Sunday, June 25, 2006


June 24, 1901

On June 24, 1901, the first major exhibition of Pablo Picasso's artwork opens at
a gallery on Paris' rue Lafitte, a street known for its prestigious art
galleries. The precocious 19-year-old Spaniard was at the time a relative
unknown outside Barcelona, but he had already produced hundreds of paintings.
The 75 works displayed at Picasso's first Paris exhibition offered moody,
representational paintings by a young artist with obvious talent.Pablo Picasso,
widely acknowledged as the dominant figure in 20th-century art, was born in
Malaga, Spain, in 1881. His father was a professor of drawing and bred Picasso
for a career in academic art. He had his first exhibit at age 13 and later quit
art school so he could experiment full-time with modern art styles. He went to
Paris for the first time in 1900, and in 1901 he returned with 100 of his
paintings, aiming to win an exhibition. He was introduced to Ambroise Vollard, a
dealer who had sponsored Paul Cezanne, and Vollard immediately agreed to a show
at his gallery after seeing the paintings. From street scenes to landscapes,
prostitutes to society ladies, Picasso's subjects were diverse, and the young
artist received a favorable review from the few Paris art critics who saw the
show. He stayed in Paris for the rest of the year and later returned to Paris to
settle permanently.The work of Picasso, which comprises more than 50,000
paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80
years, is described in a series of overlapping periods. His first notable
period--the "blue period"--began shortly after his first Paris exhibit. In works
such as The Old Guitarist (1903), Picasso painted in blue tones to evoke the
melancholy world of the poor. The blue period was followed by the "rose period,"
in which he often depicted circus scenes, and then by Picasso's early work in
sculpture. In 1907, Picasso painted the groundbreaking work Les Demoiselles
d'Avignon, which, with its fragmented and distorted representation of the human
form, broke from previous European art. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon demonstrated
the influence on Picasso of both African mask art and Paul Cezanne and is seen
as a forerunner of the Cubist movement founded by Picasso and the French painter
Georges Braque in 1909.In Cubism, which is divided in two phases, analytical and
synthetic, Picasso and Braque established the modern principle that artwork need
not represent reality to have artistic value. Major Cubist works by Picasso
included his costumes and sets for Sergey Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1917) and
The Three Musicians (1921). Picasso and Braque's Cubist experiments also
resulted in the invention of several new artistic techniques, including
collage.After Cubism, Picasso explored classical and Mediterranean themes, and
images of violence and anguish increasingly appeared in his work. In 1937, this
trend culminated in the masterpiece Guernica, a monumental work that evoked the
horror and suffering endured by the Basque town of Guernica when it was
destroyed by German war planes during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso remained in
Paris during the Nazi occupation but was fervently opposed to fascism and after
the war joined the French Communist Party.Picasso's work after World War II is
less studied than his earlier creations, but he continued to work feverishly and
enjoyed commercial and critical success. He produced fantastical works,
experimented with ceramics, and painted variations on the works of other masters
in the history of art. Known for his intense gaze and domineering personality,
he had a series of intense and overlapping love affairs in his lifetime. He
continued to produce art with undiminished force until his death in 1973 at the
age of 91.


Here is another installment of "GREAT QUOTES" that I have gleaned from the internet. I hope that you can find inspiration or something from them. They all struck a cord with me. Use them as you see fit. Spread them around...........Thanks............PEACE.................Scott

"The time is always right to do what is right" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War
IV will be fought with sticks and stones. - Albert Einstein

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." - Walt West

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on
people. - W. C. Fields

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. - Ralph Waldo

No man is an island entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me
because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for
whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee - John Donne

I heard the song Of the world's last whale
As I rocked in the moonlight
And reefed the sail.
It'll happen to you
Also without fail
If it happens to me
Sang the world's last whale.

- Pete Seeger, born in 1919

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull
his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you
understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send
signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that
there is no cat. - Albert Einstein

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no
account be allowed to do the job. - Douglas Adams

I fired [General MacArthur] because he wouldn't respect the authority of
the President. That's the answer to that. I didn't fire him because he
was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the
law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in
jail - Harry S Truman

A wonderful time - the War:
when money rolled in and blood rolled out.
But blood was far away from here--
Money was near.

- Langston Hughes

"Being an American can no longer be a spectator sport." - Submitted by John Russo, member of IBEW Local Union 102.

White House, GOP Leaders Plan All-Out Assault on Federal Protections

Friday 23 June 2006

Apparently rushing to lock in a long-sought goal before the fall elections, GOP congressional leaders may bring to a vote within weeks a proposal that could literally wipe out any federal program that protects public health or the environment - or for that matter civil rights, poverty programs, auto safety, education, affordable housing, Head Start, workplace safety or any other activity targeted by anti-regulatory forces.

With strong support from the Bush White House and the Republican Study Committee, the proposal would create a "sunset commission" - an unelected body with the power to recommend whether a program lives or dies, and then move its recommendations through Congress on a fast-track basis with limited debate and no amendments.

Three leading proposals have been introduced and are being winnowed into a final version. They would give the White House some - or total - authority to nominate members to the commission. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has confirmed that his office is coordinating development of a final version for prompt floor action.

Sunset commissions have been proposed, and defeated, before. But public interest veterans say the current situation is unlike any in the past, because the House Republican Study Committee, which includes some of the most anti-regulatory members of Congress, has secured guaranteed floor consideration of a sunset bill.

If such a bill should become law, the sunset commission could be packed with industry lobbyists and representatives from industry-funded think tanks, and could conduct its business in secrecy. Two of the sunset proposals under consideration would mandate that programs die after they are reviewed, unless Congress takes action to save them.

Several environmental programs have been targeted during past sunset attempts. Experts predict those would be among the first a sunset commission would review. Among them: the Energy Star Program; federal support for mass transit; the State Energy Program, which supports numerous state and local energy renewable efficiency programs; the Clean School Bus Program; the Land and Water Conservation Fund; federal grants for Wastewater infrastructure; a national children's health study that examines factors leading to such problems as premature birth, autism, obesity, asthma, and exposures to pesticides, mercury and other toxic chemicals.

A coalition of public interest groups is fighting to block enactment of a sunset commission. Information is available through the Sunset Commission Action Center at OMB Watch.



MATT VOLZ, AP - The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of
Alaska on Monday,June 5th, over a new law that would restore criminal penalties
for marijuana possession. The law, which was signed by Gov. Frank
Murkowski on Friday, is an attempt to reverse a 30-year-old Alaska
Supreme Court decision that ruled the privacy rights of Alaskans trumped
the harm the drug could cause. The legal limit was later set at 4
ounces. The civil liberties group alleges the new law is an
unconstitutional invasion of privacy. "Is marijuana so dangerous that
it justifies restricting a fundamental right? The state thinks it's yes,
we think it's no," ACLU of Alaska. . . Under the new law, pot possession
of 4 ounces or more is a felony. Possession of 1 to 4 ounces is a
misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail; less than 1 ounce is a
misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.,,-5867351,00.html

VIDEO | Katrina Plus Ten Months - Professor Bill Quigley Speaks

A Film by Chris Hume and L. Wild Horse
Over 7,200 family dwellings sit empty throughout New Orleans. No, not FEMA
trailers. These are solid brick public housing projects that survived Katrina.
They only require interior repairs, and thousands of displaced low income
families want to move back in. But instead, they are being fenced off and
condemned. Why? Chris Hume and L. Wild Horse speak with Professor Bill Quigley
and several former tenants.

