, Mooney says, has been "magnifying uncertainty" - finding a few dissenting voices on the scientific fringe and calling for "more research" to forestall action - a tactic the tobacco industry used for decades, he says. Chapter by chapter, Mooney picks through the hot-button issues - global warming, creationism, intelligent design, stem cells - and finds conservatives politicizing and distorting the science involved. He rejects the idea of even "teaching the controversy" over these issues in schools, arguing that the far right has invented the controversy itself by ginning up a kind of faux science alternative that has no solid basis. He isn't even willing to move the controversy out of science classes into social studies or current events. Mooney does offer a brief list of solutions. Congress should revive the Office of Technology Assessment "or a close equivalent," which once offered nonpartisan scientific advice to lawmakers. The White House should restore its science adviser from his peripheral position now to the president's inner circle, where the office resided under President Kennedy. Journalists should resist slick PR campaigns and "spin" on science-related stories. (According to Mooney, although a "powerful consensus" exists among scientists that global climate change is under way, that has not been reflected in the mainstream press, which feels compelled for reasons of "balance" to report as though the issue were still in doubt.) "Our future relies on our intelligence ... nourishing disturbing anti-intellectual tendencies - cannot deliver us there successfully or safely," Mooney warns. For those who have felt even vaguely disturbed by their government's attitude toward science, this book is likely to bring those concerns into sharp focus. ------- (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. t r u t h o u t has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is t r u t h o u t endorsed or sponsored by the originator.) ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 15:47:47 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Tali Fahima, an Israeli woman locked up for helping Palestinian refugees Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit truthout http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/092705H.shtml Original http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3230,36-692170,0.html Tali Fahima, a Too-Curious Israeli Woman By Stéphanie Le Bars Le Monde Saturday 24 September 2004 Tali Fahima (Photo: Eyal Warshavsky / Baubau) The image is always the same: surrounded by police officers, a pale young woman, her black hair severely drawn back against her neck, the shadow of a smile in the court room. The regard is self-assured, the silhouette delicate, almost fragile, juvenile. From her past as a secretary in a legal office, Tali Fahima has maintained the strict comportment and black-framed eyeglasses that harden her angular face. That's the image Israelis discovered a little over a year ago when this 29 year-old woman was declared "a danger to the State." Incarcerated on August 10, 2004, Tali has spent seven months in the most complete isolation, in administrative detention. This exceptional procedure, inherited from the British Mandate over Palestine before 1948, allows the imprisonment for years and without trial of any person supposed to represent a danger to national security. Thousands of Palestinians and a few Israelis from the extreme right have experienced and know this arbitrary procedure. But this is the first time that a young Jewish woman has been subject to it. In preventive detention today - and for the last five months - Tali now awaits the culmination of her trial, which opened in Tel Aviv in July. The next hearings - to be held behind closed doors, like the preceding ones - are scheduled for the end of October. Whatever the outcome, Fahima's case continues to raise questions about the present state of Israeli society. At first sight, the charges against the young woman are serious. She is accused of having participated in the preparation of attacks, of having "given assistance to the enemy in time of war," and of having illegally borne a weapon. The accused categorically rejects each one of these charges. She admits only to having gone to Jenine in the occupied West Bank several times between September 2003 and August 2004. Her intention, she swears, was to help children in the local refugee camp who were under particular pressure during these years of the Intifada. That alone is an unusual undertaking, totally incomprehensible for the vast majority of Israeli society. For the military and security institutions, it's treason. For, whether out of obliviousness or naïveté, Tali Fahima did not do things by halves. Realizing that her "humanitarian" project was doomed without a green light and support from Palestinian activists - the real masters of the camp - she applied to their leader, a certain Zacharia Zubeidi. A local leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a tiny armed group that has claimed credit for several suicide attacks in Israel, the young Zubeidi was presented as one of Israel's most wanted "terrorists." Juliano Mer Khamis, a politically active Israeli film-maker, has known the Palestinian for a long time. In the 1990s, his own mother, Arna Mer Khamis, had founded a theater for children in Jenine and Zacharia Zubeidi, then a teenager, participated in the project. Juliano produced a poignant documentary from this experience in 2003. "Zacharia asked me what I thought of this Tali," the film-maker remembers. I told him she had the same intentions as my mother, but I recommended he be cautious." After all, unknown to the Israeli left and pacifist movements, this solitary bird Tali could very well have been acting under the direction of Shin Bet, the powerful Israeli domestic security service. In a few visits to Jenine, the young woman gained the trust of the Palestinians. She worked hard to raise money to buy books and computers for refugee children. "She was full of good intentions," assures Joseph Algazy, a former journalist who, on behalf of a part of the Israeli extreme left, supports Tali against the authorities. "In 2003, an Israeli television team even followed her in Jenine," he emphasizes. "Do you think she would have broadcast her little business if it had not all been 'kosher?'" In the report in question, Tali, all smiles, surveys the streets of the camp alongside Zacharia, heavily armed, as is his custom. A strong image, an unbearable image for a bruised public opinion revolted by the attacks. All the more so as the young Israeli didn't stop there! Some time later, while the lieutenants of Palestinian activism were being eliminated one after the other by the army, she declared herself ready to act as his "human shield." Romanticism or provocation? That behavior definitively placed Tali Fahima in the margins of the society from which she came. "You talked with Arabs, your place is in jail; that's Israel's sentence," her mother, Sarah Lakhyani, summarizes. For one year, this tiny intense woman has been proclaiming her daughter's innocence. "After her arrest, Shin Bet presented it in the ugliest light possible." A former worker in the textile industry, unemployed for months, Sarah gets upset. "They suggested that she had had an affair with a Palestinian and even that she was pregnant by him. As though that were not enough, they chose the 'worst' one, this Zacharia Zubeidi. But in Jenine, everyone knows, she spent her time with the women and children!" Juliano Mer Khamis, the political film maker, is altogether as disgusted. "We've heard all kinds of stories about Tali; she's been demonized, accused of having betrayed 'the tribe' [the Jewish people], of having been a whore for the Arabs. In her day, my mother was insulted the same way." For Joseph Algazy, "the fact that Tali is a woman, Sephardic, of modest origins, and, by family tradition, aligned with the right, has certainly aggravated her case." A thousand leagues from the leftist groups well known to the "services," Tali has, in fact, engaged on a solitary battle, atypical and perfectly suited to drive the intelligence services crazy. "If she did that, why shouldn't thousands of people decide tomorrow to go see for themselves the reality of the occupation of the territories?" asks Lin Chalozin-Dovrat, an official with a pacifist organization that supports Tali. "To avoid that, the justice system is going to make an example out of her. The State is always ready to accept a few pro-Palestinian demonstrations to show how democratic it is. But by entering into a dialogue with a 'terrorist,' Tali crossed a red line." Juliano even deems that the young woman "has become the nightmare of the Zionist regime." Her mother agrees: "Tali's never been afraid of anyone. It's the State that's afraid of her right now." Yet "courage" and "stubbornness" do not adequately explain how and why a young office worker from a modest background, raised in a deprived and conservative city - Kiriat Gat, in the south of the country - could have engaged in such a break. She braved the military roadblocks to go to Palestinian territory - sometimes disguised as a Palestinian woman - she is an affront to her country's justice system and at present runs the risk of copping a heavy prison term. It's an amazing trajectory! Little known to her "new friends" on the pacifist left, rejected by her former relations, Tali Fahima remains a kind of enigma. "I voted Likud my whole life. I was educated to hate and fear Arabs. I thought the occupation was just. But when I discovered that my freedom was assured at the Palestinians' expense, notably those of Jenine, I couldn't live with it," she explained to the press before her arrest. Sarah herself doesn't seem to have sized up the extent of her daughter's political and intellectual journey. "In my family, we voted Likud habitually, because sometimes that allowed us to find work. Nothing that had anything to do with the Arabs interested us. At the time when they worked in my factory [before the second Intifada], I knew Palestinians, very polite, very nice. But, if you had asked me what I thought of the Occupation, I wouldn't have known what to say. My only politics was to educate my three daughters." Tali discovered discrimination against "the Arabs" in 2002, in the lawyers' office in Tel-Aviv where she worked up until her curious itinerary was broadcast in the media. Idealism, great curiosity, and the certainty of doing the right thing plunged the secretary into the strange situation she is now in. Paradoxically, her realization came about at the height of the Intifada. "She wanted to understand what pushed young Palestinians to blow themselves up in Israeli buses and restaurants," her mother explains. To go beyond the partial explanations delivered by Israeli television, Tali then bought all the newspapers, surfed the Internet, met Arab internet users that way, with whom she conducted long conversations in English. These communications triggered the suspicions of the domestic security service, which interrogated her about this sudden interest. Her desire to go see "the other side" did not flag. She decided on Jenine. Arrested the first time, she was released after several days without explanation. "Shin Bet tried to recruit her," Sarah asserts. "She refused, that made them crazy," adds Juliano. "At no time did Tali realize she constituted a danger to the system. She naïvely thought that as a Jew, she would be protected." A mistake. Even her family has not been spared. In the face of surrounding hostility, her mother Sarah had to leave her apartment. Six of her seven brothers and sisters no longer speak to her. "In this business, I've lost my whole life from before," she summarizes simply. Her new life is entirely devoted to Tali. Zacharia Zubeidi telephones her regularly for news. In November, the energetic little woman will go to Europe to make the "Fahima Case" known. She'll travel with a Palestinian mother whose son is in administrative detention. Of Algerian nationality and holder of a French passport, Sarah intends to ask for a French passport for her daughter. With regard to the trial itself, Tali's lawyer, Smadar Ben Natan, does not hide his anxiety. "If the judges stuck to the facts of the case, I'd be optimistic: the file is empty. But they're going to take security considerations into account and the pressure of public opinion. That's what makes me pessimistic." The defender, who considers his client to be a "political prisoner," deems that Israel is now a country that puts its opponents in prison." A few months ago, the then-Justice Minister, Joseph Lapid, did not hesitate to render his verdict publicly before the trial: "This woman entirely deserves to remain in jail ..." The most concrete element of the prosecution is based on a "secret military document" that Tali is supposed to have "translated" for her Palestinian friends. Except Zacharia Zubeidi speaks Hebrew and the papers in question, lost by Israeli soldiers inside the Jenine camp, provided only a few biographical facts about wanted Palestinians and contained aerial photos ... of the camp itself. "This affair will remain marked by disinformation and lies," accuses Joseph Algazy. The latest rumor? An Israeli television station asserts that Tali Fahima received 300 shekels a month from the Palestinian Authority for her canteen - 55 Euros. "No one has called me to verify whether it's so," assures Smadar Ben Natan. "And if it were, what would the problem be? The Palestinian Authority is not a terrorist organization so far as I know!" For the inhabitants of the Jenine refugee camp, in any case, Tali is already the most Palestinian of Israelis. Zacharia Zubeidi has requested that in the event of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the liberation of Palestinian detainees, the young women be among them. Today, "Tali's portrait is plastered all over the walls of the camp," Juliano asserts. On the same level as those of Palestinian "martyrs." Translation: t r u t h o u t French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher. ------- Jump to today's TO Features: (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. t r u t h o u t has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is t r u t h o u t endorsed or sponsored by the originator.) ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 19:57:16 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Global Warming: Death in the Deep-Freeze Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0928-02.htm Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 by The Independent / UK Global Warming: Death in the Deep-Freeze by Kate Ravilious As global warming melts the world's ice sheets, rising sea levels are not the only danger. Viruses hidden for thousands of years may thaw and escape - and we will have no resistance to them. Last week, the latest study to track global warming revealed that Alaska's snowless season is lengthening. As the world warms and ice-sheets and glaciers begin to melt, most of us worry about how the earth will respond and what kind of impact climate change will have. Will flooding become a regular feature, or is the land going to become parched? Are hurricanes and typhoons going to spring up in places they have never visited before? Is the rising sea level going to swallow some of the world's most fertile farmland, along with millions of homes? All of these are valid concerns, but now it turns out that the impact of global warming could be worse than we first imagined. Ice sheets are mostly frozen water, but during the freezing process they can also incorporate organisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. Some scientists believe that climate change could unleash ancient illnesses as ice sheets drip away and bacteria and viruses defrost. Illnesses we thought we had eradicated, like polio, could reappear, while common viruses like human influenza could have a devastating effect if melting glaciers release a bygone strain to which we have no resistance. What is more, new species unknown to science may re-emerge. And it is not just humans who are at risk: animals, plants and marine creatures could also suffer as ancient microbes thaw out. In 1999, Scott Rogers from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and his colleagues reported finding the tomato mosaic tobamovirus (ToMV) in 17 different ice-core sections at two locations deep inside the Greenland ice pack. Gentle defrosting in the lab revealed that this common plant pathogen had survived being entombed in ice for 140,000 years. "ToMV belongs to a family of viruses with a particularly tough protein coat, which helps it to survive in these extreme environments," says Rogers. Since then Rogers has found many other microbes in ice samples from Greenland, Antarctica, and Siberia. And this has turned out to be just the tip of the microbial iceberg. Over the last 10 years biologists have discovered bacteria, fungi, viruses, algae and yeast hibernating under as much as 4km of solid ice, in locations all over the world. Most recently Rogers and his colleagues found the human influenza virus in one-year-old Siberian lake ice. "The influenza virus isn't quite as hardy as ToMV, but this finding showed that it is capable of surviving in ice," says Rogers. This particular strain of influenza had only hibernated for one year and doesn't present much of a threat to humans, but it shows that there is potential for a human virus to survive the freezing process for much longer. Imagine if older, more vicious strains, such as the virus responsible for the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed somewhere between 20 and 40 million people in 1918 - 1919, were to re-emerge. Not all scientists are convinced by these viral discoveries, and some argue that they are more likely to have arrived in the ice via contamination during the drilling process. However, Rogers is confident that this is not the case. "We use a chemical called sodium hypochlorite to decontaminate the outer ice surface, which is then followed by extraction or melting of an interior section of the core," he explains. So if these viruses have been huddled in the ice for thousands of years, how did they get there in the first place? According to Rogers one very effective way for viruses to travel the world is to hitch a ride in the guts of migrating birds. "The Siberian lake ice where we found the human influenza virus is on a bird migration route. This is the most likely way that the virus arrived," he says. Other modes of transport could include riding on aquatic mammals such as seals, clinging to grains of dust, or water transport via rivers and ocean currents. "Human beings have been more prevalent in northern areas for a long time and so human viruses are more likely to have been frozen into Northern Hemisphere ice sheets," says Dany Shoham, one of Rogers' colleagues from Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Humans have lived close to glaciers in the European Alps, frozen fjords in Scandinavia and frosty Siberian lakes for thousands of years, making it an easy hop for viruses looking for a place to hibernate for a while. None the less, Shoham says that this doesn't mean the ice sheets of the Southern Hemisphere don't contain viruses. Thankfully, not all viruses will remain viable after thawing out from hibernation in an ice sheet. "We routinely keep viruses at minus 80C when we want to store them in the lab, so viruses can certainly survive freezing, but they are often fragile to processes such as freeze-thaw," explains Geoffrey Smith, head of the virology department at Imperial College London. In the lab it is possible to defrost viruses gently, but outside they are subject to climatic extremes. Only viruses that contain the tough protein coat, like ToMV, are likely to be able to retain all the information they need while being repeatedly frozen and defrosted. This rules out plenty of human viruses, but still leaves a few very nasty options including smallpox, polio, hepatitis A and, of course, influenza. Shoham believes that the influenza virus is the most likely to emerge from the freeze/thaw process in a fit enough state to re-infect humans. "It has the properties that would allow it to survive the ice and the ability to transfer between animals and humans once it is out," he says. What is more, Shoham contends that an ancient version of human influenza could be a very potent weapon. "Ancient viruses are more dangerous because the natural herd immunity is reduced over time. After just one or two generations the natural herd immunity is eliminated," he says. Water-borne viruses, such as hepatitis A and polio, are less of a threat because they rely on water currents to reach their victims. One worrying scenario would be the creation of a super virus via the recombination of ancient and modern strains. "If only one or two genes from an ancient influenza virus were to interchange with the modern avian influenza, it could become contagious and generate a new pandemic," says Shoham. By hiding in the deep freeze for a few thousand years, viruses could be avoiding unfavourable conditions on the earth's surface, such as hosts with a strong immunity. Rogers and his colleagues think that these icy holidays may even be a deliberate part of viral evolution. Equally, the same argument could mean that it is harder for a virus to slot back into the world once it has been defrosted. "Evolutionary change over time may mean that an emerging ancient virus finds it difficult to adopt a niche," says Shoham. If viruses do hide away in ice-sheets periodically, then there should be evidence of pandemics occurring during the earth's warmer periods in the past. "It may be possible to relate historical extinction events with outbreaks of specific pathogens like influenza and cholera," says Rogers. As yet no research team has managed to prove this link, but it is something that Rogers and his colleagues are keen to investigate further. So how much of a risk do these frozen viruses really represent? Without having any definite evidence that viruses are able to complete the full freeze-thaw cycle and go on to re-infect, it is hard to say. Some scientists are not too concerned, while others think it is worth looking into. "It is certainly conceivable that viruses can survive frozen for thousands of years, but it is not top of the list of my worries. We have enough to think about with the number of dangerous viruses at high concentration around today," says Geoffrey Smith. Meanwhile, Dany Shoham believes that the potential consequences are too dire to be ignored, but agrees that there is little we can do to protect ourselves. "The likelihood of infection from an ancient virus is, in general, low, but once it does take place the impact will be enormous," he says. "None the less, this freezing mechanism is so complex, vague and unpredictable that there is really nothing we can do to protect ourselves." Perhaps the only grain of comfort is that this won't be the first time that viruses have emerged from the ice. We must have survived such an event before. © 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd. ========================================================================= Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 21:37:12 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]> Subject: truthout video of civil disobedience at White House Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v553) Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm ========================================================================= Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 12:32:44 +1300 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> Subject: MannGram=?iso-8859-1?Q?=AE:?= On the nature of science-based policy disputes Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084148157==_ma============" --============_-1084148157==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable MannGram Sep 2005 ON THE NATURE OF SCIENCE-BASED POLICY DISPUTES The following item from the good weekly=20 newsbriefing GM-Watch is yet another example of=20 the crazy dominance of the GM-fad in official=20 advocacy when the relevant facts & reasoning=20 simply point to banning GM-food and field trials,=20 let alone open crops or forests, of GMOs. It is not easy to accept as a fact the=20 extreme irrationality of the GM-fad. But if you=20 have faced this sordid fact, you may be=20 interested in viewing political disputes from a=20 psychological perspective. A given 'issue' e.g GM-food, or=20 fluoridation of water supplies, or climate=20 degradation, can be seen as essentially an arena=20 of disputation. Some particular arenas can get=20 taken over by a few truculent individuals who=20 basically wish to cut up ugly and abuse anyone=20 who tries to reason with them - and if actual=20 opponents run short, by all means turn to allies=20 as targets (a nasty characteristic of e.g M-W=20 Ho). Another example is Phil Johnson, leader of=20 IDT=AE. ----- + NO BENEFITS TO FARMERS IN GOING GM The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and=20 Resource Economics (ABARE) has put out a=20 ridiculous article called, "Transgenic crops:=20 welfare implications for Australia", which has=20 generated attention-grabbing headlines such as=20 "GM crop bans to cost up to $6b: ABARE". ABARE has deduced this massive loss by taking=20 Australia's entire crop output (including wheat)=20 and saying 5-10% of that figure is what is being=20 lost by not going GM. As the Network of Concerned Farmers points, it=20 should be simple maths to calculate the fact that=20 GM canola - the only GM crop under discussion -=20 yields less in Australia, costs more and will=20 cause market rejection. All of which adds up to a=20 serious potential loss for Australia's farming=20 industry if GM canola is introduced, rather than=20 the claimed multi-billion dollar gain. http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=3D5739 ----- Biochemistry impinged on public policy in=20 the form of Prof N Edson, U of Otago, endorsing=20 fluoridation as the technical expert within a=20 high-level NZ Govt commission of inquiry. I=20 assumed fluoridation was OK - good old Edson=20 had looked into it. I wouldn't touch the=20 fluoridation issue with a 40' pole when=20 antifluoridation activists tried to recruit me to=20 their cause in 1971 immediately after I'd=20 ro-ro-ro'ed ter styAHdom on TVNZ exposing a=20 different environmental toxin, 2,4,5-T containing=20 dioxin. Two decades later I was asked to=20 supervise the Ph.D research of John Colquhoun on=20 fluoridation. We pubd several papers together,=20 in e.g The Ecologist, showing fluoridation=20 doesn't work - the claimed benefits were a=20 jack-up - and pointing to worrying evidence=20 (short of proof) that it causes cancer. It=20 certainly makes old bones more brittle and young=20 teeth more liable to dental fluorosis=20 (bilaterally symmetrical white patches which, in=20 high-fluoride districts, form a continuum with=20 some nasty damage). So far as is known, fluoride=20 is not a known human nutrient and can do only=20 harm even at 1 ppm in drinking & cooking water.=20 =46luoridation is a diabolical conversion of a=20 concentrated toxic private liability into a=20 dispersed publicly-funded pseudobenefit. (The=20 wastes arise in aluminium smelting - sodium=20 fluoride - and in superphosphate fertiliser=20 manufacture - fluosilicic acid H2SiF6.) I had supposed the antifluoridationists=20 would be intemperate, even abusive. It turned=20 out, at the public mtgs where I spoke, that it=20 was the advocates of fluoridation who assumed=20 this was an arena in which it was OK to let off=20 steam in an abusive style. One of the most rabid=20 offenders was a Medical Officer of Health i.e in=20 charge of the NZ Govt Health Dept for a region of=20 the country. He was the same foppish pom who'd=20 said on TV of a suspicious cluster of birth=20 defects correlated with 2,4,5-T spray drift,=20 "these are acts of God". He appeared to assume=20 oafish behaviour was OK in the fluoridation=20 sandpit (USA: sandbox I think). The unstated conventions of the general=20 GMO controversy have included, for 3 decades now:- Assert any imagined benefit as fact even when=20 what little science exists on the particular=20 GMO-vision implies it probably won't work Insult those who object to dangerous GMOs Intone blatantly false slogans 'The Big Four Rule=20 OK', 'DNA is der Master Molekule', etc. Con the venture-drongos into bankrolling=20 GMO-capers that have very little chance of=20 success; imply that everyone else has a duty to=20 be so gullible as the venture-drongos and for at least 1 decade:- Use the GMO arena as just another handy=20 power-sandpit for third-rate powerHarpies to pose=20 as pseudo-experts and strive for attention. It=20 does not really matter whether reliable facts and=20 scientific reasoning about GMOs are presented to=20 the public. With axioms like this, the contending=20 parties in this arena achieve little or no actual=20 discussion; and uncommitted observers have little=20 chance of receiving reliable info from any=20 direction. This is a very hazardous situation, as much harm=20 may be done by uncontained GMOs while critical=20 scientific discussion of them continues almost=20 absent. What I'm sketching is a trend (ca. 2=20 decades, so far) for scientific issues that bear=20 on public policy to be turned into arenas of=20 dispute by people who are not primarily committed=20 to truth but place a higher priority on posturing=20 truculently. Some of them are embarrassingly=20 ignorant and generate good targets for pro-GM=20 advocates & PR agents to mock (often correctly). I'm immediately struck by the parallel=20 case of Creationism fanatics e.g=20 AnswersInGenesis=AE who generate easy targets for=20 aggressive atheists like Dawkins to mock. Those=20 fanatical fundamentalists do not represent=20 Christian scholarship, and are a deep=20 embarrassment to Christians who respect the=20 tradition of scholarship. Dawkins never exposes=20 himself to genuine questioning or discussion by=20 those who realise there are more than 2=20 categories of cause. Colin Blakemore remained=20 respectable as prof of physiology Oxon after=20 declaring himself a Determinist. S Pinker=20 similarly at McGill is deemed a Bright for=20 declaring that a human is just a computer=20 programmed for a persistent delusion of free=20 will. The real biologists of C20 are ignored -=20 e.g Alister Hardy, John Morton, and Sheldrake. The quality of utterances in a given=20 arena of dispute may be an idiosyncratic result=20 of which particular ravers have happened to latch=20 onto the given subject as an excuse for insolent=20 ranting which is the main quest of your typical=20 modern powerHarpie. And of course if the media=20 latch onto such a figure - Helen Caldicott=20 being an example - fact & reason are relegated=20 to low priority. Not very mature, or even civilised, is it? R --============_-1084148157==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable MannGram=AE: On the nature of science-based policy disputes