2 on Bank Data

Newspapers Reject Government Request to Kill Story
The New York Times and Los Angeles Times on Friday published a major story on
government surveillance of private banking records over the objections of the
Bush administration. The papers reveal that the White House had asked them not
to run it. This had happened with the story about NSA spying as well, prompting
the New York Times in that case to put off running the story for a year.

Cheney Assails Press on Report on Bank Data
Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday vigorously defended a secret program that
examines banking records of Americans and others in a vast international
database, and harshly criticized the news media for disclosing an operation he
said was legal and "absolutely essential" to fighting terrorism.

FOCUS | A Statement by Ehren Watada's Mother
Carolyn Ho, mother of war resister Lt. Ehren Watada, asks the nation to support
her son at an upcoming National Day of Action on June 27th. She says that her
son "demonstrates that one does not relinquish the freedom to choose what is
right, even in the military, and that the freedom to choose what is right
transcends the allegiance to man and institutions."

2 on Labor

CREW Forces Department of Labor to Release Anti-Union Docs and Emails
Yesterday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released
108 pages of documents it received from the Department of Labor (DOL) in
response to a CREW Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. These documents
reveal that the DOL has become anti-labor, disseminating anti-union propaganda
and developing relationships with anti-union organizations.

Union Withholds Endorsements Over Minimum Wage Dispute
As promised, one of Massachusetts' most powerful labor unions said Thursday it
has decided to withhold endorsements of incumbent state lawmakers until the
House and Senate pass "an acceptable minimum wage bill."

House Bill Would Discourage Church-and-State Suits

The NewStandard

Friday 23 June 2006

A bill that supporters say is targeted at the American Civil Liberties Union may undo a law that forces losing defendants to pay plaintiffs' legal fees in cases involving some rights issues.

The Public Expression of Religion Act, introduced last year in the House by Representative John Hostettler (R-Indiana), would amend a law passed in the 1970s aimed at making it easier for Americans to sue the government over civil-rights violations. The law is meant to encourage attorneys to take on cases, providing them guaranteed payment if they win.

Hostettler's bill would do away with the provision granting attorney's fees and reimbursement in cases involving violations of the prohibition against government establishment of religion.

Supporters of Hostettler's bill are angered that current law has allowed the American Civil Liberties Union to collect money after winning cases aimed at enforcing the constitutional separation of religion and government. The Public Expression of Religion Act is awaiting a vote in the House Judiciary Committee and has 46 co-sponsors. It also has the backing of the American Legion, a huge conservative veterans organization, which has pledged that its membership will force passage of the bill.

In a press statement yesterday, the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State blasted the proposed bill, saying it "would have a chilling effect on every citizen's right to access our courts and would be particularly harmful to religious minorities."

How to Recycle Practically Anything

By Sally Deneen

May/June 2006 Issue

Old myths are shattering and new options come online.

Don't throw away those exercise videos and ubiquitous AOL CDs. Jim Williams wants you to mail old videotapes and CDs to him, so that more than 40 disabled staffers at his ACT Recycling in Columbia, Missouri can recycle them. And, oh, don't toss out those used Fed-Ex envelopes or broken smoke detectors; their manufacturers take them back for recycling.

Indeed, these days, it seems that more cast-offs than ever can be recycled. No matter where you live, you can recycle a wide range of discards - aseptic juice packages, printer cartridges, ordinary batteries, iPods, PDAs, and even cell phones.

Surprised? Recycling has leap-frogged ahead, meaning if you haven't checked the recycling scene since the mid-1990s, it's possible that much of what you thought you knew is wrong. Not only can you recycle more things, but your discards are very much in demand, perhaps more than you realize.

Get this: Recycling and reuse businesses now employ about as many people as the auto industry, if not more, according to a 2001 "US Recycling Economic Information Study" commissioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency and several states through an agreement with the National Recycling Coalition. At least 1.1 million people now work in the industry, more than triple the jobs in mining. BusinessWeek in February pegged the number of auto factory workers at about 950,000. Demand from industrializing China and India is helping spur the US recycling industry, which now provides a "major source of raw materials," according to Jerry Powell, editor of Resource Recycling magazine.

"Without recycling, given current virgin raw material supplies, we could not print the daily newspaper, build a car, or ship a product in a cardboard box," says Powell. "Recycling is not some feel-good activity; it is one of the backbones of global economic development." To his way of thinking, recovering cast-offs and putting them to good use "are key ingredients to industrial growth and stability."

Is the Job Getting Done?

And yet, there is a problem. It becomes obvious when peering into a garbage can at a community festival or in the dumpster behind your local shopping mall. Curiously, while recycling has grown to more than 9,000 curbside programs nationwide, a greater percentage of recyclable plastic bottles and aluminum cans are ending up in the regular garbage.

Aluminum can recycling has dropped steadily, from a 1992 high of 65 percent of cans to 45 percent by 2004, according to the Container Recycling Institute. The Aluminum Association puts the latter figure at 51 percent. Plastic bottles fare worse: While nearly 40 percent of PET plastic bottles were recycled in 1995, only about half that many - 21.6 percent - were recycled in 2004, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources. Powell says recycling levels exceed 50 percent for such materials as corrugated cartons and steel.

Paul Gardner got an unanticipated glimpse into why recycling rates are slipping in Minnesota, thanks to a phone survey of 800 Minnesotans that included this single recycling-related question: "Do you think manufacturers need more cans, bottles and paper?" Only 36 percent said "we need more," and those folks tended to have a high-school education or less and be younger (ages 24 and under).

"The more education you have, the more likely you are to be cynical about recycling," concluded Gardner, who is executive director of the Recycling Association of Minnesota. "We don't know [why], to be honest," though the purpose of the survey question was "to see how many people in the state still cling to the idea that there is a glut of recyclables, because we need all the material we can get right now and more." He adds, "We've got some work to do, since almost three-quarters of Minnesotans think that we don't need to recycle more. Twenty-four percent of our garbage is still recyclable paper, so we have more to get."

Confronting the Naysayers

Gardner also spends time combating impressions sometimes bandied about in the media, most famously in "Recycling Is Garbage," a 1996 cover story in the New York Times Magazine, in which libertarian writer John Tierney argued that recycling could be "the most wasteful activity in modern America." Tierney wrote, "Recycling does sometimes make sense - for some materials in some places at some times. But the simplest and cheapest option is usually to bury garbage in an environmentally safe landfill. And since there's no shortage of landfill space (the crisis of 1987 was a false alarm), there's no reason to make recycling a legal or moral imperative. Mandatory recycling programs aren't good for posterity. They offer mainly short-term benefits to a few groups - politicians, public relations consultants, environmental organizations, waste-handling corporations - while diverting money from genuine social and environmental problems."

When the American Prospect in 2001 profiled Tierney and asked about his 7,800-word anti-recycling story, he said: "I could write something about the good side of recycling. And there are some benefits. But everybody else writes that." The Times story still reverberates. E, by the way, responded to Tierney's piece with its own cover story, "Talking Trash: Recycling is Under Attack," which appeared in the March/April 1997 issue. At the time, the New York Times Syndicate distributed both articles as a pro and con package.

"We've been fighting negative images ever since then," says Gardner, who tries to counter attacks from similarly themed articles, including "Why Recycling is Garbage" (Forbes 1997) and "Recycle This!" (Weekly Standard, January 2006). The Weekly Standard argued that there is plenty of sand, trees, petroleum and farm products to produce new glass, paper and plastic, so recycling is a waste of time that robs Seattle households of 16 minutes per week on sorting cast-offs.

Last January, Seattle began mandatory recycling. That means businesses and multi-family residential buildings face up to three warnings, followed by a $50 ticket if their garbage contains at least 10 percent recyclables (as of mid-February, no tickets had been issued).

Mandatory recycling is folly, contends the Weekly Standard. "To say we will someday run out of trees is the same as saying we will someday run out of corn," the magazine opined, adding that the motivation behind recycling is "we get a warm and fuzzy feeling."

Gardner and other recyclers shake their heads at such arguments. Recycling proves much more than an alternative to landfills, though high costs of garbage disposal in some areas certainly fuel interest; Seattle saves $4.4 million a year by recycling what otherwise would be trucked a few hours south to an Oregon landfill, says Brett Stav, a spokesperson for Seattle Public Utilities.

Recycling one aluminum can conserves 300 watt-hours, enough to run a 100-watt bulb for three hours. It takes five percent of the energy to make a new aluminum can out of an old can compared to making a new can out of raw materials. "Any time you make new stuff out of old stuff, it takes less energy, less chemicals, less water," Gardner says.

A rash of scrap metal thefts illustrates just how much copper, aluminum and bronze are in demand. Manhole covers and sewer grates have gone missing in Indianapolis, aluminum siding was ripped from vacant homes in western Ohio, and at least 100 metal light poles have been hacked down and carted away in Maryland. Meanwhile, copper wire has been swiped from at least 2,500 light poles in the Kansas City area in recent months. Inconvenience isn't a problem: Sixteen bronze plaques weighing a total 240 pounds went missing from a Minneapolis park. Three guys sold them, cut up, to a scrap yard - and were arrested by police the next day, according to news reports. The same fate befell an historic P.T. Barnum statue in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but the perpetrators were never caught.

In short, people want your scrap metal - and lots of other discards. Carpet manufacturers are looking for more plastic bottles. Plastic lumberers are looking for your moderately stiff plastic bottles ("HDPE" or "No. 2" plastic). In fact, there's a market for lots of things that may be in your garbage can.

The following is a guide to help you recycle all those perplexing items you can't bear to throw away. Also consider making a visit to your local recycling center, which will help educate you on how the processes work and help you gain perspective on the good folk who go through your trash.

Aseptic Packages

Those paper-and-foil juice packets are convenient to use, but not so convenient for recyclers. While they're accepted in recycling bins at such places as Stanford University, just a fraction of US households - approximately 12 million - can recycle them through curbside or drop-off programs, according to the Aseptic Packaging Council. Still, you're welcome to ship clean, compact aseptic packaging for recycling to: BRING Recycling, Reuse Warehouse & Business Office, 86641 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97405; (541)746-3023.

Autos, Trucks, Trailers, Boats, Jet-Skis, Motorcycles, RVs

Even if your vehicle doesn't run, lots of nonprofit organizations want it. Numerous "vehicle donation programs" will gladly accept most towable vehicles. Pickup is free. Some sell the vehicles directly to raise money; others contract with someone to run the donation program for a fee.

Best bet: Ask your favorite nonprofit organization whether it accepts vehicles. Those that do include Habitat for Humanity (877-277-4344), Wolf Haven International (360-264-4695,, Houston Audubon Society (713-932-1639, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (757-962-8277,


Household single-use batteries: If your community hazardous waste program doesn't take them or can't refer you to a local business that does, then try a private firm such as mail-order Battery Solutions (800-852-8127, It recycles them for a fee of 85 cents per pound. You may find alternatives near you at In San Francisco, where it became illegal to dump batteries in the trash as of February, all Walgreens stores accept old batteries. Across the country, Batteries Plus stores accept all batteries for recycling (800-677-8278,

Rechargeable batteries: RadioShack and Office Depot accept batteries from wireless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, cordless power tools, digital cameras and radio-controlled toys at no charge. These are Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Small Sealed Lead Acid (Pb) batteries weighing less than two pounds. To find other nearby recyclers, try, or 877-2-RECYCLE.


First, consider selling books to used bookstores or online at such sites as Or donate them to libraries, thrift stores or the International Book Project (888-999-2665, No go? Some curbside recycling programs, including New York City's, accept paperbacks, comic books and other soft-cover books. Hardbacks, too, are accepted for recycling on the Stanford University campus and during special monthly "Electronics & Books Recycling Days" in Kane County, Ill. Check your recycling program's rules.

Car Batteries, Motor Oil, Oil Filters, Antifreeze

Many auto-parts stores and service centers that sell these items will take your old ones for recycling; to find locations near you, go to Nearly 40 states have laws ensuring consumers can return old car batteries; to view your state's status, go to

Carpet and Padding

Ask your carpet dealer if his or her company has access to a carpet recycling network, which is likeliest in California, says Bob Peoples, executive director of the carpet industry's Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). You may strike out. Trouble is, there is no routine system for recycling old carpet, says Peoples. The picture should begin to brighten by the end of 2007. "We're trying to build the infrastructure for collection around the country," says Paul Ashman, head of Environmental Recovery and Consolidation Services (866-873-2244). "It's an industry that's just beginning."

If you're in the commercial sector, Peoples' organization advises calling your mill representative, who can work with you to get your carpet recycled for a fee. Find potential contacts and locations of carpet reclamers at

Cell Phones, Pagers, PDAs

Drop them off at Staples office supply stores or go to, where you'll choose a charity to benefit before shipping them to: CollectiveGood, 4508 Bibb Boulevard, Suite B-10, Tucker, GA 30084. Many programs accept cell phones (which have an average lifespan of 18 months), including police stations and Call to Protect (, which gives phones to domestic violence agencies. The nonprofit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. recycles phones and gives a portion of proceeds to charity; for drop-off sites near you, go to or call 877-2-RECYCLE. Alternatively, get cash, $2 to $100-plus, for newer-model cell phones from (800-503-8026). It is now illegal in California to toss cell phones in the trash.


Thrift stores want usable clothes, but not tattered items. Turn frayed or torn clothing into rags for painting and cleaning at home. In Vermont's Chittenden County, residents can take clear bags of clean, dry clothing and linens to the solid waste department's drop-off centers for no fee. Also, consider joining or hosting a local clothes swap event (learn more at


Give your computer to charity or a school if it's still good; find possible outlets at or Broken? Obsolete? That's another story. Ever since "the dirty little secret of the high-tech revolution" - the dumping of toxic electronic waste on developing nations - made national news in 2002 with the release of a graphic report by Basel Action Network and four other groups, e-waste has been a touchy issue for consumers. To see a list of recyclers who've signed pledges to be good stewards, go to

Alternatively, ask your community's hazardous waste program for recommendations of responsible recyclers. Seattle's "Take It Back Network," for instance, lists local recyclers who've pledged to recycle responsibly and not ship waste to developing nations. Find that list at

About 20 states have passed or considered legislation that would require manufacturers to recycle their computers. That's an approach supported by Dell and HP. Dell will take back certain Dell and non-Dell monitors, desktops, towers, notebooks, printers and peripherals. Example: recycling a PC and a monitor would cost you $20 to cover home pickup, shipment and recycling. Fee may be waived if you buy a new Dell computer. Get instructions at Manufacturer HP will take back any computer hardware from any maker. That includes printers, scanners, fax machines, monitors, handheld devices, plus their cables, mice, keyboards or other external components. The company says they'll be reused or recycled "in a way that conserves resources." Fee: $13 to $34 per item. Get details at


Drop them off at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, BJ's Optical, the optical stores at Sears or Target, or your local Lions Club. Refurbished glasses are delivered to developing countries.