MannGram   Sep 2005

     ON  THE  NATURE  OF  SCIENCE-BASED  POLICY  DISPUTES
        The following item from the good weekly newsbriefing GM-Watch is yet another example of the crazy dominance of the GM-fad in official advocacy when the relevant facts & reasoning simply point to banning GM-food and field trials, let alone open crops or forests, of GMOs.
        It is not easy to accept as a fact the extreme irrationality of the GM-fad.  But if you have faced this sordid fact, you may be interested in viewing political disputes from a psychological perspective.
        A given 'issue' e.g GM-food, or fluoridation of water supplies, or climate degradation, can be seen as essentially an arena of disputation.  Some particular arenas can get taken over by a few truculent individuals who basically wish to cut up ugly and abuse anyone who tries to reason with them  - and if actual opponents run short, by all means turn to allies as targets (a nasty characteristic of e.g M-W Ho).  Another example is Phil Johnson, leader of IDT=AE.

-----

+ NO BENEFITS TO FARMERS IN GOING GM
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) has put out a ridiculous article called, "Transgenic crops: welfare implications for Australia", which has generated attention-grabbing headlines such as "GM crop bans to cost up to $6b: ABARE".

ABARE has deduced this massive loss by taking Australia's entire crop output (including wheat) and saying 5-10% of that figure is what is being lost by not going GM.

As the Network of Concerned Farmers points, it should be simple maths to calculate the fact that GM canola - the only GM crop under discussion - yields less in Australia, costs more and will cause market rejection. All of which adds up to a serious potential loss for Australia's farming industry if GM canola is introduced, rather than the claimed multi-billion dollar gain.
http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=3D5739

-----
        Biochemistry impinged on public policy in the form of Prof N Edson, U of Otago, endorsing fluoridation as the technical expert within a high-level NZ Govt commission of inquiry.  I assumed fluoridation was OK  -  good old Edson had looked into it.  I wouldn't touch the fluoridation issue with a 40' pole when antifluoridation activists tried to recruit me to their cause in 1971 immediately after I'd ro-ro-ro'ed ter styAHdom on TVNZ exposing a different environmental toxin, 2,4,5-T containing dioxin.
        Two decades later I was asked to supervise the Ph.D research of John Colquhoun on fluoridation.  We pubd several papers together, in e.g The Ecologist, showing fluoridation doesn't work  -  the claimed benefits were a jack-up  -  and pointing to worrying evidence (short of proof) that it causes cancer.  It certainly makes old bones more brittle and young teeth more liable to dental fluorosis (bilaterally symmetrical white patches which, in high-fluoride districts, form a continuum with some nasty damage).  So far as is known, fluoride is not a known human nutrient and can do only harm even at 1 ppm in drinking & cooking water.  =46luoridation is a diabolical conversion of a concentrated toxic private liability into a dispersed publicly-funded pseudobenefit.  (The wastes arise in aluminium smelting  - sodium fluoride -  and in superphosphate fertiliser manufacture  -  fluosilicic acid  H2SiF6.)
        I had supposed the antifluoridationists would be intemperate, even abusive.  It turned out, at the public mtgs where I spoke, that it was the advocates of fluoridation who assumed this was an arena in which it was OK to let off steam in an abusive style.  One of the most rabid offenders was a Medical Officer of Health i.e in charge of the NZ Govt Health Dept for a region of the country.  He was the same foppish pom who'd said on TV of a suspicious cluster of birth defects correlated with 2,4,5-T spray drift, "these are acts of God".  He appeared to assume oafish behaviour was OK in the fluoridation sandpit (USA: sandbox I think).

        The unstated conventions of the general GMO controversy have included, for 3 decades now:-

Assert any imagined benefit as fact even when what little science exists on the particular GMO-vision implies it probably won't work

Insult those who object to dangerous GMOs

Intone blatantly false slogans 'The Big Four Rule OK', 'DNA is der Master Molekule', etc.

Con the venture-drongos into bankrolling GMO-capers that have very little chance of success; imply that everyone else has a duty to be so gullible as the venture-drongos

and for at least 1 decade:-

Use the GMO arena as just another handy power-sandpit for third-rate powerHarpies to pose as pseudo-experts and strive for attention.  It does not really matter whether reliable facts and scientific reasoning about GMOs are presented to the public.


        With axioms like this, the contending parties in this arena achieve little or no actual discussion; and uncommitted observers have little chance of receiving reliable info from any direction.
This is a very hazardous situation, as much harm may be done by uncontained GMOs while critical scientific discussion of them continues almost absent.

        What I'm sketching is a trend (ca. 2 decades, so far) for scientific issues that bear on public policy to be turned into arenas of dispute by people who are not primarily committed to truth but place a higher priority on posturing truculently.  Some of them are embarrassingly ignorant and generate good targets for pro-GM advocates & PR agents to mock (often correctly).

        I'm immediately struck by the parallel case of Creationism fanatics e.g AnswersInGenesis=AE who generate easy targets for aggressive atheists like Dawkins to mock.  Those fanatical fundamentalists do not represent Christian scholarship, and are a deep embarrassment to Christians who respect the tradition of scholarship.  Dawkins never exposes himself to genuine questioning or discussion by those who realise there are more than 2 categories of cause.  Colin Blakemore remained respectable as prof of physiology Oxon after declaring himself a Determinist.  S Pinker similarly at McGill is deemed a Bright for declaring that a human is just a computer programmed for a persistent delusion of free will.  The real biologists of C20 are ignored  -  e.g Alister Hardy, John Morton, and Sheldrake.

        The quality of utterances in a given arena of dispute may be an idiosyncratic result of which particular ravers have happened to latch onto the given subject as an excuse for insolent ranting which is the main quest of your typical modern powerHarpie.  And of course if the media latch onto such a figure  -  Helen Caldicott being an example  -  fact & reason are relegated to low priority.

        Not very mature, or even civilised, is it?