Fluorescent Lights

In San Francisco, where in February it became illegal to dump fluorescent bulbs in the garbage, several hardware stores accept them, including Brownie's, Cliff's Variety and Cole Hardware. Check the rules of your community's hazardous waste program, which may accept the bulbs at solid-waste drop-off sites, as in Vermont's Chittenden County. For a list of companies that say they recycle the spent bulbs, go to

Fruit Rinds, Veggie Scraps, Coffee Grounds, Tea Bags

Turn them into rich compost for your garden or houseplants by starting a compost bin or worm bin - even in New York City, no matter how small your space, as the New York City Compost Project urges. Find step-by-step instructions for starting an indoor worm bin or backyard compost bin at


If a friend or loved one doesn't want your hand-me-down and if selling your iPod on eBay isn't your thing, then consider Apple's recycling program. Take an unwanted iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo to any Apple store. You'll get a minor (10 percent) price break on any new iPod bought that day. The company says your oldie will be processed domestically.

Magazines, Catalogs, Phone Books

Friends or family may want your old magazines. If not, surprise, your curbside recycling program likely accepts magazines and catalogs; call yours to check. Phone books are accepted any time by some recycling programs, as in Meridian, Idaho and Atlantic County, New Jersey, though yearly phone-book recycling events are the norm in many places.

Too few people seem to know that magazine recycling has expanded considerably since the 1980s, when recycling programs tended to forbid glossies, according to ReMix, a National Recycling Coalition program first launched in Boston and Maryland's Prince Georges County in 2004 to encourage magazine recycling. Case in point: Only 31 to 35 percent of magazines in Wisconsin are recycled, while programs there are doing a better job capturing other items.

Miscellany (Crayons, Art Supplies, Wine Corks, Fabric)

Many states have "material exchanges" where odd stuff is collected and made available to the public for use. Outdated calendars, office paper that is used on one side, wallpaper, flooring samples, crayons and other stuff is gladly accepted by Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts in Eugene, Oregon, whose credo is "creativity is the solution to our garbage problem!" To see if there's a materials exchange near you, search for "materials exchange" or call your local hazardous waste department.

Newspaper, Aluminum Cans, Metal Cans

Curbside recycling programs traditionally accept these mainstays; if yours doesn't, the nearest scrap yard wants them. Alternatively, ask around to learn whether a local charity collects aluminum cans to raise money. Pull tabs from aluminum cans are welcomed by Ronald McDonald houses, which trade them for cash (


Your community's household hazardous waste program will take paint cans and possibly recycle leftover paint into newly formulated paints available for resale, as happens in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Portland, Oregon. Some nonprofit organizations welcome usable paint; to check locally, go to Empty dried-out paint cans without lids are accepted as part of the regular curbside recycling pickup program in such places as New York City and Kane County, Illinois. Check your program.

Paper, Cardboard Boxes

Chances are that your curbside recycling program accepts more types of paper these days than just flattened cardboard boxes and newspapers. Los Angeles residents, for instance, can also recycle clean and dry computer paper, ledger paper, wrapping, arts and craft paper, mail, flyers, telephone books, note cards, blueprints, magazines, file folders, paper bags, Post-it notes, catalogs and all envelopes including those with windows. They also can toss in "chipboard" boxes including empty rolls of toilet paper, cereal boxes, frozen food boxes, shoeboxes and detergent boxes. Check your program for its latest rules.

Plastic Bags

Use supermarket bags as kitchen garbage bags or as pooper-scoopers for dog and cat waste. Some supermarkets recycle bags; check for a bin at the store entrance. Your curbside recycling program may also recycle plastic bags, so call to check. Dog parks often invite the public to stock their makeshift pooper-scooper-bag dispensers; stuff them with grocery bags, clean produce bags, those plastic sleeve-length bags that come with home-delivered newspapers, and crumb-free bread bags.

Plastic Containers

Community curbside recycling programs often accept plastic bottles marked "1" or "2" on the bottom. Rules for other plastics vary wildly from place to place. Seattle advises residents to ignore altogether the numbers stamped on container bottoms and recycle only plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, jars and pill bottles with a "neck and shoulders," such as vitamin bottles, but not cylindrical prescription bottles. Meanwhile, some community recycling programs nowadays accept plastic containers marked "1" through "7," as in Palm Beach County, Florida and rural Franklin County in Massachusetts. Check your recycling program for its latest rules. You may learn that it has started accepting a wider range of plastics than you thought. Otherwise, see if there is a plastic lumber manufacturer in your area, because such businesses will almost certainly take any type of plastic.

Packaging "Peanuts"

Most UPS Stores accept clean foam peanuts; find nearby stores via 800-789-4623. Alternatively, search or call the Peanut Hotline at 800-828-2214.

Pots, Pans, Aerosol Cans, Aluminum Foil

In New York City, it's the law: Residents must place all of that stuff in recycling bins. Failure to separate them from the garbage or to clean up aluminum first can lead to a ticket. Yet, many recycling programs don't accept any or some of those items. Los Angeles, for instance, takes clean aluminum foil and aerosol cans, not the rest. Moral: Check your program's latest rules. Strike out? See your local scrap yard. Printer Cartridges

First, save money by refilling inkjet cartridges a few times through ink-refill services offered by such providers as (888-772-1361), (877-322-7768), and Walgreens stores. Then take exhausted cartridges to OfficeMax or Office Depot, which will trade you certain models for a free ream of recycled paper. Staples trades them for a $3-off store coupon. Alternatively, promises to pay up to $3.60 apiece for nearly 80 types of ink cartridges.

Priority Mail (Tyvek) Envelopes

Tyvek-brand envelopes, such as those used by Fed-Ex and for US Postal Service Priority Mail, can be shipped back to Tyvek for recycling. If you have fewer than 25, turn one of them inside out, then stuff it with the rest. Ship to: Terry Fife, Tyvek(r) Recycling Specialist, 5401 Jefferson Davis Highway, Spot 197, Room 231, Richmond, VA 23234, (866)338-9835.


Sell your old records to an independent music store or at, the self-described "world's largest music marketplace," or donate them to a thrift store.

Smoke Detectors

They last only 10 years and contain radioactive Americium 241, so send dead ones back to the manufacturer. Send First Alert, BRK and Family Guard Smoke Detectors to: BRK Brands, 25 Spur Drive, El Paso, TX 79906, (800)323-9005; www.first On the front of the package, write "For Disposal." Up to five smoke alarms are accepted for free.

Ship American Sensors and Dicon Smoke Detectors by surface mail to: Dicon Inc., 20 Steelcase Road West, Unit #3, Markham, Ontario L3R 1B2, Canada, (800) 387-4219. On the front of the package, write "For Recycling, $0 Value."


It's easiest to reuse white block foam as packing material. But if there's a place that manufactures it somewhere near you, that business likely will accept it, says John Gogol, president of PC Plastics in Oregon. Residents of Portland, Boulder, Colorado, and Seattle have it easier: they can take block foam to certain drop-off sites.

Videotapes, Floppy Disks, Zip Disks, DVDs, CDs, Jewel Cases

Ship them to Missouri via media mail, where disabled employees of the nonprofit Alternative Community Training erase and repackage donated media for resale under the GreenDisk label. Download a donor form from Send items to: Alternative Community Training, 2200 Burlington, Columbia, MO 65202, (800) 359-4607.

Alternatively, you can ship your stuff directly to GreenDisk through its Technotrash Pack-IT service (800-305-DISK, For $5.95, you can ship up to 20 pounds.

Wire Hangers

Wire hangers may be unacceptable to Joan Crawford, but they're taken in by some dry cleaners and by curbside recycling programs in such communities as New York City, Seattle and Palo Alto, California. Salvage yards may also take them.