R







--============_-1084148157==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 05:54:59 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Sam Anderson <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Design of $100 Laptop for the World's Kids Unveiled Comments: To: Sons of Africa <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v734) Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=Apple-Mail-3--643356071 --Apple-Mail-3--643356071 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/plain; charset=MACINTOSH; delsp=yes; format=flowed Design of $100 Laptop for Kids Unveiled By BRIAN BERGSTEIN, AP Technology Writer Wed Sep 28, 3:24 PM ET The $100 laptop computers that Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers want to get into the hands of the world's children would be durable, flexible and self-reliant. The machines' AC adapter would double as a carrying strap, and a hand crank would power them when there's no electricity. They'd be foldable into more positions than traditional notebook PCs, and carried like slim lunchboxes. For outdoor reading, their display would be able to shift from full color to glare-resistant black and white. And surrounding it all, the laptops would have a rubber casing that closes tightly, because "they have to be absolutely indestructible," said Nicholas Negroponte, the MIT Media Lab leader who offered an update on the project Wednesday. Negroponte hatched the $100 laptop idea after seeing children in a Cambodian village benefit from having notebook computers at school that they could also tote home to use on their own. Those computers had been donated by a foundation run by Negroponte and his wife. He decided that for kids everywhere to benefit from the educational and communications powers of the Internet, someone would have to make laptops inexpensive enough for officials in developing countries to purchase en masse. At least that's Negroponte's plan. Within a year, Negroponte expects his nonprofit One Laptop Per Child to get 5 million to 15 million of the machines in production, when children in Brazil, China, Egypt, Thailand, South Africa are due to begin getting them. In the second year =89=DB" when Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes to start buying them for all 500,000 middle and high-school students in this state =89=DB" Negroponte envisions 100 million to 150 million being made. (He boasts that these humble $100 notebooks would surpass the world's existing annual production of laptops, which is about 50 =20 million.) While a prototype isn't expected to be shown off until November, Negroponte unveiled blueprints at Technology Review magazine's Emerging Technologies conference at MIT. Among the key specs: A 500-megahertz processor (that was fast in the 1990s but slow by today's standards) by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and flash memory instead of a hard drive with moving parts. To save on software costs, the laptops would run the freely available Linux operating system instead of Windows. The computers would be able to connect to Wi-Fi wireless networks and be part of "mesh" networks in which each laptop would relay data to and from other devices, reducing the need for expensive base stations. Plans call for the machines to have four USB ports for multimedia and data storage. Perhaps the defining difference is the hand crank, though first-generation users would get no more than 10 minutes of juice from one minute of winding. This certainly wouldn't be the first effort to bridge the world's so-called digital divide with inexpensive versions of fancy machinery. Other attempts have had a mixed record. With those in mind, Negroponte says his team is addressing ways this project could be undermined. For example, to keep the $100 laptops from being widely stolen or sold off in poor countries, he expects to make them so pervasive in schools and so distinctive in design that it would be "socially a stigma to be carrying one if you are not a student or a teacher." He compared it to filching a mail truck or taking something from a church: Everyone would know where it came from. As a result, he expects to keep no more than 2 percent of the machines from falling into a murky "gray market." And unlike the classic computing model in which successive generations of devices get more gadgetry at the same price, Negroponte said his group expects to do the reverse. With such tweaks as "electronic ink" displays that will require virtually no power, the MIT team expects to constantly lower the cost. After all, in much of the world, Negroponte said, even $100 "is still too expensive." --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- =FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB= =FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB s.e.anderson (author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners" - Writers =20= + Readers) --Apple-Mail-3--643356071 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset=MACINTOSH
Design of $100 = Laptop for Kids Unveiled
By BRIAN BERGSTEIN, AP Technology = Writer
Wed Sep 28, 3:24 = PM ET
The $100 laptop computers that Massachusetts = Institute of Technology
researchers want = to get into the hands of the world's children = would
be durable, = flexible and self-reliant.
The machines' AC adapter would double as a = carrying strap, and a hand
crank would power = them when there's no electricity. They'd be = foldable
into more = positions than traditional notebook PCs, and carried = like
slim = lunchboxes.

For outdoor reading, their display would be able to shift from = full
color to = glare-resistant black and white.

And surrounding it = all, the laptops would have a rubber casing that
closes tightly, because "they have to be absolutely = indestructible,"
said Nicholas = Negroponte, the MIT Media Lab leader who offered = an
update on the project = Wednesday.

Negroponte hatched the $100 laptop idea after seeing children in = a
Cambodian village benefit from having = notebook computers at school
that they could = also tote home to use on their own.

Those computers = had been donated by a foundation run by Negroponte = and
his wife. He decided that for kids everywhere = to benefit from the
educational and = communications powers of the Internet, someone = would
have to make = laptops inexpensive enough for officials in = developing
countries to = purchase en masse. At least that's Negroponte's = plan.

Within a year, Negroponte expects his nonprofit One Laptop Per = Child
to get 5 million = to 15 million of the machines in production, = when
children in = Brazil, China, Egypt, Thailand, South Africa are due = to
begin getting them.

In the second year = =89=DB" when Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes = to
start buying them for all 500,000 middle and = high-school students in
this state =89=DB" = Negroponte envisions 100 million to 150 million = being
made. (He boasts = that these humble $100 notebooks would surpass = the
world's existing annual production of = laptops, which is about 50 million.)

While a prototype = isn't expected to be shown off until November,
Negroponte unveiled blueprints at Technology Review = magazine's
Emerging = Technologies conference at MIT.

Among the key = specs: A 500-megahertz processor (that was fast in = the
1990s but slow by today's standards) by = Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
and flash memory = instead of a hard drive with moving parts. To save = on
software costs, the laptops would run the = freely available Linux
operating system = instead of Windows.

The computers would be able to connect to Wi-Fi wireless networks = and
be part of "mesh" networks in which each = laptop would relay data to
and from other = devices, reducing the need for expensive base = stations.
Plans call for the = machines to have four USB ports for multimedia = and
data storage.

Perhaps the = defining difference is the hand crank, though
first-generation users would get no more than 10 minutes of juice = from
one minute of = winding.

This certainly wouldn't be the first effort to bridge the = world's
so-called digital = divide with inexpensive versions of fancy = machinery.
Other attempts = have had a mixed record.
With those in mind, Negroponte says his team = is addressing ways this
project could be = undermined.

For example, to keep the $100 laptops from being widely stolen or = sold
off in poor = countries, he expects to make them so pervasive in = schools
and so distinctive = in design that it would be "socially a stigma to = be
carrying one if you are not a student or a = teacher." He compared it to
filching a mail = truck or taking something from a church: = Everyone
would know where = it came from.

As a result, he expects to keep no more than 2 percent of the = machines
from falling into = a murky "gray market."

And unlike the classic computing model in which successive = generations
of devices get = more gadgetry at the same price, Negroponte said = his
group expects to do the reverse. With such = tweaks as "electronic ink"
displays that will = require virtually no power, the MIT team expects = to
constantly lower the = cost.

After all, in much of the world, Negroponte said, even $100 "is = still
too = expensive."



















---------------------------------------
---------------------------------------


=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB= =FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB= =FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB=FB

s.e.anderson (author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners" - = Writers + Readers)


= --Apple-Mail-3--643356071-- ========================================================================= Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 09:50:48 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Developing community, increasing local self-sufficiency and local autonomy Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/html; boundary="KDC5S-Px8'0WV3wL00QjGLc,CndST0JLQ9Fo?g,JHNlyXg4h?NB-pS:bVk+rm6xv),e33J" Developing community, increasing local self sufficiency and autonomy, September 26, 2005

Developing community, increasing local
self-sufficiency and local autonomy

September 26, 2005

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Notz/2005-09-26.htm

A letter from Wayne Cooke in Graham, Washington State ―
who's really doing “Science for the People”!

Subject: Community ... from Graham, WA
From: Wayne Cooke <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 00:59:26 EDT
To: George Salzman <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>

      I still remember looking up the word “serendipity” in the Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) Library. Serendipity brought me to your website and I want to thank you.

      An old copy of Science For the People (SftP), 100th issue, July, 1985 was in my garage. I was a subscriber. Admiring it again, I wondered if it still existed, and a google search led me to an obituary essay in praise of your wife, Freda, which led me to your own website. Before exploring further, your folders seemed to key in on what I have been doing here in Graham, south of Tacoma.

      Before 2004, I was dismayed at the Bush government initiatives to strip away the progress of the past 70 years and worked to defeat him. I read a dozen books trying to understand “why” and wrote my “Book Reports” to educate others. They were received well and appreciated. After 2004, I was aghast at the obvious vote fraud and then started our local Democracy For America chapter. However, I also read Hubbert's Peak and began to understand how the coming decline of cheap oil plus our military might was leading the PNAC group behind Bush to start their manipulations for control of world oil, beginning with Iraq.

      I hold little hope for the continuance of our democracy. Perhaps some secret group somewhere is plotting an overthrow of this anti-people government, but the effects of an economic collapse caused by the permanent petroleum decline and the stupid economic policies of this government will trump any political change.

      So I've read the books of Thom Hartmann, Heinberg, Kunstler, and soon the new book by Matt Simmons. A common thread in their last chapters suggesting what to do is the deliberate pre-planning for more cohesive local community along with learning to grow a lot of your own food, just like the great-grandparents did.

      As a retired teacher, my farming skills were nil, but still I planted a tiny “community garden” in the middle of our 86th Street community, to catch neighbor's curiosity. I've now finished a letter to over 100 neighbors, to be hand delivered at the end of the month, explaining the purpose of the garden as an example of a coming need, and suggesting a study group at the library to read and discuss these “peak oil" books and how our little local community can begin now to think about what plans might become necessary to help us help each other's security, health, and survival when this valuable petroleum is no longer around to give us plentiful energy and warmth.

      Dr. Penny Rowe, an atmospheric scientist in Tacoma, also started a small group to advocate local food growing and peak oil preparation. Prof. Mark Jensen, of PLU, also has a group studying this. Washington State University is hosting a two-day conference on Global Oil Decline Oct. 4th and 5th in Spokane, at which Matt Simmons will be a principal speaker.

      I have written an essay, “Planning for 2010”, as a way of trying to get the message out to people, summarizing Heinberg's suggestions.

      Dr. Lois Gustanksi is in Gig Harbor near Tacoma, writing and being a consultant on the idea of community. Others, too, are beginning to see the future as Kunstler's End of Surburbia sees it.

      I lived on Mass. Ave. in 1950, and became quite familiar with M.I.T. then, as part of the World Federalist's chapter on campus.

      I'd appreciate any reply or suggestions you might make. Looks to me like we are going to be pushed into “community sharing” like it or not! Thank you. I want to become more acquainted with what you are doing.


Oaxaca, Mexico, Monday, September 26, 2005

Dear Wayne,

      Thank you very much for writing me about your activities as well as efforts of others in the Tacoma area to try to anticipate and prepare for threats to our (and our children's and grandchildren's) future well being. I want to offer you as much encouragement and help as I can for your vitally important work.

      I'm taking the liberty of posting your letter and my response on my website, because I think it can inspire other folks to get involved, as you are. I will also post it on the Science for the People (SftP) discussion list, where it will be mailed to all the members of the group and archived for future access. The original SftP organization that published the bi-monthly magazine Science for the People dissolved some time in the 1980's (I don't recall exactly when). Then, in 1998 Steve Cavrak and I started the current SftP discussion group, an open listserv that anyone is free to join and post items to. To join (or quit) just go to http://list.uvm.edu/archives/science-for-the-people.html and click on the third link from the top of the page.

      Your letter came as “a bolt out of the blue”, possibly but not obviously in response to my posting less than two days earlier, “We don't need a hurricane; the time for revolution is now!”, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Notz/2005-09-22.htm. That essay, also sent out to my e-mail distribution list (currently over 1,200) led to a number of responses with information of great interest to me, and probably to you. One in particular, of which I had been unaware, and from which I learned a lot, came from Bill Templer, alerting me to an article of his which begins “Harry Cleaver's extraordinary piece “The Uses of an Earthquake” (Midnight Notes 1988) on the response by Tepito (a barrio in Mexico City) to the 1985 earthquake and its aftermath — and the building of grassroots autonomous self-organization and militancy by the Tepiteños — is especially relevant in the wake of Katrina”. Templer's article is at http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=05/09/16/1519233.

      Written in 1988, Cleaver's essay, deservedly termed by Templer a “classic piece” is at http://www.eco.utexas.edu/facstaff/Cleaver/earthquake.html. It tells about the development of true community in Tepito, a relatively small barrio (section) of Mexico City. Perhaps its main theoretical importance is in its depiction of the strong ― probably critical ― interdependence of communality and communal autonomy that it explores ― the need of each for the other, if either is to be achieved and maintained. I think it's a “must read”.

      Another essay of great interest to me came from James Herod <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>, who sent me George Caffentzis's article, “The Petroleum Commons: Local, Islamic and Global”. It's full of historical information that I knew nothing about, and which is highly relevant to our shared concerns. I'll soon post it on my website at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2004-12-10.htm, where you'll be able to read it. James also sent me a bibliography of his, which I'll post before long and announce on one of my e-mail distributions.

      That's enough for the moment. My activities, about which you asked, are concentrated on trying to build these grassroots-based communications networks. It's an integral part of my website postings. Let's keep in touch.

All best wishes,
George


All comments and criticisms are welcome.    <[log in to unmask]>">[log in to unmask]>

If you want me to add or remove your name from my e-mail
distribution list, please let me know.

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========================================================================= Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 12:49:54 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: The Wars Over Evolution Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084099099==_ma============" --============_-1084099099==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18363 The New York Review of Books Volume 52, Number 16 =B7 October 20, 2005 The Wars Over Evolution By Richard C. Lewontin The Evolution-Creation Struggle by Michael Ruse Harvard University Press, 327 pp., $25.95 Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution by Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd University of Chicago Press, 332 pp. $30.00 1. The development of evolutionary biology has=20 induced two opposite reactions, both of which=20 threaten its legitimacy as a natural scientific=20 explanation. One, based on religious convictions,=20 rejects the science of evolution in a fit of=20 hostility, attempting to destroy it by=20 challenging its sufficiency as the mechanism that=20 explains the history of life in general and of=20 the material nature of human beings in=20 particular. One demand of those who hold such=20 views is that their competing theories be taught=20 in the schools. The other reaction, from academics in search of a=20 universal theory of human society and history,=20 embraces Darwinism in a fit of enthusiasm,=20 threatening its status as a natural science by=20 forcing its explanatory scheme to account not=20 simply for the shape of brains but for the shape=20 of ideas. The Evolution-Creation Struggle is=20 concerned with the first challenge, Not By Genes=20 Alone with the second. It is no surprise that Cardinal Christoph=20 Sch=F6nborn has recently chosen the Op-Ed page of=20 The New York Times to enunciate the doctrine on=20 evolution of the new Benedictine papacy.[1]=20 Political and cultural struggle over the origin=20 of life and of the human species in particular=20 has been a characteristically American phenomenon=20 for a century, providing Europeans (the French in=20 particular) with yet another example of la folie=20 des Anglo-Saxons. In his essay, Cardinal=20 Sch=F6nborn accepts that human and other organisms=20 have a common ancestry and, by implication, that=20 the species on earth today have evolved over a=20 long period from other species no longer extant.=20 That is, he accepts the historical fact that life=20 has evolved. He distinguishes this acceptable=20 fact of evolution from what he characterizes as=20 the unacceptable "neo-Darwinian" theory that, in=20 the words of the official 1992 Catechism of the=20 Catholic Church of which he was an editor,=20 evolution is "reducible to pure chance and=20 necessity." He rejects, as he must, the Newtonian=20 notion of first cause, that at the beginning God=20 only created a material mechanism with a few=20 basic molecular laws and that the rest of history=20 has simply been the consequence of this mechanism. In the evolutionary process, he writes, there=20 must have been "an internal finality," the Divine=20 plan. He calls attention to the fact that John=20 Paul II, who endorsed the science of evolution in=20 his 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of=20 Sciences, nevertheless insisted in his other=20 writings that there must also be such a principle=20 of finality and direction built into the material=20 process. Such internal finality and direction=20 cannot be omitted from the minimal Christian=20 position. For if evolution is only the=20 consequence of random mutations, none of which=20 needs to have occurred, and if the subsequent=20 fate of those mutations is subject only to the=20 relative ability of their carriers to reproduce=20 and to survive catastrophes of the environment=20 that eliminate species and make room for new=20 ones, then rational beings capable of moral=20 choices might never have come into existence. But=20 without such beings the concept of Redemption is=20 unintelligible. Christianity demands, at the very=20 least, the inevitable emergence of creatures=20 capable of sin. Without a history of human sin,=20 there is no Christ. Everything else is up for grabs. Neither the=20 Vatican nor much of quite conventional Protestant=20 theology demands that one take the story in=20 Genesis 1 literally. Even William Jennings Bryan,=20 famous as the prosecutor in the Scopes trial in=20 1925, when called as a witness for the defense,=20 confessed that he did not much care whether God=20 took six days or six hundred million years to=20 create the world. Moreover, even the minimalist=20 Christian position does not require the=20 abandonment of the neo-Darwinian view of the=20 mechanism of evolution. It is quite possible to=20 argue, as some of my believing religious=20 colleagues do, that God set the stage for=20 evolution by natural selection of undirected=20 mutations, but that He reserved the ancestral=20 line destined to become human for special=20 preservation and guidance. What, then, is the source of the repeated=20 episodes of active political and social agitation=20 against the assertions of evolutionary science?=20 One apparent answer is that it is the expected=20 product of fundamentalist belief, which rejects=20 the easy compromises of liberal exegesis and=20 insists that every word in Genesis means exactly=20 what it says. Days are days, not eons. But=20 there's the rub. A literal reading of Genesis=20 tells us that it took God only three days to make=20 the physical universe as it now exists, yet=20 nuclear physics and astrophysics claim a very old=20 stellar system and provide the instruments for=20 the dating of bits and pieces of the earth and of=20 fossils spanning hundreds of millions of years.=20 So why aren't Kansas schools under extreme=20 pressure to change the curriculum in physical=20 science courses? Why should physicists be allowed=20 to propagate, unopposed, their godless accounts=20 of the evolution of the physical universe?=20 Something more is at stake than a disagreement=20 over the literal truth of biblical metaphors. One way to understand the particular=20 vulnerability of the science of biological=20 evolution to religious attack is to blame it on=20 the biologists. That is the message of Michael=20 Ruse's The Evolution-Creation Struggle. Ruse, a=20 well-known philosopher of science, is not a=20 creationist and is careful to align himself with=20 the Darwinian explanation of the origin and=20 evolution of species. He identifies his position=20 on the existence of a higher power as "somewhere=20 between deist...and agnosticism." That is, he is=20 committed to giving natural explanations of=20 natural phenomena as a methodological principle,=20 but he is not absolutely sure that every aspect=20 of the world is, in fact, nothing but the=20 interactions of matter according to natural laws. His chief quarrel is not with evolutionary=20 biology as a technical scientific discipline, or=20 even with its claim that the evolution of species=20 has been a purely material process, but rather=20 with what he calls "evolutionism," a commitment=20 to a principle of universal long-term progress in=20 the biological, social, cultural, and political=20 worlds. He identifies evolutionism as a form of=20 religion and portrays the conflict between=20 creationism and evolutionism as a fight between=20 two religious doctrines, a struggle between=20 premillenialism, the doctrine that earthly=20 perfection will only be achieved after, and as a=20 consequence, of the Second Coming, and=20 postmillenialism, the view that Christ will=20 return, if at all, only after earthly paradise=20 has been achieved. Ruse sees evolutionary biology=20 as having been permeated by the idea of pro-gress=20 and so, as a rhetorical device, identifies it as=20 "postmillenial," but without any commitment to=20 the Second Coming. Ruse is certainly correct that notions of=20 progress have recurred repeatedly in evolutionary=20 biology, especially in the nineteenth century.=20 However, it is not the ideology of progress that=20 has characterized evolutionary theory, not even=20 at its nineteenth-century origins. Rather it was=20 change, ceaseless change, that was the=20 ideological leitmotif of a revolutionary era.=20 Ninety years before Darwin's On the Origin of=20 Species, Denis Diderot had his dreaming=20 philosopher d'Alembert ask, Who knows what races of animals preceded ours?=20 Who knows what races of animals will succeed=20 ours? Everything changes, everything passes, only=20 the totality remains.[2] Nine years before the appearance of the Origin,=20 Tennyson's In Memoriam echoed Diderot. Is nature,=20 while making individual death inevitable, at=20 least careful of the type? So careful of the type? But no. From scarped cliff and quarried stone She cries, "A thousand types are gone: I care for nothing, all shall go." Herbert Spencer in his Progress: Its Law and=20 Cause (1857) argued for change as a general=20 phenomenon, as a "beneficent necessity," citing=20 historical transformation in music, poetry,=20 society, government, and language. But even=20 Spencer defined progress in a way that accorded=20 with contemporary changes in social and economic=20 relations: Leaving out of sight concomitants and beneficial=20 consequences, let us ask what progress is in=20 itself. =46rom the earliest traceable cosmical changes down=20 to the latest results of civilization, we shall=20 find that the transformation of the homogeneous=20 into the heterogeneous is that in which progress=20 consists. What could have seemed more obvious to the=20 mid-nineteenth-century observer than the=20 transformation of a relatively "homogeneous"=20 society, characterized by the "simple" agrarian=20 life with the rural village its center, into one=20 marked by the booming, buzzing "heterogeneous"=20 confusion of life in industrial Manchester and=20 London? Darwin himself avoided implications of general=20 progress or of directionality. It should be noted=20 that his great work is unideologically titled On=20 the Origin of Species, not On Evolution, and the=20 word "evolution" nowhere appears in the first=20 edition of that work, which thus neatly avoids,=20 by intent or not, any implication of an unfolding=20 of a progressive program. Equally revealing is=20 the title of his work on human evolution, a field=20 in which its more recent practitioners find=20 notions of progress and directionality all too=20 tempting. Darwin's title is The Descent of=20 Man.[3] The theory of evolution was not a product=20 of a commitment to progress but a reaction to a=20 consciousness of the instability of the social=20 structures that characterized the bourgeois=20 revolutions and the radical changes in them. The=20 =46ounding Fathers did not promise us all eventual=20 happiness, but only the freedom to run in pursuit=20 of it. Despite Darwin's caution, notions of progress and=20 directionality have indeed reappeared from time=20 to time in evolutionary theory, especially in=20 discussions of human physical and cultural=20 change. However, the modern empirical science of=20 evolutionary biology and the mathematical=20 apparatus that has been developed to make a=20 coherent account of changes that result from the=20 underlying biological processes of inheritance=20 and natural selection do not make use of a priori=20 ideas of progress. It is true, as Ruse points=20 out, that two of the originators of the=20 mathematical formulation of evolutionary dynamics=20 were ideologically committed to some form of=20 meliorism, if not perfection. Ronald Fisher in=20 England was an advocate of eugenics, and both he=20 and Sewall Wright in America formulated the=20 principle of natural selection as a process of=20 increasing, from generation to generation, the=20 average fitness of members of a breeding=20 population. Yet these formulations make no=20 predictions about a general progress of species. This may seem odd, since the process of natural=20 selection is supposed to make organisms more fit=20 for their environment. So why does evolution not=20 result in a general increase of the fitness of=20 life to the external world? Wouldn't that be=20 progress? The reason that there is no general=20 progress is that the environments in which=20 particular species live are themselves changing=20 and, relative to the organisms, are usually=20 getting worse. So most of natural selection is=20 concerned with keeping up. Certainly quite new=20 kinds of making a living have been occasionally=20 exploited in evolution, but every species=20 eventually becomes extinct (99.9 percent already=20 have) and no way of making a living will be=20 around forever.[4] Judging from the fossil record=20 a typical mammalian species lasts roughly ten=20 million years, so we might expect to last another=20 nine million unless, as a consequence of our=20 immense ability to manipulate the physical world,=20 we either extinguish ourselves a good deal sooner=20 or invent some extraordinary way to significantly=20 postpone the inevitable. One of the most-cited results in evolutionary=20 biology is the study by the University of Chicago=20 biologist Leigh Van Valen of the longevity of=20 Tennyson's "types." Van Valen reasoned that if=20 there is a general increase in the fitness of=20 organisms then the length of time between the=20 first appearance of a kind of organism in the=20 fossil record and its eventual extinction should=20 increase over the long run of geological time.=20 But that is not what has happened. He found that=20 the average length of time from origin to=20 extinction of an invertebrate, as measured in the=20 fossil record, has not changed over evolutionary=20 time. We have no evidence that this is not true=20 for species in general. So despite natural=20 selection, things are not getting any better over=20 the long run. Van Valen called this phenomenon=20 the evolutionary "Red Queen," after the character=20 in Through the Looking Glass who found it=20 necessary to run constantly just to keep up with=20 a world that was constantly moving beneath her.=20 Unfortunately, in real life, the Queen inevitably=20 will tire, stumble, and be swept away. If we accept that evolutionary biology is not, in=20 fact, committed to progress, then we cannot=20 accept Ruse's central contention that in both evolution and creation we have rival=20 religious responses to a crisis of faith-rival=20 stories of origins, rival judgements about the=20 meaning of human life, rival sets of moral=20 dictates and, above all, rival eschatologies=20 [i.e., premillenarian vs. postmillenarian]. =46lowing from his view that scientific=20 evolutionary biology can be turned into a kind of=20 religion, Ruse is worried that the commitment to=20 using only natural phenomena in the attempt to=20 explain the history and variety of organisms is a=20 "slippery slope" down which evolutionists may=20 glide from the firm surface of hard-minded=20 methodology, of which Ruse approves, into the=20 slough of unreflective metaphysical naturalism.=20 We demand that our scientific work be framed with=20 reference only to material mechanisms that can,=20 at least in principle, be observed in nature=20 because any other method would lead us into a=20 hopeless morass of uncheckable speculation that=20 would be the end of science. But we should not,=20 in Ruse's view, confuse that rule of conduct with=20 a revelation of how the world really works. Maybe=20 God is lurking out there somewhere but He doesn't=20 leave any residue in our test tube, so we will be=20 tempted to assume He doesn't exist. This is a philosopher's worry that does not, as=20 far as I can tell, correspond to the way people=20 really acquire their views of reality. Some may=20 have had mountaintop conversions at some point in=20 their lives, while others experience a crisis of=20 faith as they mature. Theodosius Dobzhansky, the=20 leading empirical evolutionary geneticist of the=20 twentieth century, who spent most of his life=20 staring down a microscope at chromosomes,=20 vacillated between deism, gnosticism, and=20 membership in the Russian Orthodox Church. He=20 could not understand how anyone on his or her=20 deathbed could remain an unrepentant materialist.=20 I, his student and scientific epigone, ingested=20 my unwavering atheism and a priori materialism=20 along with the spinach at the parental dinner=20 table. =46ull: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18363 --============_-1084099099==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable The Wars Over Evolution
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18363