Sea Lions and Dolphins May Join War Games

The Associated Press

Friday 23 June 2006

Honolulu - Alongside the submarines, ships and airplanes participating in large-scale military exercises in the Pacific this month, a team of sea lions and dolphins are expected to patrol the sea.

These marine animals will be flown in from San Diego for simulated mine recovery and mine detection during the biennial RIMPAC war games.

Six bottle-nosed dolphins would find the mines, while four California sea lions would help recover them.

"There are a number of mechanical systems that work to some degree in those areas, but not as well as the Navy would like them to work," said Tom Lapuzza, spokesman for the Navy's Marine Mammal Program. "Unmanned vehicles are becoming better at finding mines and being able to deal with them, but they are still not as good as the dolphins are."

More than 40 ships, six submarines, 160 aircraft and nearly 19,000 military personnel are taking part in RIMPAC 2006, which runs from Monday through July 28.

It brings together military forces from Australia, Canada, Chile, Peru, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States for training off Hawaii.

But the high-tech gadgets deployed by the military can't match the natural skills of the dolphins and sea lions, Lapuzza said.

Sea lions have "incredibly good underwater hearing" and can dive to 1,000 feet to attach a recovery line to a simulated mine, he said. Dolphins use their sonar to find the mines.

"For sure the divers and unmanned vehicles are going," he said. "They are thinking about taking dolphins, but are not sure they are going to do that yet."

Opponents of the program say the military should not train animals for use in warfare.

"These animals are highly sensitive, deeply intelligent creatures, and to use them for warfare is to abuse them," said Wayne Johnson, who is on the board of Animal Rights Hawaii. "These animals need to swim free."

Marine mammals have been used by the Navy since the early 1960s.

The animals save the Navy an estimated $1 million a year, Lapuzza said.

The $15 million Marine Mammal Program has 75 dolphins and 30 sea lions at its San Diego facility.

The four sea lions will be transported to Hawaii in cages with pools of water, and dolphins are carried in 10-foot-long fiberglass boxes suspended in a sling and enough water to enable them to float, Lapuzza said.

The World of Labor (June 23, 2006)

By Harry Kelber

South African Security Guards Strike Ends
The three-month security guards strike is finally over, after the last two security guards unions signed on to the agreement reached on June 12. Union leaders from Satawa and the Trade Allied Workers Union (TAWU) have initialed every page of the three-year wage deal effectively concluding the strike.

The contract provides for a 9.25% pay increase in the first year and 7.5% for the next two years. Other parties, including the employer organization and 14 other unions, have already agreed to the deal, which replaces the contentious April 1 agreement.

Satawa has threatened to sue Charles Nquakuka, the safety and security minister, over what it calls the
"undue use of police force" against striking members. The guards are to be back on their jobs within 72 hours after the end of the strike.

Biggest Insurance Company in Germany to Cut 7,500 Jobs
Allianz, Germany's biggest insurance company, is to eliminate 7,500 jobs in a drive to boost earnings and win back customers. Most of the drastic cuts, including 5,000 insurance jobs, will come from Germany. The company intends to slash its 21 German administrative centers to 10, as part of its restructuring plan.

Michael Diekman, Allianz chief executive officer, who saw first-quarter earnings at Dresdner alone jump from $942 million to $1.2 billion, said:
"I am aware that there is significant opposition, particularly in German, to making staff cuts when you are profitable." He said the changes would take "some years" to implement and acknowledged they would bring "personal dismay."

The company has lost 1 million customers in the past four years and faced incursions into its home market from Axa, a rival. Verdi, Germany's main services union, attacked the restructuring plan and stated it was already planning so-called warning or token strikes.

Niger Strike over High Living Costs Paralyzes Capital
Quiet fell over the Niger capital of Niamey on June 22 as trade unions called a national strike over the high cost of living. Only the banks and large private companies opened, while most of the capital's residents stayed home. "We are very satisfied that the population of Niamey has heeded the call," said strike organizer Moussa Idrissa.

A coalition of workers
' unions has been formed under the banner of "fairness, quality and the fight against the high cost of living." They say that the economic policies of the government are putting basic utilities, such as electricity and water, out of the reach of most Nigerians.

The workers are demanding that the government reduce electricity, water and telephone tariffs by between 30 and 50 %. In nearby Guinea, unions waged a week-long strike that compelled the government to give some civil servants a salary increase of up to 25% and lower the price of rice, but not of fuel.

GM to Shut Portugal Plant Unless It Gets Costly Concessions
Automaker General Motors will shut its assembly plant in Portugal by Oct. 31 if talks with workers and the government do not lead to lower production costs, a GM spokesman said on June 23. Workers at the Ajambuja plant, which assembles combo delivery vans, convinced GM last week to wait five more weeks before making a decisions to close the factory. The unions will use the time to figure out what concessions they are willing to make.

GM says it costs 500 euros ($628) more per vehicle to produce at Azambuja, about 35 miles northeast of Lisbon, than at other potential manufacturing sites. The company wants to move production to its factory in Zaragoza, Spain.

There are about 1,100 workers at the factory. They have stepped up industrial action in response to the threat of closure, including a 24-hour strike last week. Spain
's socialist government has said it wants to create the conditions for GM to stay in Portugal.

Strike at Spain's Big Supermarket Chain Enters Fourth Month
Workers at Mercadona, Spain's supermarket chain are entering the fourth month of their indefinite strike, conducted by the CNT, an anarcho syndicalist trade union. Mercadona, whose slogan translates as "supermarkets of trust," is Spain's biggest national supermarket chain, with 990 outlets across the country and 54,000 workers.

The present conflict came to a head when workers at the logistics center, located in a town about 25 miles outside Barcelona, set up a CNT branch and began to organize for improved working conditions. Management
's response was to refuse to recognize the CNT delegates and then discharge three union members.

CNT called the strike on March 23, initially for 10 days. When management refused to negotiate, the strike was declared indefinite. In the first few days of the conflict, a large proportion of the workers joined the strike. Management
's response was to hire about 100 scabs to replace the strikers. Since then, however, the number of strikers has dwindled to about 29, but the union is determined to fight on.

Chilean Health Unions Set to Strike
Two weeks after concluding the student conflict that had the country's chief executive on the rack for nearly a month, health workers are initiating a strike on June 28. Convoked by the Metropolitan Health Workers Federation, the protest involves the capital's central accident and emergency facility and other hospitals that want better working and infrastructure conditions as well as pay increases.

The unions warned they will keep protesting until a regional negotiating table is set to meet and discuss their complaints. Union leader Carlos Castro that medical centers would only take emergency cases.

Privatization policies in public health and education, two of the most vulnerable sectors of Chilean society. Have resulted in continuing conflicts in the nation.

Our weekly columns (LaborTalk and The World of Labor) can be viewed at our website: <>.
Harry Kelber
's e-mail address is:

Emergency Petition to Save Voting Rights Act

Forward this e-mail | Subscribe to PFAW Action Alerts

Tell Congress to stop stalling and renew the Voting Rights Act before the Fourth of July recess.

In a move that surprised even Republican leaders, a small but vocal group in the House of Representatives managed to stage a revolt within the Republican Party and have the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization (H.R. 9) pulled from the House floor.

We cannot let this small band of ultra-conservative House Republicans succeed in holding up reauthorization of this landmark civil rights legislation. That’s why we’re launching an emergency petition to tell House Leadership to pass the bill immediately.

Please sign the petition now to tell Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader John Boehner to stand up to the right wing’s stalling tactics and let the VRA bill pass before the Fourth of July holiday recess!

On Wednesday, we will hand-deliver all the petition signatures we’ve gathered from around the country to the House Leadership to make sure they hear from you.

For more than 40 years, the Voting Rights Act has protected the right of every American citizen to cast not just a vote, but an informed vote. Equality in voting is fundamental to the American democratic system. Don’t let the VRA get hijacked. Add your name to the petition demanding an end to right-wing stall tactics today!

After you sign, please forward this alert to your friends and get them to add their voice to the chorus of Americans demanding necessary protections for voting rights.

Thank you for standing with us to defend democracy.

-- Your Allies at People For the American Way

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I hope that you find something interesting in what I've posted today. This will be my last post for at least a week maybe 2. I'm off to Montana tomorrow to finish the job that I started on May 1st. I'll be glad when it's done. Until then keep up the resistance to BushCo and I'll post again when I return and get caught up on all those things that have been neglected in my absence. I'll leave you with a picture of the Gallatin River that runs thru Big Sky. It was roaring with the spring runoff when I left. It will be interesting to see where it is when I get back there..............PEACE........................Scott


June 10, 1980

In South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) makes public a statement by
Nelson Mandela, the long imprisoned leader of the anti-apartheid movement. The
message, smuggled out of Robben Island prison under great risk, read, "UNITE!
THE ARMED STRUGGLE WE SHALL CRUSH APARTHEID!"Mandela, born in 1918, was the son
of the chief of the Xhosa-speaking Tembu people. Instead of succeeding his
father as chief, Mandela went to university and became a lawyer. In 1944, he
joined the ANC, a black political organization dedicated to winning rights for
the black majority in white-ruled South Africa. In 1948, the racist National
Party came to power, and apartheid--South Africa's institutionalized system of
white supremacy and racial segregation--became official government policy. With
the loss of black rights under apartheid, black enrollment in the ANC rapidly
grew. Mandela became one of the ANC's leaders and in 1952 was made deputy
national president of the ANC. He organized nonviolent strikes, boycotts,
marches, and other acts of civil disobedience.After the massacre of peaceful
black demonstrators at Sharpeville in 1960, Mandela helped organize a
paramilitary branch of the ANC to engage in acts of sabotage against the white
minority government. He was tried for and acquitted of treason in 1961 but in
1962 was arrested again for illegally leaving the country. Convicted and
sentenced to five years at Robben Island Prison, he was put on trial again in
1963 with seven other ANC members who were arrested at Rivonia in possession of
a store of weapons. Charged with sabotage, treason, and violent conspiracy,
Mandela admitted to many of the charges against him and eloquently defended his
militant activities during the trial. On June 12, 1964, he was sentenced to life
imprisonment.Mandela spent the first 18 of his 27 years in jail at the brutal
Robben Island Prison. He was confined to a small cell without a bed or plumbing
and was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. Once a year, he was allowed to meet
with a visitor for 30 minutes, and once every six months he could write and
receive a letter. At first, he was only allowed to exchange letters with his
family, and these letters were read and censored by prison officials. Later he
was allowed to write to friends and associates, but any writing of a political
nature was forbidden. With the help of fellow prisoners and his visitors,
Mandela smuggled out statements and letters to spark the continuing
anti-apartheid movement. A 500-page autobiography, manually miniaturized into 50
pages, was smuggled out by a departing prisoner in 1976. The original manuscript
of the autobiography, buried in a garden, was discovered by the prison warden
soon after. As punishment, Mandela and three others lost their study rights for
four years.Through it all, Mandela's resolve remained unbroken, and he led a
movement of civil disobedience at the prison that coerced South African
officials into drastically improving conditions on Robben Island. In 1982, he
was moved to Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland, and in 1988 to a cottage, where
he lived under house arrest.In 1989, F.W. de Klerk became South African
president and set about dismantling apartheid. De Klerk lifted the ban on the
ANC, suspended executions, and on February 11, 1990, ordered the release of
Nelson Mandela after 27 years as a political prisoner. Mandela subsequently led
the ANC in its negotiations with the minority government for an end to apartheid
and the establishment of a multiracial government. In 1993, Mandela and de Klerk
were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 26, 1994, more than 22
million South Africans turned out to cast ballots in the country's first-ever
multiracial parliamentary elections. An overwhelming majority chose Mandela and
the ANC to lead the country, and a "national unity" coalition was formed with de
Klerk's National Party and the Zulus' Inkatha Freedom Party. On May 10, Mandela
was sworn in as the first black president of South Africa.As president, Mandela
established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights
violations under apartheid and introduced numerous initiatives designed to
improve the living standards of South Africa's black population. In 1996, he
presided over the enactment of a new South African constitution. Mandela retired
from politics in June 1999 at the age of 80. He was succeeded as president by
Thabo Mbeki of the ANC. Mandela, admired by people around the world, continues
to advocate for human rights and peace.

July 19: National Teach-in on Impeachment

How to Impeach a President

Beginning today, you can go to

to learn about a "National Teach-In" on impeachment organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Melville House, launching nationwide on July 19 in cities and towns across the country. (This is a new site so if it crashes try back later.)

Please join the effort:­ visit and organize a Teach-In in your home or community center. An "action kit" ­-- including a DVD documentary short, HOW TO IMPEACH A PRESIDENT, the handbook ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH, and other resources ­-- is available at the website. Join the CCR, the nation's leading institute of constitutional scholarship and activism, in making the impeachment of George W. Bush a reality.


Pass an Impeachment Resolution at Your State Democratic Party Convention

Despite the efforts of those who would sweep the issue under the rug, 10 state Democratic party organizations have already gone on record in support of impeachment resolutions: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Colorado and Hawaii. This weekend, we expect similar resolutions to be brought in Minnesota and even Texas! And there are more to come in the weeks ahead, which means that shortly more than a quarter of all state Democratic party organizations will have gone on record in favor of impeachment. That's not to mention the three states that have introduced resolutions in their legislatures calling on Congress to act. Several states have conventions coming up. Get involved:


No Permanent Bases: Passed Both Houses, Removed in Conference Committee
By David Swanson

Remember when our efforts persuaded both the House and the Senate to unanimously approve amendments to the "emergency supplemental" bill stipulating that none of the money could be used to build permanent bases in Iraq? This week, a conference committee, behind closed doors, removed that language. READ MORE:

Senator Thad Cochran (202-224-5054) and Congressman Jerry Lewis (202-225-5861) were in charge of the conference committee. Feel free to give them a call and tell them what you think.


Action on Iraq in House and Senate Next Week

Our efforts in support of a discharge petition that would force an open debate on Iraq in the House have pressured the Republican leadership into announcing a debate next week, but a short debate limited to the topic of a bill that no one has seen, with no amendments allowed. We need a lengthy debate allowing Congress Members from both sides of the aisle to introduce amendments and have them voted on. Let House Majority Leader John Boehner (202-225-6205) know.

In recent weeks, four Senators -- Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and John Kerry (D-MA) -- have introduced bills that would bring our troops home from Iraq by the end of 2006. Both Feingold and Kerry are expected to propose their bills as amendments to a Defense Authorization bill next week. Your Senator should vote for those two amendments and should co-sponsor these four bills.

If four is too many, we recommend pressing for support of Senator Harkin's bill (S. CON. RES. 93). It includes these three points:
(1) the United States should not maintain a permanent military presence or military bases in Iraq;
(2) the United States should not attempt to control the flow of Iraqi oil; and
(3) United States Armed Forces should be redeployed from Iraq as soon as practicable after the completion of Iraq's constitution-making process or December 31, 2006, whichever occurs first.

Harkin's bill has companion legislation in the House (H. CON. RES. 348 sponsored by Congressman Mike Thompson). Your Congress Member should co-sponsor that bill, but also H.R. 4232, Congressman Jim McGovern's bill to cut off money for the war and end it immediately.