The New York Review of Books
Volume 52, Number 16 =B7 October 20, 2005
The Wars Over Evolution
By Richard C. Lewontin
The Evolution-Creation Struggle
by Michael Ruse
Harvard University Press, 327 pp., $25.95
Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution
by Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd
University of Chicago Press, 332 pp. $30.00
1.
The development of evolutionary biology has induced two opposite reactions, both of which threaten its legitimacy as a natural scientific explanation. One, based on religious convictions, rejects the science of evolution in a fit of hostility, attempting to destroy it by challenging its sufficiency as the mechanism that explains the history of life in general and of the material nature of human beings in particular. One demand of those who hold such views is that their competing theories be taught in the schools.

The other reaction, from academics in search of a universal theory of human society and history, embraces Darwinism in a fit of enthusiasm, threatening its status as a natural science by forcing its explanatory scheme to account not simply for the shape of brains but for the shape of ideas. The Evolution-Creation Struggle is concerned with the first challenge, Not By Genes Alone with the second.
It is no surprise that Cardinal Christoph Sch=F6nborn has recently chosen the Op-Ed page of The New York Times to enunciate the doctrine on evolution of the new Benedictine papacy.[1] Political and cultural struggle over the origin of life and of the human species in particular has been a characteristically American phenomenon for a century, providing Europeans (the French in particular) with yet another example of la folie des Anglo-Saxons. In his essay, Cardinal Sch=F6nborn accepts that human and other organisms have a common ancestry and, by implication, that the species on earth today have evolved over a long period from other species no longer extant. That is, he accepts the historical fact that life has evolved. He distinguishes this acceptable fact of evolution from what he characterizes as the unacceptable "neo-Darwinian" theory that, in the words of the official 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church of which he was an editor, evolution is "reducible to pure chance and necessity." He rejects, as he must, the Newtonian notion of first cause, that at the beginning God only created a material mechanism with a few basic molecular laws and that the rest of history has simply been the consequence of this mechanism.

In the evolutionary process, he writes, there must have been "an internal finality," the Divine plan. He calls attention to the fact that John Paul II, who endorsed the science of evolution in his 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, nevertheless insisted in his other writings that there must also be such a principle of finality and direction built into the material process. Such internal finality and direction cannot be omitted from the minimal Christian position. For if evolution is only the consequence of random mutations, none of which needs to have occurred, and if the subsequent fate of those mutations is subject only to the relative ability of their carriers to reproduce and to survive catastrophes of the environment that eliminate species and make room for new ones, then rational beings capable of moral choices might never have come into existence. But without such beings the concept of Redemption is unintelligible. Christianity demands, at the very least, the inevitable emergence of creatures capable of sin. Without a history of human sin, there is no Christ.

Everything else is up for grabs. Neither the Vatican nor much of quite conventional Protestant theology demands that one take the story in Genesis 1 literally. Even William Jennings Bryan, famous as the prosecutor in the Scopes trial in 1925, when called as a witness for the defense, confessed that he did not much care whether God took six days or six hundred million years to create the world. Moreover, even the minimalist Christian position does not require the abandonment of the neo-Darwinian view of the mechanism of evolution. It is quite possible to argue, as some of my believing religious colleagues do, that God set the stage for evolution by natural selection of undirected mutations, but that He reserved the ancestral line destined to become human for special preservation and guidance.

What, then, is the source of the repeated episodes of active political and social agitation against the assertions of evolutionary science? One apparent answer is that it is the expected product of fundamentalist belief, which rejects the easy compromises of liberal exegesis and insists that every word in Genesis means exactly what it says. Days are days, not eons. But there's the rub. A literal reading of Genesis tells us that it took God only three days to make the physical universe as it now exists, yet nuclear physics and astrophysics claim a very old stellar system and provide the instruments for the dating of bits and pieces of the earth and of fossils spanning hundreds of millions of years. So why aren't Kansas schools under extreme pressure to change the curriculum in physical science courses? Why should physicists be allowed to propagate, unopposed, their godless accounts of the evolution of the physical universe? Something more is at stake than a disagreement over the literal truth of biblical metaphors.

One way to understand the particular vulnerability of the science of biological evolution to religious attack is to blame it on the biologists. That is the message of Michael Ruse's The Evolution-Creation Struggle. Ruse, a well-known philosopher of science, is not a creationist and is careful to align himself with the Darwinian explanation of the origin and evolution of species. He identifies his position on the existence of a higher power as "somewhere between deist...and agnosticism." That is, he is committed to giving natural explanations of natural phenomena as a methodological principle, but he is not absolutely sure that every aspect of the world is, in fact, nothing but the interactions of matter according to natural laws.
His chief quarrel is not with evolutionary biology as a technical scientific discipline, or even with its claim that the evolution of species has been a purely material process, but rather with what he calls "evolutionism," a commitment to a principle of universal long-term progress in the biological, social, cultural, and political worlds. He identifies evolutionism as a form of religion and portrays the conflict between creationism and evolutionism as a fight between two religious doctrines, a struggle between premillenialism, the doctrine that earthly perfection will only be achieved after, and as a consequence, of the Second Coming, and postmillenialism, the view that Christ will return, if at all, only after earthly paradise has been achieved. Ruse sees evolutionary biology as having been permeated by the idea of pro-gress and so, as a rhetorical device, identifies it as "postmillenial," but without any commitment to the Second Coming.