Tell your Congress Member and Senators to end the war:


Tragically, 2,500th US Death Approaches

The U.S. death toll in Iraq continues to climb, and now stands at 2,476. In a matter of days or weeks, we will reach yet another tragic milestone in this war: the death of the 2500th U.S. serviceperson. This sad event comes as the Iraqi Health Ministry reports that civilian deaths in Baghdad soared in May; the U.S. war on Iraq has destroyed so many lives, for so little reason.

Last October, when the 2000th U.S. serviceperson was killed in Iraq, more than 1000 candlelight vigils and other commemorative events were held in communities all around the country. We urge you to begin planning now for what your group will do when this newest sad benchmark is reached.

One national initiative you may wish to join is a coordinated ringing of church bells, organized by Faithful America and Democracy Rising. They hope to have at least 2500 houses of worship participating in this effort. For more information, visit


Sign the Declaration of Peace

The Declaration of Peace is a pledge:

1) To declare peace by taking action now to bring all US troops home from Iraq now and to establish a comprehensive, concrete and rapid plan for an end to the US war in Iraq; and

2) To declare peace by engaging in nonviolent action in cities and towns across the United States and in Washington, DC September 21-28 if these goals — immediate withdrawal of US troops and a comprehensive plan to end the US war — are not accomplished by International Peace Day, September 21, 2006. Nationally coordinated nonviolent activities will continue on a regular basis as needed until the United States withdraws from Iraq."

You can learn more, sign the declaration, and get more involved by visiting


Enter the "Impeach Bush" Media Contest

Here's a contest, to gather and rate anti-Bush and pro-impeachment materials:
Best impeachment website or blog
Best impeachment or anti-Bush image
Best impeachment or anti-Bush audio
Best impeachment or anti-Bush video or animation
Best impeachment or anti-Bush essay or article
Best impeachment or anti-Bush pamphlet or flier
Best impeachment slogan or catchphrase
Best argument for impeachment
Anyone can enter, and anyone can win. The contest will close on July 21st, 2006, and winners will be announced shortly afterwards.




If you received this from a friend, you can subscribe at:


The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!

This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that
will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in
recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to
the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers
can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last
5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within
34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest
object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear
25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification

Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the
east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at
nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty
convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded
history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow
progressively brighter and brighter throughout the

Share this with your children and grandchildren.


Kick the Oil Habit Header

Robert RedfordWhen President Bush took office in 2001, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.47. Today the average price is $2.89 and it’s much more in many places. This surge in gas prices has hit a nerve for many around the country, reminding us of an economy that is increasingly uncertain for the middle-class, a growing addiction to oil that draws us ever closer to dictators and despots, and a fragile global position with a climate that is increasingly out of balance.

It's time to rise to the challenge and Kick the Oil Habit.

Join me and thousands of others by taking action at

We just launched a campaign to take on Big Oil companies and demand better energy solutions. Please take a moment to visit our site and watch our powerful video that shows how Big Oil and their backers in Washington are profiting while working Americans are paying more.

Screen Capture from Kick the Oil Habit Ad

Our first action is to challenge oil companies to double the number of E85 ethanol fuel pumps at their stations within a year and pledge to offer renewable fuel at half of all gas stations within the decade.

Please join our effort and take action now:

Thank you,

Robert Redford on behalf of the Kick the Oil Habit campaign.

Center for American Progress Action Fund Logo is a campaign of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, which is working to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.

Ask a Working Woman

Click here to complete the 2006 Ask A Working Woman Survey.

Would better pay improve your life? How about affordable health insurance, a secure pension or a safe job? Do you worry about losing your job or having your job sent overseas?

We want to hear from you.

Today, we’re inviting working women to take part in the AFL-CIO’s 2006 Ask a Working Woman Survey—and we’re asking working men to help spread the word to all the working women they know. This Labor Day, the tens of thousands of responses will be delivered to every member of Congress and to state and local officials around the country.

During the 2004 presidential election, more than 20,000 working women spoke out about their priorities: good jobs, living wages, health insurance and control over work schedules.

This election year, the stakes are higher than ever, and the survey will be more important than ever. Make sure your voice is heard. Fill out the 2006 Ask a Working Woman Survey by clicking here:

Whoever gets the most friends, family members and co-workers to complete the survey will win a free trip to Chicago for the national release of the survey results. Also, the top 25 activists will participate in a conference call with women leaders from around the country to strategize about how to make women’s voices heard.

Start now by urging all the working women in your life to fill out the survey. Click on the link below to tell friends, family members and co-workers. Help spread the word on working women's priorities.

Thank you for all your work.


Working America, AFL-CIO

June 8, 2006

Help us spread the word to working women.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Working America.

The Electrically-Powered Car

You may have missed this program last night. I'm sure that they will repeat it. You can go to the PBS websitr and get more info. Thanks..............PEACE..................Scott

t r u t h o u t | Programming Note

Airdate: Friday, June 9, 2006, at 8:30 p.m. on PBS.
(Check local listings at

The electrically-powered car - did auto and oil companies gang up to kill it? This time on NOW.

Did car companies sabotage one of their most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly products because it stood in the way of big profits? A new documentary by filmmaker Chris Paine charts the promising life and untimely death of the electric car, and lays blame at the door of some powerful suspects. On June 9, NOW sits down with Paine to look under the hood of America's automotive and oil industries and ask: who really pulled the plug on electric cars, and why? This time on NOW.

Note: The NOW website at will provide follow-up coverage to the show starting Friday morning, June 9. Features will include a timeline of the electric car's rise and fall, a closer look at the new hybrids, expert perspectives about modern gas fuel alternatives, and practical tips to conserve fuel.

Iraq: Conferees Eliminate Ban on Permanent Bases

Legislative Action Message

Iraq: Conferees Eliminate Ban on Permanent Bases - FCNL

Printer-friendly version of this alert

Thwarting the will of the majority, a joint House and Senate conference committee this week decided to delete language barring permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq from legislation pending in Congress. Meeting behind closed doors, negotiators from the conference committee dropped language that would ban permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, language that both chambers had approved in the emergency war supplemental spending bill.

Disappointment Tempered by Hope and Rising Debate in Congress

Our disappointment in the congressional leadership’s actions this week is tempered by the knowledge that, thanks in large part to your work, majorities in both chambers have determined the goal of U.S. policy is to remove all bases and, ultimately, to leave Iraq.

Both the Senate and the House will begin new debates on U.S. policy toward Iraq next week that provide opportunities to persuade Congress to shift the debate about Iraq from how the U.S. wins to how the U.S. leaves.

U.S. troops in Iraq are now part of the problem, not part of the solution. The perception that the U.S. intends to permanently occupy Iraq, bolstered by decisions such as this recent congressional action, is fueling the conflict.

We at FCNL believe that three points should guide future U.S. policy in Iraq. We urge Congress to enact legislation that:

  • States that it is the U.S. policy to remove all U.S. military troops and bases from Iraq;
  • Requires the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. military troops and bases from Iraq; and
  • Provides resources for reconstruction by the people of Iraq through appropriate multinational, national, and Iraqi agencies.

Take Action Now

Next week, the Senate is scheduled to consider several changes in U.S. policy in Iraq during a debate on military authorization legislation. Please contact your senators today to urge them to support legislation that will shift the focus of U.S. policy from how to win in Iraq to how to leave Iraq.

Please also contact your representative. The House leadership has agreed to schedule an extended debate on U.S. policy in Iraq next week. This debate will be an opportunity for your representative to speak out publicly in favor of a change in U.S. policy in Iraq.

You can find a sample message and contact your legislators directly through FCNL's online legislative action center.

Background: How Did the Congress Reverse the Ban on Permanent Bases in Iraq?

Thanks in large part to your work, both the House and the Senate recently voted to amend supplemental funding legislation (H.R. 4939) pending before Congress with specific language to prevent spending to establish permanent military bases. The supplemental funding legislation will provide additional funding for the war in Iraq as well as hurricane relief and other programs. Significant differences in the versions of the supplemental legislation approved by the two chambers required that negotiators from the House and the Senate meet in a conference committee to work out a single bill. Meeting behind closed doors this week, the conference committee quietly removed the provisions from this legislation that were intended to bar spending on building permanent military bases.

The supplemental funding legislation is expected to win approval from both chambers in the next few days. President Bush has said he will sign the legislation.

Although the ban on permanent bases will not become law in the supplemental bill, we at FCNL believe that both chambers of Congress passed an important milestone this spring when they approved a clear statement of policy that the U.S. does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq. In the next few months, FCNL will be continuing to work with Congress to bar permanent bases and also to change the focus of U.S. policy from how the U.S. wins in Iraq to how the U.S. leaves.

The situation in Iraq is becoming progressively worse every day. As FCNL’s Colonel Dan Smith (USA Ret.) describes in his blog this week, the killing of Abu Masab al-Zarqawi in Iraq does not address the underlying problems in Iraq or provide the political solutions Iraq requires. U.S. policy has brought civil war to Iraq. If the U.S. continues along the current course, the result will be more violence and more deaths.

The time has come for Congress to determine a new course in Iraq. War is Not the Answer.

Unreported: The Zarqawi Invitation

By Greg Palast
t r u t h o u t | Report

Friday 09 June 2006

They got him - the big, bad, beheading berserker in Iraq. But, something's gone unreported in all the glee over getting Zarqawi - who invited him into Iraq in the first place?

If you prefer your fairy tales unsoiled by facts, read no further. If you want the uncomfortable truth, begin with this: A phone call to Baghdad to Saddam's Palace on the night of April 21, 2003. It was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on a secure line from Washington to General Jay Garner.

The General had arrives in Baghdad just hours before to take charge of the newly occupied nation. The message from Rumsfeld was not a heartwarming welcome. Rummy told Garner, Don't unpack, Jack - you're fired.

What had Garner done? The many-starred general had been sent by the President himself to take charge of a deeply dangerous mission. Iraq was tense but relatively peaceful. Garner's job was to keep the peace and bring democracy.

Unfortunately for the general, he took the President at his word. But the general was wrong. "Peace" and "Democracy" were the slogans.

"My preference," Garner told me in his understated manner, "was to put the Iraqis in charge as soon as we can and do it in some form of elections."

But elections were not in The Plan.

The Plan was a 101-page document to guide the long-term future of the land we'd just conquered. There was nothing in it about democracy or elections or safety. There was, rather, a detailed schedule for selling off "all [Iraq's] state assets" - and Iraq, that's just about everything - "especially," said The Plan, "the oil and supporting industries." Especially the oil.

There was more than oil to sell off. The Plan included the sale of Iraq's banks, and weirdly, changing it's copyright laws and other odd items that made the plan look less like a program for Iraq to get on its feet than a program for corporate looting of the nation's assets. (And indeed, we discovered at BBC, behind many of the odder elements - copyright and tax code changes - was the hand of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's associate Grover Norquist.)

But Garner didn't think much of The Plan, he told me when we met a year later in Washington. He had other things on his mind. "You prevent epidemics, you start the food distribution program to prevent famine."

Seizing title and ownership of Iraq's oil fields was not on Garner's must-do list. He let that be known to Washington. "I don't think [Iraqis] need to go by the U.S. plan, I think that what we need to do is set an Iraqi government that represents the freely elected will of the people." He added, "It's their country, their oil."

Apparently, the Secretary of Defense disagreed. So did lobbyist Norquist. And Garner incurred their fury by getting carried away with the "democracy" idea: he called for quick elections - within 90 days of the taking of Baghdad.

But Garner's 90-days-to-elections commitment ran straight into the oil sell-off program. Annex D of the plan indicated that would take at least 270 days - at least 9 months.

Worse, Garner was brokering a truce between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. They were about to begin what Garner called a "Big Tent" meeting to hammer out the details and set the election date. He figured he had 90 days to get it done before the factions started slitting each other's throats.

But a quick election would mean the end of the state-asset sell-off plan: An Iraqi-controlled government would never go along with what would certainly amount to foreign corporations swallowing their entire economy. Especially the oil. Garner had spent years in Iraq, in charge of the Northern Kurdish zone and knew Iraqis well. He was certain that an asset-and-oil grab, "privatizations," would cause a sensitive population to take up the gun. "That's just one fight you don't want to take on right now."

But that's just the fight the neo-cons at Defense wanted. And in Rumsfeld's replacement for Garner, they had a man itching for the fight. Paul Bremer III had no experience on the ground in Iraq, but he had one unbeatable credential that Garner lacked: Bremer had served as Managing Director of Kissinger and Associates.

In April 2003, Bremer instituted democracy Bush style: he canceled elections and appointed the entire government himself. Two months later, Bremer ordered a halt to all municipal elections including the crucial vote to Shia seeking to select a mayor in the city of Najaf. The front-runner, moderate Shia Asad Sultan Abu Gilal warned, "If they don't give us freedom, what will we do? We have patience, but not for long." Local Shias formed the "Mahdi Army," and within a year, provoked by Bremer's shutting their paper, attacked and killed 21 U.S. soldiers.

The insurgency had begun. But Bremer's job was hardly over. There were Sunnis to go after. He issued "Order Number One: De-Ba'athification." In effect, this became "De-Sunni-fication."

Saddam's generals, mostly Sunnis, who had, we learned, secretly collaborated with the US invasion and now expected their reward found themselves hunted and arrested. Falah Aljibury, an Iraqi-born US resident who helped with the pre-invasion brokering, told me, "U.S. forces imprisoned all those we named as political leaders," who stopped Iraq's army from firing on U.S. troops.

Aljibury's main concern was that busting Iraqi collaborators and Ba'athist big shots was a gift "to the Wahabis," by which he meant the foreign insurgents, who now gained experienced military commanders, Sunnis, who now had no choice but to fight the US-installed regime or face arrest, ruin or death. They would soon link up with the Sunni-defending Wahabi, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was committed to destroying "Shia snakes."

And the oil fields? It was, Aljibury noted, when word got out about the plans to sell off the oil fields (thanks to loose lips of the US-appointed oil minister) that pipelines began to blow. Although he had been at the center of planning for invasion, Aljibury now saw the greed-crazed grab for the oil fields as the fuel for a civil war that would rip his country to pieces:

"Insurgents," he said, "and those who wanted to destabilize a new Iraq have used this as means of saying, 'Look, you're losing your country. You're losing your leadership. You're losing all of your resources to a bunch of wealthy people. A bunch of billionaires in the world want to take you over and make your life miserable.' And we saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities, pipelines, of course, built on - built on the premise that privatization [of oil] is coming."

General Garner, watching the insurgency unfold from the occupation authority's provocations, told me, in his understated manner, "I'm a believer that you don't want to end the day with more enemies than you started with."

But you can't have a war president without a war. And you can't have a war without enemies. "Bring 'em on," our Commander-in-Chief said. And Zarqawi answered the call.


Greg Palast is the author of Armed Madhouse out this week from Penguin Dutton, from which this is adapted. Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War. Order it now.