Ruse is certainly correct that notions of progress have recurred repeatedly in evolutionary biology, especially in the nineteenth century. However, it is not the ideology of progress that has characterized evolutionary theory, not even at its nineteenth-century origins. Rather it was change, ceaseless change, that was the ideological leitmotif of a revolutionary era. Ninety years before Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Denis Diderot had his dreaming philosopher d'Alembert ask,
Who knows what races of animals preceded ours? Who knows what races of animals will succeed ours? Everything changes, everything passes, only the totality remains.[2]

Nine years before the appearance of the Origin, Tennyson's In Memoriam echoed Diderot. Is nature, while making individual death inevitable, at least careful of the type?

    So careful of the type? But no.
    From scarped cliff and quarried stone
    She cries, "A thousand types are gone:
    I care for nothing, all shall go."
Herbert Spencer in his Progress: Its Law and Cause (1857) argued for change as a general phenomenon, as a "beneficent necessity," citing historical transformation in music, poetry, society, government, and language. But even Spencer defined progress in a way that accorded with contemporary changes in social and economic relations:

Leaving out of sight concomitants and beneficial consequences, let us ask what progress is in itself.

From the earliest traceable cosmical changes down to the latest results of civilization, we shall find that the transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous is that in which progress consists.

What could have seemed more obvious to the mid-nineteenth-century observer than the transformation of a relatively "homogeneous" society, characterized by the "simple" agrarian life with the rural village its center, into one marked by the booming, buzzing "heterogeneous" confusion of life in industrial Manchester and London?

Darwin himself avoided implications of general progress or of directionality. It should be noted that his great work is unideologically titled On the Origin of Species, not On Evolution, and the word "evolution" nowhere appears in the first edition of that work, which thus neatly avoids, by intent or not, any implication of an unfolding of a progressive program. Equally revealing is the title of his work on human evolution, a field in which its more recent practitioners find notions of progress and directionality all too tempting. Darwin's title is The Descent of Man.[3] The theory of evolution was not a product of a commitment to progress but a reaction to a consciousness of the instability of the social structures that characterized the bourgeois revolutions and the radical changes in them. The Founding Fathers did not promise us all eventual happiness, but only the freedom to run in pursuit of it.

Despite Darwin's caution, notions of progress and directionality have indeed reappeared from time to time in evolutionary theory, especially in discussions of human physical and cultural change. However, the modern empirical science of evolutionary biology and the mathematical apparatus that has been developed to make a coherent account of changes that result from the underlying biological processes of inheritance and natural selection do not make use of a priori ideas of progress. It is true, as Ruse points out, that two of the originators of the mathematical formulation of evolutionary dynamics were ideologically committed to some form of meliorism, if not perfection. Ronald Fisher in England was an advocate of eugenics, and both he and Sewall Wright in America formulated the principle of natural selection as a process of increasing, from generation to generation, the average fitness of members of a breeding population. Yet these formulations make no predictions about a general progress of species.

This may seem odd, since the process of natural selection is supposed to make organisms more fit for their environment. So why does evolution not result in a general increase of the fitness of life to the external world? Wouldn't that be progress? The reason that there is no general progress is that the environments in which particular species live are themselves changing and, relative to the organisms, are usually getting worse. So most of natural selection is concerned with keeping up. Certainly quite new kinds of making a living have been occasionally exploited in evolution, but every species eventually becomes extinct (99.9 percent already have) and no way of making a living will be around forever.[4] Judging from the fossil record a typical mammalian species lasts roughly ten million years, so we might expect to last another nine million unless, as a consequence of our immense ability to manipulate the physical world, we either extinguish ourselves a good deal sooner or invent some extraordinary way to significantly postpone the inevitable.

One of the most-cited results in evolutionary biology is the study by the University of Chicago biologist Leigh Van Valen of the longevity of Tennyson's "types." Van Valen reasoned that if there is a general increase in the fitness of organisms then the length of time between the first appearance of a kind of organism in the fossil record and its eventual extinction should increase over the long run of geological time. But that is not what has happened. He found that the average length of time from origin to extinction of an invertebrate, as measured in the fossil record, has not changed over evolutionary time. We have no evidence that this is not true for species in general. So despite natural selection, things are not getting any better over the long run. Van Valen called this phenomenon the evolutionary "Red Queen," after the character in Through the Looking Glass who found it necessary to run constantly just to keep up with a world that was constantly moving beneath her. Unfortunately, in real life, the Queen inevitably will tire, stumble, and be swept away.
If we accept that evolutionary biology is not, in fact, committed to progress, then we cannot accept Ruse's central contention that
in both evolution and creation we have rival religious responses to a crisis of faith-rival stories of origins, rival judgements about the meaning of human life, rival sets of moral dictates and, above all, rival eschatologies [i.e., premillenarian vs. postmillenarian].

Flowing from his view that scientific evolutionary biology can be turned into a kind of religion, Ruse is worried that the commitment to using only natural phenomena in the attempt to explain the history and variety of organisms is a "slippery slope" down which evolutionists may glide from the firm surface of hard-minded methodology, of which Ruse approves, into the slough of unreflective metaphysical naturalism. We demand that our scientific work be framed with reference only to material mechanisms that can, at least in principle, be observed in nature because any other method would lead us into a hopeless morass of uncheckable speculation that would be the end of science. But we should not, in Ruse's view, confuse that rule of conduct with a revelation of how the world really works. Maybe God is lurking out there somewhere but He doesn't leave any residue in our test tube, so we will be tempted to assume He doesn't exist.
This is a philosopher's worry that does not, as far as I can tell, correspond to the way people really acquire their views of reality. Some may have had mountaintop conversions at some point in their lives, while others experience a crisis of faith as they mature. Theodosius Dobzhansky, the leading empirical evolutionary geneticist of the twentieth century, who spent most of his life staring down a microscope at chromosomes, vacillated between deism, gnosticism, and membership in the Russian Orthodox Church. He could not understand how anyone on his or her deathbed could remain an unrepentant materialist. I, his student and scientific epigone, ingested my unwavering atheism and a priori materialism along with the spinach at the parental dinner table.
Full: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18363
--============_-1084099099==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 11:38:44 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]> Subject: More on the "conspiracy" to dynamite the 17th street canal levee Comments: To: [log in to unmask] In-Reply-To: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9532037/ New Orleans levee reported weak in 1990s Records: Construction firm alerted engineers, but no action was taken By Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit NBC News Updated: 7:39 p.m. ET Sept. 29, 2005 WASHINGTON - The thin gray line of concrete floodwalls erected along drainage canals was supposed to protect New Orleans. But when Katrina hit, portions of the walls came tumbling down, flooding the city. Experts are just now beginning to probe why those floodwalls failed. They want to determine whether the storm surge from Katrina poured over them, or whether the walls collapsed because of a possible flaw. “This is fairly typical of some of the failures we've seen,” says Professor Ivor van Heerden, a hurricane expert at Louisiana State University who has examined the wreckage. “These walls underwent catastrophic structural failure.” But why? NBC News has obtained what may be a key clue, hidden in long forgotten legal documents. They reveal that when the floodwall on the 17th Street Canal was built a decade ago, there were major construction problems — problems brought to the attention of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A 1998 ruling, by an administrative judge for the Corps' Board of Contract Appeals, shows that the contractor, Pittman Construction, told the Corps that the soil and the foundation for the walls were “not of sufficient strength, rigidity and stability” to build on. “That's incredibly damning evidence,” says van Heerden, “I mean, really, incredibly damning.” Pittman won the contract in 1993. There already was an earthen levee made of soil. Embedded in that was a thin metal wall called sheet piling. The contractor was hired to pour concrete on top of all that to form the flood wall. But the 1998 documents — filed as part of a legal dispute over costs — indicate the contractor complained about “weakness” of the soil and “the lack of structural integrity of the existing sheet pile around which the concrete was poured.” The ruling also referenced the “flimsiness” of the sheet piling. NBC showed the findings to engineering experts. “That type of issue about the strength of the soils, of course, bears directly on the performance of a floodwall,” says LSU engineering professor Joe Suhayda. “I think it is very significant,” adds Robert G. Bea, a former Corps engineer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is part of a National Science Foundation inquiry into the failure of flood controls. “It begins to explain some things that I couldn't explain based on the information that I've had.” The construction company said as a result of these problems the walls were shifting and “out of tolerance,” meaning they did not meet some design specifications. Nevertheless, the Army Corps of Engineers accepted the work. “It seems to me that the authorities really should have questioned whether these walls were safe,” says van Heerden. The judge, in her ruling, blamed the contractor for the construction errors and turned down Pittman's request for more funds. Pittman Construction is now out of business. (A firm called CR Pittman Construction, also based in New Orleans, is a separate company.) In a statement, the Corps of Engineers tells NBC: "The records on the Pittman contract appeal will undoubtedly be part of any thorough investigation to determine the cause of the levee breaches in New Orleans. The Corps is preserving evidence that could be used in the investigation. The exact composition and structure of the team responsible for a potential investigation has not been determined at this time." Lisa Myers is NBC’s senior investigative correspondent -- www.marxmail.org ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 10:33:46 -0700 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> Subject: And the Alternative Nobel Prize Goes To... Comments: To: [log in to unmask] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="============_-1084020867==_ma============" --============_-1084020867==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=30476 DEVELOPMENT: And the Alternative Nobel Prize Goes To... Jim Lobe WASHINGTON, Sep 29 (IPS) - Social activists from Mexico, Malaysia, Botswana and Canada have won the 2005 "Right Livelihood Award", an honour meant to celebrate groups and individuals who show outstanding vision and work on behalf of the natural world and its people. The 250,000-dollar prize, which will be formally presented in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm Dec. 9, will be shared by Francisco Toledo, an artist and community philanthropist in Oaxaca, Mexico; Canadian trade and social justice campaigners Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke; Malaysian union and community organiser Irene Fernandez; and the First People of the Kalahari, a grassroots Bushmen group that resisted the Botswana government's efforts to evict them from their ancestral home in the Kalahari Desert. The "Right Livelihood Award," which is often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", has been given to more than 100 activists from 48 countries since it was founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German stamp collector who sold his collection, worth about a million dollars, to finance the award. Its past recipients include the 2004 Nobel Peace laureate and Kenyan environmentalist, Wangari Maathai, as well as Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian writer and Ogoni activist who was executed by the military regime of Gen. Sani Abacha. Winners of the award should be engaged in work that "fully respects other people and the natural world" and that involves some "personal sacrifice". Toledo, a 65-year-old Zapotec Indian, was recognised for "devoting himself and his art to the protection, enhancement and renewal of the architectural and cultural heritage, natural environment and community life of his native Oaxaca". A painter who has exhibited in galleries in Mexico, Europe, South and North America, and Asia, Toledo has created children's libraries in Indian communities, and founded a number of artistic and cultural institutions, including the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, the Graphic Arts Institute of Oaxaca, the Jorge Luis Borges Library for the Blind, the Centro Cultural Santo Domingo in Oaxaca, and his own publishing house. He also helped found Pro-Oax which is dedicated to the protection and promotion of art, architecture, culture and the environment of Oaxaca. As a community activist, he has also successfully fought the construction of modern luxury hotels, parking lots, highways, a cable car to the nearby Monte Alban archaelogical site, and a McDonald's fast food outlet in Oaxaca's famous main square. Barlow and Clarke are long-time activists on trade and justice issues, currently with a special focus on water. Barlow, 58, has served as a long-time leader in the Canadian women's movement and helped found the Council of Canadians, a 100,000-member group with 70 chapters that was originally conceived to fight the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and to ensure Canadian sovereignty over its natural resources, including water. She played a leading role in opposition the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well. Barlow has written or co-authored some 15 books on globalisation and the threats it poses to the "the global commons", the latest being "Too Close for Comfort, Canada's Future in Fortress North America". Clarke, 60, served as head of the social action department of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and chaired Action Canada Network, the largest coalition of civil society groups and labour unions in Canada to oppose the corporate free trade agenda. In 2002, Clarke and Barlow published "Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water", which has been published in 40 countries. More recently, Clark authored "Inside the Bottle", an expose about the world's bottled water industry and its impact on water resources of the world's poor. Fernandez, 59, has been Malaysia's most prominent campaigner for the rights of the most vulnerable people, including migrant workers, farm workers, domestic workers, prostitutes and AIDS victims. In the early 1970s, she organised the country's first textile workers' union and spearheaded efforts to organise workers in the country's export-processing zones. In 1976, she joined the Consumers Association of Penang, which became a leader in consumer rights, environmental protection, and occupational safety. Beginning in the mid-1980s, she led campaigns to stop violence against women, including the All Women's Action Society in which she served as president for five years. At the same time, she helped found the Asia Pacific Women Law and Development, where she served as director more than a decade. In the early 1990s, she became chair of the Pesticide Action Network, which has promoted campaigns against genetically modified organisms and corporate control of seeds, as well as worker safety, and founded Tenaganita, an organisation also headed by her that campaigns for the rights and welfare of the approximately three million foreign workers in Malaysia and that also runs a halfway house for prostitutes with HIV. Fernandez was arrested in 1996 after publishing a report on abuses committed against migrant workers and charged with "maliciously publishing false news". She was found guilty in 2003 and sentenced to one year in prison. The case is currently on appeal. The First People of the Kalahari (FPK) represents hundreds of Gana and Gwi Bushmen of Botswana, who have been among the last to live on the ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, but who have been forcibly removed since 1996 to resettlement camps outside the park, where they live mainly on government hand-outs. The group's leader, Roy Sesana, who will also share the Right Livelihood Award, was born in the Bushman community of Molapo, at least 50 years ago. He worked for several years in South Africa before returning to the central Kalahari in 1971 to train as a traditional healer. Strongly backed by London-based Survival International, Sesana and the FPK steadfastly resisted the forced relocations, which they say are motivated by the government's interest in granting diamond concessions to De Beers, the multinational diamond company, through civil disobedience and legal action. In 2002, the government cut off their natural water supply to force the several hundred holdouts to move. Just five days ago, according to Survival International, FPK leaders, including Sesana, were among a group of 28 Bushmen arrested by police for trying to take food and water to relatives who remain in the Game Reserve. The group said the activists were badly beaten by police after their arrests. The government charged that they were arrested only after they attacked police "with an assortment of weapons". The FPK has been particularly effective in rallying international support, including a number of celebrities, such as British actress Julie Christie, to its cause. --============_-1084020867==_ma============ Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" And the Alternative Nobel Prize Goes To...
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=30476

DEVELOPMENT:

And the Alternative Nobel Prize Goes To...

Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Sep 29 (IPS) - Social activists from Mexico, Malaysia, Botswana and Canada have won the 2005 "Right Livelihood Award", an honour meant to celebrate groups and individuals who show outstanding vision and work on behalf of the natural world and its people.
The 250,000-dollar prize, which will be formally presented in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm Dec. 9, will be shared by Francisco Toledo, an artist and community philanthropist in Oaxaca, Mexico; Canadian trade and social justice campaigners Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke; Malaysian union and community organiser Irene Fernandez; and the First People of the Kalahari, a grassroots Bushmen group that resisted the Botswana government's efforts to evict them from their ancestral home in the Kalahari Desert.

The "Right Livelihood Award," which is often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", has been given to more than 100 activists from 48 countries since it was founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German stamp collector who sold his collection, worth about a million dollars, to finance the award.

Its past recipients include the 2004 Nobel Peace laureate and Kenyan environmentalist, Wangari Maathai, as well as Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian writer and Ogoni activist who was executed by the military regime of Gen. Sani Abacha.

Winners of the award should be engaged in work that "fully respects other people and the natural world" and that involves some "personal sacrifice".

Toledo, a 65-year-old Zapotec Indian, was recognised for "devoting himself and his art to the protection, enhancement and renewal of the architectural and cultural heritage, natural environment and community life of his native Oaxaca".

A painter who has exhibited in galleries in Mexico, Europe, South and North America, and Asia, Toledo has created children's libraries in Indian communities, and founded a number of artistic and cultural institutions, including the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, the Graphic Arts Institute of Oaxaca, the Jorge Luis Borges Library for the Blind, the Centro Cultural Santo Domingo in Oaxaca, and his own publishing house.

He also helped found Pro-Oax which is dedicated to the protection and promotion of art, architecture, culture and the environment of Oaxaca. As a community activist, he has also successfully fought the construction of modern luxury hotels, parking lots, highways, a cable car to the nearby Monte Alban archaelogical site, and a McDonald's fast food outlet in Oaxaca's famous main square.

Barlow and Clarke are long-time activists on trade and justice issues, currently with a special focus on water. Barlow, 58, has served as a long-time leader in the Canadian women's movement and helped found the Council of Canadians, a 100,000-member group with 70 chapters that was originally conceived to fight the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and to ensure Canadian sovereignty over its natural resources, including water. She played a leading role in opposition the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well.

Barlow has written or co-authored some 15 books on globalisation and the threats it poses to the "the global commons", the latest being "Too Close for Comfort, Canada's Future in Fortress North America".

Clarke, 60, served as head of the social action department of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and chaired Action Canada Network, the largest coalition of civil society groups and labour unions in Canada to oppose the corporate free trade agenda.

In 2002, Clarke and Barlow published "Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water", which has been published in 40 countries. More recently, Clark authored "Inside the Bottle", an expose about the world's bottled water industry and its impact on water resources of the world's poor.

Fernandez, 59, has been Malaysia's most prominent campaigner for the rights of the most vulnerable people, including migrant workers, farm workers, domestic workers, prostitutes and AIDS victims. In the early 1970s, she organised the country's first textile workers' union and spearheaded efforts to organise workers in the country's export-processing zones.

In 1976, she joined the Consumers Association of Penang, which became a leader in consumer rights, environmental protection, and occupational safety. Beginning in the mid-1980s, she led campaigns to stop violence against women, including the All Women's Action Society in which she served as president for five years.

At the same time, she helped found the Asia Pacific Women Law and Development, where she served as director more than a decade.

In the early 1990s, she became chair of the Pesticide Action Network, which has promoted campaigns against genetically modified organisms and corporate control of seeds, as well as worker safety, and founded Tenaganita, an organisation also headed by her that campaigns for the rights and welfare of the approximately three million foreign workers in Malaysia and that also runs a halfway house for prostitutes with HIV.

Fernandez was arrested in 1996 after publishing a report on abuses committed against migrant workers and charged with "maliciously publishing false news". She was found guilty in 2003 and sentenced to one year in prison. The case is currently on appeal.

The First People of the Kalahari (FPK) represents hundreds of Gana and Gwi Bushmen of Botswana, who have been among the last to live on the ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, but who have been forcibly removed since 1996 to resettlement camps outside the park, where they live mainly on government hand-outs.

The group's leader, Roy Sesana, who will also share the Right Livelihood Award, was born in the Bushman community of Molapo, at least 50 years ago. He worked for several years in South Africa before returning to the central Kalahari in 1971 to train as a traditional healer.

Strongly backed by London-based Survival International, Sesana and the FPK steadfastly resisted the forced relocations, which they say are motivated by the government's interest in granting diamond concessions to De Beers, the multinational diamond company, through civil disobedience and legal action. In 2002, the government cut off their natural water supply to force the several hundred holdouts to move.

Just five days ago, according to Survival International, FPK leaders, including Sesana, were among a group of 28 Bushmen arrested by police for trying to take food and water to relatives who remain in the Game Reserve. The group said the activists were badly beaten by police after their arrests. The government charged that they were arrested only after they attacked police "with an assortment of weapons".
The FPK has been particularly effective in rallying international support, including a number of celebrities, such as British actress Julie Christie, to its cause.
--============_-1084020867==_ma============-- ========================================================================= Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 15:52:55 -0400 Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> From: Doug Brugge <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Depleted Uranium paper Comments: To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask] Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="--------MailBlocks_8C7940FAF6A03A4_1264_1BE7_mblk-r40.sysops.aol.com" MIME-Version: 1.0 ----------MailBlocks_8C7940FAF6A03A4_1264_1BE7_mblk-r40.sysops.aol.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" All, You might be interested in our newest publication: Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective Rita Hindin, Doug Brugge and Bindu Panikkar Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2005, 4:17 (26 Aug 2005) Free download at: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/4/1/17 ----------MailBlocks_8C7940FAF6A03A4_1264_1BE7_mblk-r40.sysops.aol.com Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"
All,
 
You might be interested in our newest publication:
 
Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective
Rita Hindin, Doug Brugge and Bindu Panikkar
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2005, 4:17 (26 Aug 2005)
 
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